Wine Dine and Play: June 2015


Fusing Australian And Japanese Cuisine
Sydney, Australia
Cuisine Style: French, Japanese
Average Price: $$$$$
Overall Rating: 5/5
Dined in: March 2015
By Sean Overpeck (CFE)
**A full article and index glossary of restaurants, wines, recipes and travel for 
Wine Dine and Play are in the pages section above, or by following these links:

Tetsuya's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

Executive Chef:
Kevin Mok


Greg Plowes

Tetsuya Wakuda refurbished a heritage-listed site, with influences of traditional Japanese-inspired style, to create a serene dining enclave in the city. Tetsuya’s restaurant opened in 1989 and relocated to its current sight in 2000, and serves as a ten-course degustation menu fusion of French and Japanese cuisines. The degustation is unique, based on the Japanese philosophy of using natural seasonal flavors, enhanced by classic French technique. Tetsuya designed his own on-site “test kitchen” within the restaurant to enable him to create the constantly evolving and inspiring dishes on which he has built his international reputation. They are listed at Number 8 in a list of the top ten restaurants of Australia, plus are recognized in Elite Travelers and San Pellegrino lists in the best 100 restaurants of world categories.

I had just flown into Sydney from Melbourne and had dined at Vue de Monde for lunch, and Attica for dinner, two other of Australia’s top 10 restaurants the day before. One day after Tetsuya’s, I had reservations for dinner at Quay, the forth top 10 on this trip. Tetsuya’s was also given a Lifetime Achievement Award that was given to him a few days after I dined in early March. I had just enough time from the airport to get on the rapid transit to Tetsuya’s and make it for lunch. At first, I thought I would be late for the reservation as my flight left and arrived late, the baggage handlers with Virgin Australia were nice enough to lose two wheels off my heaviest bag, so I was dragging my suitcase behind me from the station to the restaurant a few blocks away. I was ready for a stiff drink after that. 

The Tetsuya’s Restaurant is located around a grouping of larger office buildings and condominiums, with shopping and smaller restaurants closer to Sydney Chinatown, and only a few blocks from the major museums plus Hyde Park. The building is two stories, tucked away and neighbored a historical house that used to be the home of the colonial governor, and looks like a private residence. The sign for Tetsuya’s was small and I didn’t notice it when I walked by. 

Front entrance to Tetsuya's
Once inside the property, the maître d took my bags and escorted me to the table. The main foyer had some unique artwork in the furbished heritage-listed building. The dining area composed of four separate seating rooms, all with a view outside looking onto Japanese gardens, to include private dining areas that could sit up to sixty people.  In each sectioned dining room there was both representative art from Japan and Australia, whether they were paintings or statues. From the dining area that I was in, not only did I have a view of the gardens, but also of the wine cellar. The serving staff matched the level of sophistication to the restaurant which also fit the persona of a fine dining establishment.  After the ordeal of the suitcases, it was time for a beer, starting with a nice refreshing lager from Knappstein Brewery, a Bavarian-style beer from Clare Valley Australia. The beer-makers notes say that the lager is crisp, aromatic and pale in color. Made with Australian malt and unique sauvin hops, this is a beer to savor and is a perfect accompaniment to fine dining. To begin the prefix lunch, there was a bread service with a choice of wheat or multigrain with a selection of a black truffle butter, parmesan, and ricotta. 

Wine Cellar
For an additional charge to the ten-course lunch, Pacific oysters were offered, but I declined and stayed with the regular chef’s tasting. The wine tasting offered with the ten courses was $110.00 Australian dollars which included Saké, three whites, three reds, a dessert wine, and a brandy. Now after the lunch I had plans to do a wine tasting at Hyde Park for a major Taste of Australia event, so I diced to have 3 wines throughout the course of the lunch that the Sommelier would recommend. The Amuse was presented in a martini glass and was a chilled pea soup topped with a sorbet of bitter chocolate. The taste was very refreshing, and being offset with the chocolate, the two flavors together were exceptional.  

chilled pea soup
The second course was a soy poached tuna twisted over a piece of roasted aubergine eggplant and topped with what was listed as coastal succulents of sliced radish, parsley, scallion, and greens. It was beautifully presented, and twisting the tuna versus just serving it as normal filet made the difference to the eye, and though a very crisp flavor, succulent could not even begin to describe how good the tuna was, the presentation made it even better. 

