Inspired by Jamie Oliver’s passion and love for the Italian way of life, Jamie’s Italian allows us a furtive glimpse into the mother of all European Latin Cuisines.
The Cuisine of Italy is a reflection of this wonderful country of sapphire blue skies,land of the rolling hills, the ever winding roads with their tall elongated cypress trees, terraced vineyards, olives groves with their curiously twisted trees, glimpses of sienna red tiled roofs and above all, of warm, generous and hospitable people.
The country’s culinary tradition is as long as its history and an Italian meal is a leisurely, sociable affair, often taken in the open air, however it is very important to remember that Italian Cuisine is strongly regional in character and across the menu here you can choose from the colourful pasta dishes and fish of Southern Italy or the rustic meat and poultry dishes of Tuscany and of course the pizzas, so there is something for every one.
Staying away from the typical Italian starter of an Antipasti platter, which usually includes an assortment of Cured Meats, Olives, Vegetables, Salads and Cheeses, we dived straight into the deep end and started with Crispy Squid with garlicky mayo, lemon & chilli @ €8.25.
While very simple, they were crispy and the squid still very tender and moist and the chilli garlicky mayo added refreshing notes to this tasty dish and all were very well seasoned.
Flash fried Prawns with chilli, lemon & flat leaf parsley @ €9.95 again while it was a simple dish, it was well executed. The prawns were juicy and meaty and the sauce had just the right amount of acidity from the white wine to make perfect.
The Crab Tagliolini @ €16.95, with lots of sweet crab meat & just a hint of chilli, lemon,tomatoes, creme fraiche and perfectly cooked pasta, it reminded me of the ones, I ‘ve had in Italy, which were simple and allowed the freshness of the produce to sing to you. A delicious main indeed.
Meat lovers could try the Wild rabbit Tagliolini @ €15.95, which consisted of a slow cooked ragu with garlic, herbs, mascarpone & lemon.
The Prawn Linguini with shaved fennel, tomatoes, chilli & rocket @ €16.95, offered once again perfectly cooked pasta, “al dente”, they were complimented by a decadent yet simple sauce of roasted baby plum tomatoes & shaved fennel which coated rather than gelled the delicate pasta . With a generous dusting of parmegiano & rocket, it was simply delicious.
Italians rarely finish a meal with a dessert; Cheeses and fresh fruits are normally served instead. But for those with a sweet tooth, there are the traditional Italian desserts on offer.
An Amalfi Lemon Cheesecake @ €6.75 was creamy mascarpone and not overtly sweet. Perfect consistency with subtle hints of lemon & topped by an Italian Meringue, it was served with lemon curd and macerated blackberries.
What’s not to love…
With a good selection of wine that can be purchased by the glass or bottle, the place was packed to the rafters, and while I didn’t like all the screaming kids around, making it so noisy that it was nearly impossible to have a conversation, the staff were most attentive and charming.
Dundrum Town Centre
Dundrum. Dublin 16
A Classically trained Chef, food writer and Culinary instructor having worked in some of Dublin and London Michelin star establishments such as Chapter One, Dublin, Gordon Ramsay, London & the 5* Boutique hotel, The Dylan among others. His work is regularly featured in some of the leading magazines and newspapers in Ireland and he is currently working on a book about Irish Honey due to be published later in 2015.