Monday night catch up with high school friends. Thought we’d try Jamie’s Italian as the line would probably be shorter than a Friday or Saturday night. It was, only a 15 minute wait with a buzzer which was fine. I remember eating here when it was Industry South of France. It’s a totally different vibe now, not fine dining at all, it’s like I guess a trattoria, rustic vibe with an industrial feel, jam packed with tables. The prices reflect this space but the service is an outstanding, a point I must make. The waiter we had was attentive and helpful, despite describing the difference between an entrée and main serve of pasta and risotto in grams. How on earth is an everyday person meant to know how much 100grams in risotto is? Just show us with your hands!
Ok, onto the meal! So we started off with a glass of the house white each. It was the Vino Bianco Della Casa. I’m not a wine connoisseur by a long shot but I really want to start learning more about it.
Entrée – “Italian Nachos” Crispy fried four-cheese ravioli with “angry” arrabiatta sauce – 6/10. To be honest it sounded great but then it was just a crispy pillow of ravioli with not much filling inside at all. The “angry” arrabiatta sauce was not “angry” at all. It was just a tomato sauce with some garlic and bits of tomato, just a tiny tiny hint of chilli. Plus there was not enough of it.
Main – “Crab and squid ink risotto” - Black creamy rice with hand-picked spanner crab & crunchy herby breadcrumbs – 6/10. Ok, I have never ever ordered risotto as I always just think of it as Italian congee, and it’s not that special as its just rice. I didn’t even order it in Italy when I was there 2 years ago. But it’s Jamie’s Italian, so it should be a good rendition, especially with the crab and squid ink right? I was totally and utterly disappointed. It was not as creamy as it said in the description and it hardly had any flavour. I couldn’t even see hence taste the crab; I really had to look for the white crab flesh. The breadcrumbs were nice and fine and crunchy but not that herby. It seemed to be only 50% flavourful. What was worst is that the squid ink stains your lips, not a good look.
On the other hand my friend Christina had the “Veal Saltimbocca - wafer-thin veal with sage & prosciutto flash-grilled with a spicy tomato, basil & chilli salsa”. Now when that came out it smelt really tasty! When the risotto came out I smelt nothing apart from the big chunk of lemon sitting on top of it. I tasted some of the veal and it was full of flavour, definitely better than my risotto. Oh yeah I ordered the entrée size of the risotto and it was pretty small. Hence I need to thank Christina for not finishing her veal so I could eat it haha and thanks for the photos!
So now dessert, luckily I did not fill up on the risotto so I could sample some. I had the “Creamy Panna Cotta served with a compote of seasonal fruit” – 8/10. It was very creamy indeed, the way I like it and infused with lots of lovely vanilla seeds. The fruity bits were apricot which added a nice tartness to the creaminess. The portion was small; I could’ve eaten another one. But I guess for $8.50 it was ok.
My friend had the “Ice Creams” with her choice of topping of smashed honeycomb on the 3 scoops of the flavours of the day. It looked nice, but maybe it was scooped out quite a while before it came out as it was a bit drippy over the sides. My other friend had the “Our Special Tiramisu”. I had a taste of this and it was saturated with lots of strong coffee as it was coffee flavoured with orange mascarpone and chocolate! It was delish.
Overall the food was ok. I think I had high expectations and also I ordered the wrong main. I need to go back and give it another go. There are a variety of dishes that I would want to try, like the “Ligurian Fish Stew”. Not so sure about the “Burger Italiano” though. So from what other people have said, my experience and observations, it’s not totally rave worthy but more like an affordable Italian restaurant in the CBD that serves up above average, sometimes tasty meals at very reasonable prices. And with the“Jamie Oliver” association it will continue to lure the people in.