After being told to expect a forty-five minute wait at Jamie’s Italian in Cambridge, we were called to our table from the bar after a mere ten! My dining companion opted for the crispy squid with garlic mayonnaise, whereas my eye was drawn to something a little more unusual. Arancini (pictured below) are basically deep-fried balls of risotto; these were stuffed with mozzarella and mushrooms.
They were excellent – crisp on the outside, with the rice still having a decent firmness of texture. I would probably say that the spicy tomato sauce was too spicy for the dish, as the chilli tended to overpower the other flavours. For main course, I opted for the rabbit ragu – slow braised rabbit with marscapone and breadcrumbs served on parpadelle. Delicious, though rather unphotogenic.
My companion had the scallops, wrapped in pancetta and roasted, served in the half shell with a spiced tomato salsa and a fennel salad. The scallops, as with most of the fish, were proudly advertised as being “fresh” from the south coast; the scallops, apparently, were from Brixham. Not the greatest advert, then, for Torbay’s fish, as they were nowhere near as good as the tempura-battered Brixham scallops I enjoyed a week ago at No. 7! Too much sauce, would be my other criticism of the dish.
We had started a half-litre carafe of the house red at the bar, and followed it with the house white with the main courses. The wines, much like the food, weren’t amazing but were by no stretch bad – a solid middle of the road effort that I feel, sums up the Jamie Oliver culinary world view… The service was swift and attentive, and the surroundings – the Grade II listed Guildhall – were excellent.