I remember when news of the opening of a Jamie’s Italian was first released. There was that hype among foodies in general, fans of Jamie Oliver in particular. Initially, queues were crazy long (though that of Tim Ho Wan’s starting days remain unbeaten) and reservations were full for 3 months from that period. That sort of deterred me from heading there until recently, when I dropped by on a weekday afternoon to find a rather empty Jamie’s Italian – a nicely decorated one indeed.
What’s Jamie’s Italian without their freshly made pasta? The Tagliatelle Bolognese ($15/$22) packed a powerful punch with its bolognese of beef and pork ragu, herbs, parmesan and breadcrumbs, complementary to it’s firm, al dente counterpart – tagliatelle pasta. As a bonus, pasta here comes in 2 sizes. The smaller plate leaves you enough space for side dishes and dessert while the bigger portion would leave you full and satisfied just with it alone.
The Jamie’s Italian Burger ($27.5) is a much raved about main course. As it gets sent to your table, the towering stack of wagyu steak with smoked mozzarella, balsamic onions, tomatoes, pickles, chili and pancetta looked appealing, but not so to the taste buds. The beef patty was a little dry and slightly burnt. Everything else in the burger tasted alright… and in fact, nothing to rave about actually. This left me puzzled.
We weren’t too keen on salads and greens as a side dish, so their chips were the other sides left. Since it was claimed to be so, Our Famous Polenta Chips ($7.5) was our pick over Funky Chips and Posh Chips. The chips looked quite a sight but are merely deep-fried corn starch fried with cheese and with parmesan cheese atop them, somewhat like a crossover between mozzarella balls and potato balls. Oddly enough they held no particular flavor. It would have been better if there is a more distinct, cheesier flavor.
Desserts such as the Tutti Fruitti Lemon Meringue ($11.5), Raspberry Frangipane ($9.5) and Creamy Panna Cotta ($9) all sound enticing on the menu but instead I went for the classic Tiramisu ($11.5) as I usually do in Italian restaurants. Unlike traditional versions, it is much thicker and denser but generously soaked in rum. I probably prefer less layers in my tiramisu ie a tiramisu to a tiramisu cake, but this was quite a delight.
Considering that Jamie’s Italian is a casual Italian eatery, prices are not cheap. We paid about $85 for 2 pax yet the food had its hits and misses. Not that I wouldn’t head down for a meal again when I’m in VivoCity, though. Overall the ambience is laid back and perfect for post retail therapy and the food is above average standards. Here’s an update that Jamie’s Italian now have a new menu which keeps the old favorites and introduces new dishes! I might just check that out now.
1 Harbourfront Walk
Tel: +65 67335500
Sunday to Thursday 12pm – 10pm
Friday & Saturday 12pm – 11pm