Fifteen London

Fifteen London

3 3 Reviews

Mediterranean in London - Islington
15 Westland Place, Islington, London, N1 7LP
+44 (0) 871 330 1515

Fifteen is the brainchild of celebrity chef Jamie Oliver. The restaurant takes its name from the fifteen teenagers that Oliver enlisted to train as chefs and run his kitchen. All profits gained will go to charity, and a new group of fifteen young people will be trained each year. The food on offer is naturally Oliver's trademark brand of Mediterranean cuisine, including meat, seafood and vegetarian dishes. Booking is advisable. The purpose of Fifteen is to inspire disadvantaged young people to believe that they can create for themselves a career in the restaurant business. All profits from Fifteen go to the Fifteen Foundation, to provide these young people with the working environment in which to expand their knowledge and practical experience. Downstairs at Fifteen, the retro styling and open kitchen combine to make the restaurant a relaxed and friendly dining environment. The emphasis is on top quality seasonal produce, simply prepared with care and passion to create the best in modern Mediterranean dishes with an Italian influence. On the ground floor is Fifteen's Trattoria where you can enjoy great food in the typical Italian style. The Trattoria is rustic and relaxed and the service friendly, making it a great place to meet friends at any time of the day.
Tags: average food, Hoxton, italian, jamie oliver, mediterranean, overpriced, vegetarian dishes

Fifteen London Reviews

Genteel lunchtime debauchery - I've had many a pleasant long lunch in here. The decor is relaxing and pleasingly dim in the downstairs dining area, the bustle of the open kitchen always in the corner of your eye, but in no way intrusive.

Food is superb - the menu changes depending on what is seasonably available, and the quality of the ingredients shines through (my approach to buying balsamic vinegar was transformed by my first visit here). For about £25 for a two course lunch, you can't go wrong, though it is possible to spend a great deal more if you want to make an evening of it with their tasting menu. The staff are friendly, well informed about the food, and happy to help.

Tags: fifteen, jamie oliver, mediterranean

Rating  5

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Yummy - I visited this restaurant in the early part of this year. After some trouble finding it we were delighted from the onset. We were made to feel relaxed and comfprtable. I think they delibratly try and make people feel at ease as the place attracts people who wouldnt always eat out at a celeb chef restaurant.

The wine was fab and the meal which was simple but very tasty. I had halibut and a choc mouse type thing for afters. I was please and loved the decoration and the buzz about the place.

My friend said it was the best ever. I am still stuck on claridges but they are very different. This is like a fun place that dosnt take its self to seriously  

Rating  4

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Fifteen? More like five out of ten. - Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen is quite an achievement as a business and a social enterprise. It gives opportunities to young people from deprived areas and as such is a worthy effort and a real London success story. It’s a shame it’s less successful as a place to eat. I was there for a surprise birthday dinner in the Trattoria upstairs but I wasn’t impressed.

There are three main problems as I see it. Firstly, the staff who are cheerful and attentive are excellent and certainly a cut above many London restaurants in terms of giving you good service. What let them down was the stupid house policy of explaining everything on the menu before you order. I mean EVERYTHING. It’s not just that, it’s the way they explain it too. Our waitress who was excellent in all other respects had the unfortunate tendency to react with surprise if we did in fact know what the menu items actually were. After a few minutes explaining that ragu was a tomato sauce like you might find on spaghetti bolognese and that Hake was a fish, I’d had enough. She said “we always explain because it makes it easier for people to order…” but that only works if the people you’re explaining to haven’t been to a supermarket for the last twenty years or so, because everything on the menu at Fifteen is available in one guise or another from the ready meal section of every Asda, Tesco or Sainsbury’s in the UK. At one point she even said “wow, you guys are experts on Italian food” because we knew that Gnocchi was made from potato. Er… really?

Secondly, the food itself is not as they claim “great Italian food”. It’s average Italian food, served very simply with simple side dishes. It doesn’t stand out from any other Italian restaurant I’ve been to and in many cases it’s not as good. It’s got a sort of posh café vibe to the food. My Gnocchi (which were made from potato) with artichoke and chili looked like a plate of sick. It was lumpy and the artichoke was stewed to that grey green colour school cabbage used to attain after the dinner ladies had been at it. It was nice, if a very small portion for the money. The lamb ragu did very well, but was bog standard pasta in sauce of the type you might find (or make) anywhere. The starter was a shared dish of antipasti between four of us, containing great antipasti… mozzarella buffalla and salami, olives and pickled veg… exactly like the stuff you get in tubs from the deli counter of your local supermarket. Nothing more. The wine list is small offering a selection which, annoyingly, is mostly cheaper young wines which are a bit fizzy when let out of the bottle or pricey older wines. The Ascheri white and the good old fashioned Chianti red are probably the best, but you’re looking at £30 - £40 each. Pudding is the only part of the meal that feels like luxury, the pannacotta and the frangiapane being the big hits of the night.

Finally the cost is way too much. The food alone worked out at nearly £38 per head for a shared starter of Sainsbury’s antipasti, a small main and a pudding, add wine and you’re getting into serious money. Compared with the likes of Carluccio’s excellent chain, or the small local Italian restaurants you’ll find in most London postcodes, this place is a rip off. It’s obviously trading on Jamie Oliver’s reputation but I suspect the booked-out every night phenomenon is first timers and tourists more than regular customers or lovers of Italian food. It’s got celeb chef novelty value, a trendy location and nice staff. The food is the weak link, the gent’s toilets were a bit manky too and the smallest I’ve ever experienced (except for an East End greasy spoon). It’s a great idea in theory, in practice it’s badly executed and lacking in all the basics you’d expect from a TV chef’s flagship. It has made me think that Jamie Oliver’s mission at Fifteen is to serve food you could easily make at home, which from my point of view defeats the purpose of eating out in the first place.  
Tags: , average food, celebrity chef, good staff, hoxton, italian, Jamie Oliver, overpriced, trattoria

Rating  2

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