Ocean Room, Circular Quay Review

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Ocean Room Raita’s Winter 2013 Tasting Menu.

I recently visited Ocean Room to try out Executive Chef, Raita Noda’s 12 course tasting menu. The last time I was here was about 8 months ago so I was excited when my dining companion told me that the menu has changed since. To be exact she mentioned that it changes about 3-4 times year.

Kaki

Kaki – cold smoked Sydney rock oysters, tomato water jelly, chilli pearl, baby basil

Raita’s tasting menu never seems to disappoint. Famous for his intricate and innovative plating style his dishes are what I considered refined Japanese fusion, delicate flavours that let fresh produce sing for themselves. We started our evening with a glass of girly cocktails and some light chit chat while we waited for the first course to arrive.

Delicious Sydney Rock oysters served with a light froth, tomato water jelly and chilli pearl. The texture was smooth and light letting the oysters be the real hero.

Ochazuke

Ochazuke – cold drip dashi & gyokuro green tea

I found this dish quite interesting. The light clear broth made from a cold drip dash and gyokuro green tea arrived in a glass jug. Once at the table our waitress placed the cup in front of us and poured the broth over the flame-seared latchet and umeboshi sorbet. Eaten together I found the flavours all mellowed together nicely – sweet and cool with a slight crunch rice crust.

Maguro

Maguro – Yellow fin tuna, Sicilian green olive & buffalo mozzarella drops

Gorgeous fresh fatty yellow fin tuna minced up with Sicilian green olive & buffalo mozzarella drops soy pearls served with sun dried tomato chips. Our waitress advised us to mix everything together including the (L-R) lotus root, soy pearls, avocado and spanish onion. Only thing I would have liked added to this dish was a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to add some acidity.

'Canned Ocean Room'

‘Canned Ocean Room’ – Tasmania sea urchin, Alaskan king crab, scallop, cuttlefish, salmon pearl

'Canned Ocean Room' opened

‘Canned Ocean Room’ opened

Probably my favourite dish of the evening, not only for the novelty of opening up a can of seafood at a fine dining setting, but the flavours all worked well together. I love how the lightly seasoned okra and salmon pearls added texture to the whole dish. Served with the crispy nori and a light soy sauce.

Onsen

Onsen – winter vegetable collection

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I adored the idea of an onsen (hot spring) as part of dinner. The fresh cut winter vegetable selection included radish, celery, asparagus, cherry and roma tomato, broccolini and baby carrot. The ‘bath’ was made up of yaki-onigiri, black schichimi, house made anchovy and garlic was kept warm over a small tea candle light.

Kassen

Kassen – seasonal sashimi selection

The Kassen doesn’t need much introduction- simple yet extremely fresh. Made up of seasonal produce including salmon, kingfish, yellow fin tuna. My favourite was the smoked salmon that came out encased in a smokey dome. The flavour of the salmon was sweet but, you could taste a hint of the smokey flavour infused throughout each piece.

Kassen: Salmon and Kingfish

Kassen: Salmon and Kingfish

Kassen: Kingfish and

Kassen: Kingfish and

Not thinking that the menu could get any better I was met with a well pan seared slice of foie gras laying neatly on top of an oden daikon.

Foie Gras

Foie Gras

My only disappointment was the size of the foie gras in comparison to the daikon considering the hero on the dish was meant to be the foie gras :( but in saying that the daikon was cooked to perfection- sweet, soft and juicy.

Miso Cod

Miso Cod

Miso Cod

Miso Cod – grilled sweet miso cod, zucchini flower, ginger risotto, orange miso

The next course was the grilled sweet miso cod served with lightly battered zucchini flower. I love the ginger risotto that was inside the zucchini flower. Once again, presentation and an element of surprise was left for the private viewing at your table. As the waitress placed the plate down she went ahead and cut the string that tied the miso cod together. Definitely no fault on presentation here.

Butabara

Butabara- simmered pork belly

Definitely not the most appealing dish of the night, but the flavours inside the ‘cellophane’ like wrap didn’t disappoint!

Butabara

Butabara – simmered pork belly, melting tofu, soy broth, yuzu chilli ponzu

Usually, I’m not a huge fan of tofu but on this occasion I thought I would give it a chance. The tofu texture was extremely soft and smooth and soaked up the flavours of the pork belly juices. The yuzu chilli ponzu I thought could have been a light more spicy but overall the flavours worked well together.

Deconstructed 'Burrito'

Deconstructed ‘Burrito’ – wagyu flat iron steak, chilli con carne, tornado potato

By the time the deconstructed burrito arrived at our table I was feeling extremely full. I was a little disappointed with this dish as it wasn’t what I expected. Personally, I felt there were too many elements on the dish and they didn’t really work well together. Although, the wagyu steak was cooked well, medium rare.

Edo-Mae Sushi

Edo-Mae Sushi

The final main course dish of the evening was the edo-mae sushi. The piece was the fatty tuna. I wish they hadn’t served this course though and instead offered two desserts to finish off the night.

Hotondo Ichigo

Hotondo Ichigo  – Strawberry mascarpone, strawberry chips, sweetened beetroot, pop soda strawberry, minty lemon air

Hotondo Ichgo: Strawberry Mascarprone, sweetened beetroot

Hotondo Ichgo: Strawberry mascarprone, sweetened beetroot

Dessert at Ocean Room I find is always delightful and this time was no different. I loved the layering of texture and flavours of the sweet, light and fluffy mascarprone mixed in the strawberry chips and bite of the sweetened beetroot. Just wish by the time I finish the last spoon there was more.

Overall, if you haven’t been to Ocean Room I would highly recommend you book a table ASAP. Raita’s tasting menu can be summed up as ‘innovative Japanese’ flavours on a plate. Each dish is well thought out and works well to compliment the next dish on the menu. Not to mention the view at Ocean Room is amazing- breath taking views of our gorgeous city and of course the infamous, Sydney’s Opera House.

Ocean Room
Ground level, Overseas Passenger Terminal
Circular Quay West,
The Rocks  NSW  2000
+61 9252 9585
oceanroomsydney.com

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  1. Woah!!! The dishes at ocean room look so delicious
    Really want to try it out.

  2. Looks delicious. I want to go try!

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