By Greedy Financier
Nine months on from its grand opening, the hype surrounding Jamie’s Italian still has not died down. Every time I drive or walk past Jamie’s in the evening, there is a line of people snaking out the front door. My first attempt at eating at Jamie’s occurred on a Saturday evening and lasted a mere 2 seconds. As soon as I turned onto Pitt Street from Hunter Street, I bumped into the people at the end of the line for Jamie’s Italian. Needless to say, I left. My second attempt, however, was successful. I arrived nice and early on a weekday evening, and while there was a queue, I only had to wait 5 minutes for a table.
The service at Jamie’s is definitely speedy. Our starters arrived nearly immediately after we placed our order.
Crispy Squid – Fried Squid served with really Garlicky Mayo & Lemon
First up was crispy squid. The squid wasn’t really crispy, but had some nice fresh herby flavours going on. It went perfectly with the mayonnaise, which was definitely very garlicky.
Mushroom Fritti – Jamie’s Own-grown Crispy Fried Mushrooms with Garlicky Mayo
Our second starter was crispy fried mushrooms. I was hoping that the mushrooms would be like the ones I had at Copo, and certainly wasn’t expecting the deep fried batter coated mushrooms that were delivered to our table. However, the mushrooms were surprisingly tasty – but I suppose you can’t really go wrong when you deep fry something and add a garlicky mayonnaise.
Crispy Polenta Chips – Jamie’s Famous Chips with Rosemary Salt & Parmesan
Our final starter was crispy polenta chips (I think Jamie likes his food crispy!). Again the chips surprised me – I was expecting long chunky hand cut chips, not square cubes! I have to say I wasn’t a fan of the chips. But then again, I’m not really a fan of polenta. The chips would have been tasteless, were it not for the parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.
Black Angel Spaghetti – Squid Ink Pasta, Scallops, Garlic, Chilli, Anchovies, Wine & Capers
My main for the night was squid ink spaghetti with scallops. The pasta was cooked perfectly al-dente and the scallops were wonderfully juicy. The sauce was lovely, and had all the flavours of the garlic, wine and chilli coming through, but after a while the chilli defeated me.
Veal Saltimbocca – Wafer-thin Veal with Sage & Prosciutto Flash-grilled with a Spicy Tomato, Basil & Chilli Salsa
The bf ordered veal. I only had a small nibble, but the veal itself was rather bland. However, the bf commented that the salsa had a fresh combination of flavours and helped to lift the veal.
Italian Ice Cream Bombe – Panettone, Vin Santo, Candied Fruit, Ricotta & Ice Cream served with Hot Chocolate Sauce
Onto the best part of any meal – desserts! The bf ordered an Italian ice cream bombe without really knowing what most of the components of it were (hey, it had a cool name and had hot chocolate sauce!). Out came what looked to be a piece of cake and a shotglass of chocolate sauce. We made the mistake of not tasting the “cake” itself before dowsing it in chocolate – because afterwards, all we could taste was the hot chocolate sauce. Nevertheless, it was a yummy comforting dessert!
Jamie’s Special Tiramisu – Coffee-flavoured Trifle with Orange Mascarpone & Chocolate
And finally the tiramisu – it was divine! The orange mascarpone did a wonderful job at cutting through the robustness of the coffee soaked sponge, and all the flavours were in perfect balance. It was my favourite dish of the night.
Despite some minor issues I had with the food, I would still return to eat again at Jamie’s Italian. The service is speedy and the prices more than reasonable. However, learning from the past experience, I know next time that I should stick with ordering the classic but popular Italian items, such as pasta (since the pasta and tiramisu were both done really well). Let’s just hope that the hype dies down soon so that you don’t have to wait forever to get a table!
Jamie’s Italian Sydney
(Reservations only accepted for parties of 6+)
Monday to Saturday 11.30am – Late
Ph: +61 2 8240 9000
107 Pitt Street