I got so excited when I first read that Jamie Oliver was going to be opening a restaurant in Sydney (article found here). On one random Saturday, four of us ventured into the city to hang out. None of us had lunch and knowing that Jamie’s Italian had just opened, we thought it would be a great opportunity to try it out.
We arrived a little before opening time. It sure looked like we were eager beavers ready to burst through the doors as soon as they opened.
The size of the place just wowed me. It was huge and looked never ending (the space the restaurant occupies is rather long). We get seated upstairs and at first sight these huge paper menus cover our tables. I had a gut feeling that I was just going to struggle to pick something from the menu.
I love the produce that is hung around the restaurant. It definitely showcases that the products used by Jamie’s Italian is nothing but fresh. Not only that, but it gives it such a homey feel to the restaurant.
The tea towels/napkins definitely gives off the Jamie Oliver rustic feel.
Complimentary assorted Italian Homemade Breads
Our stomaches are grumbling at this point in time. Our waiter brings us some on the house italian breads with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. We barely notice what we are eating but whatever was soaked in the herb, garlic butter was good. As per the menu, we actually get: homemade rosemary focaccia Artisan sourdough, ciabatta & tortano from the bakery Crispy carta di musica
Meat Plank for 2 (@ $13 per head)
Whilst ordering, we struggle trying to figure out what we want. So we ask the waiter for his suggestions. The meat plank for 2 is what our waiter recommended as a starter, to share amongst us all. We have a mixture of cured meats, cheeses, pickled chillies, olives and a raw vege salad which was meant to cleanse the palate after every bite.
If I didn’t think so myself, I am definitely glad this plank was shared amongst 4 of us. There was quite a lot for a serving for two people.
Funky Chips $5.50
How could we resist a menu item called “funky chips”? Well, ok, this is speaking from a hot chips lover. They were funky indeed. The thick, crunchy potato chips were served with slices of garlic and parsley. It amazes me how such simple things can turn a dish into something so wow.
Crispy Squid $12
I love how on the menu it says the fresh squid is served with “garlicky mayo”. Sounds like the sort of terminology that Jamie Oliver uses himself! The squid was crunchy on the outside and so tender on the inside – the perfect way for squid to be cooked. When dunked in the garlicky mayo, it is a marriage made in heaven. Biggie finishes off the garlicky mayo by using his fingers to clean out the bowl. If he didn’t do it, I would have.
Mussel Linguine (Main) $20
This pasta dish was also highly recommended by our waiter. Apparently it is one of the most popular items on the menu. In this dish we have linguine pasta with mussels cooked in garlic, lemon and chilli. Our pasta was a little undercooked – it was rather hard. Aside from that, it was a fresh, clean and simple dish.
Mushroom Panzerotti (Main) $20.50
This dish looks so comforting and hearty, and it was! It almost looks like a bolognese of some sort but it is actually a sauce with brown cap (not sure what that is), mushrooms, ricotta and parmesan cheese. It had so much flavour for such a dish with little ingredients. It must be from the porcini mushrooms.
Despite it being our breakfast for the day (or brunch/lunch by the time we actually eat), we cannot not have dessert. We order the tiramisu to share. Wow. It had quite a strong coffee flavour with orange mascarpone but it was absolutely devine! The sponge at the bottom of the cake was excessively moist which did become unpleasant to eat, but the rest of the dessert was really wonderful.
Ice Cream $8
We also order the ice cream to share. We get 3 scoops of ice cream with our choice of two toppings. Every day the house ice cream changes. But today we get Hazelnut, Caramel & Chocolate topped with smashed honeycomb and nuts and seeds. It’s nothing special but it hits the spot. You can hardly ever go wrong with ice cream.
Overall we had a lovely time dining here at Jamie’s Italian. We would all love to come back to try everything else on the menu. It really is affordable and the food is just amazing. The atmosphere is amazing. Though just remember, if you have a party bigger than 6 people, you must make a booking in advance. From what I’ve heard, the wait can get pretty long.
Jamie’s Italian, Sydney
107 Pitt Street
Sydney NSW 2000
Tel: +61 2 8240 9000