Saturday, March 24, 2012

Quay (The Rocks, Sydney) 03/2012

Regarded by many as the finest restaurant in Australia Quay has earned its reputation as a result of attention to detail in every aspect of delivery of a meal. The venue is superb. From the simple entrance with it's Asher Bilu hanging curtains, amusingly titled Circular Keys, the dining area stuns with views of the iconic Sydney Opera House, the Harbour Bridge and Lunar Park. Ferries pass constantly creating an ever changing scene. Service is impeccable and stylish. The somellieur poured Champagne with a flourish, at eye level but, importantly, was very well informed about the extensive wine list. Chef Peter Gilmore's menu is complex and diverse and the meal itself ticked every box for us. Everything was attractive including cutlery, crockery table placement and, of course, the food. It was jumping off the plates with freshness, flavours were delicate, harmonious and balanced. It had shape and form. It looked great and it was. It would be impossible not to be impressed. After an amuse bouche we were served series of dishes all of which were beyond criticism.
They were as follows:
Raw native fresh water marron, young almonds, bergamot marmalade,grapefruit, green mango,elder chamomile.
Mud crab congee, fresh palm heart.Next a hidden surprise.Gently poached southern rock lobster, hand caught Tasmanian squid, golden tapioca, lobster velvet.
Smoked and confit pigs cheek, shitake, shaved scallop, Jerusalem artichoke, juniper bay.Slow cooked columix quail breast,stone ground semolina enriched with Alba truffle butter, buckwheat, farrow, walnuts.David Blackmore's full blood wagyu, bitter chocolate black pudding, oxtail consomme.Seeing we might still have been able to manage another course we were now offered a dish not on our menu a most delicate and beautifully presented smoked eel. White nectarine snow egg, a signature dish at Quay.On opening it there was a combination of white and yellow. Chickens might have started this, or did the egg come first, but they were never as sweet as here!
This was followed by another technically astonishing and irresistible seven layer chocolate cake.
Ewe's milk ice cream, caramel, roasted walnuts, prune, Pedro Jimenez, chocolate bark, pulled toffee, vanilla milk skin.Coffee/tea Petit fours.We cannot fairly give a score to this dinner any more than to a great piece of art. Of course it's intensely personal too but for us this was simply the best meal we have ever had in Australia.


Paul said...


Elliot and Sandra said...

When you're safe, secure and warm you can obsess about food. WE think 'Wow' is appropriate.

LaurenK said...

I think the reason why my partner never suggests a weekend in Sydney is because he knows it would be non-negotiable to try and get bookings at Quay and Aria which would definitely hit the finances hard... but it just looks amazing...
Definitely on my bucket list!!!!

Elliot and Sandra said...

Hi Lauren,
Unfortunately you would have to be lucky to get a spur of the moment table at these deservedly very popular restaurants. As compared to middle of the road restaurants they are expensive but not extraordinarily so. Mean time we would strongly recommend Attica. It's different but it's up there.
Bon chance

Unknown said...

Hi Elliot and Sandra,
Long time reader first time poster.
I must admit the 2 of you'll do an excellent writeup along with detailed pics for each of your review, its always a delight to read them :)

If you had to rank VDM, Attica, Quay and Jacques Reymond. WHat would be the order?

Elliot and Sandra said...

That's a tough question. Quay certainly comes out in front. VDM if you want a more theatrical meal, Both Attica and VDM for very technical and modern cooking, especially VDM, JR for more classical French cuisine. If I was on death row and had to pick the order it would be Quay, VDM, Attica and JR for my last meal!

Unknown said...

One of the very important aspect to a business is customer service track record and especially in the restaurant and Hotel business.

Elliot and Sandra said...

Service is extremely important and, after the food and ambiance, to which it contributes, it is one of the key factors in getting people to return or recommend a place to friends.