Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Jamie's Italian, Sydney CBD

One of the biggest talks of the town this month is Jamie Oliver's newest enterprise, the second international incarnation of his successful Italian restaurant franchise, the very creatively named Jamie's Italian. Never having been big on celebrity chefs, Masterchefs or what have you, we were curiously driven by the hype to see what was on offer. We managed to arrive early enough to avoid the inevitable long queue for dinner and pleasantly discovered reasonable prices, attentive staff and lovely food.

Bread, Jamie's Italian
Italian Bread Selection

A selection of complimentary breads (house-made focaccia, sourdough, ciabatta, tortano and carta di musica) arrived swiftly after ordering, drizzled with pesto and accompanied by a dish of extra virgin olive oil and aged balsamic. A perfect way to whet our appetites.

Arancini, Jamie's Italian
Smoky Scamorza Arancini $9.50

We started with the smoky scamorza arancini, three rice balls stuffed with smoked mozzarella and porcini. Topped generously with parmesan, they were freshly fried to a crisp on the outside with soft melty innards of cheese and mushroom.

Crispy Squid, Jamie's Italian
Crispy Squid $12

I could never pass up the offer of deep-fried anything with garlic and so along came the crispy squid - fried with chilli and garlic and served with a 'really garlicky mayo'. This was so insanely moreish and flavoursome that my dining companions had to ration the leftover chilli pieces.

Bucatini Carbonara, Jamie's Italian
Bucatini Carbonara $12 (entrée size)

The bucatini carbonara seemed to be a popular choice, and Sam broke her no-pork rule to eat it. Consisting of tubular spaghetti with fried smoked pancetta and leek tossed with free-range eggs and parmesan, it was indulgently rich with a creamy, silky sauce. The pasta here was lauded by a sign near the entrance stating that it is made fresh daily on-site.

Buffalo Ricotta Ravioli, Jamie's Italian
Buffalo Ricotta Ravioli $21

The buffalo ricotta ravioli was a recommendation of our waitress and described on the menu as 'pure heaven', which was more than enough persuasion for the Ninja. Delicate parcels stuffed with creamed ricotta, lemon, mint and parmesan, it was a unique combination which was indeed pure heaven. I had one taste and developed some pretty major food envy.

Risotto Milanese, Jamie's Italian
Risotto Milanese $21

The words 'roasted bone marrow' pulled on my heart strings and soon the risotto Milanese was mine. The bright yellow saffron and parmesan risotto was creamy and delicate, with melt-in-your-mouth roasted bone marrow that was accompanied by some piquancy from the lemon peel in the aromatic gremolata.

Panna Cotta, Jamie's Italian
Creamy Panna Cotta $8.50

Dessert for me was the panna cotta, served that day with a pear compote. Wobbly, creamy and speckled with vanilla bean, this was my first time eating panna cotta and the start of my developing love for the milk pudding.

Brioche con Gelato, Jamie's Italian
Brioche con Gelato $9.50

Sam went for the brioche con gelato, compromised of toasted brioche, lemon marmellata, lemon and strawberry gelato in the form of two sliders. Probably not a good idea for anyone concerned about their waistline as it was layer upon layer of indulgence - buttery brioche, lemon marmalade with candied peel, rich strawberry and lemon ice-cream and topped with more of the brioche bun and sprinkled with pistachios and sugar.

Sorbet, Jamie's Italian
Sorbets $8

The sorbet flavours of the day were passionfruit, green apple and lemon. Our unanimous favourite was the green apple, unique and wonderfully sweet and refreshing. All-in-all, a satisfying meal that was more wallet-friendly than one would expect.

Jamie's Italian
207 Pitt St, Sydney 2000
Telephone: (02) 8240 9000

Jamie's Italian on Urbanspoon


  1. Wow- the food looks amazing, I should get myself down there! The arancini balls sounds especially delicious...and the panna cotta! :)

  2. Oh I love the sound of green apple gelato! I need to go back already but take my husband - he would love the risotto Milanese with that bone marrow. Wow! :D

  3. (Gelato...? I meant sorbet!) ;)

  4. I fucking love Italian food and your photos have made me involuntarily salivate.

  5. the gelato with brioche is really creative! and i'm surprised about the prices too, wallet friendly indded!

  6. Seems like anything with their garlicky mayo is a hit! Need to go back for that green apple sorbet :9

  7. Thanks for your review, the food looks delicious, I need to get down there very soon! I also love your photos, what did you use to take them in the restaurant?

  8. Thank you! I used my Canon EOS 400D with a Tamron f/2.8 17-50mm. It was pretty dark in the restaurant and a lot of editing was done to remove the yellow candlelight from the photos (:

  9. wow i didn't expect jamie oliver's restaurant to be so wallet friendly! all that pasta is making me drooooooooool - looks so good!

  10. /trollface brioche. could do with one or four right now. expanding waistline has indeed occurred.

  11. The good does look good, going to have to get myself there.

  12. Didn't try the gelato brioche but it sounds yum! Liked the arancini too, so crispy.

  13. The food in those photos looks amazing, I am literally getting hungry right now.Keep posting!


  14. I'm so happy to read your review of Jamie's Italian. I've read a lot of mixed reviews but yours is really positive and shows a great side of it. The food looks amazing as well!

  15. i like your use of the word piquancy. mostly because its a word i've never thought of using myself and is possibly one i'll never use in the future. kudos to you.

  16. I tried this and it tasted great.Thanks for sharing such a nice recipe.Keep posting!


  17. This post made me really hungry. I need to hand this down tocatering suffolk that will help me out for my friend's birthday party. I'm loving the photos as well.

  18. 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!