Petit Fours: a Sydney food blog


Petit Fours: a Sydney food blog


Petit Fours: a Sydney food blog

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Otto Ristorante, Wooloomooloo

All Italian happens to fall in either two categories being mod Italian and old-school traditional. I love Italian. Mod Italian interpretations however, like anything 'mod', I'm a bit iffy about. When it works, it really gets you thinking long after the meal. When it doesn't, it's a disaster. Otto Ristorante happens to fall under the former but optimistic as always with fingers crossed and a long walk ahead of us to Wooloomooloo, off we ventured.

Owned by the Illustrious Fink group, who also own Sydney's prized jewel Quay, you know you're in safe hands from the get go. 

Waterside views and beautiful sight lines are almost prerequisite especially when comparing the aforementioned Quay but besides the the views, they're almost two entirely different beasts. We opted for the degustation (naturally) which comes at a fair price of 130 dollars. Waterfront dining doesn't come cheap I guess.

Bread comes in 2 types, focaccia and olive bread. I naturally go for both. 3 times. 6 pieces of bread. Carb up y'know y'know?

Oysters with pickled cucumber, chardonnay and roe
We go on ahead with half a dozen oysters; small and super fresh and boosted up with salty pops of roe, sweet chardonay and cooling pickled cubes of cucumber. On a glaring sunny day, nothing's more welcome. 

Ravioli d Barbabietola
Ravioli of finely slice pickled beetroot with goat's curd, pistachio and horseradish
Before any of our actually courses come, a quick amuse on the house comes. It's signature actually: a dome of wonderfully vivid beetroot raviolli which gently wraps around a filling of pistachio and goats cheese. It's truly magical, earthy and nutty and sweet and just perfectly executed. 

Carpaccio di Manzo
Grainge Angus beef carpaccio, truffle dressing, aioli, capers, parmesan, baby rocket
Unfortunately, what came up next was disappointing. The beef carpaccio itself had barely any flavour which begged for better accompaniments but there wasn't much else to be found.

Vitello Tonnato
Poached veal girello, peppered seared tuna, smoked tuna aioli, fried capers
Thankfully they pick right back up where they started originally with a brilliant dish of veal on tuna. Equally circular medallions of translucent fresh tuna and meaty veal layer upon themselves to be slathered in a smoky aioli. So tender that it trembles under a knife seasoned well with the brilliant use of fried capers.

Seared scallops, roasted Jerusalem artichoke puree, black pudding, farro
Equally delicious was our next course. You get two perfectly cooked scallops sitting on a toasty hill of crunchy farro and scrumptious blood sausage with a hidden mound of artichoke puree waiting to be dug up. 

Potato gnocchi, braised wagyu brisket, salsa verde
My favourite dish of the day was easily this and I knew it would be so from the get-go. What's not to like? Pillows of potato gnocchi, shreds of fatty brisket all sauced up in deliciousness and green little droplets of salsa verde to brighten up the palate.

Twiced-cooked Berkshire pork belly, parsnip puree, roasted heirloom carrots, pickled onion, garlic crumble
I was struck with a little pork envy (seems to be a chronic pattern with me) when a plate of crispy succulent pork, rendered down, seasoned beautifully and dressed up with a tumble of roast carrots, crispy wafer of parsnip and baby vegetables.

Wild kingfish, tomato consomme, semi-dried tomatoes, cucumber, fennel, basil
My main on the other hand is much lighter and subtle but by no means boring. A giant fillet of kingfish, firm yet tender beyond imagination, sits perched on a sea of clean and slightly tart tomato consomme bolstered up with sprigs of fennel fronds and shavings and pungent basil. It's refreshing but I can't help but feel like it would be better in hotter weather than winter.

A simple tumble of salad is a unexpected welcome sight.

Cheese naturally is on the agenda and just so happens to be included into the degustation. The cheese to accompaniment ratio is off because I'd like a little more cheese with everything around it but the brunet is nevertheless exquisite; light with a silky cream texture and naturally causes your tongue palate to explode with delight.

The degustation comes with a dessert tasting style assiette and I wouldn't have it any other way. 

Lemon meringue tart, lemon myrtle sorbet, lime caramel
We work our way around from lightest to heaviest starting with the lemon meringue which is eye-puckeringly sour; just the way I like it. It's pretty as a picture, dainty and balanced with a wonderful citrusy flavour. 

Buffalo ricotta cake, orange Grand marnier custard, almond and cocoa nib tuille, marzipan ice-cream
Ricotta cheese cake is similarly a favourite. It's cakey yet fudgey at the same time beautiful with little droplets of Grand Marnier spiked custard and a crispy cocoa tuille stuck in.

"Nutella" brulee, hazelnut ice-cream, white chocoalte crumble, praline, popping candy
Moving on to the heavier, there's much joy to be found with the Nutella brulee. Crack in mix it a little with the popping candy and ice cream and it's a party in our mouth.

Crema di Amaretto
Amaretto custard, chocoalte and sour cherry ice cream, Amarena cherries, meringue, candied almonds
The last one ends up being a boozy finish with a pungent Amaretto coating pretty much everything. There's texture contrasts to be found everywhere from the snap of meringue 'bones', creamy chocolate ice cream, a rich custard and little squishy bites of cherries.  

Whereas a lot of degustations leave you heavy and food weary, Otto feels much lighter from start to finish. With technique and palate in the bag, they've focused on making Italian new and exciting. Stunning view and sharp service to boot, the Sydney water-side dining scene is in safe hands.

Otto Ristorante on Urbanspoon


Oh my the lemon tart is the prettiest little thing I've seen for a while! Glad to see you like lemon tarts sour too - I say it's refreshing, no? :D

the vitello tonnato looks delish but i want the dessert plate so badly!!

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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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