My final instalment (for a while) of Dispatches from Sydney is also the post that many have been waiting for. I must apologise up front for the photos. In all the excitement I forgot my camera and had to rely on my phone.
|Jill & Terry’s table|
The first thing I noticed when I walked into Oscillate Wildly is how small the restaurant is. There are less than a dozen tables in this small inner Sydney terrace, so it’s a very intimate setting. The second thing I noticed was that Jill Dupleix and Terry Durack were sitting at a table nearby. As it was February 29th, I reckoned that they were celebrating a once in every 4 years treat of eating out together. Ten years on, Oscillate obviously still pulls the right people.
We started with the ‘Foie Gras, Scallop and Hazelnut’ presented. The pairing with Hazelnut was sublime but I can’t say there was much taste from the Scallop. It was overshadowed by the richness of the Foie Gras. Foie Gras is a guilty treat. I love it but it’s not good for the heart or waistline and generally not ethically produced. I no longer order it from menus but if I’m forced to have it as part of a degustation, I’m not going to say ‘no’.
Stand out dishes for me were the ‘Pine, Curd & Needles’ – represented by Pine Mushrooms, Goat’s Curd and ‘Needles’ of Samphire; and, ‘Beef, Yolk, Brussel Sprout’ – the most savoury cube of beef I think I have ever had accompanied by a unctuous egg dressing and shaved (flaked?) Brussel Sprout. As far as I’m concerned, this is the only way Brussel Sprouts should be served. If they can’t me served to you on fine china in a high class restaurant in the company of a world renowned food critic and food writer, then just don’t bother.
|Pine, Curd, Needles|
Dishes were delivered at regular intervals and each time, it was prefaced by an intro from our waiter. He was just as conversant with our wine pairings which was probably just as well given the myriad of styles and origins. It wasn’t all wine though. Our Scampi was paired with a Sake. And don’t turn your nose up at the Moscato either – it’s served as it should be, not as an aperitif but as a light alternative to a dessert wine. I’ll convert you all to good Moscato and it’s proper place in wine service, if it kills me. There was a brief halt in the pouring as the sommelier advised that Oscillate was waiting on a delivery of the next wine on the list. I took this to mean that there was to be a replacement wine. Indeed there was. It was a replacement for about 5 minutes until the original wine arrived and was also duly poured. I think it may well have been delivered from the owner’s private cellar somewhere in Marrickville but I’m not complaining! Shades of our visit La Manoir Aux Quat Saissons and our slightly delayed plum sake.
|Not So Good|
Desserts were mixed. ‘Rose, Lychee, Violet’ had us in raptures with a tangy sorbet, fresh raspberries, unbelievably good freeze dried lychees and a scattering of flowers and micro herbs. This should have been the palate cleansing dish to finish on. ‘Pandan, Rye, Milk Jam’ on the other hand, just didn’t work for any of us. The Pandan paste and buttery popcorn were tasty but the burnt milk skin was too bitter. Overall a disappointing dish but hardly a reason to call the night a failure.
Barsac, France 2009
275 Australia St
Newtown NSW 2042
http://www.oscillatewildly.com.au/ (though it has nothing but the name & contact)
Visited: Wednesday 29th February 2012 – Dinner Service