Over the years, we’ve been lucky enough to dine at some pretty impressive establishments, and Oborozuki is definitely up there amongst the best of the best. A stunning new venue overlooking the water at Circular Quay, Oborozuki offers Sydney the opportunity to experience one of the world’s finest culinary experiences, kaiseki.
A truly elevated experience, this Japanese haute cuisine tradition dates back 600 years, originally being served as a light meal prior to a tea ceremony. While the tradition has adapted and evolved over the years, the core philosophies of locality, seasonality and simplicity remain.
Before we immerse ourselves into the food, we need to talk about the venue. Walking into Oborozuki is a dream in itself. As you descend the extravagant, curved staircase, you’re greeted with high ceilings and a wall of glass that overlooks the beauty of Circular Quay. The dining space is set with only a few tables, ensuring each group feels like they’re having a private experience and allows the staff to pay divine attention to diners.
Once you’re seated, a vintage Louis Vuitton trunk selected by the owner and flown in from France is wheeled out to your table, while a gloved water opens it to reveal dozens of hand-made sake glasses. You’re asked to select one of the intricate pieces of glasswork yourself to enjoy your sake with that evening, setting the tone for the personified and luxurious evening ahead.
The dishes served at kaiseki might change, but will always follow the same flow. The experience starts with cold appetisers, before moving onto a steamed dish, seafood, flame-grilled, sashimi, fried, soup, grilled and rice, before finishing up with dessert (of course).
Our evening started with a trio of cold dishes consisting of duck breast and mustard, clam and yamaimo and asparagus and walnut miso. My favourite of the three was the clam, consisting of an interesting combination of textures offered by the salty and soft clam, the fresh pulpiness of the tomato and the jelly-like texture of the yamaimo.
Moving through the menu we dined on sea urchin, oyster with beluga caviar and flame-grilled fish, before arriving at the spectacular creation that was the seasonal sashimi. A premium assortment of bluefin tuna akami and chutoro, sea bream, kingfish, scampi and roe, Hokkaido scallop and squid-wrapped sea urchin, it wasn’t just the incredible freshness and flavour that blew me away here. Presented beautifully on a detailed glass tray, this dish was as much a work of art as it was a culinary treat.
After the sashimi, the fried chunks of Tasmanian lobster coated in rice crackers and ebi miso was my second favourite dish. Served inside the cleaned lobster tail atop a bed of rocks, it would almost have been a shame to ruin the aesthetics of this dish were it not for how juicy and delicious the lobster was.
We then moved through a blacklip abalone soup and a decadently soft and buttery Ozaki A5 ribeye, before moving onto the final of our savoury section, the rice set. A dish with incredibly complex flavours that complemented each other perfectly, it consisted of a freshwater crab and foie gras fried rice set with an umami-rich scampi miso soup. Hot, hearty and the perfect end to an incredible epicurean adventure.
Dessert consisted of two courses, a fruit jelly and an epic Oborozuki creation I would happily eat for dessert every evening for the rest of my life. A scoop of green tea gelato is perched atop red bean and mochi, all nestled inside two halves of a wafer shell like some magical, delicious dessert pearl. I closed the shell and devoured it like an ice cream sandwich, and every bite was filled with just a little bit of each element, all working together to create a sweet, savoury, chewy, crunchy delight in my mouth.
Though an expensive evening, Oborozuki’s kaiseki menu is well worth the pricetag in my opinion. All up our dinner took about four hours, with the staff constantly checking in on us and chatting with us when we asked them questions. It’s more than just a meal, it’s an experience perfect for a special occasion.
As well as kaiseki, Oborozuki offers private teppanyaki rooms that you can hire for groups and experience a similarly lavish menu. Adjacent to the restaurant you’ll also find Oborozuki’s bar, a separate venue from the restaurant that applies just as much meticulous attention to detail and creation in its cocktails as the restaurant does with its food.
Whether you’re visiting the restaurant or the bar, I’d highly recommend placing a booking as the venue is already earning a reputation for being an incredible experience in Sydney. You can book online via the Oborozuki website.