25 October 2011

Jamie's Italian: Pasta made fresh every day, CBD Sydney (24 Oct 2011)

107 Pitt Street, Sydney NSW 2000
Phone: (02) 8240 9000

Fresh flavours at fair prices

A simple cheese and salad sandwich was on my mind today for lunch after I'd pass by the new Jamie's Italian restaurant expecting to find a full house. To my surprise the restaurant had plenty of seating at 1.30 pm after its apparently initial rush I was told a bit earlier in the day. So I ventured in to check out the decor and decided to try the food thinking it's just going to get more popular and harder to get in later when it's bound to get popular. To start a complimentary Italian bread selection is provided. I think the amount I received was probably enough to feed me for lunch alone. Not sure about the dryish bread stick but all the other breads including the exclusively made Sourdough from Brasserie Bread was good. My only thoughts was I would have preferred the focaccia to maybe be a little more toasty and crusty. I usually try a tomato bruschetta but the Spanner crab with chilli, lemon & zesty mayo ($15) sparked my interest to try something a bit different. It had nice flavours, noticeable crab meat and would have been a good one to share between two or even four if you cut up so you can try more.

The Spaghetti Bolognese ($12.50 entree size) combines beef and pork which apparently has been slow cooked for about 3 hours. It has good depth of flavour and I really enjoy the crunchy herby breadcrumbs on top. The pasta is al dente and thankfully the dish isn't too oily which is a bonus. The entree size is just right for me so I can try a few dishes. For dessert I always have to try the Tiramisu ($9) and this version is worth coming back for. The use of orange zest gives a refreshing note I haven't really come across before. There's a decent alcohol taste and good flavour to be had. The cream was perhaps a bit firmer than I'd prefer making it quite rich so I would have been quite happy sharing with someone else. The Affogato ($6) comes with a single scoop of vanilla ice cream that's silky and creamy. The espresso isn't too bitter and runs like liquid gold. It had good flavour balance and seemed priced to make a $4.35 coffee sound comparatively pricey. Service seemed friendly and eager to please and my waiter who was actually named Jamie was knowledgeable about the dishes being served.

Other visits to Jamie's Italian:
24 Oct 2011 - Spanner Crab Bruschetta, Spaghetti Bolognese, Tiramisu, Affogato
21 Oct 2011 - Set to officially open Monday 24 Oct
9 May 2011 - Opening soon construction site

PROS: Pasta made fresh each day, Nice decor and comfortable atmosphere, Lots of menu choices, Prices seemed reasonable for the quality, Service was friendly and eager to please and seemed knowledgeable, Plenty of seating
CONS: Only take bookings for 6 or more people, No sign of Jamie in the kitchen, No wood-fired pizza, Dined alone so didn't get to try many things and thus can get expensive when not being able to share, 0.8% credit card transaction fee
MUST TRY: Spaghetti Bolognese, Other dishes on the menu at another time
DAMAGE: $42.50 for one

For lovers of freshly made pasta

Italian bread selection: Homemade rosemary focaccia Artisan sourdough, ciabatta & tortano from our bakery Crispy carta di musica (on the house aka complimentary)

Bread served with extra-virgin olive oil & aged balsamic

Bruschetta: Spanner crab with chilli, lemon & zesty mayo ($15)

Spaghetti Bolognese: The old-school classic ragù of beef, pork, herbs, Chianti & Parmesan with crunchy herby breadcrumbs ($12.50 small)

Not too much oil used in dish

Tiramisu ($9)

Affogato ($6)

Scooter graphic — so Italian

Bill $42.50 for one

Executive Chef David Clarke at the kitchen helm

Open kitchen

Over 180 seats available

Downstairs seating

Upstairs seating

Graffiti feature wall upstairs

Lighting features

Look for WC graffiti for toilet — it's not most intuitive set up to find the toilet

Clean and simple design

A decent powerful hand dryer — I remember these were popular in the UK when I visited

Table supports at fairly flat which I like

Products for sale

Outside street entrance — quite easy to walk past without noticing unless you see someone making pasta in the window


Richard Elliot said...

Looks like good food at reasonable prices which is what I was hoping for!

Tina@foodboozeshoes said...

Liking the prices! Apparently there's prosciutto sampling in the evening too

Sarah said...

Looks awesome! Gotta try it asap :)

Tina @ bitemeshowme said...

This is looking great. Can't wait to try it sometime soon! :D

OohLookBel said...

Wow, it looks so much larger on the inside. Can't wait to try it, especially the tiramisu.

Dolly said...

spaghetti Bolognese looks yumii... guess i;ll have to come here for lunch hehee..

Sneh | Cook Republic said...

ooooh finally, a review with pictures! Looks amazing! MUST GET THERE!

joey@FoodiePop said...

Passed this place in Oxford in England last year and it was packed. I love a good spag bol so can't wait to try it to see how good it is! Thanks Simon!

Lisa said...

Will definitely check it out one of these days, I love a good ragu. Can't believe you thought Jamie might be in the kitchen though! He has an empire to run, haha

Chanel said...

I loved my lunch here on Sunday (pre-opening so no photos were allowed...). The prices are great, food is really fresh and full of flavour. I loved the tiramisu with orange marscapone, and I want to try the spaghetti bolognese next time.

Anonymous said...

