Jimmy Wah’s

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Jimmy Wah’s

Address: 1724 Gold Coast Hwy,
Burleigh Heads, QLD, 4220

Trading hours: Wednesday-Monday 12:00pm-2:30pm and 5:30pm-9:30pm 

Phone: 07 5659 1180

VIETNAMESE | FINE DINING

Positioned in the heart of the beachside suburb of Burleigh, Jimmy Wah’s is a modern Vietnamese restaurant serving up good food and great service. It is highly recommended to book a table although walk-ins are most welcome. One of my favourite people took me here for a Wednesday dinner. A cool atmosphere with polished concrete floors, oak benches and tabletops, chairs padded in olive green and a large hand-painted Jimmy Wah from Good Morning, Vietnam planted with his signature grin.

Kingfish Sashimi

We began the night with the Kingfish Sashimi served with crispy fried onions, Thai basil, and a finger lime and coconut dressing ($16). This was THE dish of our night. It was amazing – flavours layered together carefully to create a delicate starter. Though we went for something modern to kick off our dinner, they serve the classic bành mi ($5/$12) and rice paper rolls ($10). 

For mains, we shared a main size Pho Bo ($10/14) a much beloved Vietnamese noodle soup dish, Jimmy’s version consisting of beef sirloin, brisket, oxtail stock, green onion, rice noodles, bean sprouts, coriander. It was very dark in colour though and not visibly appealing to the eye. It did however have a pleasant aroma and I did really enjoy this pho! Again with the layers – the flavours not muddled. 

We also shared a King Prawn Curry featuring shrimp paste, straw mushrooms, and snow peas ($34) with steamed rice ($4). This was unfortunately mediocre and even more so due to the spectacular sashimi.  We agreed it was tasty but had no wow factor.  My mother is a talented cook and anyone else who understands Viet/Thai curries would be able to make something similar if not the same curry.

Despite our criticism, I’d say it ticks the boxes for key components of Vietnamese cuisine: light, fragrant, not overly spicy and the balance between sweet, sour and salty – combinations co-owner and head chef, Jake Cooley learned during his Southeast Asian travels. 

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Pho Bo

Jimmy Wah’s would be suitable to most – much of their menu caters for those dairy and gluten free, but they do only have limited vegetarian options – more which can be done at your request however. The full menu can be found here. There are still a heap of great options so if you find yourself stuck, simply request the staff to “Feed me”, where a selection of Jimmy’s best menu items are put together for you for $59.

If the food isn’t enough to get you going, the cocktail list featuring traditional Vietnamese flavours just might.  It includes fun drinks like the Bubble Mai-Chai Tea ($15) – spiced rum, mango, coconut milk, tapioca pearls and the Pink Dragon ($16) – gin, grenadine, lychee liqueur, raspberry.

I wouldn’t consider the layout of the restaurant the most family friendly… However, it does its job as a modern fine dining restaurant and would consider it a quality destination for date night or a night with the ladies.  I’m a fan of the 60s and 70s jams that fill the space providing the soundtrack of the military during that time, and the staff dressed classily to the Vietnamese motif inspired by traditional rice field workers clad in white linen shirts and grey culottes.  You may not be able to greet Jimmy Wah’s ‘Good Morning’ 😉 but Good Evening, Vietnam.

Overall experience: 7/10

Photos: Jimmy Wah’s and Monique Pueblos

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Jamie’s Italian Brisbane 

Jamie's Italian Brisbane

Jamie’s Italian Brisbane

Address: 237 Edward Street, Brisbane, QLD, 4000

Trading hours: Monday-Sunday 11:30am-10pm

Phone: 07 3144 3000

ITALIAN

Situated in a classic heritage building, Jamie’s Italian Brisbane is a marvellous split-level restaurant and bar. Although recommended to make reservations, walk-ins are more than welcome if tables are available.  On this occasion we went for lunch on a Monday and yes there was a queue.  As Terry Durack from Table Talk said a few years ago, Jamie’s Italian, regardless of the city it is located and the great or poor reviews it receives; it will continue to do well, because of the Jamie effect.  The food was absolutely wonderful and the service was paralleled.  We had a very lovely waitress, quite calm and cheerful, and it appears that all the staff knows the menu to a tee, they also explained the specials and could recommend suitable dishes.  But before you wrap your fork around your Al Forno or dive into your Fish in a Bag, try one of Jamie’s creative cocktails or a non-boozy refresher ($6.45): lemon, elderflower cordial, cranberry juice & lemonade. I hear the Espresso Martini, Pappa “G” and Jamie’s Grown-Up Iced Tea are just a few of the alcoholic hits.

Italian Nachos

Italian Nachos

We started with the Italian Nachos ($11.25) this time, deep fried, four-cheese filled ravioli served with arrabiata sauce, which were nice, innovative and fun but not amazing.  The Famous Polenta Chips ($9) however, are sensational.

Porcini Fettucini

Porcini Fettucini

Both in main sizes, I ordered the Porcini Fettuccine ($14.5/24.5): a superb combination of fresh mushrooms, garlic, lemon gremolata, Parmesan and herby breadcrumbs and my friend had the Rigatoni Carbonara ($15/25): Crispy pancetta, buttery leeks and a traditional carbonara sauce.  To end our lunch, we savoured every bite of the Creamy Panna Cotta ($8.5), topped with seasonal fruit compote, the crunch of the fruit complimenting the delicate melt-in-your-mouth vanilla goodness.  You don’t feel rushed to finish your meal which makes the experience that much better.  

Creamy Panna Cotta

Creamy Panna Cotta

Jamie’s Italian is suitable for just about everyone, with a wide range of vegetarian options and for every occasion: date nights, a drink and a snack with the mates, a family lunch; there’s an adorable and healthy kids menu. You can find the entire menu hereOverall, although Jamie’s menu consists of Italian food that is both genuine and not so much, the splendid taste of the food accompanied by great service and a cool ambience with that Jamie charm is more than enough to keep me returning.  Have you been to Jamie’s Italian?  What are the best Italian restaurants you’ve been to?

Food: 7.5/10

Overall experience: 8.5/10