Jamie’s Italian re-run

—– 23rd Dec 2013 —–
Another day, another early bird special without a booking, this time with the more ambitious number of 6 patrons. I was browsing dresses when I get the following text message from a friend: “you have 5 minutes to get here before they give away our table”. I put the dresses on hold and run down stairs to the outside area of Jamie’s Italian. It is a bit of a squeeze but all of us managed to fit around the table.

Drinks~

‘Refresher’ mocktail – fresh lemon, elderflower cordial & cranberry juice, topped with lemonade ($6.50). This had a lot of lemon juice which made it crazy sour which is not what it tasted like when I ordered it during my previous visit. I think that these mocktails are very inconsistent and the bar staff need to taste them before sending them out.20131226-181736.jpg

Entrees~

Italian bread selection homemade rosemary foccacia, Italian grissini, crispy ‘music bread’ & ciabatta from our bakery. All served with Rylstone extra virgin olive oil & aged balsamic. $1 from every bread tin we serve is donated to Jamie’s Ministry of Food Australia ($1.50). Since there was 6 of us we just ordered three serves for the table, it wasn’t enough to satisfy our want for also getting entrees, so this was just a starter while we were browsing the menus.

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Baked mushrooms swiss browns with crispy “music bread” and smoked buffalo mozzarella ($14.50). As the waiter places down my entree and I danced about take photos of everyone else’s food, he mentions he loves this dish even though he doesn’t like mushrooms. That’s the thing about Jamie’s Italian, all the waiters and waitresses all have their favourites and are not afraid to tell you.

It was a great medley of mushrooms and herbs, although I’m not quite sure about the thin base. When there is no mushrooms on it, it comes brittle and hard (around the edges of the dish) but when it is the base with mushrooms, it becomes really soggy and hard to eat. The cheese is really subtle and I wish there was more salt to this.20140114-230655.jpg

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Crispy squid fried quid garlicky may and lemon ($12.50). Due to an ordering error from the waitress, only one of these were served so we cancelled the one that was never put through to the kitchen and we were given more bread complimentary (we still had to pay for the previous bread, they just gave us an extra box for free). These had a nice light batter that went really well with the sauce, unfortunately the portion size was really small.

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Crispy tomato and mozzarella arancini stuffed rice balls with pickled red chillies, spicy arrabbiata sauce and parmesan ($10.50).20131226-181657.jpg

Tagliatelle bolognese ragù of beef, pork, herbs, Chianti & parmesan with crunchy, herby breadcrumbs (entree size $13.00, I didn’t take a photo of the main size but it was much bigger than the previous main serve that we ordered). Tim took another risk and re-ordered the same thing that disappointed us so much last time we were here. This time it was much much better! The crumb was crunchy, pasta was perfect and the bolognese sauce itself was fantastic as always. 20131226-181726.jpg

Simple baked lasagne slow-cooked beef & pork with roasted squash, herbs & wine, baked in an oozy white sauce with tomatoes, mozzarella & Parmesan ($21.00). I steered clear of previous menu items hoping to try something new that night. The lasagna didn’t have the same sauce as the bolognese otherwise this would have been spectacular. I didn’t understand the constant addition of rocket to all the pastas; I just tossed it aside. There was nothing special about this dish; it wasn’t particularly cheesy, the red sauce was mediocre and I didn’t feel that there was much white sauce. I got more enjoyment from eating from TimmyC’s plate.

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Italian farm sausage grilled pork sausage flavoured with red wine & spices, served with sweet & sour capsicums, capers, chilli & garlic ($23.00). My friend liked this as much as I ‘liked’ my lasagna. It tasted a bit ‘herby’ but it was missing something, a chutney or sauce perhaps? My friend didn’t even eat half of this, I think he got bored with the meal or he was completely underwhelmed.

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The Jamie’s Italian burger Aussie Black Angus steak with smoked mozzarella, pancetta, sticky balsamic onions, tomato, pickles and chillies ($19.50). My friend really enjoyed her burger but I still think by looking at it, that the bun to meat ratio is all wrong.

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The back of the burger looks less appetizing.

