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HOT: Otello, 1/180 Oxford St, Bulimba

It’s not very often that I chose Italian over my much loved and old faithful cuisines of Thai, malady Japanese or Asian Fusion.  I’m wondering if now, following a night of pure indulgence at Otello (Bar, Café, Italiano) that my faith in Italian cuisine has been restored and perhaps my love affair with all things pasta has been reignited?

Otello is one of those restaurants I’ve walked past a cozillion times on my way to the movies, but never really noticed and certainly never entertained the thought of sitting down to enjoy a meal (perhaps because I’ve been scarred by many mediocre Italian restaurants around Brisbane).

KL and I were searching for a warm, baby-friendly spot for dinner, quite late on a Saturday night recently and on what seemed like an unusually frantic night on Oxford St, Otello was our pick of the bunch.  The venue was pretty much full with patrons either engrossed in watching world cup football on the big screen, or head down devouring huge plates of pasta.  We were attended to promptly by the friendly staff and had to turn them away several times to take our orders because we simply could not make up our minds – the menu selection was packed with what sounded like mouthwatering dishes to comfort us on a cold winter’s night.

Finally after much deliberation we settled on a meal and in uncanny fashion we both opted for the same dish of fettuccine with lamb, olives and roasted capsicum ribbons in a napolitana sauce with basil and chilli ($19.90).

As we chatted over a glass of red, KL and I eagerly anticipated the arrival of our meals -the dishes being delivered to our neighbouring tables looked and smelled fantastic and I was just about ready to chew my arm off.  We were only kept waiting about ten minutes or so, when our super-sized plates of aromatic, fresh and piping hot pasta arrived to our table.  After a sprinkle of fresh parmesan and cracked pepper, we were ready to begin the adventure!

The pasta was cooked perfectly and stirred through was a light yet flavoursome Napoli sauce with hints of basil and chilli.  The olives were a bit light on, but there was a generous helping of tender lamb pieces and thin ribbons of red capsicum.  I should’ve downed tools about half way through but couldn’t bear to leave any behind as it was just too good.  KL smashed hers with consummate ease and was similarly pleased with the exceptional quality of the food.

I don’t know how, but we managed to dial up some room in the dessert pocket which was bound to ensure we waddled from the premises.  I chose the nutella pancakes ($12) while KL decided the flourless chocolate cake ($12) was more her cup of tea.  I rarely eat crepes or pancakes, but nutella is my weakness so I couldn’t pass it up.  The crepes were thin and lightly brown, folded over a generous blob of nutella, accompanied by a scoop of vanilla ice cream and an additional drizzle of nutella over the entire dish.  Needless to say I wasn’t able to finish them, but the portion that I did eat was a flavor sensation!

KL’s slice of flourless cake was light and fluffy, with a sprinkling of icing sugar and a scoop of chocolate ice cream.  She too wasn’t tough enough to finish the challenge but enjoyed every bite.

The menu was so mouthwatering that I can’t wait to get back over to Bulimba to try Otello again – perhaps the gnocchi or the risotto…who knows? I don’t think it will matter though.  One thing’s for sure, I’ll be waddling out the door and happy to do so.

  • Otello, 1/180 Oxford St Bulimba, +61 7 3217 9809

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