Bianca: Continuing our Melbourne exploration, we found ourselves at OTER. A contemporary French restaurant. The basic gist of the restaurants’ ethos, stripped back food in one of the most notorious laneways in Melbourne. Though defined as a French restaurant, I wouldn’t be quick to pigeonhole them into any one cuisine, as the menu is fairly experimentative.
We began our meal with Bread + house churned butter & buttermilk. The buttermilk the remnants of the butter making process, smearing the butter on the bread and then dipping the bread into the tart acidic buttermilk.
Nettle Cracker + Salted Ricotta $4 ea had almost a Mexcian flavour profile. Earthiness from the nettle, which tasted quite similar to spinach. The ricotta shavings, similar to a queso. Sweet with an interesting ‘stinging’ kick.
Alex is slightly obsessed with calamari and octopus, harkening back to his Europe Summer travels. The Fremantle Octopus + Smoked Kipflers $21 was a fantastic interplay of sweet, sour & salty flavours. The paper-thin octopus, having no noticeable bite, simply melting in the mouth. The addition of the potato crisps was a fantastic textural element. The creamy sauce reminded me of my favourite Le Snack growing up. The smoked elements while at the forefront were delicately handled and not too overwhelming.
The Alsatian Bread dumplings, onion soubise & boudin noir $18 was a fascinating and complex dish. With strands of ‘pasta-like’ dumplings. The sauce was out of this world, creamy yet sour. The bechamel & dumplings a comforting combination.
I adored the Montbèliard Sausage + Cabbage, Mustard $26 Smokey and full of spice, the sausage compact but tender. The rich thick sauce having the faintest hint of vegemite. Alex found it a little too sickly. Once I saw it on the menu it was a no-brainer. The Poutine + Cheese Curd, Chives, Chips $14 should be a winner but we weren’t blown away. The curds squeaky, the gravy lacking any real wow factor… the chips, however, crispy and fluffy.
As well as a few desserts on the menu, there is also a tray of ‘the daily tarts’. We went for the Caramel & Peanut Tart -served w/ reduced milk ice-cream $16. I wanted to love it as it’s essentially my dream dessert but the flavours just weren’t punchy enough for me, the caramel not very rich and the peanut not really coming through at all.
We enjoyed the food and I’m glad I made the visit but with so many dining options in Melbourne, I don’t know if I’d return in a hurry.
Photos by Alex