Raita’s Tasting Menu at Ocean Room at Circular quay

This tasting menu deserves a Chef Hat, and I seriously wonder how come the Chef doesn’t have one, the degustation menu was one of the best we’ve ever had, and the value was great. I booked us using Restaurant.com.au, as they had an offer running for couple of days (First booking for free instead of AUD8) and had a hard time choosing a restaurant among what was on offer. I ended up settling for Ocean Room and it did not disappoint. Even without the 30% discount (on all the bill, food, cocktails, soft drinks, everything!) we both would have been happy to pay the full price (We paid 203 dollars instead of 290).

Raita's Tasting Menu at Ocean Room - inside the restaurant

Raita’s Tasting Menu at Ocean Room – inside the restaurant

A group of businessmen are sitting right next to us and everyone is dressed to the nine… except Monsieur (jeans and T-shirt) and I (singlet, short and backpack) but we’re treated very nicely and the Maitre d’O accommodates for our request to sit inside (mosquitoes tend to love me). We’re warned that for the degustation menu, it’ll last 2h30minutes… but we stayed in the restaurant for 3 hours and 30 minutes (which was completely fine, we really didn’t mind!).

Raita's Tasting Menu at Ocean Room - Plum Wine for him AUD 12, Strawberry daiquiri for her AUD 18, Sparkling water for us AUD 10

Raita’s Tasting Menu at Ocean Room – Plum Wine for him AUD 12, Strawberry daiquiri for her AUD 18, Sparkling water for us AUD 10

To drink, we had a sparkling water San Pellegrino AUD 10, and Monsieur went for the usual plum wine umeshu Uguisu Tomari from Fukuoka AUD 12. I took the girly option, sweetness guaranteed by the waiter: Strawberry and Shiso Daiquiri AUD 18.

Raita's Tasting Menu at Ocean Room - 12 course tasting menu at 120 AUD

Raita’s Tasting Menu at Ocean Room – 12 course tasting menu at 120 AUD

We went for the 12-course Degustation Menu AUD 120 and the waiters that took care of us explained each dish very carefully and all were very knowledgable (we did ask question like what umeboshi means… and they knew! – salted plum, if you wonder)

#1 course: Namagaki – Sydney Rock Oyster

Raita's Tasting Menu at Ocean Room - #1 Namagaki freshly shucked Sydney Rock Oyster, spicy sangrita cloud, tomato air

Raita’s Tasting Menu at Ocean Room – #1 Namagaki freshly shucked Sydney Rock Oyster, spicy sangrita cloud, tomato air

Oh dear. Monsieur and I both dislike oyster but decided we’d give that one a try (the waiter did offer us to alter things from the menu shall we have any objections, and that was very kind! We decided to stick to all the dishes though!). The Oyster comes under a “spicy sangrita cloud” but I the spiciness was very subtle. The taste of tomato was more prominent and a very nice pairing with oyster. Mind you, the two Sydney Rock Oysters still had the taste of oysters, but they were really fresh, and texturally pleasant (because, I suspect, they were very small). Even if you do not like oysters much, do give this one a try, it’s worth it!

#2: Ochazuke modern – flame seared latchet

Raita's Tasting Menu at Ocean Room - #2 Ochazuke Modern cold-drip dash and premium green tea, rice crust, flame seared latchet, umeboshi sorbet, wasabi dust

Raita’s Tasting Menu at Ocean Room – #2 Ochazuke Modern cold-drip dash and premium green tea, rice crust, flame seared latchet, umeboshi sorbet, wasabi dust

This dish is really fusion like! Served in a cosmopolitan type of glass, there’s rice crust on the bottom, flare seared latchet on top, and a salted plum sorbet right above the latchet. I loved it texturally, and the salted plum sorbet (umeboshi) was somehow interesting. It doesn’t taste like umeshu (plum wine) and is really surprising. Not my favourite in terms of flavours, but still, very interesting combination!! The green tea is poured on the side when the dish is being served, it isn’t the usual bitter green tea, but a pleasing consommé, a “cooking” green tea (though it is tempered).

#3 Maguro Tartare with sea salt cured tuna

Raita's Tasting Menu at Ocean Room - #3 Maguro Tartare sea salt cured tuna, sesame scented, dark and white balsamic crystal, toasted nori and ocean pearl

Raita’s Tasting Menu at Ocean Room – #3 Maguro Tartare sea salt cured tuna, sesame scented, dark and white balsamic crystal, toasted nori and ocean pearl

I loved the experience that comes with each dish. Here, the waiter explains us we’ve got to mix the elements on the plate to make our own tartare and wrap the mix with nori. Monsieur is allergic to pear, so I get his. The tartare is really good. If anything, I want more :) The sourness is in the lotus roots (pink and pickled) and the crystallised balsamic vinegars (also slightly sweet). Lovely!

