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Visited in March of 2011. I remember it being one of my best restaurant experiences.
I have always been a big Jamie Oliver fan and on a short trip to London I was determined to dine at Fifteen & Jamie's Italian.
As any fanatic, I went knowing the background and history of the restaurant. I just had to experience it for myself.
Be sure to schedule a reservation to sit in their main dining room downstairs. From this area of the restaurant you can see into the kitchen and watch the chefs as they prepare your meal. I was there on a weekday and the dining room downstairs had a few tables available, but the general seating upstairs was full (this is why having the reservation is important). I was able to sit at the bar and enjoy a fennel cocktail while I waited for my table.
Fifteen is Jamie Oliver's restaurant in London. Their menu offers dinner (braised lamb shoulder, English smoked-ricotta, braised cuttlefish, short ribs, grilled hake, etc.), lunch (spinach soup, beer-battered whiting, pork & sage sausage, spaghetti, etc.), and Pudding (prosseco & conference pear jelly, apple & custard tart, mandarin sorbet, etc.) options. They also have a bar that offers cocktails, wines, craft beers, and ciders with small plates. The Executive Head Chef is Jon Rotheram. All the profits that is made by the restaurant is for the unemployed youth to give them an opportunity to have a better future (part of Jamie Oliver's Food Foundation). How neat is that?
[insert excitable scream here] By jove I think he's got it!
Finally, a restaurant in London with perfect service. I can't even describe how happy this makes me... I had even forgotten what it was like to feel welcomed and looked after in such a nice environment. Hallelujah!
I wasn't aware of the concept behind Fifteen until our excellent waiter described it to us, which just blew my little Scottish mind.
This place is worth a visit (and a return) just to try the tasting menu downstairs; the food is exceptional. Between us, we had almost everything to share and there wasn't a dish I could say a bad word about. The lamb main really ticked the box for me too.
The ambience and music is unpretentious, and on the whole I thought the experience really was quite Lovely!
Yes it's a tad pricey, but for what they do with that money, I would pay it again. Good work, Mr Oliver.
We've always been big Jamie Oliver fans. Really enjoy his food philosophy and simplicity of preparation. This is one of the only places we made a reservation for in advance of our trip to London and left disappointed.
We were excited as we approached the beautiful building itself, but as we walked to our table, we were a party of five sat at a table for four. This probably would have been fine except London was in the middle of a heat wave and we were told the air conditioning was broken. As we sat sweating, we asked for ice in the pitcher of water and it came back with less ice than my son's soft drink.
There were many chances for our waiter to redeem our experience through outstanding service, but this did not happen. He seemed impatient and put off that we needed help interpreting the menu and suggested we order more food, which turned out to be way too much. We are foodies from San Francisco, and my wife is a chef, and the menu just seemed to be too fussy. I wonder what Jamie's kids would order if they came to eat there? All of us, who are exposed to a wide variety of different foods. were uncertain what to order based on reading the menu.
The food itself was good, but not outstanding. The roasted chicken for two comes as a whole roasted chicken that you have to carve yourself at the table. For £35, I would have expected the chicken to come pre-carved and be perfectly cooked, not dry.
In summary, our experience didn't match what we've come to know as Jamie's style and philosophy. We had dinner a few nights before at Jamie's Recipease in Notting Hill, which was fantastic and less than half the price.
If are in London, or are a Jamie Oliver fan, I would skip Fifteen.
Great food really well done.
The decor is superb, the basement is nice but the ground floor nicer.
The staff are incredibly friendly, it is a charity helping people from disadvantaged backgrounds so the staff are a bit 'street'. Great if you are a human being who likes nice people, if you are a snob then best to go elsewhere.
Jamie Oliver's other restaurants can difffer wildly from terrible to good and food poisoning is not unknown. This is because he leaves them to their own devices abd does not manage them properly.
However this restaurant is a charity and his office is around the corner, he is there about every week and the excellent results can be seen.
A great recommendation for a nice and quite unique experience.
Lay off the salt, peeps!
Overall good food and good service but far too heavy on the salt. Downstairs is an odd spot too as the noisy kitchen and glaring lights seem unavoidable.
I like it but it's not a spot I'd choose for a very special occasion. It's Mainstream Fine Dining, not Amazing Fine Dining.
In a word, disappointing.
We asked our server for his ordering advice and he steered us away from our initial choices and instead toward the carbonara and the duck. Our dishes were universally under seasoned, and in the instance of our side of green beans, so overcooked we had to send them back. I remain shocked at the blandness of my pasta which is a dish based on eggs, cheese, guanciale and black pepper. It takes some kind of skill to make those ingredients into something so flavourless.
The best bit was the bread. We actually ordered it, as opposed to the olives which showed up unasked for (and with a charge.) I hate olives but concede that these very clean tasting green ones made me rethink my stance.
Attempting to end the meal on a positive note, I ordered the brownie. Its biscotti-like crunchiness left me wondering if it had simply been left sitting out too long (like a week, perhaps?)
