Jamie’s Italian – Now in Sydney!!!

I counted down the days.. eagerly checking back on the Jamie Oliver website… and finally, opening day arrived.  I read the menu thoroughly, pre-selected my meal as soon as it was published (and changed my mind several times of course) – however alas, it wasn’t until the second day of opening that I managed to get a bunch of friends to go out with me on a weeknight!  Well thank you to those friends, I had a terrific evening!  We made a booking (you can only book for 6 or more) at 6pm and I ran ahead of my group until I saw that glass front that declared its presence in gold font. Jamie’s Italian!! Now in Sydney!!!   I was lucky enough to go in London in 2010 and I knew that I could expect a good meal at a very good price.

Right out the front, as per its UK sisters, you pass by the hand made pasta machine and produce – it’s made fresh daily!

Even in Sydney, the decor is like I stepped back to Canary Wharf – the furniture the same, the tea towel napkins the same – the chain completely consistent and like it was plucked straight out of the UK !

I loved this graffiti wall.  In fact, there are a few spray paintings around the place that create a funky urban uber cool environment.

We were seriously lucky to score the table right next to the open kitchen. Shouts of “yes chef!” and high energy cooking happening in there – the head chef keeping a watchful eye and cleaning dishes as they went out.  He was also so kind to respond to my questions of “Whats that?” “what’s that?” – you know, sneaking a look of what food looked like before I had to committ! haha.

We finally ordered after a final check of the menu. And promptly, out came two little pails of complimentary bread.  Who offers free bread these days?? The sourdough, pita, grissini and house baked foccacia was drizzled with pesto and served with balsamic and olive oil.  Definitely could have wolfed more of this down! :)

What was a soda?  For $4.10 I had to find out.  It was lemongrass and ginger cordial topped with sparkling water. It certainly did have a kick to it! I couldn’ really taste the lemongrass though, but it was otherwise like a nice refreshing ginger ale.

I had to order the arancini – as I did in London, and again, it could have been air freighted over as it looked exactly the same!  A dreamy dusting of parmesan on top and house made tomato sauce accompanied it.  There were 3 balls – for $9.50.  They were crispy on the outside but I found the balls to be slightly dry in the middle – and I thought that for that price maybe a 4th ball could have been offered instead of putting paper in the bottom – or at least making all 3 balls the same size instead of giving 1 that was smaller than the others (the back one).

These were the Italian nachos – deep fried pillows of ricotta ravioli.  We watched the girls hand make these out the front!

And the calamari with garlic mayo – $12.  It was more a tapas size than an entree size.  Really garlicky and awesome flavour – again, a little more would be better – or charge a bit more and get a bit more?  It wasn’t really enough to share, more like a side dish.

And the meat board for one.  Just like in London served on a wooden plank balanced on tinned tomatoes as a stand, there was mix of meats and some pickles and salad.  Bonus points for allowing single person serves!  At $13, I thought this was good value.1

Being the start of spring swimming costume season, the girls decided that we should go for entree sized pastas instead of having a main sized pasta – all those carbs at night need to be worked off right? ;)    I was happy with the serving size of mine – the slow cooked cuttlefish.  All the pastas are handmade and were so fresh – yet still able to have that al dente texture.  I have to say that I haven’t had cuttlefish before, and it smelled and tasted a little fishy for my liking.  I loved the sauce though – rich with olive oil and stock ($13.50 for entree size).

Next time though, I will definitely definitely be going for the mushroom ravioli.  Don’t feel sorry for vegos here because here they feast!  Even the bread crumbs look meaty!  And great value too.

I have had boar just twice.  Once at the Spitalfields markets and the other time at Spiedo – Alessandro Pavioni’s new digs at Westfield Sydney.  And here is the second place I’ve heard of in Sydney that has it. Wild boar sausage with lentils.  I have to say that at $22, maybe a bit more sausage could have been offered, but what it lacked in size it made up for in flavour.  Very Jamie style!

The sides were very well priced – this crunchy salad was $5.50 and was a beautiful mix of red and yellow beetroot, radish and carrot with lemon and mint dressing. It lacked seasoning a bit so I just added my own and also some of the olive oil/balsamic from the bread.  It’s approximately the size of  a typical rice bowl.

The absolute stand out dish for me that you must must MUST MUST try (get the picture? ;) ) one of – per person that is!!! – is the polenta chips. WOW. Crispy on the outside, well seasoned and soft on the inside.  I’m sure that if I drank beer these would be an awesome snack. The best I’ve ever eaten!!

Well Jamie’s Italian, Sydney certainly did live up to my expectations. It really took me back to my holiday and felt like we were enjoying something that Jamie himself created and would be proud of.  It was so much like the other restaurants – but I don’t say that in a bad chain way – but in a reliably good way.  I certainly will be back.

5 Responses to “Jamie’s Italian – Now in Sydney!!!”

  1. chocolatesuze Says:

    hehe no dessert? the italian nachos sounds insanely delish!

  2. admin Says:

    awwee suze my most loyal reader :) I did have dessert. Got home too late to continue and out last two nights too! Will update soon – Not as dedicated as you hehehe :)

  3. Wendy @ Obesebaby Says:

    wow such a good review, i am going there tonight and the polenta chips is on my no. 1 list!

  4. FoodieChat Says:

    Thank you Wendy! :) Hope you have a great time! Let me know what you recommend for my next time! :)

  5. Paul Says:

    I’ve been twice since they opened and still love it!

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