Twisted tuna
The third course came from the island neighbor to the East, a New Zealand scampi tail, with a variety of nuts that I was not familiar with, over a scampi oil that had an orange texture, topped with shaved cucumber and greens. Two dollops on either side of the scampi was a chicken liver parfait.  Most of the vegetables for the restaurant were sourced locally from Paddy’s Market nearer to Chinatown. 

New Zealand scampi tail
The next course came in two parts starting with a salad followed by the fish. I also enjoyed my first glass of wine with this course, a 2011 chardonnay from the Pierro Winery in the Margaret River Region south of Perth, where it was nice and warm southern climes, mild soils, healthful vines and like most other Australian wine regions, years of skilled hands-on viticulture and winemaking. The 2011 year was rated as one of the best growing seasons in years for the Margaret Region. The winemakers' notes mentioned that the wine is barrel fermented in new (50%) and one-year-old French barriques remains a constant subtle, restrained and delicate with bright white peach and nectarine flavors. The Palate is unctuous and viscous with lingering tangy acidity, it is fresh, vibrant and neatly integrated with impressive purity, balance, and underlying power. Tetsuya’s had their name printed on the wine label to be reserved for the restaurant.

The salad was a blend of spinach, and red leaf lettuce, and the fish was a Petuna Ocean Trout, a Tasmanian breed near the Franklin-Gordon Rivers served over thinly shaved fennel, topped with a blend of chopped chives, and konbu with a small portion of trout roe, and an oil-lemon garnie. Petuna Trout is known as the Wagyu of the Sea. It was extremely vibrant and had an intense pink color, pure flavor, and luscious marbling. It also had a creamy texture, that made it one of the best pieces of trout that I have ever eaten. 

Spinach salad
Petuna ocean trout
So far it had been a wonderful lunch and was thinking how this restaurant requires reservations weeks, sometimes months in advance, and I was lucky enough to be going into Sydney on the only day of the week that Tetsuya’s serves lunch on Saturday, and had only made the reservations a few days ahead. The fifth course was a baby barramundi served over a four-mushroom ragout and a blended oil as drizzle. The mushroom varieties in the ragout were chestnut, enokitake, wood ear, and Nanako. All four with different flavor profiles which made every bight of the barramundi just as good as the first.  

The last four courses all being fish made it was nice to try the tea smoked quail breast, with natural jus, shaved parsnip, and calamari. Tea-smoking is an ancient Chinese technique creating wonderfully exotic and delicious results when used on chicken, duck, salmon, or shrimp and imbue a fragrant smokiness. So for home use just replace the wood with fresh tea leaves wrapped in foil with some brown sugar, rice, and assorted spices of your choice. 

It was now also time to enjoy the second glass of Cabernet Franc from Le Rocher des Violettes a wine from Xavier WeissKopf in the Touraine region of the Loire Valley. A Cabernet Franc, or the third Bordeaux style variety, is light to medium bodied and often shows vegetal characteristics, in particular, green bell peppers. The wine was a nice flavor, very earthy and fruit forward, but not strong and overpowering like a cabernet sauvignon, and went great with the next course, a backstrap lamb which comes from the back of the animal near the spine, trimmed from the middle of the loin. This cut is free from fat, gristle and bone. In contrast to other cuts of lamb, backstrap is wonderfully lean and meaty with a milder flavor than the leg of lamb. The lamb from Flinder’s Island, Tasmania was served with a Jerusalem Artichoke, Lima beans, yogurt and pumpkin seeds. 

Backstrap lamb
Course number seven was now complete, and I knew that dessert and petit fours remained, and I do have to say that the experience with the entrees went beyond comparison, but to my surprise, another main course came out. This course was not on the menu and with it a nice glass of 1999 Zema Estate Cabernet family selection from Coonawarra in South Australia. The winemaker notes show ripe dark berries, a hint of mint supported by cassis and nutty oak. A full and flavorsome palate displaying intense ripe dark fruit, mint and refined cedary French oak. This full-bodied wine has quite an enduring finish with lingering fine-grained tannins. Sometimes being in food service does have its advantages as some restaurants like to give extra courses so that we can try different varieties. The dish was three slices of Wagyu cut beef with dutch potato and boiled bamboo shoots.


As the course was finished along with the wonderful wine, the manager came over and offered me a tour of the separate dining rooms, wine cellar and the kitchen where I met Executive Chef Kevin Mok.  

