Everyone was so friendly; I couldn’t understand the Australian accent at all, but it didn’t matter
Chef Tetsuya Wakuda arrived in Sydney in 1982 and never left. His friend suggested that he took a job in a restaurant so that he could brush up on his English, and the rest as they say is history… We grilled the famed chef about his favourite city.
What were your first impressions of Sydney?
Everyone was so friendly; I couldn’t understand the Australian accent at all, but it didn’t matter. Everything was new, exciting and there were so many beautiful people.
What is your favourite thing to do in Sydney on your day off?
Go fishing with Craig McGill in beautiful Sydney Harbour.
If a tourist wanted to do a mini food tour of Sydney where should they go?
Start by visiting Sydney Fish Markets – you get to experience the atmosphere of a real working market and seeing all the produce is great. Then go to Chinatown as the dishes are so varied, then stop by the Carriageworks Farmers Markets at Eveleigh. Not only does it stock a huge variety of produce, but it’s great to meet the growers and producers.
Where is the best place to shop for ingredients in Sydney?
For Asian ingredients go to Northbridge for Tokyo Mart Sydney and Antico’s fruit shop. Visit Sydney Fish Markets for great seafood and to stop at Vic’s Meat. And go to Salt Meats Cheese and The Grounds of Alexandria for everything else.
Which three restaurants do you need to try in Sydney before you leave?
I can’t narrow my favourites to three (laughs). Visit Marigold for the best yum cha in town; Azuma for authentic Japanese dishes using local fresh ingredients; Golden Century as it’s a great Chinese that stays open late and Buon Ricordo, which is an Italian institution.
Which bar do you need to try?
De Vine Food & Wine on Market Street. They have wonderful wines by the glass and great, simple flavoursome food.
What foodie souvenir should visitors take home from Sydney?
A fish filleting knife from Net & Tackle at Sydney Fish Markets.
Visit Chef Tetsuya Wakuda’s restaurant Tetsuya’s in Sydney and Waku Ghin in Singapore. As well as having the honour of owning Australia’s best restaurant, Chef Tetsuya is also famous for creating what is said to be the world’s most photographed dish – a Confit of Tasmanian Ocean Trout.