Sunday, November 20, 2005

Tetsuya's, Kent Street, Sydney

Tetsuya's, Kent Street, Sydney
Saturday 19 November, 2005

I've been a fan of Tetsuya's since the Rozelle days and it is seriously one of the finest restaurants Australia has to offer. It is an experience from the moment you arrive and are greeted by the impeccable staff. Discreet, sincere and extremely knowledgeable.

Even more impressive is the fact that Tetsuya himself is standing in reception to greet you (this has happened about 3 out of 6 visits). Such a small gesture has an enormous impact.

Tonight I was dining with two uninitiated friends. I had built this experience up for them and assured them it would be an experience to remember. After our arrival encounter with Tetsuya, my friends were speechless. Our waiter was so informative and kindly explained, when asked, that the small badges that each staff were wearing represented Relais & Chateaux - Tetsuya is the only Australian restaurant to be recognised under the prestigious Relais & Chateaux banner.

The staff are so attentive. One of my friends announced she was pregnant as we sat down, so it was sparkling wine all around. We couldn't decide between two sparkling wines (at the cheaper end of the menu) so our waiter introduced us to the sommelier. He gave us an overview of each and kindly pointed us in the right direction. My pregnant friend had decided to drink only one glass of champagne and the staff modified her menu accordingly to exclude raw fish. This, somehow, made it's way into each staff members memory bank, so she was never asked again if she wanted a refill or received the wrong meal. Outstanding.

You don't order at Tetsuya's - it is a set degustation menu (tasting plates) so you don't receive a menu. The staff will recite the offerings up front and once each plate is presented at the table they will also walk you through every item and even offer suggestions on how to eat them. For example, the Tartare of tuna came with a lovely avocado sauce with caviar, so we were advised to mix it all up - excellent suggestion as it combined all the flavours beautifully. Likewise with Tetsuya's version of strawberry shortcake - it is presented in a shot glass in layers and we were advised to mix it all up, which we did and WOW!

The menu looked like this:

1. Canape of soft smoked ocean trout with washed onion
2. Tartare of tuna on sushi rice with avocado
3. Tuna marinated in soy & mirin; cold corn soup with basil ice cream; and marinated NZ scampi with chicken parfait and walnut
4. Confit of petuna Tasmanian ocean trout with konbu, daikon and fennel with seasonal green salad
5. Ravioli of QLD spanner crab with tomato and basil vinaigrette
6. Twice cooked de-boned spatchcock with braised daikon & bread sauce
7. Grilled wagyu beef with asian mushrooms & lime jus
8. Beetroot & blood orange sorbet; and strawberry shortcake
9. White truffle ice cream with sticky rice & date
10. Floating island with praline & vanilla bean anglais

You are also offered a starter of oysters after enjoying the canape, which we declined, and also organic sour dough with a truffle and oil butter - this is delicious. For me, the stand out menu items were Tetsuya's signature dish - Confit of ocean trout with konbu, daikon & fennel; the cold corn soup with basil ice cream and every dessert.

I like the way the restaurant is divided into a series of rooms, so it feels quite intimate and each space has a view of the japanese garden. Every table in our room were enjoying themselves immensely, one table was taking photos of each dish as they arrived and another table went with the wines to match each dish so were progressively more entertaining as the night wore on.

Tetsuya's is an experience from the moment you arrive to the moment you leave. The service, presentation and food are outstanding.

Tetsuya's - 529 Kent Street, Sydney - (02) 92672900


Anonymous Lisa said...

Hi Steph this is fantastic I don't know where you find the time to do
all of this, whilst I was reading it, it bought back my memories of

10:38 pm  
Anonymous Mel said...

I love it and it sounds like I must take myself off to Tetsuya's ASAP!

Good on you for setting this up, I'm sure it's your "calling" and look forward to the next edition:-)

9:34 pm  
Anonymous Michelle said...

Was thinking the other day I havent spoken or heard from Steph in a while. No wonder. You have been busy. Im so impressed. This is a great site. I even saw Cher and Michelle wriiten into the text. I dont think I have every been mentioned on a web page before. Very easy to get around on it as well.

9:50 pm  
Anonymous Anine said...

Wow! That Tetsuya review just made me hungry - and its way too early for that kind of food! I'm sitting at my desk eating my organic porridge I buy from my favourite place near work each day...but now I'm craving salmon and other such treats!

I've heard of these 'blog' things but had never seen them until now.
Good on you! I'll look forward to reading more updates as you continue with them.

9:52 pm  

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