Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Jamie's Italian

Happy birthday hubby!

Hubby and I have wanted to try Jamie's Italian since it first opened but it's taken a good month and a bit before we made it.  Why?  I don't like lining up especially when I'm hungry and there seems to be a constant line outside Jamie's Italian.  When I found out from my workmate that you can book online, I jumped on straight away and booked a month in advance for hubby's birthday.  I think I was more excited about going than hubby, but all the same, we've been looking forward to this for a good month.

Our booking was for 5:45pm but arrived at 5:30pm thinking we could go in a bit earlier, but no we were told to wait at the bar or come back in 15 minutes.  The bar was packed so we opted to come back.

When we returned we were let in whilst the line of people waiting increased and looked at us with envy.  Once we were inside we had to line up for about 5 minutes before we got seated and given our menus; within 5 minutes of being seated we were greeted warmly by our waiter for the evening. 

Hubby was starving so we didn't ponder over the menu for too long before we made our decisions.

Our order
  • Pumpkin and smoked mozzarella nachos - crispy fried and served with fiery arrabiata sauce $7
  • Crispy squid - fried squid, garlicky mayo and lemon $12
  • Bone-in prime strip loin - 350g Aussie Angus Hereford bone-in strip loin served with wild mushrooms and peppery endives $28.50
  • Prawn linguine - juicy pan-fried garlicky Spencer Gulf prawns served with tomatoes, chilli, rocket and fennel (entrée size) $16
  • Spaghetti vongole - steamed sweet cockles, garlic, chilli, white wine, parley, butter and lemon (entrée size) $15
  • Ice cream - three delicious scoops of Serendipity ice cream (peanut butter, fig & frizzante and lemon berry flavour) served with crushed nuts, seeds and seasonal fruits $8

The restaurant was packed and I had heard from friends that they waited a long time for their food, so hubby and I decided to time them, wishing very hard that it will come out quickly. 

Food and presentation - 3.5/5
I think I set my expectations too high so I was a little disappointed with the food at Jamie's Italian.  I wanted amazing but just got nice.  The nachos were not bad, not crunchy enough and you really need to have it with the sauce or it becomes mediocre.  Hubby and I both liked the crispy squid, the garlicky mayo was yum! 

Pumpkin and smoked mozzarella nachos $7

Crispy squid $12

The spaghetti vongole was too salty, I usually love vongole pasta but this one was way too salty and the pasta was a little dry.  The prawn linguine was nice but nothing special.  I wasn't a big fan of their al dente pasta as I like my pasta a bit softer but hubby didn't mind the pasta.  Hubby's steak was a bit bland and only half the steak was actually medium-rare,  it also didn't come with any sauce (our fault for not reading the menu properly, we were hungry!) unless you request the summer truffle butter and shaved Tuscan black truffles which is extra.  

Prawn linguine (entrée size) $16

Spaghetti vongole $15

Bone-in prime strip loin $28.50

The ice cream was really good especially the peanut butter flavour, however it didn't come with very much seasonal fruits.

Ice cream $8
Service - 4.5/5
The service was fantastic apart from the initial entry.  Our waiter was wonderful! He was friendly, professional, polite, checked in on us at appropriate intervals and most importantly he looked like he really enjoyed his job.  Our water was topped up automatically each time our flask was empty or near empty.  

So how long did we wait?  Entrées came out within 15 minutes and mains about 15 minutes after our empty entrees plates were cleared.  A big thumbs up from me.

Atmosphere - 4/5
I liked the décor at Jamie's Italian, it was casual yet stylish.  The huge chandelier in the middle of the restaurant confuses the casual atmosphere but somehow it works.  Keeping to his motto of fresh, simple ingredients, the wall at the bar on the far end of the restaurant is lined with fruit, vegetables and herbs.

Value for money - 4/5
I think Jamie's Italian is definitely value for money especially when you compare it with other restaurants who charge more for similar dishes.  But the most convincing reason is: Jamie Oliver, an internationally renowned celebrity chef is charging you less than some Perth restaurants who are not even half as good.

Once the hype dies down, I'll go back for another meal.

Taste Test Total Score 16/20

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