Osteria Oggi – a pasta bar where pasta and gnocchi are made fresh daily. That tag line alone drew me in. I absolutely love pasta, perhaps for its resemblance to noodles but I love it nonetheless. I have given up the standard packet dry pasta for a while now since getting accustomed to fresh pasta. Even at home I make my own if I want pasta. I should say most of the time, some better quality dry ones still give me great satisfaction such as Wiech’s Barossa Valley egg noodles, Pangkarra Pasta and L’Abruzzese Pasta. Mr Foodie used to have the notion that because you could easily make pasta at home for cheap, why order that when dining out. That was until Antica Pizzeria, until Ruby Red Flamingo, most of all until Italy.
At first glance Osteria Oggi looks impressive and attractive. Beautifully designed with a traditional touch. A long concrete bar at the front makes it ideal for group dining and sharing (because good things must be shared). Further inside you will find two long wooden tables down the middle and booths along the walls. The long tables reminded me of Whistle & Flute somehow. We did a walk-in and managed a small table for two at the front next to the concrete bar. I say small because I did find the table too small for dining especially if you have a couple of shared entrées as well. We didn’t even have drinks. Perhaps it was designed more for a small bite and drinks.
We ordered a couple of small plates to whet the appetite. One was Snapper Crostini which tasted so fresh and delicious with a great balance of flavours. The smokey flavour really came through in the snapper. I could quite easily eat just that for dinner. Lovely dish. The Chargrilled Squid was seasoned well with some fresh chillies that added that extra zing. Texture wise it was cooked nicely however it was quite burnt in a few places so overall it was bitter to eat.
We were both looking forward to the main event – Pasta! I had the Campanelle with Pork Sausage, chilli, fennel and spinach with a generous topping of shaved parmesan. As usual I always opt for cracked pepper too. Pasta cooked al dente, flavours fresh and simple, no nonsense honest food. Mr Foodie’s Tagliatelle Beef Ragu with roasted bone marrow was a richer dish that left his tastebuds satisfied. Being a man of big appetite however, he deemed the portions small for a pasta dish considering we were having it as a main. It’s not exactly heavily meat laden (which it shouldn’t be) hence for the price I think he was a little disappointed.
Pasta aside Osteria Oggi also do wood-smoked slow roasted meats and fish with a variety of sides. Friends have ordered the Roasted Pork dish for two at some stage (approx $54) only to receive to slices of pork with some roasted potatoes and veges around it. Meanwhile another deemed the meat and pasta servings very generous. On one occasion there was more squid, on another there were only a few pieces. I’m not sure if there is a consistency issue. I think I’d still like to come back for a slow cooked lamb or slow roasted pork just to try it. Perhaps as the weather cools further these meaty dishes will warm my belly.
76 Pirie Street
08 8359 2525