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Sunday, October 15, 2006

Oscars, Pyrmont

barramundi
Baby barramundi

After my first visit to Oscars, I thought I'd discovered my new favourite eatery.

oscars interior

Shiny wooden furnishings, an abundance of natural light and fluoro green light fittings on the wall gave an upmarket yet casual welcome. The open bar was an island in the middle, surrounded by rustic brickwork; the kitchen was partially open, staff and heat lamps spied from our table in the formal dining area.

lamb noisettes
Lamb noisettes $18.00
Roasted noisettes of lamb with shallot and rosemary whisked potato,
snow pea sprouts and red wine jus


B had the lamb noisettes and declared them "sensational"; I had the baby barramundi which was a whole fish grilled, beheaded (to my disappointment). The fish was moist although a little under-cooked toward the bone, but I'd much prefer underdone than overdone fish.

barramundi
Baby barramundi $18.00
Pan-fried and served with baby spinach, field mushrooms
and garlic and herb butter


Subsequent visits (amid my waxing lyrical to friends about this great new find I'd discovered) weren't so spectacular. R had the salmon nicoise salad which featured a small stump of salmon, a little overbrowned on its skin:

salmon nicoise salad
Cajun salmon nicoise salad $14.00
Oscars Cajun seasoned salmon fillet over mixed leaves, kalamata olives,
diced tomato, green beans and egg
with an oregano and lime dressing


and I was rather forlorn when presented with my buffalo mozzarella and fresh basil pizza which could have been a little more generous in its basil (particularly whole basil leaves rather than one leaf sliced finely into shreds). The crust was nice and crisp though, although a little dense.

roma pizza
Roma pizza $12.00
with buffalo mozzarella and fresh basil


raspberry souffle
Chilled raspberry souffle $8.00

Chilled raspberry souffle was pleasant but more cakey and ice-creamy than R had expected.
chicken burger
Chicken burger $13.00
chargrilled breast fillet with Jack Daniels barbecue sauce,
cheese, lettuce and mayonnaise
served with steak cut chips


Visit number three, and I'm still determined to find favour. This time B has the chicken burger. The bun is a little dry (and horrifyingly untoasted), and the salad is a little uninspired, but the chicken breast is fairly moist and the chips are nicely golden.

I go for the chargrilled sirloin which is medium rare just as I ordered:

steak innards
Chargrilled Sirloin 300gm $18.00
with oven-roasted field mushroom and tomato
with steak cut chips


but disappointingly chewy nonetheless. And yet I love the two sturdy field mushrooms which are upended to act as pallbearers for the once-was-cow. The mushrooms are firm and meaty in texture, oven roasted till sticky and rich with flavour.

mushrooms

Thoughtfully piling the chips on a little saucer keeps them crispy and safe from the gravy, but I do wish the dish was a little bigger: there's plenty of gravy that needs mopping up (waste not, want not and all--well that's the excuse that I'm using anyway).

sirloin steak and chips

So it's not my new favourite eatery, but I still have a soft spot for it for some reason. It's a nice space, the prices are reasonable and they do a very good field mushroom.

oscars


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Oscars
84 Union Street, Pyrmont, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9660 5933


Monday - Saturday: Midday til late
Sunday: Midday til 10pm

Other eats in Pyrmont on GrabYourFork:
Astral
Flying Fish & Chips
Little Snail
Sydney Fish Markets
Viva Goa
Yots

8 comments - Add some comment love

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posted by Helen (AugustusGloop) on 10/15/2006 10:07:00 pm


8 Comments:

  • At 10/16/2006 7:18 am, Blogger Reb said…

    I walk past there all the time and have wondered what it's like. Isn't it a bummer when somewhere you really like goes off a bit. It's like an old friend letting you down. Hopefuly it will pick up again.

     
  • At 10/16/2006 9:59 am, Blogger jenjen said…

    I know what you mean Helen, we took my mum here for a casual lunch and at first everything was going well, but it just doesn't hit the mark with some things.

     
  • At 10/16/2006 10:00 am, Blogger Veruca Salt said…

    For the price, it doesn't look too bad. I agree, very tight on the chips

     
  • At 10/16/2006 5:20 pm, Blogger h&b said…

    The food looks a little RSL/Pub-ish, although that lamb did look divine.

    The Nicoise salad ? That salmon looks so overdone it could be a plank of wood !!

    And yes, stingy on the chips :)

    Mmm - chips .. ;)

     
  • At 10/16/2006 10:09 pm, Anonymous Jerrold said…

    I have a soft spot for Oscars, being the place where I had my first birthday party in Sydney last year. Used to live round the corner as well, had their ribs many a times, not too bad for its price. Plus, they are one of the few places I know that have Hoegaarden on tap :)

     
  • At 10/17/2006 12:35 am, Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said…

    Hi Reb - Nice analogy. That's exactly how it feels! I keep wanting it to succeed :)

    Hi jenjen - I'm glad it isn't just me that feels that way. It would be a perfect spot otherwise in terms of ambience and buzz.

    Hi Veruca Salt - Yeah it's amazing how much the price drops when you get a little distance from Darling Harbour. I'm a glutton for chips. One can never have too many.

    Hi h&b - Put it this way: I was so glad I didn't choose the nicoise salad!

    Yeah chips. Most addictive foodstuff on the planet (apart from chocolate of course).

    Hi jerrold - I don't mind a bit of rib action. I'll have to check that one out next time :) And Hoegaarden on tap? Ack, I didn't even notice. I'll have to have one of those too, for old times' sake.

     
  • At 10/18/2006 1:34 am, Blogger Kat O+ said…

    As someone who has very fond memories of their $13 ribs, I'm a bit bummed at the price increases over the last couple of years. But I had a birthday lunch there a few months ago and I can say that we were treated extremely well (even with two babies wreaking havoc), my extended family did not leave hungry and the bill was very, very reasonable.

     
  • At 10/20/2006 12:17 am, Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said…

    Hi kat o+ - The place does seem like a perfect venue for group dinners and functions.

    And I keep hearing about these ribs. I might have to investigate! :)

     

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