Ocean Room, Circular Quay Sydney

Ocean Room had always been on my list of restaurants to visit however I just had not have a chance to pay a visit until I received a notification email from the Ocean Room that the restaurant will operate on its last day in mid April 2014. Quite a shocking news!

Ocean Room was located at the Overseas Passenger Terminal near the historic The Rocks. Due to compulsory development of the terminal announced by the Sydney Ports Corporation, the restaurant which opened its door for the first time in 2004 had to say good bye to its customers in April this year. So there are no other choices but to book in!

Please stay with me while I share my magical experience with Japanese food with you :)

Ocean Room (My Rating: An amazing 9/10)

Entertainment book voucher accepted? Yes

Overseas Passenger Terminal at the Rocks
The Back Door of Restaurant
Dim Light Interior

Hundreds of Bamboos Hanging from the Ceiling Just Above from where I sat

Left: Violet Mist Cocktail - Shirashinken Barley Shochu, Creme de Violette, Lemon
Right: Afternoon Tea Mocktail - Earl Grey Tea, Orange Juice, Mint, Sugar Syrup & Housemade Marmalade

The cocktail came in a such a pretty pastel blue colour with three dried roses on the top however the roses were just for decoration purpose only, the alcohol taste of it was not so strong. On the right side, the mocktail tasted just like earl grey tea with a few other ingredients which lifted the flavour of the tea itself however there was no X factor in this tall glass.

Customers are offered either ala carte menu or 12-course tasting menu which was created by the executive chef of Ocean Room, Raita Noda. The BF and I would love to try many dishes with smaller quantity thus we opted for the latter which costed $120 per person for 12 beautiful courses. That was quite a catch considering the quantity and the quality of food served and each of us had our own plate for each course so we didn't have to fight over the food (quite a relief!).

1st course: Kaki - Cold Smoked Sydney Rock Oysters, Tomato Water Jelly, Chili Pearl, Baby Basil
The first course came out pretty fast, the oysters did not have strong smoked flavour however they were so fresh so no complaint about the freshness of seafood even from the very first course. The other components compliment the oyster lightly without overshadowing the natural oyster flavour.

2nd course: Ochazuke - Cold Drip Dashi & Gyokuro Green Tea, Flame Seared Latchet, Rice Crust & Umeboshi Sorbet
I found this dish was interestingly bizarre in term of flavour as it was too sour to my liking even though I do love sour food! The green powder on top of the glass was wasabi powder and you're supposed to eat everything from the glass in one sip combined with the wasabi powder. However I had to lick a bit of the powder as it sticked quite well to the glass LOL

The red meat in the glass was the latchet fish, I googled it and was quite shocked with the shape of latchet species. It looks like a fish with butterflies wings!

The Close Up of Ochazuke
3rd Course: Maguro - Yellow Fin Tuna, Sicilian Green Olive & Buffalo Mozzarella Drops Soy Pearls, Tomato Chips
The most interesting elements on this dish were the green and white coloured drops on the right side of the dish, I love the fact that they bursted into my mouth once bitten.

4th Course: Canned Ocean Room

I was so excited about this dish, opening a closed tin like a happy young kid opening a can of Coke. Inside the tin there were fresh cuttlefish stamped with an unknown symbol, crab meat, fresh roe, sea urchin, okra & eel. Soya sauce, wasabi and nori seaweed were served on the side.

We guessed the right way to enjoy it was to place the fresh seafood inside the nori and rolled it however we might be wrong, we enjoyed this course while commenting about how cool the tin packaging was.

Wrapping the Fresh Seafood inside the Nori Seaweed

5th Course: Onsen - Winter Vegetable Collection, Yaki-Onigiri, Black Shichimi, House Made Anchovy & Garlic Bath
How can a dish be so beautiful and yummy at the same time?! The vegetable was supposed to be eaten by dipping it into the garlic anchovy sauce which was heated by the candle beneath the bowl. This dish represented Japanese hot bath. I could not get enough of the sauce which was so fragrant.

6th Course: Kassen - Daily Seasonal Sashimi Collection
Starting from the left side; they were freshly smoked salmon, king fish, bonito and tuna. The presentation of the smoked salmon in a glass was amazing as I had only ever seen it in cooking TV show. The taste of the smoked salmon was strong but not overwhelming and the freshness of the seafood was not a question at all.

Collection of Fresh Fishes in Season

7th Course: Foie Gras - Pan seared, Oden Daikon, Seasonal Mushrooms, Horseradish
As the courses moving on, we started having a more heavier and savoury dish. The foie gras was so soft in texture and for those of you who are not aware what foie gras means, it is a French delicacy which was made of duck/goose liver which has been fattened. The daikon complemented the strength of the foie gras flavour perfectly.

8th Course: Miso Cod - Grilled Sweet Miso Cod, Zucchini Flower, Ginger Risotto, Orange Miso
The fish was so sweet with a hint of miso flavour and I would not mind having another piece of the sweet miso cod as I loved it too much. The fried zucchini flower was stuffed with ginger risotto which was just okay.

9th Course: Butabara - Simmered Pork Belly, Melting Tofu, Soy Broth, Yuzu Chili Ponzu
Pouring the Chili Ponzu to the Bag of Pork
This dish came in a tied plastic bag and the waiter cut the bag in front of us releasing the hot steam of the soy broth. The pork belly was so soft I felt like it was melting in my mouth. At this stage we felt so full already but we were still waiting eagerly on the last 3 dishes.

10th Course: Deconstructed Burrito - Wagyu Flat Iron Steak, Chili Con Carne, Tornado Potato
The steak was grilled to perfect medium rare, the tornado potato was crispy however the chill con carne was just average. Don't expect an awesome Mexican chili con carne from a fancy Japanese restaurant.

The Fully Packed Restaurant on Its Last Day of Operation 
Ocean Room Bar
11th Course: Edo-Mae Sushi - Authentic Tokyo Style Nigiri Sushi
12th Course: Hotondo Ichigo - Strawberry Mascarpone, Strawberry Chips, Sweetened Beetroot, Pop Soda Strawberry, Minty Lemon Air

After 11 courses of savoury dish, a sweet ending was a must to wash down all the courses we had smashed earlier. The mascarpone was creamy but so light and was not overly sweet, it was a really pleasant course to finish off.

The View from the Front 

In conclusion, this experience had been amazing and we would like to thank and say the last good bye to Ocean Room for the magical experience throughout the night. We were advised that there might be a chance for Raita Noda the executive chef to re-open a new restaurant in the following year while he is enjoying a career break for the rest of this year.

Sayonara for now, Ocean Room! You have served us very well.

Ocean Room used to be located at:
Ground Level, Overseas Passenger Terminal
Circular Quay West, The Rocks Sydney 

Ocean Room on Urbanspoon

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