Fifteen's space possesses a nice vibe and I can definitely appreciate the social good it's attempting to do by training young chefs. However, I think I'll stick to watching Jamie Oliver on telly rather than paying the hefty tariff to dine on this poorly executed food.
Ok, I'll admit it...I went to Fifteen because of Jamie Oliver but his star power has nothing to do with my five star rating.
Service, food, ambiance - everything was top notch and well worth the money. I would definitely recommend the wine pairing which starts with a glass of champagne then has a different glass of wine with each course. And of course our sommelier poured with a heavy hand and refilled our glasses whenever they ran low.
Even though our money is worth nothing in the UK I'd definitely suggest Fifteen to my friends looking for a fun restaurant with fantastic food and excellent service.
I would love to take out the long knives and attack a celebrity chef, but Jamie Oliver's beliefs and expertise are on excellent display at Fifteen. In order to keep the tab under control, my wife and I shared four appetizer-sized dishes: the best beef carpaccio I've ever tasted and three pastas. It was a perfect amount of food and kept the bill manageable.
That carpaccio: generous curls of divine Parmasan, cold Roman-style artichoke and aged Balsamic were perfect accents to the thin-sliced beef.
The pastas, all made fresh in house: a light and flavorful vegetable ravioli in brown butter, a nice but unexceptional seafood linguine with in-the-shell mussels and a beautifully nuanced ragu over bowtie.
Service was a bit spotty - our main server was clearly annoyed that we ordered the carpaccio while still mulling the menu, and he disappeared for long stretches. The others were friendlier and more attentive.
As tourists from Miami, it's hard for me to judge how pricey Fifteen was relative to similar restaurants, but it wasn't the kind of sticker shock we'd been told to expect of London. All in all a very satisfying dinner that showcases Jamie Oliver's commitment to great ingredients, fresh flavors and simple preparations.
Coincidentally, we went here for lunch the day before the 10th anniversary of Fifteen. As much as I wanted to give Jamie Oliver's Fifteen a glowing review just for the inspired concept - training unemployed young people to cook in a real restaurant setting - I still needed to try the food.
First item was the burrata and it was great. Very refreshing and perfect for the London Summer Day (oxymoron?). Instead of the common tomato and basil treatment, they went with peaches and other herbs. It was the favorite dish amongst the whole table.
The roast pork, on the other hand, was a let down. It looked amazing on the plate, but it was all show...no go. A big hulking, bland, chewy cut of pork on top of a mushy bell pepper mass. I was tempted to ask for some salt. I was also tempted to send it back for something else...or just take it off the check. In retrospect I wish I had acted on one of those urges, but I didn't want to appear to be the rude American. Perhaps some of the flavors were lost in translation. Is THIS how the British like their pork?! Or maybe this plate was an unfortunate exception. After all, it was recommended by our waitress as the main course for the £26/person lunch. No matter how you explain it, this dish disappointed me.
Moving on...a friend ordered a vegetarian risotto which was good. Rich, buttery, and cheesy in all the ways that risotto should be. That said, it didn't really amaze us. Nor did it redeem that pork. (I can really hold a grudge when it comes to food)
I admire Jamie Oliver giving back to the community with the Fifteen Chef Apprentice program AND his promotion of healthier eating in schools. Still, I couldn't recommend Fifteen's food to a friend. It all looks great from the outside, but the food fell short.
We just got back a few hrs ago from Jamie Oliver's Fifteen. Quite a good experience and a delightful menu, which had primarily Italian influences.
We ordered a bunch of things for the table and split everything. We started with a few apps, char-grilled eggplant with mint and jalapeno and also fresh peaches and pecorino cheese. The eggplant was cooked to perfection and the char taste was outstanding. The mint and jalepeno was a great touch too. The peaches and pecorino was a bit on the disappointing side. Not a lot to it, the cheese was lost in the mealiness of the peach, and the taste was far too subdued to be interesting.
For our main dish, we got a very light sweet potato gnocchi with ricotta and also a roast squash, tomato, spinach and ricotta casserole. The mains were brilliant. I never get gnocchi, as they are usually too heavy. But this was advertised as being "the lightest", so I couldnt resist. It was amazing. Beautiful taste and a very delicate texture. The squash was also on the money, a gorgeous combination of flavors, though, it seemed to lack a bit of saltiness. Perhaps an oversight by the chef.
Finally for dessert we had a peach and almond frangipane cake as well as a blue cheese plate with dried dates and also a chutney. Gorgeous stuff...and better yet, the place is entirely not for profit. Very impressive lad that Jamie Oliver!
One downside is the location. Coming from central London it was in the middle of nowhere on the north end. Other than that, recommended!
My friend Darlene made reservations for us well in advance of our arrival to London. We made this our spluge meal as it took 1.5 US dollars to make 1 £.
