Jamie’s Italian, the newly opened restaurant of British celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, was quick to distance itself from a meat scandal in the mainland by naming some of the places where its ingredients originate.
Salmon from Norway, clams from Canada etc., but no meat from China.
“We have high demand for fresh and nutritious ingredients,” Metro Daily quoted a restaurant representative as saying Wednesday.
The restaurant, the latest in a growing global portfolio that extends from Britain to Dubai and Australia, opened in Hong Kong on Tuesday and was quickly booked solid until September.
However, just 15 percent of its 200 seats are reserved, meaning walk-in guests can still get a table.
Tuesday’s opening went true to form despite a little disappointment among its early patrons when the restaurant’s star chef and owner failed to show up.
Staff explained that Oliver prefers not to attend opening nights because he wants the customers to focus on the food, not on him.
The menu featured dishes from Oliver’s widely followed BBC program The Naked Chef, some of which were cooked before the customers as they dined.
But none of the ingredients came from a certain expired-meat Chinese factory which the restaurant stressed without saying so in so many words.
Some top western restaurants in the mainland, including McDonald’s and KFC, have been supplied expired meat products from United States-owned Shanghai Husi Food, according to reports.
McDonald’s Hong Kong belatedly admitted it received similar products from the factory.
Oliver opened his first restaurant in Oxford, England, in 2008, and already has 35 outlets in other countries, the report said.
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