Hi Cape...I did work in Sydney for just a short time...about 7 months. I transfered to the now defunct Ritz Carlton, Double Bay from the Ritz Carlton, Dearborn.
Sydney was beautifull. The food was very edgey, hip and alltogether lighter than the majority of the American stuff. Lots of fruit and vegetable sauces...when you ordered herbs and baby lettucces they came in flats with dirt like you buy flowers for your garden. Very cool.
As far as memorable meals...they all were really. A club sandwich comes with a fried egg over there!
Tetsyuana's place was amazing.
Neil Perry's place in Darling Harbour had a soft fried egg with chili caramel that still blows my mind. I'm pretty handy with food and I haven't been able to re-create this dish after many attempts.
Ampersand had great food as well.
Some of the weird staples?
Spanner Crab...Like big blues
Yabbies...freshwater shrimp...look like a larger version of our crayfish but not muddy
Cuttlefish...very like squid in taste and texture
Barramundi...spectacular game fish, similar to our striped bass
Blue eye cod...like our black, but firmer, leaner and sweeter
Balmain or Morten Bay Bugs...what we call slipper lobster
Orange Roughy, Tuna and Oysters,Oysters,Oysters! Everywhere you went had Sydney Harbor Oysters...Very coppery but not unpleasant after a bottle of wine or 3
All in all a great experience. Thanks for the compliment on Evans Street too...This will be my home from now on.
I don't remeber all the dishes at Tetsuya (there were a lot...8-9 courses I believe), but a few stick out...
Foie Gras with Caramelized Quince, Fiji Apple, Baba and Sauternes Jelly
Venison with Peahes and Rosemary
John Dory with Sea Urchin sauce and poached periwinkles
Amazing food. Texturally, flavor and presentation were all a 10 in my book and I'm a picky guy when I spend that much.
The Soft fried egg was, well...weird but great. They must have dropped it in a wok FULL of oil or a deep fryer, because the whites had crisped straight up on the plate making it look like a comet, but the yolk was still 90% raw. The chili caramel set it off, it was basically Thai bird chilis tossed into caramelized sugar with a little lime, fish sauce and cilantro. Sounds crazy, but it really worked well and very tasty as well as cool to look at. I got the sauce down...but I have never found the proper temp to get the egg to do that.