Monday 20 August 2007


Suspense, anticipation. Sweaty palms, butterflies in the stomach, should have worn that diaper for insurance. A kin to playing in my junior cricket grand final, I was a wreck. I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t eat. What happens if Tet’s ain’t all it’s cracked up to be? Sitting at number 5 on Restaurant Magazine’s world list, it’s as big a statement as “You just dropped the World Cup”. Padded up, the time had come to head to the crease. There’s a Dalai Lama Zen aura to this place which is profound. It’s daunting yet welcoming, from Balmain to the prime Kent St location, a lavish Japanese mansion and demands Bucknor respect. Reservations essential and after establishing we were guests, we’re escorted through the myriad of different dining areas. No la-di-da show ponying Kevin Pietersen aesthetics, just pure casual elegance, simple white linen, chairs which mould to the shape of your body, out the window a serene Japanese garden, a few pieces of art to divert your attention when it’s not fixated on the food, though it does get rather noisy.

So does it live up to the hype like a Steve Waugh promise? It sure does. The focus is the produce and it is of the highest quality. Optional oysters from Coffin Bay with the ginger soy vinaigrette should be placed on a pedestal for these supposed aphrodisiacs which certainly revved my engines. Creamy, delicate, they glided down my throat like a Tendulkar late cut. The best sea animal to date I’ve consumed, it’s like Tet’s went out on his dinghy that morning to hunt dinner for you. So fresh is the fish, though the NZ scampi, with it’s lobster texture and sweetness the highlight of a trio of fine examples. His signature dish, the Confit of Petuna Tasmanian Ocean Trout, on first impressions (which may sound a little offensive), thought the Konbu was packet noodle seasoning such was the salty fireworks of flavour. Taking more of it in, appreciate the soft ocean trout and it’s flavour, balanced by the texture of the speckled blackness of seaweed and dashi. Bradman it is, a class of its own. After you’ve come back to earth, Tet’s smacks sixes all over the paddock with his version of strawberry shortcake deconstructed into a compact shot glass. Hitting me like a Glenn McGrath bouncer, the anglaise light, with bubbles of air in the semi-solid custard with the surprise of a reverse sweep shot of dark chocolate and raspberry oozing out the middle.

Rekindling that feeling of hitting the winning boundary in that final, Tetsuya’s will be an experience that’ll forever be encoded in my long term memory. Tetsuya Wakuda, hold up that willow to acknowledge the applause and accolades you truly deserve.

5 / 5 yums!


Where? 529 Kent Street, Sydney

What? 10 course degustation $195

Left to Right : Sweet Corn Soup; Coffin Bay Oysters; Tartare of Tuna on Sushi Rice with Avacado; Tuna Marinated in Soy & Mirin, Soft Smoked Ocean Trout with Asparagus and Marinated NZ Scampi with Chicken Parfait & Walnut; Confit of Petuna Tasmanian Ocean Trout with Konbu, Daikon and Fennel; Seasonal Green Salad; Ravioli of Queensland Spanner Crab with Tomato & Basil Vinaigrette; Twice Cooked De-Boned Spatchcock with braised daikon & bread sauce; Grilled Wagyu Beef with Asian Mushrooms & Lime Jus; Pineapple & Yoghurt Sorbet & Strawberry Shortcake; Vanilla Bean Ice Cream with White Beans & Dates; Floating Island with Praline & Vanilla Bean Anglaise; Coffee or Tea & Petit Four


Jon! said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
"Grendel" said...

excellent coverage of what looks like a great restaraunt.

If I may just nitpick for a moment. . .

"Dalai Lama Zen" ?

Niwaism Hype said...

Was it that good? hahaha..

I would give tetsuya = 4.75/5 hahaha.. somehow.. booking was crazy though >.< that contributes to marking too!! www

slowcooked said...

everyone knows what a dalai lama zen is! (kidding - no one does)

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