It has enjoyed unanimous praise in reviews until a couple of years ago, when a few food critics complained that its signature dish hadn’t changed in 18 years. Most of us won’t be going often enough that it would be a problem.
The heritage building in which Tetsuya is housed has been separated into several rooms, each with a small number of tables. This gives a nice sense of privacy, and if you are on a very early/late booking you may even have the whole room to yourself!
The tables are nicely sized for groups of 2 or 3, however the groups of four that I spotted looked a bit cramped. Surprisingly I also saw individuals eating alone!
The restaurant serves a set degustation menu, and the only choice you need to make is whether to get the matching wines set. We were also offered an oysters option, I’m not sure if this was available all the time.
The menu is seasonal, with only the signature dish Confit of Petuna Ocean Trout being fixed. However you are given a choice of alternatives if you do not eat certain foods. In our case we swapped out our lamb.
Corn Soup with Soy Cream
Strangely this was the highlight of the meal to me. Its sweet taste is something you’ll never forget. The disappointment is that you only get a tiny cupful.
Pacific Oysters with Rice Vinegar & Ginger
This was an option offered to us, 2 oysters each.
Savory Custard with Sea Urchin
Very nice, if standard chawanmushi 茶碗蒸し.
Sashimi of Kingfish with Blackbean & Orange
Good sashimi and interesting sauce.
Confit of Petuna Ocean Trout with Shaved Fennel
Unpasteurised Ocean Trout Caviar
Being the signature dish, we expected something very special. While it was very nice, I found it didn’t have that knockout punch quality I was hoping for.
Steamed Queensland Spanner Crab with Bean Curd, Foie Gras & Junsai
Very sweet crab, great flavors right through to the tofu.
Braised Veal Shank with Broad Beans & Smoked Bone Marrow
Very soft meat. I wasn’t very sure if the broad beans actually added anything. I was getting quite full at this point already.
Breast of Quail with Paleta Iberico & Garlic Puree
Very nice, a bit tending to the salty side.
Seared Fillet of Cape Grim Beef with Wasabi & Braised Mustard Seeds
Wasabi goes well with beef as always.
Hay-Infused Ice Cream with Sorrel Granita
The ice cream was nice, the granita so-so for me.
Bread & Butter Pudding
Very nice, very rich.
Chocolate Pave with Cream Cheese Ice Cream & Cinnamon Twigs
Seemed like pretty standard ice cream to me.
It’s really hard to judge this as degustations are not really my thing. It feels a bit strange having no choice in the menu and having so many items in one sitting. However everyone needs to visit Tetsuya’s at least once, just because it is the famous Tetsuya’s. Not very helpful, is it?