Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen

‘How about Fifteen? We haven’t been there for a while.’ So we booked a table one day and off we went.

Before Jamie Oliver decided to establish his first standalone eaterie on the present location, there was an airy cafe with an exhibition space. Then, the cafe was gone and the place was turned into a building site. The renovation took quite a while, and the process had been aired as a TV documentary, Jamie’s Kitchen, in 2002. For the first few years, the restaurant served Italian-style menu, the upstairs was a trattoria and the downstairs was a dining space for a six course tasting menu. Hubbie and I liked the place as we loved Italian food. I even bought bread from them time to time as they had delicious house baked rustic breads and didn’t mind selling them to me if they had any excess stock.

Over the years, the place kind of disappeared from our slap-up meal choice list. It was a result of accumulating tiny doubt and dissatisfaction we were left with after each visit to the venue. For example, I didn’t like it when they decided to replace Baffalo mozzarella with goats’ cheese, etc, etc…

So how are they doing now? I was curious. The place seemed to be busy. Despite our table being booked for an early dinner at 7:15, the restaurant was filling up with diners rapidly as we studied the menu…

Hmmm, what am I gonna have?

We decided to share short rib croquettes with sour cherry ketchup as a starter…

The portion was small, but we knew the main dish would be large so it was fine by us. The croquettes were tasty and the sour cherry ketchup tasted ok.

For a main course, I opted for venison haunch, swede, turnip top, pickled blackberries…

Well, the dish turned out to be very very heavy. The seasoning was strong and everything was far too rich for my liking. I thoroughly regretted about not choosing vegetarian option as I transferred the food to my mouth!

Our side dish of charred cauliflower, smoked anchovy, dill…

and crispy potato cake, Marmite & black truffle mayo…

Even though I found the dill with cauliflower was a refreshing idea, again, the dish was far too rich for my liking. I expected the side dish to be a compliment to a main dish, not a competitor!

The potato cake was like hashed brown potato. The portion was generous but the texture was too greasy for me. I had to threw the towel in halfway through my main dish and ask Hubbie some assistance which he gladly volunteered.

For a dessert, I picked coconut panna cotta, roasted pinapple, coconut crumble…

Mmmm, the panna cotta was rather watery and tasteless. Another disappointment.

We also had to wait for ages for out bill. All in all, my latest experience with the restaurant was 3/10. Oh well, there are a plenty more eateries to satisfy my tastebuds in Shoreditch, therefore, it is not the end of world…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

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