Much more than pizza and pasta
British celebrity chef Jamie Oliver brings his popular Jamie's Italian to Bangkok
JAMIE’S ITALIAN, a restaurant by British celebrity chef/restaurateur Jamie Oliver, will open in Thailand in the fourth quarter of this year at the newly-renovated Siam Discovery in downtown Bangkok.
A partnership between Oliver and his Italian mentor, Gennaro Contaldo, the first Jamie’s Italian opened in 2008 in Oxford, England, serving the kind of food that had inspired them both since childhood. There are now more than 65 outlets around the world, including Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore.
“I’m hugely excited to be taking Jamie’s Italian to Thailand. Bangkok is such a vibrant, buzzing city with a really fantastic food scene, I’ve no doubt that it will be a brilliant addition to the Jamie’s Italian family. We’ll be sourcing lots of beautiful, top quality local produce, and cooking up some incredibly tasty food, and all at a reasonable price. I can’t wait for it to open,” Oliver said in the statement.
Jamie’s Italian is inspired by his passion for the Italian way of life.
“Since I was a teenager I’ve been totally besotted by the love, passion and verve for food, family and life itself that just about all Italian people have, no matter where they’re from or how rich or poor they might be. And that’s what I’m passionate about – good food for everyone, no matter what. But the thing I love most about the Italians is that somehow, although they have some of the best fashion designers and cars in the world, they’ve managed to retain a unique sense of tradition and village spirit,” the statement continued.
The restaurant is designed to be accessible and affordable, a neighbourhood restaurant where everyone is welcome and feels comfortable, no matter the time of day. Each restaurant is uniquely designed to incorporate the history of the building and personality of the city, as well as creating an environment where the focus is on exceptional food, good company and the relaxed conviviality of the Italian table.
Living up to that philosophy, the latest Jamie’s Italian restaurant will embody a relaxed, buzzy vibe for a comfortable dining experience.
The space will boast a tasteful mix of rustic, reclaimed timber refectory tables, industrial-chic zinc tables and vintage upholstered lounge chairs, with monochromatic and hand-painted floral tile flooring adding impact to the restaurant interior. To add warmth, the dining area will be illuminated with brass spotlights, vintage enamel shades and a textured glass chandelier.
To follow the essence of Jamie’s Italian – tradition combined with current, innovative ideas and a Jamie twist, the Bangkok branch will remain committed to sourcing only the best free-range, sustainable and ethically produced ingredients. The restaurant will also work closely with Thai farmers to showcase local and sustainable produce.
Guests will be able to watch their antipasti planks being made before their eyes at the antipasti counter in the main dining room, or hang out for a pre and post meal tipple at the bar.
The planks, which are perfect for sharing, allow guests to pick from a wide selection of fresh, cured and pickled cold cuts and other appetisers including Italian-style cured meats, buffalo mozzarella and aged pecorino cheese, chilli jam, pickled green chillies, Gaeta olives, caper berries and a crunchy salad of shaved root vegetables with chilli, lemon and mint.
All pastas will be freshly made on site daily. The old-school classic, Tagliatelle Bolognese, features handmade pasta, tossed in a rich ragu of beef, pork, herbs, Chianti and Parmesan and finished with crunchy, herby breadcrumbs. The famous prawn linguine is a must try – juicy, garlicky prawns in a tasty fish broth with fennel, tomato and chilli, topped with lemony rocket.
Pizza dough will all be made by hand, and proved for hours before being hand-stretched to create a crisp base. The simple but classic Margherita, a Thai favourite, is dressed with a rich San Marzano tomato sauce, creamy bocconcini, shavings of British Cheddar and whole basil leaves, while the Funghi Misti is an earthy delight topped with porcini mushroom sauce, roasted herby mushrooms, mozzarella, chervil and tarragon.
For meaty mains, guests will be able to opt for a Chicken Al Mattone, a traditional Tuscan dish that is made by grilling a marinated chicken under a brick. The weight of the brick ensures that the chicken is pushed further against the grates of the grill, producing a smoky, juicy and intensely flavoured grilled chicken with a crisp skin.