Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Jamie's Italian, Sydney and the Sydney Observatory, The Rocks

Saturday night Alan and I ventured into the city to visit Jamie Oliver's Sydney restaurant. The restaurant was the last item on Alan's 'Jamie Oliver to do list'. He has the books, all the episodes and has cooked a crazy amount of Jamie's recipes. The restaurant remained on the list, all lonely with no tick beside it. Aww.

The queue. Jamie's is a busy place and if you do not turn up early, be prepared to wait in the queue for a while. I pondered over death by queue but luckily as we had arrived early we only had to wait twenty minutes for a table.

The front bar

Waiting to be seated at a dining table, we sat down on the bar stools in the front section of the restaurant. Alan attempted to order drinks at the front bar, but this proved difficult. Where does one stand to order them? Can one order drinks? Turns out you need to order your drinks when your name is written down my the queue girl.

I did not learn much during my German exchange (I was too busy looking at the architecture of the university which was a PALACE!), but I do remember some service marketing principles. If you are offering a service (the bar) and I do not know the correct procedures to undertake in order to use the service, then your service requires improvement.

The restaurant is dimly lit, brightened a little by downward facing lamps and tea candles on the unfortunately small tables. There is both an upstairs and downstairs section of the restaurant, both of which bustle with noise; the clashing of utensils, murmurs of humans and the sound of ABBA and Sophie Ellis Bextor.

Question time!
As you see above, there is a soft padded seat on one side of the table and a hard metal chair on the other side. Alan let me have the soft seat, while he sat on my cardigan, attempting to soften up the metal chair.
Why does the girl always get the comfortable chair? There are so many men out there sitting on hard metal chairs! Why is one seat always much more uncomfortable than the other? Should your meal be discounted if you sit on the uncomfortable chair? I think so.

Aperol spritz $9.90 and bellini, $9.90

I cannot believe I paid for alcohol. I go on about not drinking and then I see a drink I had in Germany and go all ahhh I have to try it! It was good but the German Aperol spritz was better...and I confirmed the fact that alcohol does not agree with me. I was a bit WEEEE afterwards and started to panic about weight gain and liver failure.

We ordered our meals for the evening (entrees and mains) and were surprised when they were served to us all at once. Where to start? How to fit all the plates on the table?

Italian bread selection: rosemary focaccia, artisan sourdough, ciabatta and tortano, complimentary

I gave the complimentary bread a little try, not wanting to have an overwhelming stomach ache after doing so. I tried the rosemary focaccia and liked it very much. It was oily:) The bread proved difficult to take out of the little square container.

Mozzarella and tomato salad, $13.00

'What would a foodie say about this dish, Kim?' asked Alan.
'I could soooo make this at home' said Kim
'I knew you would say that!' said Alan

The tomatoes did taste like tomatoes, so all was good. Though, yes, priced somewhat steeply for tomatoes and cheese.

Mushroom fritti with garlic mayonnaise, $9.00

The restaurant's own grown crispy fried mushrooms, says the menu. I enjoyed these very much as the moist mushrooms were cut thickly and I even ate the crumb coating. That is saying something, as I am the kind of person who picks the coating off Schnitzel.

 Tuscan wild boar sausages served with a wam minty lentil salad and salsa rossa piccante, $22.50

Alan liked the fact that the boar sausages were 'lean'. I agree, they were quite lean. The soft lentils had a pleasant lemoney flavour to them.

 Lingurian fish stew served with crostini, ripped herbs and garlic aioli, $27.00

I ordered the fish stew as I had never consumed a fish stew before. I had also never tasted muscles! I ventured into the unknown. The dish was very pretty; green, pinks and purple.The stew was nice; the fish was soft and tasty but there was no 'wow' factor. Some more herbs would have been welcomed. Although I did not consume the bread, I did enjoy eating the garlic aioli from it. Very tasty!

Our empty plates were taken away and although we were full, we still ordered dessert:) Two desserts. I excused myself from the table for a short trip to the bathroom which is tucked away at the back of the restaurant.

 I look weird, hence the blur:)

Look at the tap/basin!!!!! I want one:) The bathroom is extremely clean though very dimly lit. Just to confirm, those chicken arms of mine you see are the arms of someone who has a full fry up each morning. Yep, butter and bacon does not make you fat.

Upon my return to the table I was greeted with some sad news...

The desserts had arrived whilst I was in the bathroom and ice cream had melted! Ahhh!

