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Cheap eats – Jamie’s Italian (Civic)

By Alexandra Craig - 27 May 2015 15

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Some days you just need a big bowl of carbs to get through the chilly weather. I had a hot tip that Jamie’s Italian does a weekday pasta special at lunchtime, so with the days getting colder I wasted no time making my way into Civic.

The pasta special is $15, but there’s no choice in the pasta – they basically have one pasta of the day. The pasta offered to me was a spaghetti with garlic, chilli, olive oil and some fresh parsley.

My first thought was that the serving size wasn’t huge. It looked like an entree size and given that other pastas on the menu that have more ingredients are around $12-13 for entree size it seemed like a slight rip off. At Jamie’s they do grate fresh parmesan for you though which is an improvement on some other restaurants that offer packet parmesan in a bowl.

The pasta had a good flavour to it, there was a lot of garlic in it (but not a gross amount), and a lot of chilli so it had a very decent kick to it. However, it was pretty watery. There was literally a puddle of liquid in my bowl and it kind of felt like I was eating fancy two minute noodles.

I like Jamie’s Italian but I think I drew the short straw on this pasta of the day. There just wasn’t that much to it. I can’t judge the other days because I haven’t experienced them, but if they do a fuller pasta I think $15 would be a total bargain.

What: Jamie’s Italian 
Where: 125 Bunda Street, Civic (downstairs from Dendy Cinemas, near Fitness First)
Opening hours: 12.00pm-9.00pm (Sunday-Wednesday) 12.00pm-10.00pm (Thursday-Saturday)
Website: http://www.jamieoliver.com/italian/australia/restaurants/canberra

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15 Responses to
Cheap eats – Jamie’s Italian (Civic)
Zan 9:12 am 02 Jun 15

went to Jamie’s one afternoon attempting to have lunch, walked inside the door only to discover that the background music (noise) was not in the background but in the foreground. So so noisy. Walked out.

David M 9:05 pm 28 May 15

I had a look at that, basically the total value of the ingredients looks to be around $2. Pasta with garlic, olive oil, a minuscule sprinkle of parsley and some cheese, I could whiz that up in my kitchen in 15 minutes and it would taste twice as nice. I’m a bit suss about and more than a bit over the Jamie thing these days, sure he does some good things on nutrition, but he’s one of a fair mess kit of celeb cooks that seem to make up the TV wallpaper.

nic0 1:02 pm 28 May 15

My first experience with Jamie’s Italian was in London, the portion sizes were huge and well priced, it was great value for money. The whole family was excited to try the Canberra restaurant and it was disappointing, the flavours were ok but the portion sizes are very small for the price. It’s certainly not a cheap place to eat.

Alexandra Craig 8:31 am 28 May 15

Milly Withers said :

Mysteryman said :

I think you’re right. That doesn’t look like $15 worth of pasta. Looks lousy, to be honest.

Oh dear. I wouldn’t pay $15 for a pasta serving that small, no matter how delicious! That said, I often avoid eating pasta when dining out as I can’t justify dropping $15 or more on a dish that would cost less than $5 to recreate at home – particularly when the sauce is just olive oil, garlic and chilli and no meat. A cheap eat, but perhaps not a satisfying one!

The only problem is, you don’t get to see the serving size before it arrives on your table. And I’m not the type of person to complain unless it’s actually inedible (or if I’m given the wrong thing).

Rollersk8r said :

Well you’re in his target audience. Jamie specifically said he wants his restuarants to be a place “Where a working girl can afford a pasta and a glass of wine”.

I got a soft drink – it was $5!

JC 9:47 pm 27 May 15

vintage123 said :

Milly Withers said :

Mysteryman said :

I think you’re right. That doesn’t look like $15 worth of pasta. Looks lousy, to be honest.

Oh dear. I wouldn’t pay $15 for a pasta serving that small, no matter how delicious! That said, I often avoid eating pasta when dining out as I can’t justify dropping $15 or more on a dish that would cost less than $5 to recreate at home – particularly when the sauce is just olive oil, garlic and chilli and no meat. A cheap eat, but perhaps not a satisfying one!

