A’s Birthday Dinner @ Tetsuya’s, Sydney CBD, N.S.W.

I saw this yesterday and decided that my posts on our recent Sydney trip are long overdue. Heading to Tetsuya’s was an amazing experience, which I both want to share with you but also keep a little summarised version of events for myself as a little keepsake. It was one of those dinners where you feel like you are experiencing something incredibly exciting and special. A and I have always wanted to have dinner at Tetsuya’s and we were lucky enough to be in Sydney for A’s birthday. It was the perfect occasion to indulge ourselves in the $210 ten course degustation dinner at a three hatted restaurant in Sydney.

Tetsuya’s is situated in a covert little spot on Kent Street in the Sydney CBD. The restaurant is hidden in a smallish venue set back from the road, where your only way of identifying the restaurant from the streetside is a small brass plate on the wall outside. When we entered, our coats were taken and we were escorted to our table. We were seated in a small dining room at a table that overlooked the Japanese garden outside, which was lit up beautifully. There are three main dining areas and they all overlook the Japanese garden. Each dining room also features pieces of Tetsuya’s art and ceramic collection.

Soon after sitting down, A and I spent at least 15 minutes looking at the very extensive wine list. A and I decided to try the 2009 Soave Suavia Carbonaire (an Italian sparkling wine). We were also provided with a ramekin of Truffle Butter and fresh sourdough rolls which was served warm. The truffle butter was a huge stand out for me and even now thinking back on it I don’t think I’ve tried anything that comes close to being that brilliant. The butter had little specks of truffle throughout it, as well as ricotta and reggiano (parmesan).

The first dish of the evening was the Chilled Pea Soup with Bitter Chocolate Sorbet. I really enjoyed this little chilled soup that had a dollop of bitter chocolate in the middle. The flavours of both the pea and the bitter chocolate were really strong, allowing an excellent contrast. In saying that, A didn’t particularly like the flavour combination and this was A’s least favourite dish of the evening.

The second dish was the Savoury Custard with Avruga (roe of wild herring). This was a savoury seafood custard that was very strong in it’s sea-like taste. Unfortunately, it was one of the dishes that I didn’t finish, as the strong sea flavours wasn’t to my liking.

The Tartare of Big Eye Tuna was next and the tuna tasted very fresh. A and I both really enjoyed this dish.

The New Zealand Scampi with Chicken Liver Parfait and Walnut Vinaigrette was one of my favourite dishes of the evening. The scampi was so soft and the chicken liver parfait was full of flavour. It seemed like an unusual match when I saw it on the menu at the beginning of the evening but it definitely worked in taste.

When the next dish arrived, we were told that it is Tetsuya’s signature dish – Confit of Petuna Ocean Trout with Fennel Unpasteurised Ocean Trout Caviar. This was another amazing dish and my favourite of the evening. The ocean trout was lightly coated with dried seaweed, pepper, chives and a few other ingredients and then lightly cooked, leaving it very tender. Unfortunately, A’s Ocean Trout contained two small bones, and she casually mentioned/joked to the wait staff about the little bones as they were clearing our plates, to which they apologised prefusely and promised to amend it with an additional dish that was reserved for VIP guests. This perked our interest and we waited to find out what it was until it arrived a few dishes later…

The Steamed Tian of Queensland Ceas Spanner Crab with Curd, Fois Gras and Junsai was our next dish. The steamed crab was stacked and the pile was surrounded with tofu, mushrooms and foie gras. Unfortunately, this was another dish that I didn’t particularly enjoy. The Junsai was very unusual in taste and made the dish a little slimey. Seeing as though there were so many dishes on the night I decided to save my stomach space for something that I enjoyed. (I also forgot to take a picture of the dish – sorry!)

Before the first meat dish arrived, A and I ordered a glass each of the 2009 Tetsuya’s Bass Phillip Pinot Noir (which is especially made for Tetsuya’s restaurants) and both found the wine an excellent match for the meat dishes.

The first meat dish to arrive was the Roasted Breast of Quail with Quail Leg Rilletes. The roasted quail was served on a bed of char-grilled spring onions and was cooked perfectly. The lightly charred spring onions added a different taste and texture to the juicy quail breast.

And finally, the mystery VIP dish arrived – De-Boned Spatchcock with Buckwheat Risotto and Truffle. The de-boned spatchcock was a very generous serving and the addition of truffles suited the flavour of the meat and the risotto perfectly. I can definitely see why this dish is reserved for VIPs!

Our final savoury dish of the evening was the Seared Fillet of Grass-fed Cape Grim Beef with Wasabi and Braised Mustard Seeds. By this stage, I was particularly full. I don’t know if you can tell from the photo’s but each dish was quite substantial in size. Plus, the additional spatchcock dish had really pushed me over the edge. However, I can’t say no to a nicely cooked piece of Beef fillet, which was served with wasabi and braised mustard seeds. Once again, the beef was soft, tender and very juicy. The combination of the meat and mustard seeds gave the dish a lovely English flavour.

A and I needed a bit of time to sit and recoup before we started on the dessert dishes, so I asked our very pleasant waiter if we were able to hold off from receiving the desserts for a little bit. In the meantime, I was keen to try a glass of the 2009 Les Lion de Suduiraut Sauternes dessert wine. It was a beautiful dessert wine but when it was paired with the desserts over the evening it became very overpowering due to its sweetness.

Our first dessert dish, the Pear Sorbet and Bread and Butter Pudding, arrived shortly after we agreed with our waiter to start the dessert courses. I started with the sorbet first, which was light in flavour and an excellent palate cleanser. Now, before I go any further, I have to mention that I am not a fan of bread and butter pudding, which is probably why I didn’t enjoy this rendition. However, A enjoyed it, noting it as soft, creamy and rich in cinnamon flavour.

The Floating Island with Praline and Creme Anglaise and A’s special birthday dish (see below) were the next dishes to arrive. The floating island looked very pretty but I wasn’t a huge fan of this dish either but it was really nice to try something new. The creme anglaise was very light, creamy and not too rich. A and I swapped desserts midway through and she especially liked this light dessert.

While I received the Floating Island, A received a special little birthday Chocolate Fondant with Hazelnut and Praline, which also had a little candle on the side. The waiter and I got to sing A happy birthday, which caused her to be a little bit embarrassed! Thankfully, A was keen to try my floating island and I was keen to try her birthday cake, so I broke the middle and gooey chocolate oozed out. It was a beautiful dessert that was another highlight of my evening.







The Petit Fours were the last dish to arrive to the table and by this stage, A and I could barely look at any more food. The staff at Tetsuya’s were kind enough to pack them up in a little box so we could take them home for later. The next day we opened the box and ate our strawberry macarons and chocolate truffles as an afternoon snack.

At the end of the evening, we found out that they also create special food menus that are specifically tailored for vegans, vegetarians, gluten free or any other dietary restriction. I think this is a great aspect of Tetsuya’s, as no matter what your eating type is, you’ll be able to dine there on your own terms. I would love to hear about some of the vegetarian or soy free menus available as I am sure that there would be a lot of thought involved in the tailored menus provided.

I found Tetsuya’s relaxed and very tranquil. The wait staff were very efficient and did not get stressed or annoyed but remained pleasant and accomodating. I really enjoyed the overall experience at Tetsuya’s, as although I didn’t enjoy every dish, I really enjoyed trying the new ingredients and dishes used. At the end of the evening, we paid $520 but it was definitely worth the experience!

Highly recommended.

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