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Friday, January 02, 2009

Oscars, Pyrmont

400gm Rib eye on the Bone $30
100 days grain fed Certified Angus served with
garlic chat potatoes and market vegetables

Oh the misery of an overcooked steak.

The signs were promising. Rib eye on the bone is usually a fool-proof cut of meat. A perfect harmony of tender flesh still married to the bone. Thick and hearty, it's perfect for the ravenous carnivore. But with the first incision, it became clear my protein lunch was not going to be medium rare but more like well done - and decidedly chewy as well.

500gm chargrilled T-bone $25
100 days grain fed served with chips and salad

It had been over a year since I last visited Oscars at Pyrmont. Sadly, the steaks weren't as I remembered. The Extra's 500gram T-bone suffered a similar fate. A hunk of well cooked steak arrived on our table when it was ordered medium rare. We chewed our way through with grit and determination. I may have cried a little on the inside, particularly given my steak cost $30.

Lamb shanks $18
served with garlic chat potatoes and market vegetables

Geet did enjoy her lamb shanks, its flesh tender and fall-off-the-bone.

Beer battered flathead fillets $16
Three prime beer-battered flathead fillets
served with steak cut chips and coriander & lime aioli

The deep-fried offerings are reasonably well received. Beer-battered flathead, a seafood basket and the chicken schnitzel are all predictable hues of golden brown. I'm probably most fascinated with the seafood basket vessel itself, which is not made of wicker but plastic made to look like wicker.

Oscars Seafood Basket $16
Beer battered flathead fillets, crumbed prawns, salt & pepper squid,
crumbed calamari rings and steak cut chips
served with salad and tartare sauce

Chicken schnitzel $15
Golden crumbed chicken schnitzel with steak cut chips
served with a mixed leaf salad

The Extra and I find room to share the cheese platter, a wedge of brie, camembert and an unidentified blue vying for space on an overcrowded plate piled with crispbreads, apple slices, raisins and strawberry halves. It's fair but not terribly exciting. The fruit is more interesting than the under-ripe cheeses.

It's as shame too that table service seems to have been abandoned, particularly since we're a group of 12 and we all have to queue up at the bar to place our orders. No Academy Award for this performance, I'm afraid.

Cheese plate $12

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

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

Related GrabYourFork posts:
Oscars, October 2007
Oscars, October 2006
and its sister restaurant Southern Cross Hotel, St Peters

Pyrmont -
Pyrmont - Blue Eyed Dragon
Pyrmont - Doyles

Pyrmont - Little Snail
Pyrmont - Sydney Fish Markets
Pyrmont -Viva Goa
Pyrmont -Yots
12 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 1/02/2009 01:15:00 am


  • At 1/02/2009 2:36 am, Blogger jgodsey said…

    what's wrong with you???????
    BOTH of those steaks should have been sent back.
    Don't eat badly cooked food.

  • At 1/02/2009 7:52 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Photos look good. Same the steaks were overdone.

    I think the standards have dropped at Oscars everywhere.

  • At 1/02/2009 9:04 am, Blogger Miss Honey said…

    Oh No! Pity about the steaks and service. Dry chewy steaks frustrate me... It's sad to see see standards dropping:(

  • At 1/02/2009 9:41 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Yeah I totally agree that Oscar's is a bit of a hit and miss these days, which is a shame because they actually have a half decent menu in a good location.

  • At 1/02/2009 11:15 am, Blogger hazchem said…

    I've been pretty happy with the meals I've had in the last few months at the Southern Cross Hotel Oscar's Grill. Ms Pyjamas and I moved from Rozelle to St Peters at the start of November and its now our local. All we have to do is cross the highway!

    We both like our steaks Blue and have been really happy with the quality so far, other meals have been great too.

    Hopefully it doesn't see the same decline as Pyrmont!

  • At 1/02/2009 2:55 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    photos are as good as always, shame to hear about the poor steak. Lamb looks good though.

    Try the pork ribs at Bankstown Oscars.

  • At 1/02/2009 9:11 pm, Blogger Unknown said…

    The photos look amazing even if the food was not so great. It is always a dilemma whether to send back a slightly overcooked steak. I hate to complain, but the last time I did send back a steak the restaurant handled it beautifully and were very apologetic and I had a perfectly cooked steak pronto.

  • At 1/03/2009 1:29 am, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi jgodsey - Truth be told, I was starving and didn't have the patience to wait another 15min for lunch. I was hoping, too, that the meat would be rarer closer to the bone. Alas, no.

    Hi Veruca Salt - I haven't been to the other Oscars lately so I'm not sure, but I was very disappointed. We used to love eating at Oscars Pyrmont.

    Hi Miss Honey - Steaks are reasonably easy to cook so it was very sad indeed. Hopefully it was just a one-off from the kitchen?

    Hi Howard - I agree. I was really excited about eating at Oscars because of their varied menu and usually reliable consistency.

    Hi hazchem - Perhaps I need to move to blue steaks. At least there's a far less chance of getting a well-done steak! According to Anthony Bourdain it's also the best way of guaranteeing the best cut of meat out of the kitchen!

    It's been ages since I've been to the Southern Cross. I might bump into you and Miss P there one day :)

    Hi Anon - I was intrigued by Oscars Bankstown on my last visit during the Bankstown Bites festival. I'm always on the lookout for good pork ribs!

    Hi Gourmet Chick - I agree, I don't think I've ever sent back an overcooked steak but I will say something if there's a hair or insect. It probably didn't help that there was no table service either. I would've had to queue up at the bar again just to make a complaint!

    A true test of a restaurant is how it does handle customer feedback.

  • At 1/03/2009 10:40 am, Blogger Sarah said…

    Prices are great, shame the food wasn't good.

    xox Sarah

  • At 1/04/2009 12:38 am, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Sarah - The prices are aren't too bad, although it was a shame the most expensive meals were disappointing. Hopefully just a blip?

  • At 1/04/2009 1:19 am, Blogger Alex Gomez said…

    The photos look fantastic. Sorry the steak was not to your liking. I have a difficult time sending food back, especially when I'm with company because I run the risk of having my meal after everyone else is done; on the other hand, I should get what I order. Great blog.

  • At 1/05/2009 1:16 am, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Alex - I agree :) Sending food back is awkward, and eating on your own when everyone else is done is also a drag! Glad you're enjoying the blog.


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