Jamie’s Italian, CBD ($$)

Address: 107 Pitt Street, Sydney

Tel: (02) 8240 9000

Website: http://www.jamieoliver.com/au/italian/

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Last night a couple of uni friends and I decided to have an impromptu dinner at Jamie’s Italian in Sydney.

I had heard that it gets really busy and that it is hard to get a table for more than 2 or less than 6 as they only take bookings of 6 or more.

However, we got there at about 5.30pm straight after work and were seated immediately without having to wait at all! Excellent!

Atmosphere

The restaurant has a really cute, woody sort of feel to it with wooden tables, chalk board signs and dim lighting.

The front of the restaurant has a bar which gets quite busy later on in the evening, but it is somewhat unfortunately located in the main walkway which leads out of the restaurant, making it look a little bit cramped.

Service

Service was quite good. Everyone seemed very happy to help and quite cheerful (except the girl whose job it was to sprinkle parmesan cheese on pasta- she wasn’t so cheerful).

We noticed that all the wait staff had English accents and we wondered if they had hired people from Sydney or had brought their own staff straight from England.

Our waiter was quite friendly, if a little awkward at times, and we were quickly given some water to drink and menus to browse.image

Food/Drinks

After a lot of umming and ahhing – I can be very indecisive- we ordered some food and drinks.

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My friends ordered pasta. One ordered the Turbo Penne Arrabiata, and the other ordered the Prawn Linguine.image

The Penne came with a spoon of bread crumbs which I thought was a little odd. My friend seemed to enjoy the meal but did comment that the pieces of chilli in the dish made it quite spicy. Note: not for those who can’t handle the heat!image

There was a large serving of the Prawn Linguine, topped with some rocket leaves which added freshness and colour. I noted a good sized serving of prawns and my friend seemed to enjoy the meal and finished it up.

The girls also shared a side of Polenta Chips.image

I had never had polenta chips before but I tried them and were pleasantly surprised. They had a crunchy, golden batter and a soft interior. They tasted a little bit like tofu so if you don’t like tofu I wouldn’t recommend them, but overall they were not too bad!

I ordered the Meat Antipasti Board which came with small servings of:

  • Cured meats: San Daniele prosciutto, Wagyu bresaola, finocchio & capocollo
  • Cheeses: Buffalo mozzarella & pecorino with amazing chilli jam
  • Pickles: Curly green chillies, green & Gaeta olives & caper berries
  • Crunchy salad: Shaved root veg with chilli, lemon & mintimage

The Board was quite small but I was told that the size of the Board increases depending on the number of people who order it. Since I was the only person who ordered this, the serving was more than enough for me!

I really enjoyed all items on the Board. The meats were fresh and slightly salty and were well complemented by the relatively less flavoursome cheese and the tangy salad.

I also ordered a side of bread: image

The bread came out in a cute basked and was served with a side of olive oil and balsamic vinegar for dipping.

I also had to try the Posh Chips which are described as “chips with truffle oil and parmesan.”

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The chips had an interesting flavour but you couldn’t really taste the truffle. The parmesan was delicious and gooey but the chips lacked crunch. They were soft and, in my opinion, not cooked enough.

Summary

Overall the dishes were interesting and tasted pretty good. There were good sized portions and you definitely get value for money here unlike some over-priced celebrity restaurants. There is a great atmosphere and good service which really contributes to the overall experience. This restaurant really reflects Jamie’s casual and down to earth personality and his genuine love for hearty Italian food and dishes for sharing.

Cost:

Overall the meal cost us just over $80 which worked out to be about $25-30 each. Pretty cheap for such a good experience!

Rating:

Overall I would rate my dining experience (out of 10):

    • Service- 7
    • Food- 7
    • Ambience- 7
    • Value – 7

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Guest Blog: Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, London

This review was written by a friend of mine, Serena Lazarus, about her experience at Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant in the UK. Enjoy!

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Noted as one of the UK’s (and possibly the world’s) most influential and renowned celebrity chefs, you’d expect only excellence when it comes to anything Gordon Ramsay; and that’s exactly what you get dining at his very first wholly owned restaurant, Gordon Ramsay in Chelsea, Greater London.

The restaurant itself is refreshingly intimate, seating about 45 guests, making your dining experience just that little bit more special knowing you’ll be well looked after. The décor is stylishly elegant yet simple and the staff are warm and welcoming from moment you come in.

My friend and I had the 3 course set lunch menu at £45pp which turned out to be excellent value, especially given it’s a Ramsay restaurant and I could name a fair few Sydney restaurants that could not match the quality of the food here nor the price.

We selected 3 different starters, mains and desserts and were given a selection of breads to choose from (rosemary, rye and white) which were offered to us throughout our meals.

The ‘wine specialist’ also assisted us with our selection of wines to match our meals.

Starters

Salt cod brandade, ‘Tartine’, noir de bigorre ham, piquillo peppers, olives, confit tomatoes and quail’s egg- This picture perfect starter tastes as wonderful as it looks! The tartine itself was light, the cod wasn’t overpowering and the other ingredients complimented the dish really well.

TCFB says: What an amazingly colourful dish!

Smoked potato and poached hen’s egg ravioli with pak choi, roast chicken jus and leek velouté – The ravioli with was just exquisite and the leek veloute was incredibly smooth.

Mains

Fillet of Cornish pollock with chorizo couscous, baby squid, artichoke and spiced tomato jus – The pollock (an alternative to cod or haddock, commonly cooked in the UK) was simply cooked and accompanied by the stronger flavours of the chorizo couscous, squid and spiced jus. Delicious!

Spiced free range Devon duck with Swiss chard, beetroot and grilled onions- An excellent balance of flavours here with the grilled onions, beetroot and duck.

Desserts

Banana parfait, peanut butter mousse and bitter chocolate sandwich with caramelised bananas- Great combo of textures here with the crummy banana parfait, the smooth but nutty mousse and the chocolate provided just the right amount of sweetness. Definitely my favourite of the desserts.

TCFB says: you are making me drool with this one Serena!

Roasted pineapple with coriander financiers, coconut sorbet and vanilla cream- The coconut sorbet won me over completely and the pineapple had a wonderfully unique taste.  It wasn’t a favourite of mine but I’m just being a little critical here seeing as everything so far had been amazing!

We ordered this dessert separately as we had seen it come out a few times and were curious! It was white chocolate and strawberry balls with some light milk chocolate and rosewater squares which acted as a great palate cleanser!

Overall

I can definitely see why this restaurant has retained its three Michelin star status since 2007. I couldn’t fault anything from the excellent service, wonderful ambience and of course impeccable food! If you appreciate fine dining or just want to experience what all the fuss is about when it comes to Gordon Ramsay, I highly recommend this place if you’re ever in London town!

DISCLAIMER:

This review is a guest review and reflects the reviewer’s own personal opinions. The Casual Food Blogger accepts no responsibility for anything that is said in this review or anything contained in, or arising out of the videos or photos contained in or referred to in this review.