Tetsuya's: one of Australia's top restaurants, and one that I have wanted to go to for a really long time. A combined 30th birthday for me and another friend provided the excuse to head to Sydney with a handful of friends and treat ourselves to an amazing night. The dinner costs $210 for an 11 course degustation, and many of us also chose the matched wine option for an extra $95. I've included the wine names with the dish descriptions below. I'm not at all experienced enough to comment about the wines, except that the combination of the food and wine was superb and enhanced the dishes. I don't think I am really knowledgeable enough to talk about the food adequately either, but I'll give it my best shot...
Sourdough with ricotta, parmesan and truffle butter.
The bread was delicious, the butter amazing, and even better with a pinch of salt on top. Bread was offered regularly throughout the first half of the meal, and the butter topped up.
Chilled cucumber soup with sheep yoghurt ice cream.
Amazing from the first sip: creamy with the ice cream yet completely refreshing.
In the background you can also see the cocktail I ordered - I forget what it was called, but I chose it because lychees were a component. Although I couldn't taste any lychees the cocktail still hit the spot nicely.
Sashimi of kingfish with blackbean and orange.
Tengumai Bunseirokunen sake for Tetsuya's, Junmai, Ishikawa.
I can't even begin to try and describe this dish. There was so much more to it than the three ingredients listed in the menu description - the flavours were very complex but completely balanced. The fish pretty much melted in your mouth, and I savoured every mouthful!
Marinated NZ scampi with avocado soup and avruga.
2010 Henschke Julius Riesling, Eden Valley, S.A.
I'd have to say that this was my favourite dish. I hadn't had scampi before, and it was so sweet and delicious. Underneath was a lovely bread salad. I hadn't had avruga before (herring that has been coloured with squid ink to resemble caviar) but it was great too. Each component on this dish was fantastic, and the combination was brilliant.
Confit Petuna ocean trout with konbu, celery and apple.
2010 Skillogalee Gewurtztraminer, Clare Valley, SA.
Tetsuya's signature dish! I loved the konbu crust, and the texture of the confit trout - it was very soft and had an interesting note from the oil.
Fillet of mulloway with asparagus and pil pil.
2007 Pierro chardonnay for Tetsuya's, Margaret River, W.A.
This was my least favourite course of the night, which is not to say that it was bad, just my least favourite. Mulloway (jewfish) is quite a strong tasting fish and it was definitely the dominant flavour of the dish.
Braised ox tail with sea cucumber and yuzu.
2008 Mencia petalos, descendientes de J.Palacios, Bierzo, Spain.
Another first: sea cucumber! Lots of umami in this course, and the sea cucumber added an interesting texture. The ox tail flaked apart with just a slight nudge of the fork.
Pancetta-wrapped quail breast with fresh sprouts and onion.
2010 Foster e rocco nuovo sangiovese, Heathcote, Victoria.
The quail was perfectly cooked and nicely tender, but the star of the dish was without a doubt the crunchy salad.
De-boned rack of lamb with heirloom carrots.
2008 Fraser gallop cabernet sauvignon, Margaret River, W.A.
This dish didn't make a huge impression on me. It was sprinkled with almonds which added some nice texture, and the purees were tasty, but despite lamb being my favourite meat this didn't stand out.
Riesling sorbet with pomelo and summer pudding
2007 Heggies botrytis riesling, eden valley, S.A.
We were told to eat the sorbet first, followed by the pudding. The pomelo in the sorbet was great - little bursts of flavour. Summer pudding is one of my favourite desserts, and so of course I enjoyed this.
White peach with peach granita.
Chocolate pavé with cream cheese ice cream and cinnamon twigs.
Seppeltsfield Cellar No. 6 tokay, Rutherglen, Victoria.
This was the final dessert that most of the table had. The cake was mousse-like and very rich!
As the birthday girl, I was given a different dessert - a perfectly-cooked chocolate fondant with cocoa-dusted hazelnuts and a quenelle of cream.
We finished on tea or coffee and these petit fours. I love mochi and these were great examples, with a rich chocolate centre (I don't recall noticing any chai flavour).
The service was top-notch - 100% professional without being stuffy - every detail was taken care of. They happily accommodated for vegetarians at our table, as well as gluten and egg allergies.
So, all in all it was a completely amazing meal! I was a bit worried that after wanting to go here for eight or so years that it might not meet my expectations, but it still blew me away. Completely and utterly worth it.