Jackie McMillan
7th Apr 2023

Three years on from my initial visit, Noi Petersham remains the kind of restaurant you’re glad exists in a suburban setting. Bringing all city touches to Petersham, the kitchen quickly throws out a complimentary amuse bouche and plentiful bread basket alongside your snacks. Plump Pambula oysters ($6/each) were bested by Spanish Olasagasti anchovies ($5/each) in saor on tapioca crackers. Saor, by the way, is a Venetian presentation that uses onions, vinegar and raisins for a nice burst of sweetness. Even by picking the value-conscious two-course ($64/each) offering two people can assemble a progressive feast through the menu. Crisp fingers of tightly-crumbed sand whiting are levelled up with a play on zucchini scapece when the bed of lightly cooked zucchini interacts with fish dipped in the sweetish mint and vinegar dipping sauce. 

From the succinct pasta list, green-hued spatzle with hunks of king prawn and eschallots bound by bisque were the standout, though hampered by too much salt. Saltiness also dampens our enjoyment of tagliolino made with black ink, smoked cuttlefish and creamy carbonara. While wine markups remain expensive, the 2019 TarraWarra Estate Chardonnay ($70) does deliver at the “cheap” end of their list. Unfortunately the two very salty but otherwise perfectly handled pasta dishes saw us neck it in record time leaving me wanting for more wine with our market fish. With interesting bedfellows like coconut and freshly grated wasabi, plus three plays on parsnip, the beautifully cooked (pink in the middle) fish was a star. Apologising for the salt with a make-up bowl of tiramisu (which won over two diners who wouldn’t generally call themselves fans of this creamy coffee’n’cake-based dessert) ensured we departed with a net positive impression.