Sunday, August 7, 2011

Ocean Room - The Rocks

Since our honeymoon, "life" had just gotten in the way of my awesome hubby and I from sitting down to an intimate nice dinner together until now with the chosen venue of Ocean Room.

Ocean Room

It was a relatively tough decision between their degustation or a-la-carte menu. At the end of the night, a-la-carte won. Tapaz-style dishes we opted for as starters included the soft shell crab taco ($6 each), tuna cornet ($5) and the aburi scallop ($5 each).

The soft shell crab taco was really yummy. The taco shells were thin and super crispy. It kinda crumbled a the bite - but in a good sort of way. The soft shell crabs were quite strongly spiced and deep fried just right. This sat on top of lightly pickled vegetables which made for a good balance - the unhealthy crab and the healthy salad. YUM!

soft shell crab taco - $6 each

The tuna cornet comprised of very paper thinly curled nori rice cracker cornet. In this crisp cornet was finely diced marinated blue fin tuna tartare. I have to say - this was tiny! One bite could probably do for this cornet. It was an interesting combination. Not overly tasty but ... meh~ not bad either.

tuna cornet - $5

The aburi scallop was another interesting combination. Yummy flame seared scallop encasing a good dollop of Japanese pesto and a heap of Tasmanian wakame. Not 100% convinced that the wakame and pesto went together and not sure if the scallop went together with the two condiments.

Aburi Scallop - $5 each

We couldn't got to Ocean Room without trying their signature dish - the Tuna Creation ($23). This was 5 tuna cubes prepared in 5 ways with 5 condiments. The leftest cube of tuna was oil blanched with bits of fresh ginger and corriander on top. This was served with chilli salt. Together, it was average. The next one down the line was a natural raw cube of tuna served with light soy salt and a tiny bit of wasabi and lemon zest on top. I liked the light soy salt and I think this combination went well. The middle one was also served with soy salt, but this time, the salt was 3 years aged. The tuna cube was seared and sprinkled with five peppers and salmon roe. I believe this one was yum too~! The fourth cube down the line was raw tuna with black salt, and jalapeno and yuzu zest on top. The black salt was scarce but strong. You probably only needed 1 or 2 flakes to accompany the tuna otherwise the fish would be overpowered. Last but not least, the marinated tuna with truffle salt. Fried garlic and fresh chilli was sprinkled on top. I think that this was the strongest in flavour and quite tasty.

tuna creation - $23

We also ordered a scallop melt roll ($17). This was a cucumber, pickle, salmon sushi roll with seared scallop on top, flame seared cheddar cheese, garlic miso on the cheese and either bonito flakes or caviar on top of that. I love scallop. I love sushi. I love cheese. However, when all put together, it was the cheese that sunk the boat. Not sure if cheddar cheese should be on sushi.

scallop melt roll - $17

Now onto the mains. I ordered the tuna fin ($39). Only one word can describe this - EPIC. When I ordered it, I was thinking of the fins of a normal sized fish. But I was wrong. Very very wrong. When this dish came out, my hubby was thinking that this was a whole sword fish and thought to himself ("That can't be ours~"). BUT... it was. This was HUGEMUNGOUSNESS!!!! It was like 40-50cm in bigness! It came with a tuna wing "map" which detailed 3 bits to it, all different in taste and texture. The far part of it was the back loin - which is part of a muscle that supports the head of the tuna. This part tends to be very lean and the flavour is quite intense and strong. The inner middle part is the fin muscle. And this part is one of the most active muscles of the whole fish - it's darker looking (almost brown ish) and tastes quite different to any other part of the tuna. My favourite is the bit closest to us - the neck belly. This part is fatty and smooth and rich and tasty and deliciousness. YUM. It also can be considered "otoro". This massive yellow fin tuna wing came accompanied with a crushed cucumber ponzu dipping sauce which I didn't have to use much of coz the slow roastedness of the tuna was flavoursome enough :)

tuna wing - $39

My partner's main was tiny compared to my tuna wing. His Shiogama pork belly "cout de sel"($37) came with a dash of spicy kochujang sauce and a small salad. The pork belly was tender and rich and tasty. Not bad but I think our attention was captured by the massive tuna wing.

shiogama pork - $37

For a sweet finish, I ordered the chocolate tasting plate ($17). This comprised of 3 small cakes. The opera cake on the left with creamy yummy chocolate and espresso layers, a white and dark chocolate parcel (with sponge and mousse bits encased inside the chocolate coating), and a chocolate mud cake which was rich and moist and doused in delicious chocolate ganache. Not a bad finish to the night at all!

chocolate tasting plate - $17

All up, this place is pretty impressive. Views of the Opera House, which hanging tubes of brass (or whatever metal it is), a good variety on the menu, and OK service. Only bad thing was, they never returned with our change. Either they thought that $16 is definitely going to be tip or they just genuinely forgot - not quite sure. But as a patron, I prefer to see the change returned and if I so choose to tip them the whole lot of the change, I would let them know by leaving it on the table.

Food - 7.5/10
Service - 7/10
Ambiance - 8.5/10
Value for money - 7/10
Overall - 30/40

Ocean Room
Bay 4 - Ground Level
Overseas Passenger Terminal
Circular Quay West
The Rocks
NSW 2000
Tel: (02) 9252 9585

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