Monday, 30 June 2014

Otto Ristorante, Woolloomooloo - Sydney

Maybe it was just a bad day in the kitchen.
otto-strozzapreti (2)
Strozzapreti from Otto Ristorante

Or maybe it's just our luck.

Either way, I wholeheartedly hope that I can write better words to describe our lunch here at Otto Ristorante, one of the posh restaurants lining up at Woolloomooloo's Cowper Wharf.

First of all, let me just say that I have no negative comments about the seating and the view. The harbour and the sunlight are a perfect pair, pleasing our eyes with sparkling blue waters and warmth on our skin. We were seated in the exterior part, where executives and glamorous-looking ladies alike had taken their seats around our table. Probably being the only patron wearing (really comfy) jeans and sweater, I felt a little bit out of place.

While the interior looks elegant with dark walls, the exterior shines more with direct sunlight and white-dominated furniture and table setting.

Exterior seating

Toasting with a view

The waiter mentioned a few specials of the day but we were quite firm in choosing the dishes on the menu book, having researched a bit about the restaurant beforehand. Complimentary bread with olive oil is always welcomed, and I was fond of the salty and fluffy bread whose name I forgot. A bit cold, but enough to keep my jaw occupied before the dishes came.


Complimentary bread

We were warned that capesante only has three scallops, and we convinced the waiter that being the gentle women that we are, we didn't mind to share.

Maybe we were wrong.

Capesante was presented in such amazing precision and it was definitely a work of art. The colours contrasted the white plate beautifully, and each part of the dish did great at showcasing each one's strength without overwhelming others. Scallops were perfectly cooked, and sweetbread (if you don't know what it is, it's thymus gland a certain animal e.g. lamb, pork, calf) was slightly crispy with interesting flavour. I am just wondering, since I noticed a few tables had the same dish with two potato chips, why did we only receive one?

Capesante (seared scallops, parsnip puree, veal sweetbreads, garlic crumb, potato chips, caperberries, mugolio) - $30

Sihan's corzetti wasn't the most photogenic dish, and sadly also not one of the better pasta dishes either. While the smoked goose ragu had no funky smell whatsoever, sprinkles of salt and pepper were needed to lift the game a bit. Some of the round pasta (which had unique patterns stamped on) were cooked well, while some might need some more minutes in the pot. To top it off, a small piece of onion skin cheekily came by on top of the plate to say hello. Talk about a surprise garnish!

Corzetti (round pasta with duck ragu and shaved parmesan) - $30

I had better fortune with my strozzapreti appeared bright and appetizing. It didn't disappoint either, with plump prawns, tasty tomato sauce, stirred along with some pitted olives. Don't be deluded by the look of the portion, it was actually really filling.

otto-strozzapreti (1)
Strozzapreti (twisted pasta, king prawns in a tomato and calamari sauce) - $30

A few table-kicking-accidents-with-no-apology later, we were ready to leave. Skipping dessert, to the waiter's dismay (or what looked to be a dismayed expression), and decided to an utterly splendid little spot for our sugar fix, which I will blog soon.

Final words, that day might not be our best dining experience, and maybe this place doesn't really fit with us after all. Still, I would say this can be a good spot for a special occasion, and just a suggestion, maybe don't wear your shabbiest jeans here.

P.S. Check Sihan's post about the whole experience here! She describes it better than I do.


Currency: $1 = IDR 11,400

Rating: 2.5/5 (Good)
Overall, maybe not my kind of place (remember, this is a personal opinion!). There are some really good dishes, but some are kinda a letdown. Ambiance is nice with amazing view, service can be more attentive and more attention to the details should be given. Price is relatively high-end.



Shop 8, 6 Cowper Wharf Rd 
Woolloomoolo, NSW 2011

Phone: (02) 9368 7488

Otto Ristorante on Urbanspoon

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  1. This is why I really like your posts! Although you make constructive criticisms, you put it in the nicest way! Love your work Irene. Keep doing what you do :)

    1. Thanks heaps for that, Raff! Really means a lot :)

  2. love the view !
    and that Strozzapreti looks delicious

    1. Me too! Harbour/wharf-side view can never fail, right? :)
      Thanks for dropping by!

  3. ooh!! The strozzapreti and scallops looks soooo good 8-)

    1. Hi, Anna! Thanks for dropping by.
      They do, especially the picturesque scallops!

  4. Hi Irene,

    I am disappointed about your post, out of the reason that more and more people start to make food blogs, which is sometimes good and nice, but when i read this

    - if you don't know what it is, it's thymus gland of either calf or lamb, and sometimes pork or beef

    it shows me missing knowledge and in that case, if you are not secure in food, you shouldn't judge about it. There is no beef which has sweetbread. It is just part of the animal in a growing process. In case of no definition it is veal. Everything else is just very unusual.


    1. Hi there. Although I don't really understand some parts of your comment, I agree about the awkward sentence. My bad, I'm sorry. I have changed it since. Thanks for the constructive criticism!

      However, let me just straight things out a bit. I didn't even know what sweetbread was before that day, and if you noticed, I only gave a general comment about how it tasted like. I am not a food expert and if you have read my 'About' page you would probably notice that and realize that this blog isn't about me giving judgement about food professionally. I simply comment and share what I think. After all, it's a personal opinion.

      But anyway, thanks again. I wish you'd used your real name instead of hiding behind the anonymous profile. With such great comment like that, I would want to know who wrote it, wouldn't I?


  5. I'm a bit middling with regards to Otto as well, while it's a bit unfortunate to put up a review that isn't glowing (who actually /wants/ to do that anyway?), sometimes it has to happen. Great approach to tackling it constructively.

    That aside - fantastic pictures :D

    1. I agree. Restaurants have their bad days and I try to not judge them too harshly from one visit. Thanks heaps, Michael! Your pics excel mine undoubtedly :)


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