This is one rare Melbourne restaurant that really gets the blood flowing. OSC&R On Rathdowne (or simply Oscar’s) is a fine dining steakhouse with a wicked twist. Here there’s a lot more meat on offer than meets the eye; that is, there’s more to this place than just the menu. It’s a hard task to focus and decide whether you’d like a platter of fresh aphrodisiacal oysters, 400 grams of juicy blue porterhouse, or just a robust glass of Australian red when your patient hostess is attending to you and the lads clad in little more than the clothes she was born in. This exclusive male enclave in Melbourne’s Carlton, down Rathdowne Street, is a blokey fantasist’s paradise for foxy food, ideal as a venue for pre-stag’s night shenanigans, stimulating business lunches, or a simple escape from the trouble and strife.
OSC&R On Rathdowne is without peer when it comes to service. That’s because the heavenly service is incarnated on earth and at this Carlton steakhouse in the form of long-legged, lissom and buxom ladies who know how to fluster the blushing timid and flirtatiously annihilate the buck that thinks he’s boss. They’re just playing. OSC&R’s hostesses are there, say the proprietors, to visually tantalize and entertain and, of course, bring you wine and food, stand on tiptoe for that top shelf bottle of shiraz, bend low to pour drinks, place napkins on your lap to protect against embarrassing bearnaise sauce stains and so on. As for the less visual feast, the food is dominated by meat. Red meat for red-blooded Aussie blokes, meat for Melbourne’s men. Take your pick of steak: eye fillet, ribeye, porterhouse, steak Diane. Appetites tend to be acute here, so up-for-it will opt for the steak tartare or the carpetbag, which stuffs a 400g eye fillet steak with oysters and wraps the lot in prosciutto. This is a look-but-don’t-touch kind of establishment, so we suggest you direct your hunger in this direction.
The other pillar propping up this palace to prime rib, this temple to tippling and titillation, is OSC&R On Rathdowne’s selection of that sexiest of molluscs besides, for some, the clam. Here you can get your half dozen oysters in any one of a half dozen ways: natural, with lemon, red wine vinegar and shallots or with lime, chilli, and ginger; classic Kilpatrick with bacon and Worcestershire sauce; beer-battered with soy sauce to dip it in; oven-baked Mornay with cheese sauce; or as a set of blasphemous Bloody Mary shooters (enough said). OSC&Rs is a proud Australian establishment, as you can tell from its playful flouting of prevailing notions of political correctness. One of the few Melbourne steakhouses to stock exclusively Australian wine, you can find great vintages from Victorian, South Australian, Western Australian and Tasmanian vineyards. Ask your friendly hostess for her number, and then for her advice as to which of the fine selection of domestic and and imported fromages go best with your chosen drop before complimenting her on her acute sense of dress and jewellery coordination. With a lot of beef under the bonnet, OSC&Rs is a Carlton steakhouse restaurant guaranteed to get you hot under the collar.