confit of Petuna ocean trout with shaved fennel and unpasteurised ocean trout caviar

I started writing this post and realised that I sound like a complete and utter snob and asshole. I was going to stop and you know, like “change my tone”, but then, when have I ever been known to censor my posts? Like um, never? So I’m going to sound like a snob and more or less, an asshole.

So. As much as I love being back in Australia, I have to admit that London gave me access to some of the most amazing experiences I’ve had in my little life. Take museums for one. We had the British Museum and the V&A (amongst many others), two of the most amazing museums in the world… in my humble opinion. And they were free! When Panu and I travel, we’re constantly disappointed at the museums and galleries we go to (ok, Paris not included) not because they’re sub-standard, but because we compare them to what we now know, and well, they just plain and simply aren’t as good.

And though Sydney’s food scene is pretty spectacular, I have a feeling we’ve also been spoilt for high end restaurants. I mean, just take The Ledbury. Visit one, visit two and visit three. And still one of my most favourite, most flawless, dining experiences ever. And then there’s The Fat Duck, which needs no words. And even the likes of Momofuku Ko in NYC.

Spoilt. I’ve been spoilt, I tell ya.

Anyway, there’s a point to all this story-telling. Last weekend, my buddy was up from Melbourne and on Saturday night, we had dinner at Tetsuya’s. I was actually desperately excited about dinner. I mean Tetsuya’s was way up there on the top restaurants list for an eternity and though they’ve dropped to an unremarkable 58, I still wanted to try them purely based on reputation.

I was excited. I mean, I wore a dress (and honestly, that doesn’t happen often at all).

Tetsuya’s serves a 10 course tasting menu ($210pp) and to save this post from becoming a novel, I’ll limit myself to five words per course. Let’s do it!

amuse bouche: corn soup with soy cream

Sweet corn. Butter. WANT MORE.

savoury custard with avruga

Delicious! Love the wooden spoon :)

sashimi of kingfish with blackbean & orange

Fresh. Very savoury, totally addictive.

steamed Queensland spanner crab with bean curd, foie gras & junsai

Would have preferred loose crabmeat. (See how I cheated there? Is crab meat meant to be two words?)

braised veal shank with broad beans & smoked bone marrow

Super tender, broad beans meh.

breast of quail with paleta Ibérico & garlic purée

Not sure about puffed rice. (The quail was great though!)

de-boned rack of lamb with eggplant, white miso & blue cheese

White miso blue cheese sauce WIN! (Sorry, one over).

hay infused ice cream with sorrel granita and
Tetsuya’s interpretation of bread & butter pudding

Taste like grass. But refreshing!
Oh lord, SO MUCH DELICIOUSNESS.

chocolate pavé with cream cheese ice cream & cinnamon twigs

Want cream cheese ice cream.

petit fours: coffee & raspberry macarons

Expected better petit fours, sorry!

Oh, and for his signature ocean trout dish up top? So many amazing flavours. YUM.

Hey, I did pretty good just with a couple of little cheats in there! So basically it was a pretty nice dinner. I expected some wow-wery to happen, like Fat Duck showmanship style, but there was none of that. The food looked like what it was, and I guess in a good way, tasted like it was supposed to. I just wasn’t wowed like I wanted to be.

And for what we paid including a couple of glasses of vino, I think I should have been wowed.

BUT, this could have completely nothing to do with Tetsuya’s and everything to do with my snobbery and royal asshole-ness. Although, I do have to comment… the toilets were totally ordinary. At one of Sydney’s best restaurants, you’d honestly expect a little better in the bathroom stakes, but whatever.

I probably wouldn’t go back… I’d spend my mulah somewhere else, like ahhh, we’re going to Rockpool Bar & Grill soon, where I totally intend to blow $115 on one piece of 200g wagyu sirloin!

Tetsuya’s
529 Kent Street
Sydney, NSW, 2000
(02) 9267 2900
website

Tetsuya's on Urbanspoon

29 Thoughts on “Tetsuya’s degustation in five words or less. Sort of.

  1. I haven’t been to Tetsuya’s either. Can’t wait for your dining experience at Rockpool, then I can pick which one to go to…=)

  2. It’s a-r-s-e ;-D I’m so glad I asked M to cancel his booking here. Even though I well and truly believe it’s once in a lifetime experience, I don’t think I would’ve enjoyed it as much. Thank you for your honesty Catty, I knew I could trust you ;-) xx

  3. Went to Tets about 5 – 6 years ago, it looks like they haven’t really changed the menu much. It was a good experience but i thought the food was nice but like you wasn’t blown away! I would have preferred to spend the money elsewhere, but glad to say that yes, i have been but dont think i would go back!

    great post though!

  4. Yep- pretty much sums it up…

    Hope you love Rockpool as much as me!

  5. Kay: Keep in mind I’m going to Rockpool Bar & Grill though, not the main Rockpool restaurant with the degustation, so it might not be comparing apples with apples. But I’m sure I will blog it anyway!

    Maria: You are HILARIOUS, I totally give you Aussie citizenship like, right now! :D

    Gastronomous Anonymous: Yeah, exactly right? Nice, but not nice enough to warrant going back at that price. And especially if their menu hasn’t changed in years!

    Leon: I hope so too! Can’t wait!

  6. HAHA what an entertaining post! I had a giggle when you wrote “I wore a dress!”, if I could have my way, I would so wear pjs everywhere lol But hey, nice occasion calls for getting dressed up nicely me thinks.

