Ocean Room, Sydney – Sugar Hit 2010

Feel the ocean breeze as you walk towards this restaurant. Or rather feel the freezing wind and it hits your face. Days in Sydney are nice and warm, but when it gets to night, it becomes so cold. The boyfriend and I had been walking around the Opera House and Circular Quay before making our way to the restaurant. While the view is magnificent, it is being overshadowed by the fact that I am freezing and am making a beeline for the restaurant.

Ocean Room

Ocean Room sits at the lowest level of the Overseas Passenger Terminal and next to Wildfire. Ocean Room is directly across the water from the Sydney Opera House and the views at night are just breathless.

Sydney Opera House

The restaurant is easy to find and has entries on either ends of the restaurant to aid in easy access. The boyfriend and I were led through the restaurant from the entry facing the water to the other entrance where the bar area was. As I walked through the restaurant, I observed a group of Japanese businessmen playing drinking games, a group of Japanese businessmen talking about more serious issues and tables of couples. I love it when I see Japanese people in a Japanese restaurant, Chinese people in a Chinese restaurant, and so on. I truly believe that the restaurant is good as their own people eat there (does this make any sense?). It gives me a sense of relief that the restaurant’s target market isn’t just Caucasians and that they committed to the traditional with a twist of the modern.

We are seated in the bar area where there are long benches and high stools. I’m not a fan of sitting on stool, I always manage to hurt myself and there’s nowhere to put my bag (I refuse to put my bag on the floor). However, the stools were quite comfy and there was enough room under the bench for me to hang onto my bag without ending up in an awkward position. But a disadvantage to sitting at a bench, you can’t really talk to the people at the other end. I prefer round tables where you can see and hear everyone else.

Our bench/table that is very nicely set up

We were also very close to the wine room where I could see shelves and shelves of wine stacked up on display. There was so much variety, enough to suit absolutely anyone. I’m not a big wine drinker but I was in awe when I saw the room.

As the rest of the gang was late, the boyfriend and I chatted about the decor of the place. I love the interior design of the restaurant. The clever use of wooden tubes/pipes to create a wooden chandelier, designed by internationally acclaimed designer Yasumichi Morita. It was quite a large chandelier that spread throughout the restaurant. Not only does it represent modernity, but it is used as a divider between the dining area and the bar area. It was funny to see an exceptionally tall waiter having to bend down or dodge this low hanging ‘chandelier’ every time he walked past it, but he’s probably used to it now.

The ‘Chandelier’

It took half an hour, but finally everyone arrived and we ordered our drinks. It’s good to see that Ocean Room are willing to substitute a non-alcoholic drink for the Hennessy and Brown Brothers dessert wine that they had on offer. My friend jnyw from thefoodzoo opted for a hot chocolate. Unfortunately I didn’t get a photo of her hot chocolate (I didn’t want to steal it from her just to take a photo). But it did look very yummy. I chose the Brown Brother dessert wine.

Brown Brothers Dessert Wine
I didn’t really like this dessert wine. I suspect it was more of a sparkling white wine than a dessert wine. Do you see the bubbles? I though it tasted kind of plastic-y, but the boyfriend loved it. According to other blogs it was the same as the one served at Azuma, but I don’t think it was.

Hennessy VS
My best friend went for the strong stuff and ordered the Hennessy VS. I’m not a fan of hard liquor. I find it too overpowering and I spend the rest of the time trying to find something to wash out the taste.

Black Sesame Blancmange with Umeshu-Marinated Forest Berries
The blancmange was kind of like a panna cotta with a subtle black sesame flavour. This was sitting in a pool of creme anglaise (?).The forest berries were marinated in umeshu which is a plum wine. I enjoyed the tartness from the berries and the slight sweetness from the umeshu, it was a very good balance. The dessert was also served with a piece of sesame puff pastry which was light and offered another texture to the dish. The leeching berries stained the creme anglaise. 😦

The dessert was simple yet elegant, something that I would expect from somewhere like Ocean Room. The subtle flavours and textures worked together nicely to form this dish. I didn’t really enjoy the dessert wine but managed to drink it all as I thought it would start to grow on me, but it didn’t. The atmosphere was great. My friends and I saw there chatting after we had finished our desserts and there was no indication of the waiters trying to kick us out even though they were cleaning up the main dining area. I like how there was no pressure for us to leave, so we were able to soak up the environment even more. Ocean Room has great service and a great ambiance. It’s a Japanese restaurant with a modern twist to it that even the Japanese are willing to dine at. If they approve, so do I.

Happy nom nom nom-ing!

Ocean Room
Ground Level, Overseas Passenger Terminal
Circular Quay West, The Rocks NSW 2000
T: (02) 9252 9585

It’s not actually in the water, but that’s where Google Maps shows it.

 

Ocean Room on Urbanspoon

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Azuma Patisserie, Sydney – Sugar Hit 2010

I had been looking to Azuma’s Sugar Hit since last year when I missed out on a booking. I was devastated so I book as soon as they released the line up for this year’s Sydney International Food Festival. After a night of after work drinks, I made sure I was still sober enough to enjoy this Japanese creation. As we were a group of 9, we were sat in the patisserie rather than the restaurant. The patisserie is quite cute and bright. There is seating both inside and outside and we were lucky enough to be seated inside.

