Sunday, September 23, 2012

Review: Tetsuya's

529 Kent Street

9267 2900

Saturday from 12 noon
Tuesday - Friday 
from 6pm
Saturday from 6:30pm

Celebrating 12 years together has to call for somewhere a bit special.  Ahhhh.. Tetsuya's
Long have I viewed it as an unattainable destination. Squeak's food idiosyncrasies have simply made it so - especially the seafood ones. However to the credit of most of Sydney's amazing restaurants who have modified degustation menus to cater for such quirks, as well as Squeak's more adventurous food spirit - we have finally eaten our way across Sydney and straight to the door of... Tetsuya's.

I will admit to feeling a little worried that we may feel let down. The downgrading of their status in the GFG from 3 to 2 hats a few years ago has made me wonder if we will feel just a little underwhelmed by the famed restaurant. As we navigate our way through CBD traffic and roadworks we enter the oasis that is Tetsuya's. From the first greeting at the entry we feel like we are in safe hands. The greeting is warm with no hint of pretension whatsoever, and the room we are led to is elegant and looks out onto the peaceful Japanese style garden.


Sipping our unusual - but delicious - champagne aperitif we are led through the menu and very soon the fresh bread and the butter arrive. Oh my good god in heaven.... the butter! Butter whipped through with ricotta, pecorino and black truffle. I will return JUST for that butter. It is a flavour sensation, and as a result we eat far too much of it than can be good for us.

A warm soup of celeriac and truffle is the first course. It has a pure celeriac flavour which I love and the sliver of truffle contrasts beautifully. I have had truffle in the past and been (I will admit) a little let down by it... but the flavour here is gorgeous.

The savoury custard with Avruga emerges next. It is silky and flavourful and the avruga is delicious. There really aren't enough superlatives.

Squeak's ability to eat raw fish - and specifically kingfish - can be solely attributed to the kingfish ceviche served at The Bentley, so I am confident that she will be able to do the next dish. The Hiramasa kingfish with orange and blackbean which arrives melds the flavours perfectly. Intense orange and sort of earthy blackbean fuses with a delicately 'meaty' kingfish - beautiful!

The next course of New Zealand scampi with chicken liver parfait and a walnut vinaigrette is probably one of my favourites. The scampi is 'just' cooked - but barely. It provides a perfect texture to the meat.

The next dish to arrive is the much anticipated (probably more so by our waitress) Tetsuya's signature dish. Confit of Petuna ocean trout with fennel and unpasteurised ocean trout caviar. This is quite a large serving, comparatively speaking, and also is served with a fresh leaf salad. The trout is a feature to behold. The colour is vibrant and the contrast between the fish and the konbu coating in both flavour and texture is excellent. To be honest this is the dish that I, and Squeak, are most nervous about - in terms of testing her ability to eat fish. It comes through with flying colours however. I love it, but - more importantly - so does Squeak. A fabulous dish - but i will say it probably isn't my favourite on the menu.

A steamed tian of spanner crab with curd, foie gras and junsai is delicate and sweetly full of crab. 

The roasted breast of duck with eggplant and almond is certainly a dish on the small side but the meat is cooked perfectly and the flavours work together. Delicious!

The seared fillet of Cape Grim beef - which is also grass fed - is served with wasabi and braised mustard seeds. Cape Grim beef has never let us down yet, and today is no exception. The braised mustard seeds are a revelation and bring a new, and delicious, element to the meat.

Savouries over, we are moved along to a pear sorbet to cleanse the palate. It achieves said job.

The Green apple and mint ice-cream with basil jelly is the standout dessert dish on the day. It is so unusual with the ice-cream having a genuine, almost savoury, mint flavour as opposed to the fake mint found in ice-cream usually. The basil jelly is phenomenal. The combination is really interesting.

The floating islands that emerge next with praline and creme anglaise are a perfect way to end. They are light but provide enough of a surprise chocolate and raspberry hit to feel that dessert has truly been served.

Petit fours and tea coffee are served to round the meal off. The macaron has the right 'bite' and 'chew' to it, and the truffles with prune are lovely also. 

The food is spectacular at Tetsuya's. We absolutely love it, and are not left underwhelmed in the slightest. The setting as we gaze out into the garden is perfect and makes you forget where you are. What sets this apart though is the service. The service at Tetsuya's is phenomenal. Professional but warm, enthusiastic and genuine - right through until the end when we are ushered into our car... as if we are rockstars!  We are truly at a loss as to why it doesn't have three hats! 

Yes... Tetsuya's isn't cheap. With food, service, (that butter) and ambience like this however.. we are already planning our next visit!

Tetsuya's on Urbanspoon


joey@forkingaroundsydney said...

Congrats on the 12 years! And what a way to celebrate! Tets may not be a blogger's hippest destination anymore but the experience is still as good as better.

Prick With a Fork said...

Sounds delightful ... I suspect the downgrade was due more to the lack of "progressive" flourishes, foams, and smears than anything else, there's something classic about this menu that is also a bit of a look at our recent culinary past (appropriate, I suppose, for an anniversary!). It's hard to imagine anyone else pulling off a "tian" successfully and without a hint of irony, if you know what I mean.

Shane said...

Thank you so much for this post. It brought back such fond memories of a special birthday there. After seeing your gorgeous photos, we HAVE TO return!