Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Jamie's Italian (Singapore)

I was in Singapore for work in April 2014 and came here for dinner on a late Sunday night.  I knew they are going to open a restaurant in Hong Kong later in the year but didn't want to risk my luck trying to get a table when it opens in Hong Kong.

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As a matter of fact, the restaurant opened in Hong Kong today and I felt I cannot delay any longer.  (This is why this review jumped the queue...)  A few of my friends are already asking when are we going... and my response was "N-O!".

If it didn't carry Jamie's name, I might have been more forgiving... but since it did, I was quite critical during my visit and it did not live up to my expectation.

Again, I was there late on a Sunday night (around 8pm), the restaurant wasn't busy.  Yet, the host told me there was a 60-minutes wait.  I wasn't pleased but since I was already there I waited...  I still remembered texting my friend at the Starbucks next door voicing my disappointment.  (The restaurant is all the way in Vivo City in Harborfront which is very far from my hotel and office so returning on a different day with a reservation wasn't an option...)

After about 40 minutes or so, I went back to check on the status and the host said he can seat me now.  I was brought to a high table.  After a while, a waitress took me to a dinner table.  It would have been smarter to seat me there right away and gave me a drink menu.  But nope, that did not happen.

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As far as I can tell, it was a lackluster night...  There were empty tables and idle waiters/waitresses.  Perhaps the kitchen was busy?  Regardless, it was well past dinner time at this point.

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The menu reminds me exactly what I saw on little_meg_siu_meg's instagram feed a few days ago... hindsight 20/20... no wonder...

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Since I was there alone, I couldn't really order a lot of dishes to try.  Prices were average in Singapore's standards.  The food I ordered was bland and the presentation was just average.  Unfortunately, even Olive Garden tastes better in my opinion.  (Now that is just sad.)

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my S$6.50 soda
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wild mushroom & smoked mozzarella risotto

Since when shitake is wild?
I was so distracted by the undercooked risotto
I didn't even know there was supposed to be mozzarella
and smoky?  forget it!
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polenta chips

of coz, what meant to be an appetizer came after my risotto
they were bland and I had to ask for ketchup to roll them deep in it
(I know, so wrong...)

I know I should give them a second chance but making me wait when I can clearly see empty tables at a restaurant with idle servers are just the ultimate deal breaker.  If they want to create any kind of illusion of a hip place where everyone has to wait, they have failed miserably.  The only positive thing I could think of is that they gave me a big bottle of ice water so I don't have to constantly flag my server down for more water.

Verdict:  There are too many restaurant choices in Hong Kong that I really don't have an urge to be disappointed again.

1 HarbourFront Walk, VivoCity, #1 165-167 Singapore 098585
Tel: +65 6733 5500
Hours: (Sun-Thurs) 12:00 pm - 10:00 pm (Fri/Sat) 12:00 pm - 11:00 pm

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