Tetsuya….and the temple of gastronomy

There are few chefs that remain at the top of their game restaurants after 22 years. Tetsuya has been called one of the world’s most accomplished chefs, a chef’s chef even. His signature restaurant in Sydney regularly makes it into the top 50 restrautns in the world. It seems that unlike Gordon Ramsay and other celebrity chefs, Tetsuya does not appear to pursue fame preferring instead to throw his weight behind causes that are about the food not about the empire.

Tetsuya Wakuda grew up in a small town in  Japan and at the age of 22 with  limited knowledge of English,  arrived in Australia with very little to his name. He opened his first restaurant in 1989 and the rest is history.  I have been wondering about what his particular brand of food is and it refuses to slot easily into any category. He has fused Japanese and French flavours long before fusion food became fashionable and well before Japanese food was considered fine dining outside Japan. “I made a lot of things up along the way and, luckily for me, people liked the way it tasted.” he has modestly said.

His most recent project is as brand ambassador for Tasmania where he sources most of his fish. He extolls the virtues of the clean southern oceans for some of the best seafood in the world.

Tetsuya’s is housed in a large elegant heritage-listed site in Sydney’s Kent Street to create what has been described as a high temple of gastronomy….a combination of large rooms all overlooking an exquisite and peaceful zen garden with running water.

This is not an ala carte restaurant offering only one degustation menu based on his philosophy of only using natural seasonal flavours, enhanced by classic French techniques. Tetsuya has an on-site “test kitchen” to enable him to create the constantly evolving and inspiring dishes on which he has built his international reputation. It is a 11 course degustation menu at AUD 210 per head with the accompanying wine course for $95 per head

Here is some of the exquisite dishes we had….

sea urchin custard

sashimi of hiramasa kingfish with blackbean and orange

confit petuna ocean trout with konbu, unpasturised roe, celery and apple

poached john dory with white garlic sauce and spring onion

confit leg of duck with caramelised eschallots, jamon and brussel sprouts

seared loin of NZ venison with salt roasted beetroot and beetroot juice

palette cleanser of goasts milk cheese with sorrel granita

bread and butter pudding and tarte tartin

spiced carrot cake with cream cheese ice cream and salted nuts

It was hard to pick a favourite – everything was exquisite, a feast for all the 6 senses!  The serving plates themselves unique pieces of ceramic art.

A superb wine list and some of the best trained staff I have experienced in any restaurant. Tetsuya’s private art collection (both Australian and Japanese art) is on display in every room making this not just a gastronomic journey but an artistic one.

one of many spectacular pieces of art adorning the walls

529 Kent Street, Sydney
Tetsuya's on Urbanspoon

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1 Comment

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One response to “Tetsuya….and the temple of gastronomy

  1. You didn’t mention that some of the art, particularly in the bathrooms, is of a rather personal nature!

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