Representing the British chef’s first restaurant at sea, Jamie’s Italian is on the upper level of the Royal Esplanade. The lively eatery, popular with families, features a pleasingly rustic Italian decor and the menu include his trademark “planks” — boards filled with meats, cheeses or vegetarian bites that are designed to be shared as starter.
Lunch and dinner menus are the same, which is reflected in the pricing, with dishes such as crab and avocado bruschetta, baked mushrooms and garlic bread to start, followed by garlicky prawn linguine, Jamie’s Italian burger, spaghetti puttanesca, and lasagne (baked with squash) to follow. Desserts are large and often served together on a plank. The waiters are cheerful and attentive, with lots of recommendations for food and wine.
The three-course menu at Royal Caribbean’s Jamie’s Italian includes starters, pasta and risotto, and main courses. But of course if you have the meal plan, you can try everything on the menu for one price.
Once seated, you’ll be served with some fresh breadsticks and cheesy sticks. These are highly addictive and if you’re sipping wine, the saltiness of this snack balances out the acidity of the wine. Be sure to dip the bread in the olive oil and vinegar too. Yum!
Without a doubt, there is one type of dish Jamie’s Italian is best known for and that is the planks. There are two plank varieties: meat and vegetable. Both come with an array of cheeses that compliment the meaty/vegetarian goodness. But we are such a small group, we just have to give it a miss.
Fried squid with garlic mayonnaise, lemon & chilli
The calamari was crispy and cooked to perfection. It wasn’t too chewy and in fact, had a certain freshness to it. Everything is purchased fresh from the different countries that they sail to. But they always get it from predetermined sources for quality control, of course.
Prosciutto & melon
With mini buffalo mozzarella & basil pesto
Classic prosciutto with melon, sweet and salty in a bite.
Baked chestnut mushrooms
With smoked mozzarella, thyme & crispy “music bread”
We really liked the mushroom flatbread, which was definitely not pizza. A mixture of fresh mushrooms and sprinkled cheese on top of a thin breading made for a great choice. We realized about now that the appetizers alone were really, really good.
It is worth noting that Jamie’s Italian prides itself on the fact it creates handmade pasta everyday at the restaurant. That is a giant indication that you should probably order something with pasta.
Lamb chops scottadito
Lamb chops grilled under a brick, served with agrodolce peppers & salsa verde
The lamb was good, well seasoned and tender and grilled to smoky perfection.
Classic super food salad
A super-fresh combination of avocado, roasted beets, mixed pulses & grains, sprouting broccoli, pomegranate & spicy seeds with harissa dressing & cottage cheese
Trying to go healthy with this course, but we were not big fan of sprouts. The grilled avocado was lovely.
Wild mushroom & smoked mozzarella risotto
Acquerello rice with beautiful wild mushrooms & oozy smoked mozzarella
Princess always orders a mushroom risotto when she is in an Italian restaurant. And she sticks to her habit with the al dente risotto.
Garlicky prawns with fennel, tomatoes, chilli & rocket
They are right, the pasta was really good.
By now, we had been through a food war but our waiter insisted we try the desert. Jamie’s Italian was hands down the best desserts on the ship.
Warm chocolate brownie
With vanilla ice cream, crunchy amaretti popcorn & chocolate sauce.
If you manage to leave room for dessert, the epic homemade brownie is always a great choice. What makes it epic? There’s a freshly baked warm fudgy brownie with vanilla ice cream and caramelized amartetti popcorn on top.
Almafi lemon cheesecake
Velvety mascarpone & lemon cheesecake, served with lemon curd & blackcurrants
Coffee & Kahlúa-flavoured sponge, orange mascarpone & chocolate shavings
Our third dessert, and we still worked though it.
My affogato was solid, standard vanilla ice cream with a double shot espresso. I have no idea why other restaurants charge you extra for this very basic dessert.
After eating at Jamie’s Italian on Ovation of the Seas, I am completely onboard the bandwagon of fans that enjoy the restaurant. This rich comfort food is made with fresh ingredients and paired with attentive service.
Cruise Date : Nov 2016