On a recent visit to Johannesburg, my husband and I met up with my friend and we decided to go out for lunch. Johannesburg isn’t shy when it comes to the number of eateries available. You are definitely spoilt for choice. I mentioned to both of them that I really wanted to try out Jamie’s Italian SA so off we went to experience something new. Jamie’s Italian SA is situated in Melrose Arch Boulevard amongst many other restaurants.
Jamie’s Italian SA has seating both inside and outside. When you enter the restaurant, there are two floors with various seating on either floor. There is a large bar area at the centre of the ground floor with tables and chairs surrounding it. There was a bustle at the restaurant with people seated and enjoying their meals whilst engaging in conversation with each other. It truly is a setting for friends and family to come together over food.
From the name itself, it was pretty evident that what was on offer was a variety of Italian cuisine items. Starters on offer include various types of bruschetta, carpaccio and olives. For mains, one can choose from the usual Italian dishes of either pizza or pasta as well as chicken, lamb and fish options. And lastly, there are desserts comprising of tiramisu, brownies, sorbets and ice-cream, just to name a few. Menus at restaurants are ever changing and I have linked to their current menu here, Jamie’s Italian SA Menu. So you can see what is currently on offer.
There are a variety of drink options available, from your usual soft drinks as well as non-alcoholic cocktails to refreshing and contemporary cocktails items. We chose three different non-alcoholic cocktail drinks.
I chose the Passion Fruit & Mint Spritz which contained passion fruit, mango juice, lemon, mint and sugar syrup and was topped with soda. It was delicious and very refreshing.
My husband chose the Ginger Mojito which contained mint, lime, sugar and ginger beer. He also quite enjoyed his drink.
My friend chose the Berry Blast and her drink was made up of strawberry, passion fruit, lemon, sugar syrup and cranberry juice. It was berry-ilcious.
We chose a starter to share, as we were pretty keen to just tuck into mains but still wanted to have the starter experience. We picked the crispy squid, which entailed squid being fried with chilli, parsley and garlic accompanied with an aioli. These little squid bites were divine, they were crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. The aioli provided a welcome sauciness to the fried outer crumb of the squid.
The pasta was the main choice of the day for all three of us. I prefer a baked pasta dish, preferably a lasagne dish. However, in most instances, the lasagne dish on offer would be a beef dish. As I don’t eat beef, it doesn’t leave me with any other baked pasta dish options. But on this occasion, they had an Aubergine Parmigiana. This was basically a vegetarian dish consisting of grilled brinjals, layered with mozzarella and a tomato and basil sauce. It was served with a slice of garlic bread.
Now I know it didn’t contain any meat but that did not stop this dish from blowing me away. It was one of the best dishes I have eaten to date. Yes, that is a rather bold statement, but this Aubergine Parmigiana was delectable. It contained beautifully grilled brinjal slices smothered in the most flavourful Italian tomato sauce. And coupled with the melted mozzarella, it just brought the entire dish together. Also, who would not want to dip freshly made garlic bread into this sauce. Needless to say, I did that dish justice and wiped my bowl clean. The dish itself was creatively presented on a wooden board and looked quite appetising.
My husband, on the other hand, chose the Porcini Fettuccine, which contained porcini mushrooms, mascarpone, garlic, chilli, white wine and parmesan. He also decided to add chicken to his pasta as this was a vegetarian meal. This meal had al dente pasta, a complimentary white wine sauce, mushroom pieces and perfectly cooked chicken pieces. My husband thoroughly enjoyed his meal.
My friend chose the Penne Arrabiatta which was made up of a tomato and garlic sauce with basil, chillies and parmesan. She also chose to add chicken to her meal. She also enjoyed her meal and although the pasta was coupled with birds eye’s chillies, it was packed full of flavour rather than an overpowering heat.
On a usual occasion, I wouldn’t be keen to have a dessert item, after partaking in a starter as well as annihilating my main. However, my friend and I decided that we would share a dessert item. We chose the Epic Chocolate Brownie, topped with chocolate sauce, salted caramel ice-cream and caramelised amaretti popcorn. Now if that sounds delicious, let me tell you it certainly was. The brownie was decadent, soft and chewy with a gooey chocolate sauce. Whilst the salted caramel ice-cream was creamy and rich but subtle. And the popcorn was soft on the inside and crunchy on the outside because of the caramel and amaretti biscuits. All the elements came together to bring you a spectacular dessert. And it was the ultimate way to end an already amazing meal.
Our non-alcoholic cocktails ranged in price from R35.00 for the ginger mojito to R55.00 for the berry blast. The drinks were a fairly good size with no one having to order a second drink throughout the meal. The crispy squid starter cost R85.00 which is not too cheap. But for the portion size and the quality of the meal, it was worth it. Onto our main meals, my aubergine parmigiana was R115.00, the porcini fettuccine cost R145.00 and the penne arrabiatta was R95.00. Taking into consideration the taste and portion size, it was very reasonably priced. With dessert being R65.00 for the brownie. Also no complaints here. Overall our three-course meal for three adults sharing cost approximately R650.00, excluding the service tip.
The service we received throughout our meal was outstanding. Our waiter was knowledgable, eager to assist us and provided us with prompt service. This ultimately ensured that we enjoyed every aspect of the experience.
Overall we entirely enjoyed our experience from the scrumptious, tantalising food to the efficient and speedy service. I would highly recommend that you give Jamie’s Italian SA, a try and see what the fuss is about. Please note that I did make a reservation, prior to arriving and would recommend that you do so. They do get fairly busy so rather be safe and book early. You can make a reservation on their website or give them a call, which is what I did.
Jamie’s Italian SA Contact Details:
Website: Jamie’s Italian SA
Telephone : +27-11-684-1124
E-mail: [email protected]
Address: Shop 00513, Building 13, High Street, Melrose Arch.
Open: Monday – Saturday 11:30 – 23:00, Sunday 11:30 – 22:00
If you enjoyed this post, why don’t you check out my post on authentic Greek cuisine served at the V&A Waterfront at, The Greek Fisherman