Over a year ago we went to Jamie's Italian for dinner in the city and didn't have a particularly good experience. I even wrote Jamie a letter about it, to which I funnily enough never received a reply - you can read that review/letter here. So when Jamie's Italian Trattoria opened up in Parramatta, people kept asking me when are you going? Because of our previous experience, I had fallen a bit out of love with Jamie and kept putting the visit off. But for some reason my boys are actually obsessed with the man - so when I asked where they would like to go for a special lunch before school started back - they said Jamie's!!
So off we trotted to nearby Parramatta. Jamie's Italian Trattoria is located on the edge of the very pretty Centenary Square. Here you will find all walks of life either rushing here and there, or sitting back and watching the world go by. There is limited street parking available near Jamie's, so you may have to park at one of the numerous parking stations around the area. The Parramatta train station is within easy walking distance, and numerous buses also stop close by.
If you have a pram, the outside seating would be ideal for you. There is some space to park a pram next to the indoor tables and they also have high chairs available. If you do sit inside with a pram, use the side entrance (facing Centenary Square) as there is only one small step to negotiate - the front entrance has about 4. The outside seating is also a good choice for those of you who have restless kids who may want to move around. Just be warned that there are water spouts in the Square which kids love to run under - so perhaps pack a change of clothes! And if you need to change them in private, there are excellent toilet facilities on the ground floor of the restaurant that contain a baby change table.
There are two levels of inside dining available at Jamie's. I feel that the bottom level is the best place to eat with smaller kids and I recommend that if you are going to dine at a peak period (e.g. Fri/Sat night) that you book ahead to guarantee this. Bookings can be made online or over the phone. We sat downstairs and our table looked onto the open plan kitchen. The interior is very funky, with loads of recycled looking objects being used to give the place a homely sort of feel, like a trattoria is meant to be.
Upon arrival we were greeted by such a friendly waitress who showed us to our table and immediately grabbed colouring and a view finder for the boys to see their menu. I love this concept as the kids can see exactly what their meal is going to look like. And I love Jamie's Italian Trattoria kids menu - it is full of good stuff with quirky names. Each meal comes in either a small kids ($9.50) or big kids ($12.50) size and includes a juice/water and a "shake me" salad. I also believe that it's great value for what you get! My little men chose the small sized Mini Meatballs & Spaghetti and the Baby Free Range Beef Burgers with baked Hedgehog Potatoes (baby spuds).
The other selections on the kidlet's menu are Fresh King Salmon in a Bag which comes with crushed spuds, beans & cherry tomatoes; Secret Seven Tomato Pasta Bake; a Picnic Box (chicken wrap, fruit & salad) and for nugget loving kids, Jamie's do a Happy Chicken Lollipops (chicken on a stick). The meals were a decent size, especially when you consider they also come with the salad. The Shake Me Salad comes in a glass jar and is full of fresh salad ingredients such as lettuce, cucumber, tomato and capsicum.
If your babes need dessert they can have fresh seasonal fruit which is only $2.50 for a plate of sliced fruit or for the same price a jumbo scoop of ice cream that comes with a cookie & chocolate sauce. Or if they want something really decadent, there is also a chocolate brownie available which is served with ice cream, toffee popcorn and chocolate sauce!
The menu for bigger humans covers Bread & Antipasti, Pasta, Mains & Sides as well as Dessert. I devoured a bowl of Pasta Alla Norma (spaghetti with eggplant, ricotta, tomatoes, oregano & chilli), which I completely forgot to photograph. I washed my tasty meal down with a house made Lemon Lime & Bitters (Jamie's is fully licensed in case you need a little glass of something). Most of Jamie's bigger meals cost between $20 - $30. Oh and they serve breakfast too! You can have everything from Posh Scrambled Eggs to a Super Food Salad, to good old Toast & Marmalade!
Now if children are good little munchers and eat all of their greens, they are allowed to choose a badge from a big jar confirming that they did so. And yes my boys ate every single one of theirs (except for a few little pieces of sneaky lettuce which I found had somehow made their way onto the floor!). None of this awesome kid friendly stuff happened when we visited the Jamie's Italian in the city, that's for sure.
So Jamie, you have perhaps redeemed yourself with the Trattoria! We loved every moment of our visit to your delightful restaurant in down town Parramatta. Maybe it's because it isn't in the city and there aren't the same hordes of tourists lining up to eat at your joint; maybe it's because we dined at lunch time; or maybe it's because this restaurant is so much bigger; or more than likely it's because your staff have got their act together. Anyway, whatever it is, we will be back for sure and I'm so glad I've fallen in love with you again!
Just to let you know my dear Little Munchers, Jamie's Italian Trattoria quite often has fantastic Kids Eat Free deals in school holidays. So make sure you keep an eye on their social media, because this would be a great time to dine there with the tribe x
Cnr Church & Macquarie Streets, Parramatta NSW
02 8624 6800
Mon - Fri: from 10am
Sat - Sun: from 9am