Sydney | Quay Restaurant
For fine dining in Sydney, the award-wining Quay is no doubt one of the most popular choices. The menu focuses on innovative modern Australian cuisine,as the head Chef Peter Gilmore said ' I am looking to nature for my inspiration. Letting the natural produce speak. There is so much out there, so much elegance and beauty'. Awarded as three hats, Quay is also No.60 of World's Best Restaurants 2014.
Visited: Apr.26.2015 (Lunch)
Address: Upper Lever, Overseas Paggenger Terminal, 5 Hickson Road, The Rocks, NSW 2000, Australia
Hours: 12:00-15:00 ( Fri-Sun), 18:00-22:00 Daily
The decor of the restaurant is not formal nor serious as French, its simple and modern design makes me feel quiet relax. Although it was a raining day, the interior of the restaurant is still very bright. Besides the impressive dishes prepared by the team, guests can also enjoy the overlooking of the view of Opera House and Circular Quay from the ceiling-to-floor windows.
During lunch, diners can pick a three-course set lunch or four-course, priced at $150 and $175 respectively. For dinner, the 4-course set priced at $175 is served. The 8-courses tasting menu is available both lunch and dinner, priced at $235 includes coffee/tea and petit fours. My partner and I chose the four-course lunch set which featured more dishes we'd love to try.
Only one kind of bread was served. The curst was crunchy, with a warm and fluffy center.
The raw beetroot was beautifully presented, the hydrated aged feta lifted both the texture and flavor of the entire dish. The beefroot 'tartar' itself was high in flavor, the entire combination was very refreshing.
The raw smoked Blackmore wagyu was high in flavor, it was very succulent and juicy. The complexity of the texture was another highlight, the melt-in-mouth beef and crispy fermented rye and funghi.
Move on to the hot appetizers. It was the best season to have marrons, i also had marrons at some other restaurant during my Australia trip, such as in Momofuku Seibo, Vue de Monde, Tetsuya's. XO marron was a dish with a Asian twist. The sauce was rich, the marron itself was incredibly tender and sweet.
Another recommended dish by the manger was the chawanmushi (Japanese steamed egg custard) with braised quail. The dish came with a mouth-watering fragrance. The chawanmushi was silky, the duck has a deep flavor and was very tender. The entire combination was great.
The steamed pink snapper is the only fish/seafood dish among the main courses. It was beautifully decorated with pink turnips and flowers. While the fish skin was nicely processed, the snapper itself was very dry and tough. The entire dish has a clean taste, overall a bit disappointing.
We also tried Flinders Island lamb, native coastal greens, hatuka radish, eggplant, capers, smoked oyster crackling, which i forgot to take a picture of. The lamb was very juicy and flavorful, the greens on the side paired well with the succulent lamb, and balanced well.
One thing i really loved about fine dining in Australia is, the main dishes usually comes with a bowl of salad.
The poached 'egg' was made of poached meringue, with a yolk of custard apple ice-cream, coated with crunchy golden praline maltose shell. The pretty egg was placed on a bed of citrus granita and vanilla mousse. The fruit 'citrus' changes every season. The combination of different ingredients with different flavor and textures was really good.
Compare to the snow egg, both of us were more impressive with the mango dessert. The green mango and vanilla ice-cream was very high in flavor, the 'flakes' on the top was actually shaved mango ice cream. The entire combination was very tropical and enjoyable.
In general, the food was good but lack of some surprises. The dishes we enjoyed the most were the marron and Mangosteen, the signature Snow Egg was good but not 'wow'. The service is quite slow during our visit. I don't know if dinner would be more impressive, but i think the food and service quality at a world's top restaurant should be consistently good. Anyway, not bad but neither a 'must'.