Personally, I find the food scene in Aberdeen a bit lacking in numbers when compared to my beloved Glasgow, but it does have some really great places to visit that provide delicious food in a fantastic setting. I was recently invited to visit Jamie’s Italian on Union Street and having never visited a branch before it’s safe to say I was excited to try it out for myself.
The restaurant itself is situated in what was previously an iconic Aberdonian department store, Esslemont & Macintosh, and is spread across two floors. With a combination of large cosy booths and secluded tables it’s the perfect place to enjoy some quality food whilst watching the hustle & bustle of the main street through the massive windows.
I visited with my flatmate, Eilidh, on Wednesday evening last week and was pleasantly surprised to see how busy the restaurant was. Throughout our visit there was a steady flow of customers which created a brilliant, warm atmosphere. The staff were both friendly and knowledgeable, making sure to check that everything was running smoothly and we were enjoying our meal. I’ve visited places before where awful service has really let down great food but this was not the case at Jamie’s Italian.
The menu offers a large variety of food with many coming in both small plate and classic sizes, meaning that you can order a variety of different dishes to try out. Alongside traditional pasta dishes there are some fantastic twists on the typical dishes you’d expect to find, such as crab bruschetta which sounded delicious.
To start, Eilidh opted for the Ricotta Bruschetta – a typical style dish with creamy Colwick cheese, balsamic roasted cherry tomatoes and fresh basil on a slice of beautifully toasted bread. The Italian Nachos had caught my eye as soon as I first read the menu so I couldn’t resist giving them a go. It was quite an interesting dish, made up of fried ravioli stuffed with three cheeses served with a generous serving of a delicious arrabiata sauce. I love anything cheesy, so this was an ideal choice for me! It was as mouthwatering as it sounds and I’ll definitely be back for more.
As a main course Eilidh chose to have the Rigatoni Pomodoro – a pasta dish with a sweet tomato sauce, mascarpone, mozzarella, breadcrumbs, garlic & basil. The portion was absolutely massive, to the point that it was difficult to finish, but was fantastic nonetheless. I – unusually for me – decided against pasta and instead ordered the Turkey Milanese. This was a large slice of turkey stuffed with fontal cheese and prosciutto in breadcrumbs, served with a fried egg and wild truffle. I’d never tried truffle before and wasn’t overly keen on the texture, but the rest of the dish was delicious and cooked to perfection. At first I was worried it was going to be a bit plain but the seasoning worked wonders alongside the flavours of the meats and cheese so I thoroughly enjoyed it. I can imagine something like this would also work brilliantly alongside a tomato pasta, so it may be worthwhile considering something like the Rigatoni Pomodoro in the smaller size as a side dish.
We couldn’t resist a serving of polenta chips on the side and they certainly lived up to expectations. I find that some places don’t quite cook polenta chips to the best standard but that was definitely not the case at Jamie’s. They were chunky cut with a golden crisp on the outside, with a beautifully fluffy centre. Amazing!
Now, I always struggle to resist ordering dessert when I’m out for dinner – so how could I turn down something called an Epic Brownie? I just had to find out if it deserved the title… In short: it did. This warm, fudgy brownie was possibly one of the best I’ve had in a restaurant for a very long time! At first I thought it looked like a very small portion, but it was so deliciously rich that I couldn’t possibly have eaten more. So good.