Saturday, July 21, 2012

Day 203 - Hello Sydney!

Ps. This post is chock full of images. Food images, that is... I hope you're not hungry.

Ninja Brett sprung another one of his surprises today - after being instructed to "maybe pack something nice to wear... other than your normal nice clothes obviously ;)", I found myself in Sydney! Brett had organised a little get away for our anniversary, and we stuffed our faces with food (as you do) for most of our time there.

Our first customary pitstop was to fill up with dumplings at Din Tai Fung, where we gorged on chilli oil dumplings...
Chilli oil dumplings at Din Tai Fung
...and xiao long baos that we agreeably will travel halfway around the world with Anthony Bourdian for.
Xiao long bao at Din Tai Fung
Lets see those plump, juicy little xiao long baos again! Ohhhh yeeeeaaah.
Lets see those xiao long baos again
We wandered the streets of Sydney, and inadvertently ended up one of my favourite stores in Sydney, Kinokuniya! It's one of those stores I can easily spend hours perusing, marvelling and poring over all their massive range of goodies such as these adorable cat notepads:
Cat notepad Cat notepad
We also visited Cupcakes on Pitt, and I couldn't help myself from getting a few mini cupcakes to savour.
Cupcakes on Pitt
(This is me absentmindedly stumbling upon the store 5 years ago, I was full on CRAZY excited haha)
Dinner was another amazing surprise... Tetsuya's!!! I've been aching to go to Tetsuya's for about 6 years now, it was the perfect venue to celebrate our anniversary over a long, leisurely dinner. The restaurant is unassuming from the street, but once inside the minimalistic Japanese furnishing and the beautiful Japanese garden the dining room overlooks cast a very zen setting.

After polishing off our amuse bouche, we jumped straight into the first course of our 11 course degustation menu, warm soup of field mushroom and truffle (I'm sorry for the crappy photos, trying to be discrete with photos + dim lighting + giddy with excitement = shit photos)
Warm soup of field mushroom and truffle, Tetsuya's
Followed by a savoury custard with avruga (this was a surprising winner),
Savoury custard with avruga at Tetsuya's
And then there was a salad of the sea,
Salad of the sea at Tetsuya's
And New Zealand scampi with chicken liver parfait and walnut vinaigrette,
Scampi with chicken liver parfait at Tetsuya's
Then the highly anticipated confit of Petuna ocean trout with fennel and unpasteurised ocean trout caviar, Tetsuya signature dish. Stunning and delicate. Swoon!
Confit of ocean trout at Tetsuya's
Next up was a steamed tian of Queensland ceas spanner crab with curd, foie gras and junsai (which, from memory, was the only course that qualified as a miss)
Spanner crab with curb, foie gras and junsai at Tetsuya's
We then moved onto meats - beautiful roasted breast of duck with eggplant and almond that was cooked to perfection,
Roasted breast of duck with eggplant and almond at Tetsuya's
As well as a de-boned rack of lamb with sheep's yoghurt and kale,
Deboned rack of lamb with sheep's yoghurt and kale at Tetsuya's
And finally, course 9.. dessert! There was pear sorbet and Tetsuya's intepretation of apple tarte tatin,
Pear sorbet and apple tarte tatin at Tetsuya's
Oh but wait there's more dessert.. an unassuming but AMAZING floating island with praline and creme anglaise. Absolutely loved how light and fluffy the meringue was.
Floating island with praline and creme anglaise at Tetsuya's
As they served our petit fours, just as I said to Brett "it's so nice to finish with that light floating island", they brought out a little surprise for us as they found out we were celebrating our anniversary!
A chocolate fondant surprise at Tetsuya's
Whew! By the end of dinner we felt like a couple of overstuffed turkeys, but it was the strangest sensation.. we felt full, yet not uncomfortably full if that makes sense?! Usually by the end of degustation dinners I'm clutching my tummy, too heavy to move. What an extraordinary dinner with such refined dishes and brilliant pairings of flavours... I think I dreamt of ocean trout that night.


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