Nifty nachos at Jamie’s Italian

Since Jamie’s Italian opened it’s doors a few months ago, the hype has not seemed to die down in the least with the restaurant attracting strings of eager eaters all standing around for their chance to try this place for themselves.

I thoroughly enjoyed my first time there (view blog post here) and have been thinking about heading back when the lines stop being so ridiculous. But after chatting to my friends who tell me the Sydney restaurant still has people queuing up outside after all this time, I decided maybe to just bite the bullet and join the hoards of hopeful diners waiting in anticipation again.

Jeremy and I had a day of annual leave scheduled last week so we headed to the city for lunch in the hopes that we could grab a delicious but well-priced meal. We seemed to be in luck after our choice of going in around 11ish and only line up for about 15 minutes before we’re at a table inside and scanning the menu hungrily.

As we do so, I order an Apple Mojito ($6) and Jeremy gets a freshly squeezed orange juice. Both come out within a few minutes and I’m pleased to see that the service hasn’t changed or diminished since our last trip here. Not that I had expected it would, but I’ve read some of the reviews online and it seems that Jamie Oliver’s magic hasn’t quite won over everyone in Perth. But I’m definitely sold on this place.

My apple mojito is zingy, vibrant and fresh. I love the combination of flavours which includes mint and ginger ale, and just goes down like a real treat. I happily sip away as I snack on the complimentary bread selection that our lovely waitress brings to us. The balsamic that they stock here is absolutely incredible and really enhances each bite of bread. Delicious! And the best way to start a meal in my opinion seeing as everyone loves a freebie.

We decide to share a couple of the entrees since last time we went for the planks instead. There’s two that immediately catch my eye and Jeremy’s all in agreement that they should be what we order. Hooray! We’re trying not to be too greedy since last time we were waddling and wheezing as we made our way to the car.

Our first entree that comes out is the Crispy Stuffed Risotto Balls ($9.50). They’re perfectly round little arancini mounds that are full of smoked mozzarella and porcini mushroom. There’s a liberal topping of freshly grated parmesan cheese and a tomato dipping sauce that has actual chunks of tomatoes in it.

As my fork glides through the crisp outer shell, I note the gooeyness of the inside with glee. There’s something utterly wonderful about arancini! And this dish doesn’t disappoint, it’s fluffy on the inside and there’s some strong but tasty flavours used. This was Jeremy’s favourite of the two entrees.

The second entree we order is the Pumpkin & Smoked Mozzarella Nachos ($7.00). They’re like little crispy fried raviolis stuffed with that sweet pumpkin and cheese mixture and coated in more of that delicious parmesan. The sauce on the side is described as a ‘fiery arrabbiata sauce’. For both of us we can’t taste the supposed fieryness, it seems more on the tomato side of things but does taste really nice so we’re not too phased.

I love the crunch of these little ‘nacho chips’. They’re a modern and funky twist on a classic Mexican dish that’s well known throughout the world. I will definitely order these again because they had it all – taste, texture, great ingredients at a great price.

Our entrees are cleaned away within minutes of us completing them and new cutlery laid out before us while we wait for our mains. They come out an appropriate 15 or so minutes later and we’re both excited to see if the pastas we try today live up to the standard of our dishes from last time.

Jeremy orders the main sized Wild Rabbit Tagliolini ($23) which is slow-cooked McLeay Valley rabbit ragu with garlic and herbs, marscapone and amalfi lemon. It comes out and looks really impressive, a big swirling pile of pasta which gives off the most amazing aroma.

As he tucks he in tells me the flavours are delicious and the pasta cooked al dente. While he’s really enjoying the rabbit meat, he’s quick to admit that the Sausage Pappardelle he had last time was more to his liking. He constantly raves about it!

For my dish, I’m torn between the Truffle Risotto and the Spaghetti Vongole. I finally choose the latter since I had the crab risotto last time (which blew my mind). I order the entree size ($15.00) and it comes out as a dish of spaghetti with steamed sweet cockles, garlic, chilli, white wine, parsley, butter and lemon.

It’s a swirling heap of al dente spaghetti that has exactly four cockles with it. I’m a bit surprised by the small number of the toppings but given the price tag and the entree size, it doesn’t phase me too much. The chilli used in the dish is tasty but has a nice level of heat associated with it. It’s the right portion amount since we’ve had starters and I don’t want to be completely stuffed full.

While we could have probably fit in dessert, we decide we’re at a happy place in our stomachs and decide to call it a day after we finish our mains. While both of us agreed that the food was delicious, the dishes we chose last time for our main meals were better (in our opinion). But don’t make it sound as though the food we enjoyed this time wasn’t good – because it definitely was.

I like Jamie’s Italian. I know some people say it isn’t worth the wait or it’s overrated, but I enjoy it. I like the people, the principle and the practice of giving great food at a great price.

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  • Reply
    Martine @ Chompchomp
    15 June 2013 at 10:25 pm

    Those risotto balls look amazing! And the pasta could almost tempt me to suffer wheat poisoning to try!

  • Reply
    16 June 2013 at 5:54 am

    I actually want to go back but dread the queue! Would have to do a walk in at lunch again :)! Feel like going for a pasta instead of the truffled turkey which I had before. But my friends say NO =.=! Will go with my colleagues hehe. I think a good thing is that there was no surcharge during the public holiday! Pretty amazing.

  • Reply
    Queen of Bad Timing
    16 June 2013 at 10:57 am

    The pasta is pretty amazing! Last time I had the most incredible crab risotto which I actually loved so much more 🙂 I can't stop thinking about it haha. Have you been yet?

  • Reply
    Queen of Bad Timing
    16 June 2013 at 10:59 am

    I know I couldn't stop thinking about going back! My colleagues and I are going to book a lunch for sometime in the next couple months (random date) and go when we can. Haha any chance to eat there again 🙂 you HAVE to try the pasta! The sausage pappardelle was delish last time!

  • Reply
    17 June 2013 at 10:14 am

    This place is pretty cool, I had the fish in the bag, really tasty and well priced.

  • Reply
    Martine @ Chompchomp
    20 June 2013 at 9:02 am

    I STILL haven't been. I promised my close friend I wouldn't go without her and then she accidentally fractured her face in a fall. So I am being the good friend and holding out until she can eat solids! But its been so tempting to sneak there!

  • Reply
    Queen of Bad Timing
    21 June 2013 at 11:09 am

    I eyed that item on the menu! But I'm such a pasta/risotto fiend I can't get past them as my meal choice. One day I'll have to try it 🙂

  • Reply
    Queen of Bad Timing
    21 June 2013 at 11:11 am

    Oh that is very disciplined!

    It's interesting, so many people with mixed reviews. I have to say I really enjoyed it – the price definitely sold me as well as the flavours. I think some people are going in expecting fine dining which it isn't!

    Hope you enjoy it when you get there Martine! I know you'll take lots of photos for me to drool over 🙂

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