Since its opening in 2017, Jamie’s Italian Melrose Arch has become a firm favourite on the Jozi restaurant scene for families and friends looking for a simple, delicious Italian meal. The restaurant recently has done a major overhaul of their menu and introduced a host of new delicious dishes including some local South African flavour. For the cold months, they have added some traditional Italian hearty dishes. I went along to see what all the excitement was about and test out some of the new menu additions.
Jamie’s Italian serves simple, classic, rustic Italian dishes and every menu change or addition is made with this in mind. Internationally, Jamie’s places a huge emphasis on sourcing ingredients that are sustainably farmed and reasonably priced. It is for this reason that we say a very sad farewell to the famous prawn linguine pasta – but fear not, it is replaced by an amazing seafood Bucatini. The seafood in this pasta is sustainable fresh white fish, fresh Saldanha mussels and calamari and is served on delicious fresh Bucatini pasta. It is a very generous portion and full of tasty, fresh flavours.
Another very exciting, new addition to the menu is the 12-hour oxtail lasagna. An oxtail ragu layered with homemade pasta, Béchamel sauce, Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese – our waiter says they can’t make enough to meet the demand every night! I didn’t get to taste it but am not sure there is anything that sums up hearty, Winter food more than oxtail lasagna, so I will be back to give it a try!
The spicy chilli beef pizza is another new addition to the menu. Chilli-infused free-range meatballs with red onions and fresh chilli is a definite Winter warmer on a delicious, authentic thin base. Not for those that are scared of chilli!
If you are looking for something not entirely authentically Italian – the burger is an absolute feast. Served on a toasted brioche bun with a Calabrian chilli mayonnaise, cheese, tomato and rocket and a side of fries – it is a visual and culinary treat.
Another change that Jamie’s Italian regulars may note is the napkins have changed. The linen Jamie Oliver napkins have been discontinued. This is a global discontinuation due to the number of napkins going missing from the restaurants each month. Jamie’s Italian in South Africa has lost over 12 000 napkins since they opened in 2017!