Spaghetti Bolognese + tiramisu = the perfect way of judging an Italian restaurant :)

MissPiggy said...

OK Simon, I'm DYING to know how you fit all that yummy food into your belly! Well done! The food and the restaurant both look fabulous - can't wait to check it out.

YaYa said...

Likewise, how did you manage to fit all of that in one go??? But thanks for the review, nice to see that single diners are also well treated, I wonder if you can take the extra bread home, hehe!

Detective Chow said...

You and your table supports... :)

Great to see some photos and a positive review. Surely the buzz will pick up and they'll be packed soon enough.

Simon Leong said...

Hi richard, I was hoping it would be good value too as promoted. I can only judge so far by first visit but it’s been positive although would make it cheaper.

Hi tina, OMG prosciutto sampling in the evening, I hope this is true!

Hi sarah, get in quick before it gets busier.

Hi tina, definitely seems like a good addition to Sydney

Hi bel, it’s a lot larger than I thought too. I remember when it was industrie but it now seems more open and lighter.

Hi dolly, lunch seems to be a good time to come at the moment. Possibly dinner is busier and more popular.

Hi sneh, I know what you mean about photos. It was getting frustrating so I had to check the place out and see what all these tweets were about.

Hi joey, hope the spag bol lives up to your expectations. Definitely better than what I can do at home :-)

Hi lisa, I knew he wouldn’t be in the kitchen but I’m hoping to meet him one day if he ever does visit the restaurant — I’ve heard rumors it might be early next year.

Hi chanel, what did you get to try on Sunday at the soft opening? Any recommendations?

Hi lateraleating, I also tend to try a Spaghetti Marinara and Bruschetta but it’s hard to do just dining for one.

Hi miss piggy, one that free bread arrived I was thinking the same thing. I think I was determined to try as much as possible so I pushed through the stomach barrier :-)

Hi yaya, years of eat training helped :-) it’s quite a nice place to eat by yourself and I didn’t feel too lonely. With a big enough hand bag I’m sure you can take your extra bread home.

Hi detective chow, table supports and toilets are never safe from my review process ;-) I’ve already booked a group table to visit again next week. Hoping to try lots more dishes.

Dressed and Eaten said...

Have been eagerly awaiting a review. Sounds great. Wouldn't expect less from Jamie. Looking forward to checking it out.

Abby said...

I went in the other day! Great to see how busy it was! I had the burger and was not disappointed!
I think I did 4 laps past the kitchen just to see what was going on!

I actually stopped and asked the chef (not the one in your photo, but he is in one of the photos JamiesItalianAu put on twitter) what something was (after I had ordered)it was the fish in a bag - it looked and smelt AMAZING!

Trying to convince friends at work to have an early lunch to avoice the lines I saw today!

Great photos by the way!
And love the table stability review!

Simon Leong said...

hi dressed and eaten, hope you have a great experience. i've already planned another visit for lunch.

hi abby, i'll have to keep an eye out for the fish in a bag. i think an early or late lunch seems to be a winner to get a seat. thanks for your support on the table support reviews hehe

Sara - Belly Rumbles said...

Hey Simon, was wondering what the food would be like, thanks for the little taste through your lunch.

Simon Leong said...

hi sara, i wish i had another person with me at the time so i could have tried a few more things.

Helen said...

@Abby - you must be talking about Pete, the sous chef. Amazing guy, but I might be a bit bias as he is my husband! He has had many people asking what is coming out of the kitchen as they walk on by

John said...

That spag bol looks like it is swimming in the sauce (or is that just my impression from the photo?). And Jamie's Italian really should be using taglitelle or fettucine (or even pappardelle) for a Bolognese pasta dish if they want to be authentic. I never use spaghetti in a spag bol ;)

Simon Leong said...

Hi john, there's plenty of sauce with the spag bol. that's an interesting point about the fettucine with bolognese. i guess being Australia maybe that's why they've gone for the spaghetti rather than traditional fettucine they might serve in Italy.

John said...

Thanks for the clarification Simon. I'm not a big fan of pasta dishes that are over sauced. You need to have that balance between the pasta and sauce without the sauce overwhelming the taste / texure of the pasta.

Simon Leong said...

hi john, actually i prefer when there's a decent amount of sauce rather than not much at all otherwise i can find a dish quite dry. i think this version had a good balance where you could still appreciate the pasta though. you'll have to try and decide for yourself.

Oh Hey Sydney said...

great photos and that pasta looks delish! can't wait to give this one a try.

Simon Leong said...

hi Oh Hey Sydney, hope you enjoy when you get a chance to visit.

Anonymous said...

Hey Simon, I walked past here the other day and did watch a lady making pasta on the other side of the window. I'm looking forward to eating there very soon. And if my chosen person agrees I might order the T-Bone for Two. If not, I might go on to the Baby Pink Snapper or the Osso Bucco. I'm sure I'd be happy with any of the meals as there is nothing on that menu I wouldn't order x

Siobhan :)

Simon Leong said...

hi Siobhan, hope you enjoy your visit when you go. be sure to get there early as the queuing times can be over an hour due peak dining times.

Tom said...

Great post! Do check out our post about Jamie's Italian Sydney and Jamie's Italian Singapore and let us know what you think!

Happy Travels Everyone!



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