I only had a few days in Sydney during my most recent visit but did manage to finally graduate (hurrah!), squeeze in some beach time, and hang out with some of my good buds. Oh, and eat. Lots.
And nary a person was going to stop me from indulging in one of my yearly traditions, Sugar Hit. A creature of quirky habits, I’ve only ever attended the Sugar Hit events hosted at Sydney’s hotels but as a way to drink in as much of my beloved city as possible, I was happy to go along to a restaurant with a Harbour view.
Beauty over proven substance, however, is never quite the right choice to make.
Directly across from the Opera House, Ocean Room is a Japanese restaurant with arresting interiors.
Its ethnic roots are reflected in the menu and for Sugar Hit, the restaurant has put up a fusion offering, Gorgonzola panna cotta with caramelised banana, Junmai (a brand of sake) jelly and shoyu (soy sauce) caramel, topped with Persian fairy floss; with a glass of Brown Brothers dessert wine ($20).
Gorgonzola panna cotta
Like most other Masterchef fans, I’m drawn to the unique use of out-of-the-ordinary ingredients. It’s a shame when a dish is put off balance by an unusual element but for me, it’s most disappointing when the taste of the ingredient is so masked, everything that is special about it has been stripped away.
While the Junmai jelly was light and in the way that alcohol always is, bitterly refreshing, there was no hint that gorgonzola was used in the panna cotta, nor any traces of shoyu in the caramel. The Persian fairy floss and caramelised banana were nice but I don’t think I needed to have left my house for that. The most enjoyable part of the experience was unfortunately enjoying a glass of moscato by the harbour’s edge.
Ultimately, Ocean Room’s inspiration is apparent but the execution seems to fall short. If I’m not mistaken, it’s the restaurant’s first time to participate in Sugar Hit. I hope it stays the innovative path as showcasing new tastes is one of the highlights of the annual event. I will, however, always remember one of my most enjoyable Sugar Hit desserts is a bread and butter pudding- traditional in all senses, it was simply exceptionally well made.
Ground Level, Overseas Passenger Terminal
Circular Quay West
The Rocks, NSW
(02) 9252 9585
LUNCH: Tue – Fri: 12:00 to 14:00
DINNER: Mon -Sat: 18:00 to 22:00