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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Quay, Overseas Passenger Terminal The Rocks

 First of all, a big shout out to Andrew for the dinner as this was his present for Mum's birthday ... and some present it was! Quay (Level 3, Upper Level Overseas Passenger Terminal, The Rocks, Sydney) is a 3 hatted restaurant specialising in modern Australian cuisine. We managed to get a booking on a Friday night only 3 weeks prior to us dining there because we had a group of 5. Unfortunately for couples of 2 or groups of 4, there is a wait until October for Friday/Saturday nights.

 Being Sydney's best restaurant, the family was overly excited to dine here and with its glowing reputation in mind we went in with high expectations. Patty reasons that she has an affiliation with Peter Gilmore because he occasionally comes into Tastebuds for a coffee and fritters and in return she insists on visiting Quay to keep it even. It doesn't really match up ... but whatever helps her sleep at night.

Opera House


 We arrived via the lift entrance but you can also enter from the main entrance above.
Main Entrance
 Patty had called earlier to confirm the booking and to ask whether or not a dish or two could be substituted on the degustation menu, which we were kindly told was possible. We don't normally try change things on the menu but there were a couple of things on the a la carte menu that looked amazing.
 Once seated, we were greeted with a friendly waiter who reconfirmed that we could change dishes on the degustation as we pleased. On the recommendation of head chef Tim from Tastebuds, we wanted to substitute the pig cheek for pig jowl. Unfortunately a different waiter came to take our orders and as we told her of our changes to the menu she informed us that it wasn't possible.
 We were disappointed, but nevertheless we knew that whatever we were served, that it'd be exceptionally good.

Bar Area

Cocktail and Dinner Menus

 The drinks for the night; (Andrew and I elected for the matching wines which went down quite well with the courses)

A bubbly mixture of Mint, Guava & Lime

Virgin Pina Colada
served with a wedge of Pineapple

Aperol Sour
Aperol mixed with Lemon Juice, Gomme & Egg White
Maker's Deluxe
Maker's Mark Bourbon mixed with Pama Pomegranate Liquer,
served with Lemon Juice & Raspberries

 We began our tasting menu with a petit little glass containing a smooth goats curd accompanied with some fresh and simple flavours.

Amuse Bouche
Goats Curd, Capers, Tomato & Olive Oil

 Next, a triple layered congee with an egg yolk emulsion slipping over a rich seafood like broth that is filled with fresh crab and palm heart. Sunk to the bottom are delicate rice grains. Might not look like it, but this was a great dish.
Congee of Northern Australia Mud Crab
with Fresh Palm Heart, Egg Yolk Emulsion

 A lighter dish afterwards to compliment the heavier congee, the beetroot salad was a nice Summery dish. The goat's curd is frozen with liquid nitrogen and Peter Gilmore's signature edible flowers are presented on the plate too.

Salad of Albino & Chioggia Beetroots
with Preserved Wild Cherries, Goat's Curd,
Scorched Beet Leaves, Violets

 Looks simple on the plate, though the flavours are anything but. The yabby velvet has an intense flavour, a bit like a concentrated lobster bisque without the cream, so good. It was poured onto the dish after it had arrived on the table and the garlic scented custard created a tasty bed for the fresh tasting yabbies on top.
Red Claw Yabbies
with Garlic Scented Custard, Yabby Velvet

 I love my bread at places like these, though the options of rye and white bread available were really stale. On the up side, the butter was ridiculously smooth. Dad went a bit crazy with the butter.


Butter & Salt

 Soon after the bread break, the roasted goose arrived at our table and boy did that goose look delectable. Angled onto a mountain of forbidden rice which had a miso base flavour and radish. The rice became a bit dry by itself and it probably needed a sauce on the side and the radish didn't go very well either. However the goose was amazing and it's smoky flavour resounded through every bite.

Roasted Goose
with Forbidden Rice, Black Miso, Hatsuka Radish

 The dish that may not have been, but in the end it all worked out. A beautifully presented dish that we all deconstructed piece by piece starting with the incredibly tasty fried artichoke leaves that was full of flavour. Under the artichoke housing were shaved slabs of scallops and shiitake mushrooms sandwiched together. And finally the base, a smoked and confit pig cheek that feels like pork juice and butter all going into the mouth at once. This was my favourite, but I'm definitely still keen on trying the pig jowl next time!
Smoked & Confit Pig Cheek
with Shiitake, Shaved Scallops, Jerusalem Artichoke Leaves

 The interior of the restaurant wasn't the greatest and the bathroom needed a big refurbishment, I think everyone agrees with that. 

Reception Desk

 Tasted just like how it looks, like there were way too many things on the plate! It was actually a really nice dish but all of us got lost in what we were eating. The veal itself was really tasty and the black pudding was thick and full of flavour. I lost the wallaby tail in my plate but maybe it dissolved into the dish and we all thought that the bone marrow overpowered the dish.

Pasture Raised Veal
with Bitter Chocolate Black Pudding,
Green Walnuts, Slow Cooked Wallaby Tail,
Salsify, Smoked Bone Marrow, Chestnut Mushrooms

 Desserts ... wow! Both desserts were honestly amazing and a must try. First, the andalucia. A light, sugary, almondy matrix placed on top of a wonderfully textured mixture of nougat, orange lemon marmalade and a spoonful of roasted almond ice cream. I'm not the biggest fan of almonds but I can guarantee that with a bite of this dessert that it will win over any almond hater. A fruitful sour was balanced with the delicate sweetness of almonds and the nougat mixture felt like a party in my mouth, I couldn't get enough of it.

Citrus & Almonds

 Being highly publicised, the final dessert of the snow egg brought with it high expectations from around the table. I personally thought that it was overhyped and didn't feel that I'd be blown away but how wrong I was. The egg is encased with a maltose tuilles (toffee like) and dusted with sugar, allowing you to crack the egg with the edge of your spoon to dig into the insides. Like the whites of an egg, a delicate poached meringue encompasses the inner yolk which is the guava puree. Underneath the egg is a soft vanilla custard and making up the rest of the dessert is the guava granita. All the elements to this dessert were amazing and my favourite was actually the soft pillowy poached meringue. The best dessert I've ever had. The guava puree was creamy and had just the right amount of sweetness and sourness. Icy guava granita completed this dish off, giving a fruitful hit within every bite. Seconds anyone?

Guava Snow Egg

When it's Cracked Open

 We rounded off the meal with some petit fours and coffee/tea.


Petit Fours

White Tea

The Family

 Happy Birthday to Mum again. The family enjoyed some really wonderful food and had a great experience overall. Only a couple of negatives, but the majority of the dishes were really outstanding, especially dessert. Hopefully soon enough I'll be back to try the rest of the menu and be spoilt again.

Not a bad view from outside

Bunny Rating-
Category: Fine Dining

Quay on Urbanspoon

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