Otto Ristorante, Woolloomooloo
It certainly has been a very long time since my last visit to Otto. It used to be one of my ex colleagues favourite dining place. He would visit here at least twice a week with his clients or investors or friends. I didn’t go that often, but I did manage to go a couple of times and enjoyed it.
Otto can be found on Cowper Wharf, Woolloomooloo. It’s not a place I go dining very often, they have a couple of restaurants there now. Otto serves Modern Italian cuisine, and the head chef behind this restaurant is Richard Ptacnik, who worked as Sous Chef whilst James Kidman was there.
I was meeting a fellow food lover,K, who currently resides in Hong Kong but was in Melbourne for work and decided that he should do a short trip to Sydney. We started with tagliolini con scampi, capesante e zucchini ($30 / $40) to share. Fresh egg spaghettini with baby scallops, scampi, cherry tomatoes, zucchini, shellfish brood, bottarga and baby basil. The pasta was al dente, the seafood were fresh and cooked to perfection. I love the strong tomato flavours, it was rich, bold and quite tasty.
For mains, I opt for peace spada in crosta di finocchio, carciofi e pancetta ($42) – fennel crusted swordfish with zucchini puree, salad of globe artichoke, shaved fennel, capers, watercress and crispy pancetta. The fish was nicely cooked, it was firm but yet tender. I loved the zucchini puree, all the elements really complemented together, but it didn’t really leave me with a WOW factor.
K couldn’t go past the pancia di mail con purea di pastinaca, pancetta, melee e noci ($40), pork tenderloin wrapped in pancetta with parsnip puree, black pudding, crispy pig’s ear and apple, prune and walnut salsa. Cooked medium rare, the pork tenderloin was tender, the black pudding and parsnip puree a wonderful complement. I love pork and black pudding, but unfortunately, we were both a little underwhelmed. It was nice but nothing spectacular we thought.
I was getting full by this stage, so thought we would share dessert. Gelantina di lampoon ($19), raspberry jelly with caramelised white chocolate mousse, fresh berries, hazelnut praline, roasted white chocolate, cocoa twigs and baby parsley. It was just too pretty to eat and it did taste as good as it looked, better in fact! Probably the highlight for the both of us. It wasn’t rich, quite the opposite really, it was quite light and refreshing. The caramelised white chocolate mousse was divine, all the combination worked, although I would have been happy with a little more hazelnut praline!
Service was good, it was a gorgeous evening, so perfect to eat outdoors. Unfortunately, the food was a little underwhelming, especially the mains. The pasta was a wonderful start, but the dessert was just amazing! I don’t remember being underwhelmed previously but from memory, previous visits have left me stumbling out of the restaurant drunk… so that could be why! Whoops!
Regardless, it was lovely to catch up with K, I look forward to seeing you in Hong Kong soon!
GA’s rating: 6 / 10
Shop 8, 6 Cowper Wharf Rd
Woolloomooloo, NSW 2011
Ph: +61 2 9368 7488