[GCM] Tempura coconut ice-cream with green tea syrub anyone?

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“Tetsuaki is my dad’s name” says Jenny Corbett, restaurant owner.
“My whole family has emigrated to Australia – my sister came
first, then I followed and my mum came after me. My father
unfortunately passed away before he could come out to join
us. I wanted to name the restaurant for him as a way of having
him be here and part of it all.” She credits her late father, an artist,
for her aptitude in creating an interesting and inviting design
aesthetic for the restaurant. It’s evident that nothing has escaped
her eagle eye when it came to creating a dining establishment
that provides the full-service offering of service, comfort and
quality. Sliding doors seal off the restaurant from the blistering
midday heat, ensuring a cool, pristine eating environment. It’s
clear the other diners are in no hurry to leave the comfort of
their surroundings. Pure white is the palette for the restaurant;
combined with the red and black accenting, the space is the
epitome of modern Japanese dining. The elegance of the dining
room flows seamlessly through to the black leather embossed
menus and sparkling glassware. While the air may be cool the
service certainly is not – immediately upon arrival I’m greeted
with eager and friendly wait staff whom efficiently usher me to
my table.

It is here that I meet my hosts Jenny and her manager Michelle,
who have a glass of San Pellegrino in front of me before thirst
has even registered. Hospitality, as I’m about to learn, is of the
utmost importance at Tetsuaki. Before plates festooned with
delicious Japanese treats are placed in front of me, we have the
opportunity to discuss her aspirations for the newest addition to
the Paradise Point strip.

An eye for interiors is not the only area of influence Jenny’s
father had. It was at his urging that his daughter left home as
a youngster to go and explore her Japanese heritage. Jenny
quickly set to discovering the many delights of the small island
country, the most significant being the cuisine. “I loved the food
and never watched how much I ate, yet I managed to lose a lot
of weight without even trying!” she laughs. Upon arrival on the
Gold Coast and a fruitless search for what she determines to be
good Japanese food at a decent price, she set out to create just
this: a five star food experience with the warmth and hospitality
of a family-friendly eatery. Her formula to achieve this has been
simple but effective: make sure the right people are in the right
job and listen to what your customers want!

Tetsuaki has three specialty chefs: sushi and sashimi chefs and
a chef dedicated to the hot meals offered on the menu. Each
concentrates on their area of specialty for quality assurance. In
the short time they have been open, they have already begun to
adapt their offering to best suit their clientele, both in taste and
price. “We change the look and feel of the restaurant from day to
night to ensure that the restaurant has appeal to all aspects of
the community. By day people can enjoy the sushi and lighter
meals and in the evening, we can create a full course menu for
people seeking that next level up in a dining experience,” Jenny
enthuses. Their focus is on appealing to the wider community
and creating offerings that cater to all tastes and budgets; an
ambitious undertaking, but one that certainly seems to be
paying off with many recognizable faces frequenting Tetsuaki,
including a high-profile Queensland politician.

While the atmosphere is delightful, the main star of the show is of course
the food. To start, the Agedashi Tofu (for a non-Tofu eater) was a real treat.
Deep fried to perfection ensuring a silken centre and crunchy exterior,
the golden cubes rest alongside seasonal vegetables in a delicious
miso based hot broth. Smooth to the bite, it was the perfect opening
sampler for the remainder of the dishes and a promising start to my
culinary journey.

This dish was chased with the Tempura Prawn; undoubtedly the Tetsuaki
tempura rates up amongst the best I’ve had – it was perfectly light and
crispy. The freshness of the prawns was as such that you could almost
taste the saltwater, as you would when freshness is something that
Tetsuaki never compromises on.

Next up, the Spicy Chicken Bento Box; a delightful platter providing more
than the average Bento. Not for the feint-hearted, the spicy chicken
delivered a healthy kick of heat beautifully balanced by the crunchy salad
dressed in a beautiful vinaigrette, rice, fresh salmon sashimi and sampler
of croquette and karaage. Phew!

Wagyu Beef is going to steal the show on any occasion and this day
proved no different. I was impressed by interesting factoids while I
devoured my plate: did you know Wagyu cows are treated to massages
and played soft music in their rearing to ensure optimum marbling in
the meat they produce? It was melt-in-your-mouth tender and was
juxtaposed perfectly by the flame grilled seasonal vegetables. The Wagyu
was next level – a definite highlight of the meal.

After a palate cleanser, I dipped into the fresh feast of nigiri sashimi
beautifully laid out. The salmon was invitingly pink, the scallop and
snapper a refreshing interlude to the next course.
Waistband starting to pinch I dip my spoon into the seafood Miso Ramen.
The hint of sesame oil flavouring the miso broth was delightful and gave
the dish a nice twist. The ramen noodle base was groaning under the
weight of monstrous, juicy prawns that tasted as good as they looked.
Dessert proved to be the piece-de-resistance, doubtful as I was that I’d
find space for even a bite! My mind changed quick smart as the bowl
was placed before me and I took in the glory of the deep fried ice-cream
drizzled with green tea sauce. Cracking through the deep fried tempura
batter cocoon, the spoon found creamy coconut ice cream just starting
to soften. Smooth and crispy perfectly juxtaposed; the green tea syrup
rounded out into a taste sensation.

Pushing back from the table with satisfaction, it was pleasing to note that
although I’d eaten like a king, I had none of the uncomfortable heaviness
that often follows a hearty meal. Jenny’s eyes alight when I tell her so; “Yes!
It’s one of the key things I want people to understand about Japanese
food! People have such low expectations because of their experiences at
the food court. It is my absolute goal to break this stereotype.” With this
tigress at the helm, expect to see a meteoric trajectory for Tetsuaki.

– GOLD COAST MAGAZINE

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