Tetsuya’s rerun

I had the best time with other foodies at the Food Lovers Trivia Night for Oz Harvest; it is such a wonderful cause and another bonus was when TimmyC surprised me by winning the silent auction that allowed us to have a degustation at Tetsuya’s with matching wines.

We quickly decided that we would go for my birthday and we booked several weeks in advance. I love where Tetsuya’s is located, it is a very unassuming building amongst all the hustle and bustle of the city.We were seated near the window on the ground floor to overlook their beautiful peaceful garden. They were very accommodating when we explained that we don’t drink wine (I know, I’m such a waste TheFoodMarshall) and they suggested we could get the tea pairing.Tetsuya’s set degustation menu ($230 per person normally)

Complimentary bread and whipped truffle butter.Pacific oysters with ginger and rice vinegar. I remember when I had my first dressed oyster from Tetsuya’s, it was incredible and the same overwhelming feeling came across me as I had it 5 years later. The dressing enhances the flavour but you can definitely still taste the natural oyster. What a wonderful way to start the meal.Tuna with kohlrabi. It was a perfectly dressed tuna that was so super fresh, I wanted more than the three pieces given to me.Warm octopus salad with fennel & shiso oil. A simple salad with remarkably soft tender octopus.Confit of Petuna ocean trout with a salad of celery, witlof, apple & unpasteurised ocean trout roe. This is Tetsuya’s signature dish, it is stunning visually and tastewise. I don’t want to describe it, I want you all go to and taste this for yourself. It has been on their menu for over twenty years and for a good reason!Grilled Shio Koji toothfish with fregola and roma tomatoes. I loved the texture of the toothfish as it reminded me a cross of mudcrab and scallops but without the sweetness.You could have easily mistaken it for scallop meat when you take a spoonful.Miso cured duck breast with pumpkin and cauliflower. This was well executed but I didn’t think it was anything special. It might sound pompous but I think it was because everything had been so great up until this point.Beef tenderloin with mushroom cream. I was hoping for a more flavoursome beef, it was very tender but I feel that the seafood items were much much better. Lychee granita with strawberries and coconut. A beautiful clean refreshing dessert with all my favourite fruits. I’m very tempted to make a variation of this at home for summer.Tetsuya’s Chocolate Cake. This had the most beautiful mirror finish but I had to move TimmyC away from the table because no matter what angle I moved my camera, I could see his reflection on the cake. I was so impressed with the neat presentation of such a delicate dessert. The chocolate glaze encased a beautiful soft not OTT chocolate mousse, a real delight to eat.All gone!Petits Fours vanilla macaron dusted with bee pollen and a mango filling along side a perfectly delicate toffee chocolate with a biscuit base. Both made really well but the chocolate blew us away with the flavours and intricate detail.The discs were so delicate, so much effort for a little petit four.Tea pairing~

It was amazing to have a tea pairing with our degustation, I’ve never had one before. The teas varied from hot and cold and also carbonated.  Each tea was chosen especially to compliment the food from darker teas for meat courses and the most sweet-smelling concoction served with dessert. I loved it all (although as a result of so much tea, I did go to the bathroom a lot) but my favourite might have been the cocoa with matcha as I’ve never had anything like it.

Buddha’s tears brewed with spice and orange peel.

Single estate organic sencha green from Kyoto stirred with lime.

Gently infused darjeeling with thyme, rosemary and basil served chilled with bubbles.

Yunnan red from one of China’s most ancient tea growing regions.

Orange pekoe brewed with red fruits and vanilla pod.

West African red cocoa with soy milk and macha.
The staff were very attentive and very knowledgeable which always adds to a good experience. Our 4 hour lunch just flew by with incredible food, drink and company.

See my first experience with terrible photos here.

