Food Blog

Kobo, Circular Quay

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A common phrase used in television and movies in relation to the ideal first date. You eat, talk, and become acquainted with each other, then become acquainted while you are watching something and responding at the same time.

Are you all in sync emotionally? Do they laugh whenever you laugh or exhale when gasping, make the same look towards the exit when the show draws to an end, and then do the same calculation of how many people you’ll have to powerwalk past and cross over?

The Omakase event in Sydney has changed; two distinct, however commonly linked, events are now merged. Why should you go to dinner AND an event when dinner is the main event?

There’s no better entertainment in town other than Kobo at Circular Quay.

The Greatest Showman

It is a project of chef Jacob Lee (of Marble); Kobo is Sydney’s first-ever Korean Omakase-style experience. Just three weeks old, Chef Jacob is still in the first episode of his adventure. Episode 1 is heavily inspired by Jeju Island (known for fresh seafood, citrus, and pretty much every romantic ending scene from K-Drama history).

Let’s take a look at Episode 1’s food menu.

Welcome drink: Carrot, green mandarin and rosemary oil

I could have easily consumed more than 750mL of this drink. However, I’ll opt for the glass that was a starter. It’s so fresh and clear. A little sweet, and the oils of rosemary leave your lips in a new, lips-balming state.

Kingfish, kombu jime, green mandarin

Kingfish was so succulent that I had a brief chat with it about its favorite cutlery brand. The zing of the mandarin’s green color made this kingfish more amazing. It was a stunning combination (or, in this instance, a submandarin and kingfish combo).

Truffle mash potato, wagyu yukhoe, bugak, uni

Chef Jacob’s cooking style draws heavily from Japanese cuisine, and this meal was when it was its finest (well, it does come to the forefront a little later, but we’ll come to that later). When he throws sushi rice on his side, Chef Jacob goes for truffle mashed potatoes, which is one of the largest changes we’ve seen in the last 15 years since losing weight over the summer break of the 10th grade.

Then, topped off with uni, wagyu tartare with caviar. It’s one of the most memorable tastes you’ll ever have for an extended period.

Silver hair tail and game

Under the bush of the amuse bouche was a spoonful of delicious silver-haired fish (one of the island’s most recognizable breeds). I loved the crunch, and the silver hair’s bite brought me back to the sun-soaked but icy beaches of Jeju.

Cured gujwa carrot tart with shio koji fetta, Jeju green tea, and almonds

Let’s keep this party going.

A visually appealing and delicious delight, the Chef freely admits that it was just an ideal vessel to blend almonds, carrots, and green tea. He then found this perfect creation (wow, I’m really digging into my vocabulary to find the word “simple”).

The tart is so delicate that pleating the tart’s shell, as well as the ground tea leaves and the softness of the carrots that have been cured. The pie is gone in just two bites but remains for the night as you fall asleep.

Makgeoli Rice Cake with Kombu Butter

Butter and bread Make it Korean.

It was luscious and a perfect accompaniment to the sweet, sticky, and slightly burned rice cake. Like always, food is simply butter and butter.

Bingddeok, assorted mushrooms, and truffle

One of my three favorite meals of the evening (you’re going to need to guess the others by how verbose or clever the analogy) was, in fact, one of the simplest.

If you’re really keen to cut it up, it’s a rice pancake with a variety of mushrooms. However, it’s elevated enough that it’s able to see the Harbour Bridge, Opera House, Luna Park, and Chris Hemsworth eating Burrata from Totti’s. The pancake is crisp, the mushrooms juicier, and the truffle sauce is perfect. After I had finished my pancake, I heard the simultaneous scraping of my diners when we dumped the truffle sauce using chopsticks in our mouths.

Heck, I even dropped a few on my pants so that I could have it for future use.

Blue Mackerel, brown butter & pickled ginger, and garlic chives

This meal really drove me to how much I would like to sell all my possessions to a Thrift Shop like my Mackerelmore to ensure that I could eat more of this amazing menu.

Kurobuta noodles with shallot oil

Wow. While we respect the NFL, the soup is a true Super Bowl. It’s an incredibly light broth made from tonkatsu and served with a drizzle of shallot oil. It was so good I ate the bowl like a cup of coffee and then rinsed it. I usually put soup on tables (because I’m an obnoxious, lazy slob); however, this wasn’t the case on all days.

Did I mention how soft it was to eat pork? It was so quiet that it even sent me a message of appreciation following the meal and requested that I send it a message when I got home. What a delicious meat belly.

Abalone clay pot rice and yang nylon jang

Deliciously cooked abalone (another Korean staple) adorned with a plentiful bowl of rice, which is just dripping with flavor due to the clay pot’s cooking. It’s a simple delight that can be cranked up to 1,000. It comes with a side of hearty beef and radish soup, which I’d like to dump into my swimming pool and splash around with my mouth open.

Dombegogii (Jeju style bossam) and mel-jeot (fermented anchovy) ssamjang

Pork butter. This is how the bossam was soft, to be honest with you. You would put it into your mouth and instantly begin to chew it without realizing that the fat had already started to dissolve. What is this magical process, and can we master this skill?

Jeju mandarin sorbet with sage oil

It is a refreshing sorbet that is infused with mandarin peel and flesh, giving it a grainy, almost granular texture, which I thoroughly loved. Every bite was an explosion of sweetness and bitterness. It’s a fascinating juxtaposition, and I’m happy to experience it.

Jersey milk and truffle ice cream, chestnut makgeolli cream, and black sesame almonds

Then, the evening is concluded with our truffle ice cream. The most enjoyable part of this dish was that of the sesame-black almonds, as it reminds me of wandering through Korea, searching for all kinds of almond flavors I could take home. The Ice cream itself is light and airy, and it draws more similarities to the whipped cream than an ice cream scoop; however, here we are.

And God, I truly would like to stay.

Kobo, welcome to Sydney’s elite.

Here’s the TL;DR to everyone who has a glance through the images:

  • I may need to go to sleep on it, but it’s in my top 2 Omakase experiences, and it may not be the number 2 (but seriously, I’m going to have to rest on it again).
  • Chef Jacob is planning to change menus every three months to be in tune with the season or a fond childhood memory, which means that I may revise this blog post (and I am eager to see it happen).

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