529 Kent Street
Sydney NSW 2000
Ph: (02) 9267-2900
We have a tradition with our friend An, where we shout each other dinner for our birthdays each year. (Last year he took us to Vue De Monde, and we took him to Embrasse). And this year, he decided on Tetsuya's. Wow! I know, we're super lucky! An's a very organised guy - it was at the start of the year that we said: "Hey, want to come to Sydney for a weekend in August?", and in less than a day he'd organised his flights, our hotel and the dinner booking. Wow! He says his love of fine dining started when I suggested we go to Rockpool Sydney back in 2005... looks like I've been a good (or bad) influence on him over the years!
The ambience was very old school - the type of place I imagine my dad would have frequented on his corporate card back in the eighties. The restaurant is on two levels, separated into many rooms, with the tables widely spaced apart, and carpeted floors! (I can't think of any new restaurants with carpet). Our table, on the second floor, overlooked a little Japanese garden - very House of Blue Leaves! The effect was one of privacy and intimacy, without feeling cold or isolated. The service was fantastic too, with all staff members coming across as completely capable, but also very warm and friendly. Love!
We did the full ten-course degustation (which I'm pretty sure is the only option). I obviously didn't quiz An about the cost on the evening (how ungracious would that have been!), but afterwards I looked it up to provide some context for this blog post - it's $210 per person, with wine progression starting at $95. I wasn't in the mood for a big night, so asked the sommelier to recommend two glasses of wine for the evening - he suggested a white to go with the seafood courses, and a red for the meat courses. Unfortunately I can't remember the names (or even varietals!) of the wines, but they complimented the meals perfectly, and I was happy to leave my wine choices in his capable hands!
I must admit I was a little worried about how Sandra, our non-seafood eater, would fare at Tetsuya's, but I needn't have been apprehensive. We informed them about the dietary requirements way in advance, and the chefs did a mixture of amazing vegetarian and meat dishes for her. They looked stunning and, I'm told, tasted beautiful. It certainly wasn't a lesser version of the normal degustation, and there were quite a few courses where I had serious dish-envy!
Ok, so given that this was such a long meal - seven savoury courses, two dessert courses, plus amuses bouches and petits fours, I'm gonna stop with the full sentences now and let the pictures and captions do all the talking. Rest assured, everything was delicious, made of incredibly high quality ingredients, and beautifully put together. I literally said "Wow!" and "Oh yum yum yum!" at each and every course. Enjoy!
|Warm bread rolls|
|Tetsuya's truffle butter with parmesan cheese|
Warm soup of celeriac & truffle
Savoury Custard with Avruga
This chawan mushi such an intense dashi flavour, and a gorgeous, extremely softly set texture.
Savoury Custard with Shiitake Mushroom
Salad of the Sea
Pan-Fried New Globe Artichoke & Jerusalem Artichoke with Date Jam
New Zealand Scampi with Chicken Liver Parfait & Walnut Vinaigrette
Coddled Hen's Egg with Puffed Wild Rice & comté
Confit of Petuna Ocean Trout with Fennel Unpasteurised Ocean Trout Caviar
One of Tetsuya's signature dishes - the trout was amazingly creamy and tender. Total bliss!
Roasted Pumpkin with Pepper Berry & Puffed Grains
Steamed Tian of Queensland CEAS Spanner Crab with Curd, Foie Gras, Junsai
Roasted Breast of Quail with Jamón Ibérico
Roasted Breast of Duck with Eggplant & Almond
Seared Fillet of Grass-fed Cape Grim Beef with Wasabi & Braised Mustard Seeds
Pear Sorbet, Apple Tarte Tatin
We were instructed to go from left to right for this dessert, starting with the refreshing pear sorbet, and moving onto the deconstructed tarte tatin: crisp pastry shards, sautéed apple and a quenelle of vanilla ice-cream.
For the second dessert course, An was given a floating island, whilst the two birthday girls were given a stunning chocolate fondant.
Floating Island with Praline & Crème Anglaise
And inside... cute surprise! Chocolate sauce!
... and another surprise of berry sauce!
And for the birthday girls...
Chocolate Fondant with Hazelnut & Praline
Aaah... too pretty! I loved the caramelized hazelnuts, and look at the perfect consistency of that filling!
|Petits fours - meringues and macarons|
Phew, we're finally at the end of the post! The whole evening was delightful - and really that's the only way to describe it. The entire experience, the service, every course, all the little touches were really designed to delight guests and create a truly memorable experience. This is old-school fine dining at its best. I think the price is absolutely worth it, (yes, I realise that I didn't pay in this instance), even for our diner for whom half the courses were vegetarian. The three of us had an animated discussion about which degustation was better - Tetsuya's, Vue de Monde or Embrasse - I was firmly in favour of Tetsuya's! Apart from my loving each and every individual course, I was particularly impressed that the meal as a whole was designed so thoughtfully and cohesively that we didn't get uncomfortably full - and this was what gave it the edge for me.
I absolutely loved Tetsuya's, and can't wait to come back in future for more celebratory dinners!