This place was so difficult to find (at least for us Yanks!) but we got there extremely late and missed our reserved time. However, the staff was really kind and accomodating. So while we were flustered, tired, & oh so hungry, when we got there it was soooo worth it. I ordered the three course set lunch and added a bowl of fennel soup.
This was the best quality food I enjoyed on a business trip which took me to Paris and London and happily to some amazing restaurants, both fancy and neighborhood-casual in each locale.
My boss and I dined in the upstairs trattoria portion of the restaurant. It was my choice to dine here and because of celiac disease, he was initially a little reluctant because of the cuisine type as Italian restaurants are notorously difficult for those who must eat gluten-free.
What a pleasant surprise! The best dish of the evening was his gorgeous - and huge! - antipasto platter (see my pic) while I adored the pillowy soft gnocchi with a well balanced tomato sauce as my starter. In a pure piglet move on my part, I also indulged in spaghetti (albeit a half portion) for my main and it was spicy and flavorful. So good!!
Service was polished, professional and very knowledgeable, adding to the enjoyment of the meal.
First off, this place is not really in Islington. Not sure why it's labeled as that... But it is tucked away on a side street off of the Old Street Roundabout in Shoreditch. The location isn't the most obvious, but the cozy atmosphere makes up for it. I ate here last night with two friends and was pleasantly impressed. The staff was very friendly, there was no wait for a table, yet the place had a buzzy vibe to it.
The green olives to start were beeeeyooootiful! Bright green, huge and succulent. The red wine we choose, which was just the house special, was delicious. And the gnocchi was light and airy. The prices weren't too bad for a Jamie Oliver restaurant- it probably helps that this one is a charitable organization.
I would recommend it for a night out with friends, for drinks, a date or even a large group if you book ahead of time.
Came here with two friends while on holiday in London. I used to watch Jamie Oliver's show on Food Network so I was excited to see that he had a restaurant we could visit. The inspiration behind Fifteen is pretty inspiring. It's pretty much an establishment (since there are multiple locations) dedicated to getting underprivileged young people exposure to the restaurant industry and give them a chance to get experience and build a life. It's actually affiliated with Jamie Oliver's charity.
Anyway, we went relatively early and the restaurant wasn't quite ready yet so we were allowed to sit in the bar area and sip on some drinks while we waited. Once seated, one friend and I each ordered the rainbow trout and our other friend ordered roast chicken. Everything was really yummy and service was pretty quick. Everything is a bit pricey, but it's a fancy place with fancy food, so the price does pretty much match the quality.
The ambiance was romantic and cozy and sweet. There were also really interesting salt and pepper holders made from rocks with a piece scooped out to make room to hold the salt and pepper.
Being a bit inexperienced with Europe, we didn't know to ask for tap water and so we paid a bunch of useless money for a bottle of water instead. WHOOPS. So tourists, be warned, haha. We also sat around forever before realizing we had to ask for the check (since in America, I guess we're rude and we usher the customers out by forcing the checks on the table).
Overall, it was a fun experience.
Another Yank chiming in with Phil H., here. Yes, I love Jamie Oliver, and no, I doubt I would have even known about this place if I wasn't such a fan. However, I'd give Fifteen twice as many starts if I could, and that is based entirely on the merits of the restaurant and the good people that work in it.
The meal I had at Fifteen was, without doubt or exaggeration, the best I have ever had. My fiancee and I did a tasting menu, and each course was more delicious than the next.
You could taste the freshness of each ingredient. Every portion was satisfying. I even ate and enjoyed the vegetables (and I am notoriously awful when it comes to veg).
In fact, one of the stand-outs of the meal was my salad, a carpaccio paired with a small-leafed, buttery lettuce and parmesan cheese. Perfection.
My fiancee also opted for the wine pairing, which he really enjoyed. The sommelier was absolutely wonderful! She was knowledgeable and enthusiastic, sharing stories about the particular vineyards of each wine she brought out.
Everyone we encountered was cheerfully helpful, and you could tell that a great deal of pride was taken in every aspect of the meal.
The only sad thing about my favorite restaurant is that it is a 5 hour flight away. Everything else about Fifteen is brilliant.
I don't know any other way to start this other than saying straight away that this was the best meal and dining experience I have ever had.
Jaimie Oliver has been one of my favorite chefs for a long time. I love watching his show where he sits in his homey kitchen cooking up fresh creative food for his friends, neighbors, local tradesmen, family, or anyone else who he wants to feed.
When I had heard about Fifteen, I was instantly desiring to go. Considering I was working as an intern at an insurance company and studying at the same time, i wasn't necessarily minted... but I had decided I was going to go anyway. But even before I worked that up, I was surprised by a trip there with my best friend and his mom.
The moment you pull up to the converted warehouse you are swept away from the busy streets of London into a food paradise. I was lucky enough that we got seats for the tasting menu. We were greeted by a Jaimie Oliver lookalike who walked us through the entire meal.
When I say he walked us through, I literally mean that for every course, every ingredient, every wine pairing, he explained the reason why they were at a certain point during the meal, why they were prepared together, and how they were prepared. For someone who loves cooking, this was fascinating. After we completed our tasting menu meal, I was a bit disappointed that it was over.
