Monday, May 26, 2008

fine fine dining in beautiful sydney

hi all. i know i haven't posted in a long while. i was finishing up the semester at berkeley, and then immediately off to sydney and new zealand. i've only now got a bit of time to finally post something. so here it is:

daniela, lori and i had a wonderful food overload at tetsuya’s, a french-japanese restaurant in sydney. i have seen tetsuya’s near the top of some “best restaurant in world” lists, and some people had mentioned it to me, so it seemed only natural that if i could get a reservation, i should go. here we are:

tetsuya’s serves an n-course meal (n > 10) that is, quite simply, superb. the signature dish, Confit of Petuna Tasmanian Ocean Trout with Konbu, Daikon & Fennel, is to die for. just the right amount of fishiness, a nice spiciness on top, wow. the other dish I strongly remember is a palate cleanser apple sorbet with apply jelly that lead into dessert. it tasted like granny smith apples, transported me back to apple picking in ontario in the fall, and put a big smile on my face. here are pictures:

of course, there were other good courses, but these two resonate.

in addition to the meal, we matched it with the “you will drink about a bottle of alcohol” wine pairing. of course, that wasn’t the name, but that’s how the server described it. well, pairings are good, and though i can’t remember anything too fantastic about the wine, other than a cab and dessert wine that I thought were excellent, the wine certainly put lori a bit over the top, and we had some interesting arguments/conversations.

here are two discussions that i think you, dear reader, will appreciate.

the first involved a painting in the women’s bathroom. we disagreed on what it depicted, with omar and daniela in one corner, lori in the other. i actually saw this painting by briefly going into the women’s bathroom, because i had to understand the controversy. daniela was kind enough to capture it with the camera, and so you too can join in the discussion. what does this painting depict?

the second controversy erupted over this dish, comte with lentils:

now, in my mind, food can make a statement about food. this dish was perhaps trying to make a statement about what dessert is, and how flavors can be paired (the red beans, traditonally sweet, were not so sweet and the cheese was a different touch). but just like art can make a statement about other art, the form of that statement, and how it appeals to the visual sense is of the utmost importance for the statement to be very successful. so, in my mind, i thought this food statement fell on its face because it just didn’t work at all in my mouth.

this is not to say that i wouldn’t appreciate a food that doesn’t taste good. i would, if it really did something else that was quite profound. same with art.. i’ve seen some pretty “bad” art that i nevertheless liked because of the connection i thought it made. but i guess i have a really high bar when it comes to food that tries to make that movement. i can’t even remember what lori was arguing but notice a picture of her below… clearly she’s having a good time :)

finally here's a fun video of a required dunking we had to do to make the taste just right:


Lara said...

Wow. That video at the end puts any thoughts I had about the painting to SHAME.

bea said...

A Centaur with a flute? can't see the video though!

paul said...

It's clearly a woman on all fours. Er, isn't it?