Thursday, 6 March 2008

otto

Shop 8
6 Cowper Wharf Rd
Woolloomooloo 2011 NSW
Phone: (02) 9368 7488

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A sunny Autumn day in Sydney calls for eating al fresco...preferably near the water. To this end, we chose Otto as the venue for such a lunch.

I am always wary of overly busy restaurant times to dine as this usally means neglectful service, even in the most respectable of establishments. After a hungry 20 minute wait with nothing more than sparkling mineral water, we flagged down a member of the waitstaff. Our looks of undernourished 'hanger' (a combination of 'hunger' and 'anger') must have been clearly apparent as we were then greeted with prompt service thereafter. (It always helps to put on the puppy dog eyes when things aren't going your way.)

Thankfully, Otto delivered on the remainder of the experience, with imaginative oyster vinigarettes of apple sorbet and verjuice as well as the stock standard natural and salmon roe options.

Lemon and Crab risotto with four types of fish roe was delightfully light, the rice tender and not too mushy or soupy as can be the case when ordering the risotto.

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The special of the day (first image) was a delightful Dentice con funghi in tegame - or grilled snapper with the skin on, served on a bed of finely diced mushrooms, layered with enoki and porcini, served with asparagus tips and creme fraiche infused with chives and thyme...special in more ways than one. A true testament to the fact that ordering the fish doesnt have to be a) boring or b) unsubstantial. Big ticks.

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The twice cooked Byron Bay pork belly served with fennel cream, caramelised endive and brown lentils was not as heavy as it might sound...skilfully proportioned and prepared. I've no idea what is in the water or the feed up there, but the pork produce coming from Bangalow and the Byron Bay area in general is absolutely a cut above (excuse the pun) the rest...definitely on par with Cumberland.

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To finish, the vanilla pannacotta with mango, passionfruit and melon with sour cream coconut sorbet.

To be honest, the sour cream didnt really hit the spot and I would have preferred a creamier and more vanilla flavour....the melon was tasteless and simply felt like filler. Similarly the sorbet felt too icy and not as consistent as it should have been.

I'd go for the macadamia nut mousse next time.

8.5/10

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