This is the perfect melding of great food, great ambiance, great service, and a great cause.
A few weeks ago my friends and I had a very posh night out in Fifteen's 'dining room' and even though it cost a fortune, it was absolutely worth it! Oddly, the dining room is in the basement of Fifteen and so doesn't benefit from any natural light. To counter this the designers have painted the whole room white with only a few darker features. Maybe this was a smart idea but it's not really worked in practice and as you walk in you can't help but feel like you're in an advert for Domestos.
Putting these thoughts aside we decided to go for the four course 'tasting menu' with its selection of salads, pasta's, main courses and desserts. My favourite of all the courses was definitely the Wild Mushroom and Truffle risotto, it was so earthy and rich. It was probably the best risotto I've ever had in my life and I wish I could eat it again. My friends 'Wicked' (it really does say that on the menu) Fisherman's Stew was also lovely and arrived with a giant langoustine perched proudly on the top. He loved this touch and set quickly about decapitating the poor thing. Throughout the evening the staff were wonderful, very helpful and chatty. I really felt like they made the night that bit more fun for us all.
People have complained about the prices in Fifteen and yes, at £60 a head I won't be eating the tasting menu every week, but I think it's easily forgotten that this is a charity and that all the money made is being put back in to help more youngsters. If you keep this idea at the forefront of your mind the prices start to make a bit more sense and pale into insignificance next to some of the other celebrity restaurant's in London.
For those looking for a more informal Fifteen experience the trattoria upstairs is the perfect alternative and makes a great breakfast if you're ever in the area before midday. All round I think this restaurant is brilliant and would recommend it to anyone.
I understand the Jamie Oliver hype. He's always on the online publications I read and featured in my friends' cookbooks, but I never understood the big deal. If Fifteen represents Jamie Oliver's productions, I can understand.
We started with their antipasti board, bread and olive oil. The mozzarella was creamy succulent herb seasoned and featured what tasted like a slightly citrus olive oil. While I enjoyed the meat selection, I also lusted for the pickled beets and charred squash.
Because of this mozzarella experience, I ordered two starters, the mozzarella with citrus, rocket and almond along with the wood smoked salmon with potatoes, greens, and capers. The salmon was an indescribable revelation. I want it again. My friends were also pleased with their main entrees.
Since we were satisfied so far, we decided to order four items from the dessert menu including the British cheese board. Notable food memories were the basil pannacotta and the cheeses. Great Britain has such a wide range of tasty cheeses. I can't wait to taste more.
Shameless plug: If you'd like to see my Paris food stuffs...go here: illmaisonet.blogspot.com…
Some people travel to London to see the Thames, Big Ben and The Parliament. My trip to London was driven by two things. Van Gogh at the National Gallery and Fifteen. I just crammed a bunch of other activities around those two things.
For 25 quid, you get a three course meal that's prepared for you by young people that are accomplishing a hell of a lot more in a short amount of time than I did within my first year in culinary school. So, although there were a few minor details about my meal I didn't care for, they're apprentices and if those are the only mistakes they're making...they're geniuses.
The hostess was just about the nicest I've ever encountered and knew about Banksy, holy shit. My server was pretty attentive and I felt bad for the Sommelier that his talents weren't being utilized during the afternoon reservations. Poor guy. On with the food...
1st -- Handcut Pappardelle with pork, beef and lamb Bolognese and pecorino -- This was the lightest pasta I've ever devoured. It was nicely seasoned. The Bolognese had an ever so slight kick towards the end, which I like. And the pecorino just kept melting as I kept shoveling it in. Oh, I wish I could have had just a big bowl of that!
2nd -- Leg of Pete Gott's Cumbrian rare breed pork with braised fennel and agretti -- Let me tell you, that agretti was cooked to damn perfection. Those kids really used restraint when it came down to it, it was cooked just enough, but still had a crunch. The fennel was sweet. However, the pork had been braised for around 12 hours and it was delicious, don't get me wrong. But, it had a ribbon of fat surrounded the outer layer. And fat is my friend, when it's crunchy. But, when it's been braised and boiled down...it just becomes flabby and chewy. No bueno.
When you put some of the pork, with the fennel and the agretti together on your fork...perfection. Real textural and flavor contrast that's amazing.
3rd -- How did the server know I wanted chocolate before I even opened my mouth? Either he's really good, or he knows that almost everyone woman adores chocolate. Amedei chocolate mousse on a shortbread base with raspberry compote.
I woofed it down in no time flat. The sort of tangy sour raspberries offset with the rich and luscious chocolate mousse. Oh, my goodness. And they even put a little happy birthday message on my plate. Awww. For some reason my camera decided to take a dump and misstep the dessert. But, you'll get photos of the other two courses.
All in all, I'd have to say Fifteen is a success. I can only hope that the youth getting a fantastic opportunity here don't take it for granted.
