Restaurant review: Fifteen, Shoreditch, N1

The big wood oven is a nice touch

The big wood oven is a nice touch - Credit: Archant

As things tend to do over the span of a decade, Jamie Oliver’s flagship restaurant was a bit past its best. A noble cause, but the dishes were looking a bit dated and on the pricey side.

The whole place has been given a facelift

The whole place has been given a facelift - Credit: Archant

Never one to sit still for long, the naked chef closed the place down for 10 weeks, giving it a bit of a facelift and revamping the menu under the beady eye of executive head chef Jon Rotheram.

The end result’s a good one; the place looks better, with a nice big bar area, a huge wood fire oven, a smokery and other pleasing touches while the menu has emerged as a British tapas selection, 20 or so ever-changing bites designed to encourage a sociable, sharing kind of meal.

They range from the sort of “mouthful for £4” variety at the top of the menu to fairly hearty fare at the bottom and our knowledgable, food-loving waitress recommended we go for somewhere in the region four and six.

The oysters confirmed their Britishness with dill and apple vinegar dressing, which was surprisingly nice – not too sweet, while the grilled cuttlefish was a triumph – tempura style with courgettes and vinegrette.

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The lemon sole came with juicy little shrimps and, intriguingly, an almond dressing; the crunch adding a nice balance to the soft fish.

Meanwhile, the sirloin, one of the bigger helpings, came in easy-to-share chunks, although the tender meat, with a swathe of exterior fat lending bags of flavour, made me want to keep it to myself.

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It’s a great relaunch for Fifteen, everything feels a lot fresher and more “now” – including the cocktails, which are inventive and come in some funky receptacles. It’s still not cheap once you’ve stacked a few plates up, but definitely worth re-visiting.

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