For someone who has lived in Sydney all my life, it might seem strange that i’ve never climbed the Harbour Bridge, visited Luna Park or eaten at Tetsuyas. With a busy tight schedule most of the time, and so many exciting new restaurant openings, there always seems to be more important things. But once in a while its fun to play tourist and remind myself not to take my city for granted. After all, my first time visit to the restaurant was coincidentally with a Singaporean, who made sure to visit Tetsuya on his priority to eat list in Sydney.
Like most good restaurants, service begins with bread and butter accompanied by a glass to drink and attentive service. The evening starts off well, with attentive, knowledgeable and friendly waitstaff, this could be the best service at any restaurant that i’ve dined at the entire year. Then we move onto the bread and truffle butter. Good bread and butter is addictive, but truffle butter from Tetsuya is dangerously addictive.
The truffle butter is delicious. The unmistakable fragrant smell of truffle, the butter is light in texture from the ricotta and flavoured by parmesan. Easily, the best and most addictive butter i’ve had so far. It was definitely hard to resist piling on more and more and saying no to more bread. There was still a meal to be had.
The first course arrives, as a Savoury Custard with Avruga. The Savoury custard was impossibly smooth and reminds me of Chawanmushi (steamed egg) with the added strong distinct taste coming from the Avruga (caviar made from herring). A satisfying start to our meal ahead.
Soon after, we are presented with a Salad of the Sea. The dish was delicately presented with the fresh sashimi cuts wrapped carefully around the rice in the centre, and reminds me of a deconstructed chirashi. Sashimi is undoubtedly very fresh and it is a refreshing dish overall, but the rice seems odd and out of place, perhaps it needed a bit more seasoning.
The Marinated Scampi arrives next with walnut oil and egg, it is beautifully presented and you can never go wrong with deliciously fresh scampi meat. The layer underneath is frozen egg yolk but again very light in taste as the dish relied more on natural flavours rather than seasoning.
The most anticipated and talked about dish is next to arrive, with the Confit of Petuna Trout with apple and unpasterised Ocean Trout Roe. This would be the deciding dish and the highlight of the evening.
This was incredible, so amazing it deserves another photo (a much better photo taken by my dining partner). The trout fillet itself remains unseasoned and is raw in texture but the highlist is definitely the Kombu Crust. The dehydrated Kombu Crust is made to impress, bursting with incredible flavour made from such simple ingredients accompanied by the caviar on the side. This would be definitely the best fish dish i’ve had this year and definitely surpassed my expectations.
After the trout, the dinner also gets progressively better as the next few courses arrived. First with the flounder, perfectly grilled and topped with edamame, asparagus and tomato. A simple but delicious dish, not dry and well seasoned.
The heavier mains arrived after with the Tea Smoked Quail Breast and Angus Beef. We were warned about the next dish Tea Smoked Quail Breast with Parsnip and Calamari, as the meat itself still has a rather pink flesh. This does not fail to impress with the silky calamari (which upon first impression resembled noodles) and juicy quail meat. The Angus beef is also well cooked topped with marrow and decorated simply with sorrel.
A meal is not complete without dessert of course, and the lychee granita arrives first next complete with strawberries and coconut sorbet. It was deliciously light, refreshing and not too sweet in preparation for a more decadent and rich dessert to come.
Chocolate perfection arrives next with Tetsuya’s Chocolate Cake. There was nothing to fault with the cake starting from presentation (a beautiful dark glossy glaze) to taste. It was rich but not heavy nor sickeningly sweet, it the right size and texturally it was incredibly smooth. It was everything a good guilty chocolate cake should be.
The intense level of focus in the pastry kitchen says it all. Not a single word is spoken in this kitchen working in total silence, with all eyes and hands focused on creating dessert to impress.
This is undeniably, the best chocolate cake i’ve had so far. The meal was definitely a memorable experience complete with attentive service, and amazing food. Although it has been criticized time to time for having made little changes to their menu, i’d like to believe that practice makes perfect and that’s what i found with my experience here.