I live on Westland Place, the tiny sides street that Fifteen is on. Living so close, I of course have visited the restaurant. Truth be told, I didn't really know who Jamie Oliver even was before I came here. I just figured it was a cool looking restaurant with a funny looking pink logo.
The first time I was there, I really was't knocked off my feet. At least, not in the way I expected to be when going to a famous chef's restaurant. It was decent service, a very nice setting, and super close to my place.
I definitely wanted to give it another shot, someone had explained to me that Jamie Oliver's whole thing is really good quality ingredients. So, I went with that in mind. I wasn't expecting super fancy...I was expecting simple food done very well. I'll tell ya what...that's exactly what I got.
At this point, I've had upstairs and downstairs. The tasting menu downstairs really is awesome. Definitely go for the wine pairing there.
If you're eating upstairs, don't expect some sort of Gordon Ramsay style artwork you can eat. Expect an excellent version of something you've likely had a few times before.
I'm tired. I'm going to bed. :-P
Neat spot. Like the concept of helping people in need as this place advertises it does. Clean décor in a part of town that I had never seen, which was suspect on the surface, but probably fine. food was very good, had a fish dish, which was very good, ordered an unnecessary side of veggies not realizing that the plate came with them. I really really enjoyed a fruity drink that had chunks of fruit in it.
Service was good, music was almost hip. Enjoyed my lunch thoroughly.
This is the kind of place that should be Yelped about!
My friend and I made it our last act on our 5 day London trip to have dinner at Jamie Oliver's Fifteen and what a way to cap off a great trip!
We walked in and were immediately greeted, the staff was having a meeting and we were just there to make a reservation. They were very helpful and were able to get us a table at 6pm, but that they would need the table at 8pm for a party who made their reservation in advance. This was fine with us, we were just happy to be given a table after walking in 2 hrs before the dinner rush.
To start we ordered the bread and antipasti. The bread was a bottomless assortment, much like you would receive anywhere else, however this bread was different. If you got there early enough you could buy the bread and take it to go, I want to say it was like "Pablo's bread," something like that. Anyway it was excellent! The antipasti consisted of olives, mortadella, buffalo mozzarella, salami, and toast with pesto. The mortadella was some of the best I've ever had, and the Italians in my family make a point to always find the best mortadella in the Bay Area for antipasti on Thanksgiving (our Thanksgiving is a messed up American/Mexican/Italian hodgepodge). And you can never go wrong with buffalo mozzarella!
I had the rib-eye, which was bone out...but amazing! I was a little discouraged when it showed up to the table bone out but my frown was quickly turned upside-down. One of the best steaks I've ever had, and in London of all places! The rib-eye is pictured as "steak," thanks Adam B. My dinner, 5 stars.
My friend had the seafood pasta, that's what she gets every where we go :0 and she loved it. I did try a bite or two and it was really good.
We both loved our food and will each return whenever we are in London. I will also send all my friends and family here.
Weeks have passed since the lunch date with my mom & sis, yet Jamie's slow-cooked porchetta, ravioli in butter broth and the pan-fried bass still lingered in the depths of my tastebuds!
What a marvelous lunch! & the strawberry rum punch? That fruity amalgamation of strawberries, lime and sugar, the rum + vodka infused in some herbal tonic (ingredients seem veiled in secrecy) - superb thirst-quencher for a warm London kind of day. My innards will gladly accept refills!
Went here for a Friday night date with the boyfriend.
Was absolutley heaving, with a lot of people waiting for tables.
Although we had booked, we still had to wait 15/20 minutes which was fine. If we were starving and impatient it wouldnt have been though. The bar area near the door was practically too crowded to get a drink anyway.
Service was bad - we had to hail a random waitress everytime we wanted to order - wine, starters. mains etc.
Starter - octopus and bruschetta was delicious, venison as a main was delicious, and the (very expensive - £54 wine ) was good.
But the prices were too high for the quality - £25 a main.
The service was just inconsistent and bad. One we got someone's attention it was great, but very inconsistent. I had to order as soon as the waiter gave us our menus as i was worried they'd dissapear into a black hole again and never re-appear.
The desert (chocolate brownie) was stone cold, not great..
Glad we tried it but wouldn't go back.
jamie's Italian in Angel is soo much better and cheapr, and a proper dining experience, and the food is better.
We were so excited to eat here during our short stay in London. We had a reservation for 8:30 but arrived a little early. We were served some awesome drinks while waiting, but unfortunately had to wait quite a while before they seated us. It frustrates me when a restaurant takes a reservation that they can't handle.
Our appetizers were incredible. Particularly the charcuterie board and the carpaccio.
The mains were just okay. My lamb was a little overcooked and dry. Although the vegetables it came with were incredible. I tried my dining mates' dishes as well. The rabbit was okay (also a little dry), the pasta was a little bland. The salmon, however, was very good.
I didn't have any room for dessert. For the price we paid, I didn't think it was worth it. Service was quite good though.