The displays of chiffon cake look delicious.

Fake green tea ice cream displays.

There were also some chiffon cakes cooling on the counter. There are cooled upside down to prevent the cake from falling. This creates a very soft, light, melt in your mouth cake.

I was excited to see the menu for Sugar Hit. There was so much variety and we were able to taste ALL of them. The menu:

Easts meets West – Dessert Tasting Plate

Vanilla Panna Cotta served with Strawberry Coulis

Belgian Chocolate Mousse Cake with Raspberry Coulis Centre and Freeze-Dried Raspberry Flakes

Premium Japanese Matcha Green Tea Ganache Tart

Fresh Japanese Wasabi Ganache Tart

Petit Almond Financier

Freshly Baked Macaroon (flavours change daily)

Served with your choice of ~

Azuma’s Special Blend Japanese Green Tea

Brown Brothers 2009 Orange Muscat & Flora

Hennessy VS

One of my friends thought we had to pick a dessert and was delighted when I informed her that we get to taste all of them. So many elements were in this dessert. So many different flavours and textures, all very unique in their own little way. They did indeed have the East meets West concept in mind when creating these desserts.

Vanilla Panna Cotta served with Strawberry Coulis
So simple, yet so good. The sweetness of the panna cotta was well balanced with the tartness of the coulis. So smooth texture of the panna cotta goes down so easily and is a classic.

Belgian Chocolate Mousse Cake with Raspberry Coulis Centre and Freeze-Dried Raspberry Flakes
There wasn’t much cake and coulis in the centre so it basically tasted like normal mousse. The free-dried raspberry flakes..they had a texture to them that was like eating stale popcorn. Quite sour which balanced the sweetness. The boyfriend commented that it was like eating space food.

Premium Japanese Matcha Green Tea Ganache Tart
The ganache was quite thick and sweet. I would have preferred it to have a more natural green tea flavour without the sugar. This reminded me an egg tart, just green.

Fresh Japanese Wasabi Ganache Tart
This dessert was..interesting. I can see how the patisserie chefs were trying to be creative but this type of thing is a hit or miss with people. I did not like it at all. It just felt weird eating something that looked like chocolate, but it tasted entirely of wasabi. I felt like eating some sashimi afterwards. Good or bad thing?

Petit Almond Financier
I forgot to take a photo 😦 These were more like madelines. They were quite tasty and were gone in one bite.

Freshly Baked Macaroon
The boyfriend and my macaroon. How cute are they? They seemed to be filled with a jelly mixture instead of a ganache but they were still very tasty.

Freshly Baked Macaroon
We had 9 people and we got 9 different looking macaroons. They were all so cute and caused a little squeal from all my friends (both the guys and the girls)!

Brown Brothers 2009 Orange Muscat & Flora
‘Orange Muscat forms the backbone of the blend providing aromas of orange blossom to the nose and a fresh citrus hint to the palate, while the Flora contributes colour, texture and mouth-feel to the palate. The palate is fresh and tangy with a zesty long clean balanced finish.’ ~ Azuma Patisserie.

Hennessy VS
‘This cognac offers a delicate blend of wood notes and spices, punctuated by the scent of cloves and cinnamon. Discreet, subtle and harmonious, it is characterised by a fragrance of honey and a suggestion of liquorice. An elegant cognac displaying balance, harmony, smoothness and softness.’ ~ Azuma Patisserie.

Overall a very nice dessert with some different flavours to stimulate the tastebuds. Azuma Patisserie is always impressive with their unique twist on some very classic desserts. This dessert is quite filling so I recommend not eating too much, or drinking too much beforehand. Azuma’s Sugar Hit is well worth going to. I just hope there are still booking available this late into the month.

Happy nom nom nom-ing!

Kushiyaki Bar & Grill
Regent Place
501 George Street
Sydney NSW 2000
T: (02)9267 7775

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Azuma Patisserie on Urbanspoon

Sugar Hit 2010

One of my favourite things about October (apart from my parent’s birthdays) is that it’s a month devoted to the wide variety of great food we have in Sydney. One of my favourite events that happens during the Sydney International Food Festival are the wonderful array of Sugar Hits on offer. These are essentially desserts created by many chefs around Sydney to showcase their skills and I believe to also introduce people to many restaurants without having the pressure of having to sit down and spend hours on dinner. It gives people to opportunity to pay $20 for a set dessert accompanied by a glass of your choice of Brown Brothers dessert wine, Hennessy Cognac, or some restaurants may offer non-alcoholic drinks to cater for those P-plate drivers (me!). You get to experience the ambiance and the service of the restaurant and in a way lures you into wanting to try out the restaurant sometime in the future. Let me take you on a high through all the sugar and dessert wine I’ve consumed over the last couple of weeks.

Happy nom nom nom-ing!