Didn’t sleep at all well it so frustrating, the harder you try to sleep the worse it is. So I get up and watch the telly for a bit. I make a cup of tea and make a few notes on the trip so far. After dosing off in the chair a couple of times it’s just after 6 and the sun is just rising.
I am the first customer at breakfast and sit out on the quiet back street. It’s a bit of an odd arrangement; it’s basically a Turkish restaurant that’s serves breakfast to the residents. I order a very good cappuccino, and think about what I am going to do for the day. Laptop open, I check to see which restaurants are open for lunch. All the big boys are not open for lunch damn (it’s a Saturday) The only one is Tetsuya Wakuda and having been one of the founding fathers of seriously good Pacific Rim (hate that description, sounds like a disease) I also noticed a steak restaurant called Steerson’s on my quick trip around the harbour. It looked quite promising with ageing meat in chillers all on display. I eat a nice plate of baked/scrambled Turkish eggs with flat bread and another good coffee then head to reception. Chatting to Mikayla, the receptionist, she kindly offers to book Tetsuya for lunch and Steerson’s for dinner for me. I return to my room and pack a few bits and head off to explore the harbour area. As I pass reception Mikayla informs me that both are booked, only slight problem being Tetsuya’s only serves a 12-course lunch! Oh well, I have nothing else to do and I’m always up for a challenge.
The harbour area is very quiet, and the weather is pleasantly warm. I wander past the tourist restaurants, pleasure cruisers and bars. It has changed so much since I was here last. I stop in a coffee shop and read my scripts again and make a few notes.
Heading off around the other side of the harbour to take a few photos, I bump into a couple from the UK who as if they can have a photo, how weird is that. I wander about for a couple of hours and then head back to the hotel and have a 30-minute kip.
After a quick shower and change I head off for lunch.
Tetsuya is only a 10-minute walk, but I forget its summer here and forget how hot it gets. By the time I arrive, I’m quite happy to be in an air-conditioned restaurant. The nice Michael Dore shows me to my table; Michael is the restaurant Service Manager.
The restaurant is already full and its only 12:30. A waiter asks me if I would like a drink, after ordering a chilled sherry and sparkling water, he explains the procedure, no choices and no menu the courses will just arrive.
My sherry is nutty and full and chilled perfectly, good choice from my wine waiter. Two breads arrive, a dark rye sourdough and as plain sourdough. The butter is whipped with truffles and is slightly salted and served at room temperature. It is very good.
First course arrives, two superb southwest Australian oysters, raw with a sweet and sour dressing and fresh ginger. They are sweet as a nut and delicious.
Next, the lightest steamed egg custard flavoured with Dashi (a Japanese stock used in miso soup) and Avruga caviar. It is so light I wonder how they cook it. Seasoned beautifully, the seaweed extract flavour is amazing.
Third course, raw tuna with fennel, cream, black pepper and puffed rice again another very good dish.
I won’t describe every dish but I feasted on raw scampi tails with liver parfait, ocean trout with caviar seaweed dust, Barramundi with mushrooms, the softest flesh smoked quail, duck, lamb loin and all polished off with basil soup and the most beautiful glazed chocolate cake. I’m stuffed.
As I pay the bill a toasted peanut truffle and (I have to say the best I have ever eaten) lychee macaroon tip me over the top. I waddle back to the hotel and fall on the bed!
The next thing I know fireworks going off in the harbour wake me, its dark and its 8 o’clock, so I wobble onto the balcony and watch the pyrotechnics in the warm balmy night air.
After such a big lunch I cancel my dinner booking, I did return when we came back to Sydney later in the trip, but more about that later. Will and Laura arrive from the UK and we head off out to catch up and chat about filming the next day. Laura’s bag has still not arrived, hopefully it will by tomorrow and before we go to Hayman Island. After a beer and catch up I feel like I’m getting my second wind but its 11pm so we decide to hit the hay and be ready for a busy few days filming.