Eat: Oscillate Wildly

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About a month ago I sat my final exam for the CA (if you don’t know what that means, consider yourself lucky) - a post-grad accounting course that’s taken me a grueling 6 years to complete. However, I’ve learnt loads and it’s essential for my day job, which pays the bills and supports my food habit. In all honesty, I really enjoy my job in finance, so I’m glad I did it.
To say that it was a massive relief to finish is a bit of an understatement. I feel so free! So free, I finally got to start this blog! And we had an excuse to celebrate with a bang by finally visiting Oscillate Wildly, Newtown. Ok so we ate there just before I got my results back, but thankfully, I passed the exam and officially became a CA. Phew!

That smile says it all - eagerly anticipating the night ahead...

Oscillate Wildly is one creative place. Ok, so they’ve been around for years… and for good reason. These days, they offer a nine course degustation - everyone at every table gets served nine courses of food – so the only decision you get to make is what to drink and whether to have the bonus course (dingdingding!).

I have to credit their staff – eating was only half the experience (and the food was incredible). A lot of places that offer degustation are quite formal and a little stiff, which comes with the territory I suppose. It is meant to be special - that much food needs to be treated with a certain level of adulation. However, as we walked through the doors, we were welcomed like old friends. They are relaxed, which allows us to relax and really enjoy the night. We were served by three staff, and while they were all knowledgeable, they weren’t cardboard cut-outs either. They knew each course inside out, and any questions we had (we had a few), they answered with an understanding of not only the individual aspect of an ingredient, but how it fit into the whole dish. Though sometimes I didn’t understand what they were saying, just hearing them talk about each dish with such knowledgeable gusto was a pleasure in itself.

The simple menu

Once we were seated, we were presented with a simple white sheet outlining the degustation menu. They were purposeful in their lack of detail, simply stating the three main ingredients of each course. We sat peering at the menu – little did we know, what we imagined of each dish wouldn’t even come close to what we were about to experience. So they had us exactly where they wanted us – assuming meat-and-two-veg when we were about to enter an Alice in wonderland tea party.
Ok enough talk. Down the rabbit hole we go…


Wakame and Black Sesame Cracker

It had the texture of those prawn crackers you get from your local Chinese restaurant, but was so much more delicate. The hint of salty seaweed and a subtle sweetness was a nice way to wake up the taste buds.

Foie Gras, Scallops, Hazelnut

Aerated foie gras and hazelnuts on a scallop cracker with Vermouth sauce.

Looks very much like a bit of fluff to start the night but it was really tasty. Foie grois is duck liver, which I haven’t had too much of before - but here it was aerated so it looked like honeycomb. It was fluffy, as fluffy as meat could be, but had a slightly bitter aftertaste. The hazelnuts added a contrasting sweetness and distinct crunch, along with that scallop cracker that it’s all sitting on.

Scampi, Ponzu, Wild Rice

Scampi sashimi, puffed wild rice, with ponzu dressing

It was such a pretty salad. But I had  no idea what Ponzu was. Still don’t (but please, enlighten me). I found the raw scampi had such a weird texture. Sticky and slimy, I’m not sure I’d have it on its own. But on the salad it melded well with lots of different textures, that made it feel like I had a party in my mouth.

Pine, Curd, Needles

Goats curd, sand fire, carrot sponge, sea asparagus, walnut almond mushroom...??

Entirely vegetarian, it introduced me to some food that I’d never had before (sea asparagus?! carrot sponge?!?). This was a great example of their staff – they knew how to explain the dish and what each ingredient was. I got them to repeat it a few times, and though I still didn’t get it, at least they knew what it was.  Unfortunately, I didn’t really like the dish. It was quite earthy with those mushrooms, but for me, it was just too intense. Still, I polished off the lot and my plate left the table scraped clean.

Blue Eye, Peas, Hops

Blue-eye trevalla, crushed peas, and hops cream. I forgot what that paper-looking thing was on top.

The first hot course of the evening was yum – what can I say, I like fish.

Duck, Sorrel, Plum

Duck breast, deyhdrated and fresh plums, cucumber, radish and red-veined sorrel

Yummy duck breast, it was juicy, tender and rich. The two varieties of plums were tart and cut through the sweet duck, so again, another party in my mouth.

Beef, Yolk, Brussel Sprout

300 day grain-fed wagyu flank, wrapped in speck, with prawn floss, egg yolk and deep fried brussel sprouts

A delicious piece of meat - the speck gave it a smokey flavour which I really liked. The prawn floss added texture and a salty bang. I’m not usually a fan of brussel sprouts, but I could easily have eaten a whole bowl full of these chips.

Cheese on Toast ($10 bonus course)

Parmigiano reggiano ice cream on sweetened brown bread crumbs

I’m so glad we got this course, this was the coolest dish of the night (har har). The ice-cream was slightly salty and pungent, and on the bread crumb, it was crunchy, smooth heaven.

Rose, Lychee, Violet

Chantilly cream, rose sorbet, dehydrated lychee and berries, fresh lychee, violet sprigs

It was the prettiest tasting dessert I ever had, and I didn’t feel guilty. It felt like spring. And reminded me of sunshine, puppies, and bubbles. A dessert for the girly girls.

Pandan, Rye, Milk Jam

Milk jam (dulce du leche), crushed pop-corn, pandan ice cream, topped with a shard of toasted milk-skin

This was weird, man. Toasted milk?!? A dessert with grunt - one for the boys.

Tea & Petit Fours

Tea and coffee served with a tart cassis jelly and chocolate truffle in a walnut shell

What Oscillate Wildly does to food will make your head spin. Although we’d love to go back soon, we’ll just have to wait for that special occassion…
Good: not your average dinner, excellent service, be expected to be surprised
Bad: not your average dinner, it’s expensive and features weird ingredients that most people have never even heard of
Cost: degustation menu, $100 per person

Oscillate Wildly

275 Australia Street, Newtown NSW 2042

Oscillate Wildly on Urbanspoon

Happy feasting!
x Maria

Nom nom

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10 thoughts on “Eat: Oscillate Wildly

  1. Love it! Love the photos and the food looks and from the descriptions, tastes lush! As for my bro .. that’s the cutest pic ever and captures the Salas love of food!

  2. Looks like a lovely place, the food looks amazing :-) Congrats, you really deserve it. NOW GO ALL OUT BLOGGING on what you are passionate about.

  3. $100pp is pretty good value for a 9 course degustation imo. I always pass this restaurant whenever I step into Black Star Pastry and think to myself, what is it like? The dishes look great. Ponzu is a citrus-based sauce that is usually made up with soy sauce and used in Japanese cuisine.. Congrats on the CA, a few friends are doing theirs and they seem to be going through a lot of stress. What a nice way to celebrate

    • $100 was a bargain, considering it was one of the best meals we ever had! And funny you mention Black Star, have always wanted to visit, and finally found it on our way to the restaurant =) And now that I’ve had Ponzu, I’m seeing it everywhere (maybe I just never noticed it before). Thanks very much, so glad CA chapter has come to a close. All the best with your own PhD, my hat goes off to you!

  4. What fun photos. I went about a month after you and had much the same menu. (The colourful fruit dessert was a bit different, I think.) Agree that it’s a bargain and an incredible meal.

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