When Jamie’s Italian opened in Perth the entire city went crazy, and there were queues that snaked around the block for months. People are still crazy for his traditional Italian food, but it is easier than ever to get in and have a meal, and it is a great place to take kids.
Many restaurants offer only lip service when they say they are kid-friendly, but it takes more than some frozen chicken nuggets and a syrupy milkshake to be truly child-friendly.
To be really kid-friendly actually means being parent friendly.
Here are the reasons why Jamie’s Italian is kid (and parent) friendly:
They have the coolest kids menu in the state – with pictures of each of the dishes visible on an old-school view finder. They even leave the view finders for the kids to play with long after the orders have been taken.
The staff don’t look like they will have a heart attack when you walk in with small children.
They automatically offer colouring-in and crayons without having to ask.
Parents can buy wine and cocktails (I recommend the Jamie’s Italian Mojito $16 made with white rum, fresh mint and frizzante).
Kids meals include a fresh salad and a choice of three drinks.
Kids meals actually come in little kids size ($9.50) and big kid size ($12.50).
There are hidden (and not so hidden vegetables) in practically everything, including the pasta sauce which has seven vegetables.
The kids dishes are actually interesting and varied, yet familiar enough for kids to enjoy them: think chicken lollipops and a crunchy hedgehog potato; a picnic box with a chicken wrap, vegetable crisps, seedless grapes, cherry tomatoes and fruit; mini beef sliders with hedgehog potatoes and even baked salmon in a bag with potato, beans and cherry tomatoes. You will also find spaghetti and meatballs and a pasta bake made with the seven veg sauce.
Not everyone will be impressed by the salad
The salad dressing is probably an acquired taste for some kids as it is a lemony yoghurt dressing, but the serving size is perfect and it is good to encourage kids to try new things without shoving it down their throats.
It’s loud, so you don’t have to worry about your kids disturbing other customers.
There are cool booths that seat six and which kids love to sit in (and which you can trap the kids in so they can’t run off).
The wait for food is < 15 minutes.
They automatically switch to kids cutlery and take away any glasses that might accidentally get knocked.
The kids desserts are very reasonably priced at $2.50 for ice cream, $2.50 for fresh fruit and $5 for a chocolate brownie with caramel popcorn, ice cream and chocolate sauce.
Although you can make bookings online, if you head in early for lunch or dinner you will easily get a seat.
Located just around the corner from the Murray Street Mall, Jamie’s is a great option for taking kids out for a meal in the city.
Essential Information Address: 140 William St Perth
Open: Daily 11.30am to 10.30pm