The first South African Jamie’s Italian restaurant is situated in the vibrant and sophisticated Melrose Arch Boulevard, Johannesburg - the heart of the cities entertainment district. Known as the City of Gold , Johannesburg is home to some of the countries most iconic landmarks, best restaurants and active nightlife filled with an essence of the local South African vibe and flavour.
Stopped past last night - Hadn’t really planned on going, but needed a quick bite. The ambience was unsettling. The seating area seemed very worn - requiring some maintenance. Chairs, tables and fixtures were dusty and in need of a clean. There was also an unsettling smell (a mix between Jeyes Fluid and Wheat (Gluten)).
Nonetheless, we ordered three starters to share between myself and my partner. The arancini was bland. The bruschetta was topped with wilted basil and hadn’t been toasted at all, the meatballs were incredibly hard and flavorless). Had heard from friends and family that the food in the past had been disappointing, but to me this was understatement. Would’ve enjoyed popping open one of Jamie’s cookbooks and throwing something together myself instead, rather.
Have to say; however, that the service was great and our waiter understood our concerns. Would wait until a revamp or a few better reviews before I went back.
Jamie Italian, located in the heart of Melrose Arch. A restaurant I’ve waited two years to experience and undeniably a night I can say “I’ve eaten at one of the best Italian restaurants in Johannesburg”. A rustic yet contemporary style, with meticulously placed decor coupled with its impeccable design – it feels like you’re in a Wes Anderson production. Freshly made pastas, flavour-punching pizzas and succulent meats – I whole-heartedly recommend starting with the starters.
Exceptional wine menu that’s pairs well with your Antipasti, Pizza & Second and end the night with the timeless tradition of Don Julio’s shots. The most unsatisfying part of a satisfying night was the inevitable opening the doors and leaving the restaurant with my friends. A surreal night I’m honored to have had and even more so shared with good friends.
The ambience of the restaurant is amazing, and once seated you are sure in for a real treat! The hostesses however are exceptionally stuck up unless you are a celebrity and can leave you with the feeling that you would rather go eat somewhere else. The quality, presentation, variety and overall food experience is without a doubt world class.
We have been looking forward to dining at this restaurant since they opened and made our booking in January, to celebrate an important birthday. We sent them a mail 3 weeks ago to request a change in the time of our booking, which was confirmed by Jamie's via mail but then not carried through to their books - The booking was still in their books for the dinner seating instead of the late lunch time we requested. When the confirmation sms was sent and we phoned to refer them to the mails sent, they were already fully booked and could not correct the unfortunate miscommunication and wrong booking.
This was very frustrating and dissapointing as half of our guests then couldn't enjoy the dinner with us. But seeing that they are booked so far in advance we decided to still go and at least try out their desserts, as we had to make alternate lunch plans for the birthday celebrations.
Our waiter Sipho was very friendly and did his best to make it as pleasurable an experience as possible, while still giving us space to enjoy each others' company and the food. He served us with a smile on his face and a kind-hearted spirit... even offered to take a photo for us!
We had the italian nachos as a starter which was amazing in every way - crispy, crunch, fragrant tomato dipping sauce and generous amount of parmesan cheese!
We ordered 3 desserts - the praline chocolate cake with salted caramel ice cream, the tiramiso and the lemon meringue cheesecake... all three a great sensory taste experience but without a doubt the stand out was the cheesecake! Well balanced when you have all the different elements together with subtle flavours of lemon and decadent cream. Definitely a must-try.
Our food as well as the orders of our surrounding tables, arrived quickly and steaming hot off the pass. The vibe is energetic with rustic interior elements and soft lighting. The lack of background music though gave it a sense of rushedness and at times overwhelming auditory input.
Overall a good taste experience. Just a pity the first impression was negatively influenced by the booking mess up beforehand. Would have liked a personal check in or apology from management side.
Will recommend Jamie's to friends for the eating experience though.
An utter disappointment. From bad service to a hit and miss food experience, I was completely underwhelmed. Even more disappointed that I had booked so far in advance for my husband's special birthday dinner! Burnt chicken, no garlic bread in stock (??!) we had to physically go to the bar for our dinner cocktails because the service was so slow, a drink was spilt at our table and we wiped the table and floor ourselves while a waiter walked passed is. Such a massive disapppintment all round (food and service). Over priced, over rated.