The first time I visited a Jamie's Italian, there was only one in Sydney and not many in the other cities. It was pretty good when I went a few years ago, but apparently afterwards the quality decreased. Then Jamie Oliver was in Sydney around a month ago to take more control of his business and to 'revamp' a bit of the menu.
It was my first time the Parra restaurant, and it's a lot more spacious than the city (for obvious reasons). They offer wood fired pizzas, something they probably can't have in the city, again due to space. City has more pasta flavours and other main dishes, just no pizza. It was super busy on a Saturday night.
Margherita aracini: Crispy tomato risotto balls, stuffed with mozzarella, served with tomato & basil sauce & garlic-$15
They are expensive no doubt, $5 a piece, but the risotto was cooked well and then deep fried in a crusty case with heaps of sauce and sprinkled with cheese. It was piping hot inside.
The main pastas are 250g and entree 150g.
Porcini Mushroom Ravioli: porcini & fior di latte pasta parcels with mushroom sauce, sage, gremolata & veggie Parmesan-$32
Quite expensive for only a few pieces. Wished there was more pasta since there was quite a bit of sauce left and wished there was more filling. The flavours were very nice though with the mushrooms sauce.
Truffle Tagliatelle: Luxurious, silky black truffle butter with aged Parmesan, nutmeg & more shaved black truffle-$25
This was my favourite dish. I think everyone know by now I love my truffles. It was super fragrant and loved the creaminess of the sauce, and also wasn't too cheesy. Everything just really helped highlight the truffle flavour. Take note, this dish drowned in sauce (can never have too much tbh).
We loved the truffle pasta so much that we decided to order it again. HOWEVER, IT WAS COMPLETELY DIFFERENT. It was like the main chef already left for the night, and someone in training made this dish. It looked a lot smaller, even though the plate was a 'main' size, AND WHERE IS THE SAUCE? Half the pasta wasn't even coated in sauce, and lacked that truffle flavour. What was worse it was undercooked. Pls girl, don't explain to me what al dente is, I've wasted Masterchef for almost 10 years. It was a bit gluggy and noticeably harder in texture compared to the first plate. Well, they lose points for consistency, and you would think they would perfect every pasta dish being a restaurant making Italian...We did talk to the manager (actually my mum got me too lol), as we didn't finish the pasta, and they deducted this plate from the bill.
Fusilli Arrabbiata: Fiery tomato & garlic sauce with basil, veggie Parmesan, Scotch bonnets & extra virgin olive oil-$19
I missed the memo about this being 'fiery' so it was too spicy for me too eat. This was a $10 deal they had during the month of May (just missed $10 truffle pasta the week before). This dish was average even if it didn't have chilli, found that there wasn't enough tomato sauce.
Silky spaghetti carbonara: sweet tender leeks with golden smoky pancetta, cracked black pepper & Parmesan-$22.50
I liked how they plated the carbonara into a pile. Spaghetti isn't my first choice of pasta, but that's all set. It looks like there wasn't a lot of pancetta, but there was a fair bit inside. It's super salty on it's own, but with the pasta it's alright. It wasn't exactly silky though.
The Porkie: Sweet tomato sauce with Quattro Stelle pepperoni & smoky pancetta, fior di latte & oregano-$24
I quite like the thinness of this base with a sort of stretchy texture. You could tell the dough was needed well. There was minimal toppings though, so again expensive for the size.
Crispy polenta chips w/ rosemary and parmesan, rocket and parmesan w/ aged balsamic, both $7.50 each. Weren't many chips, and they was a bit too salty, but were cooked well and crispy. There wasn't enough balsamic or cheese in the salad.
front row seats (sort of open kitchen)
busy saturday night
This time it was a bit of a hit and miss, compared to my first time at Jamie's where everything was delicious. I would have expected at least some consistency after Jamie Oliver visiting Sydney.