We had been wanting to go to Jamie’s in quite a while. Jamie’s Italian is the latest in a series of restaurants around the world that Jamie Oliver opened. The restaurants feature food that is very much in the ethos of Jamie Oliver which is generous friendly Italian food. The reason that I haven’t been to Jamie’s yet is that it is always busy, there is constantly a line that goes out the door. A was confident that this time we would have the opportunity to try it because she had a game plan.
The game plan involved arriving at 5:20pm on a Friday night, at this stage there were about 30 people lined up. After lining up for about 30 minutes we put our name down for a table, following that they would call us with a table. The time between putting our name down and our table being ready was probably getting close to two hours, as I mentioned earlier it is a bit of a process. When our table was ready we walked through the restaurant and I could definitely tell that there were Jamie Olivers touches everywhere but it was far more subtle than I first thought it would be. Part of me was expecting something similar to a theme restaurant the way they add the little Jamie Oliver touches was done in a very tasteful way I thought.
A and I decided to go for entrees, mains and desserts. For entree we had one of the famous planks, these are wooden boards (very Jamie Oliver like) that are filled with a collection of delicious hams, cheeses and salads (pictured is the meat plank but seafood and vegetable planks are also available). To go with the plank we also enjoyed a lovely bruschetta which was topped with cream cheese and slow roasted tomatoes, I thought this was delicious however I found the serving size a little bit small as I would have liked to see another one or two pieces of bread.
One thing to note if you are thinking of going there is that they provide you with a small selection of complimentary bread however that is only available if you ask one of the wait staff. The bread was absolutely delicious with there being a wide range of textures and flavours.
Looking over the menu I figured that as we were in a sort of classic Italian restaurant that pasta should be the thing that I immediately go for. There was a particular pasta special on that night that sounded right up my alley, what you can see in the picture above is cubes of san daniele proscuitto that was cooked in a carbonara sauce, served with hand made pasta and topped with artichoke hearts. My thoughts were that while I thought the flavour of the sauce was fantastic and that you can tell that this is really high quality pasta I didn’t love the addition of the artichokes, I found that the artichokes were far too crunchy and the flavour didn’t really gel with the creamy pasta sauce.
A went for the crab risotto and her thoughts were “Absolutely delicious, I had never had a spoon of breadcrumbs with my risotto before but it added a really nice crunch. I was concerned that the risotto may have been a little bit fishy but it wasn’t in the slightest. Another thing that I really liked was it was a generous serving of crab.”
As I mentioned earlier in the review we decided to go for desserts as well, normally I am not a dessert person however I did see that they have tiramasu on the menu which is one of my favourite desserts. Arriving the first thing that I noticed is a wonderful aroma of orange. While this was a really nice tiramasu however growing up in an Italian background I have had a lot of tiramasu and I prefer the boozier versions of tiramasu where the whole thing has been liberally soaked in amaretto but I completely understand that to make this dessert kid friendly they have to opt out of using alcohol.
When A came to Jamie’s a couple of months back she had the lemon meringue pie and she said that it was so good that she had to order it again. Her thoughts on dessert were “It was just as good as i remembered. The Lemon curd had the right amount of tang, the meringue was super creamy and it was hard to leave a bite behind but I was just too full. “
Apart from a couple of minor issues and the hassle of actually being seated I really enjoyed my meal at Jamie’s. One of my favourite things about Jamie’s is that it is incredibly good value for money, for A and I to have entrees, mains and desserts it was only roughly 50 dollars a head which is fantastic value in this day and age. I will definitely be back to Jamie’s but I might try and go on a weeknight when it’s a little bit quieter and there isn’t the hassle of waiting for tables.