Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Jamie's Italian And Other Nice Things

Today I had lunch at Jamie's Italian! 

I went with my mum and sister.  We have been Jamie fans ever since The Naked Chef so we were super excited to try his restaurant.

We arrived pretty early, a bit after 12, and there was a bit of a line at the door.  When we got inside, they told us it would be about a half hour wait for a table.  A bit annoying but not unexpected, because they don't take bookings for groups of fewer than six people.  By 1.30-2 there were some empty tables though, so I think you could go for a late lunch on a weekday and not have to wait.

I actually didn't mind waiting though.  The hostess told us we could go away to do some shopping or whatever and she could give us a phone call when a table was ready (which is great), but we decided just to stay in the waiting area where the bar was and have a drink.

They had these fancy soft drinks made from posh cordial with fizzy water.  It came in three flavours so we each chose a different one, but they had run out of my choice, Strawberry and Elderflower.  That was a little bit disappointing - seriously, running out of a drink? - but I chose this yummy limonata instead:

I think we waited a bit more than half an hour actually, but it wasn't too long until we were seated at these cool magenta chairs.

We asked for sparkling water, then the waitress came back and told us they were out of that too.  I love sparkling water, so I really wish I'd been warned before I got my heart set on it.

But they give everyone some bread for free!  Woo!

According to the menu, it's "homemade rosemary focaccia, Artisan sourdough, ciabatta & tortano from our bakery Crispy carta di musica".  The focaccia was the best by far; so delicious!  I could eat a kilo of it.  Especially when it's free.

I wanted to steal my teatowelesque napkin as a souvenir, but it turns out they sell them.  I wouldn't feel too guilty about taking linen, but taking something that's actually for sale felt too much like Theft.  And it was way too expensive to buy, so we'll have to make do with a picture.

We had two starters to share between the three of us.

Crispy squid - $12. "Fried squid served with really garlicky mayo & lemon".  Betty ate most of this and she said it was awesome. The mayo was really tasty.

Our other starter was a special that allegedly was meant to be a main but whatever.  Here is what the specials board said:

And here is how it looked on the plate:

This dish was one of the best things I have ever eaten in my life. It looked a bit creepy and it's not something I'd normally order but it was amazing.  The king prawns were chopped up in the stuffing I guess; I don't know what else was in there besides the breadcrumbs, but it tasted unbelievable.  The tomato went really nicely with it too.  I wish I was eating more of this right now.  It was $16.50 FYI.

Betty and I had pasta for our mains.

Bucatini Carbonara - $12 entree, $19 main.  "Tubular spaghetti with fried smoked pancetta & leek tossed with free-range eggs & Parmesan." 

This was Betty's and she said it was really good, but it was quite rich and filled her up too much.  I tasted it and what I loved was that there was a bit of lemon in the sauce, which stopped it from being too creamy.  The pasta was hard to eat though - it was like long tubes that were too thick to twirl on your fork, but too thin to stab.

Pumpkin Panzerotti - $12.50 entree, $19.50 main.  "Homemade half moons filled with roasted pumpkin, ricotta & Parmesan served with chilli, rosemary butter sauce & crushed amaretti."

This was mine and I loved it. The best bit was the crunchy stuff on top.  I guess that's the crushed amaretti, but the only amaretti I know of are biscuits so who knows.  Both pasta dishes were quite al dente, and personally I prefer my pasta soft - I know that's "wrong" but I don't care.  So I do wish it had been cooked a little longer, but apart from that it was amazing.  I'd happily order this again.

Ligurian Fish Stew - $27. "Responsibly sourced fish served with crunchy crostini, ripped herbs & wild garlic aioli".

This was Mum's.  I didn't try any, but she really loved it.  She said it was quite spicy and also that it had quite a strong seafood flavour.  So if you love seafood and chilli and flavoursome foods, this is for you, but if you are a bit of a sook, choose something else.

The kitchen was out in the open, which I think is pretty cool because then you know it's clean.  The bathrooms were quite dimly lit though.  Which made it difficult to get a good outfit snap:

That's Betty on the left in her chic Glassons coat.  My red trench is from Target, which is decidedly less chic.

We were pretty full at this point so we decided not to get dessert but they had some nice options; I'd be keen to try some next time.

Also the staff were extremely good, very lovely and friendly but professional as well.  And as you can tell, the value was pretty good.  It isn't cheap exactly, but the prices are comparable to a typical casual Italian restaurant and the food was much better than my local Italians (much as I love them).  I really can not recommend this restaurant highly enough.  I liked it as much as I like my other favourite restaurants like Bambini Trust and Pendolini, but it was far cheaper, which of course is a huge plus in my book.  Seriously, GO THERE.  You will not regret it.

Afterwards we shopped about a little and bought some treats from Darrell Lea.  They were 25% off, which probably has something to do with the fact that they went into administration today.

And before we caught the train home, we stopped at Cupcakes on Pitt, where I have been going since high school and where Daz and I once saw Wil Anderson.

Mum didn't want a cupcake, but Betty and I both chose Jaffa Orange, and we bought a Lemon Meringue for Dad.  These cupcakes are pretty yummy for mass produced cakes, not to mention beautifully decorated, and they're only $2.50.  I know most people have been to Cupcakes on Pitt already, but if you haven't you should check it out.

Betty and I ate our cupcakes on the train home.  We weren't really hungry, but whatevs.

In case my day hadn't already been great enough, when I got home a parcel had arrived for me from Bras N Things!

I only ordered it on Sunday night so I was pretty surprised to receive it so soon.  I ordered HEAPS of stuff so I will have to tell you about it another day.

I obviously wasn't exactly starving at dinner time, so I just made myself this yummy little snack plate with crackers, brie, pate and a bit of Irish leg ham.  Yum.  The perfect end to one of the best days in my tastebuds' life.


  1. Oh I am going to recreate this whole day soon, right down to the brie and crackers for supper. I have such major food envy right now! Normally I despise pumpkin but that panzerotti looks so delicious. I've also never been to Cupcakes on Pitt, can you believe we're friends? I really think you have to live in luxury everyday now for the purpose of your blog and how fun that was to read. Also loved yours and Emma's coats, tres chic.

    1. Oh thank you darling! I am pretty shocked that you have never been to Cupcakes, but you are a pretty good baker so I suppose you could just get the same effect at home. Emma asked earlier if I had put up our outfit snap and if anyone had commented and she was pretty sad that they hadn't, so she will be DELIGHTED by your compliment. xx

  2. So ridiculously jealous of your meal at Jamie's... was meant to dine there for a work function recently but they accidentally stuffed up our reservation! I was devastated as you can imagine. Let me know if you're ever planning round 2 and I'll invite myself along!


    1. This is a bit dorky, but I loved it so much I decided to go back next weekend with James! And when Meg and Amy get back we will definitely do a girls' lunch too. Actually let's do one when Meg comes back in like 2 weeks, and then we can go again after Amy's return. And every other excuse we can think of.

  3. Your experience at Jamie's sounds delightful. I have gone several times also and enjoyed it. Once in Oxford and again in Bath. I'm so glad you all had such a good time.

    Ann Fisher

    1. Thanks Ann, I think that is my first comment from someone other than my own friends! I'd love to try Jamie's in some other locations to see how they all compare. And to stuff my face with more of that lovely food.