Saturday, 6 July 2013

Tetsuya's - 29 April 2011

Today’s entry is about one of my best meals ever in Sydney, at none other than the legendary gastronomic temple, Tetsuya’s. The man, Tetsuya Wakuda, needs no introduction, really. He is a legend and my food idol (along with Heston Blumenthal). Tetsuya’s has won too many awards (including being one of the 5 best restaurants in the world back in 2005 and a decade’s worth of 3-chef hats) and was long regarded the best restaurant in Australia.

I took my (now) wife here to celebrate her birthday back in 2011. It was over 2 years ago but I still remember this meal like it was today. As I have not been back since, I am not sure how the current experience at Tetsuya’s rates. Based on my sole experience, I believe that every foodie in Sydney should do themselves a favour and try Tetsuya’s at least once.
The food at Tetsuya’s was some of the most divine and amazing food I have ever eaten, from the truffle butter all the way to the desserts.  The seafood courses were particularly amazing and were appreciably better than the meat courses. The meat courses were excellent in their own right but the seafood courses were just that good. The seafood was fresh and of the highest quality. And of course, the seafood was cooked to absolute perfection.   

Vegetarians are also treated to a gastronomic feast for the ages and are not forgotten about. With the exception of one questionable course, all the vegetarian food was creative, had amazing flavours and expertly executed.   

The service was impeccable at Tetsuyta’s. The staff were highly professional and operated like clockwork. It seemed like there was always someone there to fill your water or get you another drink. I found all the wait staff to be pleasant to speak to, friendly and most importantly, unpretentious. 

The time I went to Tetsuya’s was not long after it had been downgraded from 3 hats down to 2 hats. In my opinion, this meal topped my meal at Quay and I was proclaiming at the time that Tetsuya’s needed to be given back his 3rd hat. My evening at Tetsuya’s was truly a night to remember and a meal for the ages.  

Highlight: Confit of ocean trout is Tetsuya’s signature dish and one of the most photographed dishes in the world for a reason.
Lowlight: The exotic mushroom vegetarian course missed the mark badly, which is unfortunate because the rest of the vegetarian menu was top class.
Overall: Tetsuya’s is the restaurant that put Sydney on the global map as a city that does good food. As such a meal at Tetsuya’s should be on every Sydneysider’s bucket list. Exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey.  9/10 (Outstanding)

Truffle butter - this is THE best butter I have ever had in a restaurant!
So smooth, so creamy, so yummy!

Pacific oysters with ginger and rice wine – Freshly shucked to order, 
quite honestly the best oysters I have ever had!
Amuse bouche:  Chilled Cucumber Soup with Sheep 
Yoghurt Ice Cream – Brilliant amuse bouche. 
Very refreshing!
Course 1: Sashimi of yellow fin tuna with shishito and garlic chips – 
wonderfully fresh tuna that melts in your mouth
Veg Course 1: Vegetarian sashimi with shishito and garlic chips – 
very interesting dish that tasted great with a great balance of sweetness
and acidity, still don’t know what the “sashimi” is til this date.
Course 2: Marinated NZ scampi tail with curd and junsai – 
WOW, the sweet and delicate scampi meat was cooked to perfection, 
truly memorable dish!
Veg Course 2: Caramelised fig and walnut - Delicious! Somehow this
dessert looking dish made for a great savoury course
Course 3: Confit Petuna ocean trout with konbu, celery and apple -
the signature dish, perfectly cooked, melt in your mouth ocen trout,
legendary dish worthy of being in Sydney folklore
 Veg Course 3: Mirin Jelly, egg, sprouts, rice – definitely vego dish of the 
night in terms of flavour and visuals, vego dishes at Tetsuya’s 
created with same level of precision as regular menu, like nothing 
we have had before!
Course 4: Steamed Murray Cod with black bean – perfectly cooked
fish that is moist and tender, nice crispy crackling
Veg Course 4: Tortellini, potato, goat's curd, shiso - delicious parcels of
creamy potato and goat's cheese 
Course 5: Braised ox tail with sea cucumber and lotus root – 
the most tender, full flavoured bovine meat that I have ever eaten!
Veg Course 5: Potato Gnocchi, parmesan, microherbs, pumpkin broth
this was delicious as my wife enjoyed the pillow softness 
of the potato and the sweet pumpkin broth
Course 6: Quail breast wrapped in pancetta
the quail was juicy, flavoursome and perfectly cooked with pink centre
Veg Course 6: Grilled rice, kombu, wasabi – lovely toasty rice
immersed in a tasty broth. Kind of like the Japanese dish ‘chazuke’
Course 7: De-boned rack of lamb with eggplant and white miso – 
good, enjoyable dish that lacked the fireworks of the 
other savoury courses on my menu.
Veg Course 7: Exotic mushroom – easily the weakest dish of the night. 
Texture was strange. And the flavours didn't really work.
Course 8: Grape sorbet and tarte tartin - the grape sorbet was refreshing
and an excellent palate cleanser. The tarte tartin was amazing: it had
almonds, ice cream and apples.
Course 9: Genoa figs with leatherwood honey and fig leaf ice cream – 
pleasant dessert that doesn’t quite match the awesomeness of the next dessert…
Course 10: Chocolate pavé with cream cheese ice cream and cinnamon 
twigsAbsolutely stunning! Rich, velvety chocolate that makes you 
want to come back for more! Perfect with a scoop of ice cream.  
Petit Fours Chai Mochi balls – even the petit fours were amazing!

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