160 James Street, Northbridge
Ph; (08) 9228 8725
Intimate and Charming
AMONGST the hustle and bustle of Northbridge, Oliver’s on James Street offers the perfect haven to escape and just chill out. The friendly staff and homely feel lure you in, and the good food and wine will keep you coming back for more. Nestled next to Cinema Paradiso, the award-winning restaurant has been a comforting presence in Northbridge for almost 10 years. New owners Doris and William Dalgarno have lots of ideas to add a modern twist to the old favourites on the menu, and are working together with Head Chef Chris Barker to showcase his culinary talents.
Dedicated to supporting local industry, all of their dishes are made using fresh local and seasonal produce; and their wine list follows suit. The versatility of the menu means you can pop in for a quick bite and a drink before heading out, or settle in for a traditional homemade meal. We were lucky enough to try a range of dishes during our dining experience, but the stars were the newest addition to the menu – the Picnic Board, and their best seller: the Pork Belly.
The aroma of the warm chorizo and the presentation of the Picnic Board alone was enough to entice. Served on a slate cheese board, the earthy colours of the ingredients appealed with a modern rustic charm. It was clear to see that every element had been carefully considered in the Picnic Board’s creation – to please the eyes, and tantalise the taste buds; and it succeeded. The fruity chutney and the duck and pork rillettes were homemade, while the almonds were smoked and roasted in-house, as were the marinated mixed olives. Accompanied by creamy Tasmanian triple brie, fresh thinly sliced pear, pickled cornichons, mildly salty prosciutto, wafer crackers and slightly toasted bread – in almost any combination, they all married together faultlessly. The fruity flavours popped with the recommended 2015 Angove ‘Chalk Hill Blue’ Semillon Sauvignon Blanc (South Australia).
The Pork Belly is a favourite of both Chris and Doris’s, and it is easy to see why it is one of their best sellers. Chris’s attention to detail, and pride in presentation were evident. The free range pork belly is slow cooked for two days, and the result is a melt-in-your-mouth, soft and tender sensory pleasure. Placed on a bed of sweet potato and potato mash, topped with a crisp and crunchy crackling, and drizzled in a vanilla and apple cider sauce – the flavours were layered purposefully for maximum impact. The sweet sauce was met with the seasoned pork, and the flavours were perfectly matched by the 2015 Wick’s Estate Pinot Noir (Adelaide Hills).
We were also spoilt with the 12-inch homemade, airy yet crunchy, wood fired Blue Cheese Pizza; the light and fluffy Savoury Soufflé; the succulent and sweetly stuffed Mount Barker Chicken; and the creamy homemade Cheese Cake, topped with blueberry sauce with a hint of Sambuca – all delectable delights, plated with care, and a hint of elegance.
It is easy to fall in love with the intimate charm of Oliver’s on James Street. If you’re after more than just a meal though, their upstairs function room has the capacity to cater for events – boasting a separate kitchen, full bar and small balcony.
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