We celebrated bf’s b’day at Ocean Room, by the water. I was tossing up between it and Raita Noda’s other restaurant, Rise in Darlinghurst, and Ocean Room won mainly because it was easier for us to get to, and we were there last year and had a wonderful meal, so…
And same as last year, we both had Raita’s Tasting Menu ($90) which is made up of a selection of 8 dishes from the current menu. I love tasting menus because I usually get bored with a large main after a few bites, so tasting plates are a fab way to try all the best things on the menu. Raita Noda didn’t appear to be in the kitchen on Saturday night, but the food was fantastic anyway.
We started with oysters, with the Merimbula ones being my favourite, their freshness and large size just bursting with flavour.
Next came sardines on toast, topped with an amazing tangy tomato sorbet. It was tongue-tingling cold, as a sorbet is, and just so surprising; it was the best.
Then arrived a taco, though much better than any others I’ve ever had. There was a seafood theme on the night, and the taco contained soft shell crab, and was accompanied by a prawn with wasabi sauce and a little potato ball. One (little) gripe, if I may: the lighting at Ocean Room is really dim, making it difficult to see in front of your nose, let alone the plate. I’m not sure if the chefs realise that the effort they probably put into the presentation may be lost on their diners…? (That’s the reason the photos are with a flash). And I do like to see what I’m eating.
The next dish, ocean trout, was beautifully fresh and melt in the mouth, as was the sushi/sashimi (the tuna was especially ‘oooohhh, you have to taste this’).
By this time, I was starting to flag, so I gave some of my grilled tuna to bf, who happily scoffed it. A caponata that came with the tuna was definitely scoffed by me, though.
Then, just as I couldn’t eat another bite (except for dessert), comes a Wagyu meat pie, which the waitress said she’d never seen on the tasting menu before. The meat was really tender, but, sorry, I couldn’t do it justice.
Of the desserts, my fave was the passionfruit and coconut mousse cake, because it was refreshing after the large meal. And we both enjoyed the choc-coated honeycomb.
I really adore Ocean Room: apart from the food, the waitstaff were friendly, efficient and helpful. We had 8 courses and they all came out of the kitchen without any delay. I can’t wait to go to Rise next…maybe for my birthday (hint, hint).