By Greedy Financier
Ocean Room is a modern Japanese restaurant with a harbour view. It had been on my “go to” list for a while, but I was a little hesitant as restaurants with a view make me a tad nervous (as I’ve said before, more often than not, you find that you’re paying for the view as opposed to the food). Additionally, I had heard mixed reviews about the restaurant. But finally I decided to bite the bullet and go try it out for myself.
Ocean Room Dining Area Facing the Harbour
We decided to start the night with some oysters. I still can’t stomach pure natural oysters, and so chose 3 different dressings to go on top of the oysters. Each dressing was a nice accompaniment, and of particular note, the champagne mignonette was fantastically tangy.
Pacific Oysters – Champagne Mignonette, Granny Smith Apple Vinaigrette, Yamazaki Whisky & White Balsamic Air
Next up was Ocean Room’s signature dish – tuna done 5 ways. I must admit I’m not really a fan of tuna sashimi, and so didn’t find the dish extraordinary (yes, my very biased opinion!). I did however enjoy the oil blanched tuna which had a great sesame oil aroma and taste.
Tuna Creation – Prepared in Five Styles with Five Condiments – an Ocean Room Signature
Tuna Creation - Tasting Note
I couldn’t go past ordering some “Chotto” (Japanese tapas), and chose the calamari pops, soft shell crab tacos and curry pans. While the menu stated that the calamari pops came with a green curry salt, I couldn’t really taste any salt at all, and would have preferred a mayonnaise type dipping sauce instead of the tart lime juice that came with it.
Calamari Pops – Tempura Calamari Pops, Green Curry Salt
On the other hand, my taste buds were delighted by the soft shell crab tacos. The tacos had a fantastic spicy kick, which balanced nicely against the finely sliced pickled vegetables and crunchy soft shell crab.
Soft Shell Crab Taco – Spiced Soft Shell Crab, Pickled Vegetables
Our final tapa for the night was curry pans. The bread was deep fried to golden brown perfection, and while there wasn’t much meat inside, they definitely had a curry punch.
Curry Pan – Crispy Bread Filled with Wagyu Cheek Curry
For mains, I went with the marron. I love my seafood, especially the hard shelled crustacean type, and so was really looking forward to this dish. And I have to say, it did not disappoint. The marron was cooked really well, and the crunchy assortment scattered all over the dish was just scrumptious – it seemed to be made up of deep fried onions, chilli, coriander and a load of spices which made for a superb combination of flavours.
Chilli and Garlic Live Marron – South Australia Whole Marron, Wok Tossed with Sea Salt & Five Peppercorn Blend
The bf went with the duck, which was a tad overcooked. The soy mirin jus was lovely though, but overall we felt the dish didn’t deliver enough in terms of flavour and serving size.
Kamo-Rosu Duck – Japanese Style Triple Cooked Duck Breast, Soy Mirin Jus, Eggplant & Pickled Beetroot
Finally – desserts! As you may have already heard, I have a massive sweet tooth. So when a restaurant offers up a HUGE dessert tasting plate, I can’t resist. And Ocean Room’s dessert tasting plate is big – despite it being for just “two”. While I hate to admit that some desserts just didn’t tickle my taste buds (such as the macaroons which were rock hard), we did have the pleasure of tasting the rich chocolate mud cake, sweet apple pastries and the light as a feather green tea sponge honey cake.
Ocean Room Assiette for Two – Selection of Intense Miniature Desserts
Ocean Room definitely has the feel of a fancy restaurant – posh interiors, dim lighting, ocean views and great plating up. While it was an enjoyable experience and the food, for the most part, was delicious, I do think a few of the dishes let the restaurant down (and leave you with the impression that you are indeed paying for the view). I wouldn’t not recommend the restaurant, but let me just say, it is definitely more value for money when a cruise ship is in town (and is blocking the view, and thus Ocean Room offers up some good discounts and deals!).
Lunch: Tuesday to Friday 12.00pm – 2.00pm
Dinner: Monday to Saturday 6.00pm – 10.00pm
Ph: +61 2 9252 9585
Ground Level, Overseas Passenger Terminal
Circular Quay West, The Rocks Sydney