Thursday, September 10, 2009

Review : Quay

Overseas Passenger Terminal,
The Rocks, Sydney 2000

Tuesday to Friday
12 noon - 2:30 pm
Monday to Sunday
6:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Cuisine: Modern Australian

Quay is the perfect spot for that special occasion or for impressing interstate & overseas visitors.

Buggles and I are celebrating our 9 years together, so surely an indulgent dinner at Quay was in order.
We have decided that Quay is our 'anniversary' restaurant, we were there last year & again last night.

The night started well with a parking spot virtually outside the door.

On entering the restaurant we are greeted warmly & then swiftly guided to our uptairs table. To say the 280 degree view is spectacular would be an understatement, you feel as though (were it not for the glass) you can reach out & touch the water.

To ease ourselves into the delights ahead I start off with a classic 'Mojito', while Buggles indulges in a 'Quay Butterfly' a wonderful concoction of butterscotch schnapps, limoncello & vodka with a hint of star anise....
The 'upstairs' maitre'd then guides us through the menu. You can choose between the 7 course Signature Menu ($195 per person) or the 4 course a la carte ($155 per person)...we opt for the a la carte.

Our meal begins with an 'amuse bouche' of diced, raw yellowfin tuna, smoked eel tapioca & a horseradish cream. This is the perfect start to the meal... the tuna cool & silky, the tapioca smoky with a 'firm pop' in the mouth & the horseradish cream velvety with just a hint of heat. I am NOT a seafood fan, but this dish could convert the most diehard seafood-phobe!

Course 1

I order the 'salad of spring vegetables, herbs, flowers, goats curd cigars, lemon confit'.
This dish is so visually appealing that it is almost a crime to take knife & fork to it.
The tiny, beautifully coloured vegetables, herbs & flowers arranged artisically on the plate, 4 goats curd cigars sitting neatly amongst them.
The vegetables are perfectly cooked, still retaining that slight crunch, while the 'cigars' are oozy, velvety & crisp all at the same time. The lemon confit both salty & sweet.

Buggles chooses the 'poached Western Australian marron, seaweed jelly, cucumber, fennel, lime creme fraiche.'
Buggles thought the texture of the marron was firm yet yielding, perfectly offsetting the delicateness of the other ingredients, the combination of textures working in harmony.

Course 2
Me: 'Gently poached quail breast, bitter chocolate black pudding and walnut crumbs, truffle custard, fresh palm hearts, white borage buds.' The two tiny quail breasts are cooked perfectly medium rare, thus rendering them moist & juicy. The crumbs deliver crunch & bitterness which works incredibly well with the moist, tender meat, the palm hearts bring a 'nuttiness' to the mix, the white borage buds are visually appealling while adding a 'cucumberesque' flavour. The truffle custard brings a much needed earthiness to the dish.
A very successful dish indeed!

Buggles: 'Five textures of Southern Rock Lobster.' ($20 supplement)
Buggles enjoyed this dish which arrives in two parts. The first part, a lobster consomme sitting atop a lobster custard. This combination is very successful, the silkiness of the custard adding a creamy depth to the subtly flavoured consomme. The second part of this dish consists of a lobster mousse (cleverly shaped to resemble a scallop), lobster tapioca & a portion of lobster meat. While enjoyable Buggles felt it was not as successful as the consomme/custard.

Course 3
'Black Angus Fillet, spinach puree, morels, wasabi butter.' ($25 supplement)
The fillet is so tender I could easily cut it with my butter knife. I don't know if it was cooked sous vide style & then quickly seared, but it is perfection. It arrives medium rare as requested. The meat is flavoursome, the spinach puree & morels well chosen accompaniments adding symmetry to the dish, the wasabi butter adding a slight heat.

Buggles: 'Braised black pig jowl, smoked eggplant, baby kabu turnips, Chinese artichokes, spinach, wasabi flowers, konbu consomme.'
From the first mouthful I knew Buggles was in heaven, the pig jowl was tender, moist, delectably unctious & packed with 'piggy' goodness. The other ingredients helpgive this dish texture & depth of flavour, however the 'star' is most definitely the jowl. 

Course 4
Me: 'Jackfruit granita & custard apple snow egg.'
I think I can safely say this is the best dessert I have had at any restaurant and I have sampled many an exquisite dessert. The 'egg' itself is a perfectly poached meringue which is then encrusted with a crunchy toffee. Once you break open the meringue you expose it's delightfully creamy 'yolk' which then oozes slowly onto a refreshingly perfect granita, the granita then starts to blend into the custardy cream underneath. My mouth is watering just thinking about it again.
This is so good that a diner at a nearby table ordered herself two! Regrettably I did not.

Buggles: 'Eight texture Chocolate Cake featuring Amedei 'Chuao' Chocolate.'
A chocoholics dream! Do not ask her what the 8 textures were, because I'm sure she went into some kind of choc-induced coma once she started eating.
There was warm ganache, chocolate mousse, chocolate disc, some kind of chocolate biscuit concept.... and that's about where the coma set in.... who knows, who cares when it tastes this good?!  Unlike my good self, she assures me that a second helping would have led to an instant heart attack.

Finally, a note on service. The waitstaff were all attentive & knowledgeable. The French 'upstairs' maitre'd was particularly so. She had a certain 'je ne sais quoi' about her. She was highly professional, but very friendly & accommodating. She certainly helped make the evening special.
The sommelier was a tad brusque perhaps more so to diners not drinking wine.
On the whole however, this was a very special & memorable dining experience  (dare i say, better than last year). I can only imagine what our next visit will bring!
Quay on Urbanspoon

No comments: