It was a Monday night after a long hard slog at uni. Mondaitis had well and truly settled in and only a carb loading and a glass of red wine would do. So off we went to Jamie's Italian. Having been to Jamie's Italian in London (Covent Garden) and having not been overly impressed, I wasn't exactly jumping with excitement but I have to say I was more impressed by the food in Sydney than in London!
On a Monday night at 6.30pm the restaurant was packed to the brim in what could only be described as two levels of madness. There were wait staff running around everywhere, it was extremely loud and not a single empty table was to be seen. And this was just a random Monday night!
Once you recover from the sensory overload and take in the design aspects of the the restaurant it's actually quite impressive. A lot of work had gone into making the two level space into what it is from grand chandeliers to graffiti walls.
The complimentary box of assorted breads was a good starting point as we perused the menu.
Crispy risotto balls stuffed with mozzarella and porcini arancini ($9.50) looked better than they tasted. The balls were satisfyingly crispy on the outside but the inside was rather dry and lacked the depth of flavour I was expecting.
After much deliberation I decided on the black angel squid ink spaghetti with scallops, garlic, chilli, anchovies, wine and capers ($22). This proved to be a winning choice as the pasta was incredibly light and fresh, scallops were deliciously tender with a good overall hit of chilli and anchovies. Carb craving satisfied!
Since we were on a roll with indulgent eating why not add a shared dessert to the mix? The warm chocolate, raspberry and amaretto brownie with vanilla ice cream ($9) definitely hit the spot. The brownie wasn't overly sweet and the raspberry added a nice tang to the dish. It was the right size for sharing too.
So the verdict: I went to Jamie's Italian not expecting much. The pasta and the dessert hit the mark as nothing overly fancy but good hearty home style dishes. I wouldn't go here expecting to be wowed by some Jamie Oliver magic so don't fall for the hype and line up hours to dine here. Having said that, if you have minimal expectations and after a decent plate of pasta in a restaurant brimming with atmosphere you could do far worse than this.