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Jamie's Italian is ‘lovely jubbly', says critic

23 June 2008

Tracey Macleod finds decent ingredients served at affordable prices at Jamie's Italian in Oxford.

The Independent critic described her visit to the first of five Jamie's Italian's as featuring food that largely lives up to the "lovely-jubbly" descriptions.

However, AA Gill is not impressed by a trip to Chicago Rib Shack, having described in his latest restaurant review the signature ribs at the relaunched eaterie as tasting "as if they'd been boiled in an ashtray".

The Sunday Times critic went on to pigeon-hole the food as "glutinously awful pig-swamp bad, out all in its own in the badlands".

Having been a fan of the original restaurant in the 1980s Gill described his decision to try the new interpretation as:

"Like having your mum come out with photographs of your 1980s girlfriend, and you have a look and you think, "Oh, my God, how could I ever have put that in my mouth?".

Matthew Norman from the Guardian believes Morston Hall near Blakeney on the north Norfolk coast "as close to an earthly paradise as a British hotel-restaurant will transport you".

He finds chef/owner Galton Blackinston's cooking a "joy to consume" and finds it hard to reconcile in his mind why the chef has only one star to date from Michelin.

For these reviews in full and more see What's on the menu? >>

Jamie Oliver recruiting staff for new Jamie's Italian sites >>

Chicago Rib Shack branded ‘ghastly' >>

E-mail your comments to Chris Druce here.

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