I have to say we had a delightful time at Fifteen. They were very accommodating of our group of 4 which arrived late, wanted drinks before seating and couldn't decide on the menu.
The food is very good, though not magical, i can say it was solid. Mixed reviews from the group, but no one sent anything back, and we all cleared our plates. The atmosphere was great, and Oliver's concept here is really quite awesome.
Overall, 3.5 stars for the food, and 5 for the service and concept. In addition, as far as I know, this is the best place in walking distance from the Old Street tube stop. If you find yourself in the area, well worth stopping in.
Summary: Mediocre food, slow service, but cool vibe.
Came with two friends and their daughter. Wanted to try it out because of Jamie Oliver's fame, and the idea behind the place providing opportunities to disadvantaged youth.
Ordered two antipasti platters to share - the charcuterie and three vegetable platter. Was decent. Had one of the pasta with ragu sauce entrees, which was undersalted and bland. Shared the tiramisu and plum frangipane desserts, which were ok.
Waiter was really slow.
Atmosphere and furniture were fun and hip, for what it's worth.
Probably won't voluntarily come back again unless it's with a charitable intent.
This is the first post for this business. As such, I'll take some time and write a longer review than I usually do. Though, I can't believe I'm the first-- I get this feeling that I missed this restaurant in the Yelp search results.
Firstly, the restaurant is divided into 2 sections-- downstairs and ground level. I don't know if there are 2 different kitchens, but I would suspect so as they have different menus. With that in mind, this review is for the ground level "Trattoria" section of the restaurant and not the downstairs "Dining Room".
Secondly, this is a Jamie Oliver restaurant. In fact, I think it is one of his earlier (if not first) ones. For those who have been living under a rock for the last decade, Jamie Oliver is a British celebrity TV chef. At this point, I would like to disclose the fact that I am a huge Jamie Oliver fan. He just seems like a great guy. Check out his hidden talent: youtube.com/watch?v=xV_8…
So what is the restaurant like? In a word "AWESOME".
The food was wonderful especially the bread. His "softest gnocchi in the world" starter, for example, truly is pillow-like soft! Surprisingly, the dishes are huge. Seriously, the serving size is just massive. So expect to bin half your plate if you want to get to dessert.
The service was excellent. We were famished, so I remember calling over the wait staff to enquire about our starters. Shortly after the wait staff left, the maitre d' came over and apologised for our 17mins wait. Apparently, they have an internal rule of a 15mins (or something) maximum wait time for starters. He also offered dessert on the house. Of course, the starters came literally 30 seconds after the maitre d' left our table.
ps: Since, we were pressed for time and had to catch a bus out-of-town, I called for the bill, and we didn't order dessert. The maitre d' actually noticed that we didn't take advantage of the free dessert offer. So he came over to talk to us about our experience. I explained that we were quite happy but just pressed for time. Before I knew it, the maitre d' arranged for a hand-packed, brown, paper bag full of savoury brownies from the kitchen. Thanks, Trattoria!
This is Jamie Oliver's social enterprise--it is no wonder I am totally in love with Jamie. He combines food with his personal social missions, and in this case it is to help disadvantaged youth. This restaurant is designed as an apprenticeship program for youth to get training to be successful chefs. It is set up as a foundation.
The restaurant is very good--the top floor is a trattoria and a more formal dining room is downstairs. Make a booking, because this place is nearly impossible to get in. We ate at the tratooria, which has many tables, including community tables. They have a great wine list, and then offer a menu of Antipasti, Primi, and Secondi dishes. I enjoyed a mozzarella with mixed winter greens and chili mint dressing dish and housemade taglietele with a lamb ragu. The food was very good as was the wine. There was a little something missing though--although I haven't put my finger on it. Will need to go back again to solve it.....
Great food, great ambiance, and a non-profit that helps unemployed young people? What is there NOT to like?
And I have to say, this is one of the first places I've been to in London that has had US standard service. I had the crispy skinned salmon and it was fabulous. Go Jamie.
I visited Fifteen earlier this year with some friends to celebrate graduating from university and was pleasantly surprised by its casualness, the quality of its food and its relative affordability considering that it's the famed brainchild of a celebrity chef.
In the words of Jamie Oliver himself, Fifteen is quite simply 'lovely jubbly'. We sat in the upstairs Trattoria and shared the antipasti to start comprising a selection of olives, Italian cured meats, cheeses and vegetables served on rustic wooden blocks. As a main I enjoyed the roasted spatchcock poussin and then for dessert the white chocolate and hazelnut cheesecake. Yum, yum, yum.
The portions were incredibly hearty - rare for such an establishment - the waiting staff friendly, knowledgable and downright charismatic and the atmosphere so relaxed you'd be forgiven for thinking you were in one of Italy's trattorias itself.
Next time I visit Fifteen I'm going to hit the glorious looking cocktail bar or go for brunch. Pastries start at around £2, breakfast sarnies at £4.50 and a full on fry-up comes in at just under a tenner. And any reticence about shelling out for breakfast at Oliver's restaurant when you could just go to your local greasy spoon should be quelled by the fact that Fifteen is a charity so any gluttony is in fact an act of altruism.
