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Jamie’s Italian - North Terminal, Gatwick

7th March 2016: Morning, about 8 am

This was our last meal before a short jaunt to Barcelona.

Let’s start with the positives… because it’s all downhill from there on.

My ‘Full Monty’ breakfast had two perfectly cooked fried eggs. I did not have the foresight to inform our server of over-easy requirements or otherwise… but those Burford Browns with their runny yolks were very well suited to my taste. Sausages and smoked bacon also had great flavour but ‘crispy’ bacon had been ignored in the kitchen. Black pudding from Clonakilty was also bound to hit the flavour mark but, once again, the finish would have benefited from higher pan heat and faster cooking.

Here, as warned, commences the descent into breakfast hell.

Toast should have a strong suggestion that heat has licked its surface. Mine was closer to cold stale bread. My wife’s ‘Omelette Gordon Bennett’ was a sorry affair. Its texture was akin to a face flannel which is offered after a proper cut-throat shave by a barber. There it would have been welcome… here it was just offensive. To make matters worse, we had to question the ingredients on the menu. The strange chewy element turned out to be poached haddock. It might as well have stood in for the crispy bacon missing from my selection. There is so little to get right with this dish. Unfortunately, our chef got so much wrong.

It would take more than this to threaten the prospect of art, culture and local colour in another country. But what a shame we took off with the memory of a UK offering which could and should have been so much better.

Twenty-five pounds and we were done. Perhaps we had been done.

I’m sure it has been said before but let’s whirl it round again. Not so much Naked Chef… More like The Knackered Chef. Please get people who can do justice to essentially good ingredients.

Ah, Jamie, in case you were wondering, all was not lost… Barcelona was the dog’s donuts.

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