Chase Oyster Bar: Modern Italian & French and Oysters, Chatswood - Simon Leong
Chase Oyster Bar
B-037, 345 Victoria Avenue, Chatswood Chase Shopping Centre, Chatswood NSW 2067
Review from 11 June 2011
More than just an oyster bar
Thanks to Ricky Chong from Food Morning for inviting me to dine as a guest of Chase Oyster Bar to pre-sample their Hot and Cold Seafood Platter deal ($69, worth $150) which comes with 2 glasses of wine and homemade bread. The restaurant is located amongst the Chatswood Chase food court and you’d been totally forgiven for thinking it only served oysters — my family and I certainly thought so due to its name. Apparently Chef Paul Della Marta is not only trained in French cuisine but also worked for 5 years at the Italian institution of Beppi’s so he brings both French and Italian dishes to the menu at what seems like reasonable prices for the standard of quality.
The decent sized Seafood Platter probably won’t leave much room for anything else but the desserts are worth trying if you can fit one in. The scallops were quite a good size and grilled with mushroom, shallots and mornay sauce. The smallish half lobster mornay had a nice sauce although it also hid most of the lobster meat pieces within. Oysters seemed fresh although I wasn’t quite sure if they were freshly shucked as they were missing some of their briny goodness I was hoping. Prawns were large in size and decent quality alongside some sugar cured salmon dressed with capers. A few plump mussels in white wine and cream sauce became the centerpiece although I think the Beer battered flathead could have had a more crispy batter for my liking. I really enjoyed the deep fried local fresh calamari pieces which we thought were some of the better ones we’ve had around Sydney. I wish the salad component was somehow served separately with some dressing to make it more appealing to eat rather than having it as just a garnish.
I had the opportunity to also try a few of the other dishes on the menu like the smooth and rich flavoured Duck pate ($12) which would have gone down lovely with some toasted brioche perhaps. It was the first time I’ve tried Escargot ($18, 1 dozen) baked in herb almond garlic butter. Quite tasty and softish in texture. Trying the pick them up with tongs was the biggest challenge. The Prawn bisque soup ($20) had great depth of flavour with a few small pieces of prawn within. Would have been even better with maybe a few whole prawns as well. The Chitarra black ink ($28) of hand made ink pasta with seafood in scampi bisque was something new for me. I enjoyed the sauce and prawns although wasn’t sure if the black ink was just for colour or if it was supposed to have a discernable taste.
I’m so glad I made some room for desserts because these were done particularly well although I wasn’t too sure about the use of oversized plates. The Crème brûlée ($10) was pretty good which included some fruit inside that worked well — I think it might have been sour cherries. The Crêpes strawberry ($10) was equally liked which came with a lovely boysenberry ice cream (but can change depending on availability). The Panacotta ($10) worked unusually well with dill on top — how’s that for a MasterChef invention test. The poached apricots was a nice addition to the dish. My nicely presented Affogato ice-cream with Frangelico ($10) hit the spot for flavour although a bit more ice cream would have been appreciated. The decor and table setting is simple and clean although perhaps a little on the plain side and not particularly cosy and warm. Maybe a few extra motif decorations of large French retro posters might help make the the place more welcoming and interesting.
PROS: Seafood platter is quite generous and fairly decent quality for the deal price, Menu seems reasonably priced for the quality, Tempting Italian and French dishes on the menu, Plenty of seating, Seating and decor is clean and simple although could be more cosy and welcoming
CONS: Restaurant located in a food court, The restaurant name doesn't give a true indication of the cuisine available, Toilets are located outside in the food court, You can hear the food court outside when busy
WORTH TRYING: Deep fried local fresh calamari, Prawn bisque soup, Affogato, Desserts
MUST TRY: Revisiting to try other tempting dishes like Bruschetta, Caesar Salad, Tortellini Prawn, Beef Ribs, Spaghetti Marinara and Duck Roulade
Home made bread
House read and white wine
Crown lager ($8)
Duck pate de foie gras with crkckers ($12)
Seafood platter for two including 2 glasses of wine ($69, worth $150)
Grilled scallops (2 pieces)
Lobster mornay (half)
Oysters (4 pieces)
Prawns (4 pieces), sugar cured salmon
Mussels in white wine and cream sauce (small bowl)
Beer battered flathead (2 pieces)
Escargot - Snail baked in herb almond garlic butter ($18, 1 dozen)
Prawn bisque soup ($20) WORTH TRYING :)
Chitarra black ink - hand made ink pasta with seafood in scampi bisque ($28)
Crème brûlée ($10) with fruit inside
Crêpes strawberry ($10)
Panacotta with fruit ($10) WORTH TRYING :)
Affogato ice-cream with Frangelico ($10) WORTH TRYING :)
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