Visited: Jamie's Italian in Singapore

Jamie's Italian in Singapore is the closest encounter I've had with the naked-chef-television-persona-turned-celebrity-chef. There's always that adorable charm about Jamie Oliver, his bubbly persona, enthusiasm, passion and ideas that he so fervently believes in and spread to people. Watching him on TV cooking or even dressed up in a green-pea costume, and following his colourful and lively Instagram account is always something I look forward to. Have I mentioned that his kids have the loveliest, cutest names a parent could possibly ever given: Buddy Bear, Petal Rainbow, Poppy Honey, Daisy Boo, who knows what's coming next? Rosemary Munchkin? =)

Jamie Oliver does not promote himself, instead he spreads and promotes ideas; ideas that are good for other people like his recent campaign to discourage processed food in schools. Jamie is more than just good looks, his mantra has worked its charms on many, including myself.


Naturally, when I heard that he's opening his first restaurant in Asia: Jamie's Italian in Singapore on 17 July 2013, visiting it became one of my top to-do-list. Against all odds, I finally made it in my trip to Singapore back in August. First, I tried to secure a table by calling to make a reservation for late lunch, but I was turned down because they only take large numbers for reservation. Okay let's hope the queue wouldn't be so crazy.

When I arrived, there was a bit of a queue, still undeterred, I put my name down on the waiting list (and rather insisted for a table by the window) and about 25 minutes later, my table was available. All the while waiting, I browsed the corner where Jamie-endorsed items were displayed for sale (such as cookbooks, T-Shirts, mugs, tumblers coffee flasks, aprons, umbrellas, etc).

So, after watching JO cooking on TV, how he raves about fresh ingredients, healthy eating, etc, I certainly had a certain expectation about his food, although I know I shouldn't, because the restaurant only borrows his concepts and the dishes coming out from the kitchen are cooked by someone else, not Jamie himself. 
Jamie's Italian Opened in Singapore
Inside the restaurant at Jamie's Italian in Singapore
Inside the restaurant at Jamie's Italian in Singapore
Rustic table setting at Jamie's Italian in Singapore


The Menu
The way they write the menu, is very reminiscent of how Jamie himself would talk, with the use of superlatives, and adjectives that we won't normally find on the menu or at any other restaurants, such as 'Beautiful oranges', 'Amazing chili jam' 'the sweetest baby plum tomatoes'. It's just so Jamie!
Extensive list of the menu is available online, click here

The Food
Not the conventional Italian numbers you would expect, as Jamie added his own twist, which I think, is his fondness to mix a contrasting ingredients to make the dish alive and kickin', such as the liberal of chilies, mint leaves, etc. Now, on to the food, shall we?

Antipasti
Strongly recommended for sharing (enough for 2-4pax): Fish Planks, a long wooden plank, which holds 4 types of items on it:
- Cured & Crispy Fish (beetroot-cured salmon, roasted shellfish, smoked mackerel pâté & mini fritto misto with yuzu mayo)
- Italian Cheeses (aged pecorino with crispy bread & chilli jam)
- Pickles, green chillies, green olives & caper berries
- Crunchy Salad (shaved root veg with chili, lemon & mint)
Fish Planks, a long wooden plank, which holds 4 types of items on it: Cured & Crispy Fish, Italian Cheeses, Pickles, Crunchy Salad
Fish Planks SGD 17

It's always good to ask for Today's Special menu, lucky me, on my visit, they were having this amazing appetizer, aptly named: the Velvety Italian Burrata with Roasted Onion, Squash, Chili, Crispy Sage and The Best Olive Oil. I really liked this one, the butternut squash melted like butter and the herbs & spices mixed together in a perfect harmony! I especially love the crispy sage touch. Simply brilliant.
Velvety Italian Burrata with Roasted Onion, Squash, Chili, Crispy Sage and The Best Olive Oil
Italian Burrata with Roasted Onion, Squash, Chili, Crispy Sage and Olive Oil SGD 13.50

Mains
After a delightful antipasti, I was getting all excited for the Mains. On the staff's recommendation, I ordered the Lamb Chop Lollipops, an historical moment in my dining repertoire, because never before, I voluntarily ordered a lamb dish. All my previous encounters with lamb had been either a pre-set meal or taking a sample from other friend's share. This bone-in grilled lamb chops were served with a creamy artichoke & mint sauce, roasted nuts, chilli & fresh mint. The lamb was well roasted, it has that slightly burnt texture and scent, the meat tender, but a lot of soft bones, which didn't quite appeal to me, as I prefer lean meat. But the blended artichoke surprisingly tasted delicious, especially with the nuts, mint leaves and chili together.
Lamb Chop Lollipops Bone-in grilled lamb chops served with a creamy artichoke & mint sauce, roasted nuts, chilli & fresh mint
Lamb Chop Lollipops Bone-in grilled lamb chops served with a creamy artichoke & mint sauce, roasted nuts, chilli & fresh mint
Lamb Chop Lollipops SGD 29.90

Dessert
Again, this item was chosen because of the staff's tip-off, who told me that this is one of their best-selling dessert. The Sour Cherry Bakewell is a baked pie with tart berries and sweet almond filling, served with clementine rippled sour cream. To top it all, I had a cup of Cappuccino. The sweet almond filling was balanced by the refreshing sourness of the berries layer underneath. The whole thing was drizzled with plain creamy vanilla sauce. I'm lovin' it!
Sour Cherry Bakewell Tart berries, sweet almond filling, served with clementine rippled sour cream Cappuccino
Flat White Coffee SGD 4.50
Sour Cherry Bakewell SGD 9.50

I think it was the most expensive meal I had ever paid for myself. The bill came totalling more than SGD 60, converted to Rupiah, it would be almost IDR 500,000 (whoa! how much do I even make a month? Oh, the problem of being a foodie!). Despite that, I left the place a few Kgs heavier and thinner wallet but one happy & satiated tummy and a nice experience to share with you.

I would really love to come back and try other stuff on the menu. Don't you just feel like ordering anything that sounds like this: 'Crispy Risotto Balls Stuffed with Smoked Mozzarella & Porcini Arancini' or
'Honeycomb Cannelloni Three-Ways with Aubergine & Sun-Dried Tomato, Pumpkin, Ricotta & Spinach'? I'm having a serious hangover now, fridge to the rescue!

*) Prices are subject to 10% Service Charge and 7% GST

Opening Hours
Sunday to Thursday: 12.00pm to 10.00pm
Friday/Saturday: 12.00pm to 11.00pm

Jamie's Italian Singapore
Vivocity #1 165-167
Harbourfront, Singapore
Phone: +65 67335500
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