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How Not To Do (and How To Do) Tetsuya's

Home > Sydney > Dinner | Fine Dining | Food and Wine | Restaurants
by Sydneyfunmum (subscribe)
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Published January 19th 2016
How FOMO intensifies experience
How not to do Tetsuya's

1) Get invited to Tetsuya's by friends celebrating their wedding anniversary, said wedding being an event at which your husband was the best man. Be pregnant with your first child.

2) Make sure your husband is of the super protective hypochondriac variety who sees listeria lurking in every meal not baked to a crisp, waiting to kill your unborn child.

Tetsuya dish
Sea banana, samphire, soy marinades, yellowfin tuna, coastal succulents, eggplant


3) Watch in consternation as each increasingly swoon-worthy dish gets placed in front of you, then sent away by over-vigilant husband, to be replaced by more suitable dish for pregnant person (read: very well cooked with as few raw ingredients as possible - kind of limiting in a restaurant which prides itself on fresh produce delicately cooked to showcase its natural flavours).

4) Surreptitiously snivel (as you don't want to ruin your friend's anniversary dinner) while you cry silently into your plate of artfully arranged salad leaves, watching the rest of the table groan with pleasure as they tuck into Tetsuya's confit of ocean trout, world's most photographed dish, carefully cooked slowly and at such low temperature that it has an unworldly melt-in-your mouth consistency - therefore entirely unsuitable for pregnant wife, according to your maddeningly preachy husband. Stare longingly at butter knife then back at increasingly stab-worthy face of husband, but restrain oneself, knowing that to create such a disturbance during friend's wedding anniversary dinner would be incredibly poor form.

petunia of ocean trout Tetsuya
Confit of petunia ocean trout - Tetsuya's signature dish


5) Snatch a plate off the waiter as he's starting to set the dishes down around the table, which may or may not contain something like unpasteurized cheese, and scoff it down hastily while your husband is engaged in conversation, hoping he won't notice.

6) Try to appreciate the complex interplay of textures and flavours in your mouth while eating very very fast, cursing in your mind at the over-attentiveness of the wait staff holding emergency discussions in hushed whispers amongst themselves ("did you give her the plate before checking with her husband?" "It's too late - she's eaten it")

7) Die of embarrassment as husband turns around, realises what has happened, and starts to give waiters a dressing down for not checking the dish with him first to confirm if the dish was suitable for pregnant wife to eat.

8) Leave one of the world's most renowned restaurants hungry, surrounded by friends who are rolling out the door patting their well rounded stomachs whilst raving about how this was the best meal they had ever eaten in their lives. Console oneself with the knowledge that the food that you just ate was amazing, whilst seething at the fact that the food that everybody else just ate was phenomenal.

How to do Tetsuya's

Tetsuya - rock garden
Rock garden and pond, view from the dining room


1) Return to Tetsuya's a few years later having had the above experience, when not pregnant and with no dietary restrictions.

2) Marvel at the tranquility of the setting, the beautiful surrounds, and the harmony of the sculptures and paintings tastefully placed around the restaurant.

wood carving Tetsuya
Polished wood sculpture


3) Delight in the attentiveness of the waitstaff, and admire how well they look after the lone businessman from overseas dining by himself, handing him Tetsuya's book to look at between courses as a distraction from his status as a lone diner in the sea of couples celebrating special occasions.

4) Giggle with delight at Tetsuya's fine dining take on mashed potato and pea. Marvel at the playfulness of the dish. The black stuff that looks like caviar - is actually herring balls that are coloured black with squid ink. The fish roe is actually the orangey-yellow stuff underneath it. Revel in the surprise factor of this dish.

potato and pea puree Tetsuya
Fish roe and squid ink herring balls, potato and pea puree


5) Spend a long time wondering how a fully grown octopus can be made so unbelievably tender and flavoursome.

Octopus salad Tetsuya
Octopus salad, shiso, fennel, green almonds


6) Marvel at how food can be made to taste this good. Restrain oneself from comparing how sinfully pleasurable this meal is compared to the horror that was the other meal a few years ago.

Duck breast with pepperberry and witlof
duck breast with pepperberry and witlof


7) Feel the stomach start to strain with every delightful mouthful. Allow the tastebuds to tingle and be cleansed with the fresh combination of cucumber granita and mint lime sorbet, ready to be bedazzled by the onslaught of dessert dishes.

Mint lime sorbet cucumber granita Tetsuya
Mint lime sorbet with cucumber granita


8) Crunch through the lychee granita, while your tastebuds zing with the sweet hit from the macerated strawberry and the tropical tantalising flavour of coconut sorbet.

lychee granita Tetsuya
Lychee granita, coconut sorbet, macerated strawberry


9) Snigger as you watch semi-drunk guests who are half way through the matched wine degustation stumble to the toilets and with looks of bewildered consternation plastered across their faces, try (and fail) to work out which toilet is the ladies and which one is the gents from the graphic signage.

Tetsuyas toilet signs
Tetsuya toilet signage - so obvious when you realise what it depicts, so impossible to decipher when you're busting and drunk


10) Leave Tetsuya's feeling replete, with the satisfying knowledge that a grave wrong (dining at Tetsuya's with over-protective husband whilst pregnant) has finally been set right.
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Why? Because some dining experiences need to be given a second chance
Phone: (02) 9267 2900
Where: 529 Kent St, Sydney
Cost: $230 per person, matching wine courses an additional $110 per person
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