Petit Fours: a Sydney food blog


Petit Fours: a Sydney food blog


Petit Fours: a Sydney food blog

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Oscillate Wildly, Newtown

Oscillate Wildly. I know, sounds like more a theme park ride than anything else but down Newtown it just happens to be a restaurant. One of the most widely sought after restaurants in the area in fact, known for their adventurous creativity that's a delight to many. And at 100 dollars a degustation, it's one of the cheapest you'll find.

Oscillate wildly's décor is understated at best, focusing on minimalist sophisticated appeal with quiet little touches like the faced candle holders bringing it out to life. It's a compulsory 9 course degustation for everybody here where the menu is similarly understated, revealing little more than 3 ingredients leaving you to figure out more. And then there's the music which no one can seem to go in and not comment about. It's a brilliant selection with a little Bon Iver as well as a few others in the mix that's just loud enough to help the atmosphere.

Amuse Wakame and Sesame Crisps
We start off with with light and crisp wakame and sesame crisps to nibble on before we decide on the night. 

Bread and butter come soon afterwards with what appears to be aniseedy, super-salty lardo that you can just drape around the bread for a touch of luxury.

Gin and Tonic Sugar Cane
An aperitif is presented to us of a gin and tonic soaked sugar cane; a gutsy cracking start to the night that gets us immediately excited.

Foie Gras, Scallop, Hazelnut
We're invited to use our hands for the next course. It's a fascinating yet obvious combination: sweet, salty, airy, smooth and nutty and it just works gorgeously well.

Scampi, Ponzu, Wild Rice
A superb mix of textures is showcased here: the fresh scampi gives it an almost unmatched creaminess matched well with all sorts of citrus-y crisp and crunch.

Beetroot, Cepe, Horseradish
A little bed of two textured beetroot is encased in a nitrogen frozen horseradish sphere that gradually melts down to reveal yet another textural delight.

Murray Cod, Pea, Hops
The tiniest fillet of beautifully cooked murray cod is dressed up in a garden of nasturtiums, peas and pea shoots with a little slither of avruga hidden underneath.

Duck, Black Garlic, Grains
An amazingly tender duck is presented next with just the faintest amount of crisp skin and savoury undertones of black garlic and crunchy grains.   

Beef, Onion, Sarsaparilla
The Blackmore wagyu doesn't quite have that mind numbingly meltingness one would expect with a superb cut but it's cooked rather well with an outstanding crust. The very familiar taste of sasparilla doesn't over power at all and it's complemented well with an deft appreciation for all textures yet again.

Cheese on Toast
The optional cheese course at a $10 supplement is a salty sweet juxtaposition that's all sorts of fun. And here I thought it was just you know... cheese on toast. Well it technically is but the unusual forms just play wonders on your mind with the smooth parmigiano reggiano ice cream contrasting with the beautifully crunchy praline.

Poor Man's Orange, Tamarillo
I didn't like this one bit at all. It just didn't taste right. The only thing tonight. Soury, citrus-y overtones of New Zealand grapefruit and tamarillo just don't go well with the much stronger herbiness of the coriander and sharp pepperiness of celery which just over powered everything.

Pandan, Rye, Milk Jam
We were warned to just eat everything together by the waiter and he was right. Individually, they're all just varying weird levels of bitterness and beeriness. But together, it's really something special. Eaten together, they meld thoughtfully in harmony and it's just difficult to describe which begs that one must really eat it to experience it.

Lemon and bergamont hand towels came out halfway that just gives a ... haha no. But I really thought it was a course initially. Consecutive 3 Am nights don't agree with me so really anything looks good. They come as little capsules, the waiter pours water on them and they magically just absorb and quadruple their size and volume.

If anything's been revealed to me that night it's either I've got a really bad camera or I take really awful pictures. It's more likely that the latter's true and I've really got to learn how to use it. Wouldn't be surprised if they were half seizure seizure inducing and I apologize. Service was wonderfully helpful and quietly efficient. I use the word quietly a lot here and Oscillate Wildly's just peaceful place to be. It would appear to be capable of seating at least 40 with a 2 story building. The kitchen's brilliantly competent at handling that load on a full night with only 3 chefs at the back although it can get a little slow at times. 

On the food side of things, Oscillate Wildly is quietly exceeding above the other restaurants. Molecular whiz-bangery is evident here, although it's not for complications sake rather it just feels natural. Its food is classical and balanced yet challenging and complex on the palate that may be a little off-putting but think a little more and your taste buds will be rewarded. It's quirky edgy originality would certainly do Newtown proud.

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I've wanted to dine here for the longest time! And you're very right, their degustation is such good value for money - really need to make some time to come, the food looks scrumptious!

@ Vivian. Such good value indeed! Few places compare in terms of price and quality and the food just keeps your on your toes. Mindz blown.

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No, we aren't the most amazing gastronomes or chefs. Heck, half our team doesn't even know how to cook... well. However, what we really love is eating. And lots of it. We enjoy that occasional freebie, filling up that craving for a midnight snack and finding a 20 in our pockets that we thought we never had, and using that as an excuse to go out eating. As we battle the ongoing war on uni student poverty, we'll bring you the most swoon worthy recounts of our latest foodie adventures.

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