As the year winds up to a close, diners at Jamie’s Italian will have the choice of a comfy mix of dishes featuring favourites from the regular (and recently refreshed) menu plus items meant just for the season. Available from now till year’s end, tuck in to a spread of Festive Antipasti, a choice of Mains, and the Dessert plank with drinks at $79++ per person (minimum 2 to dine). For a festive treat, the range of dishes are a visual dazzle, but at a price that borders close just for the experience. Still, with a smorgasbord of flavours (think hearty and sweet at the end) to sample around, this could be a great dinner to share with a loved one.
Upon arrival, diners have the option of a glass of prosecco or Berry Blast. Dinner promptly begins with the Festive Antipasti. The plank is served to the brim with a selection of San Daniele prosciutto, pistachio mortadella, bresaola, hot soppressata, beetroot-cured salmon, roasted shellfish, smoked mackerel pate & mini Fritto misto with yuzu mayo, all served with olives, pickles, Italian cheese and homemade rosemary focaccia. The nibbles are generally great to go around, but few of the antispasti stood out. What I did enjoy were the sides of fresh buffalo cheese which were nicely tender and clean in flavour. Also, the smoked mackerel pate topped with beetroot-cured salmon were a good mix of texture and crunch, coupled with a degree of sea-heartiness that outshines the rest.
For the mains, each diner has the option to choose one out of four select dishes. Jamie’s Truffle Risotto (available on the refreshed a la carte menu) is my personal favourite out of the lot. Clean tasting yet with a touch of decadence and warmth, the dish of acquerello rice served with finely shaved black truffle tossed with butter, parmesan and nutmeg was a delight to slowly finish through. Although I found the risotto a touch too creamy, I still enjoyed the comforting flavours that brought the evening to a slower pace.
The choice of Honeycomb Cannelloni Three Ways (available on the refreshed a la carte menu) is however a unique option for those seeking richer flavours albeit in a concoction that is both messy but alluring. The cannelloni here is stuffed with three different sets of ingredients – Aubergine and sun-dried tomato, roasted pumpkin, and ricotta plus spinach. Each cannelloni when ready is cut into pieces and set inverted on a tomato and basil sauce before finished off in the oven until the top becomes slightly charred (and crispy). Lighter eaters will find that this dish is worth sharing as the rich, umami and creamy flavours can be quite filling over time. That said, even though I thought I was done by the second piece, I found myself helping to more. It does grow on you strangely.
The Oven-roasted Halibut main received mixed reviews from me. While I loved the presentation style (I’ve never seen halibut that nicely grilled before), I thought there was a distinct lack of flavouring or seasoning for the dish. Thankfully, the table comes with salt and pepper shakers, which after a round or two, decently lifted the dish up for a much better second impression.
The Chargrilled Veal Chop 300g is perhaps the option for hearty eaters. A tender cut of veal is cooked under a brick and then served with roasted procini, crispy prosciutto stuffed with sage, a bearnaise sauce and a side of watercress and rocket salad. I found the veal a nice mid to mid-rare, with each portion juicy and in a slightly gamey porcine profile. That said, the porcini mushrooms were a hit with an earthy perfume well drawing out and complementing the veal’s complex flavours. Salty, and lightly smoky prosciutto completes the dish.
Desserts for the night included a serving of Caremlized Lemon Cream, Strawberry Eat & Mess, and a portion of Panettone Bread & Bututer Pudding. I was compelled to start with the Caramelized Lemon Cream first as it was present with a scoop of lemon sorbet best enjoyed fresh, and before it melted. However, it would probably have been a better choice leaving that dessert to the end as its high citrus acidity is the perfect palate cleanser after sampling the very rich and sweet Strawberry Eat & Mess – a dessert I found all to tough to finish. Nonetheless, the Panettone Bread & Butter Pudding was a clear favourite for that balance of soothing sweetness nicely contrasted with bits of sugar rich raisins. The portion of vanilla ice cream was an excellent complement to the pudding, giving rise to a homely combination that is not excessively fancy but familiar. While I would not normally order a portion of bread pudding for dessert, having it as part of the platter made this a very British way to end the entire meal.
In all, the festive menu is an interesting spectacle with an assortment of flavours to play (or plough) through. The variety was good, and the flavours varied from safe to extreme. Out of the four mains, my personal choice would be the truffle risotto for its simplicity and clean flavours that break up the heavy start and end. Comfort seems to be what this selection goes for, but its overall flavours can get a little too strong or too subtle at times.
Thank you Jamie’s Italian for the invitation.
|1 Harbourfront Walk #01-165/167
VivoCity Singapore 098585
Reservations: 6733 5500
Mon – Thu 12pm to 10pm
The Festive Platter is priced at $79++ per person (minimum 2 to dine) and is available at both VivoCity and The Forum outlets till 31st Dec 2015.