We chat to celebrity chef Jamie Oliver about his new Dubai restaurant
‘When the chance to open a restaurant in the world-famous Dubai Mall came up, we just couldn’t pass it up’ – Jamie Oliver…
Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver has a new restaurant in Dubai. The celebrity chef from the UK already has one Dubai restaurant in JLT, but he is adding to his restaurant portfolio in the region with the opening of Jamie’s Italian at The Dubai Mall.
The casual dining concept is located on the lower ground floor of the largest mall in the world, near The Dubai Fountain exit, and welcomes guests to enjoy casual Italian cuisine including fresh pasta, homemade pizza and sweet desserts. Elsewhere on the menu, you’ll find an array of colourful salads, tasty sides and plenty of antipasti, all of which celebrate the best seasonal produce.
What’s On caught up with the chef to speak to him about his new restaurant.
It’s been a while since Jamie’s Italian existed in Dubai, why did now feel like the right time to bring it back?
We already have Jamie Oliver’s Pizzeria in Dubai and Jamie’s Italians and Pizzerias in Dammam, Riyadh, and Doha, but when the chance to open a restaurant in the world-famous Dubai Mall came up, we just couldn’t pass it up. What an iconic location! I’m excited to say we’ve got a number of other new sites lined up too. So, watch this space…
Jamie’s Pizzeria has been successful in JLT for several years, what are the big differences in the brands?
At the Pizzeria, we’re all about fun, dynamic flavours—and who doesn’t love a great pizza?! We like to mix up our toppings, offering guests both rebellious and classic flavours. And we’ve got some great rustic bakes and vibrant salads alongside the pizzas, too, to make sure everyone is catered for.
Over at Jamie’s Italian, we’ve got a bigger, more elegant offer, inspired by the incredible flavours and techniques I’ve been lucky enough to learn on my many travels across Italy, much of them with my mentor, Gennaro Contaldo. We’ve got plenty of hearty mains, brilliant classic pizzas, beautiful salads, and some gorgeous desserts, but I’d say what we’re most known for is the silky fresh pasta we make on-site from scratch, every day.
If you’re going to Jamie’s Italian, what are you ordering?
Now there’s a question! The menu really is a celebration of the Italian way of eating, so there’s plenty of opportunities to share, which is exactly the way I like it. The dishes conjure up different memories and experiences for me so I think I’d choose something different each time. But if I was dining with Jools right now? I reckon we’d kick things off with one of the beautiful Antipasti Planks, they’re a bit like an Italian picnic, loaded with bites from different Italian regions. We’d then mix it up with a couple pastas to share. Followed by the beautiful fish stew or one of the epic steaks from the grill and the rocket salad. Jools would always go for chocolate at the end, so either the brownie or the tart. You’ve made me hungry just thinking about it!
What appealed to you about the new Dubai Mall location?
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I mean, who wouldn’t jump at the chance to have a restaurant in the biggest mall in the world? This was an amazing opportunity for us to create a truly special Jamie’s Italian site. The space is beautiful with room for 180 covers and a gorgeous pasta theatre at the entrance to showcase what we do best.
Are there any Dubai-exclusive dishes we can look forward to?
Of course! We created some extra show-stopping pasta for our first-ever pasta theatre, along with a handful of other equally moreish dishes. Look out for the amazing Giant Truffle Raviolo with a hidden egg yolk, it’s super special. I also love the Tender Braised Lamb with silky mash, a lovely rich sauce, and a raisin and olive salsa for a zingy hit. My Wild Caprese is this beautiful combo of mozzarella and tomato with basil pesto and a vibrant radicchio, fennel, and radish salad. It’s just delicious.
Jamie’s Italian is located on the Lower Ground Floor of The Dubai Mall and is open from 11am to 12am Sunday to Thursday, and 11am to 1am Fridays and Saturdays.