Founded nearly two years ago, Oz Restaurant & Bar is the DC area's first authentic Australian restaurant. With a nod to Australian comfort + cuisine, Oz does their best to transport guests to the other side of the world with their exotic menu. You'll notice everything from bison to camel, to even kangaroo on this menu, all specially created by Chef Brad Feickert.
Upon walking into Oz, guests will notice the uniquely decorated design all throughout the space. In the dining area, the ceiling is covered in stars, while the bar space ceiling boasts a blue, cloudy sky. Situated right on the corner in the heart of Clarendon, Oz boasts plenty of outdoor seating, perfect for those upcoming toasty fall nights.
Our waitress first brought us the classic Sausage Roll (pictured below). A staple item in Australian cuisine is their variety of "pies". Chef Brad put a twist on this and created a Sausage roll "pastry puff" filled with beef and pork, sofrito, and tomatoes. The combination is almost like a mini meatloaf stuffed into a flakey, warm crust, served with ketchup. I was a huge fan personally! I opted for a light glass of Prosecco while Blake wanted to try the Australian beer so he ordered a Cooper's Ale. The Bar Manager told us how difficult it is to import Australian Beers into the U.S., so Oz has had success with offering guests a selection of Australian beers, something you will not find in the DMV area. We highly recommend you stop by after work for a small bite paired with an Australian beer- you won't be disappointed.
We then wanted to try one of their lighter menu options, so we ordered the Watermelon & Rocket Salad (pictured below). This is probably one of the healthiest items on Oz's menu. It's definitely a great option to either start your dinner off with, or order for lunch. The light and refreshing dish is a combination of watermelon plus house-made granola, tossed in a watermelon vinaigrette with crumbled feta. The feta pairs extremely well with the watermelon, leaving for the perfect summer dish.
Blake insisted we try something off the exotic menu, as he's more daring than I am. So we tried the Slider Sampler- Pulled Venison, Camel, and Kangaroo (pictured below). The Kangaroo slider is served on a potato bun with avocado, sweet onion jam and tomato relish. It tasted very similar to a regular ground beef burger, expect we thought it was lacking the flavor of the beef. The Camel slider tasted no different to Blake, but it was my least favorite of all three sliders. However, I am definitely more picky when it comes to food like this! The Camel slider came on a potato bun as well served with a spicy aioli, mushrooms, lettuce, and a pickled jalapeno. Lastly, the Pulled Venison slider was by far my favorite! It reminded me of a pulled pork sandwich, which was probably why I was such a fan. It's just a simple pulled venison shoulder marinated in a house-made BBQ sauce, topped with napa slaw.
We finally ordered our entrees. Since we wanted to try more than one dish, we opted for the Three Cheese Gnocchi and the Crumb Steak. I've never had gnocchi like this before! They were tossed in lemon brown butter, covered with a layer of mixed cheeses, shiitake mushrooms and crispy kale. The crispy kale gave the dish a whole new punch which we really enjoyed! We only wish we could recreate that kale at home. The Crumb Steak entree (pictured below) is not what you think when you hear the name of the dish. It is indeed pan-seared chicken wrapped in proscuitto, served on a bed of sweet potato puree along with a delicious side of charred broccolini. Out of everything we ate, this was by far our favorite dish on the menu. The proscuitto added so much flavor to the chicken that we did not expect, and on top of that, the puree paired so well with the flavor of everything. Blake could not get enough of it! We seriously wish we could recreate the crispy kale and charred broccolini like Chef Brad. Delicious!
If you haven't been to Oz yet, we highly recommend you check it out this Fall and take advantage of the outdoor seating while the weather is still nice! Not only is it great for after work, but also they host a delicious weekend brunch and they have plenty of space for private events! Check out their website to learn more about their menu and story!