If any proof is needed that charity pays, then just take a look at Jamie ‘Pukka’ Oliver’s burgeoning business empire. Jamie opened Fifteen, his first restaurant, in 2002 as a charity foundation to give unemployed young people a career path in the food world. Fast forward 10 years and Fifteen has grown to have outposts in Cornwall and Amsterdam. Look beyond his charity work and quite impressively – particularly for his bank account – all this positive karma has led to Jamie becoming of the UK’s most successful restaurateurs. Moreover, a delicious meal during a recent visit to Fifteen London showed that the concept has clearly stood the test of time.
With Jamie’s background in rustic Italian food, it’s no surprise that Fifteen takes its inspiration from this part of the world. Much of the menu provides modern interpretations of classic dishes from regions such as Campania, Tuscany, Piedmont and Puglia, with a major focus on the freshest and most seasonal ingredients.
The Burrata for starter, for example, was irresistibly rich, oozy and had taken over the beautifully simple flavours of the accompanying basil and olive oil. Similarly the Devonshire crab with shaved puntarelle, fennel, rocket and anchovy oil epitomised a simple dish that had been made using only the tastiest ingredients. Tempted by the pasta dishes, we also opted for a cheeky mid-course of an intensely flavoursome Oxtail ragu with Pappardelle, which delivered a welcome shock to our palettes after the mellow beginning to the meal.
Whilst the starters were all about supreme sourcing of ingredients, the mains introduce the kitchen team’s technical skill behind the stove. Seafood dishes, such as Pan-fried organic Shetland salmon are cooked to absolutely perfection, whilst those after a meatier meal won’t go wrong with the Slow braised shoulder of lamb with lentils and an anchovy & rosemary dressing. If you’ve got room after all of that, puddings maintain the high standards of the meal, including a classic tangy Lemon tart and a refreshing Strawberry semifreddo.
Cuisine type: Italian
Dinner for two (excluding drinks): £100
15 Westland Place
London, N1 7LP
Tel: 020 3375 1515