Ahhh, the much anticipated opening of Jamie's Italian in Perth on William Street. Opened on Easter weekend. It was no surprise that there were queues even up to today.
In their first week, I visited them THREE times so I can get a proper review of Jamie's for ya. NO not really, more for my tummy... BUT HERE YOU GO!
the rare glimpse of the inside from the outside without it buzzing with people from nearly every corner.
my first queue at Jamie's, to go inside and get a buzzer or be put on the waiting list for another hour or so.
This queue moves pretty quickly. But don't let it fool you! The next gives you more freedom to go elsewhere or sit at the bar but it is a longer wait and excruciating if you are dying of hunger.
I really liked the idea of the wait staff coming out with planks of food for the people in the queue. I found that very thoughtful. Well done. But will the restaurant keep this custom up in the months to come?
Items you may purchase. Jamie's aprons or napkins anyone?
where pasta is made everyday fresh!
the plank counter where I was seated on my second visit but really liked the idea even if it was a bit of a squeeze. the chefs here prepare the planks you order and to see them being all put together was really nice!
the buzzing kitchen at the back.
My first wait at the bar was relatively nice and quiet with an italian mojito or a mocktail version - ginger mojito. Both are equally refreshing and great prices. Ginger only costs about $8. So good for summer days!
the bar with friendly bartenders even though I found one or two to be slightly obnoxious.
there is a food menu in there but dont be fooled, they do not serve food at the bar but perhaps will introduce that in months to come? We shall see!
The bar can become too cramped and thus a little too small for comfort even though the couches at the back of it looked very comfy and cosy to sit and chat with friends while waiting.
The view of the restaurant. It can sit quite a lot of people and what I found MOST ANNOYING was the restaurant may not be operating at full capacity with some empty tables around despite the waitlist and an ever growing queue outside and not that the staff were running off their feet just yet. Imagine the shorter waiting time we could have had!
Anyway, the menu.
The bread tray.
some of us found the chandelier ostentious and not inkeeping with the theme of the restaurant but I loved it.
Complimentary bread. Love the comprehensive selection but even with four people we get the same portions as we do with two people. Also, my first time there I noticed a lot of tables were not served their bread trays and I had to request for ours to be served to us after we ordered and waited for its arrival. I get the idea of the personal service of pouring the olive oil and balsamic vinegar but the wait staff don't get it right all the time and we get oily tables because of overflow. EEEWWWWWWWWWWW. How about shortened your service time by preparing these before?!
ANYWAY, lets start with my second visit there, on a weekday evening:
Arancini balls - risotto balls WERE actually quite divine. Fried crispy on the outside and gooey on the inside. One of the best things I had in there. At less than $10, it sounds good but only 3 balls per serve!
The sausage parpadelle - love the al dente pasta. Cooked to perfection. Found the meat too minced for my liking and the extra crunchy bits were not that nice to go with the already crunchy pasta. However, together the flavours worked.
NOTE: I ordered the smaller portions everytime I am there so we all share and try abit more of everything. I found it very filling still. So for ladies with smaller appetities, definitely a $$$saver and great for medium sized groups to taste more things on the menu and still keeping with budgets!
Truffle Risotto - heavenly. the truffle smell and taste will always be unrivalled. But then, maybe I could have done this using truffle oil myself?
Polenta chips were AMAZING, abit bland for some people I know but it is a healthier version to chips and actually quite filling! Love the herbs but perhaps abit less chunky would make it alot nicer to stomach...
We ended all of that with a warm brownie and icecream. I definitely do not recommend this because that brownie was abit dry and nothing fantastic about it. Definitely there are better ones out there that would satisfy your chocolate cravings.
For two girls, THAT WAS ALOT OF FOOD. And costs us less than $30 per person. I would say pricing will remain Jamie's strongest suit.
MY FIRST EXPERIENCE, sorry its abit jumbled:
cans of tomato?? To hold up our plank...
Meat plank for one to share between two was just the right size.
TIP: dont order a five-serve plank for five. it would be abit of an overkill. rather order two or three-persons serve and perhaps you can try two types of planks rather than one!
For about $13 per person, (since we shared between us two), it was value for money. YUMS.
The mushroom ravioli, covered in parmesan.
I DONT KNOW WHY but that particular night both our pastas were TOO SALTY. Like kind of ruined it for us. We tried to overlook it and think about what could have been if it wasnt so salty. If the chef didnt get heavyhanded on the salt, I would say this ravioli was actually quite nice. The minced mushrooms were flavorful and the ravioli pasta tender and soft.
Many wouldn't try this but we did. Wild Rabbit pasta. It was too salty as I mentioned. But the rabbit was tender even though I found a bone in mine. Definitely abit unpleasant. However I may have to give this another go as I liked the flavours all together and I see that it would have worked better. I won't count it out just yet.
Ended with the orange tiramisu. That clot of cream atop the tiramisu WAS TO DIE FOR. but oh-so-sinful. Tiramisu itself was quite nice, abit too creamy and mushy but the flavours were there. Definitely better than the brownie.
Another meal that left us feeling wayy full and bloated. On to the third visit which had four of us waiting for over two hours and having dinner only at 10pm...
baked mushrooms: definitely order this. good flavour but the mushrooms were abit overly thinly sliced.
Crispy squid. SO GOOD. but so sad that the portion is so small. I loved this more than the baked mushrooms actually.
The seafood bucatini that only comes in one size. I saw many tables ordering this on my first couple of visits and had to try this. Unfortunately it let me down. Not the freshest seafood around and the pasta was so cold. It just came out of the kitchen!!!! NOT HAPPY.
Blue swimmer crab risotto that ran out on my second visit so to have this on my third was definitely something I was looking forward to. THANKFULLY, not a let down like the seafood bucatini. PHEW. I will definitely order this again. YUMS.
Baked salmon - VERY FRESH and cooked to perfection. I tell you, this was so good all of us felt there were too little of it. But by now, I fear the inconsistencies of the kitchen. Maybe it is because of teething problems. I will update you all soon because I will go back for comparison between opening and a three month sort of time frame.
Truffled Turkey - Smells heavenly and tastes tender and lightly crumbed. Always thought turkey was tough but this proved me wrong. Another dish that gets a tick from me.
Poached winter fruits, nothing fancy but a good light way to end the meal.
Choco vin santo pot, HAH. FOUND IT! the chocolate lover dessert in Jamie's Italian. Light and fluffy and yummy, ENOUGH SAID. Worth the order even if you are so full from everything else.
TOO MUCH FOR FOUR VERY HUNGRY PEOPLE. So you do the math. But given the long wait, you dont want to really order anything less either... catch my drift?
Jamie's Italian on William Street, Perth
Summarising it all:
Prices - SO REASONABLE it makes the wait worth it.
Queue time - for popular mealtimes and to actually eat at that time, book months in advance because I booked in more a month in advance for my next visit in May. OR start queuing early.
Food - up and down. so far given it is Jamies's Italian, the pastas aint blowing my mind just yet.
Drinks - love the bar menu. To pop in for just a drink is also a good idea.
I love you Jamie. I really do. Maybe my expectations were too high. I understand the prices are unrivalled. But I suppose I expected a higher quality of food. Let's see how this all pans out in late 2013 when I hope the restaurant has settled into the city.