Jamie's Italian

July 2011

Celebrity chef-cum-humanitarian Jamie Oliver's Sydney branch of his global Italian restaurant chain is set to open in September, 2011. Originally scheduled to open in July, this next, more affordable (for diners) Australia-based restaurant comes five years after the Naked Chef opened Fifteen Melbourne, born out of the reality television show Jamie's Kitchen Australia.
Jamie's Italian will be located at 107 Pitt Street in the heart of the CBD. The restaurant will have room for 200 guests over two floors with a pasta-making machine in the entrance and an antipasti and dessert bar on the mezzanine level. It will also feature the chain's signature mix of contemporary and rustic cuisine with an  unmistakeable Jamie twist.
This twist has seen critics and diners from London to Dubai divided on whether the Jamie's Italian experience is lovely jubbly or cringe-worthy. Reports on the food are good, but it's the "cute" Oliveresque touches such as over-friendly menu descriptions and authentic theatrics such as placing antipasti boards on four cans of tomatoes that some say shift the feeling of dining at a cool, modern Italian tratt to realising you're part of Oliver's rather egocentric global brand.
As one critic for The Telegraph in London put it:
The whole set-up, from its late-youth, exposed-steel-beams industrial interior to its 'Hey, you can appreciate the Tuscan without being, like, Tony Blair, man', is rooted in the idea that we don't just want to eat his food, we want to find a warm place in his psyche and dwell there.
For all the good he's done, it will take a fairly cynical diner to let this distract them from what we're told will be authentic pastas, Italian mains and antipasti made with well-sourced, quality fresh and organic ingredients.

Article Tags: Jamie's ItalianJamie Oliverglobal Italian restaurant chain

Jamie's Italian, Jamie Oliver, global Italian restaurant chain
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