Makan Hunt: Jamie's Italian
Who doesn’t know Jamie Oliver – star of numerous popular cooking shows on TV, best-selling cook book author; as well as co-owner of the much raved about Jamie’s Italian? A partnership with friend and Italian mentor, Gennaro Contaldo, the Italian restaurant started from humble beginnings back in 2008. Fast forward to the present, it now has outlets in different parts of the globe with the latest one right here in Singapore!
Walk in customers eagerly awaiting the opening of Jamie's Italian
On the 17th of July 2013, Jamie’s Italian officially opened its doors at Vivo City. Since the restaurant has made it possible for excited customers to book online, there really wasn’t much of a blockbuster queue on its opening day. At exactly 1130 am, the excited and energised staff opened its doors to the public so that they can finally try Jamie Oliver’s take on authentic Italian cuisine. OpenRice was there on its first day to let you know if Jamie’s Italian is really worth all the hype, attention, and most importantly… your money. Read on below so you can have an idea on the kind of overall dining experience to expect from the newest Italian restaurant in Singapore. Interior and Al Fresco Area, Plus Décor
Patrons have finally settled in their seats and are now waiting for their orders to arrive
The interior gives you that rustic and warm vibe which can easily make you feel at home. Warm yellow lights make the place brighter and accentuate the wooden panels, picture frames, and chalk boards on its walls. The restaurant also has a 210 seating capacity and is divided into different sections. In front of the bar (and near the entrance), you can find high tables where you take a seat when you want to have a few drinks. Walk further inside and you will see a communal dining counter in front of the cured meats and antipasti station where your appetisers are prepared; plus dining areas with much cosier seats. For a better view of Executive Chef Gary Clarke in what seems to be a live episode of an interesting cooking show, do choose a table in front of the open kitchen and watch him in action.
The al fresco area also features an edible garden where herbs and spices are grown
For those who want to have a picture perfect view of the harbour, you can choose to dine at the al fresco area. Here, you can also admire Jamie’s edible garden. Yes, they grow their own herbs just outside the restaurant. Efficient Service & Friendly Staff Jamie’s Italian has a staff of about 100 which are all trained to make your experience as memorable as possible. Seriously, as soon as you set foot inside, they will greet you like they have known you for a long time. As soon as you settle in your seats, they will hand you the menu and patiently wait for you to make up your mind on what to order. Do ask them for recommendations and they will gladly tell you their signatures with matching anecdotes from Jamie Oliver’s life. When you order a lot of dishes, too, they don’t serve them all in one go. They will ask you which ones you want first so that you can fully enjoy the dishes while they're still hot. There are also a couple of restaurant managers roaming around who keep on chatting with the customers if their food and service were good. For some people, this may be irritating, but for us, we liked the attention! Food – Is it Good? We were quite impressed with the number of items already available at Jamie Italian’s Singapore outlet. These are divided into Anti Pasti, Pasta, Ravioli and Risotto, Mains, Sides, Kids, and Desserts. For such a renowned chef, you would expect the items to be quite expensive but they’re pretty affordable.
Clockwise from top left: Crisy Stuffed Risotto Balls, Wild Mushroom Ravioli, Fillet of Fish Baked in a Bag, Jool's Favourite Sicilian Tuna Fusilli
For starters, we had the Crispy Stuffed Risotto Balls ($11.50) which is stuffed with mozzarella cheese and mushrooms. We liked how the exterior was crunchy yet when you bite into it, the inside was just so soft and chewy. For added flavour, dip it in tomato sauce with a hint of chili. As soon as we worked up our appetite, we then ordered the main dishes recommended by our server: Jool's Favourite Sicilian Tuna Fusilli ($14/$21), Wild Mushroom Ravioli ($16/$24.50), and Fillet of Fish Baked in a Bag ($28). According to him, what made the Fusilli dish so special was that every time Jamie’s wife was pregnant, she would always crave for this. So, Jamie created this especially for her. We liked how there were generous big chunks of tuna in the dish. Herby breadcrumbs were also added to it for that extra crunchiness in texture. This is a definite must try! For the Mushroom Ravioli, the slightly overcooked ravioli were swimming in rich mushroom and tomato sauce. There was a slight menthol taste to it (from the basil) to break the flavour of this otherwise monochromatic dish. For the last course, there was more than fish in the bag for there were also mussels, clams, fennel, anchovies, and chick peas. The tomato sauce was light and tangy, and if you squeeze the lemon juice, it becomes citrusy. It’s a good option if you’ve already had too much pasta.
From left: Brioche Con Gelat and Sour Cherry Bakewell
As for desserts, do go for the Brioche Con Gelat ($9.50) and Sour Cherry Bakewell ($9.50). The gelatos were all homemade and tasted so good, while the tart pie was freshly baked and had a melt-in-your mouth texture. Jamie’s Italian - To Try or Not To Try? Given that Jamie’s Italian only opened yesterday, we have to give them credit for being prepared with the mad rush of people who wanted to dine there on the first day. The food items were reasonably priced and met our expectations quite well. But take note, they still have room for improvement. Overall, we do believe that Jamie’s Italian is worth your buck. From the service down to the food, the restaurant will make you feel like you’re part of the family. Can't wait to try it out for yourself? Then join us for a FREE Food Tasting at Jamie's Italian on 15 August, at 7pm! Click on the button below to find out how you can win!
Turn to page 2 for more photos of Jamie's Italian! See Also: More Italian food to satisfy your tastebuds Discover the best food in town with OpenSnap
Jamie's Italian
Jamie Oliver
Vivo City Restaurants
OpenRice SG Editor
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