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Can't Decide - Tetsuya's or Quay???

I'm going to be going to Sydney in September and I can't decide between Tetsuya's or Quay. I'm from SF and I love creative food. Some places I've been to are Joel Robuchon and The French Laundry. I can't say I lean towards one or the other... I just want a very good experience. Any thoughts?

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  1. LOVE Tetsuya's..food is incredible..Oceanic trout is sublime.
    IMHO, Tet's blows French Laundry out of the water.
    Only been to Quay for drinks and app's..great place.
    I'm sure PhilD and other great posters will chime in.

    1. Despite what you may have read, Tetsuya's polarises people. For every person I know who thought it was the most wonderful experience ever, there is one who is disappointed.

      Some tangible things. Quay is in a great location and you know you are in Sydney; Tetsuya is basically a converted residence with no view. Quay supports a traditional meal structure as well as degustation, Tetsuya is dego only. Both are amongst the most expensive restaurants in Australia.

      My personal view? I think Quay represents Sydney much better to an overseas visitor, and in style is a bit hungrier, a touch edgier and has a menu that changes through the year. Tetsuya hasn't changed much in the past five years, and that includes the menu. There is a distinct possibility it is becoming a sacred cow like the Grange became.

      And for either, if you want to go on a Friday or Saturday evening, you will need to book now. Tets may already be booked up.

      1 Reply
      1. re: mr_gimlet

        I was at Tetsuya's in 2005, so its been awhile.
        Both were incredible.
        I trust your insight.

      2. My wife and I have been to both Tets and Quay twice. Either will be good, for sure - but I'd recommend Quay over Tetsuya's. As you've been to French Laundry and Joel Robuchon, I'm guessing that you are a relatively seasoned foodie with reasonably high expectations. With respect to atmosphere, Quay wins hands down - it sits in the overseas passenger terminal just opposite the Opera House. Ask for a seat in the rotunda when you book, and you'll have arguably one of the best restaurant seats in the world. Tets is certainly nice, but some rooms have no windows - and the lack of atmosphere just seems to increase the expectation on the food in my opinion.
        The food at each is great, and you probably won't be disappointed. Tetsuya's is a less challenging menu, and like others have said it hasn't changed in quite a while. I suggest that Quay is more creative, and a more adventurous eater would enjoy it. One wildcard is that you can bring your own bottle of wine to Tetsuyas - so if you're looking for a reason to pop the cork on an aging Grand Cru, then this might be your excuse. ;)

        1. Thanks for the recommendations. I will see which one I can still get a reservation at. Question for the group - why is it so much harder to get reservations at Tetsuya vs. Quay if Quay is more edgy and creative (and equally good)?

          3 Replies
          1. re: jlfoodie

            Because its a special occasion institution in peoples' minds

            1. re: mr_gimlet

              Quay also seats twice as many people.

              1. re: Camw

                Tetsuyas is more of an instituiton because it is 'more' internationally acclaimed. I would agree that Quay is more inventive. Quay is more glam with the harbour views and Tetsuyas used to be more serious and foodie (haven't been for a while). Portions are small at both places - I was not full from a meal at Quay - slighty more sated at Tetsuyas.

          2. Just returned from 2 weeks in Australia.
            Really enjoyed the meal (and bridge/opera house view) at Quay. The menu was diverse and the combination of foods in each dish featured many different textures and tastes. It is very expensive compared to top NY restaurants, but the food is more complex. They suggest a 4- course or tasting menu for dinner. Don't miss the "snowball for dessert.

            2 Replies
            1. re: chowchap

              I'm planning to have lunch there... the menu says $105/pp for a 3 course meal? Is this price correct? What do you mean when you say 'expensive'? Thanks! :)

              1. re: BestEats

                Yes, $105pp for 3 courses is correct. There is a tasting menu which is $210 as well.