Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Quay- The Rocks, Sydney

I have been looking forward to dining at Quay for months and having it's executive chef Peter Gilmore appear on Masterchef for a Masterclass got me even more hyped up for our eventual visit. I mean, it's not everyday we have the luxury of dining at the highest ranked Australian restaurant in the world :) This has placed Quay in the illustrious and coveted S Pellegrino World's 50 Best Restaurants list at number 27. 

They have two options for dinner. You can either opt for the Tasting Menu which is basically a degustation of 7 courses, or you can pick your own 4 courses from their Dinner Menu. We chose the latter as we didn't want to stuff ourselves to the brim.

Quay offers spectacular views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House. The reason the sails of the Opera House are blue instead of its usual white is because there's an ongoing Light Show in Sydney. Glad we caught it because the Light Show ended on 20th June 2010!

Complimentary starter of tuna tartare with dashi jelly and some other stuff I can't remember. *shifty eyes. This was appetizing- a great way to start our meal!

The infamous signature Sea Pearls- beautifully decorated from L-R (top picture): Abalone in dashi jelly, Mud Crab with edible silver leaf, Octopus with smoked eel, Sea scallop, and Sashimi tuna with aquaculture caviar. I think my favourite was the sea scallop which tasted absolutely out of this world. The abalone came a close second as the slices of abalone were sliced thinly and provided some texture to the dashi jelly. Some elements of this dish were quite similar to our starter- especially the sashimi tuna with aquaculture caviar which tasted pretty ordinary. I think I rather enjoyed the Mud crab too but sadly, my poor memory is failing me at this point.

I picked this for my second course. It's a Confit of shaved South Australian squid, organic red core radishes, garlic custard, native violets, rosemary flowers and roasted squid consomm√© (description taken from Quay's website- as with all the other descriptions below). This was my favourite dish of the night. I love shaved squid and enjoyed how the different textures of the dish greatly complimented one another. The red core radishes provided the much needed crunch to this otherwise 'mushy' dish (for lack of a better word). The consomme was full of flavour, yet was clear and refreshing. 

The bf picked  the Butter poached quail breasts, chestnuts, truffle, bitter chocolate black pudding, milk skin and walnuts dish as his second course. This was milky and rich to the taste. Just look at the ingredients in this dish! He absolutely loved this and this was his favourite dish for the night. 

My third course was the Slow braised Berkshire pig jowl, maltose crackling, prunes, cauliflower cream, Pedro Ximenez noble sour vinegar, perfumed with prune kernel oil. I've never successfully made crackling before so everytime I'm at a restaurant that offers crackling I usually pick that dish. This however, is maltose crackling which meant that it provided a sweet, caramel crunch...almost like toffee. The pig jowl was wonderfully tender and went surprisingly well with the soft poached prunes.

The bf usually tends to go for fish based dishes (based on my own observation :D) so it was no surprise he chose the Wild pink snapper, gently poached with wakame seaweed and smoked butter, green garlic, butter lettuce, celery heart, wild asparagus, leek seedlings, vongole juices. What did I think of this dish? Well...nothing that blew my tastebuds away?

Ahem, intermission picture courtesy of the trigger happy bf.

YUMMMMMMMMM this looks absolutely sinful and yummy. Eight texture chocolate cake featuring Amedei Chocolate. This was presented to us as a normal chocolate tart and the 8th texture is the warm, gooey chocolate that they pour onto the cake, right in front of us. It's so warm that it melts the top layer of the cake and sinks into the layers below. I can't say anything bad about chocolate desserts now, can I? They all taste absolutely amazing. 

I chose the Guava Snow Egg because it looks cute! Haha...doesn't it somehow remind you of a penguin nesting it's young? Well it does to me! The guava sorbet was very, very refreshing and provided that much needed tartness to the sweetness of the custard egg which came with a layer of toffee on the outside, not dissimilar to the toffee on my crackling. 

Quay provided one of the better dining experiences I've ever had. I've read reviews that stated the service was terrible and portion sizes small. Yes, the portion sizes are small indeed but I think they were good portions because if they were any bigger I wouldn't have been able to enjoy each dish thoroughly.  Service was impeccable, almost faultless. They constantly topped up our water and bread and even asked if we needed taxi service after our meal. And if you're there to celebrate an occasion they give you complimentary chocolates at the end of the meal. The whole meal was good, and if given the chance to dine there a second time I would be the first one to jump at it.

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