Jan 19, 2013

Lunch at Tetsuya's

I'm one for experiences and we live in a city which houses one of the best rated restaurants in the world. So about a year ago, I said to Hubs: "We should go to Tetsuya's one day."

I had meant some distant date, and I said it like you would say, "we should go to Paris one day".

But Hubs remembered what I said, and this year, he covertly arranged a booking at Tetsuya's for our anniversary lunch.

Here's what was on the menu :

Chilled pea soup with dark chocolate mousse; Savoury custard with Avruga

Salad of the sea; New Zealand Scampi with Chicken liver parfait and walnut vingaigrette

Confit of Petuna Ocean Trout with Fennel and unpasteurised ocean trout caviar; (the image on the left is snapper, which I had because I was unable to eat raw food then)

Veal tenderloin with shitake mushrooms and veal jus; Grilled breast of partridge with spiced cherries and cauliflower

Lamb backstrap with summer vegetables and sheep's yoghurt; Pear sorbet

Green apple and mint ice cream with basil jelly; Floating island with praline and creme anglaise
Chocolate fondant with hazelnut and praline; Petit four

All in all (and we count the petit fours and the complimenty fondant we received), a 13-course meal. Our favourites were the savoury custard, trout, scampi and floating island. The pear sorbet and mint and basil ice cream were very refreshing and did well to cleanse the palate. We both agreed that a big misfire was the veal with shitake mushrooms. The lamb was not a misfire but it was uninspiring.

Was it one of the best meals I've ever had? Yes. (I promise you it's yummier than what the iPhone in poor lighting can capture) Despite the many servings, the fact that the portions were the right size and that it was mostly seafood instead of meat, meant that we were not torturing ourselves towards the end of the meal. (You see, as good Malaysians, it is a sin to waste food, especially ones with these kind of price tags!)

Was it overrated, given its huge reputation and price tag? A tad.

See, I liken fine dining to the economics principle of the "law of diminishing marginal utility". Imagine a graph with price on one side, and taste on the other. It starts off steep, meaning that for every extra dollar you pay, you get a decent increase in quality of food. There comes a point however, where the increase levels off, so that you only get a little better food (than the last spot) when paying a lot more. At some point, you are paying that bit more for the service, ambience and exclusiveness, rather than for the food. How much can one's taste buds implode after all?

Still, it was exquisite, I was pampered and now I can check Tetsuya's off my bucket list.

"You do realise you have to top this next year?" I said to Hubs, as we left the place.

"Sure," he retorted. "You'll have a one-course degustation at home, cooked by a personal chef."

Of course, I was just teasing. He can never top the gift he gave me 11 years ago, the gift that keeps on giving everyday.

Just don't tell him I said that ;)

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