It’s been a long wait for us in Singapore, but Jamie Oliver finally opened a restaurant here. I’ve been a fan for the longest time, I love his personality and more importantly, his approach to food – simple, good and non-fussy. It didn’t hurt that he was pretty cute ;p To me, Jamie’s Italian Singapore typifies this attitude towards food.
From the day they announced the opening date of Jamie’s Italian, we waited a month for our reservation at the restaurant. If you do not want to wait that long for a reservation, you can always do a walk-in, although the queue can get quite long during lunch and dinner, especially over the weekends.
The interior is lovely; dark woods and rustic tin tables. It is comfortable and is just a nice place to have a meal and chill. Our section had two servers and one of them was an incredibly bubbly girl who made us laugh quite a bit throughout the meal (She told us that the olives are so good that if she had to choose, she would dump her boyfriend for the olives). I was amused at how casual the whole atmosphere was, one wait staff was leaning against the couch as he took our order, another crouched next to the table while taking that table’s order.
Sad as it sounds, I had decided on what I wanted to try way in advance, partly because I was so excited that I started scouring blogs on food recommendations. For the antipasti, we had the burrata (sweet potato topped with buffalo mozzarella, which was the daily special), the meat plank and of course, the World’s Best Olives on Ice (after such an introduction, how could we not try it?). I liked everything we ordered, but I wasn’t blown away. The burratta was lovely, I loved the contrast of the sweetness of the sweet potato with the the milkiness of the cheese, sharpened by the tang of the vinaigrette. The olives were good, especially the black olive tapenade, but I certainly won’t dump my boyfriend for it. The meat plank had a good selection of cold cuts, cheeses, pickles and a crunchy salad, but I think sadly, the salad was my favourite bit.
For mains, we ordered the 30-day Matured Prime Rib (pimped!) and since Jamie Oliver is all about the pasta, we ordered the Wild Mushroom Ravioli. I really liked the mains. You can pimp up (yes, it’s the actual word that they use) the prime rib with truffle butter and shaved truffle for an extra S$5, but honestly, I feel there’s no need to. Either that or allow customers to pay more for more truffles. This is probably one of the best ways you can spend S$60, it is cooked to perfection and each bite practically melts in your mouth and is so full of flavour. I’m salivating as I write this. The salad is a side show, I’d have been very happy if they had simply served this slab of meat on its own, unadorned. Although I have to say I loved the endives in the salad – sweet against the pepperiness of the rockets. The ravioli doesn’t look like much and if you don’t top it with mushroom and tomato sauce, it doesn’t taste like much, but when you have a mouthful of the ravioli with the sauce, it’s beautiful.
We ended the meal with three desserts – Tiramisu, Panna Cotta and the Lemon Meringue. The tiramisu is probably the best tiramisu I’ve ever tried, soft sponge with just the right amount of coffee and mascarpone cheese. Definitely my favourite of the three. The panna cotta was milky, creamy and wobbly. The lemon meringue was tart, really tart, a large spoonful of meringue did nothing much to counteract the sourness of the lemon curd, although, strangely enough, it grew on me and I was happy to finish up the last bit. My favourite part of this dessert, though, was the pistachio brittle. I’d say, definitely try the tiramisu and the panna cotta. If you like your sour, the lemon meringue might appeal to you.
For drinks, I had the mojito, which packed quite a punch and was a good addition to a casual lunch. They did forget our drink order, but our wait staff was so charmingly apologetic about it that it wasn’t that big a blip (At times, it took a while to get the wait staff’s attention, but on a whole, it wasn’t too bad). We also tried the coffee and that was definitely good, strong, smooth Italian coffee.
Not cheap by any definitions, the meal cost us close to S$230 with two cocktails and three coffees. Nevertheless, this was definitely an enjoyable meal and while I wasn’t blown away by the food, except for the prime rib, everything was good and I would definitely be back again.
1 HarbourFront Walk,
VivoCity, #1 165-167