Returning to the domain of Chef de Cuisine Raita Noda was a pleasure. Knowing what to choose made the menu seem a little more cohesive, and the mains this time matched the flare of his entrees. It’s romance overload with the lights of the Sydney Opera House glimmering behind your cocktail glass – try the light, sherbet fuelled fizz of the unusual Iichiko Mule ($15) flavoured with Szechuan pepper, lime and shiso leaves, or the vivid Granny Smith green Apple Sorbet Martini ($17) pictured above.
The room is still a pleasurable place to dine. We were seated in the same spot, so I almost have the same room photo in my review a year ago back HERE.
We decided on the Petite Tasting Menu ($68/head) mostly, but made quite a few substitutions to try new dishes. Basically with this menu you get small portions of six entrees, a choice of two mains (you can have a different one to your partner and try both), sushi and a dessert tasting plate. It's exceedingly good value. The menu starts with Fresh Oysters - still a shade out of season but improving.
This is a substitution dish, the Jamon Iberico Bellotta, which is a particularly good appetite stimulant.
The Calamari Pops ($16) were great, with their crab enriched fluffy texture and two different dips.
I’m still a fan of the Wasabi Prawns ($19).
Once again the cheese ice-cream on the Cured Ocean Trout ($19) makes for a winning mouthful of palate-confounding bliss. Bite of my nite for sure.
We did a substitution on one of the mains for this gorgeous Baby Snapper Acqua Pazza ($42) which the restaurant manager filleted at the table with flair. This level of razzle dazzle was an extra directed at the review, but I enjoyed it anyway.
The other main they sliced the Black Angus Minute Steak for us to share more easily.
We had it with their decadent Summer Truffle French Fries ($12) on the side at our request, after having ogled them on a neighbouring table last time. They kept me coming back to them, and I was glad when the waiter finally took them away.
The sharing Ocean Room Assiette ($34) is the only way to get your hands on a tiny serve of Raita’s crème brulee. I propose we campaign until he makes it in size large! I am also still a fan of his apple soaked in maple syrup balls and the crisp apple chip.
As an aside, this is the state of my beverages at the end of the meal, and yes, it got a little out of hand. Though kudos to Nigel Gladstone our sommelier for the evening who suggested a 2007 Domaine Pichot Vouvray Chenin Blanc ($68) which matched the delicacy of the seafood beautifully.
On my request we also tried another extra dish and I have got to say: you haven’t experienced Sydney unless you’ve shared an Ocean’s Eleven ($29) with your partner. Simultaneously slurp delights like briny Rock Oyster with Sea Water Jelly (this was my favourite because the smell was reminiscent of another thing I like to eat) from a set of eleven shot glasses presented on ice. You get a small menu, but they don't tell you which is which, so you get a delightful guessing game. Beyond the oysters, my favourites were the Soy Marinated Tuna with Truffle Oil, the Trevally with Ponzu Sauce and the Kingfish with Mustard Vinaigrette.
If you're walking around the area, consider just stopping in for this flavour sensation and a cocktail. Your palate will get enough of a workout to make you feel satisfied even if the volume of food isn't huge.
Bay 4, Ground Level, Overseas Passenger Terminal, George Street, The Rocks
Ph: (02) 9252 9585