Posts Tagged ‘Syd: Woolloomooloo’

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 drunkā€¦ 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

Otto Ristorante

Shop 8, 6 Cowper Wharf Rd

Woolloomooloo, NSW 2011

Ph: +61 2 9368 7488

Otto Ristorante on Urbanspoon

The Tilbury, Woolloomooloo

Another great post from my Uncle, he recently went to The Tilbury and enjoyed it. His photos are amazing as always!

I think I’m a late bloomer. I really didn’t discover food beyond my usual until the last two years. I’m one of those that sticks to the tried and tested… and also someone who values the limited space in my stomach. This is also why it annoys me when I come away from a meal feeling rather disappointed. Good news, folks! This post is all good. Oh wait, did I give that away too soon? hehe. I’ve been asking GA for tips on where to go for breakfast – perks of being friends with her. And so when I had the chance to spend the afternoon with Lala, Boo Radley and TT, I wanted to make sure that lunch was good! I missed out on their outing to Orto‘s last week (which Lala liked, a lot)…all I had was pictures of how pretty the scotch eggs was and how full they were. Argggghhh.

Anyways, fast forward to a week after their Orto’s outing (again, inspired by GA’s visit), I made a lunch booking for us at The Tilbury. TT had the day off and I took half a day of annual leave to run around to get some errands done.

The menu is simple and uncomplicated. It wasn’t hard for me to decide what I wanted. We had some sourdough and olive oil. Lala loves her bread… she did say that she prefers butter to oil with the bread. I agree. Iggy’s bread has made us ‘bread snobs’ too. Thankfully, the bread was crusty and full of flavour.

Lala went for the figs and prosciutto. Lala really enjoyed the fresh figs!

TT had the Alaskan crab with wet polenta. TT was initially sceptical of the ‘wet polenta’ but she finished it too!

And I ordered the confit of pork belly! Oh yes. A post on GA won’t be complete without some piggy. For the record, I usually order the worse of the lot. Not this time! All our entrees were delightful. My confit was perfect. The fat on the belly was nicely render. Melt in the mouth! The entrees did take some time to land, but it was worth the wait.

For mains, we had (1) barrumundi with scallops: fish was really well cooked and the scallops were nicely seared with red and yellow beets.

(2) saffron gnocchi (I just had to google the correct spelling for this): vibrant colours from the saffron and pillow-y soft gnocchi. Cooked to perfection and the way gnocchi should be (for me at least).

(3) Spaghetti with Alaskan King Crab: pedestrian perhaps to some…but it came with a generous amount of crab. The pasta was a tad undercooked. Flavours were faultless though.

And of course, no meal is complete without spuds. Fancy ones: rosemary and garlic kipfler (had to google this as well). Lala said “no” to fries and the potatoes. Good thing she did… cos it was a very sizeable amount even when shared amongst 3 of us.

Took quite a long time to get the mains. We were in a hurry and it was probably my fault for not telling the kitchen we needed to go at a certain time. But we also didn’t know service would be slightly slower than what we were used to. A table of four that arrived 10 minutes after us got their entrees at the same time as we did and got their mains 10 minutes before we did as well – this is inspite of my request for an expedited service of our mains.

All in all, a very good dining experience. Friendly, fresh and tasty (had to google this, having a shocker with spelling today) food, unrushed service (slightly slow to land our orders onto our table – but that’s forgiveable) and uncomplicated flavours!

Didn’t get a chance to sample the desserts, but hey, that’s reason to go back again. The only thing I’d change: is to make sure I have a clear schedule after lunch… for a nice afternoon nap.

Tilbury Hotel

18 Nicholson St

Woolloomooloo 2011

Ph: + 61 2 9368 1955

Tilbury Hotel on Urbanspoon