I live in a glorious city – I really do – aside from (mostly) gorgeous Australian weather, we are truly blessed with easy access to fresh food and multi-cultural cuisines. Sydney is host to so many good restaurants, much like many other cosmopolitan cities, and be it Vietnamese or Lebanese, you can always find good food somewhere. It is such a lovely sight to see a young child sitting at a sushi train eagerly chowing down a salmon sushi roll – what a city to live in! That said, I do recognised that I am hip enough to be tapped into the pulsing activity of this city – in fact I am usually the last person to jump on a bandwagon and by the time I am singing the praises of restaurant everyone else in Sydney has already been!
This means that I rely heavily on recommendations from friends – so far this seems to work and I get my fill of Sydney dining experiences. The most recent recommendation was for Jamie’s Italian – which opened in Sydney late last year. I enjoyed it sooo much that I went twice in one week (despite the waiting time for a table). So I thought that for a change I would blog about the experience(s).
So first off, be prepared to wait for a table. They don’t take reservations for parties less than 6 people. We had initially planned to eat here on a Friday in March, but were told upon our 7:30pm arrival that there would be a two and a half hour wait (in this instance we ended up having a fabulous meal at Etch, 62 Bridge Street Sydney NSW 2000 – OMG the passionfruit parfait!). I decided (based on my friend’s glowing recommendation that it was definitely worth trying again – so on Good Friday we arrived earlier (at 6:30) and found that there were tables available, however they would not seat us until the rest of our party arrived. At 7pm, we were told it would be an hour before we could get a table. We whiled this time sipping cocktails at the nearby Radisson Hotel bar, and were buzzed when our table was ready. Just after 8pm we were seated and ready to order.
The restaurant is long and narrow, with two floors – there is a very London-esque feel to the place. The decor is dark, but this lends a sense of intimacy somehow. We were seated on the ground floor where we could see all the action in the kitchen.
We started with the deliciously crispy squid served with “really garlicky mayo” ($12). For our main the four of us opted for pasta – it seemed to be more appropriate since we were here for Italian… I had the Mushroom Panzerotti ($20.50) – which is described on the menu as “half-moon paster shaped filled with brown cap and porcine mushrooms, chilli, ricotta and parmesan” – and it was very tasty! Ms TT and Mrs Out-of-Towner had the Buffalo Ricotta Ravioli (“delicate parcels stuffed with creamed ricotta, lemon, mint and parmesan”, $21) which was described as “pure heaven” – I ordered this on my second visit and will say that this is not an idle boast. Mr Out-of-Towner ordered the Bucatini Carbonara (“Tubular spaghetti with fried smoked pancetta and leek tossed with free-range eggs and parmesan”, $19). I sneaked a taste of each of these dishes and all are highly recommended.
In terms of sides, I “had to” try the Posh Chips and St Humble Green Salad (“with mint and lemon buttermilk dressing and parmesan, both $6). I don’t think I can ever eat ordinary chips again! The chips, posh because they are cooked with truffle oil, were incredible!
By this point I was excessively full, but just couldn’t not get dessert… I will often talk about having a separate dessert stomach, but in this instance this failed me… Around the table there was the Brioche Con Gelato (“Toasted brioche, lemon marmellata, lemon & strawberry ice cream”, $9.50), The Ultimate Brownie (“Chocolate, raspberry & amaretto brownie with vanilla ice cream”, $8.50), and Our Special Tiramisu (“Coffee-flavoured trifle with orange mascarpone & chocolate”, $9.00). Ms TT tells me that the brioche was amazing – in particular the ice-cream. The brownie was quite indulgent – I especially loved the contrast between the chocolaty sweetness and raspberry tartness. It would not be fair for me to comment on the Tiramisu since I am naturally biased against the stuff (hear the distain in my tone?) – it looked good though and Mrs Out-of-Towner enjoyed it!
The verdict? As I mentioned, it was less than a week before I returned (this time on a Wednesday night, a arrival at 6:30 had a 2 hour wait) – both the return and wiliness to wait are testament to how much I enjoyed the experience. Definitely, make your way over to Jamie’s!
107 Pitt St, Sydney