Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Ocean Room resurfaces (birthday dinner)

I’d always meant to return to Ocean Room at Circular Quay after last year’s visit. We finally made it for my birthday dinner, just in time to see the new renovations at this harbourfront diner.

The renovations seem to be confined to the roof area of the restaurant, with a spectacular canopy of wooden dowels dangling from a great height. They resemble stalks of bamboo, and they swing back and forth when a breeze blows through. The menu does not seem that different from before, though there are a couple of new dishes on the menu.

The bar area

The main dining area

As on our last visit, we went with the 11-course tasting menu ($90 per person), put together by executive chef Raita Noda. It contains dishes from each of the a la carte menu’s sections, ‘Oysters’, ‘sushi’, ‘land produce’, dessert, etc.

I’ll let the pictures do the talking. Though again (a pet gripe), the restaurant was very dim and I had to lighten the photos somewhat in order to see what we ate.
Top to bottom, left to right:
Oysters two ways; Chotto (appetisers) included Tuna cornet
Marinated anchovy with smoked tomato sorbet; sake jelly bar cod
Wasabi prawns with wasabi croquette (like a pomme noisette); sous-vide ocean trout (so creamy smooth) on avocado salsa

The tuna creation consists of 5 cubes of tuna with accompanying flavoured salts.
They were: oil-blanched toro with chilli salt, fresh raw chutoro with light soy salt, seared chutoro with 3-year aged soy salt, fresh raw akami with black salt, and marinated akami with truffle salt (the truffle salt was sublime).
Even if you don’t have the tasting menu, you should try and order the tuna creation from the a la carte menu.

Now we come to the mains from the ocean:

Prawn sizzle (pan-seared king prawns)
Miso code (miso-marinated cod fillet with ginger-scented risotto) – quite a sweet flavour
The mains from the land, and sushi:
Wagyu steak with mashed potato ball (again, the potato was strangely sweet) and watercress
Sushi nigri – tuna, kingfish and salmon

Surprise delivery of the Dessert plate with birthday sparkler!

Chocolate espresso layers, pink lady apple almond gateau, classic crème brulee

To finish, Kukicha tea, mild flavour with low caffeine.

I really enjoy eating at Ocean Room. The food is wonderful, with interesting flavours and treatment, and the service is not too professional, but keen and friendly. I must really try and get there more often, not just for birthdays.
Ocean Room is on Ground Level, Overseas Passenger Terminal, Circular Quay West, Sydney
Ph: 02 9252 9585
Open Mon-Sat (dinner), Tue-Fri (lunch)
Ocean Room on Urbanspoon


  1. Wow, all the food looks amazing! I would love to try that tuna creation and the wagyu steak!

    What a nice thought to write happy birthday on the dessert plate and include the sparkler! Your photos turned out fantastic for dim lighting!!

  2. ooh otoro - be still my beating heart!

    sounds like you had a wonderful birthday - love the specially decorated platter just for you!

  3. Happy Birthday!!!
    I've been to ocean room twice and was not super dooper impressed by it, however it seems like they've brought out some new and interesting items on the menu. I'd definitely want to revisit ocean room to try out their new menu.

  4. Looks so good, particularly the tuna creation!

    I like the roof. It makes me think of that forest in the House of Flying Daggers!

  5. Happy birthday! I've been meaning to go to Ocean Room for a while, and I think I'll have to take Tim now, he loves tuna!


    That ceiling is both interesting and a little scary. Imagine if the dowels fell down and skewered people sitting under them!

    I must say 11 courses for $90 is very reasonable! And that tuna creation looks so finger looking good...I would use my hands to eat it. Yep...no class here!

  7. happy birthday dude! the tuna creation looks so pretty!

  8. What a great birthday meal! I went to Ocean Room the other day and we had the Tuna Five Ways too which was delicious. Happy Birthday again lovely Belle! :)

  9. happy happy birthday! the tuna creation looks fantastic. actually, everything looks gorgeous and delicious. :)

  10. LOOK at all that seafood! Fresh fresh fresh everywhere! Ohboy! AND belated happy birthday!!!!

  11. Happy Birthday! Looks like a wonderful dinner, will have to keep this place in mind when my special day rolls around...

  12. Happy Bdayy!!I really must get myself to Ocean Room! Cubes of tuna... brilliant! and that wagyu looks soo good mmm

  13. Happy birthday!! Love the tuna creation and the dessert plate!!

  14. Happy birthday darl! I've been meaning to come here since attending their relaunch party. Your meals looks gorgeous -i've got so much to look forward to!

  15. HAPPY BELATEDDDDDDDD BIRTHDAYYY!!! Hooray to us Libra girls ^_^

    The food looks absolutely stunning and fancy the tuna looks like mini cakes! and good lord your mains.. i dont even know where to begin!

    Hope you had a lovely birthday! the great things about birthdays is that we get to celebrate in style at a restaurant of our / partners choice whoo hoo!

  16. Hi Rilsta – the restaurant asked if we were there for a special occasion when they rang to confirm the booking. Of course, I told them it was my birthday, hehe!

    Hi Helen – I think I could eat a full-sized tuna creation every day. With truffle salt, of course.

    Hi Linda – the food is better than when we went last year, so I’d definitely give them another go. Hope you have better luck this time.

    Hi Conor – about the roof, that’s exactly what I thought! Makes you want to swing from the top branches, doesn’t it?

    Hi Chris – definitely go for the tuna – it was an unusual way of serving and it really brought out the flavours of the fresh fish.

    Hi Maria – thank you! I tried not to think of falling bamboo... and the value for the tasting menu is pretty good. You get so much food, and the servings are not too small.

    Hi chocolatesuze – thanks, sweetie!

    Hi Lorraine – I saw your post, and it looked so lovely during the day. I hope to go there for lunch one day.

    Hi Penny – everything was pretty perfect! Ocean Room is a great restaurant for celebrating – and eating!

    Hi Trisha – with a name like ‘Ocean Room’, they certainly have a focus on the seafood. And a bit of ‘land’ produce as well.

    Hi Megan – I have a ‘special occasion’ list as well, and it’s getting very long!

    Hi FFichiban – I’m surprised you haven’t visited yet. The tuna was great, and the meat was good, though I only had one piece because I was so full (burp!)

    Hi Ellie – it was a shame the dessert plate was shared – though I did have most of the crème brulee (it was my birthday after all)

    Hi Jenius – the dishes at the launch looked wonderful from your site. You were so lucky to experience it all.

    Hi Leona – are you a Libra too? Go the Scales! I choose the restaurant even when it’s not my birthday, haha!