Three-hat technique now comes at a one-hat price with Karl Firla (ex-Marque/Est.) in the kitchen of a little restaurant that has really come of age since my last visit. It’s still funky and experimental, but the cooking is better, combinations more seamless, and the compulsory degustation price ($100/head) is well justified. After years in this job, it’s exciting to still be meeting new ingredients, like a crisp wasabi leaf encasing Kingfish, Cucumber, Soy.
Savoury horseradish custard with Alaskan King Crab, Seaweed was unusual and clever, but things really started popping at the vegetarian course.
Carrot, Cepe, Walnut proved to be a devilishly light carrot sponge set against a nutty, creamy and intensely porcini combination.
The sustainable Palmer Island Mulloway knocked my socks off - a lovely piece of fish balanced on an intensely smoky potato, surrounded by a lake of earthy potato consommé.
It got even better with the Pork, Young Almond, Coffee - finally a robust foam that was a real player in the combination, tangoing with greenish almond notes.
The final savoury course of Beef, Burnt Cassava, Wood Sorrel plays with the psychology of expectation. To say more would spoil it - intelligent food for intelligent people. The wine knowledge of floor staff is another asset, and they welcome BYO ($8/bottle) weeknights.
We dubbed this course breakfast after the apocalypse, it's a bit morning after the night before, and it certainly made us laugh - whimsy and folly are rife in the Green Tea Snow, Young Coconut, Grains.
The final course was a dessert of Pineapple, Chamomile, Liquorice Ice Cream - again this shows the chef's mastery of flavours. I don't why these combined in my mouth so well, but they did. It's clever cooking that makes you like flavours you ordinarily don't - liquorice and chamomile are never favourites for me.
Don't skip the coffee - even if you have to have decaf.- it's robust and brewed locally... plus it comes with a slate tile bearing gorgeous marshmallows and excellent blood orange jubes.
You can see my last visit back HERE.
275 Australia Street, Newtown
Ph: (02) 9517 4700 www.oscillatewildly.com.au
Modern Australian $$$-$$$$