Quay

Quay is the SMH 2010 Restaurant of the Year, it’s also the Gourmet Traveler’s 2010 Restaurant of the Year. It is one of the only two restaurants in Australia that received a 3 hat rating for 8 years in a row.

For someone who loves food, I was, understandably, ecstatic, over the moon, couldn’t believe our luck etc etc.

So how did it turn out?

We chose the four course dinner instead of the other option – the eight course tasting menu – because we wanted to try a bit of everything. I had sea pearls for the first course. They are, from left to right: something encased in tapioca with violets and a silver leaf; octopus; sea scallops and sashimi tuna. The presentation was beautiful and my favourite was the scallop pearl. The one encased in tapioca was a little weird on the palette, and being Asian, I’m used to eating tapioca as a sweet dessert rather than combined with raw seafood. They took off the usual $15 supplement for the sea pearls (yes, I have been ogling Quay’s menu for a while now) – I guess it’s a good thing!

Ben had the mudcrab congee as his first course. The congee is not the usual velvety and satisfying texture you get at yum cha places, or even the ones that we make at home. It is instead, very soupy. Besides, it looked really weird when it came out, with a huge dollop of creamy textured ‘sauce’ on the top.

For the second course, Ben had the crisp confit of pig belly with green lipped abalone and cuttlefish, complete with handmade silken tofu, Japanese mushrooms and chive flowers. The presentation was beautiful and I especially loved the pig belly and the handmade tofu. Both were outstanding. Whilst the individual elements of the dish worked really well on their own, I’m not so sure about putting all of them together on the same plate. Personally, I find it a little odd to combine pork, tofu, abalone and cuttlefish.

I had the partridge breast for my second course. This is a medium-rare breast of partridge, sitting on a bed of chestnuts, bitter chocolate black pudding, milk skin and walnuts. There are also truffle shavings on the top. Whilst I didn’t mind the rest of the dish, the partridge was a let down. There are quite sinewy parts to the partridge, which shouldn’t be there because the bird is medium-rare. Not my favourite dish of the night.

I ordered the pig jowl for the third course. It came with amazing maltose crackling, giant and plump prunes, cauliflower cream, and prune kernel oil. It was apparently one of Peter Gilmore’s signature dish. I really loved it and the pork went beautifully with the prunes. Ben didn’t like it though, and found the pig jowl way too fatty.

Ben had the veal for his third course. It was quite tender (also medium-rare). It came with baby vegetables which were so cute and quite nice. It was discovered though that Ben doesn’t like his game.

For dessert, we ordered the two house specialties – the Guava Snow Egg and the Eight Textured Chocolate Cake. Both looks quite ordinary, the snow egg even artificial in those pictures. Oh I must mention that the lighting was so dark that we couldn’t even see our food properly. Pictures aside, both desserts were awesome. The snow egg, from what I can make out, has several layers. The middle is a creamy layer, it is then wrapped in the softest marshmallow. A crispy toffee(?) layer comes next, and the whole thing is then rolled in icing sugar (?). It sits on a bed of guava sorbet, and there are more cream and guava jam/jelly (?) on the bottom of the glass.

The eight textured chocolate cake was a decadent creation. I haven’t yet worked out what the eight textures are. I have so far: hard chocolate, chocolate mousse, tempered chocolate, chocolate grenache, chocolate biscuit on the bottom….

We loved the dessert, but it was a little disappointing on the whole. It wasn’t the ‘truly unique dining experience, one that is completely removed from the everyday’ experience that its website promised.

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2 Responses to Quay

  1. The dishes certainly look creative and the presentation is absolutely spot on! I’m sorry to hear the dessert wasn’t mind blowing (as it should always be the best part of the meal if you ask me 😉

    • cinnamobus says:

      Yeh totally agree 🙂 I like what you do with your pictures on your blog! Will bookmark it inow.

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