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Quay Restaurant

In the recently released S.Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants, there was a single entry from Australia – Peter Gilmore’s Quay Restaurant – which came in at 27th.

Quay was already widely recognised as offering one of Australia’s finest dining experiences.  It has been recognized with a clutch of culinary awards – three chefs hats for nine consecutive years, Sydney Morning Herald‘s Restaurant of the Year, Gourmet Traveller‘s Restaurant of the Year and so on – and their trademark dessert, the snow egg, features in the finale of second season of Masterchef.

Chef Peter Gilmore takes an environmentally conscious approach to his cooking, sourcing all his ingredients from organic farms that emphasize sustainable growth.  He also sources rare produce such as miniature beetroots and white raspberries thus supporting and giving farmers an opportunity to cultivate these exotic ingredients.

I was in Sydney overnight for work this week and took the opportunity to make a reservation.  For some assinine reason, I left the setting on my camera to a rather shoddy one so the pictures aren’t quite as sharp as I would have hoped.  Anyway, here it is – our four course ala carte meals from Quay:

Amuse Bouche

Sea Pearls Sashimi tuna, sea scallop, crab, smoked eel, octopus

Smoked eel & egg white pearl, sashimi Hiramasa kingfish, pickled kohlrabi, octopus, nasturtiums, white dashi jelly

Slow braised pig cheek, ginger milk curd, fresh palm heart, green lipped abalone, Tasmanian wakame & chestnut mushroom consommé

Gentle braise of southern squid & rock lobster, lettuce hearts, golden tapioca, lobster velvet, button squash, pea flowers

Confit of Suffolk lamb loin, smoked white carrot cream, fennel infused milk curd, Pantelleria capers, nasturtiums, fennel pollen

Berkshire pig jowl, maltose crackling, prunes, cauliflower cream, perfumed with prune kernel oil

Custard apple snow egg with guava

Petit fours

Digestif – a selection of calvados

Quay carries some exceptionally high credentials and my expectations coming in were sky high but I didn’t come away disappointed.  They delivered on all fronts.  I went with my friend Scotty and we chose the four course ala carte option.  We asked the sommelier to accompany each meal with a complimenting wine which he did with aplombe.  He was very knowledgable on his wines and was happy to take the time to talk through his selections.  When we asked for some calvados at the end of the evening, he brought us a selection to choose from and even offered up an extra serving in a different glass so that we could appreciate how it affects the aroma (and our blood alcohol levels at that point in the evening).

The meals were world class.  As you can see in the photos, the presentation was varied, creative and showed a high degree of finesse.  There was no double decker stacking of the ingredients or anything gimmicky.  Just great care and craftsmanship.

The courses were universally excellent.  Neither Scotty nor I came away disappointed with our choices.  The highlights of the night for us were both the main courses.  The lamb loin was cooked to perfection and the pig jowl tasted incredible.  And of course, the signature dessert dish, the snow egg, was delicious and unlike anything I’d seen before.

In short, one of Australia’s very best.  Recommended in the strongest possible terms.  Great food, great views and great service.

Enjoying a view of the Opera House from our table

About Edo

Edo currently lives in Australia where he spends his time playing video games and enjoying his wife's cooking.

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