It seems the Michelin people don’t come to Australia, more the pity. My wife and I have been to Michelin starred restaurants such as The Modern in New York City, and the Ledbury in London. Tetsuya easily outclasses these excellent restaurants. If it got Michelin recognition it would be more than one or two Michelin stars for sure. What’s so good about Tetsuya? My dear foodie, just about everything.
Arriving on a wet Saturday morning they let us in a little early before noon, and we left at 3.30 after an experience that was impossible to fault. Even though it is advertised as a 10 course degustation menu in our case it ended up being 12 courses plus petit fours. Offering a dozen courses is a big risk and must be a logistical nightmare but each of the 12 was faultless. We started off with a pea soup with a dab of chocolate mousse. It sounds bizarre, but the sweetness of the mousse offered a distinct contrast to the cold pea soup, which was excellently flavoured with stock. Trying to work out the best was a comparison among equals.
The oysters were offered as an extra and even though not a great fan of raw oysters the rice wine vinegar marinated them perfectly and it was pity there was only two each. The seasoning sounds plain in print, but the flavour was so subtle and yet burst like mini grenades on your taste buds. The rice vinegar mix was warmed, so it gently poached the oysters and thus made them even creamier. This was followed by a savoury Japanese egg custard which literally screamed “Gourmet Comfort Food”. We could’ve had a big bowl of the egg custard and be done with it, but there were more dishes to follow, as the menu structure was set as five courses dominated by seafood (the oysters were optional), followed by two meat dishes, and then dessert. By the way, you have never had a sushi plate like their salad of the sea, or grilled partridge which is literally indescribable. Then of course the three desserts each one more breathtaking than the previous: the pear sorbet was a nice, crisp palate cleanser, the apple and mint ice cream was a dessert for grown-ups, and the praline with a meringue that sits afloat the praline sauce was just to die for. Rich, decadent, yet light as a cloud.
But it is not just the food that was brilliant that it is but also the service. Not the stuffy service found in other Michelin starred restaurants (or the Michelin wannabes) but a friendly warmth, a readiness to banter, and a knowledge of the food and wine that was impeccable. The attention to detail like a lovely carved wooden chair or my wife’s hand bag without being asked for, our waiter seeing us down the stairs and checking if we needed a cab, friendly jokes and a guide to help so we did not get lost going to the quirkily logoed bathroom, a souvenir menu and over all a happy feel to the place.
If all this sounds too good to be true, the restaurant itself was also tastefully decorated with elegant artworks and our table overlooked the enclosed Japanese garden. For those with a tight purse string, Tetsuya is not cheap (but still less than $20/course), but when you consider the value of the food, service, and just having a magical afternoon that you will remember for years to come, this is the one I put my money on. Run, don’t walk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.