We always try to eat together as a family, at the table. When I was growing up it wasn’t something we did as a family, I would sit at the table with my two brothers but my parents wouldn’t sit with us, as usually they ate at a different time. Sam works shifts, so every 3 weeks there is a week where he won’t be home in time to sit at the table with us, before Emily goes to bed. So, we really make the effort to make sure we sit together as a family the rest of the time. We were kindly given the opportunity to review the new A/W menu at Jamie’s Italian at Milton Keynes, it is a place we have often passed by and said ‘we should go there’, but never ventured in. So of course, I said yes, and I was excited to see what they had on offer.
The first thing to take note of is the super lunch deal. It runs way past lunch time (from 12-6pm Monday to Friday). It is perfect for family with young children, as we can still have an early evening meal that comes in at a fraction of the price. You can enjoy two courses for £11.95, or three courses for just £13.95. We went at 4pm, on a Friday, and I was surprised just how quiet it was, it gradually got busier as we ate our meal. I would recommend booking if you plan to go later in the evening as it did start to get a little busy. Be sure to take advantage of the online table booking if you get the chance!
I always get a little anxious when we eat out with Emily, although she has brilliant table manners for a 2-year-old, toddlers can be a little unpredictable at the best of times. I was pleasantly surprised, Emily was really well behaved, and Jamie’s Italian was very kid-friendly. On arrival, Emily was given a little fun activity pack. It had a colouring page, with some games, a pack of crayons and some seeds to take home. The pack kept Emily entertained up until her meal arrived and I thought it was a very thoughtful touch.
Sam opted for the Super lunch deal, while I ordered off the other menu. For a starter, he ordered Fritto Misto. Which is a crispy fried sustainable fish and squid, tossed in fennel-spiced flour with garlic and lemon aioli. He really enjoyed it and the presentation of the dish was fabulous. I opted for a side of garlic bread instead of a starter, as I am not really a big fan of starters. Although the waitress forgot to order the garlic bread, and I forgot to mention it to her. It wasn’t a problem though, as she was apologetic, and made sure it was taken off our bill without any issues.
The kids’ meals are great value for money, I also liked how you could opt for a small or big kids’ meal. It was £6.50 for a small kids’ meal, or £6.95 for a big kids’ meal. The kids’ meal comes with the main, salad and a drink. Emily’s meal came out at the same time as our starters, which I thought was a lovely touch, as she takes a lot longer to eat than us, and it meant she didn’t have to sit and wait while we ate a starter.
I picked the Happy Chicken Lollipops for Emily, although it was a tough call between that and the meatballs. I think she would have liked them both equally (I have an excuse to go back and let her try it now). The presentation of the meal was great - again, I had a little taste and it was so delicious. Emily enjoyed the lemony chicken, but wasn’t keen on the baked hedgehog potatoes. Although I did order the small kids portion, Emily couldn’t finish it.
For a main I went with The Jamie’s Italian Burger. Which is a prime British beef patty with pancetta, balsamic onions, artisan westcombe cheddar, tomato, and their special house sauce, in a brioche bun. Which is served with fries. Sam always laughs at me, as it doesn’t matter where we go, I always go for a burger. I must say I was really impressed with it too. I haven’t had a burger served on a brioche bun before, and I really enjoyed it. Sam went for the Italian steak and fries, with is served with garlic butter, aged parmesan, and slaw. While I really am not a steak fan, he said it was delicious, and I believe him as there was none left.
Emily’s favourite part of the meal was the dessert, we really do have an ice cream monster on our hands. She asked for vanilla ice cream, with chocolate sauce, which comes with an Italian cookie. I didn’t think that she would manage to eat it all, as it was quite a big portion, however she managed to finish the lot. I opted for ice cream just like her, as I didn’t really have much room for anything else – the burger filled me up. Sam had the Epic brownie, and as soon as it come out I was filled with envy. The gooey brownie came with proper chocolate sauce, salted caramel ice cream and caramelised popcorn. It looked amazing, and tasted even better. I know if we go back I will be ordering that.
Overall I was really impressed with the meal we had at Jamie’s Italian, and we will return. The only thing that bothered me, was Emily’s meal was served on a board rather than a plate. While the presentation was amazing, I found it hard to get her to eat her meal without playing with it. I would have much preferred it to be on a plate, this is just a small thing though, and it was quickly resolved. I simply asked the waitress for a plate and moved her food over onto that. She soon tucked in and was happier.
I love the fact that it was such a kid-friendly laid back experience, and the food was such good value for money – we will defiantly be returning. I also loved the location, as the restaurant is situated in the heart of The Centre:MK, making it the perfect place to pop in for some lunch if you are out doing your shopping. It is full of character with rustic features that are offset by huge windows and Jamie’s Italian twists.
- I was given a voucher to cover the cost of our meal, however all opinions are my own.