[Update: In fairness to those people who turn up here after googling 'Jamie Oliver, Brighton' I should say that we have eaten at Jamie's on three occasions and the first two we were very impressed with both the excellent service and the standard of the food. Nevertheless the episode described below was annoying and I would hope was a glitch rather than a drop in standards.]
The Sock is in a very bad mood. A very bad mood indeed.
As it is impossible to do anything much in the heat the Sock decided to drive into town and have lunch at Jamie Oliver's newish Italian restaurant. The Socks have eaten there a couple of times and enjoyed it and the Sock had a sudden craving for truffle pasta. The short drive into town was horrendous with EFL students throwing themselves under the Sockmobile left, right and centre. Not just the foreign students either - everyone seemed intent on wandering like zombies around the middle of the road or pushing their pram and children straight under my wheels. Don't they bother to teach kids road sense any more? What happened to look left, look right and when all's clear make a dash for it? And of course most of the roads have been dug up causing traffic jams and diversions as happens every summer and in fact most of the year round.
So the Sock was already hot and bothered and on the verge of driving home when she chanced upon a parking space so the meal was on.
Jamie's was fairly empty so why did they put the Sock on a tiny table right at the back? Whilst these tables are OK for two people chatting across it, the likelihood is that a person on their own will want to read something and have room to spread out a bit. Few restaurant staff ever think about this sort of thing but it would be nice if they did. The Sock couldn't be bothered to ask to change so ordered a bruschetta starters and the desired truffle tagliatelle and a glass of wine to wash it down with.
The bruschetta was OK, although the sourdough bread was not quite as chargrilled as it should have been. It arrived with four tiny bowls of creamed ricotta, rustic tomato salsa, smashed roast artichoke, rocket and parmesan pesto. The tomato salsa was slightly watery and the tomatoes bits lacked flavour but the rest was nice.
Then after too long a wait the truffle tagliatelle turned up - an overcooked mess of tagliatelle clumped together with some sort of slightly thick liquid gooping at the bottom of the bowl that seemed like the starchy run off from the pasta. It was difficult to assess exactly how near to a truffle the tagliatelle had ever got although there was a very slight hint of it as if the truffle had been wafted over the top. The first forkful of clumped tag stuck to the roof of the Sock's mouth and didn't seem to want to scrape off. Yeuch!!! Inedible! The Sock called the waiter and suggested the tagliatelle was overcooked or had been hanging around. "Do you mean undercooked?" asked the waiter. "Why would I say the opposite of what I mean? Whatever. I can't eat it, it is horrible." The Sock didn't think the waiter was particularly apologetic although he said he would change it, as if he was doing the Sock a favour.
By that time the Sock didn't want anything else and paid for the starter and drink and left doing without an ice cream dessert she had fancied. The Sock would like to believe this was a one-off aberration but she doesn't hold out much hope. Both Carluccio's and Zilli's went rapidly downhill after their initial openings and it is quite probable that Jamie's has already done the same.
So for this reason the Sock is re-instating a little tradition from last year...
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