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Oborozuki: Where Every Cloud Has a Sushi Lining

Oborozuki: Where Every Cloud Has a Sushi Lining

OBOROZUKI StevenWoodburn
OBOROZUKI StevenWoodburn

Oborozuki review

There are few things more delightful at dinner than being able to pick – from a Louis Vuitton suitcase, no less – an exquisitely designed crystal glass from which to drink sake.

Sadly, they were not for keeps but this unique experience set the tone for the lavish Japanese/French fusion fare that was to come.

Views of Circular Quay

We are seated at an impossibly long table under the warm glow of gold lights inside Oborozuki, nestled among “Macquarie-mile “overlooking Circular Quay on a still and temperate winter’s evening.

Oborozuki, Japanese for “hazy moon”, isn’t a new addition to Sydney’s fine dining scene. It opened in 2022 as a kaiseki (traditional Japanese multi-course dinner) but has recently pivoted to a Japanese/French fusion a la carte offering under the meticulous eye of new Head Chef Daeun Kang.

New Head Chef Daeun Kang
New Head Chef Daeun Kang

Kang is a wunderkind of the Sydney dining scene. Not yet 30, she was most recently sous chef at Aria, training under Matt Moran, and her entrée into food hospitality was as a child working in her grandparent’s noodle shop in South Korea.

Head chef Daeun Kang studied in France

As well as studying at Le Corden Bleu in France, Kang has designed a menu that she says, “is a contemporary interpretation of Japanese cuisine, enriched by the precision and finesse of classic French culinary techniques”.

It is not just the melding of subtle flavours and use of the freshest, seasonal produce that make Kang’s courses impressive. It is the delicate and elegant presentation that raises the bar, making dining at Oborozuki in the “special occasion” category.

We begin with intricate mise en bouche – kingfish tart (with oyster and granny smith apple) mussel cruller (with pickled cabbage and sudachi aioli) and hosomaki (takana-zuki – pickles – avocado and salt bush) accompanied by warm Sonoma sourdough with house-made seaweed butter.

It is a struggle to pick a favourite. These tiny morsels pack a punch with flavour and are perfectly partnered with bubbles, specifically Esteban 2020 Chapoutier Viognier. While a tough choice, the mussel cruller is outstanding. And I’m not usually a big fan of mussels.

Choosing our kagami from the Louis Vuitton case
Choosing our kagami from the Louis Vuitton case

In preparation for our next course came the evening’s highlight (and it was hard to pick just one). Being wheeled toward us is an opened Louis Vuitton case emitting a glow of rainbow coloured light. As it draws closer, we can see that inside are rows of ethereal crystal sake glasses, known as kagami.

Kagami Crystal

Kagami Crystal is Japan’s first crystal glass factory, opening in 1934, and based on Edo Kiriko – decorative cut glass of the Japanese Edo period (1603-1868).

Picking which glass is the hardest decision of the night.

While the white-gloved sommelier is very patient as my hand hovers over at least three kagami (the blue, the green, the pink), and answers all the questions I excitedly fire at him I couldn’t resist the pink one.

The pink Kagami (sake glass)
The pink Kagami (sake glass)

The staff at Oborozuki are impeccable. They move around us with a whisper and are attentive without being intrusive, fun without trying too hard. My kagami is never not filled with a crisp sake (Hona Shoten Tatsuriki Tokubetsu Tunmai Shiboritate) that pairs perfectly with the blue eye roulade with cauliflower, ika yaki (squid) and mozuku (seaweed). Beautifully presented in white crockery, the waiter pours the broth around the fish, and it is this type of theatre and ritual that makes Oborozuki such a delight.

The standout dish of the evening for me is the Coral Trout with wasabi, katsuobushi (bonito flakes) and Kaviari Kristal caviar served with a delicate Japanese white wine (De Grace Wine Toriibia Koshu). Both times I have visited Japan, tasting the local wine was elusive, but this made me want to try harder next time.

OBOROZUKI StevenWoodburn
OBOROZUKI StevenWoodburn

An expansive wine list at Oborozuki

The wine list is expansive and carefully curated – with renowned French wines to impressive local choices and a few Japanese whites. As extensive is the sake list, governed by sake sommelier Donggeon Kim who is happily on hand to explain and guide us. As fresh and light as the sake and Japanese whites are, my favourite drop of the evening, paired with our duck and beef mains, is Yalumba’s velvety The Signature Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz,

The dessert – Sake Baba – looks almost too pretty to eat. Almost. In a couple of citrusy and tangy mouthfuls it is gone.

I am a little ashamed to say I had never heard of Oborozuki before, given its exceptional location and ambience. But now with Kang’s prodigious menu, I know it won’t be my last visit.

For those wondering where to go when Tetsuya’s closes this month, fear not – Oborozuki will satisfy any Japanese/French culinary fusion desires you might have.

Oborozuki is open for dinner from 5.30pm Tuesday to Saturday and will open for a la carte lunch from August 2. Three course menu is $180 pp, four course menu $220pp and wine and sake pairings start at $95.

There are also three private teppanyaki rooms for those wanting more traditional Japanese experience.

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