Every year, I ask him, ‘Where do you want to go for your birthday?’, the assumption being that it has to be a ‘nice’ restaurant (not too cheap) that has great food and a comfy atmosphere.
Every year, he replies ‘Ocean Room’.
Well, this year we went to Ocean Room for his birthday. Like we have for the past couple of years (except for last year, when we went to Becasse).
And as usual, we had the chef Raita’s Tasting Menu. There is an 8-course option for $70, but we had the 12 courses for $98 per person. Such fantastic value and beautifully presented dishes. But we already knew this, since we always have the 12-course tasting!
Meanwhile, I’ll let the pictures do the talking. PS: It’s terribly dark (or romantically dusky) at Ocean Room, so the pics are a bit blurry.
To drink, we had Kaishun saké ($19) and Spinifex Rosé ($13/glass). Also a bottle of still water ($10).
Oyster Duo – Pacific oyster with granny smith apple vinaigrette + rock oyster with Yamazaki whiskey and white balsamic air. Served on a bed of LED-lit ice!
Tuna Tartare wrapped with nori
White Gazpacho – almond milk + tomato water
Anchovy + sorbet - an old favourite that's always on the menu
Uni tamago – semi-poached egg + sea urchin espuma
Calamari pops - like popcorn chicken, but better
Spanner crab bonito consommé – winter melon, agedashi tofu, shiso mochi
Ocean trout + avocado - this was my substitution for the consommé because I can't eat crab
Deconstructed ceviche – Crystal Bay prawn, Fremantle octopus and ocean trout
Loved the presentation of this. You pour over the yuzu vinaigrette from a test tube.
Saikyo miso cod – with ginger risotto and orange miso sauce. Perfectly cooked fish.
There was a bit of a wait for our next course, so the observant waitstaff brought us a round of drinks to compensate. I had a Gorgeous Geisha mocktail (cranberry, lychee, lemonade).
Sushi collection – three types of nigiri sushi and pickled ginger
Smoky Wagyu beef – table-smoked chargrilled beef + chimichurri sauce + potato ball.
How impressive is this? A wood-smoke-filled globe encompasses a chunk of marbled Wagyu.
Dessert plate – gorgonzola panna cotta + shoyu caramel, caramelised banana, poached pear
Overall, this was another solidly dependable meal from Ocean Room. The food is good without the wow! factor you get from hatted restaurants. I suppose the view of the Opera House opposite provides a bit of excitement if you're looking for it. There's no denying the great value for the tasting menu, though, and the staff are efficient and friendly.
A new menu is going to be introduced soon, apparently, so the dishes we had might not be there much longer. Never mind, it gives an opportunity for another visit soon, hopefully.
Ocean Room is at the Overseas Passenger Terminal, Circular Quay, Sydney.
ph: 02 9252 9585