Olio Restaurant, Chippendale

Newest Sicilian addition to the Kensington Street dining precinct

Located at second floor, Old Rum Store, 10–12 Kensington Street, Chippendale 2008

I n the past year or two, restaurants have been proliferating the Kensington Street precinct. From KOI desserts, Spice Alley to most recently the Olio Restaurant, it’s clear Chippendale has become a quintessential multicultural dining hub in Sydney. Olio is the newest addition to the historic Old Rum Store restoration, lodged between The Private Kitchen and Eastside Grill.

The menu from Sicilian-born award-winning chef Lino Sauro features exceptional produce with the base component — olive oil — sourced from Chef Sauro’s very own family farm in Sicily. There’s an interesting array of cocktails on their drinks menu, from the Coconut Iced Tea to the Black Vanilla Mojito.

For starters, my foodie friends and I chose the classic Arancini and Grilled Calamari Al Limone. The arancini was seasoned with saffron and dressed with copious amounts of Primo Sale Cheese. They were freshly deep fried so the exterior was delectably crispy. The calamari salad was uniquely presented as the Chef Sauro had retained the natural shape of the calamari. The charred calamari was balanced well with a tomato, fennel and lemon vinaigrette.

The mains celebrated all the seasonal seafood Sydney has to offer. The homemade egg Tagliolini pasta was cooked in a delicious and fresh sea urchin sauce. Another seafood delight was the Strozzapreti. This is Olio’s homemade squid ink pasta with spanner crab dressed in a flavoursome N’Duja black pepper sauce. The meat dishes entered into more robust territory, most notably the 1.1kg chargrilled black onyx rangers valley OP Rib eye. We ordered it in medium rare, and the mammoth platter arrived replete with fresh salad and golden roast potatoes.

Our meal ended in an epic finale with a collection of Olio’s signature desserts. The most photogenic of the lot was the Millefoglie. This dessert is the classic French mille-feuille but its Italian twist comes from the use of the rich Amedei chocolate fused with caramel. The rich chocolate flavour is uniquely complemented by vanilla oil and smoked sea salt. There’s even a hint of popping candy embedded in the Amedei chocolate caramel mix! In true Sicilian fashion, we also ordered the Cannolo Siciliano. The cannoli is stuffed with ricotta cream and coated in pistachio crumbs. It worked beautifully with the side of pistachio ice cream and prickly pear sauce. The third and final dessert was another classic Italian dessert — none other than the Tiramisu. It was a messy affair with the generous coating of chocolate and coffee powder atop the mascarpone cream that inevitably landed across our mouths with every bite. Though not as photogenic as the other desserts, it was delicious! The mascarpone was quite light and fluffy, which was a welcome change from the heavy mains we devoured.


Overall

Olio Restaurant is the newest restaurant to hit the Kensington Street dining precinct and this establishment certainly delivers on flavour and class. All the dishes were beautifully presented, matching the sophisticated atmosphere of the interior décor. If you do decide to check out this joint, I would highly recommend you dine on their rooftop terrace. The lush olive trees and views across the rooftops of Kensington and the vertical garden of Central Park are truly spectacular. Bravo Olio — both exemplary in terms of the view and the food!

Verdict: Mind Blown
Service: 5/5
Gourmet Gumbo dined as a guest, with @willxia1 and @asianfoodninja

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