Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Australia/New Zealand >
Nov 24, 2009 11:17 PM

Tetsuyas, worth it - Email Address?

Hi all,

I used to live in Sydney but never got around to visiting Tetsuyas, with it being a bit of a legend I plan to go on my return for holidays next August, is it still the destination dining I dream of, or are there now better (Aria?), should I visit to close this part of my eating plans?

Also how far in advance do I need to book, I realise 10 months is a bit long, but is it 2/3 month like some of the better places in England, is there an email for enquiries, website only has phone?

Also hope to visit Rockpool bar and grill for burger and wine, any other top tips welcome

Thanks for any help/info

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I think Tetsuya is definitely worth the visit. It's a lovely dining experience from the room, wine service to the diversity of courses which feature absorbing and occasionally challenging dishes (comte & lentils spring to mind). It's expensive, but there are dishes you will remember for a long time.

    I view the likes of Aria & Guillame as good fine dining restaurants, but they cater for the more classic/french style of food, albeit in a great location. Yet Quay & Tetsuya are about memorable dining experiences with more ambitious preparations & combinations.

    I would book a minimum of 3 months in advance. We actually booked by fax, which was a weird experience in the 21st century. it's either that or calling.

    It's worth noting that they're open for Saturday lunch (which is BYO), which I've been told makes the atmosphere less formal, if that interests you.



    5 Replies
    1. re: fergal76

      I agree with Fergal. OK Tets has a bit of a reputation for resting on its laurels, but then again I visited The Fat Duck when the cognisant saw it as a bit staid with a static menu. Certainly if I had eaten at the FD frequently it may have been true, but as a first time experience it was great. I think the same is true of Tets, Sydney regulars want innovation and change, but Tets simple does what he has always done, and that is worth trying.

      Book early as it does really book up, secure the reservation now and you have peace of mind.

      Lots of other great places, but no need to plan those too far in advance. IMO the secret of great dining in Sydney is to get a good mix of the "big night out" restaurants and add in some great locals from the inner suburbs including a good selection from our broad multi-cultural society. I think you will eat better Asian food here than the UK, although strangely not dim sum. I even think some of our Indian restaurants would give those in the UK a challenge. And of course the Italian, Greek and Lebanese communities have all contributed significantly to give us a very rich base of food.

      The only think to avoid in Australia is cheese; it is universally crap as the cheese industry is massively handicapped by laws that ban the use of unpasteurised milk and a market/pricing structure that ensures even mass produced factory cheeses are sold at extortionate prices.

      1. re: PhilD

        Many thanks Fergal and Phil, most useful respones, and to be honest ones I am very happy to hear, I wasn't sure what to do if I was told not to go there, it is like the itch I could never scratch otherwise.

        is the BYO thing definitely correct? I am happy with lunch, I often eat out in England on lunch offers and have always loved them.

        Phil, have really been enjoying reading your views on the Sydney scene, and cannot wait to get back and start the grand tour again, also looking forward to the Hong Kon stop on route, so if you know there at all too any tips greatly appreciated. Although will no doubt post on the China board in the future

        1. re: stanleyk

          I think it is BYO for all meals, but it is $25 corkage a bottle.

          I remember the original in Rozelle and Tet's always made a point of saying that he wanted people to bring along their best fine wine to enjoy with his food. As you would expect in Australia we have a lot of wine nuts with big cellars (or at east a lot of cases tucked away in the wardrobe). Back in those days his wine list featured a lot of Riesling as he thought it was the wine that paired best with his food, not certain how it may have changed.

          If you do go for the BYO option my advice is to search out Dan Murphy's or Vintage Cellars wine shops, both tend to stock aged wines as well as current vintages so you can pick up something that has matured and rounded out. The alternative is to bring your own from the UK (remember to pack in the hold baggage), this may seem like bring "coals to Newcastle" but the more subtle European wines are very expensive here, so a good Burgundy can be extortionate.

          The HK board is a good resource, we used it to guide the eating on our stop-over. My advice is dim sum and more dim sum. We missed the 3 star dim sum at Lung King Heen at The Four Seasons because it was fully booked, but ate at others with stars. Mix and match the grand with the simple and rely on the new Michelin and you won't be disappointed: I see HK has the cheapest one star in the world now...!

          1. re: stanleyk

            If you're heading to Rockpool Bar and Grill, I've heard it is fabulous. It is colocated with Spice Temple which is a singularly fantastic restaurant. The food is amazing and the fitout is just shut up ridiculous.

            Might be worth thinking about if you've got time?

            1. re: Samuelinthekitchen

              i recently had a superb experience at the new Rockpool Bar & Grill during my Sydney visit over the Xmas break. I hadn't booked a restaurant and only read of Rockpool B&G the day I went (2 days before Xmas) and decided to try my chances on a whim. They got our party of 4 a great table despite the fact I only called an hour ahead. The place was rightfully packed - a nice mix of suits and casuals - and apart from excellent food (oyster perfection and a wonderful Wagyu beef selection), gratious and unpretentious service, it was the grand space and high ceilings that really stole the show.
              I only had 2 days in Sydney and while this restaurant misses the priceless Sydney harbour views that enhances any meal, it certainly would be an excellent option whist there.

      2. I cannot say enough about Tetsuya's..we loved everything about it and the oceanic trout was sublime.
        We booked 3 months in was several years ago.
        Still my favorite restaurant in the world besides my beach shack in Moorea.
        Rockpool Bar and Grill had a recent review from PhilD.