    I don’t think it was snobbery, I’ve been to Tets prior my blogging days and didn’t feel wowed about it as well. Don’t get me wrong, food was nice but like you said, it lacked that showmanship. Another factor I think played into account was the fact that everyone around me was hyping it up so high expectations were brought up before we stepped into the restaurant. Though I’d SO go back just to have that ocean trout dish if I could, but I have the book now so maybe I’ll have to attempt it one day :)

  7. bwahahaha 5 word descriptions was freaking hilarious!

  8. *applauds* This post made my day! I’m also extremely envious of all your other high end restaurant experiences. I HAVE to go to the Fat Duck, but I figured I could live without going to Tetsuya’s, and I think your post has only cemented that thought.

  9. OMG – blogging in 5 words or less (give or take a few works). You’re not an arsehole, you’re a FREAKING genius! Rockpool B&G is Ah-mazing – loved every single moment and morsel there. The dining room is OUT OF THIS WORLD! Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

  10. Phuoc: Nice to have lunch with you! Must do again soon :) that ocean trout dish was pretty amazing – will have to let me know when you can make it haha :)

    chocolatesuze: tee hee hee!

    Steph: Hehe thank you! :D yeah the Fat Duck IS a “wow” experience that’s for sure. And with the current exchange rate it’s probably cheaper than Tetsuya’s lol…

    Miss Piggy: I can’t wait for Rockpool!

  11. we just cancelled our booking there tonight funnily enough with freinds as i can’t make it and i was hearing so many similar stories , its had its day i’m afraid. all these hatted restauarnts that have been around a while don’t try anymore.

  12. I’m sure Tetsuya deserves all the accolades and success in the world but I’m always a bit iffy towards any restaurant that doesn’t change the menu up just a little every year. So I’m with you, I’d take my money elsewhere like say, out of Australia haha. Man, I’d leave for London in a heartbeat if I could go to The Fat Duck. And the Ledbury. I love you and hate you at the same time xx

  13. alli: We still have to catch up!!! Yeah, I think you’re right.. some restaurants that have been famous for such a long time just don’t try as hard anymore! Incidentally they have also gone from three hats to two.

    Karen: LOL, book Fat Duck!! You have to book like 3 months in advance so you should book it then organise a holiday to London ;)

  14. Thing is London is better at the posh end, but at the everyday end of the spectrum, I think Sydney is better. Also, the stuff I like to eat (Chinese, SE Asian, fish & seafood) is way better too in Sydney. That said, it’s hard to get a decent Indian down under.

    BTW – Maria is right. How dare you use ass instead of arse. I always thought Aussies use British not American spellings. And you lived in London, for how many years?

    • LOL I can’t bring myself to say ARSE, it sound so crass! ASS sounds… more… elegant lol. ANYWAYS. I agree, I think every day food in Sydney rocks, but hey I’m yet to go to another few high end restaurants here, if my wallet allows, so maybe Tets has just dropped the ball for the team! And, um, 4 years :)

  15. haha for a moment I thought you were going to use 5 whole words for the entire post like “That was really very delicious” :P

  16. Yummmmmmmmmmmmmm. the food looks great but as you said if it doesn’t wow, is it worth all that money??

  17. Lorraine: Haha yeah, I could have done that too! Was a little too exhausted thinking about having to write about each course :)

    jenny: Yeah exactly, I think there’s a difference between a nice meal and one that you actually knocks your socks off.

  18. I completely agree! We went a couple of years back and although it was nice, I dont think it was worth to cash and we wouldnt go back. One of those “Glad we did it but wont do it again” type things

  19. Basically, what Mr Noodles said. Being a low-rent down-and-dirty eater I think I’d plump for Sydney for its awesome Asian food.

    Good writing there – it’s, like, 12.5% better than Hemingway (“For sale: baby shoes, never worn“), so even if you miss-spell “arse”, good job!

    I wonder if Tetsuya’s is stagnating somewhat if it hasn’t really changed its menu for years. Not a great sign. Looking forward to hearing if the Wagyu is worth it (is it Japanese or Aussie wagyu?).

  20. Ha! You make me laugh. But you’re right- we’re totally spoiled. Can’t wait to hear what you make of Quay (that’s got to be on your to-do list, right?). And if there’s the roast pumpkin with yogurt and burnt butter on the menu at Rockpool- make sure you get it.

  21. Nic: Yeah, ticked off the list, don’t need to do again :)

    Grubworm: 12.5% better than Hemingway is like the best compliment anyone has ever given me! I need to find out what sort of wagyu it is but I will tell you, don’t you worry!

    Tori: I’ve been to Quay, but it was a few years ago before they shot up the list… so I’m not sure if they’ve gotten even better but I remember thinking they were pretty great back then! Roast pumpkin with yoghurt and burnt butter NOTED!

  22. Rockpool! >_<

    when my partner and I were in melbourne, Rockpool was honestly one of the better dining places we ate at. Gave up a reservation at Nobu for Rockpool (partner's big on steak), so can't compare. Honestly though Rockpool blew me away, it's one of those places that don't hinge on just its signature dish. Everything tasted great.

  23. Double comment sorry! But HAD to second what Tori pointed out – the roast pumpkin w yoghurt & burnt butter – unforgettable.

    • Hehehe no probs about the double comment. I’ll now EXTRA look out for the roast pumpkin with yoghurt and burnt butter, it does sound divine! Really looking forward to Rockpool dinner!

  24. I’ve tried the wagyu sirloin, and it really is as good as people say!

  25. Our recent visit to Tet’s has been lukewarm too. Having said that, you can also blow $40 buying the best piece of wagyu from Victor Churchill and cook it to perfection at home with a $60 bottle of wine to go with and there’s still $15 change :)

    • I’m scared I’ll stuff up the wagyu and kick myself for ruining an expensive piece of meat!! How do you cook the perfect medium rare wagyu? Any tips??

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