Harry Cho has 20 years of culinary experience, including a stint at Nobu. He’s a master of precision and discipline in the kitchen, which he learnt from his background working in the military. Now, he’s in Parramatta — at a 120-seat fine-dining Japanese located within Heritage Lounge, called Oribu.
“Parramatta with its rich cultural tapestry has always been a beacon for diverse cuisines,” says Cho. “However, I felt there was a longing for an authentic Japanese dining experience that also embraced modern influences. A place where patrons could experience the deep traditions of Japanese cuisine while also being introduced to newer culinary interpretations.”
At Oribu, Chef Cho works to transform fresh ingredients into culinary masterpieces, through cooking skills learnt from growing up with a Korean father and Japanese mother. His creativity can be seen throughout the menu, with the likes of edamame with truffle oil, lamb cutlets with miso sauce and salmon jalapeno tartare tacos.
Oribu, Cho says, is a culmination of his journey through the culinary world. The restaurant is both nostalgic and avant-garde and, with its Heritage Precinct location, it blends history with innovation. When it came to curating the menu, Cho looked to his experience at world-renowned restaurants, combining that with his love for Japanese cuisine.
“It was essential to ensure every dish resonated with authenticity while also surprising our patrons with unique twists,” says Cho. “We worked meticulously on each dish, refining and perfecting, which took us around six months. It wasn’t just about creating a menu – it was about narrating a culinary tale that left an edible mark.”
Cho’s favourite dish on the menu is the Oribu Omakase Platter, a 60-piece platter, including salmon, scallops and seafood ceviche. ‘Omakase’ in Japanese means ‘to entrust’ and, to him, that’s precisely what this dish represents. It allows diners to entrust Oribu’s culinary team by offering them the best of what’s available.
“It’s a platter that not only showcases pristine produce but also the depth and breadth of Japanese culinary artistry,” Cho says. “Every time I prepare it, it’s a reminder of the ocean’s bounty and the beauty of simplicity in Japanese cuisine.”
If you’re heading to Oribu for the first time, Cho suggests arriving just before the sun sets to allow for the ambience of Heritage Precinct to envelop you. Start with the chef’s special appetiser plate for a taste of the restaurant’s range and pair your dish with wine, cocktails or spirits. Be sure to save for dessert.
“Engage with our staff, ask questions and immerse yourself fully in the Oribu journey,” says Cho. “It’s about savouring every moment.”