I love Japanese food. More specifically, I love sashimi. It’s so textural and I enjoy comparing the delicate flavours of different fish species. I had heard good things about chef Raita Noda’s Ocean Room at Circular Quay and his dedication to sustainable sourcing (which floats my fishing boat), so gave it a go.
Japanese food is art on a plate and Raita’s twelve course tasting menu ($120, $95 for eight courses) was exactly that – each dish was so beautifully presented it felt almost sacrilegious to mess it up. Here are a few of my favourites…
Agedashi tofu is one of my favourite Japanese dishes and Raita’s was silky smooth. He works with a tofu producer in Brisbane to make his tofu to his specifications. The resulting tofu is mild and sweet, presented on a slosh of garlic, chilli and wagyu broth. I loved the little chilli strands that packed a great amount of punch.
This dish was really cool. When I first saw the teapot I had no idea of the goodies that were inside. After a quick lesson from the waiter about Raita’s take on a Japanese hot pot, I discovered the incredible Tarabi King Crab claws, arrowroot noodle and chargrilled shimeji mushrooms inside.
I’ve saved the best until last (even though it came half way through the tasting menu!). Raita has an excellent understanding and eye for seafood and it shows in his sashimi selection. I was lucky enough to have a little gem on my plate, a prized piece of tuna taken from what Raita was calling “the catch of the season”. Big call, but it was actually incredible and you could tell the difference between that and a lesser piece of tuna. The white ‘pearls’ on top of the sashimi that look like salmon roe are made from yuzu and tasted like little lime bursts in my mouth. Raita makes them himself….clever!
Ocean Room is located on the Ground Level, Overseas Passenger Terminal, Circular Quay West, 02 9252 9585.