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Tetsuya's

Fodorite Reviews

Average Rating:  

Tetsuya's Review

It's worth getting on the waiting list—there's always a waiting list—to sample the unique blend of Western and Japanese-French flavors crafted by Sydney's most applauded chef, Tetsuya Wakuda. The serene, expansive dining room's unobtrusive Japanese aesthetic leaves the food as the true highlight. Confit of ocean trout served with unpasteurized ocean-trout roe is a signature item on the set 11-course degustation menu (A$220 and A$97 extra for matching wines), while other dishes may include New Zealand Scampi with chicken liver parfait, or roasted breast of quail with quail leg rillettes. The menu changes often but never fails to dazzle. Views of a Japanese garden—complete with bonsai and a waterfall—make this place feel miles from the city center. It's open for dinner from Tuesday to Saturday, and lunch on Saturdays only.

    Restaurant Details

  • Reservations essential.
  • Credit cards accepted.
  • Closed Sun.–Mon. No lunch Tues.–Fri.
Updated: 01-15-2014

Fodorite Reviews

Average Rating:  
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    Tasty Food, Indifferent and Slow Service

    My spouse and I dined at Tetsuya’s in late August 2012. A few weeks prior to our trip, we booked a dinner reservation via e-mail. Tetsuya’s offers an 10-course tasting menu for $210 per person. Our total bill was about $540 with two rounds of drinks.

    Tetsuya’s is located in downtown Sydney, near Town Hall and Darling Harbour. Valet parking is available at an extra charge. Chef Tetsuya Wakuda is one of Sydney's most famous chefs, and his nouveau Japanese/French creations are presented attractively. The location of the restaurant is attractive, set in a Japanese house that surrounds a beautiful outdoor courtyard with water features. There are three dining rooms, plus a bar/lounge area, all decorated with art and ceramics. Tetsuya’s has been on the Worlds 50 Best Restaurants several times. The restaurant serves dinner on Tuesday through Saturday as well as lunch on Saturday.

    The dinner service was painfully slow. Lots of time elapsed between courses - perhaps 20 minutes or longer after one plate was cleared until another plate was delivered. As with our meal at competitor Quay earlier in the week, the staff shows no “food love”; no one cared whether we liked a dish or not, no one inquired about whether we liked a particular course, or even whether we enjoyed our meal in general. The general attitude of the waitstaff was pretentious and patronizing. They were unable to serve me an iced tea - our waiter said that he would check whether the kitchen could make some, but he never returned to deliver an answer.

    The food was tasty, although not particularly memorable. We ate the signature ocean trout dish, but the portion was enormous for a multi-course tasting/degustation menu. The tian made of spanner crab was delicious, and the floating island dessert was unique.

    Overall, our meal at Tetsuya’s was rather underwhelming.

    by fluffnfold, 4/17/13
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    Tetsuya's Review

    There is no denying that the food at Tetsuya' is absolutely fabulous! Every bite is a delight to savour for years to come... Tetsuya's truly deserves its global reputation for culinary excellence.
    My only concern is that the atmosphere can be so reverential that one can find dining here to be somewhat solemn and even intimidating at times. As a seasoned restaurant patron, I found the hushed atmosphere less than enjoyable with neighbouring tables whispered conversations the only background to our own exchanges. To be fair we were seated in a room populated by couples, so perhaps other rooms with larger tables may have had more of an atmospheric spark.
    Nonetheless, Tetsuyas is a place to pay homage to a wonderful chef and team in very pleasant surroundings.

    by Kezzabella, 12/29/09
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    Not a great experience

    My husband is the foodie - I just go along. But as the companion, I have been to many top rated restaurants in the world, including L'Espalier in Boston, and Le Cinq in Paris. That said, I wasn't impressed with Tetsuya's. I found the restaurant cold - in temperature, decor, and service. The service was detached and inadequate for a restaurant of this level. The pacing was off - the courses were served too far apart. The service was off in that we were attended by at least six different people, none of whom seemed terribly interested in us. We had to ask to have the food described to us as the servers wanted to deliver and run with at best cursory statements like "this is the rainbow trout." The food at top rated restaurants is always presented - not dropped off. This was particularly an issue at Tetsuya's because there is no menu. Until the food arrives, you do not know what you are getting.
    The food was unique and had many expensive ingredients (such as caviar). With all the courses (and wine pairings), there was plenty of food and wine. Too bad they couldn't take the time to give the food the introduction it warranted. Although I would have to say that despite the obvious food value, I have had better food elsewhere and at less expense.
    I perused the other reviews before writing and was glad to see that I am not the only one who found Tetsuya's lacking. I wouldn't go back and would not recommend it.

    by lragunas, 7/26/07
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    Don't believe the hype!

    This place is a bad joke....we have been to the finest restaurants in the world...this is not one of them....pretentious would be kind; the food is sparse and poor; the service is surly and condescending....if you need to impress yourself, go there.

    by aeisner007, 5/20/07
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    Expensive? You bet

    The food is very good, no doubt. the dessert alone had 3 courses. Atmosphere also contributes to the price - the restaurant looks like a stately japanese abode with nice japanese greenery surrounding it. Service is good, they memorize everything and not a notepad seen. The value is weakest here, since it is AUD175+++ per person and i'm amused they try to "upsize" your 9 courses with 2 more courses, at an extra charge of course

    by B_Cheong, 12/1/06

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