Tetsuya’s is arguably one of Sydney’s, if not Australia’s, finest dining experiences. Based around the vision of Tetsuya Wakuda, the style is contemporary Japenese fusion (that’s my attempt at classification) with an international flavour.
This was my first visit to this famous Sydney restaurant and hopefully not my last, for although the pricetag is high ($195 per person, fixed cost degustation) the experience redefines your fine food, service & wine list benchmarks.
I chose to take the optional matched wine ‘progression’ ($90) mainly as I was intrigued to see how the wine and food would be matched up. I’m happy to report the pairings where great, even if I wasn’t always moved by the wines themselves. Function over form in some ways then.
I am no restaurant expert, so I’ll let Caryn’s brilliant (reduced for the web, which doesn’t them no justice) photos do the talking.
Firstly the wines:
Heidler Thal Gruner Veltliner 2006
A quite simple, yet classic Gruner that served to highlight how interesting this variety is. A light golden straw in colour, it had a decidedly cool climate honeysuckle & spice nose that was quite direct and light. The palate is where this wine came alive with a spicy, textural viscosity of warm, slightly herbaceous, honey fruit. There is back palate weight and some heat on the finish, in the vein of a Viognier without the heaviness. Throughout the night I came back to this and it proved to be a very versatile food wine, if still somewhat simple. Very enjoyable stuff. 17.3
Clover Hill Blanc De Blancs 2003
Accompanied the Smoked Ocean Trout & Avruga Caviar, with the richness in this working well with the quite rich & creamy dish. Quite a bronze colour considering its relative youth, this had quite a developed, Brie & butter nose with some maturing Chardonnay toast. The palate is similarly cheesy & richly developed with a big robust mouthfeel that lacked a little subtlety. Maturing quickly & a little fat but still enjoyable. 17.2
Sake (It was probably good stuff)
Served with the Custard. Did absolutely nothing for me and felt almost like a novelty. How are you meant to sip Sake anyway? It has always been for drunkenly skulling at local Japanese restaurants before getting up for some Karaoke/taking pants off and swinging around head.
Paradigm Hill Riesling 2007
A Mornington Riesling? Hmm. This wine was served at around the time of the Scampi and served as an excellent foil for the quite delicate Seafood. Kudos to the Sommelier. As for the wine itself, it was quite pretty and floral on the nose, but also quite dumb & green appley, with some light toast creeping in on the nose. The palate was muddled, stuck between primary fruit & secondary development, saved only by some limey fruit sweetness and crisp acidity. A good food wine, but otherwise bland & a little boring. Time may improve the rating, but not by much. 16
Henschke Gewurtztraminer 2008
Served with the Confit of Trout and again a great match. The crisp acidity and subdued flavours working well with the delicate complexity and freshness. Again however, this wine was quite average. The nose showed some lychee Gewurtz varietal characters, but they where only fleeting before being replaced with Eden Valley slate. The palate was lean, slightly peachy & one dimensional, showing no varietal character & feeling like a pale Eden Riesling imitator. Nicely balanced back end, but really quite an average Gewurtz. 15.8
Pierro Chardonnay For Tetsuya’s 2007
Made by Pierro for Tetsuya’s. I can’t tell you how close it is to the normal Pierro Chard in composition, but judging on the wine alone it was classic Pierro Chard. Hallmark Toasty, worked, malo & integrated vanilla oak character on the nose with power and regional grapefruit flavour. The palate is similarly quite bulky with slightly overt oak and perfect nutty richness, all in need of a few more years to come together. Yum. 18.0
Felton Road Pinot Noir for Tetsuya’s 2006
Another smart ‘house wine’. Every inch a Felton Pinot, with that trademark bright red colour and beautiful stalky red fruit nose. I was slightly disappointed with the palate on this though, as it seemed quite closed and oaky, especially through the middle. This really needs more time to integrate. 17+
Parker Estate Terra Rossa Cabernet Sauvignon 2003
Served with the Wagyu where it just cut right through the hedonistic fatty rich meat. Food match points again. On its own however this is hard work. Leafy, herbaceous & slightly unripe nose tomato leaf nose, with a dry, cocoa & slightly bitter Cassis fruit driven palate. Its all a bit hard and oak driven, but with a future that should see it blossom if your patient to leave it alone for another 5+ years. 16.6++ (18 with the Wagyu however)
Heggies Botrytis Riesling 2007
This didn’t need food, it was lovely on its own. Big, tropical pineapple nose with a long caramel meets pineapple juice palate with carefully judged limey acidity. Natural acidity, length & balance. Lovely stuff & my WOTN 18.5
Smoked Ocean Trout & Avruga Caviar, Hens yolk & Goats Cheese
Leek & Spanner Crab Custard
Terrine of Spanner Crab with an Avocado Soup
(Baby!) Fillet of Barramundi with Baby Fennel
Wagyu Beef with Lime & Wasabi
Beetroot & Blood Orange Sorbet