Saturday, July 13, 2013

Jamie's Italian now Open in Vivocity, Singapore!

Singapore is fast becoming the restaurant capital of Asia, with a staggering seven entries in the Top 20 of the latest Miele Guide, and restaurants opened by multiple Celebrity Chefs island-wide. The vast majority of these are fine dining (i.e. expensive as heck) though, so it's refreshing and exciting that our latest Celebrity Chef to set up shop, Jamie Oliver, has gone for a more accessible route with an outlet of his flagship Jamie's Italian restaurant chain over at Vivocity!

Jamie's Italian Vivocity Singapore

The best way to describe Jamie's Italian is perhaps "casual fine dining" - fine dining without the pretentiousness or the price. The restaurant has a decidedly casual and yet exciting vibe - you can feel the energy especially when seated right next to the impressive ~30 foot long open kitchen. The chef constantly paces up and down pushing his cooks - it's remarkably similar to watching an episode of Hell's Kitchen. Without all the swearing and banging of tables, of course.

"Communicate with each other!"
"How long?"
"Table 45 is up next"
"I need this urgently"
"Yes Chef!"

It's mesmerizing, and I think the darling gave up trying to get my attention after losing it more than once during the meal.

Jamie's Italian Vivocity Singapore Open Kitchen

Moving on to the first of our starters, then, the Crispy Squid ($11.50). This squid is battered and deep fried perfectly and is nice and crispy. Some might find it a little lacking in seasoning; understandable given Jamie's focus on simplicity and healthier recipes. After all, the typical East Asian deep fried squid dish usually calls for a heavily seasoned batter (prime example being the Chinese/Taiwanese salt and pepper laden batter).

Jamie's Italian Vivocity Singapore Crispy Fried Squid

Our Baked Mushrooms ($12.50) are also relatively lightly seasoned; in my opinion the light seasoning approach works better here as it allows the mushrooms to take center stage. Would definitely order again.

Jamie's Italian Vivocity Singapore Baked Mushrooms

Moving on to our main courses - Jools' Favorite Sicilian Tuna Fusilli ($21.00 for full-sized portion). The tomato-based sauce is slightly spicy and tangy and complements the tuna well. Fusili is a great pasta choice as the many 'ridges' hold the (relatively watery) sauce much better than a 'smooth' pasta would. I'm not entirely convinced about the breadcrumbs though - they add an interesting crunch to the first few mouthfuls but quickly soak up the sauce and so the crunch disappears. Definite must-order if you're a tuna fan.

Jamie's Italian Vivocity Singapore Tuna Fusili

Brixham Bay Crab Risotto is $19.00 for the small portion pictured below; $28.50 for full size. I thought that the rice was cooked very well - with firm, individually distinct grains held together by that starchy reduced stock without being hard. However I also thought this was a very one-dimensional dish - crab is after all a very delicate tasting meat, and with the very strong flavour from the risotto, it simply fades too far into the background. I would have preferred an accompaniment which either provides some textural contrast or can hold its' own in the flavours department.

Jamie's Italian Vivocity Singapore Crab Risotto

At just about $75 for two people, it ends up to be a very reasonable and accessible celebrity chef restaurant, and we'll certainly be back again. Service is pretty good - their aim is to provide a fine dining experience after all (so expect little touches like everyone on the table is served at once, etc). One little snafu - our waitress forgot to send our main courses to the kitchen so we ended up waiting 45 minutes for our mains; but that's totally forgivable as we visited during the training soft launch.

Jamie's Italian is on the first floor of Vivocity - along that stretch of restaurants facing Sentosa Island. Non-halal.

All photos taken with iPhone as I didn't have my camera with me :(


  1. Hi, when is the discount applicable until?

    1. Hi there, unfortunately I understand the restaurant has officially opened today; hence the discount would no longer be applicable. Do head over nevertheless though as the food's good and prices are reasonable :)

  2. I passed by the Restaurant 2 days ago and it was relatively empty.
    I was skeptical at first since there was no one (either price too high or the food isn't good), but after your review, I'll give it a try.