#4 Ocean Shinjo Tiger prawn and calamari wrapped in bean curd parcel

Raita's Tasting Menu at Ocean Room - #4 Ocean Shinjo housemade fish cake, tiger prawn and calamari bean curd parcel

Raita’s Tasting Menu at Ocean Room – #4 Ocean Shinjo housemade fish cake, tiger prawn and calamari bean curd parcel

Monsieur was a tad skeptic on the house made fish cake, but there wasn’t anything overly fishy. This dish is close to a dim sum, not what I’d define as Japanese, but still, very pleasant. The prawn and calamari are mixed together, so you won’t see chucks. I couldn’t tell there was calamari in (I do trust them though!!) but the prawn’s taste was more prominent. Still, very nice!

#5 Secret Hotate

Raita's Tasting Menu at Ocean Room - #5 Secret Hotate, flame seared WA scallop, micro herb ravioli, yuzu ponzu, Ocean Room's XO sauce, shallot oil

Raita’s Tasting Menu at Ocean Room – #5 Secret Hotate, flame seared WA scallop, micro herb ravioli, yuzu ponzu, Ocean Room’s XO sauce, shallot oil

Underneath the ravioli, which was more a thin pastry with herbs trapped in it rather than anything stuffed, were beautiful scallops. So buttery they were… Properly seared, and a generous amount of them!! The dish was a bit spicy for Monsieur’s liking but I found it lovely. To make the texture more interesting, there were some raw shallots on the bottom. The dome above looked like half a grape when it came, but it is, in fact, some jelly! I thought this was more Chinese than Japanese because of the XO sauce though!

#6 Raita’s Sashimi collection

Raita's Tasting Menu at Ocean Room - #6 Raita's Sashimi collection

Raita’s Tasting Menu at Ocean Room – #6 Raita’s Sashimi collection

For long, I thought ordering Sashimi was sort of pointless. I mean how much can the taste of fish differ from raw in a given restaurant, to raw in another one? I guess I realised how wrong I was when I tried to cut sashimi myself!! Sashimi’s a real craft, and the way you cut it, the cut you choose, the way you seared it, does make a difference from one place to another. I can tell the seafood here is so fresh!

#7 Dobin musdhi Taraba King Crab

Raita's Tasting Menu at Ocean Room - #7 Dobin Mushi Taraba King Crab

Raita’s Tasting Menu at Ocean Room – #7 Dobin Mushi Taraba King Crab

This is the dish that made Monsieur chose the 12 course degustation instead of the smaller one (8 course, 95 per person). It was a real experience! I loved the fact we each, had our own teapot, and how much ceremony was involved. 1st, you press the lime above your teapot, then you close the teapot with a flat cap. The cap that’s on top is not just a cap… Turn it upside down, and you get a tea cup from which we’re advised to drink the dashi consommé (give it a stir beforehand though!).

Raita's Tasting Menu at Ocean Room - #7 Dobin Mushi Taraba King Crab

Raita’s Tasting Menu at Ocean Room – #7 Dobin Mushi Taraba King Crab

Once you’re done with the consommé, you get to eat what’s inside. Isn’t it brilliant???? Also I’ve never had chrysanthemum leaf before, but found it very similar to spinach… probably a bit neutral. There were 2 see-through pasta, the thickness of Udon noodle. A bit too chewy for my liking if anything. The King carb, the king of the teapot, was grand! It was prepped so forking the meat out of the shell was a play in the park. Even Monsieur found it disappointingly easy. Highly recommended!!!!

#8 Saikyo Miso Cod – The loveliest cod I’ve ever had in my whole life, and the one dish that you absolutely have to try once in your life!!!

Raita's Tasting Menu at Ocean Room - #8 Saikyo Miso Cod, an Absolute Must Have!

Raita’s Tasting Menu at Ocean Room – #8 Saikyo Miso Cod, an Absolute Must Have!

That Cod was the best cod I’ve ever had. Signature frilled sweet miso cod fillet with ginger risotto and orange miso sauce… Sweet, buttery fish, so indulgent. We wondered whether they had injected each layer of the fish with butter because the cod was the richest cod we had ever tried, and the best cod we will probably ever taste out here. I think there’s a Nobu recipe for Miso Cod out there on the net, and I will try that. Apparently, the secret to get such texture isn’t the cooking (I thought it was slow cooked because the fish was so moist) but the marinade that involves Mirin, Miso, and saké. This dish was definitely my favourite!!!

#9 Adegashi Mapo Artisan Tofu

Raita's Tasting Menu at Ocean Room - #9 Adegashi Mapo Artisan Tofu

Raita’s Tasting Menu at Ocean Room – #9 Adegashi Mapo Artisan Tofu

Monsieur wasn’t sold on that one, but it turned out to be very pleasant. Due to the wind flowing inside the restaurant, it was a bit cooler inside, and a warm soup was actually really pleasant. There was pork and Serrano ham in the soup (loved it) and the Tofu was as promised: Silky. I liked this soup, but I like my tofu either deep fried and very crispy on the outside, or steamed and super silky.

