Quay Restaurant, Sydney
This restaurant requires no introduction. In 2011, it was voted Number 26 on the coveted S.Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurant’s list and named the Best Restaurant in Australasia and I can see why. Located at the end of the Overseas Passenger Terminal at the Rocks, it has one of the best views Sydney has to offer, the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge.
The man behind this wonderful restaurant is Peter Gilmore who has been Executive Chef since August 2001. Peter’s food philosophy ‘is based in the exploration of the texture of food and harmony of flavour’. Peter Gilmore is a genius and his food, well, absolutely outstanding.
I have been to Quay many years ago, before the snow egg became exceedingly popular! I was supposed to take a friend, D for dinner, however, he was sick and could not make it. I didn’t want the reservation to go to waste, so thought I would ask my gym enthusiast friend, S and he said yes! We sat by the window, the view absolutely beautiful – panoramic view of the Harbour Bridge to the Opera House. It was just spectacular.
I had perused the menu closely that day and knew exactly what I wanted. S on the other hand wasn’t sure but I think he picked some pretty good dishes!
Started with complimentary bread, sour dough, it wasn’t warm but it was indeed very fresh and very yummy!
We started with amuse bouche – eel jelly with carrot puree topped with crumbs. Bite size eel jelly, which was refreshingly light with subtle eel flavour. S does not like eel, I told him about the subtleness but he still didn’t want to try it. So no guessing who ate the other one! YUM!
I started with the Sea Pearls, a signature Quay dish which consists of crab, smoked eel, sea scallops and sashimi tuna. WOW! It was just too pretty to eat, each ball was just magnificent and burst with flavours. My favourite was definitely the sea scallops.
I tried to dissect each one, from top left to right, tapioca balls together with mud crab inside and topped with edible foil leave, it was so delicate. The smoked eel with octopus was wonderful the smoked eel was again subtle which I loved. The fresh scallop ball was a favourite of mine. It wasn’t slimy and just melted in my mouth. Lastly, the sashimi tuna with aquaculture caviar – it was all magnificent. The texture and subtleness of each ball was just sublime. It was indeed a great way to start the wonderful meal.
S opted for the smoked eel and egg white pearl, sashimi Hiramasa kingfish, pickled kohibari, octopus, nasturtiums, and white dashi jelly. This was an exquisite dish. The white dashi jelly which was soft and wobbly, the fresh kingfish and the smoked eel and egg white pearl were just wonderful.
First course for me, the native fresh marron, rose salt, organic pink turnips, jamon de bellota cream, oloroso caramel, almonds and society garlic flowers. The marron which was beautifully cooked was deliciously sweet and plump. It was another perfectly balanced dish with wonderful flavours. The organic pink turnips were not a favourite of mine but the combination of flavours were just flawless.
S opted for the gentle braise of southern squid and rock lobster, lettuce hearts, golden tapioca, lobster velvet, button squash and pea flowers. Where do I start? A friend told me to order this, and should probably have listened to her. This dish was beyond amazing! The lobster was fresh, tender and succulent. I was tempted to swap but I really did enjoy the marron. Next time, this won’t be my only visit!
My next dish was one of the best dish I have had and probably the dish of the night for me. Slow braised Berkshire pig jowl, maltose crackling, prunes, cauliflower cream, perfumed with prune kernel oil.
The pork was simply mouth watering, it was incredibly soft and tender. It was beautifully complemented by the sweetness of the maltose crackling (which melted in my mouth) and prunes. The crackle was marvelously good! I really didn’t want this dish to end and wanted more! It was remarkable!
S opted for the wagyu beef poached in an oxtail and more reduction, mole puree, faro and Ezekiel crumbs. The beef was served medium rare coated with Ezekiel crumbs and sat on a pool of mole puree. The beef was incredibly succulent and the flavours really complemented each other but I think my pork was a definite winner.
I knew exactly what I wanted for dessert. I had tried this before and loved it. White nectarine snow egg – EPIC! The meringue ball with caramel wafer shall sat on a mountain of nectarine flavoured ice. I love the ‘crack’ when I tapped the egg. The custard inside was deliciously sweet and gooey and outstanding. I don’t think I even said a word whilst eating this, I just couldn’t stop. It was as good as I had remembered it to be.
S opted for the eight texture chocolate cake featuring amedei chocolate.
The waitress placed the plate in front of S and poured hot chocolate sauce over it, which she said was the eighth texture.
I slowly watched the centre sink.
S cracked the chocolate cake and WOW, no words can describe the brilliance of this dessert. The chocolate was intense and deliciously smooth. It was rich and it was unbelievably good!
It was an incredible dinner, each course was better than the next. The service was impeccable, each staff were very well trained. Atmosphere and location is absolutely perfect, extensive wine list, and the food everything was spectacularly presented and was just to die for. A great dining experience, and am looking forward to coming back shortly! Definitely one of the top 10 restaurants I have dined at in 2011!
GA’s ratings: 9.5 / 10
Circular Quay West