Jamie Oliver’s new joint should be a destination on the list of anyone in Sydney who likes and/or eats food. I was pretty chuffed to discover that this little restaurant was opening earlier this year, and was pining for a good opportunity in my schedule to go. Although I debated making the trip for my birthday, a sooner occasion came along when The Malaysian, Graceward & I trekked out to Surry Hills & the CBD for some fun on one of those sunny days we’ve managed to get this spring…
It didn’t take long to decide Jamie’s would be dinner.
Crunchy Salad, Crispy Squid with Garlicky Mayo
I had read two or three horror stories about trying to get in to Jamie’s Italian (no bookings for less than 6 people), so we tried to arrive ‘early.’ We got there around 5:30pm, were given a buzzer and told it would be around 45 minutes. With a 150 metre radius for the buzzer, the host told us we were welcome to have drinks in the (crowded) Jamie’s bar, or go somewhere else for drinks and come back.
In all I don’t think we waited more than 20 minutes before our buzzer went alight and vibrating and we headed back to the restaurant, thankful we had picked a bench to wait on rather than sculling drinks upon our unexpectedly early paging!
Jamie’s Italian is very reasonably priced (I was actually shocked when I saw the menu online), nicely decorated and has a trendy vibe. The table waiters were extremely prompt and friendly (we were served by a guy named Jamie!) — happy to explain and making sure our water was always topped up.
I started my night out with a frizzante (sparkling wine) and the waiter offered us a selection of Brasserie bread and olive oil on the house (though, apparently in most cases you need to ask for this. Remember to do so because the bread is fantastic.) Following that we ordered some Crispy Squid with garlicky mayonnaise ($12) as antipasti. The squid was perfectly crisp and the mayo made it completely moreish.
For mains we ordered the Spaghetti Bolognese ($12 half /$19 large), Crab & Squid Ink Risotto ($15.5 half /$26.5 large), and Monachelle Puttanesca ($12 half /$17.5 large). (Mains not pictured due to lighting at our table.)
My favorite was the Puttanesca — “Seashell pasta with a tomato sauce, capers, chilli, anchovies, parsley, black olives & herby breadcrumbs.” The herby breadcrumbs which adorned each serve added an amazing crunch to the pasta dishes, really setting them apart from other italian restaurants I had eaten in.
We also ordered the Humble Green Salad ($6) and Crunchy Salad ($5.5) to share. The Humble Salad, a salad of cos (romaine), mint leaves, buttermilk and parmesan, is delicious, and I’ve already replicated it at home. The crunchy salad, a salad of shaved root vegetables, was great as well but better suited to pair with a meat dish.
Panna Cotta, Brasserie Bread, The Ultimate Chocolate Brownie
Now, I’ve read several blog posts on Jamie’s, and few people seem to be mentioning the desserts. Let me tell you: even if you have eaten elsewhere and all you have room for at Jamie’s is dessert…GO! We ordered The Ultimate Brownie ($8.5) and the Creamy Panna Cotta ($8.5). First of all…where else in Sydney can you get good dessert for $8.5? The brownie was gigantic, gooey on the inside, and is made of chocolate, raspberries and amaretto! The Panna Cotta was so perfectly sweet and flecked with vanilla seeds. Totally the best Panna Cotta I have had.
107 Pitt Street
(02) 8240 9000