Every once in awhile a restaurant comes along that transforms your outlook on fine dining. Tetsuya’s Restaurant in Sydney, Australia is one of those magical places. It’s no secret that Relais & Château is known for unearthing ethereal gourmet restaurants and luxe hotels across the globe like Les Maisons de Bricourt in Saint-Méloir-des-Ondes in France, but it wasn’t because of Tetsuya’s association with Relais & Château that we ended up stumbling upon this foodie wonderland.
On our second to last night in Sydney, we asked dear Aussie friends where they would go if they only had one last dinner experience down under. They answered quickly and the list was short – only two restaurants made their cut. Seeing as how our last night in Sydney fell on a Saturday and given that both restaurants have been triple chef’s hatted by The Sydney Morning Herald’s Good Food Guide at various points over the last few years, we figured there was no way we’d end up dining at either restaurant. Nonetheless, we figured popping by as soon as service started to see if there were any last minute cancellations couldn’t hurt. That’s how we were able to slip into Iceland’s only Michelin starred restaurant, Dill in Reykjavík, so we figured it was worth a shot.
We were completely bowled over by Tetsuya’s from the get go. We arrived with no expectations of snagging a table. As soon as we stepped foot on Tetsuya’s property the maître d’ appeared out of thin air to greet us. When we informed him we didn’t have a reservation, he didn’t flinch. Instead he noted that he might be able to sneak us in if we were willing to dine late in the evening at 9:00pm. Not a problem we said. We asked for a cocktail recommendation and he sent us on our way to a fabulous spot called Stitch Bar.
When we stepped back onto Tetsuya’s property (which feels a bit like entering the home of some dear friend of yours who appears on Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, but is also incredibly humble) out bounded our maître d’ again warmly welcoming us back. He apologized profusely that our table wasn’t ready at precisely 9:00pm. We again adamantly noted we were happy they could even squeeze us in.
We were in no rush, but our new found friend asked if he could ply us with a glass of champagne, some Pacific oysters and a spot of truffle butter and bread for the inconvenience.
Absolutely we said. We could wax poetic about that truffle butter for days. In fact, we almost asked them to leave us at Tetsuya’s bar so we could gorge on fresh bread topped with that decadent truffle butter. In addition to truffle, Tetsuya’s butter is made with parmigiano reggiano and ricotta cheese, it tastes like a rich creamy dream.
Once our table was ready, we embarked on a journey filled with French and Japanese fusion delights.
Tetsuya’s restaurant is designed in a way that makes you take note of different perspectives. There’s a lovely rock garden in the courtyard and slated blinds so you can see other diners a bit, but without being too obtrusive.
The delicate plating of each dish meshes perfectly with the space.
It’s obvious that Chef Tetsuya Wakuda and his team pay as much attention to the restaurant’s ambiance and atmosphere as they are attentive when it comes to selecting natural seasonal flavors for each dish.
Not only was our maître d’ en pointe, but our sommelier that evening, Fabio Danzi, was also phenomenal. The wines we tasted that evening came from all over Australia, but it was Tetsuya’s own private label (the 2014 Curly Flat Pinot Noir) that we fell head over heels for that evening.
The transition from the main courses into dessert at Tetsuya’s is effortless.
In addition to Tetsuya’s Restaurant, here’s a list of other neat little local spots we love across Australia.
There was poached pear with custard apple cream and leaves that you see above in the featured photo of this post as well as a chocolate cake and scrumptious petits fours.
Everything at Tetsuya’s Restaurant was perfect from the cuisine to the experience and the service. There are loads of fabulous restaurants in Australia from A Tiny Place in Hobart, Tasmania to Devon Café in Sydney and LONgTIME in Brisbane, but our experience at Tetsuya’s was over the top. Whether it was accommodating us at the last minute, finding a “seat” for my purse or gifting us with a jar of truffle salt so we could make truffle butter at home after we inquired about the recipe, our visit was exquisite and it was an evening we will cherish for many years to come.
529 Kent Street
Sydney, Australia New South Wales 2000
Hours: Tuesday Through Friday 5:30pm to Midnight, Saturday Noon to Midnight
Phone: +61 2 9267 2900
Pricing (All in Australian Dollars or AUD): Set Degustation Menu $230 Per Person