JAMIE’S ITALIAN, 140 WILLIAM STREET, PERTH CBD
This was my third visit to Jamie’s Italian, the first in Shepherd’s Bush; London in 2011 and in Sydney last year, so I knew what to expect. The menu is the same in all Jamie’s Italians, so I was excited about being able to try more of his dishes. Jamie’s Italian is not fine dining (which it seems some people have a preconceived idea of), the menu consists of simple Italian dishes, produced with well-sourced, good quality ingredients.
Perth is the third city out of the UK and Ireland to be lucky enough to be on Jamie’s hit list. After opening his first in Oxford in 2008, Jamie’s Italians started popping up all over the UK. Dubai was the first international city in 2011, followed by Sydney a year later. 2013 sees Oliver going global, a branch has just opened in St Petersberg, with restaurants in Singapore and Turkey in the pipeline; his plain, to increase from four to twenty restaurants out of the United Kingdom.
Probably the least enjoyable part of our meal were the “Crispy Risotto Balls” – smoked mozzarella & porcini arancini. They came out looking beautiful, in a little pot with brown paper. I could not really taste the smoked mozzarella, just a mild mushroom flavour with no gooey centre. They were served with a rich tomato sauce. They just needed a bit more punch.
It was difficult to choose just one dish for the next course so Mum and I chose a pasta dish and a risotto to share. “Wild Rabbit Tagliolini” – slow cooked MacLeay Valley rabbit ragu with garlic and herbs, mascarpone and lemon, was a light, fresh tasting dish. A pale coloured creamy ragu, with the distinct taste of rabbit, the lemon really balancing out the dish, making it fresh, not heavy. “Wild Truffle Risotto” – finely minced black truffle with butter and parmesan, was naughty but superb! Rich, creamy with a fantastic subtle truffle taste – an entrée-sized portion was definitely enough though!
Dessert is where the menu envy set in! I ordered “Tiramisu” – coffee flavoured trifle with orange mascarpone and chocolate. Nice, but then I tried Mum’s “Sour Cherry Bakewell” – tart berries and sweet almond filling served with clementine rippled sour cream. Really sweet marzipan tasting almond mixture with cherries; so delicious! The use of sour cream instead of ordinary cream was a great idea, enhanced with the citrusy burst of clementine. I apologise for not posting a photo of the bakewell tart, I think Mum’s spoon was too quick!
I do not usually talk about price too much as it is pretty standard across Perth, an expensive city to dine out in. I nearly fell off my seat when I saw the receipt – if only there were twenty more restaurants in the same price range – cheaper than cooking at home!