After spending time in the kitchens of Luke Mangan (Glass Brasserie) and Matt Kemp, British-born chef Jamie Dyball has opened up his own eponymous spot: Kitchen By Jamie. You’ll find his tiny 29-seater restaurant at the base of the horseshoe-shaped Newington Towers in Maroubra.
Wedged into the site of a former café, the restaurant feels more like dining in someone’s apartment, with family style photos arranged in a hodge-podge collection of frames, a shelf full of cookbooks, and a hand-lettered chalkboard detailing the traditional Sunday Roast ($35/person). A sucker for a good Yorkshire pudding, I’m sad to have stupidly chosen to dine midweek.
What you won’t find at Kitchen By Jamie is wine. As co-owner Daniela Dyball explains, the restaurant is simply too small to store it; making it the perfect place to save some cash on restaurant wine mark-ups by bringing along your favourite tipple (BYO is $3/person).
Dyball is producing a concise menu of British-inspired dishes with classic French technique. Entrees include a likeable slab of Home-made Blood Pudding ($9) drizzled with gravy and accompanied by a puddle of smooth apple sauce. Dyball’s blood pud. is less spicy than any Spanish cousins you might have tried.
Jamie’s Duck Pate ($14) is creamy and classic. It’s served as a glistening, pinkish slab with red onion relish and not-quite-enough toasted brioche that Dyball makes in house; meaning you need to lay it on thick with a trowel.
Corned Beef ($27) arrives in a lake of white sauce that’s better tasting than my mother-in-law’s (shhhh). The maple glazed corned beef is better too – much less salty – with the sweetness combining with the white sauce to make a luxurious maple cream. While it is a home-cooking dish that anyone with British heritage is likely to be familiar with, it’s well-executed and given a little cheffy flair with height and thin ribbons of carrot cut on a mandolin.
Crushed potatoes tarted up with olives and sun-dried tomatoes sit at the base of Dyball’s Barramundi ($28). Pan-fried until golden brown, the juicy, white-fleshed fish is topped with spinach and drizzled with a pretty sauce vierge, enlivened with capers and a squeeze of lemon.
Smothered in a dark and brooding chocolate sauce, the Rocky Road Brownie ($12) is intense. With walnuts, dried mango and marshmallow providing an interesting mouthfeel, and a ball of vanilla ice cream to offset the richness, the skinny strip is all you need to feel completely stonkered and ready for bed.
Sticky Date Pudding ($12) accompanied by caramel ice cream, toffee sauce and crumble isn’t quite as rich; but is cleverly presented as two moist slabs making it quite easy to share, especially if you doubt your ability after eating the well-sized mains.
While Kitchen By Jamie isn’t likely to win any culinary awards, maybe – particularly in a strip dominated by Asian and Italian restaurants – it’ll provide the nostalgic comfort food you’ve been missing on nights you can’t be bothered making it at home.
Kitchen By Jamie
Shop 300, 116-132 Maroubra Road, Maroubra
Ph: (02) 8590 1361
Thanks to AGFG for arranging my visit.