Saturday, 8 February 2014

Lunch @ Jamie's Italian Perth

My family hadn't tried Jamie's Italian Perth yet as they found it too hard to get in or make a booking. I completely understand as I've never been able to make a booking at Jamie's Italian Canberra and just walk in instead. I found it very easy to make a booking at the Perth restaurant - given it was Thursday lunch time, and made this booking just two days beforehand. When we arrived, we were told that our table was not yet ready but was given a buzzer and asked to sit at the bar to wait. Our wait time was approximately 10 minutes before the buzzer went off and we were shown to our table.

The menu (with the exception of blackboard specials) and prices are the same as the Canberra menu and I was keen to try out some different dishes. My family like sharing dishes so we ordered several and asked for these to come out at the same time (which we later regretted as the tables at Jamie's, at least the round ones, are tiny!)

The honeycomb cannelloni 3 ways ($22.50) was the first to arrive. This consisted of eggplant and sun dried tomato, pumpkin, and ricotta and spinach filling. This smelled amazing! There were 9 round pieces (honeycomb shaped) with 3 of each filling. This just melted in my mouth - I love the soft, flavourful fillings. And the tomato-based sauce that surrounds it is absolutely delicious. I was regretting not ordering some bread to mop it all up. Would definitely order this one again!
The entree sized prawn linguine ($16) was very tasty - I really liked the sauce from this dish too and the pasta was cooked perfectly. I thought the prawns were also full of flavour.
The entree sized blackboard special of monachelle alla pancetta e porro ($14.50) consisted of small pasta shells (monachelle), pancetta lardons, braised leeks, creme fraiche, lemon juice and 18 month old aged Toscano Pecorino. This was very light as there was only a scattering of pancetta and leeks, and I could hardly taste the pecorino. I didn't think it was that great and it was the least flavoursome dish that we'd ordered. I wouldn't order this again.
The entree sized vongole tagliolini ($15.50) with steamed clams, garlic, chilli, white wine, parsley, butter and lemon was a little salty. But other than that, I really enjoyed this simple pasta dish. The clams tasted fresh and there was a bit of kick to it with all the chillies.
My dad picked the veal flash steak ($28.50) which was meant to come with prosciutto, sage and spicy tomato salsa. I didn't actually realise this until writing this post that the steak didn't come with any of the above. The veal steak itself is larger than it looks in the photo and is served on a large rectangluar platter. It had been pounded until it was quite thin and looked so juicy. Happy to report that it was very juicy, cooked plainly without any sauces on top but the natural flavour of the steak was fantastic - which says a lot about the quality of the veal. I did enjoy the tomato salsa (it really brightens up the dish) but there was no spice at all. Disappointed when I reread the menu to see prosciutto was meant to be included.
Mum picked the grilled free-range pork chop ($26) which had apparently been marinated and cooked under a brick. I thought it was slightly on the dry side. The parsley bagna cauda (warm dip the pork chop is sitting on) was a little sour (an anchovy/lemon mix perhaps?) but I thought it went well with the pork and counteracted its dryness. I liked the fresh apple and kohlrabi salad - anything with apple in it is good!
My sister also wanted to try the entree salad of fennel and orange ($6) drizzled with lemon and olive oil. Very simple and fresh. The oranges were juicily sweet.
I've had the san vinto chocolate pot at Jamie's Italian Canberra and didn't like it much because of the liquor. So I picked the JI epic chocolate brownie ($10) this time. And I was not disappointed. The warm chocolate brownie was so soft and moist that my spoon could just cut right through it without the need to press down. The first spoonful was enough to make me rave about this to all. Melt-in-your-mouth chocolatey heaven. I was pretty full from our big lunch so sadly I couldn't finish this all. I think it could be shared between two as it was getting quite rich towards the end. The popcorn on top looked pretty and was nice and crunchy. Chocogasm!
Jamie's Italian offers decent pastas and mains at average prices. Our waitress was wonderful, happy and cheerful - seemed like she really enjoyed working there. It's always packed in the Sydney, Canberra and Perth locations so it's clearly popular (and difficult to get in) but worth a try.
Foodgasm 7/10
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