Sunday, 23 September 2012

Tetsuya's - 529 Kent Street, Sydney

I have finally been to the infamous Tetsuya's, world renowned restaurant and Sydney's fine dining institution! I went with my husband for our first year wedding anniversary.  It  really is a total experience from the moment you walk through the front door.  If you haven't already you really need to experience Tetsuya's at least once. If I was rich I would go every time they change the menu.  Everything about the night was fabulous.

We got, what I thought the best table in the restaurant in the larger of the two rooms and in the middle by the window overlooking the serene, peaceful and zen court-yard.  "Ah the serenity" I kept saying every time I looked out there.  

At the end of the night the waiter, who was very informative, attentive and friendly,  gave us a print out of the menu with a little personal note on it, which they probably have a hundred already printed out in preparation for the many couples celebrating their "Anniversary's" and "Birthday's" haha!  Anyway I thought it was a nice touch.

My husband had the 12 course degustation with matching wines.  I had a glass of Champagne and a few sips of his wines throughout the night.  There were a total of 7 wines, some lasting 2 courses.

I'm not going to rate each dish as I normally do as I feel I probably won't do the dishes justice with my amateur writing and ingredient descriptions.  Oh and I also didn't take photos of all the courses, as I was too busy just enjoying the night!

Above is the prettiest dish of the night "Salad of the Sea".  I've never had raw scallop before, it was beautifully sweet.  I loved the caviar the best, the pops of saltiness were so tasty with the more subtle seafood.

Confit of ocean Petuna trout with fennel and unpasteurised ocean trout caviar.  This is Tetsuya's signature dish.  The waiter told us that when Tetsuya took it off the menu a few years back a lot of customers' complained and so he gave in to public demand and put it back on the degustation.  I'm so glad he did! It seriously is one delicious piece of fish!  

Steamed tian of Queensland spanner crab with bean curd, foie gras and junsai.  A combination of subtle flavours but then it went up a notch with the rich foie gras.  The junsai , a cultivated vegetable was very wierd. Green bits with a clear coating to it.  It had no flavour and really wasn't adding anything good to the dish.

Roasted breast of duck with eggplant and almond.  I should have asked about this dish more as the eggplant concoction was strong with spice and tasted incredible!   I say almost overtaking the duck. . . which was super tender indeed.

Green apple and mint ice-cream and potato mille feulle.  This was a dessert like no other that I have had before.  Maybe because I don't really have a stomach for desserts.  I'd rather have entree, main, main!   The granita was so fresh and zingy packed with basil hits.  The mint ice-cream was so nice and creamy.   If I ate here every week I think I would develop a dessert stomach.

Floating island and creme anglaise, chocolate fondant with hazelnut and praline.  OMG!  As I said I am not a dessert person but this comes close to the fave dish of the night.  The fluffiness and lightness of the meringue was so soft and melt in the mouth I could have eaten two more at least!  Then as you dig in for the second spoonful you hit the chocolate inside and the hazelnut, wow!   It's like a Fererro Rocher re-worked into a cloud.  The custard is spotted with vanilla bean specks and was just the right amount of sweetness.  I could've licked the bowl!

Other courses that I had that I still remember dancing on my tongue was the savoury custard with Avruga.  That was so silky and the Avruga popped up to the surface with each wooden spoon mouthful.  

The slow braised lamb shoulder was also incredibly tasty, tender and devoured quite quickly despite it being the eighth course, the last savoury course.

My friends asked me if I was full at the end and I can definitely say yes!  Not my usual I've stuffed myself too much  I'm going to vomit full, but a perfectly happy satisfied full. I definitely could not have done the wine degustation though. 

I definitely can't recommend enough that you have to go here and experience the impeccable service, amazing dishes and the all round workings of a top class restaurant that has been operating for 23 years. That in its' self says something about a restaurant in Sydney doesn't it?

Tetsuya's on Urbanspoon

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Korean Dinner

Seoul-Ria; Spicy Tofu Soup with Seafood

Was craving this along with some BBQ beef and pork belly. Seoul-Ria never disappoints!

