Jamie's Italian, Brisbane

"It's good," said a passer by on the street as I stopped to take a photo of the entrance of newly opened Jamie's Italian in Brisbane.

Facing Edward Street, just over the road from Queen's Plaza, the restaurant is much bigger than it looks with two levels of dining accommodating up to 240 guests stretching right back into the building, the historic Rowes Arcade.

You might know the spot as the former Rosie's Tavern, scene of many a memorable Brisbane night, but there's no doubt that the stage is now set for many more memorable nights to come. The decor is funky urban with scrubbed back brick walls, leadlight highlights, pink leather bar stools and a grand chandelier overseeing the lot.

Dominating the top level is the antipasti bar hung with all manner of delectables and a production engine for the popular signature planks. The plank is a great way to work yourself through the menu with cured meats, season vegetables and cured and crispy fish options available, all on a per person basis.

If you've eaten at any of the other Jamie's around Australia there are no surprises on the menu but that doesn't take a way from the quality of the dishes I tasted just two days after opening.  Even with a new team in the kitchen and on the floor, the restaurant was churning out high quality food which will delight Brisbane diners.

My top 10 tastes from the menu were -

  1. Crispy arancini balls stuffed with mozzarella and accompanied by a spicy arrabbiata sauce
  2. Cured and crispy fish plank
  3. Mushroom and smoked mozzarella risotto - so creamy
  4. Lamb and ricotta tortellini - touches of lemon and mint made these my fave
  5. Grilled Angus rump steak - oh so tender
  6. Rainbow slaw with shredded seasonal vegetables
  7. Baked swiss brown mushrooms with buffalo mozzarella
  8. Zuchini fritters - turns a hard-to-sell veg into a must try
  9. Epic brownie - truly epic
  10. Tutti fruitti lemon meringue pie - awesome inclusions of limmoncello and pistachio brittle
Arancini balls

Cured and crisp fish plank

Lamb  and ricotta tortellini

Mushroom and smoked mozzarella risotto

Zuchinni fritters

Epic brownie

Tutti frutti lemon meringue pie

There's no doubting the freshness of the pasta with two bring red Ferrari pasta extruders located in the middle of the floor for everyone to see.  They'll be turning out hundreds of kilos of fresh pasta every week.

Children have not been forgotten with a special children's menu designed especially to intrigue youngsters or the young at heart.

Bottom line:  There's a huge range of prices starting from $12.50 for a quick pasta up to $36 for fillet steak.  Desserts are around $10.  It is ideally set up for sharing but you could have a single meal with some dishes.

Best tip:  This place is going to be busy so plan your arrival outside peak times and book ahead.

Kerry Heaney

Disclaimer:  Ed+bK was a guest at the launch of Jamie's Italian.

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