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Spaghetti alla norma a classic Sicilian pasta dish of eggplant, oregano, chilli & basil, all in a rich tomato sauce.

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Sides~

Our famous polenta chips crispy fried with rosemary and parmesan ($8.50). The polenta chips were rather nice, exactly the same to the Sydney store; they were crispy, salty and you wouldn’t think that they were made from polenta.

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The staff were nice and friendly as always, the food came out promptly, the only thing that was disappointing were some of the dishes, there were more ‘misses’ than ‘hits’. I’m not completely sold on this place yet.

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Breakfast at Siren bar and restaurant

After being dragged away from my comfortable bed at an ungodly hour (weekends are meant for sleeping in), I demanded retribution and got TimmyC to buy me breakfast for driving him to the other side of town so early in the morning. I had recently heard the radio ads for Siren bar and restaurant that they do breakfast, lunch and dinner and it has been a few years since I’ve last been there (see my previous post here). The only thing I really remembered from my previous visit was that the kitchen was closed by the time we wanted to order our desserts and I left disappointed, but this time we were there bright and early and ready for breakfast.

20140112-161805.jpgA big open space with lots of natural sunlight; this place is family friendly by day and turns into a drinking hotspot by night. There was still a residue of alcohol, beer and sticky floor smell lingering in the morning.20140112-161946.jpgFreshly squeezed juice(orange, pineapple and ginger $7.50) and a deluxe iced chocolate($6.50). My juice was nice with a good hint of ginger, just the way I like it. I was a bit disappointed with the size of the glass though considering it costs $7.50. My friend said that his iced chocolate looked much better than it tasted, it was almost watery and not very strong.20140112-161818.jpgFlat white in a mug ($4.30). This came out a lot later than the juices which was odd as it is usually the other way around. TimmyC said it tasted quite bitter.20140112-161847.jpgWaffles homemade vanilla bean waffles with ice-cream, berry compote and maple syrup ($14.00). I was happy to find that this was a stack of two waffles, most places would just give you one. I thought they were really nice but it only had a hint of crispiness, if it had more of a crunch to it this would have been awesome. The berry compote was made from frozen berries so it tasted really watery so we just pushed that aside.20140112-161828.jpgSiren extreme brekky eggs done your way (poached) with crispy bacon, chorizo sausages, eye fillet steak, roasted cherry tomatoes, potato rosti, saute mushrooms and baked beans served on sour dough ($22.00). Extreme indeed; this was just protein on a plate. Maybe this was meant for all the hardcore riders that cycle from southside to come here for brunch?

The eggs were cooked well, the bacon was crispy and not overly oily, the chorizo was extremely good and was rather spicy, the eye fillet steak just needed a speckle of salt and the cherry tomatoes just popped straight in your mouth. The sautéed mushrooms could have done with some seasoning and garlic, the baked beans were from a can and the potato rosti (which I was most excited to try) was rather tasteless and limp. Not the best looking plate but a lot of good things on there, maybe some spinach would have broken up all the meaty hearty flavours.20140112-161919.jpgNot the most crispy or flavoursome rosti that I’ve had.20140112-161927.jpgBrekky wrap bacon, scrambled egg and potato rosti wrapped in a fresh tortilla with tomato or BBQ sauce ($12.50). I was torn between two menu items and this was the other; it has all my favourite things wrapped conveniently in a tortilla but this was nothing special. It was okay, just lacking more BBQ sauce which the staff were happy to help with.20140112-161838.jpgLots of families with kids strolled in and had brunch together and by the time we were finished the young brunch crowd was just coming through. It is nice to have a place like this out in Gungahlin because there isn’t many brunch places choose from.

You have to order and pay for your meal at the bar and while we were there, it didn’t seem like you really needed to book a head for  a table.

Don’t forget to use your Entertainment card!

Getting my fruit intake #canberra #flute #galette #pear #food #foodies #foodblog #breakfast

Hi Quizabel, this is from one of my favourite bakeries in Canberra- The Flute bakery in Fyshwick across from the new Good guys location near Bunnings. They are open 8 – 3 Monday to Fridays. Cash only. Definitely worth a visit.