Posts Tagged ‘Italian’

I’m a regular here and this is easily one of my favourite lunch spots around work. Every time I walk in I’m greeted with a, “Ciao bella” and if I’m lucky enough I will get a kiss on the cheek, breathing an Italian charm into the place. Even if I’m walking along the street and they spot me, it is still ciao bella time.

Serving up outstanding dishes with quality ingredients, everything is reasonable priced and well-portioned. I would go so much as to say that they serve the best Italian in the CBD. It is best to book or come in just at 12 to beat the lunch rush. Otherwise, get your food to go and they’ll knock off a couple of dollars. Somewhere between the $2-$4 dollar mark.

The lunch menu is organised by antipasto, panini, salads and pastas, where you can order your choice of pasta and sauce. The menu is waited on by super charged energizer bunny staff who hop, skin and leap around you efficiently. Their full-of-life personalities are so infectious that it can’t help but always seem to brighten up my day.

linguine boscaiola

More often than not, I will order the linguine boscaiola ($16.50). It is the ultimate, served with pancetta, mushrooms, caramelised onions in a cream sauce. The use of pancetta and caramelised onion add another dimension to this favourite. The pancetta creates a lovely smokiness and chewiness while the caramelised onions carries a sweetness into this savoury dish.

The side of parmesan is served in a generous bowl, so you can sprinkle as much or as little as you like. Most places tend to serve you pittance and I think this tiny detail makes such a difference to the experience and taste of your meal, especially when the parmesan is of such a high quality.

Garlic bread ($5.50) is beautifully fragrant and crusty, it is the perfect contraption for dipping, especially into somebody else’s plate!

linguine w peas

Linguine with peas, pancetta, garlic, chilli & truss tomatoes ($16.50) is not for the faint hearted. It packs a bit of a kick and is full of flavour with the chilli and garlic. Again, the sauce takes on a delicious smokiness with the use of pancetta. This is so stunning, it’s hard to think I am on my lunch break. Shouldn’t I be at a food court somewhere?

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The Art of Pasta is one of my favourite cook books. I am completely enamoured with it. It is a stunning collection of pasta and Italian recipes that is artistically captured and presented through an inspiring collaboration between Artist and Chef. Showcasing two craftsman at their best. Dishes are uniquely dressed with the original artworks of Luke Sciberras that were inspired and painted simultaneously while Lucio prepared the food on set. The book is so exquisitely beautiful, creative and just so… explicit that I have admittedly drawn inspiration for my food photography right from this book.

art of pasta shots 1

I discovered from the Sydney Morning Herald Grower’s Market (Pyrmont) facebook page, that the two authors Lucio Galletto owner and chef of 2 Chef’s Hat Lucio’s Restaurant and David Dale would be completing two food porn-y pasta demonstrations up on the Master Chef Stage followed by book signing. Right in front of everyone too, which is a bit naughty!!

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This would be my second visit to Pendolino and a long overdue one at that. After 3 years I still remember from my first visit the stand out dishes that I had longed for ever since. The oysters with a tomato vinaigrette that ruled my world, the beef carpaccio that was out of this world and the ravioli that was out of this planet. When Brazil challenged the very existence of incredible Italian food, I took him straight here to be taken to the moon and back. And to the moon and back he and I both went.

Assortment of olive oils @ Pendolino

Assortment of olive oils

 

Complimentary bread @ Pendolino

Complimentary bread

We commenced our night with an assortment of olive oils and fresh fluffy focaccia. We were presented with a fruity, lemon and orange olive oils to introduce us to their olive oil range.

Freshly Shucked Coffin Bay Pacific Oyster served with Salmon Pearls and Pendolino Tomato Vinaigrette @ Pendolino

Freshly Shucked Coffin Bay Pacific Oyster served with Salmon Pearls and Pendolino Tomato Vinaigrette $4.50 each

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It was my girlfriend Julia’s birthday and not only was I excited that it was her birthday but I was also excited at the thought of celebrating it at Jamie’s Italian. Like everyone else, I was sucked in by the hype, the 2 hour lines and the commotion that had me, desperate to be herded like cattle into the line and get a table. We avoided the herd mentality and walked straight past the crowds with a booking of six. Yep that’ll do the trick. A booking of 6 or more is what beats the system. I had already scoured various blogs, critic reviews and the menu and I came ready, willing and prepared to walk straight in and order for the table. Not that it ever works out that way but I always come prepared to order for everyone!

Jaime's Italian Sydney

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With a strict no booking policy, my entrance was greeted with a straightforward “it’s at least a 45 minute wait”, where I was forced to make a snap decision of “should I stay or should I go?” This already puts me offside but despite the wait ahead, we opt to stay.Luckily, we quickly find an alternative and seat ourselves out in the bar area where we dine with fellow bar go-ers. This clever manoeuvre cuts our 45 minute lead time to 10 minutes.IMG_0778

Blood orange campari

Blood orange campari $17

I had the obligatory blood orange campari cocktail and it seems as though everyone else has decided to do the same. It is, ‘oh so good’ and puts me in a very, VERY good mood. With all the will power I can muster, I decide against having a 3rd, 4th, 5th and a 6th one. At that price, I just couldn’t justify it.

Complimentary bread and olive oil

Complimentary bread and olive oil

The bread and olive oil was a nice way to start off our meal. However, our food took longer than it should have and with the hope of “we’ll save room for our main”, we consumed all the bread to tame our hunger pains.

Penne 'rigate' slow cooked lamb neck, shoulder ragu, pecorino sardo G_0781

Penne ‘rigate’ slow cooked lamb neck, shoulder ragu, pecorino sardo $28.60

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