If there's a building that can look like a stereotypical English phone booth, this is that building. The uniqueness of the design is matched by its mission: Founder and celebrity chef Jamie Oliver trains 15 disadvantaged and at-risk young adults every year to work in the restaurant business, and at the end of training places them either w/i his restaurants or finds places for them through his network. The Fifteen Network is completely non-profit and was started in 2000 when Oliver put his house up as collateral without telling his wife. Mancrush.
If you're not familiar with Hoxley and are taking the tube you'll have to have a map; it's a little of a walk from the nearest tube station, about a mile although we turned it closer to two miles since we got lost.
When you finally find the restaurant and walk in you're greeted by several servers in the Trattoria. We chose to eat our lunch downstairs in the Dining Room, which had cheaper prices in exchange for a more rustic and limited menu. I was surprised to see the dining room decorated in such a modern fashion when compared to the quaint traditional Italian setting of the Trattoria on the ground floor.
For lunch, we had an option: 2 courses for 22 pounds or 3 courses for 25. Seemed like a no-brainer to me, I chose the 3 courses. Before we ordered the server brought out bread and a vinaigrette. The bread was very simple, very light, and very fresh. The rosemary and salt sprinkled across the top was perfect.
For the three courses I chose a first entree, a second entree, and a dessert.
First Entree, Tagliatelle Welsh Lamb Ragu
First thing I noticed when it arrived was how big the plate itself was, and how much smaller it made the portion look. The pasta was amazing- bouncy. I suspect it's hand-made by the restaurant. The sauce was a complex combination of so many things-basil, sugar, tomatoes, lamb, carrots, onions, garlic... you could taste each ingredient. The lamb itself was so tender it almost melted in my mouth like a fatty brisket. Delicious
Second Entree, Leg of Pork on Polenta
As good as the ragu was, the roast pork was better. It came out on the same sized plate as the ragu but this portion was bigger. The generous slice of pork sat on a large bed of mushroom polenta, topped with a garnish of herbs. The pork was cooked to medium rare (it's ok to eat pork less than well done!) and intensely succulent. The juice ran down and combined with the polenta as i cut into the pork yet the bite of meat was still good. The flavor of the pork reminded me of a steak- not that it tasted like beef, but rather the taste was so full and so rich: if I may describe it as a symphony you would be able to hear the lows resonate and the highs sing to create a very round sound. The polenta was lusciously creamy and the mushrooms so fresh they were the first thing I smelled when the server set the plate down.
Dessert, Panna Cotta
The panna cotta came out on a plate with raspberries, pear slices, and some sort of fruit biscuit. The panna cotta itself was good- not overdone with vanilla as some places do, but smooth enough to complement the fruits while still retaining its own character. Great way to finish off the meal.
If you know anything about Jamie Oliver you'll know three things:
1.) he cooks with fresh ingredients. as far as i'm concerned he's the first one that emphasized fresh and local, way back in the late 90s.
2.) he cares about social injustice and always does as much as he can to improve those situations which appear helpless
3.) he can cook. really well.
The lunch confirmed #s 1 and 3, and the success of the restaurant confirmed point #2. This is one of my favorite meals I've ever had, not only for the great food but also because of the mission Jamie has decided to undertake. Good food, good people, great success.
I had heard about Fifteen the way that most people had; from Jamie Olivers TV programme about the restaurant. I knew the principal - that the chefs have been brought in from disadvantaged back rounds and were working in the kitchens.
Then one evening, I was sitting with a friend in Hoxton Square and got chatting to two suited and booted young guys. They explained that they were going off to Jamie's birthday party, and that they had previously been working in the kitchens. They told me about the lives that they had came from, which were pointing in one, pretty bleak direction, and how getting a stint in the kitchen had changed everything. One of the guys was now working in Fifteen Cornwall, the other was starting in Claridges. After that, my friend and I made up our minds to try out Fifteen for ourselves.
We didn't have a reservation, but that wasn't a problem. We were seated in the upstairs part - the trattoria. This level is like an upscale Carluccios - one part deli, lots of big wooden tables, rustic Italian food. downstairs is the more expensive restaurant. I was worried that it would be a little of a novelty experience, which would overpower the quality of the food. I needn't have worried. The food was confident, very tasty, absolutely the kind of thing that I would expect from a top class Italian. We shared an antipasti to start with, followed by a seafood risotto, and ravioli of summer squash. I can't remember what dessert we had, but I recall being very satisfied with the whole affair.
It was also the kind of place that you could spend all day in. They start early for breakfasts, so this is what I am going to try next.
I'm always a bit dubious about visiting the restaurants of 'Celebrity Chefs', believing they're all about the hype and aren't really focused on what makes a great restaurant experience. Boy, was I wrong about Fifteen. It was really just like any other (good) restaurant, with professional staff, good, hearty food and a lovely ambience.
