Ozeki, 21 Nov & 7 Dec 2009

So with a sushi loving husband like mine, you know that when a new sushi bar opens in our vicinity we absolutely have to check it out. And the clean and modern Ozeki, which opened as part of Chatswood Chase’s revamp, seemed to hold promise. Although not terribly large, it has its own street frontage and entrance and is mainly decorated in dark brown and black. I particularly like the almost Christmassy ceiling feature.

My first taste of Ozeki is for lunch with Mistress while taking some food away to feed the husband who is working from home. As we both like grilled sushi, we start with a plate each of aburi hotate (scallop) and aburi salmon nigiri. The seafood are smokily charred and each piece is anointed with a squiggle of mayonnaise.

The scampi nigiri proves to be good value as there are two pieces per plate at about 20% more in price than most places which only feature the one piece on a plate. The seafood is fresh but the nigiri are a little heavy on the rice.

Next we have the eel and cheese maki which is a variation of the usual dragon roll. There’s no cucumber or egg omelette shreds decorating the tops but there is eel in the centre, eel on top and a very generous chunk of cream cheese in the middle! But this is where the experience starts to go downhill for me, as I find the rice in the rolls too compressed. We’re not sure what the grilled fish is atop our next plate of nigiri but suspect it is possibly kingfish. What we do notice though is that the rice fashioned into the nigiri is not packed as tightly as that of the rolls.

The tako (octopus) nigiri are brushed sparingly with a pleasantly sweet soy sauce but again feature a disproportionately greater mound of rice underneath. And the soft-shell crab rolls, although not oily nor stale, have the same tightly compacted rice issue as the eel and cheese variant.

Though there is the aspect of the rice which is less than desired, we attribute it to possible early teething troubles and I return for lunch with Monsieur Poisson a couple of weeks later to give Ozeki another go. We see soba going past on the conveyor and the funny part is that when a waitress spots me consuming the cold noodles by dipping them in the cold broth, she instructs me to tip the ‘dressing’ over the soba instead.

We also order a chicken katsu udon from the menu which arrives piping hot but is a bit too thickly coated in batter and panko for our liking. So we move onto the salmon tobiko rolls topped with their red mounds of flying fish roe, and half a deep-fried soft-shell crab without the offensive rice casing of the previous visit.

I give a maki roll one last try and choose one plentifully filled with plump salmon and soft avocado but, alas, the rice is packed in too tightly yet again! But we spot some tuna toro nigiri going round so we have this fatty belly cut to balance out the textures.

The tuna nigiri is not bad either and is a little lighter in colour than usually seen. Monsieur Poisson has to have his favourite uni ships and, although I am growing impartial to sea urchin, I’m not as enthusiastic as my husband is about it. I do try one of the oyster ships however, which are firm, plump and sweet with the added crunch of some thin cucumber and tobiko to the side.

Overall, Ozeki is not bad but it’s not exceptional nor exciting either. It definitely needs more of a wow factor. The latest news is that (someone correct me if I’m wrong) they offer all plates of sushi for $3 only all day everyday – check it out and decide for yourself.

Street level of Chatswood Chase, Victoria Ave, Chatswood NSW
Tel: (02) 9410 2777

Opening Hours:  Mon-Wed  9:30am-5:30pm
                        Thurs  9:30am-9pm
                        Fri  9:30am-5:30pm
                        Sat  9am-5pm
                        Sun  10am-5pm

Ozeki Sushi on Urbanspoon

happy eating!


  1. Your experience does sound disappointing, but maybe they were just having an off day. Your photos are good, though :)

  2. Shame about the compacted rice in the rolls.

    I thought you dipped cold soba noodles? Nothing like being told how to eat.

    Now if you are right and they are offering $3 plates, then that is a pretty good deal during the day.

  3. Totally agree!! I went there a couple of weeks ago and was sorely disappointed! It makes sense then that Makoto up the road is still jam packed with people and this place is empty. My pick for a good place to eat in the Chase is New Shanghai - great pork dumplings in the downstairs food court!!

  4. Hmm, not exactly incredibly enticing but doesn't look too bad either. Good to fill the belly for a decent price I guess.

