Everyone seems to be all hyped up about the opening of Jamie Oliver’s new restaurant in Adelaide on North Terrace and King William Street recently, so I decided to secure a table for us at 5.15 pm on a Thursday afternoon. All the bookings can be done online, no one seems to pick up the phones in this restaurant. The bookings are in 15 minutes interval and they book out quite fast.
As soon as we walked into the restaurant, it was packed with people. We waited in line for the hostess to show us where we were sitting, our given table was actually directly in front of the front glass door. It was quite windy with all the people going in and out. Luckily they were very nice and swapped us to a table that was inside of the restaurant. I must say the wait staffs were very friendly (a bit over friendly and enthusiastic) through out the whole night. However sometimes can be a bit inattentive due to large amount of people.
The restaurant was nicely renovated and the ambiance was good. The open kitchen allowed the diners to see the chefs at work. One thing I would comment about is that this is probably not a place for a romantic date night since there were many people and it was very loud, which made it difficult to talk to the person opposite you. The menu selection seems similar to the Jamie’s Italian in Canberra, however most people I talked to in Canberra said that one was average. Hopefully this place won’t disappoint us.
We ordered 4 dishes in total, so we can get an idea on how good the food are. Our first shared entree was “Crab & Avocado Bruschetta: Grilled sourdough topped with blue swimmer crab & avocado, with apple matchsticks, chilli, mint, lemon & olive oil”. It sounded very nice, however we were surprised at the portion and the quality of this dish compare to the cost. The bruschetta were extremely hard and cold, tasted like over night bread. The only thing that saved the flavors were the apple matchsticks.
What’s an Italian restaurant without good home-made pasta? So we ordered “Black angel spaghetti: Squid-ink pasta, scallops, garlic, chilli, anchovies, wine & capers” and “Crab & Squid Ink Risotto: Black creamy rice with hand-picked crab & crunchy, herby breadcrumbs” at entree sizes so we won’t be too full with just 1 dish. The portions were quite good for an entree size, very suitable for a girl’s lunch portion. The squid-ink pasta were well made and the garlic flavor was quite strong. I probably won’t say it was the best pasta I ever had, it is still decent for a restaurant. The rice for the crab & squid ink risotto was a bit hard and didn’t have a lot of seafood flavoring. It tasted refreshing after mixing the dish with lemon.
The last dish we ordered was “Jamie’s Italian Signature Porchetta: Slow-cooked free-range Australian pork belly filled with herbs, garlic & spices with fennel crackling & a watercress salad”. I actually thought this was the best dish out of all 4. I am usually not a fan of pork belly, however this one was not greasy at all. The skin was crispy and I loved the herbs they stuffed inside the pork belly. Although York did think this dish was only average.
We didn’t order any desserts because my friends said the desserts were average. We also glanced at the other tables for dessert options, however none of them really fancied us. One highlight of the restaurant is the toilet downstairs. Since this building used to be a bank, there were many bars and vaults at the basement. I thought it was very thoughtful how they transformed the toilet into this one. I always like to judge a restaurant’s toilet and this one certainly is one of the better ones in Adelaide. Overall I think the food here is reasonable, many other restaurants in Adelaide charge the same price with worse quality food. However I think most people were expecting more from the celebrity chef, with the price range and ambiance of the restaurant, I still think it is still a place worth a catch up with friends.