Meals are reasonably priced and the experience was as good as I've had in the finer restaurants of London. The Risotto I had was delicious and the dessert alone will keep me coming back for more!
I came here a few years ago while on vacation, and this is still the BEST GNOCCHI EVER. Pillows of HEAVEN.
A coworker told me Jamie Oliver had a restaurant and, I know there are haters out there, but the food he cooks looks so good. I called ahead to see if there was availability in the Trattoria, and went for an early Monday lunch before the busy hours.
Service was OK, not overly friendly at the time. The gnocchi recipe is on the wall, and they had cards with the recipe (that nobody told me about). Nice dark decor, dimly lit and cozy. You get balsamic vinegar and bread (again, this was 3 years ago). I had the gnocchi with oxtail ragu for an appetizer and duck confit for the entree. The latter was OK, perhaps only because it followed the magic that was...
I'm drooling from the memories.
They should make it into a full-size entree if they haven't already.
Tender potato pasta, not at all gooey, rich oxtail sauce with well-developed flavors without being heavy.
The next time I see it I'll probably go into a trance and make a beeline. It is a destination food. I may have to plan a trip to London for it.
One of the reasons Jamie Oliver started this restaurant was to give troubled young people an opportunity to overcome their problems and prepare for a career in the restaurant industry. This lofty goal, paired with outstanding cuisine, warrants the trek it takes to get here from central London. (It took us two trains and about 40 minutes from the Leicester Square tube station.)
Be advised that the dining room offers only a tasting menu, priced at £60 per person, in the evening. We knew we were in for a treat the moment we tasted the warm rosemary focaccia, accompanied by zesty olives and thin slices of salami, that was brought to the table the moment we were seated.
We started with very creamy buffalo mozzarella and sweet, juicy peaches in a mint-flavored balsamic dressing and a salad of melon and paper-thin slices of slightly salty prosciutto.
For our next course we had pappardelle in a hearty lamb sauce and a seafood risotto with a hint of fennel.
For our entrees we selected roast lamb with smashed cannellini beans and sauteed spinach and pan-fried duck breast in a red wine and cherry sauce served with squash and swiss chard.
For dessert we opted for roast apricots and strawberries with an amaretto-pistachio semifreddo and espresso and rum panna cotta drizzled with chocolate sauce and served with amaretto biscuits.
Everything was absolutely exquisite, and we savored each and every morsel we tasted. This was one of the finest meals we have eaten anywhere in the world.
We returned a few days later for the three-course lunch priced at £25, which is a terrific bargain since it is just slightly more than the cost of an entree alone on the a la carte menu. Although we haven't had a chance to eat in the trattoria, the menu looks promising and we plan to try it the next time we're in town.
Do yourself and the deserving staff a big favor and treat yourself to a meal in this superb restaurant.
My cousins brought me here and didn't really know what to expect. What a great dining experience! They had a small area (kind of like a gift shoppe) where you could purchase little knick knacks.
The bread and drinks were delish.
Most tender meat I have ever eaten!
I have to agree that the service was a bit slow considering we were one of the few seated at the restaurant that early.
Overcooked duck and dodgy service are among the reasons I'll never go to this Jamie Oliver establishment again. The prices are fair though.
I was pretty excited to go to Jamie Oliver's Fifteen during my visit to London. Sadly, in the end, it was disappointing.
We were seated at a nice table downstairs with a great view of the kitchen. I like the charity efforts here where they give young people a break into the restaurant business. That's pretty cool.
The menu looked good and we started out with the Beautiful burrata with Isle of Wight tomatoes, marjoram, mixed leaves and aged balsamic and Freshly picked Devonshire crab, on toasted sourdough, with lentils di Castelluccio and brown crab meat dressing. We preferred the crab of the two. We were informed that they were out of the scallops, which my wife had her heart set on, and this is where our troubles began. The only other options she was considering were fish, which would be tough as they are not usually filleted. The waiter tried to help my wife find something that would work, but we always ended up with the bone problem. So, he said that he could do the special with the mullet, which would not have any bones. Of course when this hits the table, it's a few whole fish. Wife's not happy and doesn't touch it. My pappardelle with ragu is just sitting there steaming like her. Waiter nowhere to be found, left us waiting. By the time the manager showed up, I was pretty much done. My wife explained how she asked about the bones and this was not what she wanted. It was moot at this point. We'll just move on to dessert. We got two, the Salted caramel and chocolate tart with creme fraiche ice cream and the Tiramisu semifreddo with Amedei chocolate mousse. They were both quite good. I found it odd that the waiter mentioned he would comp my wife's dessert and not remove her main, which was the most expensive thing on the menu. Sure enough, it was there when the bill arrived. I had a quick chat with the manager and she removed it. I never do anything like that. But, I'm a man of principal. We'll gladly pay our way. It would seem appropriate to comp the dish she was steered to and never touched.
Kind of an off night, and we expected more.
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