3 scoops of ice cream with butter scotch sauce and seasonal fruits, $8.00

The ice cream is so good! If you're passing by Jamie's and not hungry enough for a main, just drop in for the ice cream. You have the choice of two of four toppings for your ice cream; butterscotch sauce, honeycomb, seasonal fruits and nuts/seeds. We enjoyed chocolate chili ice cream, vanilla (with marzipan or nut??? we were not quite sure) and coffee.

Jamie's special tiramisu; coffee flavoured trifle with orange mascarpone & chocolate $9.00

The tiramisu was so rich! I was much less mobile after eating this. For me, I found the orange flavour over powering, otherwise it was good...but so rich! I would not order it again though; I would order the ice cream.

Amazingly, after all of that food I still had goosebumps! The air conditioning was up much too high for my liking.

In conclusion, I enjoyed my Jamie's Italian experience. Although the main was not as exciting as I had imagined, I was delighted the the dessert, was amazed by the bathroom taps and liked the restaurant surroundings.

The ultimate question is whether we would go back again. We discussed this and do not think this would be the case. We think the pasta would be the best thing on the menu, as it is an Italian restaurant after all. I however do not eat pasta. Alan eats pasta but whenever he does, complains about it afterwards, so tries his best not to eat it in the first place. I would go back for the ice cream though:)

What does a young man about town and a girl from the Internet who stays at home studying all the time do after a meal on a Saturday night? They go to the observatory for a night telescope viewing! Weeeeeee!:)

At a night telescope viewing you will have the change to learn about the stars in the planetarium, look through two telescopes and watch some 3D space documentaries. Unfortunately it was a cloudy night so we were unable to see any stars through the telescopes. Instead we looked through the telescope at a clock tower on the other side of the harbour as well as the Australian flags on top of the Sydney harbour bridge. Looking through the telescope reminded me of the children's show, Button Moon. Our guide was very informative and was happy to discuss all matters space related. I highly recommend the Sydney Observatory. I want to go again:)

Jamie;s Italian
Where: 107 Pitt Street, Sydney
When: Monday-Saturday 11.30-late, Sundays closed
Other: The tap water jugs are very small:(
Website <-Click

Sydney Observatory
Where: Watson Road, Observatory Hill, The Rocks
When: For night telescope viewings: April-Sep 18.15 & 20.15, October & November 20.15, December & January 20.30, February & March 20.15
Cost: Adults $18, Children (4-16years) $12, Concession $14, Family (1 adult or 3 children or 2 adults and up to 2 children) $50, members prices also available
Other: The guides know what they're talking about - they study astrophysics! Makes my accounting degree sound ...well that's why I keep it behind a cupboard
Website <-Click

Jamie's Italian on Urbanspoon

**All dining/product reviews are based on my experience at the time of dining/consumption.


  1. What a comprehensive report, thanks Kim. To be honest - I hate queues, so this is probably as close as I'm likely to get to this restaurant. I'd also be pretty unimpressed to have my entrees and mains served at the same time.

    1. Good morning Amanda. I am not a fan of queues either (they remind me of the time I 'tested' out the public health care system in order to see if I wanted to quit private. I did not quit private). Not sure why everything was served at once. The waiters seemed to be professional...but then this happened.

  2. I've been to Jamie's Italian. I didn't have to queue as we were in a large group so the restaurant took a booking. I too found the air conditioning too cold, we hovered around the bar area and no one asked us if we wanted to order a drink, the metal chairs were as if they had come out of the freezer, the tables too small, the menus too big and the food, well...ordinary. There was nothing there that we couldn't have attempted at home - except for the ice cream because I don't have an ice cream machine! xx

    1. Hello Hotly Spiced. Yeah the bar was a real disappointment. What was so silly is the fact that when Alan asked how to order he was told he had to order when the queue girl took down his name. He was given no second chance to order! No one should have to sit on a metal chair, let alone a cold one! That's no good for you - sitting on cold surfaces.
      Well, I have heard rumours you can make ice cream without an ice cream machine....though I have not tried this myself. Hmmm.

  3. Jamies Italian gets such mixed reviews. I must admit we found the experience a bit puzzling and probably wouldn't go back again but we are glad that we tried it.

  4. I've wanted to visit Jamie's Italian for so long :) Mr Bao went without me a few months ago and even though he liked it, he said the same thing as you 'i could probably make it at home' and at the price charged...he didn't think it was worth it :( but he still seemed to enjoy it ~ Hope i'd enjoy it too when I go ~ And i agree men shouldn't always get the uncomfortable chairs it's not fair!

  5. so much details Kim!! I would not be able to write as much as you.
    I attempted going to Jaime's Kitchen as well but was too hungry to wait for 1.30hrs =( I was told to go at lunch because there is no line. Keep up the good work =D