FOO'D by Davide Oldani: Worthy of an encore?

Beyond question, the new FOO'D by Davide Oldani is a place whereby shorts and slippers are frowned upon, or even banned. The opulence and prudery of the venue experiencing a odd stickler with the large television screens spanned across the lofty heights of the space - screening live sports? Now, that comes across a bit out of place. The restaurant located in Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall is the perfect spot for a light pre-theatre dinner or where you would sojourn for drinks after being serenaded to. The brainchild of Chef Davide Oldani, who also owns Michelin-starred restaurant D'O in Cornaredo, Italy; the joint sees waiting lists with intimidating interim of up to eight months at a stretch. With this in mind, you know your palate is in for a treat, especially when the maestro makes a personal guest appearance on opening day.

To see why the wait lists at D'O are so extensively long, try the Caramelised Onion starter - onion halves are baked into a crisp pastry base and served with Grana Padano Riserva cold gelato as well as hot cream for that extra pizazz. Caramelised almost till the brink of extinction on it's exterior, the pastry was buttery, luxurious and flaky (in a good way), paired simply with sweet onion and 20 months aged grana padano - this offers a revolutionary experience to all diners.

We graduated to the Pea and Lemongrass Soup, the bright green broth creamy and gentle enough that the taste of the lemongrass doesn't get lost. Marcona almonds and a poached egg complete the package and I must admit to this being my favourite part of the evening as things started to take a dip from here on out.

I have a thing for pistachio and sure enough the Pistacchio di bronte sauce on the one-year aged Carnaroli risotto is something to behold with a nice nuttiness sans the floral additives. Coffee adds a nice bitter dimension to the end product but honestly I would confess that the grains were just a little bit too undercooked across the board.

The much loved classic of Beef Cheek was a little dull here too. The illustrious jus pooled at the bottom of a block of dried-out protein hunk leaving little to the imagination. Restrained in spices or seasoning, the beef was tough and edible only at places where grated horseradish embraced it's frame.

Dinner concluded with a restrained attempt at producing an innovative product albeit with the most unexciting presentation. Lemon curd spotted with cones of meringue kisses lay like a spiky dome across from lettuce ice cream on a bed of cocoa crumble. Both were good, as separate entities, however the ceremonious pretension of having to ingest these two mounds in unison is a tad mind boggling.

I wouldn't go as far as to say FOO'D by Davide Oldani is radical enough for you to splurge your hard-earned money on that 7-course dinner menu (priced at $168++). But if there's any consolation, the restaurant is running a spectacular promotion of Omakase lunch on Saturday that entitles you to a 12 dish free flow experience at just $48 per person. Give that a shot instead.

FOO'D by Davide Oldani
11 Empress Place
t: 63855588

Operating Hours:
Mon - Sat: 12 - 3pm; 6- 11pm
Sun: Closed

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