I am becoming increasingly convinced that Jowoon Oh is incapable of cooking a bad meal. As silent followers of his career ever since we first ate at Casoni back in 2020, my partner and I have been salivating over the perfectly framed overhead shots of pasta and other goodies on his Instagram all year, finally finding the opportunity to consummate things last night.
We started with this free bread and cultured butter. I don’t always have a lot to say about free bread, but this bread was actually different. It had a nice sweetness and fruitiness, reminiscent of a mild raisin toast without the raisins. I think it was delicious on its own, and actually better without the slightly herbed cultured butter. This bread inspired us to buy some raisin toast at the local supermarket on the way home. It was that good. I wonder if we could’ve had more bread. I guess we could’ve asked.
The photos in this review aren’t really good, and as I told our dining partners EH and EC they’re really just here to provide proof that we actually attended, lest anyone complain that I’m slandering them for no good reason (not that that’s going to be a concern here – this is going to be a generally positive review). Despite the poor photo quality, I’m pretty sure this shade of pink was the actual colour of the wagyu tartare ($6 each, 4 pictured). This snack of wagyu and corn on bread was really quite good, with a good synergy between the charred corn, a little bit of fermented chilli, and the wagyu beef. It was served on a tiny quarter of grilled focaccia, which was served warm and oily – a delicious contrast to the cooler meat topping.
I didn’t love the bone marrow on garlic bread with ciauscolo and salsa macha ($26), which I didn’t feel was a particularly cohesive dish. I enjoyed the nice and toasty garlic bread, which had slight hint of the memory of Casoni’s black garlic bread, but didn’t really know how the bone marrow went with or added to the rest of the dish.
I also did not love the chargrilled kingfish collar with blood lime salsa ($26). I find that kingfish collar is often quite fishy, even as someone who does enjoy both fish and kingfish specifically. I didn’t have much of this, but I did enjoy the 11chargrilled lemon as a juice on top of the fish.
This casarecce with spanner crab, sweet corn, caviar, and kombu ($34) was really good. So umami and creamy, and though the spanner crab itself was a little difficult to identify, this didn’t really detract from the experience.
The linguini with Moreton Bay bug, scallop XO, and salmon roe ($38) was also very good. We had this one first, thought it was great, and were blown away by how good the other pasta was as well. We thought that both pastas were on the top tier of pastas that we’ve had in Sydney.
The grilled duck breast with burnt mandarin and freekeh ($39) was probably some of the best duck we’ve ever had. We’ve been known to mostly enjoy Cantonese roast duck, and not enjoy any of the other more Westernised ducks that we eat, but this one was actually very good. The meat was tender, with a crispy and flavourful skin and nice citrus jus. I had actually forgotten that we had ordered this dish, and it was a pleasant surprise when it came.
We finished with the hazelnut semifreddo cremino, nutella, nougat and popcorn ($16), which combined coldness with sweet and salty flavours in a manner similar to salted caramel popcorn.
We had a really nice meal at Osteria di Russo & Russo, enjoying most of what we had, but in particular the pasta. The Korean chefs of Sydney are doing great things in the Italian and French domains, and we continue to follow their careers with interest.
Osteria di Russo & Russo
158 Enmore Rd, Enmore NSW 2042
(02) 8068 5202