Four months after an exciting launch, Jamie’s Italian at VivoCity is now set to tease tastebuds further with a seasonal updated menu. With more than 15 fresh, well-balanced new dishes on the menu, Jamie’s Italian looks ready to enchant those yet to step in and refresh the memories of those with previous visits. Pitched as the casual family friendly restaurant with a smorgasbord of favourites treats at reasonable prices, the recipes are created fresh from Jamie Oliver’s kitchen in the UK and kept as authentic as possible.
Exciting dishes that are a must try include the World’s Best Olives on Ice, Jamie’s Walnut Salad, 30 Day Matured Prime Rib, Epic Brownie and the ever colourful Tutti Frutti Lemon Meringue Pie. Keen to read more?
Step into Jamie’s Italian
Sour Cherry Fizz ($15) and Homemade Italian Lemonade ($5.50)
I started off with the Crab & Avocado Bruschetta ($14.50). The dish, a sourdough selection topped with devonshire crab is served alongside a puree of avocado & Yeo Valley yogurt mixed with apple, chilli, mint and lemon. The flavours were good and wholesome with a decent amount of crab sweetness spread throughout. Great to share and open up the palate for dishes to come.
A must order recommendation goes to the World’s Best Olives On Ice ($7.50). It was my first seeing such huge green olives, and the shine from each one of them as they reflected in the light was simply inviting. Served with some black olive tapenade and the restaurant’s crispy “music bread” (the grill pattern looks like notations on a sheet). Each Italian olive was juicy and appetizing, with a good amount of olive oil bursting from within. The black olive tapenade was sweet, tangy and refreshing – a good combination with the music bread though I would have preferred just tucking into the green olives any day.
It’s my second time coming across the Arancini, and while the textured flavours of stuffed rice balls was inviting and comforting, I thought this dish was quite general and selectively please palates. Crispy Tomato and Mozzarella Arancini ($10.90) comes with a scattering of pickled red chillies, spicy arrabbiata sauce and parmesan – giving a light umami hearty flavour in each bite.
I was well impressed with Jamie’s Walnut Salad ($9.50). A selection of trevisse, chicory and baby beets are tossed with crunchy walnuts and aged balsamic. The walnut bitters stand out sharply and yet harmonizing beautifully with the balsamic in notes of wonderful sweet and tangy flavour well incorporated with touches of crunchy textures. I am very selective of the salads I eat because of its generally ordinary and lacklustre flavour. This salad from Jamie’s is particularly delicious and the colour is most inviting.
For something a little more filling, choose the Mortadella and Ricotta Panzerotti ($16/$24.50). This is one dish made with pasta filled with mortadella and chicken, coated in a blue cheese sauce. The pasta is then topped with toasted and spiced nuts, apple, lemon and a parsley salad. The classic use of blue cheese lend a slightly sharp twist to the traditionally creamy sauce and is only faintly noticeable. Still, it brings out the flavour of Italian sausage and minced chicken thigh stuffed within the pasta. Heart, filling, and something that I will consider as comfort food.
As the most expensive dish on the menu, the 30-Day Matured Prime Rib ($59.50) is well worth the order. A whole slave of 350g Angus breed bone-in strip loin is served with wild mushrooms and peppery endives. Add $5 for a topping of summer truffle butter and shaved Tuscan black truffles for that elegant and classic touch. The meat is wonderfully tasty, with a good amount of fat by the side that simply melts in your mouth. I had my portion done a loving medium rare, leaving a good amount of meaty juiciness tucked within each cut. And I highly recommend going for the truffle butter for a different dimension to the already delectable dish. There is just something unique and comforting of having gorgeous butter scented with truffle well melted over the prime rib, giving a hint of earthy savouriness that is almost rustic and decadent.
Jamie’s Simple Baked Lasagne ($24) will appeal to select tastebuds. It is different from the ones usually found in chain restaurants with this easily being a gourmet and upmarket version of the classic dish. Slow-cooked beef and pork is layered between lasagne sheets together with roasted squash, herbs and wine in a creamy white sauce made with tomato, mozzarella and parmesan. I could not appreciate the mushiness from the squash and would have preferred a more crusty cheese texture enveloping the pasta. Still, kudos to the generous topping of arugula that refreshes the palate with light sweet bitterness.
The Epic Brownie ($11.50) is a must order for those seeking for a warm fudgy brownie with a gorgeous portion of amaretto ice cream sinfully melting away on the top. The Italian liquor infused within the ice cream also finds its way caramelized over the popcorn bits, which itself lends a crunchy and crisp texture to the generally chewy and decadent dessert.
A dessert that borrows a floral name is the Raspberry Frangipane ($9.50). Fresh raspberries and almond filling form part of the ingredients to the crumbly tart that is paired with creme fraiche ice cream and a berry drizzle. Decent, though my favourite dessert for the meal has to be the next.
I am an easy man to please if you give me a sour dessert that refreshes the palate in refreshing and not too cloying ways. The Tutti Frutti Lemon Meringue Pie ($11.50) hit the mark nicely as the lemon simply stands out in almost eye-popping tartness. While the topping of cream looks delectably good with the coloured candy and crunchy pistachio brittle, its decadence would have been too much if not for the sour lemons in each bite. I say give me less of the cream and more of the lemon meringue.
The JI Trifle ($9.50) is homely dessert that is made from fresh strawberries, strawberry jelly, custard and a glazed Italian meringue. It looks good, appetizing, definitely sinful in each bite, but I found it hard to appreciate the berry sauce within that lends a unique sweetness that didn’t sit well with me. Now, if they had an Eton Mess made with meringue, cream and an assortment of ingredients, it would have been so much tastier.
Pasta being made fresh daily
The alfresco dining areas for the evenings overlooking Sentosa island
On a whole, the dishes for the day were mostly flavourful, innovative, and a departure from the regular restaurant fare one would get in Singapore. Dishes that stood out include the Olives, Prime Rib, Walnut Salad and the Lemon Meringue Pie. It’s a nice touch when pastas are made fresh daily. The restaurant ambience is homely, warm and inviting with my weekday lunch visit at about half past one seeing the 250 seater outlet almost packed with diners enjoying themselves. With most of the seats at the restaurant set aside for walk in guests, reservation options are limited. The popularity of Chef Jamie Oliver himself perhaps sets the bar higher when it comes to diner’s expectations. And while not all dishes may be what you normally see on the television, the concept for a casual, family friendly restaurant that is open throughout the day is a refreshing entrant on the restaurant scene. I would come back to try the rest of the menu, especially some of that Grilled Chicken and Grilled Pork Chop which I’ve been hearing loads about.
Thank you Jamie’s Italian for the invitation
|Jamie’s Italian Singapore
1 Harbourfront Walk
Tel : 6733 5500
Website : www.jamiesitalian.sg (Online reservations made through website)
Facebook : www.facebook.com/jamiesitaliansingapore
12pm to 10pm Sundays to Thursday
12pm to 11pm Friday and Saturday