Three people versus nine beautifully presented, generous bowls of pasta. That was the challenge we faced this week on a wintry Monday night inside the bowels of the beautifully refitted landmark Adelaide building on the corner of North Terrace and King William Street that houses Jamie’s Italian. A diverse array of pastas, each dish was interesting and impressively different.
Jamie’s Famous Prawn Linguine was piled high in a garlicky, tomato sauce with fennel, fresh chilli and rocket. The linguine was unusual, with little ridges down the sides like the torn edges of perforated paper.
The second linguine dish, the Five-Ingredient Spicy ‘Nduja Vongole also had these unique edges. The rosé sauce was oil-based, with a generous serving of pipis. The spice comes from ‘nduja, a chilli infused, spreadable pork salumi. What’s salumi you ask? It’s an Italian cold cut, made predominantly from pork. Apparently salami is just a kind of salumi. Who knew?!
The Spicy Sausage Pappadelle was a beautiful colour, a deep rich red, flecked with fennel seeds. They’ve also created their own take on the traditional pappadelle, with a fun, curly-edged version that created the perfect nest for the rich tomatoey, free-range Italian pork sauce. With a sharp pecorino, and the menu’s second use of ‘nduja, this is not your average pasta.
The menu features two new spaghettis, one being a Fresh Crab Spaghetti, that’s true to its name. Fresh, zesty, and completely different to the other seafood pastas on the menu, with a tomato and white wine based sauce, capers, and an abundance of Blue Swimmer crab.
The second spaghetti is a Spaghetti Alla Norma. This Sicilian classic was filled with melt-in-your-mouth eggplant pieces, just the right hint of chilli, and beautiful sprigs of fresh basil.
A highlight of our evening, the Porcini Mushroom Gnocchi, was rich and creamy with a punch of garlic and fresh chilli. The gnocchi was perfectly al dente, and topped with a smoked mozzarella that took a traditional dish to a new level.
The Octopus Ravioli was another lovely surprise. Topped with white crab, the tender squid ink parcels are filled with octopus, in a fresh and fragrant shellfish broth. Beautifully presented, the raviolis are large, and again we were gifted with a completely different dish.
Everyone’s favourite dish of the night, the Lamb Ravioli, was filled with a smooth and creamy lamb ragu, and delicately smothered in a rich sage brown butter sauce. The sage leaves were crispy, and melted on your tongue, and the pancetta was perfectly salty. Topped with an Italian bread crumb, this one is a must order!
Squid ink always makes for a striking look, and Jamie’s Seafood Risotto is no different. A creamy sauce, the risotto is well balanced and manages to be rich but lemony at the same time. With tender pieces of fish, squid and prawns, we were delighted with the crispy, salty little capers that topped this dish.
With an extensive wine and cocktail list, Jamie’s Italian is a spectacular restaurant in both ambience, service, and food. We left absolutely stuffed (and nowhere near conquering our nine dish challenge – take away containers all round!)
Words by Jayne Pigou and Charlotte Gieck
WHERE: 2 King William St, Adelaide