Monsieur Poisson loves Japanese food and yet had never been to Kobe Jones. I had first been a few years ago and have been back a couple of times since. It is not traditional Japanese but rather a fusion-style, however it still surprised me that he hadn’t visited such a well-known establishment. So we gathered some friends for a Saturday night outing, one of whom had never been to Kobe Jones either, and are seated at a table bordering the indoor and balcony sections. Despite the gas heaters we are still a little cold due to the winter weather but, on the flipside, we have an excellent view of Darling Harbour.
We start off with ‘Kobe Shooters’ of fresh oysters in three shot glasses of sake, each topped with either a salsa of daikon, mango salsa or cucumber. I take the cucumber one as Monsieur Poisson has an aversion to it. There is an absence of oyster taste as it is masked by the sake, although the sake itself is not too strong. The finely chopped cucumber adds a bit of crunch. The mango shooter is reportedly quite refreshing.
Next is the sashimi platter which features a couple of oysters amongst other sashimi and a martini glass holding some unusual looking contents. In the martini glass are a couple of ‘sushi rolls’ that have been made without rice or nori. Instead they are enclosed by a thin strip of cucumber and are filled with an assortment of seafood. Perhaps strangely, these prove to be my favourite from the platter.
We have also ordered a couple of sushi rolls to share. By accident they both turn out to be made of similar ingredients and, as a result, are almost identical in appearance. There is the ‘Dragon Roll’ of tempura prawn, crab salad, cucumber, unagi and avocado. The ‘Crunchy Roll’ has tempura prawn, crab salad and cucumber. Both are topped with tobiko and a sweet, thick soy sauce.
We finish off with ‘Shallow fried soft shell crab’ where the crab is battered and coated in panko, served on a bed of deep-fried rice vermicelli and teriyaki potatoes before being drizzled with teriyaki and sweet chilli sauces. It is unusual and unorthodox. We’re not quite sure what to make of it as there are many flavours and textures in the one dish vying for our attention. The various components don’t quite gel and the battering of the crab takes away from its paper-thin shell that lends itself so well to normally being crisply fried following a light dusting with flour.
We are full of food but feel a bit bewildered by the last dish. We pass on dessert at Kobe Jones and make our way to Shangri-La for coffee and cocktails instead.
29 Lime St, King Street Wharf, Sydney NSW
Tel: (02) 9299 5290
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 12pm-3pm (lunch)
6pm til late (dinner)
Sat & Sun 6pm til late (dinner only)