Dessert, Dinner, Italian, Sydney, Inner East
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Otto Ristorante, Woolloomooloo

It’s kind of funny that F and I have spent only one Valentine’s Day together – I seem to be overseas on that day all the other years. This year… was no different, as I hared off with a few friends to snowy Japan for two weeks (fear not, I shall start posting my Nihon eats soon!).

Not that I take much notice of V Day, as I firmly believe it’s more for singles than established couples (am I being cynical here?), I am not one to pass on a good excuse to use as a last-hurrah / early V Day dinner. So I secretly booked ourselves in for the night before I left and made him close his eyes the entire way to the restaurant (more for my own amusement than anything else bahahaha).

View and Menu

View and Menu

With quite a range of delicious sounding dishes, it was hard to decide what to order. It took us a while, but once done, we relaxed and took in the view bathed in golden sunlight.

Basilmooloo and Mojito ($16)

Basilmooloo and Mojito ($16)

I’m not much of a drinker, but the Basilmooloo was wonderfully refreshing and sweet (even F liked it! He usually pooh-poohs my “lolly drinks”). Best of all… you could hardly taste the alcohol! It is definitely “drunkable” (as Linda would put it). The Basilmooloo, for those curious, consisted of: Russian standard vodka, Grand Marnier, Chambord, cranberry, lime, strawberries and basil. I know I’m going to try and make this at my next party! Hehe.

Fiori Di Zucchina ($29)

Fiori Di Zucchina ($29)

The zucchini flowers weren’t originally part of the dishes we had in mind to order, but as soon as we heard what was in it (the dish wasn’t originally on the menu), we couldn’t resist in ordering it. We were surprised at how big the dish was – being accustomed to much smaller portioned zucchini flower dishes – but we were grateful for the size, as it was utterly delicious.

The zucchini flowers, stuffed with cheese, went so well with the fresh and bright cherry tomatoes, asparagus and capsicum puree.

Capesante Con Purea Di Sedano Rapa E Zafferano E Avruga ($30)

Capesante Con Purea Di Sedano Rapa E Zafferano E Avruga ($30)

We couldn’t help but “ooh” as the scallop dish arrived – it was so pretty!

I thought it was a pretty decent dish; the scallops were decently seared and went well with the slightly sweet celeriac and saffron puree, grilled zucchinis, avruga caviar and preserved lemon dressing. It was the puree that F disagreed on me with, citing that it “wasn’t his thing” and “ruined” the dish for him.

It was a bit of a pity that the dish seemed to be only skin deep and I hoped that the next dish would cheer F up.

Terrina Di Maiale Con Insalata Di Carciofi E Olive ($30)

Terrina Di Maiale Con Insalata Di Carciofi E Olive ($30)

I was a bit nervy about this terrine – I mean, it’s terrine made from a pig’s head.. with crispy pig’s ears! F told me to man up, as I’m not likely to see any eyeballs or gruesome stuff like that and that it’s just made from the meat from the head. Annoyingly, he was correct.

The terrine was a lot denser than the past terrines I’ve had – a lot more meatier and heartier – but its accompaniments managed to lighten it up. It was utterly divine when eaten on a crisp olive bread along with a bit of the salad of globe artichokes, caperberries, olives topped with spicy carrot dressing.

I am happy to report that F cheered up immensely with this dish and we both were astounded by the rest of our meal.

Troccoli Con Salmone E Pomodorini (Entree size, $29)

Troccoli Con Salmone E Pomodorini (Entree size, $29)

I adored this pasta dish; the home-made troccoli was perfectly al dente, the New Zealand king salmon was wonderfully succulent and tender, and the sweet-sour heirloom tomatoes, crunchy green asparagus, zucchini flowers and baby basil were all so super fresh. The flavours were so bright and all together packed a rather mean flavour-punch! I hardly noticed the chilli that was supposedly in this dish, except for the tell-tale reddening of my lips.

Risotto Agli Spinaci Con Burrata (Entree size, $29)

Risotto Agli Spinaci Con Burrata (Entree size, $29)

Every time I see burrata on the menu, I think just how much Minh would go gaga over it, knowing her adoration for the cheese. Seeing it now paired with her archnemesis, the risotto, I wonder if she would be tempted to try it or even *gasp* like it. The mind boggles.

I think F and I love risotto just as much as Minh hates it and for us, this is a perfect example of a very well executed risotto. The rice was cooked just right, the burrata added a delicious roundness to the sauce with the crispy eschallot providing a nice crunchy contrast to the dish. On top of that, it looked so pretty with the cheerfully yellow edible flowers. As Chef Brian would say: yumsters!

Petto D'anatra Arrotolato In Pancetta ($44)

Petto D'anatra Arrotolato In Pancetta ($44)

The succulent duck breast was wrapped in pancetta and was also stuffed with muscatels, spinach and walnuts. Underneath the duck was pumpkin puree, purple onions, baby parsley and apple balsalmic. A lot was going on, but somehow they all seemed to meld together quite harmoniously and was wonderfully rich in flavour.

