Oliver’s on James Street, Northbridge
My cousin had recently graduated from high school and to celebrate her release to freedom and endless possibilities, we decided to go out for lunch at Oliver’s on James Street. I had never been to Oliver’s, though I was well aware of its existence – it has been an unmissable building in Northbridge for as long as I can remember, though it never seems to be particularly busy. The day we dined there was the same story – you could hear a fork drop, it was so quiet.
Grilled barramundi with chips, tartar sauce and salad ($26) was my aunty’s choice, but she didn’t want any chips, so she requested they be left off the plate. She also had her fish grilled as opposed to battered, which the kitchen was kind enough to accommodate for. She quite liked her fish, which was well cooked. The salad also looked pretty fresh, with mixed salad leaves, red capsicum, red onion, cucumber and tomato.
My Linley Valley pork belly was a decent dish. The slab of pork belly had its mentioned crispy skin, though it looked as though the skin had been pan seared as opposed to being slow cooked in the oven, so not all the fat had been rendered properly. I could’t detect the mentioned cider and vanilla flavours that the pork belly was supposed to be cooked in, but the meat itself was beautifully succulent. The roast garlic mash, thankfully, had no prominent chunks of garlic and was of a standard creamy consistency. It came with steamed long green beans and caramalised apple. The apple wasn’t great. It was a mushy slice of apple that had been briefly coated in jus and seared, before being placed on the plate. It lacked the crisp, sticky golden edge that a proper caramlised apple would of had.
My cousins ordered the char grilled rib-eye steak with chips, steamed broccoli and blue cheese sauce ($35). The meat was requested medium rare and came out as such. The chips were nice enough, crunchy and hot inside. I’m not the biggest fan of blue cheese, so I only had a small sample of the sauce. The flavour of the blue cheese was quite mild within the thick sauce and as asked, it was left on the side, just in case it wasn’t to my cousin’s liking. My cousin also substituted her chips with mash, which was flavoured well with good hits of salt and butter.
If I could live off one thing in my life, it would be potato. It is a wonderful, versatile vegetable, as featured in Oliver’s wood fire pizza with gruyere & potato ($20). The pizza also included rosemary, garlic, sliced potatoes and gruyere which all worked well together. The base was quite crisp and thin, which was good considering the rest of us were pretty full from the mains (we had ordered the pizza to share). The potato had been sliced a little too thinly however, unfortunately getting lost in all the cheese and rosemary.
My poor aunty and uncle, who didn’t really understand the concept of a food blog, appeared baffled as I bought out the digital camera to take photos of food. I assured them I was not paparazzi and we went on our way to get some ice cream at Cold Rock. The food at Oliver’s on James Street wasn’t particularly impressive. There were elements on each dish that were questionable and the dishes themselves were run of the mill food you could get at any other restaurant. It was good for a modest meal, but I don’t know if I would return, especially when compared to other Modern Australian restaurants in the Northbridge area. Despite this, the service wasn’t too bad and we walked away with an Entertainment Gold Card discount, leaving my aunty pretty happy.
Rating: 6 out of 10.
Address: Shop 5, 160 James Street, Northbridge 6003
- Open Monday to Thursday for dinner (5pm to 9.30pm). Open for lunch and dinner on Friday and Saturday (11.30am to 10pm) and Sunday (11.30am to 9.30pm).
- Functions and external catering available (see: http://www.oliversonjamesstreet.com.au/functions-events/).
- Weekly specials on Wednesday night ($15 wood fire pizzas!) and a 10% discount when holding a cinema Paradiso movie ticket (unavailable on Sundays and Wednesdays).
- Entertainment Gold Card Discount with 25% off the total bill up to a value of $40.
- Bookings available (book online through Dimmi or via phone: 9228 8725).