But milly, if the restaurant doesn’t mark up, they will go broke. Most places quadrupole to cover cost, I.e cost $5 sell $20.

Even with mark up it doesn’t look like $15 worth of pasta. With a meat sauce you might be getting there, but a bit of spagetti, oil, parsley wouldn’t pay that much for that amount.

Also odd they don’t open for lunch until 12 on the nose.

Maya123 5:29 pm 27 May 15

It’s possibly enough for me for a meal (I find an entrée size generally filling), but $15 is a bit much to pay. However I don’t eat out much, so maybe (so-called) entrée sized pasta dishes have gone up from the $11 I paid last time. An entrée with a small side salad makes a filling meal for me, without over-eating. These days meals are often served over-sized and people come to think of that size as normal, when it isn’t. And then normal serves looks too small and some people complain.

vintage123 5:22 pm 27 May 15

Rollersk8r said :

Well you’re in his target audience. Jamie specifically said he wants his restuarants to be a place “Where a working girl can afford a pasta and a glass of wine”.

Jamie’s a likeable guy – but these things never last!

I’ve been there once – and will never go back. It was average – and frankly not as “affordable” as spruiked. Wood and Coal next door are doing much better things!

Wood and coal, Mmm are they doing better. Noting the wood and coal 10% Sunday surcharge and 8% surcharge for tables of ten, I guess our group of 10 friends will go somewhere else this Sunday and spend the extra 18% on more food.

vintage123 3:44 pm 27 May 15

Milly Withers said :

Mysteryman said :

I think you’re right. That doesn’t look like $15 worth of pasta. Looks lousy, to be honest.

Oh dear. I wouldn’t pay $15 for a pasta serving that small, no matter how delicious! That said, I often avoid eating pasta when dining out as I can’t justify dropping $15 or more on a dish that would cost less than $5 to recreate at home – particularly when the sauce is just olive oil, garlic and chilli and no meat. A cheap eat, but perhaps not a satisfying one!

But milly, if the restaurant doesn’t mark up, they will go broke. Most places quadripple to cover cost, I.e cost $5 sell $20.

rosscoact 1:29 pm 27 May 15

MERC600 said :

Mysteryman said :

I think you’re right. That doesn’t look like $15 worth of pasta. Looks lousy, to be honest.

Have to agree. Geez do you need to order 30 bucks worth for a decent feed. No thanks , .. unless they give you the plate.

It is a very nice plate. A table of six could get a whole setting.

MERC600 1:09 pm 27 May 15

Mysteryman said :

I think you’re right. That doesn’t look like $15 worth of pasta. Looks lousy, to be honest.

Have to agree. Geez do you need to order 30 bucks worth for a decent feed. No thanks , .. unless they give you the plate.

zllauh 11:55 am 27 May 15

looks like a messy serving already and by watching the comments i would rather not try it

Bajar 10:35 am 27 May 15

It’s been pretty woeful the last few times I have been there. Rude staff, small servings and non-pasta items have tended to come out burnt.

Rollersk8r 10:27 am 27 May 15

Well you’re in his target audience. Jamie specifically said he wants his restuarants to be a place “Where a working girl can afford a pasta and a glass of wine”.

Jamie’s a likeable guy – but these things never last!

I’ve been there once – and will never go back. It was average – and frankly not as “affordable” as spruiked. Wood and Coal next door are doing much better things!

Milly Withers 10:06 am 27 May 15

Mysteryman said :

I think you’re right. That doesn’t look like $15 worth of pasta. Looks lousy, to be honest.

Oh dear. I wouldn’t pay $15 for a pasta serving that small, no matter how delicious! That said, I often avoid eating pasta when dining out as I can’t justify dropping $15 or more on a dish that would cost less than $5 to recreate at home – particularly when the sauce is just olive oil, garlic and chilli and no meat. A cheap eat, but perhaps not a satisfying one!

Mysteryman 9:22 am 27 May 15

I think you’re right. That doesn’t look like $15 worth of pasta. Looks lousy, to be honest.

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