Address: Yorkdale Shopping Centre, 3401 Dufferin St., Tor., ON
When I visited: March 2016, 4 people, lunch
Rating: $$, 2.8
Jamie’s Italian started in the UK in 2008 and currently has over 40 restaurants worldwide, with Yorkdale Mall being Jamie Oliver’s first North American location. After not being able to secure a reservation online for lunch on a weekday, my friend and I decided to try our luck and show up at 11:30 am. The restaurant had plenty of space at that time but quickly filled up between 12:00pm and 1:00 pm.
It wasn’t hard to tell that I stepped into a Jamie Oliver restaurant with his merchandise being displayed as soon as I walked in. The decor reminded me of Mercatto’s at Eaton Centre (See pictures of Mercatto’s here) with high ceilings, a large bar area with a modern Italian decor. The hostess was friendly, and found a spacious spot for me to park my bulky double stroller.
The menu is separated into antipasti, pasta, pizza and mains, with a separate dessert and kids menu. According to the restaurant website, “Jamie’s Italian Canada is all about simple, Italian-inspired dishes with a Jamie twist”. The dishes focused on sustainable ingredients, healthy and simple ingredients including free-range eggs, wild and field mushrooms, local artisan ricotta and seasonal market vegetables.
To start, I ordered the Ravioli Fritti which were crispy fried ravioli stuffed with mozzarella, ricotta & Parmigiano Reggiano ($6.95). Although the ravioli was crispy, some of the ravioli’s had very little stuffing. Did they run out of ingredients or did the cook forget to stuff some of them?
For the main, I ordered the Famous Prawn Linguine (large size for $19.95) with garlic, capers, chili, fennel, parsley, anchovies, lemon and olive oil. I really enjoyed this dish as it was super garlicky, and the house-made pasta was done well, with a flavourful sauce. I would re-order this!
For my daughter, I ordered the small Salmon In A Bag ($12.95) with B.C salmon fillet, crushed new potatoes, green beans & cherry tomatoes, all baked in a bag with Jamie’s seven-veg tomato sauce. If parents are expecting crispy chicken fingers, pizza and fries, then they will be in for a big surprise. There were traditional choices like spaghetti and meat balls, but overall the selection focuses on providing kids with healthy options. I like this idea but the salmon dish was not appetizing as the sauce texture and taste was more like sweet potato puree rather than tomato sauce. There were little salmon pieces beneath the vegetables.