It seems as if most of Adelaide was eagerly anticipating the opening of Jamie’s Italian, now open and situated on the corner of North Terrace and King William Street in all its grandeur. I, too, kept tabs on it when I learned of its plans to open in the city – all the way from the States. Hi! My name is Joanne and I’m a new face in Adelaide. I arrived roughly three weeks ago from North Carolina, home of southern comfort food and down home, Lexington-style barbecue. When I read that Adelaide had more restaurants per capita than any other city in the country, I couldn’t wait to explore the city’s food scene. Plus, isn’t dining your way through the city the best way to explore a new place?! Like you, I’ve been relying on D’s reviews and posts on places to eat around here. She was also kind enough to let me contribute to her blog occasionally – thanks, D! So here we go:
Although Jamie’s is a chain here, I wasn’t sure what to expect since Jamie Oliver’s franchise isn’t well-known in America. Needless to say, I was pretty excited to finally go this past weekend. I decided to let the hype die down a little before paying a visit with the boyfriend. (Each time I walked past, there was a line out the door!) Even at 9:15 p.m., the restaurant was packed. I immediately loved the atmosphere. From the outside, you never would’ve suspected it to be any more than a bank building – which it was! The interior, however, was completely different. Decor was classy and modern, yet rustic. One of the first things I noticed was the antipasti bar, adding a little warmth in color to the urban feel of the restaurant.
Crab & Avocado Bruschetta; $16.00
We started off the evening with their Crab & Avocado Bruschetta from their antipasti section. It was a delectable combination of blue swimmer crab and avocado on top of grilled sourdough, topped with chili, mint, lemon, and olive oil. The apple matchsticks sprinkled on top were an interesting, but refreshing addition. It was yummy and light and perfect for summer, but probably not worth the price.
For main courses, I got their Truffle Risotto and my boyfriend ordered their bone-in sirloin, one of their specials for the night.
Small Truffle Risotto; $14.50
Sirloin Special; $29.50
I was leaning towards their Sausage Pappardelle. But the waiter kept pushing for their Truffle Risotto, so I thought, “Why not.” I like truffle too. Turns out, I should’ve gone for the Pappardelle. Although not lacking in flavor, the risotto was a tad bit undercooked. Since it was such a simple dish featuring only minced black truffles, parmesan and nutmeg, I really did wish the risotto, the main focal point of the dish, would’ve been cooked through just a little more. Otherwise, it was rich in flavor.
The sirloin, on the other hand, was wonderful. The steak was a perfect medium and was paired so well with the balsamic vinaigrette. The rocket salad was also delicious with the pine nuts and shaved parmesan.
But of course, what’s Italian without dessert?
Namely, tiramisu. We went for the tiramisu because it’s a classic and a good way to benchmark how Jamie’s compared to other Italian restaurants – especially in a city where there are so many! Altogether, it was good. Not amazing, but not bad, either. What stood out was its orange mascarpone, but I was looking forward to even just a hint of coffee and liqueur, which I struggled to find.
Overall, Jamie’s was pretty good, but not spectacular. I probably wouldn’t go back again unless for a special occasion or I had guests in town – atmosphere and decor makes it a good venue to host guests. Prices were decent and weren’t over the top. Service was also okay. Our server seemed a little distracted, but suggestive and courteous nonetheless. What I do like about the menu is that it features local fruit and produce, along with South Australian boar and venison. Bread also comes in daily from Goodwood bakery Boulangerie 113, which D has written on previously. Not too bad, Jamie’s!
2 King William Street
Adelaide SA 5000
P 08 7109 5000
7 days 11.30am-10.30pm