13 Jan OTTO Melbourne, Richmond
OTTO Melbourne opened in October last year by a team whose portfolio includes the likes of White Mojo, Kitty Burns and The Guilty Moose. They’ve managed to rope in chef Jason Pribadi, whose experience in hatted restaurants gives the menu finesse and a definite point of difference. Sometimes you might just be in the mood for the simple things, so although they’re committed to originality, the menu still caters with classics like granola and porridge.
Let’s Make Some Smoke arrives under a cloche, with twice-cooked King salmon, vongole, mussels, kale, spinach, broccolini, radish and prawn tom yum broth. The fish is delicate but still retains some bite. It’s also completely evenly cooked, and the subtlety of the textures and flavours of the seafood is not overpowered by the tom yum broth.
The Milanese here uses BMS 6 wagyu scotch fillet. The tender beef is generously portioned. The crispiness of crumb is accentuated by puffed wild rice, and the richness of the wagyu is balanced perfectly by the apple slaw and gribiche. The balance of the different components made the potentially-heavy dish effortless to polish off, and not taxing on the stomach.
OTTO’s hotcakes, which take about 20 minutes to prepare, sport a crisp exterior and fluffy crumb. The hob nob topping and caramelised grains provides a variety of textures. The butterscotch sauce is not sickeningly sweet, and because the hotcake itself is not super sweet either, the saccharinity of the dish overall is thoughtfully restrained.
I haven’t been this impressed with a cafe menu for a long time. Their food is a standout both in uniqueness and execution, and I honestly couldn’t find much to fault in my experience today. It’s definitely both a destination cafe, and a place for locals to make a regular.
Disclaimer: I was invited to OTTO Melbourne as a guest, however, opinions expressed here are purely my own, and are based on my experience at the time
3/189 Bridge Rd
Richmond VIC 3121
(03) 9428 8929