Restaurant Review – Jamie Oliver – Trattoria – Richmond, London
This week I decided to check out Jamie’s new offering in Richmond. Called Trattoria, it differs from Jamie’s Italian in that it is said to be more laid back and rustic but still serving up quality Italian fayre.
I went on a Tuesday night thinking it would be a quieter night and I wouldn’t need to book a table. It WAS pretty quiet but then it was only half six when I arrived. I chose to sit at the end of the bar, all the better to hear fellow diners comments as they left the premises.
I was welcomed promptly and shown to my seat where I proceeded to take in my surroundings. The restaurant itself is bigger than I thought it was going to be. I’d seen photos online but they really didn’t do the place justice. The long bar area is the sort of place I’d like to go to hang out for a while, with high backed stools and chatty bar staff mixing cocktails. The rest of the seating area is made up of an eclectic mix of chairs, banquets and wooden tables. There is the restaurant itself plus a conservatory and outdoor seating area, with the open kitchen at the far end.
I had 3 starters to begin with. Yes, I was pretty hungry yet again. I had the crochetta, squid and avocado with mozzarella. Crochetta is a cheese croquette (3), well cooked and deliciously salty and creamy. The squid was tasty but because of the size you need to be careful not to overcook, a few seconds over and they would be chewy but thankfully they weren’t and were well seasoned. I would have liked more aioli on the side though, I ran out pretty quickly. The avocado, tomato and mozzarella was good, in particular the mozzarella, again a great creamy cheese. A little less balsamic would have made this dish just right.
For my main I had a special of the day which was wild mushroom risotto. There were plenty of mushrooms and the risotto had a good bite to it. It was creamy but not wet and was of a generous proportion.
After all this I was rather full but knowing you would want to see what all the courses are like I ploughed ahead and had dessert too. If you go to this place for nothing else go for the chocolate cake. I don’t particularly like chocolate or dessert as you know but this was heaven on a plate. I ate the lot! High quality chocolate ganache can do it every time.
I found the staff to be chatty and efficient which is contrary to reviews I had read earlier. I can only assume there were possibly teething problems as there are with many places but either way it all seems to be sorted out now. By the time I left, the place was full, with people also waiting in the bar area for around half an hour for a free table. I would book just to be sure you get a table. I also heard only positive comments from diners as they were leaving.
Normally my next dining out experience would be at another restaurant but as I had a young friend coming to visit on the following Friday I decided to take her to Jamie’s for a late lunch to check out the kids menu and make sure my experience was not a one off. This time I booked.
We were shown to our table and Miss 6 was given a viewfinder. Lo and behold this was how she was to choose her food. The viewfinder had photos of each dish on the kids menu and a brief description. In her words ‘this is cool, paper menus are sooo boring!’ She had to keep checking through the photos just to make sure she’d chosen correctly. Great fun.
She chose the sliders but she was concerned about the size. When they came she laughed and declared they should be called baby burgers, a lovely size and also, just right. She especially liked the chips ‘because they have crinkles’. The salad came in a small preserving jar that said ‘shake me’ also a great success with her. She shook it with all her might and ate most of it.
I had the crochetta and avocado dishes again and the clam linguine for my main. Plenty of clams and perfectly cooked pasta, al dente to a t.
All in all both visits were a success and I shall be going back. I only have 2 things to pick up on. The kids seated at the table next to us were given colouring pictures and crayons of which Miss 6 was a bit disappointed she didn’t get offered anything. As we were nearly finished it was too late for us to ask for some for her. Make sure to ask if your kids don’t get given theirs at the beginning. The only other thing I should tell you is that dishes are served as and when they are cooked so if you want your food, eg: your starters, to come at the same time, I’d ask your server to liase with the kitchen for you. I learnt this at the end of my 1st visit so was prepared for my 2nd.
I reckon Jamie can be pretty pleased with himself, in his own words I’d say Trattoria is pukka. (Or to be authentic, molto buono)
It’s been a while since this review was written. I revisited recently and have to say whilst the food was still good the service wasn’t, servers and food took too long. Don’t think I’ll be rushing back.