I confess that this was my first visit to Jamie’s. After all the hype and the stories of long queues and the inability to make bookings, I finally arranged to meet Scotty there one mid-week evening at 5pm. We knew how wired this place became every evening, so we’d skipped lunch and opted for an early dinner. A good move as it happens, because the place was calm and quiet when we arrived, and we could choose where we wanted to sit. Scotty has eaten there several times and finds it convenient for a quick meal after a hard slog at the office.
We both ordered a glass of Italian Pinot Grigio while we perused the laminated menu.
There’s an industrial feel to Jamie’s, softened by the red bench seats, the massive crystal chandelier dominating the room, and the deli counter at the back showcasing long bunches of garlic, dried chillies, breads and jars of condiments.
We didn’t intend ordering dessert so we chose a few entrees to fill our rumbling stomachs. Scotty was keen on the polenta chips with rosemary and parmesan, although having read negative comments about these on Zomato, I wasn’t so sure. Turns out they were the bees knees. Crunchy on the outside, deliciously salty, and better than chips.
MY choice of the vegetable plank wasn’t so special. Whilst it sounded interesting, it was simply little terracotta dishes of pickled veggies in different forms, accompanied by a snippet of bread with tomatoey relish, and buffalo mozzarella. Ho hum.
What I liked about the pasta dishes was the choice of ordering entree or main size. We both ordered the smaller size and this was ample (leaving room for our dessert at another location afterwards of course!). Scotty opted for one of the daily blackboard specials of pasta with crumbled salami in a tomato sauce. This ragu-like sauce had been slow cooked and the flavours were intense, with the richness of the salami being a highlight.
My choice of the prawn linguine was fine. That’s the best way to describe it. With a hint of chilli and what I considered was a generous serve of prawns, this dish wouldn’t win awards but it hit the spot. Although there wasn’t a great depth of flavour in the tomato-based sauce, it was reasonably priced at $16 and satisfying enough on a cold evening.
Having finally managed a visit to the hallowed halls of this establishment, I’m glad I went. I certainly wouldn’t queue for a table, and really can’t understand why people do when there are so many better quality restaurants around. Jamie’s works on a fairly basic formula, and that formula pulls in the crowds. Well, maybe Jamie’s name does too 🙂
However for a quick meal with friendly service, convenient location and decent wine by the glass, it ticks the boxes. I didn’t go expecting haute cuisine and I wasn’t disappointed.