Sunday, October 18, 2009

Orso - Mosman

Orso Bayside Restaurant

What could be more awesome than a lazy Saturday lunch with fabulous waterfront views? Probably not much.

Orso, in Mosman, overlooks a tiny relaxing beach with yatchs, kayacks and sail boats cruising by.
As it was originally a boatshed, you could choose to arrive in style by boat and bank at their private jetty. Or, if you are like us and don't own a boat, you can just park outside on Spit Road.
Anyway, we got an awesome view from our table. We were also occasionally frequented by pelicans perching on the boucany and were entertained by the different means the waiter used to shoo them away so as to not block our lovely view. The waiter talked to the big birds ("you know better, go away now"), to spraying them with water, to going outside flapping his hands to scare them off, to threatening the birds with a high pressure water gun, and finally - the trick that worked - he bought out this cute doggy soft toy on a leash and sat him on a milk crate on the porch. The birds didn't come back after that~ LOL

hungry pelicans complementing our awesome view

Upon sitting down and ordering, we were offered complementary olives (green and black). Ahh... how relaxing - sipping my lemon lime bitters, enjoying the fab view and chewing on olives... (if only I eat olives... kekeke).


lemon lime bitter

We got the house-baked bread ($5.50) which was served warm. With a crusty crispy crust and a super soft multi-grain center, it was deliciousness - especially when the herbed butter just melts into the bread. Mmm... The olive oil balsamic vinegar mix was also top-notch! My partner and I were both extremely satisfied with this bread :)

house baked bread - $5.50

Orso's menu is filled with mouth-watering options. As we couldn't decide, we ended simply getting a selection of entrees by ordering Orso’s Daily Antipasto Tasting Plate ($26.50). This meant that we were greated by super awesome-looking bite-sized portions of entree.

antipasto tasting plate - $26.50

The cream of asparagus deserves a special mention. This was soooo rich, buttery, creamy and delicious!!! Thick but not gluggy, taste subtle - not overpowering yet not bland, and smelt absolutely as heavenly as it tasted! Mmmmm... The waiter was nice enough to give us an extra cup of this soup (so we got a tiny cup of soup each). There was also the crispy-fried rock oyster with mango, lime and mint salsa. The salsa was refreshing and extremely mango tasting with hints of mint. It did bring an acquired taste - not 100% sold on the taste but I couldn't say it was bad either.
cream of asparagus soup

deep fried oyster with mango lime and mint salsa

There was the Triglia alla Primavera which was essentially a small fillet of red mullet (fish) marinated with white wine, saffron, and pan-fried withe saffron-infused onions. The texture was a bit mushy and we couldn't really taste anything but the saffron...The ravioli filled with home-smoked ocean trout also did not impress. My first impression was that the whole thing was watery and bland. It was kind of like tin-smoked trout stuffed in a pasta shell which was then boiled and placed ontop tomato not really any wow-ness in taste.

red mullet marinated with white wine and saffron

smoked trout ravioli

Then there was the Delicato ai Fegatini, which was chicken liver pate with pear-textured like muscatel jelly, strong tasting picked cucumber, and possibly the best brioche toast I have ever had. The chicken liver pate had a very strong taste to it - I'm not sure I could have stomached it by itself, but with the super duper crispy brioche toast, it was quite a good surprise to my taste-buds. On the other hand, the prosciutto with parmesan was not a surprise. It tasted exactly as it should have - like prosciutto and parmesan :)

chicken liver pate with muscatel jelly, pickled cucumber and broiche toast

prosciutto and parmesan

So all that was our entree. Now onto our mains. My partner ordered the lamb ($42.50) which seemed to have been done like a million ways. There were grilled lamb cutlets which according to my partner, was cooked perfectly tender and tastily. There was also lamb rump, lamb shank and kidney all sitting in lamb jus. Yes - it was like a lamb tasting plate LOL. Accompanying all this lamb were spring veges including carrots, potatoes, shallot, beetroot etc etc. The impressive part was that the outer ring of the plate was decorated by edible chilli garlic puff pastry sheets which was so crispy and tasty (and quite salty) and just soo sooo good!

Lamb lamb and more lamb - $42.50

My main also did not disappoint. It was grilled ocean king prawns ($42.50) sitting ontop of a bed of avocado, tomato and witlof salad. The citrus vinaigrette made it taste awesomely fresh and light. The prawns were also extremely fresh (different type of fresh) and deliciously complemented by the avocado. Mmm.... yum.

Grilled king ocean prawn with avocado and witlof salad - $42.50

We were pretty full by the end of our meal but I just couldn't resist. Could we get the dessert degustation plate for two as well? :)

dessert degustation plate for two - $32

Yes we could. My partner was dying for tiramisu, and I was edging for the three layered chocolate mousse cake. So I guess it was just as well we got this. The tiramisu was very potently tia-maria coffee tasting. The spongy bits were well soaked and the cheesy bits were well creamed. So it wasn't the best tiramisu we've had - but it still tasted pretty good. My chocolate mousse cake, on the other hand, was pretty awesome! Nice and gooey and a bit on the sweet side when eaten by itself, but it was perfectly matched with cold yummy vanilla icecream. Mmmm... heavenly!


Chocolate cake with vanilla icecream

The citrus creme brulee was a pleasant surprise. The toffee was caramelised perfectly, giving that crunch that not all creme brulees seem to offer these days. The custardy bit was also good. Taste subtle but not bland and went well with the sugary goodness. There was also a chocolate basket of mandarins topped with strawberry sorbet. Mmm... the sorbet was excellent. Refreshing. Almost healthy tasting!

citrus creme brulee

mandarin with strawberry sorbet

The rubarb and something crepe was one of the things I wasn't sure about. My partner seemed to find it pretty decent. I was more of a fan of the coconut icecream. It was sooooo goood. Complete with desiccated coconut - it was a guarantee that I get to polish this glob of unhealthiness all by myself :) Lastly, the vanilla cannoli was pretty good. The fried pastry dough was sweet, almost caramelised tasting, and crisp. It was filled with super creamy rich vanilla ricotta tasting type mixture.

Rubarb crepe with coconut icecream

Vanilla cannoli

All up, our dining experience at Orso was fabulous. We got the views. We got the good food. We got the good service. We also got the entertainment (how many ways can we get rid of pelicans?). No wonder tables around us were discussing and planning their wedding receptions here.

Food - 9/10

Service - 8/10

Ambiance - 9.5/10

Value for money - 7/10

Overall - 33.5/40

Orso Bayside Restaurant
79 Parriwi Road, Corner Spit Rd

The Spit


NSW 2088

Tel: (02) 9968 3555


Simon Food Favourites said...

sounds like a lovely place to dine and would be great seeing pelicans up close and personal :-)

bbsnoopy said...

you can feed the pelicans if you ask the waiter.
he gives u a big bucket of fish stuff and u feed the whole flock of them out on the jetty :P