It’s a packed platter of antipasti and one of the new additions to the menu at Jamie’s Italian
THE BANGKOK branch of Jamie’s Italian, the restaurant chain owned by British celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, has some dazzling new dishes on the menu – Italian classics with a creative twist.
The chain is a partnership with Oliver’s Italian mentor, Gennaro Contaldo, and debuted in Oxford, England, in 2008.
The restaurant that opened late last year at Siam Discovery is the latest outlet. There are 36 in the UK and more than 25 elsewhere in the world, from South Africa and Dubai to Brazil.
The Bangkok branch is a joint venture between Singapore-based Hotel Properties and Siam Piwat, operator of Siam Paragon, Siam Center and Siam Discovery.
“We change our menu seasonally to reflect the great local produce and introduce exciting new dishes,” says general manager Sarah Smith.
“Jamie and his food-development team are always working on new recipes, inspired by traditional dishes eaten all over Italy. Our loyal and new customers will be thrilled with our latest well-selected menu.”
The loft-style, 200-seat, glass-wrapped restaurant boasts a mix of rustic refectory tables of reclaimed timber and industrial-zinc tables, along with hand-painted floral tile flooring.
Local artisans made all of the furnishings for a setting that’s basically industrial chic – exposed ceiling ducts, vintage enamel shades and retro glass pendant-lights – though the windows all around let in plenty of natural light.
It’s “open concept”, so you can watch the action in the kitchen as your antipasti platter is being prepared, or enjoy a pre- or post-meal tipple at the bar.
In keeping with the chain’s philosophy of melding tradition to innovative ideas, the Bangkok branch uses only free-range and ethically produced ingredients.
“Despite the changing menu, one thing remains the same – our commitment to using only the best free-range, higher-welfare meat and sustainable ingredients,” says head chef Alex Barman, who’s been with the chain since 2010.
“All of our dishes are Italian classics with a ‘Jamie twist’. I work closely with Thai farmers and other local suppliers to showcase Thai produce, and this is evident in the great additions to our menu.”
A starter perfect for sharing is one of the antipasti “planks” – there are both meat and vegetarian versions.
The large wooden board is perched on tins of tomatoes. The new Ultimate Plank (Bt1,580) is almost overloaded with cured meats, vegetables of the season, chicken-liver pate, mozzarella, pecorino cheese on bread, Italian nachos, olives, pickles and “rainbow slaw”.
Silky Pate Bruschetta
Silky Pate Bruschetta (Bt260) is toasted ciabatta with smooth chicken-liver pate, pancetta and Parmesan. For a sampling of all the available bruschettas on the menu, get the Mini Bruschetta Selection (Bt280), with tomato, pate, primavera, crab and avocado.
Also new, the Baby Mozzarella Salad (Bt200) combines locally made cheese with other fresh ingredients. It’s excellent with any dish.
Made fresh in the kitchen every day, the terrific pasta finds its way into an array of classics and inventive new dishes.
Favourites such as Prawn Linguine and Crab Spaghetti are available as always, and now there’s also the simple but sensational Meatball Pappardelle (Bt380). It features free-range pork meatballs in a rich tomato sauce.
Octopus & Mussel Spaghetti Nero
Spaghetti alla Norma (Bt260 to Bt340) is a fine option for vegetarians, combining rich aubergine and tomato sauce. Seafood lovers will adore Octopus & Mussel Spaghetti Nero (Bt480) with slow-braised (and thus tender) octopus, squid, mussels and squid-ink pasta.
The range of new “artisan” pizzas, hand-stretched and topped with exciting ingredients, includes Gennaro’s Spicy Sausage (Bt360) and The Carne (Bt380). You get pepperoni, smoky pancetta, spicy salami and creamy mozzarella.
Gennaro’s Spicy Sausage
Turbo-charged Margherita Pizza (Bt320) boasts slow-roasted tomatoes, basil, mozzarella and Parmesan. It’s apparently the preferred pizza of Jamie’s wife Jools.
Italian-inspired main courses include the popular Chicken al Mattone (Bt540), now with a choice between creamy mushroom and Sicilian tomato sauce.
Roasted Carrot & Avocado Salad
Roasted Carrot & Avocado Salad (Bt360) jas joined the list of main courses and become large enough to share. It contains marinated baby carrots and avocado, feta cheese, toasted sesame seeds and a citrus dressing.
New among side dishes are Roast Potatoes (Bt120) with fennel, garlic and chilli and the indulgent Truffle Mash (Bt140).
And new among the drinks are non-alcoholic cocktails such as Mango Madness (Bt140) with elderflower, lemon and guava juices, and refreshing Lychee Berryade (also Bt140).
The wine list has been updated, with a Prosecco added from the prestigious Santa Margherita vineyard and a trendy Villa Scolca Gavi. Other new options include a Chianti Classico from the Ricasoli family and a well-rounded Brunello di Montalcino.
PIZZA, PASTA PLAIN PERFECT
Jamie’s Italian Bangkok is on the ground floor of Siam Discovery.
It’s open daily from noon to 10pm.
Make reservations at (02) 255 5222 or www.JamiesItalian.co.th.