My Queen, as a Geordie, loves Ant & Dec and she was particularly interested in seeing the chandelier that supposedly fell on the Mayor of Harrogate whilst Jamie was being 'interviewed' by Stray FM. I love Ant & Dec too but have never been a Jamie Oliver fan although was quite open-minded to try his restaurant.
My son and I arrived and were escorted to the bar to await my Queen, who is always late and as a Queen’s prerogative it’s her choice to make us wait for her royal red carpet arrival.
I was already slightly annoyed at having to pay £3.20 for two hours parking after six o’clock, a new council rule, don't get me started. This is Harrogate however and the town needs to make money somehow to keep the politicians and the flower displays up to the Harrogate standard.
The guy on the bar was friendly although what I noticed was I was due £10.00 change back for our drinks and he gave me back a £5.00 note and the rest in change. Clearly a tactic for a tip as there was no apology for the excess change. I maybe cynical but I'm not stupid.
Onto the restaurant and the menu. Not much to choose from to be honest. It was quite a basic menu offering a few uncomplicated pasta dishes and pizza, all of which anyone could cook at home.
I ordered the Bruschetta pate which I have to say was tasty. My Queen and son did not have a starter. However, as soon as I had finished my pate, last mouthful going in mouth, the plate was whisked away hardly allowing me to put my knife and fork down.
‘You finished madam?’
Plate was gone before I could say, ‘Yes thank you.’
The time lapse between the starter and the mains was of an acceptable period. I loathe finishing my starter and then the main arrives two minutes after. This time lapse of a respectable ten minutes gave the three of us time to catch up and await our mains.
My Queen and son both had Spaghetti Carbonara and I had Prawn Linguine. We all agreed it was tasteless and the pasta was not cooked properly. The spaghetti was stuck together and the flavours were non-existent in both dishes. We had to ask for Parmesan which in most restaurants should be offered along with black pepper as standard. I felt the whole meal was thrown together quickly even though the restaurant was empty, bar a few tables.
Both my Queen and son had puddings and they both agreed they were excellent but sickly. Well to be fair that’s what you get when you order a white chocolate cheesecake and a chocolate brownie smothered in hot chocolate and ice-cream.
All in all, it’s not a restaurant I would go to again. If my Queen wants to go again, then I think I’m going to have to put my foot down to Her Majesty and say she’s going to have to go with someone else.
I’ve seen Jamie Oliver cook on television and I expected more from his restaurant. Naturally he cannot be there in person to cook at all of his restaurants but I think his menu could be better. I also think the chefs he hires should be skilled enough to emulate his television standards.
In my opinion, Jamie Oliver's Harrogate is just another celebrity chain restaurant with nothing to offer but the name and even the name is not of much interest.
Gino's is opening on the same street soon and Harrogate people are fickle. Jamie Oliver's will be closed within the year.