  5. How was the salmon tobiko roll? That looks quite good. What a shame that it all didn't wow though.

  6. Overall, an impressive line up of sushi. For the price, much better than anything I've seen up here in Brisbane.

  7. Wow, everything sure look delicious...nice pictures!

  8. I did see the $3 special. not sure if it's still on though. But that special did make a big dent in Makoto's business. (this would've been about 2 weeks ago)

  9. I go to Chase all the time. I saw this place open a little while back and mentally put it on my to-do list. Shame about your bad experience. Even so, it looks like a mighty ambitious menu for a sushi train!

  10. I find most Japanese places that I've tried here in Sydney all have the same calibre of food - it all tastes good, but nothing like the eye popping deliciousness of authentic Japanese IN Japan. Ahhh but nevertheless... I'm still addicted to Japanese food whether consumed here in Sydney or back in Japanland! :)

  11. $3 for all the different sushi is pretty good. looks like they've got more variety than the one in mandarin centre (which I've been going to a couple of times now cause it's so cheap - yay to $2.50!) but yeah, places which don't have the wow factor about them end up being the places you visit just the once and then forget about!

  12. wow $3 is awesome! mmm sashimi would be perfect in this crazy hot weather!

  13. Haha I always get confused when you've written the date of when you visited in your title! Thought about maybe putting it at the bottom of your post instead? But anywhos I love your blog $3 sushi is fantastic

  14. The fish looks awesomely fresh! I just really hate it when the rice is oversquished, and too much, in a tiny roll. More fillings please! :)

  15. Hey Joey, hmmm indeed! You try a place a few times to make sure you haven't misjudged them and it's disappointing when you do really want them to be worthy.

    Hey Belle, I can't say it was an off day coz I gave them a couple of chances a week or so apart. The flavours are good, just the rice isn't.

    Hey Sara, $3 per plate is excellent but I wish they would get the rice right - such an integral part of sushi! And, um, yes...was thoroughly confused by my soba instruction =p

    Hey JT, sorry to hear you had the same experience as me at Ozeki. I still haven't tried New Shanghai at Chase, mainly because I avoid the crowds and go to the other one at Lemon Grove instead!

    Hey Conor, yeah, decent price to fill your hunger if you're willing to overlook the rice issue.

    Hey Lorraine, the salmon tobiko roll was nice texturally but a shame that the salmon didn't quite reach all the way around! And again, I had issues with rice density =(

    Hey Julia, in Brisbane I highly recommend Sono although it is most definitely not a budget conveyor sushi establishment!

    Hey Juliana, thank you for visiting =) If only it was as good as it looks!

    Hey Sydney Tarts, not sure which one of you it is but thanks for swinging by! The $3 special is still on when I last passed by but I don't see hordes of people lining up to eat there like at Makoto or Sushi Train...

    Hey tangerine eats, thank you for visiting =) At the special price, Ozeki is definitely worth the try but I've just been disappointed by the rice, that's all =(

    Hey Trisha, I feel often Sydney serves the same varieties of Japanese food no matter where you go but the one exception for me would have to be Koi!

    Hey Panda, I still haven't been to the $2.50 sushi place at Mandarin Centre coz the husband is a big fan of Sushi Train at the front of Westfield!

    Hey Suze, absolutely love sushi during hot weather =)

    Hey hungry jane, thank you for reading and for dropping in =) Apologies for the confusion but the date in the title is always the date of my visit(s) whereas you'll find the date the post was published provided by Blogger right at the bottom.

    Hey Vickys, the seafood was great! But yeah, such a textural let-down when the rice is packed in too tight =(

  16. hmm i'm yet to pay this place a visit but the main attraction initially was the architecture of the place was quite nice and welcoming. i guess i'm going to reconsider after your review haha :) i think they will need more of a wow factor with 5 other sushi trains in the area! :O

  17. Hey AY, it's not terrible so it doesn't hurt to try but it disappointed me rice-wise. Panda went there recently so have a read about her experience for another view - http://panda-n-cakes.blogspot.com/2010/03/ozeki-victoria-ave-chatswood.html


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