Unless you’ve been living under a rock here in Hong Kong, you certainly experienced all the hype that surrounded the opening of Jamie’s Italian in Causeway Bay just under a year ago. Only recently did I have an opportunity to finally dine at Jamie’s Italian Causeway Bay (after I had just been to the opening of Jamie’s Italian TST the other week!). This is a fun spot to go on a casual dinner date or for lunch with a group of friends for its modern decor and reliable bites, but try not to set your expectations too high.
Decor & Atmosphere
Jamie’s Italian CWB is, simply put, fun. The restaurant utilizes bright colors: yellow and red chairs and booths, and intense turquoise brick walls. Eye-catching Chinese-inspired murals also cover some of the walls, giving the restaurant a funky and modern feel.
The dining area is long and rectangular, with booths, high sharing tables, and “normal” tables slightly crammed throughout. Unfortunately, we found this gave the restaurant the feeling of being a bit too dark, dim, and small.
If you’re like me and are completely dumbfounded at how restaurants and bars in Hong Kong are getting away with charging $130 + for a cocktail, then you’re sure to appreciate the drinks menu at Jamie’s Italian. With almost all drinks between $55 – $65, there’s no need to shed any tears after placing your order. Heck, at this price point you might as well just go crazy and order two!
As a Canadian expat, it’s near impossible to find a restaurant or bar in HK that makes the beloved Caesar, and I’m always a bit wary of ordering a Bloody Mary since I’ve had some less than pleasant experiences. Despite this, I decided to try the Bloody Mary ($65), since it wouldn’t be breaking my bank if I didn’t enjoy it. Thankfully, I ended up being pleasantly surprised with this drink, as the spices were well-pronounced, but weren’t unbearably spicy.
I don’t know about you, but I have this calamari obsession where if a restaurant I’m at serves has it on the menu, I pretty much have to order it ’cause that lightly fried squid is the closest thing to perfection in my life. So, obviously, we ordered the crispy squid ($60). The squid wasn’t over-fried or oily, and the pieces were nice and thick. My only wish was that their portions were bigger, since this plate was demolished in seconds.
For our mains we wanted to try one of their freshly made pasta dishes, but we also were keen to order one of their pasta-less options. For our main sans pasta, we opted to try the Pork Milanese ($210) stuffed with prosciutto and fontal cheese, topped with a fried egg and wild truffle. This dish was a big hit – the pork had the perfect amount of breadcrumbs, wasn’t too oily, and the cheese and prosciutto worked well together to make each savory bite a little piece of pork-heaven.
Next up, we tried the Sausage Pappardelle ($148) with braised fennel sausage ragu with Chianti, Parmesan, and breadcrumbs. Unfortunately, this dish fell short, lacking flavour. Jamie’s Italian pastas are made in-house daily, but we really couldn’t taste much of a homemade difference. We’ll have to come back to try another pasta dish in hopes that the others are more flavourful.
After a quick glance at the dessert menu, we had to order the Epic Brownie ($78) with salted caramel gelato and caramelized popcorn. This brownie held true to its “epic” name – it came out warm, and the brownie itself was chewy and gooey. I would probably come back to Jamie’s Italian just to have this again.
We felt that Jamie’s Italian Causeway Bay was a bit of a one-hit wonder.. The decor is great and really adds to the overall feel of the environment, however the layout of the restaurant isn’t ideal and it’s a bit too dark during their dinner service. The drinks are tasty and very reasonable for Hong Kong standards, which is a big bonus. As for the food, we really enjoyed the calamari (though the portion size was small), Pork Milanese, and the brownie. We were disappointed with the pasta dish, as we had high expectations. Overall, we would say this is a decent option for a lunch or dinner, so long as your expectations aren’t too high, though we likely won’t be returning any time soon (however, I might have to make an exception for that brownie!).
Jamie’s Italian Causeway Bay
2/F Soundwill Plaza II
1 Tang Lung Street