SYDNEY: Kobe Jones, what happened?!

19 Jan

Kobe Jones
King Street Wharf
29 Lime St
Sydney, Australia

PRICE: $$$$$

Kobe Jones is an oldie but a goodie for me. We’ve been going for years, always adoring their food and also because I knew the Manager there and he was a brilliant guy. Situated on King Street Wharf, it’s also got a great location and a lovely casual-yet-fine-dining ambience.

Naturally, after a year overseas, Kobe Jones was on our must-go places, just for old time’s sake. Unfortunately, the Manager was a new guy who was polite, apart from that fact he tried to neg out and change the ‘rules’ of a coupon we had. The coupon basically offered a free glass of wine for each person at the table, or a bottle of wine for a table of 4. He said “Oh, it means you get 1 glass for the whole table.” What? Fortunately, we can read English and Chris set him straight, so he had to oblige and bring us the free bottle of wine (which was great, by the way). When the bill came out, he’d charged us the bottle of wine. We weren’t surprised, as we were already expecting him to try to pull that fast one over us. When we pointed it out to another waitress though, she promptly removed it without a fuss. So whilst they weren’t rude, I thought it was unprofessional and all-round stingy. If you’re going to give out coupons for a free bottle of wine, give out the damn free bottle and don’t make it so difficult by trying to convince your diners the coupon reaaalllyyyy meant “one free glass for the whole table”, then charge the bottle on the bill and hope no one notices. Sheesh. That’s just tacky.

We also noticed the menu had changed. The dishes were largely the same, but at HUGELY INCREASED PRICES. We were actually shell-shocked when we saw these new prices. Previously, Kobe Jones wasn’t exactly cheap, but we thought it was a fair price given the location and the great food. But this time, it was actually laughable. THIRTY DOLLARS for a sushi roll?!?!?!? TWENTY SIX DOLLARS for agedashi tofu?? SEVEN DOLLARS FOR PLAIN WHITE RICE??!?! I was very close to slamming the menu down and walking out.

But, since I have always loved the food there, we decided to bite the bullet, empty our wallets, and still have our dinner there. The food is still good, but it was hit and miss. Some were outstanding, and some were just mediocre. What happened Kobe Jones?!?! You used to have amazing, generous staff… decent prices… and food that was always superior. What have you done?! Bring it all back – I loved you so much back then :(

The view at Kobe Jones

A pinot noir with our meal.. after arguing to get it, and then having to argue again
to get it taken off our bill.

Spider roll (AU$28) – soft shell crab with avocado, crab salad, cucumber, smelt roe sprinkle.
Good but not outstanding, I’ve had similar in other restaurants.

Volcano roll (AU$36) – oven baked scallops on a crab salad avocado roll, with special cream
sauce. This was absolutely outstanding and unique, as usual. Creamy, cheesy goodness!

Crab croquettes AU($28). Apparently “gently deep fried” but the exterior was really thick and tough

Salmon skin salad (AU$16). Average. Lots of lettuce and salmon skin, but the skin tasted odd.

Mushroom medley tobanyaki (AU$23). Delicious, but smaller than what we’ve always had before.

Beef katsu (AU$38). Fantastic! So tender and paired with a lovely miso citrus sauce.

Nicely fed

Overall good food, fortunately!



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