Being in Shepparton - good coffee is hard to come by. At home, its only a few buttons and bits away...
First up - Jamie's Italian Australia
The first of Jamie's Italian restaurants to hit Australia has settled in Wynyard, Sydney. I was lucky enough to dine with one of the chefs to introduce me to the culinary experience that is Jamie's Italian. (hehe, it helps when she is my amazing cheffy sister!)
Its a cozy, lengthy little spot. The walls are lined with dark, spotted mirrors and over hanging lights. The opposite wall is rustic, with wooden walls and cupboards filled with wine. The lighting is dark (oxymoron as that sounds), but it gives a sense of cozyness, and you are surrounded in a sea of fellow food wankers. (yes thats right, there is every tom, dick and harry out with his DSLR to take food photos, i had to take my incognito).
We got the crispy polenta chips with parmesan cheese - I've converted to the belief that no potato chips come close to the delectable smooth, dreamy texture and crispy outside. Seriously, no chip compares.
Meat plank - cured meats, bocconcini cheese, pickles and crispy salad. Although this looks like some creepy body parts in the picture (last picture in the set), it is yummy. Who knew you could get cured wagyu beef - just like prosciutto! Annnnd the bocconcini cheese - hello minty goodness and chilli jam!
Fish in a bag - pretty simple right? Well this en papillote was... different. It had a soft white fish (snapper I'm guessing) with clams, mussels, fennel, chilli, anchovies and Sicilian cracked wheat (like cous cous) with some pine nuts. It was well cooked and balanced with the fennel, but like with most Italian food - every mouthful can be monotonous after a while. For a moderate sized dish, it certainly became a little boring 3/4 of the way through.
I guess if you are looking for that real, Italian food that makes you feel like you are eating with Nonna in the village you might not get it here, but the standard is set high. Jamie's Italian prides itself on maintaining consistency with every meal served. Every dish that is served will be exactly the same down the the last grain of salt!!