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Jamie's Italian, Perth

Home > Perth > Restaurants | Nightlife | Lunch | Food and Wine | Dinner
by MaggieVP (subscribe)
Freelance writer specialising in serendipity: the art of finding wonderful things by accident or sagacity. Comments and suggestions always welcome!
Published May 9th 2013
The global gourmet chef gets it right
Perth loves Jamie Oliver and if the quality of the food at Jamie's Italian is any indication, he loves us right back. Since opening at the end of March, the restaurant has been the hottest spot in town. No one I knew had been there, so I decided it was time to see if all the hype was, well, just hype. Reservations weren't possible but how crowded could it be at 5:30 on a Monday night?

Jamie's Italian queue
Monday evening, 5:30 outside Jamie's Italian (photo ©mvanputten 2013)

As you see, the answer is: very crowded. However, in the first display of the consistently professional service, a staff member came out and gave us estimated waiting times. Some people left but most proceeded to the reservation desk. There we had a choice to take a pager and wait in the bar or leave a phone number and go elsewhere. We opted to spend the estimated hour and a quarter in the bar.

Jamie's Italian bar
Quick service at the bar (photo ©mvanputten 2013)

The bar is a long narrow space directly opposite the entrance. There are a limited number of stools along a small counter but we were lucky enough to get a seat on a banquette at the back wall. The drinks menu has a good selection of Italian wines, cocktails and quirky soft drinks. I ordered homemade lemonade and lime bitters and my friend had a glass of Chianti. We also ordered a serve of Seasonal Veg Crudités on Ice. In addition to this, twice during the time we were in the bar waitstaff came around offering a plank with a selection of dips, olives, bread and salami. They even went to the queue outside. Nice.

Jamie's Italian crudites
Very fresh seasonal crudites (photo ©mvanputten 2013)

Just on 7 pm we were seated at a window table and a waitress took our order about ten minutes later. I ordered an antipasto plank of Cured and Crispy Fish and a main of Wild Mushroom ravioli. My friend chose an entrée of Blue Swimmer Crab Risotto with Veal Saltimbocca for the main. We added another glass of wine and a non-alcoholic ginger mojito. The waitress returned with a small basket of bread sticks, ciabatta and thin 'music bread' drizzled with olive oil and balsamic. Very welcome, and yes, it's free.

Jamie's Italian bread
Fresh bread is included (photo ©mvanputten 2013)

We now had time to take in our surroundings and one problem was immediately apparent: noise. The large room has a wooden floor, metal tables and concrete pillars dotted around, and an open kitchen at one end. All these hard surfaces combined with a full house made conversation difficult. When the waitress brought my entrée she described each item in detail. Unfortunately I couldn't hear most of it. Still, the fish was crisply fried and the shellfish had a fresh chili bite. The mackerel pate was outstanding, smoky, rich and creamy with a hint of brine. My friend was a bit surprised by the spiciness of her risotto but when I checked the menu later I noticed it mentioned a chilli topping.

Jamie's Italian Cured and Crispy Fish plank
Some of the delights on the Cured and Crispy Fish Plank (photo ©mvanputten 2013)

When the mains arrived they were even better. I loved the ravioli. The tomato and mushroom sauce was thick and rich and the ricotta-filled pasta was silky and perfectly cooked. (All the pasta is made fresh on the premises.) My friend's veal was a touch dry but tender and well-seasoned.

Jamie's Italian Veal Saltimbocca
Veal Saltimbocca

The portions weren't huge but they were ample enough. We decided we had room to split a dessert and ordered a piece of Tutti Frutti Lemon Meringue pie. The meringue was crisp on top and soft as marshmallow underneath, the lemon was tangy and the bits of pistachio brittle added a delicious crunch. All this and our bill for the evening was a very reasonable $122.

Jamie's Italian Tutti Frutti Lemon meringue
Tutti Frutti Lemon Meringue

Overall, Jamie's Italian is a welcome addition to Perth's casual dining scene and it mostly lives up to the hype. The food is fresh and well-cooked and the efficient, professional service is something to which more local restaurants should aspire. The main drawbacks are the noise and the long wait. Some bookings are taken but when I checked the first available was several months away. If you want to avoid the queue, I'd suggest a late lunch on a weekday would be the best time. Enjoy!
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Why? A new standard of food and service
When: Daily 11:00 am - 10:30 pm
Phone: 9363 8600
Where: 140 William Street, Perth
Your Comment
Great article Maggie, sounds like it will be worth the wait.
by Shannon Meyerkort (score: 3|1810) 2407 days ago
ceckh, yes I'm going back as well. I think it's a great addition to Perth. And yes, I think smart casual is a good guideline.
by MaggieVP (score: 2|592) 2403 days ago
klaga, yes, definitely casual dining, but it was pretty early. Later in the evening it was a bit dressier
by MaggieVP (score: 2|592) 2404 days ago
Linda there were'nt many children there when I was there but I noticed the viewfinders. Very retro, I'll bet children love them
by MaggieVP (score: 2|592) 2404 days ago
Maria, I hope you let the management know about your unsatisfactory visit.
by MaggieVP (score: 2|592) 2404 days ago
Thanks Shannon. I wouldn't go on a weekend though, I imagine it would be much longer.
by MaggieVP (score: 2|592) 2404 days ago
Yes my husband and 4 year old were lucky enough to get in on my birthday and we had to be there by 5.45pm or our table would be forfeited. It is fantastic for kids! A view finder is given as their menu! How cool is that...and she got a badge that said "I ate all my Greens at Jamie's". The staff are amazing. They tell you exactly where everything comes from, local or otherwise. I have made 3 more bookings! Yes they are a few months away but who cares! I plan on being a regular
by linda (score: 0|8) 2404 days ago
Look at the way the queue is dressed, Perth people never dress up!!
by klaga (score: 0|9) 2404 days ago
I found Jamie's to be fabulous and wasn't put off by the wait. Service was well above average for Perth and the food was delicious. Free bread was a very welcome surprise and something others ought to consider! (used to be the norm). I agree wholeheartedly with the noise factor but overall, it wouldn't deter me from going back again :)
by ceckh (score: 0|2) 2403 days ago
It's not actually a dress up type of restaurant but smart casual should be applied :)
by ceckh (score: 0|2) 2403 days ago
I have been there twice now. The first time the food and service were great, despite the hour wait for a table. The second time I was disappointed. My calamari entree was overcooked, which tasted rubbery. My main of canelloni was also slightly overcooked, looking dried out on top. I wouldn't order either of these dishes if I go again. I was disappointed with the service on the second occasion as well, not receiving any of the breads and the waiter "dumping" the desert on the table.
by maria (score: 0|2) 2405 days ago
What I was advocating was STYLE. Look at the queue., way too casual, and no style. Come on Perth step up
by klaga (score: 0|9) 2402 days ago
I think I'll wait until all the excitement dies down, I'm not one for crowded restaurants.
by Uber-bubble (score: 1|62) 2284 days ago
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