Well by now you may have realised that I'm either really rich right, or really broke. I currently happened to be the latter. I was fortunate enough to go to Tetsuya's last year, however weeks before it happened to infamously lose it's 3rd hat. The hell with it. I found myself in utter confusion after that night as to why this may have happened. To summarise, my experience was truly magical, one of the best fine dining experiences I've been to, with every dish perfectly executed and the best top notch service to boot: warm, amiable and personal, yet professional and unintruding.
Oddly seems to be a pattern this year, but I came out to a cloudy, rainy and moody Spring day a short walk away from Townhall Station. I think I've used that same description about the weather for the past few posts. Blame the weather. One will never suspect that within the hustle and bustle at the centre of the CBD lies a random house with gates and traditional roof tops and all. And a valet. Inside it feels like the sort of place you should be on your best behavior. We are quickly greeted and seated, a verbal and informative menu given to us and with ready stomachs, onward we charged into the monster that is the Tetsuya degustation.
Your thinking it's just bread and butter, but I'm thinking it's also bread and butter hah! But it's the best you're ever going to eat. Best. You're given an option of Italian or sourdough and both are good choices so it's a good thing we went for seconds and thirds... and I was even considering fourths. Freshly baked individual rolls are warm, fresh and fluffy with a definite acidic touch. The butter is divine, aerated and whipped, it comes packed with flavour with a strong taste of parmesan and ricotta, cheesy with that delicate touch of the truffle earthiness, so good, it kept us eating butter and bread at a 2 to 1 ratio. Time for a run.
|Corn Soup and Soy Cream|
|Pacific Oysters with Rice Vinegar & Ginger|
|Savoury Custard with Sea Urchin|
The custard was creamy and melting, so much so, you could let it just sit on your tongue and let it disintegrate. It had such unmistakable clarity in flavour of dashi and was my favourite dish of the night. What had us bemused for quite a while was the use of a wooden spoon, ahhh the little things. The sea urchin was admittedly an acquired taste for some, but to me it had quite a peculiar yet pleasant texture, with a flavour almost buttery with a slight bitterness that was quite enjoyable.
|Sashimi of Kingfish with Blackbean & Orange|
|Confit of Petuna Ocean Trour with Shaved Fennel|
Unpasteurised Ocean Trout Caviar
|Steamed Queensland Spanner Crab with Bean Curnd, Foie Gras & Junsai|
EDIT: Seeing this dish a week after eating it on junior masterchef really enlightens me on the intricate nature and processes behind this dish. I really have to congratulate the 12 year olds on their remarkable prowess with being able to create such a masterpiece. Would of loved to meet the man himself.
|Braised Veal Shank with Broad Bean & Smoked Bone Marrow|
|Breast of Quail with Palenta Iberico & Garlic Puree|
|De-Boned Rack of Lamb with Eggplant, White Miso & Blue Cheese|
|Hay-Infused Ice Cream with Sorrel Granita|
Bread & Butter Pudding
|Chocolate Pave with Cream Cheese Ice Cream & Cinnamon Twigs|
It was a beautiful night in a great restaurant however all in all, if there was one word to summarize my experience in comparison to last year, it would be underwhelming. The price of the degustation is unjustifiable, especially for repeat customers looking for a new Tetsuya experience and expecting perfection. Would I go to it again? Not for a long long while, not unless there's reason enough to believe the menu has changed for the better. With the promise of an 11 courser and instead only getting 10 had me disappointed which wasn't really helped with 4 repeat dishes I had last year.
That's not to say I didn't enjoy the night, which I thoroughly did with very thought provoking, beautiful food and all, but I was just expecting a bit more. It's seems Tetsuya's presence within his eponymous restaurant is sorely missed and would do wonders to bring the excitement back in the restaurant. Here's to me hoping this fine diner will fight back for its place within the greats and re climb back to its former grace. Tetsuya's really is the once in a lifetime experience.
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