The owls are not what they seem. Lurking beneath the respectable veneer of this thirty-year Paddington café stalwart is something subversive for this staid strip. Armed with a modern barbeque in the cosy courtyard garden, the “ridiculously attractive” Stephen Wong (blame my dining companion, and the photo in Citywalker) trots out an unusual and underpriced menu of Asian influenced, modern Australian cuisine.
Stephen’s guided by an owner/restaurateur with thirty years teppanyaki experience; and by golly it shows in tender Double Cooked Beef Ribs ($18.50) and...
...a Melting Moment ($26) of grade 6+ grass fed beef with red wine butter.
Three generously fleshy pieces of Crispy Mario’s Quails ($16.50) fly through our fingers and are stuffed into our salivating mouths.
Our piggery is slowed (slightly) by a Roquefort Salad ($16.50) that rapidly descends into a two-fork treasure hunt for the best creamy blue cheese ever to be tossed into rocket!
Choose the 2009 Steeds Run Shiraz ($58/bottle) as it’s drinking companion over a less than stellar ice-filled Bellini ($13).
After a further collection of savoury pleasures including Queensland Wild Caught King Prawns ($18.50) and a well-cooked Vegetable Plate ($14.50), we entered the home stretch.
Demonstrating considerable culinary confidence, Stephen flirts with burnt flavours in both the evening’s Twin Peaks - a crazy-good salted caramel and roasted peanut Panna Cotta ($12) and a silky Lemon-Lime Tart ($9).
Combine them with February’s ten-dollar-a-dish introductory special, and I’m channelling Josie Packard for a return visit, pronto.
312 Oxford Street, Paddington
Ph: (02) 9331 6717