#10 Two Dimensional Jack’s creek Wagyu 8+ Marble Score

Raita's Tasting Menu at Ocean Room - #10 Two dimensional Jack's creek wagyu 8+ Marble Score table smoked char-grilled fillet, slow braised wagyu meat pie

Raita’s Tasting Menu at Ocean Room – #10 Two dimensional Jack’s creek wagyu 8+ Marble Score table smoked char-grilled fillet, slow braised wagyu meat pie

I wanted so much more from that wagyu 8+, that it fell short of my expectations. The plating was really nice, but the slow braised wagyu meat pie didn’t allow for the flavour of the wagyu to stand out at all. If you’re baking a pie, then I think wagyu isn’t appropriate. Even the smoked wagyu theatrically trapped into a glass full of smoke, wasn’t very wagyuish… Not because of the smoke itself, but because of the piece of meat that sat on the plate. Monsieur had a very tender piece, but mine was chewy on both sides, and disappointing, and very lean when wagyu is meant to ooze omega 3 fat. Alas, I still found the Wagyu 5 in Mittagong, to be the best Wagyu I’ve ever had so far.

#11 Edo-Mae Nigiri Sushi

Raita's Tasting Menu at Ocean Room - #11 Edo-mae Nigiri Sushi: Three authentic Tokyo style Nigiri sushi

Raita’s Tasting Menu at Ocean Room – #11 Edo-mae Nigiri Sushi: Three authentic Tokyo style Nigiri sushi

I wasn’t expecting much from Nigiri Sushi, but these turned out to be the best Nigiri sushi I’ve ever had. The reason for this is that we didn’t need to dip them in the soy sauce, because it was pre seasoned. I ate them too quickly so wasn’t able to actually check whether the explanation put forward by the waiter was actually true. Apparently, the trick is to season the rice ball (brush it with soy sauce and some wasabi), but I suspect the fish slices have been marinated… I really don’t know, so I guess I will have to come back to check this out… I highly recommend you try Edo Mae Nigiri Sushi, these were just plain beautiful!!!!

#12 Nori and Shoyu Angel Cake

Raita's Tasting Menu at Ocean Room - #12 Nori and Shoyu Angel Cake

Raita’s Tasting Menu at Ocean Room – #12 Nori and Shoyu Angel Cake

The dessert wasn’t bad, and I loved the soy caramel. That said, we had it in a hurry so we could catch the bus back home. I like the airiness of the cake, but found the Nori addition to be a bit too much for me.

Raita's Tasting Menu at Ocean Room

Raita’s Tasting Menu at Ocean Room

The bill came down to AUD 290, but thanks to Restaurant.com.au, we paid just AUD 203! Awesome discount, but to be honest, I would have been happy to pay the full price for such quality. One thing’s sure: We will be back!! Oh, and also, I sincerely believe they deserve a Chef’s Hat (at least one).

Ocean Room on Urbanspoon

About Mademoiselle in Sydney

I'm a French Born Chinese expat' who relocated from the UK to Australia! I love all things food!
This entry was posted in Asian Food, Fine Dining, Fish restaurant, I loved it, Japanese, Reviews by Cuisine, Reviews by Place, Sydney and around, Sydney CBD, The Rocks and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Raita’s Tasting Menu at Ocean Room at Circular quay

  1. Michael Shen says:

    As an avid lover of Japanese cuisine, I can’t believe I still haven’t had the chance to sample the wonders at Ocean Room! Looks YUM! And 30% discount? I’ll take two degs for myself :P

  2. This menu combines two of my favourite things: seafood and Japanese food! Plus a view! :D

  3. BeOnLime says:

    How long did it take you to have them all ? Also it is NOT wise to go for a bus-run after a long and tasty menu !!!
    Next time walk back home! ;-)

    • I know… bit ashamed, but then… I really couldn’t see us walk all the way back home. And Japanese food isn’t that filling (even after 12 courses…) so I guess walking to the bus station was sort of fine! :) Should try and watch my waistline though hehehe!

  4. The Ocean Room.

    I gave them one of their worst online reviews ever. Deservedly so.
    The food is a dabble in several directions, without any commitment.
    However the wine service is the reason I’ll never waste another night of my life in that place.
    The sommelier misled me, both about the attributes of the wine, and about her own level of skill and knowledge.
    Two bottles were ordered, when I left, both were still on the table, 80% full.

    When you’re ripped off, you don’t forget it. It is one of the worst restaurants I’ve ever had the misfortune to stumble upon.

    Even if they had refunded in full the money I was charged (and it was a lot) I’d still be disgruntled.

    I struggle to believe that anybody who has actually been there could have anything positive to say about the place.

    • Oh dear, sorry to hear this Steve… I looked like a mess when I came in the restaurant, backpack on my back and totally dishevelled… Probably the reason why they thought, heck… Not going to make much on that client. I didn’t even know they’d have a sommelier.
      All I can say was that I had excellent service and amazing food, so they might have change management/recipes since you last came? The only course that disappointed me was the wagyu beef. Monsieur found his to be amazingly melting, and mine was chewy. Other than that, I really couldn’t fault them…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>