So last weekend it was decided that we would get there by 5:30pm sharp! I had thought that in no possible way would people line up this early for dinner. I was wrong. There was already a few people outside the restaurant. Suddenly, M urges me to run or power walk as there were a small group of people in front of us casually strolling towards the same direction. I presumptuously said 'Noway are they going to Jamie's as well'. I was wrong. Again.
The first thing you notice about this restaurant is that it is quite small and hidden subtly. Upon setting foot inside, you are greeted with a stunning chandelier contrasted with a graffiti wall that displays a bundle of Jamie Oliver's Cook Books and a pasta-cooking area near the front window.
Luckily we managed to get into the front of the line and was informed that our table will be ready in 30 mins. However, perhaps it was our lucky day, our beeper beeped within five minutes! Before you know it, we were seated at a cosy table for two, presented with the menu by a friendly waitress!
The interiors illustrates a rustic style in mimicking an industrial setting with its copper lights and metal chairs. This is accompanied by red and blue leather booth-like seating areas which adds a pop of colour to the dark tones.
The atmosphere was buzzing with energy and noise as people hustled in and chattered away.
Aside from the fact that there are so many choices, the great thing about the menu is that for the pasta options, you can choose to have it in either the entree or a main course serving size!
First things first, I decided to try out a glass of Vino Rosata Della Casa 2010 ($7)-which is essentially pink wine! It was nice and light with pretty red berry smells!
M went for the smaller but sweeter option, the Innocent Bystander Moscato ($7) which turned out to be an absolute delight with its slight fizz!
We were keen to try out the pasta so both of us ordered an entree sized choice!
M decided on the Mussel Linguine ($13.50) and was happy to see that they had offered quite a generous amount of Scappato mussels for an entree dish. I also had a taste of it and it was really lovely as the flavour of the mussels sinked right in to the fresh pasta and combined with the scents of garlic, chilli and parsley, it was perfect.
I, on the other hand, am quite boring as I decided to try out the good old Spaghetti Bolognese ($12.50). Apart from the classic mixture of beef and pork, each bite was flavoursome in Chianti and Parmesan as well as the interesting addition of crunchy herby breadcrumbs! The sauce was amazing and so the pasta did not come off as dry or lacking in flavour.
The two pastas came in record speed however we did have to wait a while for our main (that we decided to share). We had ordered the Fritto Misto ($26) which consists of mixed crispy fried fish of the day served with zesty Italian tartare sauce and fresh lemon. The presentation of this dish was beautiful and unique however, the proportion is not as big as it looks.
I would say with no doubt, that the heart of this main lies within the 'zesty Italian tartare sauce'. It was not like your ordinary tartare sauce as there was something to it that made it seem more special. Creamy to perfection and combined with the fresh fried fish, this main was what referred to by M as 'High Class Fish & Chips'. Indeed, a little too pricey in my opinion.
For dessert, we opted for the Tiramisu ($9) which came with orange mascarpone and chocolate. It was heavily rich in coffee flavour and so I did not particularly enjoy it however M seemed happy with the trifle.
Overall, I would say, the hype of Jamie's Italian does not quite live to its expectations. Yes, the ambience of the restaurant is quite chic and relaxed, however, it was a little understaffed and so service lacked the standards I would expect of such a celebrity-acclaimed restaurant.
Nevertheless, Jamie's Italian does serve its purpose as a high-street restaurant providing menu options that are creative in nature but relatively affordable. The food is delicious but perhaps not worthy of a wait longer than 20 minutes. In my opinion anyway!
P.S. No bookings taken unless for a party of 6! So get there early if you want to spare yourself the long wait in the line!
107 Pitt Street Sydney