Filetto Di Manzo Con Topinambur, Funghi, Midollo E Foie Gras ($44)

Filetto Di Manzo Con Topinambur, Funghi, Midollo E Foie Gras ($44)

Moving on to our meat dish, we ordered an eye fillet of Angus beef with roasted Jerusalem artichoke puree, mushrooms, bone marrow, potato nest and foie gras sauce. Sounds rich? You betcha it was. While F wallowed in its decadent richness (not literally because then that would be a waste), I struggled. Gorgeously scrumptious as it may be, I was completely overwhelmed by its decadence!

That said, the beef was perfectly seasoned and cooked to a T, retaining its juiciness and tenderness.

Stravaganza Di Cioccolata ($50)

Stravaganza Di Cioccolata ($50)

By the time we were ready for dessert, it got so dark for a plate of mostly dark-coloured desserts that we ended up using our table light at its brightest setting as proper light source (in hindsight, I should have done that also to the beef and duck dishes).

This dessert platter (to share) graced us with a veritable bounty: milk chocolate mousse with passionfruit caramel centre, hazelnut mocha brulee, raspberry panna cotta with white chocolate anglaise, and dark chocolate ganache with olive brick tuille and extra virgin olive oil gelato. Definitely yumsters.

It was so hard to pick a favourite, but I was quite partial to the sweet mousse and silky smooth raspberry panna cotta. The mousse was incredibly light and fluffy, which hid a dense, almost savoury passionfruit-caramel centre, while the panna cotta together with a white chocolate anglaise held a delicate balance between sweet and sour.

Outside View

Outside View

Otto is nestled between quite a few restaurants on this long wharf in Woolloomooloo that there is a danger in being lost amongst the hubbub. However, with its warm, friendly service (my handbag was treated to sit on a linen napkin instead of the ground!) and exceptionally fresh, beautifully presented dishes that Otto shines quite brightly as a gem of a restaurant. Without a doubt.

Otto Ristorante
Area 8, 6 Cowper Wharf Rd
Woolloomooloo, NSW, 2011
Ph: (02) 9368 7488
Web: http://www.ottoristorante.com.au

22 Comments

  1. I’ve never read a post about Otto so it’s good to know how the food is. The presentation is beautiful, especially the scallops and the duck and the dessert platter is gorgeous ($50 though, eeek!). Nice use of the table light for taking the last few pics! :)

  2. Wonderful looking dishes, a bit pricey but worth it for a special day. Love the looks of the dessert plate.

    • Really?! … Would it be bad to say we were full but not rolling about full? Haha

      It was funny because our waiter tactfully asked us if we wanted to stop at the pasta dishes and then see how we were feeling. As you can see, we ordered the meat dishes anyway! lol

    • Haha funny about that dessert plate – the menu said “to share” and we both thought: “$25 each, that’s not toooo bad”. It’s bigger than it looks actually! Plate was huge. Though F told me, in hindsight, he could have eaten everything on the plate (the beast, I know I couldn’t).

  3. wow all the dishes are presented so beautifully, especially the scallops! The dessert plate sounds divine as well!

  4. Hi, just curious: did you actually manage to eat ALL THAT between only two of you? :)
    That’s an achievement!

    This all looks pretty decent, though, this restaurant has been off the radar for a while – but it seems to be still going srong!

    *GASP* at the $50 dessert!

    • Ummm… yes? Haha. I think what’s worse is that we didn’t think it was a lot.

      We’re pretty bad huh? We hardly blinked at the cost of the dessert, but it was worth it! The desserts were so scrumptious =D

  5. Woah – $50 dessert plate? For two? I reckon I could demolish that all by myself! =D Meal looked delish!

  6. My parents went here a while back and they said it was really good. All the dishes look beautifully presented, but I must agree with everyone else in how expensive the dessert platter was!

  7. I worked here a few years back now, I left during the change over after John Laws sold it. Back then it was certainly on the radar as one comenter put it but its good to hear that this place with a great view and service still has the great food and drinks. For those mentioning it’s a bit pricey just remember there are 15+ chefs in that tiny kitchen working untold hours per week to create all the fantastic dishes from scratch. Their art is worth paying for!

  8. Looks like a fantastic meal, what a lovely setting and your photographs are stunning! I’m curious about the table light, is that a light you brought or that the restaurant provided? How convenient! And I am impressed that all of that food was consumed by just two!

    • The restaurant provided the light… And yes, it was very convenient! Hahah… then again, it did get pretty dark, so I’m not surprised they had to provide table lamps. Makes for great atmosphere though =)

      Hahahhaha Now I’m really embarrassed by the number of comments I’ve been getting about the amount of food we ate… we honestly thought it wasn’t “that much food”. We’re such pigs hehe

  9. FtD says

    Somehow me & the wife had one of the worst food experiences @ Otto on a Friday night. Under cooked risotto, over seasoned ragu pasta. Only the salmon capaccio entree was edible. We’re still guessing if the head chef was on holiday that night.

  10. Pingback: Kingsleys Steak & Crabhouse, Woolloomooloo - eatshowandtell

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