I have lots of respect for most chefs. It is a very tough life and many chefs start from humble beginnings. The story of how Tetsuya started as a kitchenhand and his rise to the top is well known in the culinary industry. But his story is common amongst many chefs. Many remains unknown but those that make it right to the top do share a very similar sort of story. There is no easy way up unless you are one of the few that wins Masterchef or some celebrity type TV reality show. I may be wrong but what do you think?
For my birthday this year, Mister has begged his way to a table for two at Tetsuya. I never knew he had such great negotiation skills to be able to score a reservation at the last minute. But he did it and that is all that matters. This is one checked off our bucket list of restaurants to try. Thanks hunnie!
The infamous Tetsuya truffle butter is to die for. It’s made from softened butter, parmesan and sprinkle of earthy aromatic black truffles. I do not usually have more than one bread roll but at Tetsuya, I had two. When the butter runs low, it is quickly replaced with a new batch. We were also served with a beautiful and creamy chestnut soup.
The second course is scallop like oysters with roasted rice vinaigrette. I love the burst of ruby finger lime. And the scallops were so creamy and super fresh.
Third course is the salad of the sea. It was a selection of harpuka, tuna and redfin. They are surrounded and enhanced by crunchy but fresh shredded daikon, fresh cucumber cubes, salty bursts of dashi balls and shreds of seaweed. It was a deconstructed sushi roll.
The fourth course is Tetsuya’s signature dish – The confit of Petuna ocean trout with fennel and unpasteurised ocean trout caviar. This dish catapulted Tetsuya to global stardom. It is one of the most photographed dish. Quote from SMH – “Wakuda’s confit of ocean trout is arguably the nation’s most internationally renowned restaurant dish, celebrated in newspapers and magazines from Boston to Shanghai. Time magazine described it as “sublime”, while The New York Times said: “Take a mouthful of fish, seaweed crust and celery and the whole fairly sparkles on the palate”.
The fifth course is the snapper with soy butter and nameko mushrooms. The fish was just a little over cooked and I wish the skin was crispy. It is one of the dishes that I least love.
The sixth course is a poached spatchcock with asparagus and morels. I love those sweet and earthy morels. The spatchcock breast was cooked to perfection but I wished this dish has more texture to it. All the dishes seem to be lacking in texture. It was all quite soft. Full of flavour but just missing the crunch factor.
The seventh dish before we move on to dessert is the slow braised beef short rib with pickled mushrooms and parmesan. I like the dish and again it was too much on the soft side. But I do love the almost chewy texture of the potato puree.
Palate cleanser pear sorbet is amazing. Very refreshing and I was looking forward to the desserts.
It was followed by an apple granita with mint ice cream and basil jelly. I love the savoury factor in this dessert. Light, refreshing and well balanced. And if you do head down to Tetsuya, please try this delicious dessert sake – Masuizumi Junmai Kijoshu. Very minimal but complex at the same time. So smooth that I keep sipping on it. It was delicate but could hold up against the sweetness of this dessert and the richness of the next. Must order!
As it was my birthday lunch, I was given Tetsuya infamous chocolate cake. It was kind of weird to have a birthday song sang to me in the rather sober surroundings. It is super shiny and the cake was super moist with crunchy hazelnuts inside. Finally, something more texturally. It was delicious!
Mister had the chocolate dessert that is part of the degustation. It was a chocolate and hazelnut marquise with cognac ice cream. It is rich but not offensive. I love the balance of this dish and how the cognac ice cream offsets the richness of the chocolate.
We ended the degustation with some genmai cha and petit fours. From the top to bottom – Apricot almond macarons, chocolate truffles, salted caramel nuts and yuzu puffs. All delicious and I wish I had more!
Thanks for the yummy birthday present!