It’s terrible I know but in four weeks of staying in Sydney, I was only lured out of Bondi once! And this was only because the place below promised to be very special…
Tetsuya’s (Advanced A+), 529 Kent Street, www.tetsuyas.com
Although there are heaps of other places I wanted to go to, Tetsuya’s won out due to a recommendation from my foodie DJ friend Chris Duckenfield and a mention in Eat My Globe by fellow Yorkshireman Simon Majumdar, as well as being in lots of guides of course. Depending on who you believe, it’s in the top five, or top ten, or top fifty, restaurants in the world.
Tetsuya’s cuisine fuses Japanese seasonal sensibilities with French technique, a heady combination for a Japanophile foodie like me.
The only choice is to have the $220 ten-course tasting menu, to which I added the wine matching option (another $90 or so I think), reasoning that if you’re going to go the whole hog, then you really should do it properly. Thankfully it was all fantastic (A+).
Unfortunately I mislaid my notes but to the best of my memory, this is what I had:
Remember you can click on the photos for a better view.
First off a preliminary Martini to gird the loins, stirred not shaken (A).
After taking the edge off with some excellent bread and black truffle butter (A), I started with two Pacific oysters dressed with rice wine vinaigrette, ginger and chives (A+).
Next, ‘Savoury Custard with Avruga’, the latter being a caviar substitute made from herring but with no fish roe in it. Very tasty (A).
This was followed by ‘Salad of the Sea’, a deconstructed nigiri with various kinds of sashimi. I think the fishes used were tuna, kingfish, bonito and trout belly. I think the fishes used were tuna, kingfish, bonito and trout belly which had been marinated or cured.
The waiter matched the raw fish with a 2009 Riesling by Tunkalilla of Oregon (B+).
After this, ‘Marinated New Zealand Scampi with Walnut Oil and Egg’, with a topping of creme fraiche. The egg yolk on a bed of seaweed added to the creamy texture of the scampi tails. Superb (A).
For Simon Majumdar, Tetsuya’s signature dish ‘Confit of Petuna Ocean Trout With a Salad of Celery, Witlof, Apple and Unpasteurised Ocean Trout Roe’ is one of the best things he’s ever eaten.
It was very very good (A) but I’m not sure if I would confer the same honour upon it. By the way ‘Witlof’ is the Belgian name for chicory. The black coating is dried kombu seaweed, with a sprinkling of chives.
This came with a green salad on the side.
Not sure what this fish with the beans is called sorry.
With this a glass of the Tim Adams 2013 Pinot Gris (B+).
Then came the ‘Tea Smoked Quail Breast with Parsnip & Calamari’, a fantastic fusion of disparate flavours (A).
Next the ‘Grass-fed Fillet of Beef with Soy Braised Tendon and Wasabi Leaf’ was fantastic (A) made more so by the dollop of bone marrow crowning it.
Then a trio of desserts, the first being looking like some Granita topped with Yoghurt Icecream (B).
Can’t remember what the white blob is sorry.
With these I had a moscatel (not pictured) called MR by Telmo Rodriquez in Malaga (B+).
You can’t go wrong with ‘Tetsuya’s Chocolate Cake’ (A+)
A glass of syrupy Toro Albala Gran Reserva Pedro Ximenez matched it perfectly (A).
And finally some Petits Fours to go with my coffee.
Of course the service was exemplary and I soon dispelled the air of formality by discovering a shared interest in Warp Records and Cabaret Voltaire (both from my home town) with my French waiter.
A couple at a table on the other side of the room let it be known they didn’t approve of me taking photos but then the man promptly fell asleep at the table! Table manners are different here obviously.
The servers took it in their stride though and I was even given a tour of the kitchen. Another reason to blog is that you get better service!
The decor is Japanese minimalist which avoids competing with the zen garden out of the window.
So was it worth all that money? Everything was superb and I do think it’s good to experience this kind of place once in a while. For me it was a great way to end a very enjoyable stay in Sydney.