The Owl House - Darlinghurst

the owl house
When I used to work in Darlinghurst, during my lunch break I would wander the streets and one day I happened to come across The Owl House - Darlinghurst. I can’t remember for sure what it was that made me stop since it’s quite a small area and unassuming in the daytime. There was a menu posted up on the wall encased behind a sheet of perspex/glass (forget which it was but you get the gist) and I stood there studying the menu which made me salivate even though I had just eaten! The next thing you know, I gathered a group of friends to check it out for dinner because Fridays means finding a good drinking hole is a top priority and SMH 2012 Best Bar with Food definitely hits the sweet spot ;)  
Cocktails - Classic Hour 5PM-7PM Everyday $10  
The Mary Pickford - Rum, Maraschino liquor, pineapple & house-made Grenache
Sea Breeze - Vodka, cranberry & grapefruit
Champagne cocktail - Orange bitters soaked sugar cube topped with bubbles
Tom Collins - Gin, lemon juice, soda
croquetteBar snacks - Smoked bone marrow & ox tail croquette $5ea  
Small dishes - Warm asparagus salad, poached quail egg, shaved parmigiano, Jamon serano & balsamic glaze $14 ♥♥
Oxtail is a tricky cut, full of connective tissue and fat, but when it is cooked in the right way, it produces far more flavour and rich sauce than steak.” - Heston Blumenthal. Golden crumbed golf-balls of smokiness with each bite devoured. It was everything you would expect and hope it to be; from the gelatinous bone marrow to the flavoursome meaty-taste of the ox tail. The asparagus salad is something I would be happy to eat everyday! Even though no one else was keen on getting the salad, everyone was pleased I had persuaded them into it because it was amazing :D  duck and quail terrineSmall dishes - Duck & quail terrine with pistachio, confit orange, pear & citrus chutney and a cointreau veloute $20   
Most the guys thought this terrine was gastronomic which says a lot! I was a tad skeptical at first because a terrine is quite a task to master but once again I was wowed by the quality of food being brought to our table. Whilst it came with bread, I would have preferred something crisp but then again I would have been happy to eat the terrine on it’s own haha. Lovely balance of sweet, savoury, and slight bitterness of the veloute which held the flavours together. 
cured bonitoSmall dishes - Cured bonito, master stock shitake, pickled daikon, yuzu gel, chilli jam & pea shoots $19
Compared to the other two dishes we had, I wasn’t completely taken with this one as the others on the table were. Still, a satisfying dish and I loved the cured bonito paired with the pickled daikon and yuzu gel.
the owl house cocktailsCocktails - Classic Hour 5PM-7PM Everyday $10 
Salty dog - Vokda, grapefruit & salt rim
Godfather - Scotch & Amaretto
the owl house Larger dishes - Madeira & sherry braised pork cheek with pork fennel cigar, celery & jamon crumbes $28 
Pan-fried Cone Bay barramundi with baby artichokes, grilled pencil leek, celeriac & burnt butter sauce $29 
John Dee rump served with cavalo nero, nameko mushrooms, heirloom carrots & Jerusalem artichoke done 3 ways $32  
What I love about dining with a group of people is that most tend to order different things off the menu.. which allows me to pick food off other peoples plates, when they offer that is :) Or you can always prompt that by offering others to try some of yours and the gesture is usually returned with a tasting of theirs as well haha. The dishes here are well-seasoned and pack a punch of flavour along with textural fluidity. My favourite of my companions dishes would be the braised pork cheek cigar which we were told that it had been slow-cooked for 12-hours so you can imagine how tender and full of flavour it would be!  
gnocchiLarger dishes - Caramelised onion petals filled with mushroom duxelle served with hand-made gnocchi, truffle oil & parmesan chips (v) $26 
Even though I’m not a vegetarian, I generally tend to hover towards the vegetarian option when dining out. What pulled me in was the mention of mushroom duxelle and parmesan chips - need I say more ^^” The gnocchi was slightly crisp on the outside and the dough hadn’t been overworked so it was pillowy. Mushrooms by themselves hold a lot of natural flavour (TIP: as an alternative to MSG, you can buy mushroom powder from Asian grocery stores to help enhance the flavours in cooking) and as a duxelle it’s intensified and this dish oozed of umami :) the owl house dessertDessert - Chocolate mousse, honeycomb & nut brownie $16
Berry parfait served with strawberry coulis & rhubarb $16  
Dessert & fortified wine - ’05 LBV Dow’s Port Douro (Por) $18  
Since we were going to meet with some other friends for more drinks.. and because we were quite full we decided not to get dessert. But the wonderful people at The Owl House were so gracious to have sent our table some complimentary desserts and a tasting glass of their dessert wine I’m not sure if it was the LBV Dow’s Port but if so, it’s absolutely delicious! It has a viscous-y mouth-feel of luscious red berries and my favourite, pomegranate. Whilst it’s quite sugary, the tannins linger so it’s not cloyingly sweet - must try! From the chocolate dessert, it was a unanimous vote that it was one of the smoothest chocolate mousses we had ever had. But the berry pafait was my favourite of the two and I felt it matched well with the dessert wine.

Overall, it was a fantastic dinner and I can see why they were awarded SMH 2012 Best Bar with Food - well-deserved :) Thank you for the great service Amir!     

The Owl House
The Owl House on Urbanspoon
When the world stops spinning and guests received complimentary dessert wine & desserts courtesy of The Owl House.  

12:23 am, by vxdollface  Comments