Venue: Tetsuya’s

Address: 529 Kent Street, Sydney 2000

Phone(02) 9267 2900

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Biota re-run

I could not visit Bowral without going to Biota, the restaurant holds a special place in my heart because that is where TimmyC proposed to me. We have been there multiple times; the first visit was an eye widening, jaw dropping meal as we had never had that kind of dining experience before. The second time, I didn’t love it as much and I was starting to wonder if they were doing unusual things for the sake of being avant-garde and the third was a casual encounter on the bar side trying to eat as many croquettes as I could.Keen to add it to my birthday dining list, TimmyC booked weeks in advance so we didn’t miss out.Cooler months Five courses ($110.00 pp)

Snacks~Pear and cheese. This reminded me of a sheep milk cigar I had at MoVida, the outer layer is chewy and sweet which offset the tartness of the cheese.Kangaroo and Acacia jerky This was really tough jerky (but I guess most of them are), but the kangaroo flavours were subtle which is good because I don’t usually enjoy the strong aftertaste of kangaroo.Tasty Dory roe fish smoked roe with charcoal lavosh bread, garlic oil and salsa verde. I could not believe how much I enjoyed this. When I ran out of lavosh bread I started slathering it on the rye loaf.

Molasses and Rye loaf with cultured butter. I found the crust a little too tough and chewy but that is my personal preference.  The soft bready centre created a wonderful transportation system to get all the tasty dory roe into my mouth.

The bread is hiding in the fur pouch.Mains~

Creamed eggs, spanner crab and persimmon. This was perfection. The richness of this dish reminded me of the delicious crab dish from Noma but the flavours reminded me of a burnt butter sage pasta.Whipped potato, hen yolk and cabbage buds confit hens yolk, whipped potato, garden Brussels sprouts and egg white pearls. I was really surprised that the cabbage leaves were more sweet rather than bitter. The whipped potato was light in flavour and texture which went well with the rich yolk and refreshing cabbage leaves.Peek-a-boo, there is the egg yolk!Pastured fed beef cooked over coals beef cooked over coals with leeks and potato. My favourite things on a plate. The beef itself had lots of flavour but the leeks and potato it to another whole savoury level. I would have preferred a bigger portion but that’s just me being selfish.Dessert~

Sheep yoghurt and our honey. Tim was ready to hand over his plate when they said sheep yoghurt, but he was probably glad that I prompted him to try it first as he was scraping the last of his bowl while I was finishing up with my photos. There was no strong aftertaste that I usually find with most sheep dairy products. The tartness of the yoghurt was sweetened with the perfect amount of honey and I loved the abundance of the finger lime. It was so ridiculous how good this dessert was even though it was so simple, it was just a perfect balance of flavours.Mandarin and goats milk custard. The mandarin powder coating had a slight bitterness to it but it quickly dissipated as the delicate sweetness of the meringue and centre hits the palate. The softness texture of the ball with the icy sorbet reminded me of the snow egg from Quay.

It is so sweet that they put a candle in for my birthday.Beverages~ I ordered the non-alcoholic juice pairing which was really good and I loved how complex the flavours were ($50.00pp?).

Lemonade, smoke apple and pear juice, red grapes with cinnamon cloves and bitters and ending with caramelised pomegranate and grapefruit. 
I loved how the menu keeps evolving and changing almost every week to encompass local fresh produce. We really enjoyed our meal and the service was perfection. Ingredients are not puréed, chopped or foamed, they appear  whole and are paired perfectly with each other. It is almost like there was minimal cooking (but a lot of talent) and it was showcasing the best produce.

Venue: Biota

Address: 18 Kangaloon Rd, Bowral NSW 2576

Phone(02) 4862 2005

Entertainment book: I’m so annoyed I forgot to use my Canberra 2016/17 book, I told TimmyC he will have to take me again.
Biota Dining Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Who’s a lucky girl?

I am!

After celebrating my birthday all month-long, it was really topped off this week! My work mates decorated my work space, making it look like I was walking into a school dance and then threw a big morning tea on my actual birthday day with lots of delicious cakes and tasty cheeses. Some other friends then took me out to a fabulous lunch at Da Rosario in the city and I finished off the day with TimmyC who surprised me by taking me out to Lantern Rooms for dinner.

Celebrations continued north as I headed up to Sydney on Friday and had dinner at Mr. Wong in the CBD, followed by watching The Lion King musical at the Capitol theatre. Saturday was spent leisurely enjoying a lunch at Berowra Waters Inn followed by a big Chinese banquet with all the seafood trimmings and finished with a birthday cake from Gelato Messina, which was no small feat getting it to the restaurant before it melted (thank you sis)!

