In Short: Dining at Kitchen by Jamie can be likened to going over to a mate’s house, a mate that can cook and serve memorable takes on the classics sublimely. Honest, delicious, well seasoned food with a side of generosity would sum up the experience we had. It’s hard to go past the Chef’s Home Made Pie or drop in for Fish and Chips.
In our travels we have been fortunate to try a couple of Michelin starred restaurants and in Sydney a number of hatted restaurants. In these settings we have seen the epitome of cookery, attention to detail and inventive cuisine. I imagine these kitchens house a fair amount of ego as well. It takes application, the hard yards and sound business knowledge to not only succeed but go the next step to recognised as the best.
When we alerted by the Australia Good Food Guide that Kitchen by Jamie was doing great food in Maroubra, I was intrigued. Intrigued by its Maroubra location, miles away from the glittering lights of the CBD, and intrigued to taste the food from this chef who has worked in those heady Michelin and hatted restaurants both here and abroad. Stepping into Kitchen by Jamie, I was pleasantly surprised. You see, there was no evidence of that ego, or embellishing of prior achievements that a chef with Jamie’s pedigree has. Jamie Dyball comes from that starry and hatted background yet his restaurant in Maroubra is understated and pared back. Black and white signage and an intimate space with a real homely feel with stacked recipe books and foodie “family photos” makes it is easy to settle in. We chose to dine here at lunch and if you desire, you can also dine here for dinner or come in for a special Sunday roast for $35 which includes two courses. Suffice to say, after our experience, we have already penciled in a date to try that Sunday roast.
We left it in the expert hands of Jamie to show us what he could come up with. To start, we sampled an entree which really draws on Jamie’s prowess of French cuisine. Jamie’s Duck Pâté sets in train a theme of simplicity with exquisite execution and flavour. I will be honest and say, that if it were me choosing from the menu, pâté wouldn’t be top of the list. I still have childhood memories of when I learned French in high school. I still recall one occasion where our parents were asked to provide a French dish for a pot luck style lunch. I recall digging into a hearty Coq Au Vin and thinking that French cuisine ain’t half bad. Then, as I went looking for something sweet, I stumbled onto what looked like jelly. Anticipating a sweet ending, I launched into it and while the jelly was sweet, I was quickly overcome by the rich yet robust chicken liver pate flavour. It took me a few years, perhaps twenty before I tried pâté again, and even then, I only seek out the good ones. Hence, you can be sure that Jamie’s Duck Liver pate is one of the good ones, as I actually overcame my fear and ate it. Placing a generous spread of it on the house-made brioche and heaping on the onion relish, made for enticing start to my meal. The pate is rich with a sublime sheen. The brioche is buttery delicious and the onion relish, is cooked down with a jam like sweetness and pairs exquisitely with the pate.
From a sophisticated little starter we moved onto something more rustic yet spectacular. If there was an example of how Chef’s Homemade Pie should be plated, this how it is done. A large quenelle shaped serving of mash sitting atop the pie. Pouring on the gravy and seeing is cascade over the perfectly smooth mash onto the pastry, was delicious theatre, all this and I hadn’t even had a bite yet! Suffice to say, it was outstanding. A buttery pastry, that was airy and flaky, encasing chunks of slow cooked beef, that literally came apart at the touch of a fork. I loved the combination of chunky cooked down beef, with the tender, stringing pulled textures of beef. The mash was creamy and expertly seasoned and kept on inviting me back for more, and that gravy delivered a ton of flavour. While Sydney has subsisted on handy take away pies, for a sit down version there can be few in town that would top this one by Kitchen by Jamie.
For our last main dish, we shared a Fish and Chips. First of all we were blown away by the generosity. A plate full of spectacularly golden battered barramundi sit atop a pile of chips, salad, a dipping tartare and salad dressing. Chef Jamie draws on his British heritage of growing up on fish and chips wrapped in newspaper. The English style on display here, and is one to appreciated for the technique of the batter. The batter itself, has a savoury tangy flavour and is more than just flour, and eggs. If I had to describe the texture it would be of a corn dog. A thicker version of the batter on traditional fish and chips Oz style, but I would go out on the limb and say, this one by Kitchen by Jamie is now the new benchmark for battered fish! The delicious batter yields to perfectly, and I mean perfectly cooked tender, juicy barramundi that just flakes apart and is delicious. The chips are crispy and fluffy, and a salad with the dressing, really cuts through with its freshness.
Our first impressions of Kitchen by Jamie was that it served food that will absolutely satisfy and fill you up. I appreciated the the technique on display on each dish. If you have a craving for the classics, you need to make a booking at Kitchen by Jamie, you will be as impressed as I was. Check back soon, because we will have pictures and description of the Sunday Roast that we will be trying out soon.
*Coco & Vine dined as guests of Kitchen by Jamie and AGFG. However, all images and opinions are our own.