Otto Ristorante: Pompous Dining

It only takes one thing for me to fall out of love with a restaurant. Similar to going out on a first date, as much as you and I would like to deny it, its a matter of fact that we all have expectations, factors that we keep a lookout for that would pique our interest in taking it a step further. 

First on my list, would be how at ease I feel around this person; in this aspect, Otto ristorante failed on so many levels. Dining there was a bit of a theater act, tables filled with highfaluting members of society waving their champagne flutes in the air with ostentatious mirth. I deal with this sort of situations really well, in fact I embrace circumstances like that, enjoying my silent observations of the neighboring table with a couple that appears to be getting rowdier with time as the drinks flowed at a steady pace. Truth be told, what annoyed me was the differential treatment that was given to me and my companion upon proclamation that we were visiting the establishment in a bid to claim my $50 dimmi voucher. Service was sparse and hardly attentive; one instance upon flagging down a waiter (after many desperate attempts), he skillfully managed to struck up a conversation with another diner along his journey to our table; can you believe that? .. and seriously, kicking the back of  our chairs every time you walk by the wide footpaths is no way to express your displeasure with the yellower race. You're welcome.

Keeping all that negative energy out of sight, let's evaluate the food here at Otto Ristorante. For starters, we had the Capesante ($30): seared scallops, parsnip puree, veal sweetbreads, garlic crumb, potato chips, caperberries, mugolio. Pretty as a picture, the meticulously cooked scallops and crafted crumbed sweetbreads were precisely arranged around silky smooth parsnip puree; the toasted garlic crumb adding depth of flavor, nuance. Definitely a powerhouse of a dish.

The pastas however failed to impress with my Corzetti ($30) arriving at the table with a fashionable adornment of onion peelings; I'm sure it was unintentional but expediters should always be on the lookout for such 'inedible garnishes'. To add to that note, no apologies came from the kitchen even after I pointed the error out. *shrugs* The smoked goose ragu was oily on its own even without the richness of the reggiano. I could have been better off with less handmade pasta rounds on the plate, than to endure having a couple of pieces inedible because they came out of the scorching waters stuck to each other. Rough, uncooked flour, not quite thrilling.

My companion's Strozzapreti ($30) was the winning dish of the two, twisted pasta, king prawns in a tomato and calamari sauce. It's downfall was the measly serving of prawns and the lack of intuitive seasoning on the chefs part. 

Given Otto Ristorante's fan base, this review would just a satirical attempt at shining some light on this 'special occasion' restaurant. Just another personal opinion, pick up your sneaker-padded feet and head on down to Mr Crackles if you're not well-heeled.

Otto Ristorante
Area 8
6 Cowper Wharf Road
Woolloomooloo NSW 2011
02 9368 7488
Otto Ristorante on Urbanspoon


  1. Dear Sihan,

    I believe Otto used to be pretty good many years ago when we went for the first time. Our recent experience there was a shadow of what it used to be.

  2. I still can't believe how many times the waiter kicked our chairs..



Meet Sihan

Snap Eat Love is Lee Sihan. 27 going on 28, she is a dessert enthusiast, food nomad, wanderer of lands and a pastry chef currently working in Sydney. Fueled by a lifelong addiction to all things sweet, and a burning desire to travel the globe follow her as she embarks on delicious escapades both in and out of the kitchen

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