Tetsuya’s – 20 April 2011

Tetsuya’s was my very first fine dining experience, so it marks the official beginning of my food adventures. It’s also the poorest quality set of photos since for a number of reasons:

– I had no idea what the photo/dining etiquette was

– I didn’t intend to post the pictures

– I have never paid this much for food before

– I had zero expectations of what the food would look like and taste like

Due to the time difference, working off memory means that the recount may not be accurate, but the key points are still used as comparison points in my current restaurant experiences.

First things first. Being the first fine dining restaurant I’d ever booked, I was mildly surprised that they required credit card details upon making a reservation, however, the booking process was very smooth, albeit at the time, I believe I called their reservations line, received an email with a form attachment for my payment details, and then received confirmation of the date. In addition, I was advised to call and confirm my reservations two days prior. It was such a nerve wracking experience!

I never knew that the best restaurants in Sydney were generally located in the city, I always imagined such famed restaurants being tucked away in their own magical land that only those attending knew how to access. It sounds weird, but I really did think that. This visit demystified my far-fetched theories, so a short walk on Kent Street lead me to the nondescript building that was home to some of the best food around.

To this date, it’s still the most interesting setup in terms of floor plan. Being slightly bewildered, I recall us being ushered into one of the many dining rooms, where each table had chairs facing the window into a secluded zen garden. There was a very subtle light show where the shadow of a bird would be projected, flitting through the leaves of the garden. The floor was relatively quiet, matching the calm, Japanese ambience of the restaurant.

There were many firsts for me here – being asked for still or sparkling water, being asked what occasion I was dining for, and the offering of oysters for “a small fee.” Any offering of oysters has always elicited a yes from me.

There was only one choice here – their degustation in full, so we weren’t offered a menu or advised of what was coming. That wasn’t a concern, but it was something that I noticed.

The first course was a cucumber gazpacho with goat curd (or creme fraiche). Cold soup was new to me, and I found that it tasted quite nice. The oysters were served shortly after, dressed with a rice wine vinaigrette. Those were some delicious oysters!
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