Jamie’s Italian Review, Sydney, Australia

So I was in Sydney this past week and I was invited out for a friend’s birthday to dine at Jamie’s Italian, one of the many restaurants by the infamous Jamie Oliver.  Now I’ve visited Jamie’s 15 in London about 8 months ago, and I wasn’t overly impressed.  I was incredibly excited to visit 15, as I was for this Italian joint, but 15 just didn’t do it for me in London.  The food wasn’t where I expected it to be for such a celebrity chef’s place.  I am, however a big fan of Jamie Oliver and what he is trying to do with food and healthy eating.  He is an advocate for food security and improved eating for all, and for this I commend him.  He also produces great cookbooks, they’re consistently good and I use them on a regular basis at home.  What can I say, I like the guy.

Now on to Jamie’s Italian.  We had reservations, because it is an incredibly popular place to eat in Sydney.  It has an attractive menu, prices are good and it’s in a great downtown location.  The atmosphere is electric and people line-up for hours to get a table there.  The décor is very modern and it has an Italian twist on the place.  The setting is also lined with everything Jamie including cookbooks, sparkling wine with his name on the bottle, Jamie’s name on every menu and even his name plastered on the serving clothe.  It’s not hard to tell where you are.

We arrived about 10 minutes before our reservation and we were told to grab a drink at the bar and that they would buzz us when our table was ready.  This was fine, so we grabbed a couple of bottles of Australian bubbly endorsed by Jamie himself.  This wine was about $20 more expensive than the other bubbly for sale.  I suspect this is because if bore the name of the man himself, yet I would bet that it wasn’t any better.

We then found a place to stand in the packed restaurant. We were immediately rudely told that we had to move.  I asked where we were to go and I was informed that the bartender didn’t care, but we couldn’t stand there.  We ventured upstairs to the balcony that was small and already packed.   Then we began our wait.  We waited for 1.5 hours to get our reserved table.  After about an hour or so, one member from our party went to ask and they admitted that they missed us, but that was all… no complimentary drinks or even a sincere apology.  It just wasn’t good enough and it felt as if they were dragging out our table to draw more money out of us from the bar.

We finally got our table and ordered our food.  We split some appetisers (olives on ice, crispy calamari and mushroom tart) and I ordered the rabbit pasta for my main.  The food was good, but it wasn’t anything that I couldn’t do at home using one of his recipe’s.  I guess this is a good thing.  It also wasn’t very expensive.  The most expensive main was only around $35, which is also in-line with his philosophy.

My pasta was good, but the rabbit tasted like it was canned.  It wasn’t the freshest and had a tin undertone to the flavour.  The appetisers were also good, but nothing really blew my mind.

For dessert I ordered an affogato.  The espresso was piping hot and strong, like it should be and the ice-cream was of the highest quality.  Creamy, smooth and tasted of real, rich vanilla.  It was nothing less than delicious.

The experience was not what I was hoping for.  The food was good, but not great.  The service was appalling, but the meals were reasonably priced.   If you want to go for the experience you could check it out, but I wouldn’t go back.  There are lots of great restaurants that you could eat at for a similar price point without the poor service.

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ADDRESS

Jamie’s Italian
107 Pitt Street
Sydney, NSW

5PHONE NUMBER

+61 2 8240 9000

Please note our office hours are from 8:30am-7pm Monday-Friday and 11:30am-7pm Saturday-Sunday.

http://www.jamieoliver.com/italian/australia/home

Rating:

Atmosphere: 8/10

Service: 2/10

Food Quality 7/10

Presentation 7/10

Satisfaction 4/10

Total: 56%

Jamie's Italian on Urbanspoon

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3 Comments on “Jamie’s Italian Review, Sydney, Australia

  1. Pingback: Jamie’s Italian, Sydney, Australia | Seasoned Plate

  2. It’s such a shame that many of the Jamie’s Italian franchises are getting similar reviews to this. I was excited when a restaurant opened in Perth a couple of months ago but all who have been there have said pretty much the same thing… average food, huge crowds, poor service and a substandard experience when thinking about the quality expected from Jamie Oliver. Like you mentioned, I also love Jamie’s food philosophy, his genuine, down-to-earth manner, his realistic views on home cooking and his cookbooks. I love the fact that he tries to bring honest, unpretentious and nutritious food to the masses who think that it’s ‘too expensive’ or ‘too difficult’ to eat well. I do think this chain has expanded too quickly though, and that those heading up his franchise ships haven’t been monitored enough. Hopefully this will change in a few months/years when the crowds die down and the kitchen crew have some time to breathe and think!

    • I couldn’t agree with you more. I am a huge fan of Jamie Olive and what he’s doing around the world of food and getting people there, but his restaurants are nothing to exciting at the moment. Maybe he should stick to cook books, food security and helping our youth make healthy food choices. Let’s hope things change.

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