Monday, December 1, 2008

Rise - Darlinghurst, Sydney.

Seems like it has been a month of degustation on my part; with an earlier visit to Waqu, this time we decided to venture to the outskirts of the Sydney CBD to Rise. With two set-sitting times for their 7 course omakase which is discounted to $45 on Tuesday, Wednesday and Sundays and full priced at $60 on Thursday, Friday and Saturday; we took advantage of the former.

Rise stands out amongst the terrorist-residential surroundings with its almost eerie-blue colour and cavern-type look so it’s not hard to miss. As we enter and are seated, the first thing which strikes me is that menu is different to the one posted on the website; however when writing this review now (just after a week of visiting Rise) the menu online has been changed to the one we were served; so perhaps we were lucky enough to try the new season on it’s first night? :D

Nothing like chiselled love hearts in a candle feature to set the mood for the special occasion or dates with your other half.

Plum Wine: Refreshing and with enough sourness to get the palette ready for some fine dining.

Appetizer: Salad of ocean trout tataki with mango coconut salsa; strips of ripe mango are scattered with an almost stingy proportion. I’m highly unhappy as I just want more pieces of the flagrantly sweet mango flesh. The coconut is subtle and has the effect of leaving a nice aftertaste. Unfortunately, aside from the mango, the salad is a to-say-the-least plain.

Soup: Potato cream soup with oyster tempura and tofu; one plump oyster sits triumphantly upon a silken tofu that is an island amongst the thick and creamy flavoursome potato soup. The soup itself is full of starchy goodness and has a welcoming wholesome warmth. The membrane of the tofu is sticky and forms an outer-shell for the soft texture of the tofu encapsulated by it.

Sashimi of assorted today’s fresh market fish: Oyster, Kingfish and Salmon.

The oyster can only be described as having a harsher than normal briny-taste that without an accompanying lemon slice in sight, made it very hard to eat.

Give me unagi, tomago or salmon anyday as I’m not usually a fan of kingfish, however the freshness and kick of the mustard sauce that accompanies with kingfish breakdowns my pretences as its simply divine. Props to the chef!

Following my usual motto: saving the best till last; if I knew the kingfish would be that good I would have definitely eaten the salmon before it. It’s plain, lacks any fattiness and is dwarfed by the size of the kingfish portion.

Seasonal plate: steamed chicken and ‘daibo’ salad, tuna tartare on gari sushi roll and duck and bamboo shoot with hoisin sauce in wonton cup. There was nothing entirely special about this part of the course: the steamed chicken had a distinct tom yum flagrance and lemon grass flavour amongst it, the downfall of the tuna tartare on the gari sushi roll was the pre-prepared sushi roll which had become dry when it was served to us and the rice hard; also the single lotus slice that rested between the tuna and sushi rice had lost texture and crispiness as it was no doubt pre-prepared. The wonton cup was oily to the point that a visit to the bathroom was required to clean your hands if you happened to pick it up as I did.

Pasta Dish: Steamed Scallop, noodles and ginger shallot sauce. Nothing special about this dish either: something strikingly chinese about this and perhaps should be renamed as simply “steamed scallop”. There’s also an absurb amount of chilli topped off onto the average-sized scallop.

Main: Ocean perch tempura, stuffed zucchini flower and “wakame” tomato salsa; In short, the flaky white morsels of the ocean perch head together by the lovely batter of the tempura was the most enjoyable dish of this omakase for C and I.

The flesh was soft, tender and flagrantly addictive. However, the salsa on its own had an overpowering vinaigrette-base that was close to searing your throat. The vinegar was pungent and one of the downfalls of this dish with the ocean perch aside.

Dessert: Passionfruit custard with coconut milk granita; refreshing with the shaved ice topping that had trickles of condensed milk and grated coconut essence. The custard had perhaps been taken out of the fridge too early as it had already begun to liquidise. Chunky pieces of passionfruit were sunken on the bottom.

Japanese Toilets!!

Rise Restaurant

ADDRESS: 23 Craigend St. Darlinghurst NSW 2010
TEL: 02-9357-1755 
FAX: 02-9357-1766


flapflap said...

We went to Rise around this time last year - didn't have the chance to try out the Japanese toilet though! Looks like the menu's changed quite a bit - saddened to see you were disappointed with some of the dishes e.g. the salad and the scallop. I thought it was odd that they have a pasta dish - true fusion cuisine I suppose!

Would you rate this over Waqu?? We are trying to decide where to head for a degustation :)

FFichiban said...

Hmm the 2 times I've been I have really liked Rise even though their portions are very modest haha but :( if you were disappointed by some of the dishes.

I think Chef Okazaki has many different fusion combinationa which makes his dishes fresh and unique :)

amanda said...

heh, japanese toilets deserve their own blog, you shouldnt be shoving them in here. so i have finally found the hot chocolate guzzling tall guy whose name i still dont remember! i hate kingfish you have a favourite sushi spot? a trip to japan last year has made me fussy ever since, cant find it quite the same xx amanda

Mochachocolata Rita said...

I loveee the building! Hmmm I am all about tempura, baby!....and plum wine? I am loving the sound of it

NQN said...

Seems like some hits along with some misses. Love the Japanese toilets though! I want one myself and after trying one so does my husband :lol:

Miss Honey said...

I vistited Rise earlier this year before the menu had changed and had the same experience - disappointments mixed in with some clear winners, and we noticed we weren't full despite the number of courses.

We went for a birthday and got an extra dessert though lol.

D said...

hi flapflap - I can't say that I would rate this over Waqu; however I'm still a huge fan of the dessert I tried on the degustation menu that was offered by Waqu. But if really wanted an answer ... I'd say go with Rise for value.

hi FFichiban: yep some very nice dishes were put out, just that maybe if some dishes were prepared on the spot rather than a few hours earlier than it could be better.

hi amanda: haha yeh jap toilets are amazingly awesome. I don't have a favorite sushi spot at the moment but will let you kno when I do :)

hi Mochachocolata Rita: the plum wine says: Hi I'm not an alcoholic, but I do enjoy a drink or two.

hi NQN: jap toilets should be mandatory ... their quirkiness and functionality constantly eludes me.

hi Miss Honey: definitely hit or miss. Rise is a great location for birthday functions.