During the Easter long weekend, I decided to jump on the bandwagon craze and headed to the newly open Jamie’s Italian Restaurant at 140 William Street for dinner. My strategy was to go for an early dinner at 5pm! Surely there would not be that many people – too innocent a thought. There was already a queue! We waited approx 0.5hr before arriving at the front of the restaurant thinking we would be seated. Alas, that was not so. Arrival at the front of the restaurant only meant you were then able to put your name down for a table, and then there is another 1.5hrs wait! Eeks..we persevered since we were already in the city!
Oh did I mention that a lovely lady would come out with some antipasti for us customers in the queue. Nice gesture I thought but it may cause you to get hungrier!
The sky was bright when I arrived and dark when I was seated down :p
I spied some chefs preparing black ink pasta at the front before I had to move out for the long wait! The bar area is quite small as well so no chance of seats on a crowded night!
Not to dwell on the waiting part, let’s move on :)
The restaurant itself is nice! Jazzed up and quite modern looking with a rustic feel. I like! The only thing I thought that stood out of place was the chandelier in the middle of the room.
For drinks, we had:
- Lemon, Lime & Bitters ($5)
- Holy Espresso ($16) – Tia Maria, hazelnut liquer & amaretto with double espresso shot
- Vanilla & Lemon Martini ($15.50) – Vodka infused with vanilla syrup & fresh lemon
The Holy Espresso was delicious. It was strong and not too sweet, just how I like it. This may be my favorite cocktail from now! The Vanilla & Lemon Martini was sweet but refreshing with generous amount of lemon juice. The prices were reasonable compared to surrounding bars! Big tick!
Shared entrees of:
- Pumpkin and smoked mozzarella nachos ($7) – crispy fried and served with fiery arrabbiata sacue. This was the least favorite entree at the table but it was my favorite! I like how they are mini raviolis rather than the usual corn chips (although the description did give it away). The sauce is very tasty! Not a smudge left after we finish.
- Crispy stuffed risotto balls ($6.50) – smoked mozzarella & porcini arancini. This was good and tasty too! I wonder where they buy the porcini? Been trying to find some for my risotto but no success so far. The sauce that came with the balls was awesome too! Love!
- Baked Mushrooms ($14.50) – swiss browns with crispy music bread & smoked buffalo mozzarella. This would have been a great dish had it not been so so salty! It went well with the bread though, otherwise it would have been hard to eat by itself.
And a note regarding the bread – I was told by a friend that I have to ask for the bread which are complimentary, but normally not served unless asked. Really? This proved to be true as no bread came until I asked for them. Strange isn’t it. But yes, ask and you shall receive! They are amazing!
One good thing I like about the mains is a choice of small or normal size. We ordered the the small portion so that we can fit dessert in later on! Just a note that we tried to order three of the pasta on the menu but they were sold out. Must be great dishes! They were the Seafood Bucatini, Spaghetti Vongole and Jool’s Favourite Sicilian Tuna Fusilli. Must go back for them next time!
- Sausage Parpadelle ($12 – small) – slow braised fennel sausage ragu with red wine, parmesan & crunchy, herby breadcrumbs. Another salty dish. Like the odd shapes parpadelle but the sauce was too salty to enjoy.
- Black Angel Spaghetti ($14 – small) – squid ink pasta, scallops, garlic, chilli, anchovies, wine & capers. This was my order, the sauce was light and flavorsome! The only complain about this dish was the amount of scallops in there (scallops were sliced pieces instead of whole). I guess one can’t complain at this price.
- Prawn Linguine ($16 – small) – pan fried garlicky prawns served with tomatoes, chilli, rocket & fennel. I had a small taste and found that the rocket and fennel were overpowering but I got use to the taste. It was nice!
- Blue Swimmer Crab Risotto ($16 – small) – acquerello rice topped with lemony crab, samphire & chilli. This was a great dish too and the chilli packed a punch! Comment was it got slightly salty at the end.
We shared desserts and had the following based on recommendation by the staff:
- Ji Warm Brownie ($9) – chocolate, raspberry & amaretto brownie with vanilla ice cream. This is one of the more popular dessert item according to the staff. I’m normally not a fan of dessert brownie so can’t comment. My friend thought it was dry. I wish there was more ice cream!
- Tutti Frutti Lemon Meringue Pie ($8.50) with limoncello & crunchy pistachio brittle. This was my favorite out of the three. I like the the crunchy base. The pie itself was a bit sweet for me, it would have been better with stronger lemon flavor. This is another popular item on the menu
- Sour Cherry Bakewell ($8) – tart berries & sweet almond filling, served with sour cream. This was my choice and the least favorite at the table. I must agree, the filling was a bit doughy and there was no lift in taste.
Overall it was a great dining experience despite the wait! One thing I noticed was how reasonably priced the dishes are. No dishes are over $30! And the cocktails are definitely the cheapest around the area!
Service was fantastic and the food came out quickly once you place your order. I would definitely be back again during non peak dining times and after the hype has die down a bit. :)
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars