One thing that always strikes me when I enter Ocean Room is the stunning view of the Opera House from the glass windows of the restaurant. But it’s not all about the view – Ocean Room also serves up some fantastic Japanese food, and we’re here tonight to try out their new 12-course tasting menu.
We start off with some of Ocean Room’s new and tasty cocktails, since there’s 2 for 1 cocktails between 6-7pm every night. The Spicy Fifty is a drink with a brown sugar shochu base, elderflower, vanilla and a slight heat from the chilli. The Rouge Royale is a sweet combination of peach, strawberry, cognac, bitters and sparkling wine, with a spring of rosemary stuck in the drink for good measure.
We kick start our dinner with two freshly shucked Sydney rock oysters, with Guinness (yes, the beer), Japanese myoga ginger and a Yamazaki ‘silk’ made from whiskey. The alcoholic additions are surprisingly subtle which lets the natural flavour of the oysters shine through.
Christmas madness has officially begun! My Christmas tree is up, I’ve started my Christmas baking (more about that in another post) and I wish I could say that I’ve finished my Christmas shopping but I’ve only just begun that…
At least I’ve pretty much got the Christmas meal sorted since I got some great ideas from a recent masterclass I attended, where Peter Gilmore (of Quay Restaurant fame) shared his Christmas menu. We sat on the upper level of Quay, which is reserved for functions with a spectacular backdrop of Sydney Harbour and its landmarks, and also has an Electrolux kitchen installed at one end.
We sat around the kitchen and watched as Peter Gilmore cooked and plated up his three-course Christmas menu. The dishes were simple to prepare and most of the work can be done ahead of time to minimise the chances of you running around like a headless chicken after the guests have arrived!
Sydney has been showing off it’s beautiful summer weather lately with blue skies and the sun shining down. It makes me want to come out of hibernation and head outside to enjoy the sun. Charm and I did exactly that when we headed out one weekend to check out the Little Black Jacket exhibition, and we grabbed a bite to eat beforehand at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) Cafe.
We arrived quite late in the day and many of the menu items had already sold out. There were still some tempting dishes though, like the carb-on-carb Oven-baked mac & cheese with bread and the Pea & fontina arancini (which we immediately regretted not ordering when we saw it come out in an egg carton!). In the end, we decided to get two dishes to share which was the perfect amount for a light lunch.
It’s a gorgeous Saturday afternoon in Sydney and I’m headed to Ocean Room, which is perfectly positioned to enjoy the view of sunny blue skies, the sparkling harbour and some of Sydney’s most famous landmarks.
Inside, the view is equally as stunning with Ocean Room’s dining area housing a ceiling of thousands upon thousands of bamboo cylinders, forming a chandelier of sorts above diners.
I’ve dined here before, but today, Ocean Room’s Executive Chef Raita Noda treats us to a sushi and sashimi masterclass to learn about their philosophy, the preparation of sushi and sashimi and where they source their seafood from.
It was my birthday earlier this week, and knowing my love of Japanese food all too well, Sir D treated me to dinner at Yoshii in The Rocks. Clearly Monday nights are not their busiest, as we were the only two people in the restaurant the whole time! But this just made it a little bit more special, with excellent service and little gifts from the sushi chef such as the carrot butterfly sitting on top of a lump of wasabi – “For the photos”, he said.
We started by ordering some sake which came in a cool little pouring box. The sake is poured out of a small hole in the corner of the box without having to lift the lid because inside the box are indentations for the liquid to flow through. Sir D was quite fascinated by this contraption the whole night.
At Yoshii there is the option of selecting from two tasting menus (Yoshii course for $140 or Saqura course for $130) or choosing from the a la carte menu from Monday to Thursday. We went all out and went with one of each of the tasting menus so we could sample as much of the food as possible.
Both tasting menus begin with a chawanmushi, or egg custard, which is served in a small tea cup with mushroom foam on the surface. The cup is heady with the aroma of truffle oil, and cutting through the light as air mushroom foam reveals a smooth and silky egg custard. Despite the delicate texture of the dish, it is packed with umami from the mushrooms and the dashi stock in the egg custard and a sign of more deliciousness to come.