Jamie Oliver has rolled out his eponymous Italian restaurants all over the UK and finally in 2012 Manchester got one. Installed within the fabulous former Midland Bank building on King Street, this is a pretty spectacular place to dine. We were greeted at the door by very sparkly, groomed staff (who made me feel like I need to go for an eyebrow shape or makeover) and taken to a table on the upstairs mezzanine.
The view over the bar (which was festooned with hams) restaurant and kitchen was fab. The boys were given a red viewfinder each, which contained pictures of the children’s menu and they spent the next ten minutes happily flicking through the choices over and over again. Felix ordered the chicken lollipops (surely not nuggets?!) and a shake-me salad, but Ollie wanted spaghetti with clams off the main menu. They both washed it down with an organic cordial, and had a 50p scoop of ice cream.
Surprisingly a toilet visit ended up being the highlight of my children’s lunch, when they discovered they are housed within the former bank vaults in the basement. Our lunch for four cost £76 with soft drinks, coffee and no adult desserts; so Jamie’s Italian is one to visit for a treat, rather than simply a shopping stop.
Mon-Sat 12-11pm, Sun 12-10.30pm
100 King Street
Manchester M2 4WU
Tel: 0161 241 3901 jamieoliver.com