Home > Modern Australian, Syd: The Rocks, Sydney > Quay Restaurant, Sydney

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

Quay Restaurant

Circular Quay West

Sydney 2000

The Rocks

Quay on Urbanspoon

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  1. May 3, 2011 at 12:54 am

    WOWWWEEEE!
    It all looks amazing.

    What do you think they could have improved on to get the extra .5?

    • May 3, 2011 at 11:27 am

      hey em 🙂 ya it was amazing!!!! they dont have a lot of non-seafood option though! if u don’t like seafood then, well… you will definitely not like this place. prob should have a balance? but otherwise it was AMAZING! everything was amazing!

  2. googly eyes
    May 3, 2011 at 1:11 am

    Surprisingly, I’m not that big a fan of either the snow egg or the chocolate dessert; they were excellent but missing that extra wow factor.

    It’s funny to read you say the staff are well trained; makes them sound like animals or pets! LOL

  3. May 3, 2011 at 1:23 am

    wow! i am looking forward to sampling quay’s finest! this must be your highest score for a restaurant!

  4. May 3, 2011 at 1:51 am

    Looks amazing. I so want to come here for a meal.

  5. Tom
    May 3, 2011 at 2:35 am

    This actually looks well worth the plaudits. Insane looking desserts as well. I have to go there and try it 🙂

  6. May 3, 2011 at 2:37 am

    Looks lovely, my friend’s have her wedding reception here in a couple of weeks, can’t wait.

    • May 3, 2011 at 11:13 am

      ya i have been to a wedding reception here too! its great! but you should definitely check out the restaurant ie not the wedding reception 🙂

  7. May 3, 2011 at 8:33 am

    Ooo – I really want to try the snow egg after seeing it on MC2 last year. We went here for a work dinner years ago but I barely remember it which is a shame.

    • May 3, 2011 at 11:11 am

      hey miss piggy! ya i had it ages ago too before it became famous.. its good! as good as i remembered it to be 🙂

  8. paulus
    May 3, 2011 at 10:59 am

    how about the price?and you spell australia wrongly.maybe because you keep thinking about the food? LOL

    • May 3, 2011 at 11:10 am

      Hi Paulus, its right – its supposed to be Australasia which means a region of Oceania: Australia, New Zealand, the island of New Guinea, and neighbouring islands in the Pacific Ocean (Island Melanesia, potentially including Wallacea) 🙂 you did make me check but no.. its Australasia! Price is $155 for 5 courses – thought i said it, whoops!or $220 for 8 courses!

  9. May 3, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    The maltose crackling is so cool isn’t it? And ahh the famous snow egg!

  10. von
    May 5, 2011 at 1:37 am

    ooh i love reading your posts! i envy that you can visit these lovely restaurants! >_< but otherwise keep up the good work as I find your blog a great source to go to for dinner date ideas! (my friends think i m cool cos i know all these fancy places…haha but its all from your blog! ;P)

    • May 5, 2011 at 1:44 am

      hey von 🙂 thanks for your kind words and thanks for dropping by… as you have gathered, I love to eat.. my tummy and cholesterol is not thanking me though! lol thanks again

  11. paulus
    May 5, 2011 at 11:11 am

    oh i see.you always make me droll with all this fine dining food.never tried one before.no companion to go with.

    • May 5, 2011 at 11:27 am

      Thanks for your kind words!! you should definitely try and check it out… its a great restaurant

  12. paulus
    May 5, 2011 at 11:41 am

    I’m still a small boy here. Still can’t make my own money lol

  13. May 6, 2011 at 6:46 am

    i am utterly, utterly jealous.

  1. October 6, 2011 at 11:18 pm
  2. December 30, 2011 at 7:46 am

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