Jamie's Italian has opened in Kuta Beach, Bali, marking the restaurant chain's first venture into Indonesia.
Patrons can try the large range of genuine, home-style Italian dishes, served with that characteristic twist favoured by namesake Jamie Oliver, in the 220-seat rustic, casual eatery.
Sitting on the outdoor terrace under the industrial-style lighting and wooden ceiling fans, perhaps relaxing over an Italian limoncino and a plate of antipasti, guests can people-watch along the busy Jl. Pantai Kuta.
Indoors, diners can choose to sit near the bar and the Ferrari-red pasta-making machine, or upstairs near the two open kitchens.
All the food has been created by Oliver, his mentor Gennaro Contaldo and the talented team of chefs in each location.
The long wait for this international, family-friendly restaurant to open in Bali was as a result of Oliver's exacting requirements for produce to be sustainably farmed, locally procured wherever possible and from "happy" farm animals. Head chef Alex Barman said he was delighted with the quality of the local ingredients and loved the fact he was able to personally visit farms to find those that could pass the rigorous checklist to supply the restaurant.
The pasta is made on site, in the front window, every day; the beef is matured for 30 days and all the food is cooked from scratch with fresh ingredients. Choices range from pan-fried fresh fish, to steaks, burgers, pastas and a large choice of antipasti.
The impressive meat plank has piles of Italian cold meats, scattered with olives and pickled chili, freshly made mozzarella cheese from Bali, a root vegetable salad and dots of chili jam on cheese with thin, crisp bread served on a wooden board and is ideal for sharing with a glass of Italian wine or the homemade lemonade.
A special children's menu is attractively designed to tempt little appetites and crayons are provided to keep kids busy.
The dessert range is highly popular, with Italian influence in the wobbly panna cotta and Contaldo's tiramisu, while Oliver's English background shows in the lemon meringue cheesecake.
Oliver is very pro-local sourcing and small businesses and this is reflected in the restaurant's decor, as well as the ingredients. The coffee is a local, specially customised blend; the copper lights are one-of-a-kind created by a small family-run company that has been making kitchen utensils for three generations and the terracotta wear is made on the island.
Jamie's Italian Kuta Beach is open daily from noon to 11pm.