Degustation delights at Bistro Ortolan

by Forager on December 21, 2008

I recently had a fantastic degustation in the most surprising of places – at Bistro Otorlan in Leichhardt, an inner west suburb in Sydney. It’s the only French restaurant in the traditionally Italian suburb of Leichhardt and was given 2 Hats in the 2009 SMH Good Food Guide (

The degustation menu was very well designed, fantastically executed and at $100AUD pp for a very generous 9 course menu without a doubt by far the best value degustation I’ve had.The service was also great – warm & friendly and not too pretentious. We took some sneaky but regrettably low quality photos on my mobile, but it’s enough to give you a taste of the meal we enjoyed. Here’s the menu we had:

Iced tomato essence with Nambucca Heads Rock oyster and fennel salsa.

Ceviche of local Sand Whiting with fresh South Australian sea urchin, wild finger lime and seaweed toast (left).

Tartlet of wood-smoked Victorian eel with herbed snails, seared Hervey Bay scallop and sturgeon caviar beurre blanc.

Confit of Tasmanian salmon with cuttlefish, rabbit and corn ‘risotto’ and shellfish bisque (left).

Pithivier of roasted duck with mushroom and celeriac duxelle and foie gras (left).

Seared 400-day grain-fed Wagyu beef with truffled pommes puree, slow-braised tripe, French onion and bearnaise sauce (left).

Fourme D’Ambert with fresh pear and honeycomb (below).

Melon and grape salad with honeydew and verjuice sorbet.

Tarte fine of wild Davidson plums and white nectarine with Tahitian vanilla bean ice-cream and fresh stone fruit (below).

There were a few standout dishes from the overall superb degustation: the iced tomato essence with its amazing rich and full tomato flavour and the confit of Tasmanian salmon – every part of that course just devine!

I highly recommend Bistro Ortolan, we didn’t have any trouble booking a table for the same week and to make the value even better, they offer BYO on selected weekdays. Despite the positive reviews and SMH GFG hats 2 years in a row, Sydney-siders still seem to be unaware of this charming place. But it’s a matter of time before that changes so make the most of this secret whilst it lasts!

134 Marion St, Leichhardt.
Open for dinner Tuesday – Saturday: 18:00 – 22:00.
BYO permitted on Tuesdays – Thursday with $8 corkage.

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