Today, TimmyC and I went to Bowral to go catch lunch at the ‘bar’ side of Biota and it happened to be their market day (I’ve always wanted to go). Despite catching them during the tail end of the event, it didn’t stop me from buying fresh local produce, wonderful homemade dips and obtaining pies and relish from another place that I’ve been wanting to visit – The two skinny cooks, who happened to have a stall there.

When we drove back to Canberra, a friend of mine went to the trouble of getting me macarons and my favourite dessert of all time ‘Endless Love’, all the way from Lux bite in Melbourne. I’m now trying to write some blog posts before my eyes and body shut down into a food coma. I am super grateful for all the people who are in my life, they celebrate the good times with me and pick me up when I am down.

Needless to say, I had a fantastic weekend.

Happy birthday Thai you

——-22/05/2012——-

During my month of celebrating birthday festivities, on the actual day my friends were nice enough to whisk me away from work for a short lunch. We had been meaning to try Chong Co Thai restaurant and bar for a while now and with such convenient parking, one wonders why we didn’t come sooner.

Two menus– the usual menu and an express lunch menu offering quick noodles with a simple 3 step selection process.

A nicely decorated interior.

A short time later after ordering…

Pad kee maostir fried thick rice noodle with egg, chilli, basil leaves and mixed vegetables with chicken ($12.90). Hot and delicious with a nice chilli bite.

Pad see ew stir fried thick rice noodle with egg, sweet soy sauce and mixed vegetables with beef ($12.90) I thought they were small portions but came out nice and hot just the way I like my noodles. 

Lunch didn’t last very long so we stayed a little while with a cup of tea.

I haven’t fully made up my mind about the restaurant yet. The food came out promptly and hot despite a busy lunch time service and as tasty the noodles were I expect more for $13.00, especially when I can (and often do) go down the road I can get a massive bowl of noodles and two pork chops for $12.50. I’ll have to come back again and try something else.

Venue: Chong Co Thai restaurant and bar

Address: 327A Westfield Belconnen, Lathlain Street, Belconnen ACT 2617 (along the same stretch of road near Cold Rock Nandos etc.

Phone: (02) 6251 9962

Opening hours: 7 days week: 11.00am – 10.00pm

Chong Co Thai Bar and Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Down memory lane- Tetsuya’s

With my birthday coming up, it made me reminisce about how spoilt I was last year when I was taken to Tetsuya’s. We had to book 5 months in advance and even with just the two of us we could only get a lunch reservation. It was 10 courses for $210 when we went in May last year.

I won’t describe what I thought of every dish, just know that all the flavours were fresh, the different components gave each dish a variety of textures and it was an amazing experience!

Bread roll with truffle butter

Chilled cucumber soup with sheep yoghurt ice cream

Drinks excluded~ Berry mocktail

Optional extra~ Pacific oysters with rice vinegar and ginger – I have to give these a shout out- best oysters I have EVER eaten!!

Sashimi of yellow fin tuna and showgirl and garlic chips

Marinated NZ scampi with curs and junsai

Signature dish~ Confit petuna ocean trout with konbu

Celery and apple Steamed mulloway with blackbean and bacon

Braised ox tail with sea cucumber and lotus root

Pancetta wrapped breast of quail with germinated seeds and onion essence

De-boned rack of lamb with egg plant and white miso

Musk melon sorbet with sauternes jelly and tart tatin

Genoa figs with leatherwood honey and fig lead ice cream

Chocolate fondant with hazelnut and praline

Chocolate pave with cream cheese ice cream and cinnamon twigs

Macarons

At the end of the meal they give you a printed menu with the date and they wrote ‘Happy Birthday!’ on the inside cover for me. Too bad I didn’t know they were giving a menu as I was madly tapping away on my phone taking notes every time we got a new dish.

Venue: Tetsuya’s Restaurant

Address: 529 Kent Street, Sydney, NSW 2000

Phone: (02) 9267 2900

Website: http://www.tetsuyas.com/

Tetsuya's on Urbanspoon