Goosepig and her colleagues were going to the new Jamie’s Italian and I was able to tag along on their booking.
Despite my invite to the bloggers lunch somehow going missing I’ll admit to being somewhat intrigued despite never really taking to Jamie Oliver’s many televisual outings.
First impression was just how busy they are down there on Bunda Street. We had to queue just to give our booking details.
Second impression is that the decor is a bit naff. Which one supposes matches the whole Jamie Oliver thing. It reminded me a lot of Outback Steakhouses in the US. There lots of little booths, lots of cured meats hanging from the rafters, and a great deal of Jamie Oliver merchandise.
The third impression was the noise. So very, very noisy. It was the death-spiral noisy where everyone is having to talk louder to be heard. An open plan kitchen and families bringing babies to the restaurant simply adds to the mix.
Having got past all that there was the minor disappointment of not being able to find any beer on the menu. Italy makes some amazing beers and be it Loading Zone or Italian and Sons it’s something I’ve come to look forward to in Italian dining.
Once seated, however, the strengths of the place shine through.
The staff were, despite being very busy, very good. Orders smartly taken, food arriving all at the same time, checking how we were, but not too often.
In a town where bad service is all too often the norm it was lovely to get it just about spot on.
I started with the so called world’s best olives:
I discovered big fleshy sicilian olives a few years ago and have been a firm fan ever since. Here they were served on crushed ice with some flat bread and dip (might have been a tapenade).
It was followed by the lasagna seen at the top of the page.
The lasagna was delicious, crispy on top, warmed all through, with a great mix of flavours.
My luncheon companions expressed a great deal of satisfaction in their meals (“best risotto ever” was heard).
The best bit was that (admittedly without drinks) lunch came to $25.
So it largely brings what it says on the tin.
Very good food at pretty reasonable prices with good service.
Worth checking out.