Upon returning to the table it was time for a palate cleanser before the main dessert, of a ginger cream with Italian lemon granita and a cha-cha sorbet. The cha-cha is, of course, the tea, not the dance. With this start of the desserts came a 1983 Muscat from Seppetsfield winery in the Barossa Valley, Rutherglen region, which the winemaker expressed deep, tawny brown with olive green hues and a nose of Lifted florals, butterscotch, and fruitcake. Viscous with concentrated raisin and dried fruit characters, finishing with delicate and integrated spirit finish the palate.
cha-cha sorbet
The first dessert was macerated (or poached) peaches with a peach granita with Champaign ice cream and peach skin jelly, served in a martini glass like the first course of the chilled soup. It was very refreshing having the intermezzo and first course be close to the same yet completely different. 

peach granita
The final course along with petits fours that followed. The Tetsuya’s chocolate cake, a layered chocolate cake that was beyond exceptional, and outstanding to all degrees. With that course concluded, the tasting menu for Tetsuya’s came to a close, and I enjoyed some coffee with the petit fours, before setting out on a tour and wine tasting of Sydney.     

Tetsuya’s chocolate cake

Please see these guidelines for Tipping in Restaurants and on following proper etiquette, customs, cultures, and avoiding assumptions when you dine out.

Wine Regulatory's from this article: 
Vin de Table, France
AGWA: Australian Grape and Wine Authority

Other Noteworthy Asian Cuisine Articles & Restaurants:
5A5 Steak Lounge Modern Japanese steakhouse with chic design in San Francisco, California
Ambrosia Japanese restaurant & saké bar with sushi in Key West, Florida
Basil Asian Bistro Pan-Asian favorites from China to Vietnam with sushi specials in Canton, Ohio
Blue Fugu Japanese Steakhouse Table-side Hibachi with a sushi bar in St. Pete Beach, Florida 
Chinatown Restaurant Classic Chinese dishes in Chinatown, San Francisco, California
Junsui An eclectic taste of Asia with buffets at the Burj Al Arab Hotel, Dubai, UAE
Morimoto Asia Japanese and upscale Pan-Asian fare with sushi at Disney Springs Orlando, Florida
Osaka Sushi Thai Restaurant Thai and Japanese fare including sushi in Seminole, Florida
Rock 'N' Raw Asian restaurant with sushi at the Hard Rock Casino, Tampa, Florida
Simply Phở, Contemporary Vietnamese in modern digs in  Tampa, Florida
Sushi Sleek Japanese eatery with sushi/sashimi at The Grand Hyatt Dubai, UAE
Tasty Phở Quaint contemporary café for Phở and Bánh Mì in Pinellas Park, Florida
Tetsuya’s Eclectic French-Asian Tasting Menu restaurant in Sydney, Australia
The Lemon Grass Casual fusion of Thai and Japanese with tapas portions in St Petersburg, Florida
Zuma Contemporary Japanese restaurant, sushi, & cocktail mixology in Dubai, UAE

See the whole list by visiting “The Wine Dine and Play Article Glossary

Other Sydney restaurants and articles on Wine Dine and Play:

Yearly tasting event at Hyde Park
Sydney, Australia
Modern Australian haute cuisine
Sydney, Australia
Quintessential Modern Australian Cuisine 
 Sydney, Australia
A top 20 on Wine Dine and Play

A Few Australian Favorites:

An innovative and eclectic tasting menu
 Ripponlea, Australia
A top 20 on Wine Dine and Play

Elegant Modern Australian with Molecular Gastronomic 
Melbourne, Australia
A top 20 on Wine Dine and Play
Seasonal Northern Italian at the De Bortoli Winery
Yarra Valley, Australia

See the whole list by visiting “The Wine Dine and Play Article Glossary by country

Final notes, review basics, observations and more pictures:

Most reviews are subjective, depending on the writer; but they should also be responsible, and respectfully written, upholding the truth, and accurately conveying the experience to the best of the writer's knowledge, even if it includes metaphors the restaurant may not like to read about. My ratings are by the stars I award (from 0 to 5). The rating is calculated on a point accumulation of six separate factors based on individual experience. They include wine and other beverage selections, plate presentation, customer service, restaurant or café ambiance, food quality, and wow factor. To see more details of this rating list, read this article:

Overall from this experience and the score factors outlined in the ‘about page’ section, based on my individual experience and rating, I give Tetsuya’s a 5 out of 5 stars, meaning that they not only exceeded my expectations and were far above the average dining experience of most restaurants, but they surpassed outstanding and were extraordinary.
Scores are detailed in the factor chart below:

Formula Factor Conclusions and Overall Ratings
Max Points Possible:
Total Points Awarded:
Total Points deducted:
Food quality
Plate presentation
Customer service
Alcohol and other beverages
Total regular points awarded
Total percentage Before Bonus


“Wow” factor BONUS
Total bonus percentage


Total percentage with a bonus for the final star rating


Stars Awarded (see chart below)
             0 - 5

**A full break down and explanation of the observations and point disbursement is available in the linked article above. To receive a detailed copy of your score, feel free to contact me at any time and I will provide it to you.**


Overall Star Rating:
5 of 5 Stars: 
104% Rating with a 3 point “wow” bonus
An Extraordinary Dining Experience
Wine rating:
9 of 10
Old World selections: 
Austria, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Portugal, Spain

New World selections: 
Argentina, Australia, California, Japan, New York, New Zealand, Oregon, South Africa,
Corkage fee’s:
This Restaurant does not list any corkage fee’s however, most American restaurants charge 
$25.00 per bottle
Restaurant style:
Semi-formal dining
Cuisine style:
Asian-fusion, French
Allergen or dietary accommodations: 
Farm to Fork, Gluten Free, Local, Low Carb, Organic, Pescatarian, Sustainable, Vegetarian Options
Accepted, but not guaranteed
Dress code:
Semi-formal to Business attire
Child policy:

The Restaurants reviewed on this site may have a kids menu or cater to them; however, for full enjoyment of food and wine, it is recommended that kids not to be in attendance, unless they have been trained in proper etiquette. 
If not then:
Hire a Babysitter! 
Place for foodies, Contemporary, Modern, Lounge, Business parties, Hotspot, Great bar, Good for special occasions, Classy, Upscale, and a Neighborhood Gem.
Cash, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express
Validated parking $20.00 AUS
The restaurants reviewed on this site may have Wi-Fi, but do not require you to go online, because the excitement of the food and wine alone will keep you too entertained instead of checking your social media and emails.
Noise level:
Nonsmoking restaurant
Patio or terrace:

Food Prices 
(excludes, alcohol, taxes & 20% gratuity’s)

$£€¥ -                Under 50.00 (inexpensive)
$£€¥ x 2 -          51.00- 99.00 (moderate)
$£€¥ x 3 -          Over 100.00 (pricey)
$£€¥ x 4 -          Over 200.00 (expensive)
$£€¥ x 5 -          Over 400.00 (very expensive)

**Currencies reflect the world’s major travelers, restaurant, or wine connoisseur’s**

Australian Dollar (AUS)
United States Dollar (USD)
Great Britain Pound Sterling (GBP)
Canadian Dollar (CAN)
Chinese Yuan (CNY)  
European Union (EUR)

 Alcohol prices:

$81.00 AUS


529 Kent Street
Sydney, CBD 
Sydney, NSW Australia

Contact Information: 
Restaurant website:
Maître d or host:
+61 2 9267 2900
Online reservations
Email Contact:
Serving hours:
Eastern Australian Standard Time
(GMT, Zulu, or UTC + 10:00)
Lunch: Mon-Sun
12:00 pm
Dinner: Tue-Sat
5:30 pm
Social Media 

The worlds best restaurants is a subjective list of who is writing it and changes on a regular basis. The Wine Dine and Play best experiences are based on my highest rated stared restaurants, meaning that the visit was an outstanding or extraordinary experience. From cafés, chains, mom + pops, hole in the walls, to fine dining including a few Michelin spots. Visit the Top 100 page to see the entire list.

A few to tease you with…

Rustic New American Fare
St. Petersburg, Florida, USA
Contemporary, African-French Tasting Journey
Franschhoek, South Africa
Haute Gastronomique French restaurant & bistro
Bordeaux, France

Other Pictures:
Tetsuya's artwork

Petit fours
Kitchen tour

“Culinary perfection consists not in doing extraordinary things, 
But in doing ordinary things extraordinarily well.”

-Angelique Arnauld (1591-1661)

Who is John Galt?


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