Jamie Oliver's restaurant, Jamie's Italian has finally FINALLY made its debut in Sydney Australia!! I have anticipated its opening for months (ever since they announced it around August this year) and could not be more ecstatic when it opened yesterday that i rushed there tonight.
It must have been a low key soft opening with not a lot of fanfare as there was no media hype around the whole thing. Maybe it was Jamie's idea?
Jamie's philosophy has always been to serve up quality food at reasonable prices so that it is affordable for everyone. His Sydney restaurant has done exactly that. When i looked at the exciting menu on offer, i could not believe the price tags attached to them. Dessert for $9?? Impossible!!
It is hard when you have high expectations for a restaurant to come out the other end with your expectations met. Not only did it exceed my expectations, i was jumping up and down with joy!
At the front of the restaurant you can see through the glass at the pasta coming out of the pasta machine (which looks more like a mincing machine =P)
They do not take bookings except for 6 or more people. I was so eager to get a seat i was outside their door at 5.45pm but the restaurant seats 200, so there was no real rush as there were plenty of tables available over 2 levels.
We had excellent service throughout the night, 10/10. They were passionate about the food, kept refilling water and we were asked quite a few times if we enjoyed the dishes. Maybe because it is only their 2nd day of work but i hope this enthusiam continues because it was fantastic.
Amongst the 3 of us we ordered 4 entree dishes to share, 3 mains and 3 desserts. All up $50pp. I cant stop smiling!!
A wall of wines lined up in wired cupboards decorated the wall on one side of the ground level seating area.
The vegetarian plate was only $10 per head and comprised of sliced vegetables chargrilled & marinated, buffalo mozzarella & pecorino with chilli jam, aubergine caponata, curly green chillies, olives & caper berries and a crunchy salad of shaved root veg with chilli, lemon & mint. Even though it was a one person serve, it was massive and perfect for those greedy eaters like me who like to eat a bit of everything.
Planks - Vegetables $10 per head
The chargrilled vegetables were huge and chunky covered in glossy oil and sweet vinegar. I learned that aubergine is another name for the humble eggplant and caponata is a salad comprising of eggplants, veges and capers in a sweet n sour sauce with sweet vinegar. No wonder it was vinegar tangy!
The platter is balanced on top of tomato cans! An absolutely brilliant idea =)
The mozzarella was reminescent of fresh milk - creamy and light but oozy in the centre.
The crunchy salad was indeed crunchy, with the vegetables finely julienned.
A piece of hard cheese, pecorino, is sliced into a triangle with a dollop of chilli jam on top so that it resembled a sunny side up egg.
I took so many pics of this dish because i got overly excited haha.
We ordered the small size of the cuttlefish paccheri. Short tubes of pasta with slowbraised cuttlefish, parsley, white wine, capers and tomatoes. It was a really small serving but perfect as an entree size. The flavours were all there, very seafoody but the pasta tubes were a bit too firm.
Cuttlefish paccheri $13.50
Yum yum polenta chips!! It was more like potenta chunks, as the polenta came in chunky cubes lightly deep fried with rosemary salt topped with parmesan. Heaven in a cube! Thinly crispy on the outside, not too oily with the inside still soft and spongy. $8 for a bowl of indulgence.
Crispy polenta chips $8
We also picked the mushroom fritto. The mushrooms are grown in-house, sliced and deep fried until crispy. Served with irresistable garlicky mayo.
Mushroom fritto $9
The only deceiving part is that the bottom half of the container is empty, filled with brown paper haha. If only the whole thing was filled with mushroom!!!
Cross section of the mushroom slice:
Tip for when you come here: you need to physically ask for the bread (on the house, free). It was listed on the menu but none of the tables around us got any, so, being greedy me i asked for it =)
There is a selection of different breads: homemade rosemary focaccia Artisan sourdough, ciabatta and tortano from their bakery Crispy carta di musica. Served with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic. They are only small pieces, but great for nibbling in between dishes.
One of our mains was the grilled chicken. Half a free range bird marinated and chargrilled with a warm tomato, olive, chilli and caper sauce. My sister said the chicken was too dry and the sauce super overpowering. When i tried the sauce i was knocked over. It was also a smaller portion size compared to my Lamb and our friend's fish.
My sister was told to rip the meat off the bone, mix it with the sauce with a squeeze of lemon.
Grilled chicken $29
I had the Best of Aussie Lamb Spiedini - marinated and grilled leg, shoulder and liver with smashed new potatoes and a minty chilli and yoghurt dressing.
Not only were the potatoes smashed, but i was smashed after eating the dish, it was that big!! The meat and liver came skewered on a metal rod and sat on top of a thick bed of potatoes.
Best of Aussie Lamb Spiedini $25
The lamb was perfectly pink in the centre and super tender. Lamb liver is not something that people would normally like, but as a Chinese who eats all sorts of innards, i loved the liver. And all that on a plate for $25?! Must be dreaming.
The fish chosen was the Fritto Misto - mixed crispy fried fish of the day served with zesty Italian tartare sauce and fresh lemon.
The fish was hidden beneath a blanket of deep fried angel hair pasta with 3 slices of lemon on top haha. The angel hair is tied artistically around a prawn. The deep fried angel hair is addictive like chips! But after a few more mouthfuls you definitely have a very oily lingering around the back of the throat.
There was an obviously big dish of tartare sauce which was not hidden! It was very zingy and as it was a generous serving of sauce it lets you to fully dunk your fish in it.
The piece of fish i had was nicely battered and fried but my sister's piece was apparently a bit salty. But does it really matter when you can drown it in tangy sauce =)
Fritto Misto $26
No matter what, leave room for dessert because you will regret regret regret if you dont. There, i've warned you.
We ordered the brownie, tiramisu and panna cotta to share.
The panna cotta was my favourite as it was creamy, delicate and not overly sweet. Coupled with intense berry puree it was pure bliss.
Creamy Panna Cotta $8.50
The warm brownie was richly chocolately with extra chocolate sauce on top.It was a chocolate, raspberry and amaretto brownie served with vanilla ice cream.
Ultimate Brownie $8.50
Last but not least, the tiramisu! If you love jaffas, then this is the winning dessert. Coffee-flavoured trifle with orange mascarpone and chocolate.
Our Special Tiramisu $9
And as you can tell, we scraped every plate and licked every spoon. Doesn't it speak louder than words =P
Well done Jamie!
107 Pitt Street
Tel - 02 8240 9000