The Sydney dining scene is a dynamic, ever changing kaleidoscope of international flavors. Restaurants come and go as quickly as you can say, “Hello Mate.” Tetsuya, a Relais and Châteaux property, has stood the test of time and remains a top spot in this culinary capital. Just tell anyone you are dining at Tetsuya, and you will get looks of envy and lust.
Everyone seems to have heard of this top rated spot, Tetsuya, including our Uber driver from Pakistan. Only a few are privileged to dine here, as reservations continue to be highly coveted.
As we entered the gate into the traditional Japanese rock garden entry, we bid the bustle of Kent St. adieu and were greeted by welcoming staff who guided us to our table. Several intimate rooms surround an enclosed garden and offer a sense of privileged, private dining. The serenity created an appropriate contrast to the quick pace of the wait staff who literally run from kitchen to table so each dish will be served at exactly the right temperature.
The multi course, set degustation menu at Tetsuya is recited after inquiries about allergies and food preferences are made. Indeed, in our case, they graciously honored my preference for fish and seafood and adjusted the menu accordingly.
Although they have an extensive and impressive international wine list, their suggested pairings were stellar and introduced us to some of the best examples of each varietal presented. We discussed some of the finer points of both the food and wine with the expert servers who were only too happy to add to our understanding and appreciation of each new offering.
Every dish is presented and explained building anticipation for the first bite. Chef Tetsuya masterfully combines the clean, pure flavor profiles of his Asian heritage with the precise techniques of his French training. Each course is designed to build on the next so the diner leaves sated, having experienced a culinary crescendo.
A complimentary glass of French Champagne is offered upon seating, and soon after freshly baked, crusty bread and truffled, parmesan butter arrives to seduce you into delectable decadence.
Oysters, soy cured tuna, and warm octopus salad follow, all being unique in preparation. Then arrives Tetsuya’s signature “Confit of Ocean Trout,” slow cooked to an impossibly, melt in your mouth texture. Grilled tooth fish, duck breast and lamb are then presented before the round of desserts arrive to cap off your meal.
Wine pairings ranged from local Hunter Valley, to other Australian regions with some international selections to compare and contrast with the flavor profiles.
Chef Tetsuya’s specially designed test kitchen continues to create new dishes inspired by the diverse influences that surround him. The result is a subtle, refined elegance and satisfying mouth-feel that exudes ethereal, palate-pleasing sensations. His guests include an international following of first time and loyal returnees who seek the serene surroundings, exceptional food, wine and service of this culinary giant. Chef Tetsuya Wakuda is waiting to delight you. Put yourself in the hands of a master.
By Diane Sukiennik and Michael Reiss Courtesy www.foodandwineaccess.com “Photos by Michael Reiss”