Jamie's Italian was the name that popped up over and over again when I had asked for suggestions on where to eat in Sydney. Jamie Oliver. Italian. Jamie's Italian - sounds good. With that said, it seemed like an obvious choice to check them out for lunch on the second day of our SydyCity trip.
The lively ambience of Jamie's Italian was captivating - a narrow space that seemed to go on forever, dimly lit light fittings, and buzzing on a rainy Friday afternoon.
Crispy Tomato & Mozzarella Arancini
I had been eyeing off these arancini balls 878 km away in Melbourne, and was ecstatic to try them. Stuffed with rich and creamy risotto, these great balls of fire sat on a bed of spicy arrabbiata sauce, topped with pickled red chillies. Wonderfully crisp on the outside, and soft on the inside, these were devoured in no time. We soaked chunks of ciabatta in the leftover sauce which left a warm sensation over our lips as we waited for our mains.
Black Angel Spaghetti
Freshly made on the premises every day, the squid ink pasta was black, rich and deeply flavoured. Its briny flavour was full bodied and highlighted with the sweet and plump scallops. The al dente noodles and scallops shared the stage with garlic, chilli, anchovies, wine and capers. With the anchovies and capers already dotted throughout the dish, they were perhaps a little too heavy on the salt.
Land & Sea Risotto
The rice itself was very well-cooked and plump which soaked up the lovely seafood stock. From the land came Italian sausage and pancetta. Hailing from the sea, were mussels and clams, which were all tossed with white wine, black olives, sweet baby tomatoes and field mushrooms. I liked that the mushrooms added hints of earthiness to the dish, however, again found the dish much too salty. We did finish the dish though, with plenty of water.
Overall, Jamie's Italian did not wow me. Unfortunately, we either came at a bad time, chose the wrong dishes or perhaps I was just too ambitious. Though I may not have been blown away with the food, it was still a fabulous lunch with wonderful company in the heart of Sydney.
Jamie's Italian 107 Pitt Street Sydney, NSW
A short leisurely walk later, we arrived at Westfield for a hit of sugar and caffeine at French luxury bakery, Ladurée.
Considered one of the best known makers of macarons in the world, Ladurée's Chocolate Coconut Marshmallow Macaron tasted exactly as it sounds like - a soft and spongey like marshmallow sandwiched between a crispy shell-like crust and soft chewy meringue.
The question is, would I return for Ladurée macarons ? Most likely not - I find Zumbo, LuxBite and La Belle Miette offer much more consistent and interesting macarons at more reasonable prices. It also helps that they are much more closer to home.
You may or may not have noticed that I like my breakfasts on the heavier side. But no way am I missing out on my cereals and muesli. Now, what I like to do is have my healthy fix as a snack to keep me going throughout the day. That, or for supper. So you can imagine how excited I was when, Zilla & Brook introduced me to Yousli.
At Yousli, it's all about customisation. Follow steps 1, 2 and 3 and you've got your very own unique blend. They even slap on your own personalised name and accompanying nutrition label. Now isn't that cute ?
So when I hopped online, I may have just gotten a tad carried away. My healthy mix consisted of barley, cinnamon burkinis, buckwheat grouts, sunflower seeds, linseed, chia seeds, psyllium husk, cinnamon, coconut sugar, almond slivers, puffed quinoa, cranberries and crimson raisins.
My Yousli made an absolutely amazingly addictive mix of wholesome goodness and was extremely easy to eat. I like to transform it into bircher muesli or to just nibble on straight from the tube. I'll confess - I like keep a tube handy in my car for grazing purposes !
There was no way I was going to miss visiting Buns & Balls on my weekend trip to Sydney. With such a cheeky name coupled with my giddiness towards puns, it was unavoidable. That, and the fact that I am in love with burgers, I really am.
Braised Chilli-BBQ Beef Burger
This burger was fantastic - get it. Fall apart braised beef, cheddar cheese, grilled onions and crunchy coleslaw lathered in chilli - giving rise to an explosion of flavours which left me saying over and over how amazing each bite was. I had however, one tiny little gripe, directed at the bun being slightly stodgy. Nonetheless, I inhaled it.
Chicken Balls in a Spicy Louisiana Sauce
The juicy golf sized chicken balls were dowsed in a smooth hot sauce which were of considerable heat. Another winner, though were outshone by the Braised Chilli-BBQ Beef Burger.
Spicy Louisiana Wings
We also ordered a three pack of Louisiana Wings, which were rather marvellous. These wings were served with a side of gooey blue cheese sauce - which I didn't touch as blue cheese and my taste-buds do not agree. I happily went without the blue cheese sauce, as the wings were coated in the same delicious sauce as the Chicken balls. What can I say, you can't go wrong with $1 wings.
Pineapple, Ginger Beer, Vodka and Bitters & Passionfruit Amaretto Sour
Both the vibe and service were spot on at Buns & Balls, and given its price point, I think it's a place you could easily visit on a weekly basis. Whether it be for the live music, finger lickin' food, or you're simply on the prowl for some juicy buns and tasty balls - Buns & Balls have got you covered.