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Thursday, April 11, 2013

Marque, Surry Hills

We've been meaning to go to Marque (355 Crown Street, Surry Hills) for a while now, not only for it's 3 hats, but also because my brother Andrew kindly bought Patty and I a gift voucher for Christmas. Thanks for dinner! We finally got around to having the dinner last week and prior to dining there, we had researched about the restaurant quite thoroughly. Reviews ranged from all over the spectrum but we were definitely disheartened from a lot of negative comments, however I remained optimistic...Patty was more...pessimistic.

Us getting ready for some food
Unfortunately inside the restaurant was very dark and I don't think taking flash photography in such a formal restaurant was appropriate especially when it was only just one little room! So in saying that, all the photos we took aren't very good and not much can be seen!
The Food:
 We were very disappointed with this amuse bouche, unfortunately the potato maxims were no different to the equivalent of 2 original flavoured 'kettle chips' and the oyster and wakame sauce sandwiched between was lacking flavour.
Potato Maxims with Oyster & Wakame
(the only good photo!)
 Soft, subtle flavours with the freshness of the crab topped with creamy almond like paste. Avruga caviar was a great little touch to this dish.
Blue Swimmer Crab with Almond Gazpacho, Almond Jelly, Sweet Corn & Avruga
 The only let down from this dish was the tomato consommé! Everything else was delicious though. It also had one of Patty's favourite ingredients! Sea banana!
South Australia Calamari with Goat Cheese, Sea Banana & Tomato Consommé
Toilets are an important part of any restaurant/cafe! No restaurant is complete without an awesome bathroom, which was definitely provided by Marque. Even has your own personal sink!
Toilet was very nice and the soap smelled so good!
 Maybe it's the tomatoes that Marque use, but again, the only let down was the unnecessary green tomato on the plate, it definitely interrupted the delicate flavours of the bass. Potato paper added a nice little crunch to the dish.

Bass Grouper with Green Tomato, Verjus, Potato Paper, Fish Milk & Roe

(with the Potato Paper lifted off)
 This was by far, the best dish on the menu and the only dish that was really up there with the other restaurants of 3 hat calibre. Dehydrated mushrooms brought back to life, with aromatic crunchy autumn leaves that really tasted like the name suggests. Sauce was earthy and powerful with each nibble like a surprise in the mouth. They need to be creating more dishes like this.
Mushrooms with Autumn Leaves & Sticks
 I don't know how...but this daily, in house baked bread was one of the most interesting and best pieces of floury goodness I've had. I think Patty agrees with me too. You wouldn't expect it but the rye & caraway bread was soft yet dense. It felt like and slightly even tasted like carrot cake in the mouth and accompanied with the silkiest salted butter...you can't go wrong! Similarly, the sourdough was not like any other, soft and dense like the rye, but it's sourdough taste subtle. It felt like a sponge cake on the tongue as well! YUM!
Sourdough/Rye & Caraway Bread
 Doesn't look like much on the plate, but the flavours were really bursting all over the dish. Slightly pickled and crunchy leek, side of liver parfait that had a rich depth of flavour combined together with the juiciest of chicken fillets you'll ever taste.
Organic Free Range Chicken with Leek & Liver Parfait
(looks funny on the plate though?)
 Not a winner for either of us really. The 'rasher' of beetroot was quite odd, pickled, tangy but no real flavour at all. Venison was mashed up in a massacre of...itself really. It seemed like a venison ceviche but there was too much acidity around the plate that it didn't allow the venison to shine.
Mandagery Creek Venison with Smoked Beetroot, Egg Yolk, Cured & Jam
The optional course was pretty tasty, a posh version cheese and crackers, but nonetheless the peppery oat biscuit worked wonders with the fully flavoured cheddar. And for an extra $14, it's not bad for dine dining if you ask me.
Pyengana Cheddar with Lady Finger Banana, Spinach, Oat Biscuit and Pepper
(optional course)
 DESSERTS! Was expecting high quality but unfortunately none of them were really up to standard to be honest. Mango and mustard had a very interesting combination together. Who would have thought! However ... in the end, it really is just a wedge of mango with mustard seeds generously sprinkled on top and mustard paper.
Mango and Mustard
 Was really looking forward to a soft, velvety chocolate ganache and I was ready for my tastebuds to head into overdrive. How disappointed I became. Ganache was foamy? Actually. Plum sauce in the middle was nice and a plum 'roll up' was placed on the side but overall there was nothing really positive about it.
Warm Chocolate Ganache 'Tanzanie', Native Pepper & Plum
 Simple yet effective presentation, custard on the bottom with sweet syrup on top. My type of dessert. Patty gave me most of hers because it was too sweet, (one of the best parts of being a boyfriend because you get your girlfriend's leftovers) but even this dessert was a tad too sweet for me! And sweets are my favourite!
Sauternes Custard

 I'm never usually this harsh on any restaurant, though I feel that going into a 3 hatted restaurant you expect to be given the best of the best, and that night, I definitely didn't leave Marque feeling that the food was up to scratch. Don't get me wrong, some of the dishes were outstanding, albeit two mains and the servings of bread, but it lacked consistency throughout the meal. I loved the fact though that the menu works its way up from subtle flavours through to really strong and powerful ones.
 Patty and I both had matching wines for our course and we felt the wines were quite good. A few stood out in particular;
  •  2006 Bressan 'Carat', Venezia-Giulia, Italy
  •  2011 Giacomo Bologna 'Braida' Brachetto d'Acqui, Piedmont, Italy
 The menu we had on the night, was slightly different to the one posted online at the moment as they do occasionally change it week by week, the wines included. The staff were very prompt and helpful and it really did end up being an enjoyable night, but overall compared with the likes of Sepia and Est. which we have tried earlier, it doesn't really compare.
 I know this post is long! But it's hard to not go through a degustation menu in detail, but hopefully this helps, and if you do end up going, you might have a better food experience than we did! Who knows.
Note: $5 extra is charged per person for their water filter system...dodgy.
Bunny Rating-
Category: Fine Dining


Marque on Urbanspoon

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