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Wang Wang Shanghai Silver Star, 476 Anzac Parade, Kingsford

In the past week I have eaten the very well known Chinese Xiao Long Bao’ or Shanghai dumplings, twice and both were handmade in-house served steaming hot in their bamboo container.  The bouncy buns were full of tasty pork mince and hot soup.  This has to be my favourite dumpling; coming in close is the wonton.  Good wontons are so few and far between unless you’re in Hong Kong.   But Shanghai dumplings are pretty spot on when made with skill and love.

The first lot I ate them at was at a place called Hutong Dumpling House in Chinatown Melbourne.  You may have seen my dumpling on Instagram, but yeah they were pretty darn good especially with the vinegar and a splash of chilli sauce.  Mmmmmm!

Today we took my Dad out for a cheap and cheerful Chinese restaurant in Kingsford after his weekly Sunday soccer match.  He tells me he has eaten at quite a few joints around the Kingsford area and knows a few of the owners but his favourite is this one.  The name is hilarious hey?!

There were only three of us and it was pretty busy on ground floor at lunchtime so we headed upstairs to the minimally decked out restaurant.   At the back you can see the dumpling and noodle making area.  I wanted to take a pic but there was no one there as we were leaving!

In typical Asian cheap eating style the place isn’t the cleanest, the spoons are plastic and they have wooden disposable chopsticks.  I scan the menu with its bright photos of each dish and we decided to have the following.

Xiao Long Bao  - you get half a dozen in each serve in the bamboo steamers.  Compared to the ones at Hutong they were pretty much the same.  The dumpling skin was slightly thicker here.  There was a bit more soup in these ones too which makes you really carefully lift them up from the paper hoping it doesn't burst before you get it to your bowl.  I douse them in vinegar and chilli once again and enjoy every moment of it.  Only had two this time.  I think I will be back as they are so cheap!  I think it was $5 for the 6?!  Should pay more attention next time but I was hung-over and really wanted to just eat.  8/10

Hot and Sour Soup  - This came in a rather K-mart looking bowl which made me giggle a bit, would’ve been much more fitting in a Chinese ceramic bowl.   It was a big serve; maybe we had two little bowls each from it.  It was thick with strips of tofu, black fungus, pork and bamboo shoots.  I hate bamboo shoots.  I pick them out.  There was so much pepper in it and I was questioning where the sourness was coming from as other hot and sour soups I’ve had have a reddy tinge to them.   It was super hot and spicy!  Very nice if you like hot things.  7/10

Drunken chicken – I love this dish as it is cold and is different to all the other sizzling meat and stir-fry dishes.  It’s soaked in wine and has a distinct but subtle flavour to it.  The skin isn’t too fatty either which is good.  I hate fatty chicken skin! 8/10

Shanghai noodles with pork – This is a typical noodle dish with bits of pork and greens.  Nice soy and garlic flavour.  Again better with some chilli sauce. 7/10

Sizzling Szechuan Beef – This was my husband’s pick and it was pretty good although they didn’t put the beef on the hot plate in front of you.  I like it when they do that where the loudness of the sizzle makes people look at what you have.  The dish was scattered with whole dried red chillies and chunks of onion, capsicum and decent sized bits of beef.  The beef was pretty tender and the sauce had a little sweetness to it, which worked well with the heat of the chillies.  You get a free bowl of rice with any main. 6.5/10

I was pretty stuffed after this and had some hot tea to wash it all down.  By the time we were finishing up a whole bunch of students came in and the room was getting loud.  Oh well not to worry we don’t like to hang around after a meal anyway.   We just eat, pay the bill and go with a very satisfied feeling as we had some yummy food for a mere $35.50!  The service was fine, and not even worth a mention as this is type of place where it's all about the food not the service.

I would definitely give this place a go for some of the Shanghai dumplings if you don’t want to head into town to Din Tai Fung or Chinatown.  You would be guaranteed to save few dollars for pretty much the same tasting food.

Wang Wang Shanghai Silver Star on Urbanspoon
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