Monday, 21 October 2013

Kobe Jones, Darling Harbour

 Quite a few months ago, I bought a $135 Groupon voucher for Kobe Jones' 13-course "Winter Romance" set menu for 2 with sake. It wasn't until recently that I remembered that it needed redeeming, so the Boy and I made a booking to go on a Sunday.

I didn't read any reviews until after I made the booking (I'd only heard of Kobe Jones through friends and family), so it was to my dismay that there were so many negative reviews, albeit prettyyyy contradictory.

The list of negative attributes that I gleaned from my 'research' is as follows:
  • Too much mayonnaise
  • Too much food
  • Too little food
  • Pacing is too fast
  • Food comes out too slowly
  • Service is bad, but food is good
  • Food is bad, but service is attentive
  • Loud doof-doof music
  • Waitstaff don't deliver the usual spiel when setting down the plates
Needless to say, I was thoroughly perplexed (and worried at the thought that what we were hoping would be a nice evening out could possibly leave us both hungry!). Thankfully, the only gripe was that our waitress never explained what we were going to eat - each time she just placed the dishes on the table, muttered the name, and walked off.

When we arrived, we were taken to our table, which looked onto the harbour. It got a little chilly at night, so I was glad I brought a jacket with me.

Nice views

The sake was delivered warm in a small sake flask with a couple of cute matching cups. We weren't told what kind of sake it was, so we just shrugged and poured it out. It was pretty low in alcohol content so we ordered a couple of cocktails as well.


First to come was the Number One Special - avocado, (fake) crab meat and their creamy 'special sauce'. I like crab stick, fake or otherwise, and it wasn't drowning in mayo like I feared, so it was a nice start.

Number one special (for 2)

More alcohol came! Was in need of a pick me up, so got the espresso martini, which had a nice strong coffee flavour/ aroma.

Espresso martini ($18.00)

Harlem Shake ($18.00)

A tasting plate (per person) of 5 items arrived:
  1. Never had a spider roll in my life. Soft shell crab was a little tough... 
  2. Had no idea what poke is, either, but apparently it's just a Hawaiian salad. Loved the juiciness and fresh flavours.
  3. Lollipop sushi: Raw fish on a stick with cucumber wrapped around it
  4. Wagyu tataki: Thinly sliced raw beef, dry
  5. Spicy ebi nigri: Don't remember it being spicy...
Sorry about the beef and ebi nigri photos! I was getting pretty hungry...

Spider roll

Salmon poke

Lollipop sushi

Wagyu tataki

Spicy ebi nigri
Surprisingly, the salmon tataki was one of my favourites that night. Possibly because the lemon juice brought out the sweetness of the salmon, partially because salmon roe is so fun to eat!
Jalapeno salmon tataki (for 2)

Panko-crumbed calamari. It tasted like it sounded. Not bad for a filler.

Pacific calamari fritto (for 2)

The volcano roll was like a more substantial version of the number one special. By this time, we were both becoming pretty full.

Volcano roll (for 2)

The tobanyaki was definitely meant to be a stomach filler - rice with crunchy fish flakes, seafood and mushrooms. It made for good comfort food. We managed to finish most of it.

Spicy seafood tobanyaki (for 2)

The Alaskan crab legs were about a forearm long each. There was surprisingly a fair bit of meat. Any fishy smell was killed off with the lime.

Alaskan crab (for 2)

Loved the novelty of the lobster hot rock - the only problem was that not all of the meat was cooked at the end (part of it a little cold).

Lobster hot rock (for 2)

Decided on the flaming anko - red bean and green tea brulee. Nice presentation when it arrived on fire. The taste? Well... the red bean was quite overpowering and there wasn't much crunch. It was around 9pm that fireworks began - quite unexpectedly, considering fireworks are usually only set off on Saturdays?

Flaming anko


Was it worth $326 for 2? I don't think so, but $135 was a pretty good deal.

Kobe Jones on Urbanspoon


  1. hi! im organising the annual sydney food bloggers meetup but cant seem to find your email on your blog can you please email me asap?

  2. Volcano rolls and the king crab definitely takes the top spot on this menu!