Thursday, February 18, 2010

Quay Birthday

Hello hello everyone! I'm back! I was meant to write something before I disappeared for a month (or more), but just got really busy all of a sudden and then no chance to say something here. Last month has been really hectic. Wedding preparation, wedding day itself, bring visitors around Sydney after wedding then honeymoon which included another wedding reception and travelling among 3 islands, then finally back in Sydney Friday last week and back at work this week. I can really feel how much 'emptier' my diary is after wedding compare to before wedding :) 

Now I'm back in the foodie business!!!

It was my now hubby's birthday. Took him to a surprise dinner at Quay. Best meal I've had! Not a single thing I can pick on. From the service, the food or even the sugar for our coffee, everything was sooooo good! Oh, I know. The only thing I didn't like was the bill haha :p It's the highest price I've paid per head for a single meal. 

When we got there, straight away there's someone to bring us to our table. He was soooo polite. Greeted us, making small talk on the way to our table, and never fail to warn us about the steps in front of us. The waiters/waitresses were so attentive. They are probably trained to be REALLY observant! Cup is empty? You don't even need to ask for it to be filled. If you need anything, all you have to do is look up, make eye contact with any one of them, and they will be over straight away. Absolutely don't have to wave your hand like a mad person like in some other restaurants when you drop your fork and need it to be replaced. I suspect they even have sensors at the back of their head to sense that you're looking and turn around. I was amazed. 

We started off with amuse-bouche of tuna tartare, tapioca, radish fresh creme and red garnet. The whole thing look so pretty and doesn't look like anything edible but it is. Tuna has the smokey flavour and the tapioca adds the chewy bite feel to it. 
Colourful entree#1 Poached Western Australian marron, seaweed jelly, cucumber, fennel, green almonds, lime crème fraiche. Didn't know what a marron was then, but now we know it's like a lobster. The meat is a bit firmer than prawns and sweeter. 
Amazing looking entree#2. Sea Pearls. Clockwise from top left abalone, sea scallop, tuna sashimi with caviar, Octopus and mud crab with silver leaf. I can now say that I've eaten silver :p By the way, those pretty looking purple flowers are edible too.

Main#1. Gently poached quail breasts, pink turnips and onions, white lentils, morels, truffle custard, bitter chocolate black pudding, jamon de bellota, milk skin. There are many 'components' to this dish. I get very curious with something like this. 'What if I eat the pudding with the milk skin?' 'what if I take the next bite of quail with the custard?' So many flavours can come out from different combinations. The silky smooth milk skin definitely made an impression to a milk lover like me. 

Main#2. Crisp confit of pig belly, braise of abalone and cuttlefish, handmade silken tofu, Japanese mushrooms, chive flowers. When I eat this, first thing that came into my mind was I'm eating Chinese haha. It definitely has a chinese feel to it especially with the crispy skin pork (like a chinese roast pork). Can't get enough of the handmade tofu. 

Main#3. Crisp pressed duck confit, kabu turnips, winter melon, hasuimo, garlic chive buds, sea scallops, duck juices.  Can you see how crispy the duck is from the photo? You know how sometimes with photos, the picture looks better than the taste? Now is the other way round. I can only wish the photos can at least indicate half of how good the actual taste of the dish is. 

Main#4. Roasted fillet of New Zealand pink snapper, tomato and mussel confit, octopus, chilli threads, rocket and fennel flowers. The fish can only be fresh and perfectly done here, as you would expect from the restaurant of the year :) Really love those beautiful looking little fresh produce from the farm. The baby turnip, the fennel flowers, the purple edible flowers on the other dish, the onion bulb, all of these are little surprises in each dish. Before putting them in my mouth, I wouldn't have a clue how much flavour they can carry. 

Dessert#1. White peach snow egg. O M G!! It's the bestest dessert EVER!! The most impressive dessert I've put in my mouth. Bottom of the cup was white peach granita, then there's the 'snow egg' which is like a ball of white peach ice-cream wrapped in meringue and then with a crispy shell dusted with icing sugar. Even a chef that I know said it's still a mystery to him how this is done. It's a very simple looking but very complicated dessert. 

Dessert#2. Mangosteen, coconut, lychee, rose, sugar crystals. Missing the fruit that I used to eat a lot when I was in Malaysia, I ordered the mangosteen. Probably not as 'mysterious' as the snow egg, but definitely taste just as good. I would lick the plate if I was alone in the restaurant at that time. Mangosteen was sweet as expected. Lychee granita was very refreshing. Coconut cream is rich and creamy. I would think that those rose petals are just there to add some colour and to look pretty. Wrong! They taste good!!! The taste and smell of rose were intensified. It's like they were made from those rose cordial that I used to drink as a kid. Mangosteen with coconut, coconut with rose, mangosteen with lychee, rose with sugar crystals, I ran out of them before I ran out of combos that I could think of! 

We had 2 sets of petits fours. Here's the complimentary with happy birthday written on the plate. Just as well that we had 2 plates of them, because when the first plate came, we were enjoying our coffee. Left the chocolate cigar on the plate too long and they got soggy. We ate the second plate as soon as it was served. The chocolate cigars were still crispy. I prefer the chocolate cigar to the white chocolate praline. Always find that white chocolate is too sweet for my liking. Of course I still ate my share though! :p We were wondering how did they write so pretty with chocolate. I can't even write as nice with a pen. 
Cute looking sugar that came with our coffee. 

Even though this meal made quite a dent to my wallet, it's worth every single cent. The experience of dining in Australia's top restaurant, the quality of food, the careful presentation, the service and of course the view of our beautiful Sydney Harbour, it's definitely a memorable dinner. 

Price: $155 per person for 4 course dinner + supplements on certain dishes
Location: Overseas Passenger Terminal, The Rocks, Sydney 2000
Phone: (61 2) 9251 5600


  1. Stunning food, and congrats on the wedding etc.

    I'd love to go to Quay, and after reading your review it's even more of a dream!

    I'm not usually a fan of this style of cooking - I'd prefer something simpler yet equally awesome, if you know what I mean, but the Pink Snapper especially looks and sounds fantastic.

  2. ahhh was wondering where you went! was it your wedding? if so congrats! and happy b'day to your husband the food looks awesome!

  3. What a place to celebrate at! :D And gorgeous photos too! Our photos towards the end of the night didn't work out too well but yours are great! And that's the neatest chocolate writing I've ever seen! :P

  4. Beautiful pictures. The sea pearls and peach snow egg are amazing!

  5. Hi Mike, Thanks!! I don't really know much about cooking myself, I just know the food tasted awesome!! :D Definitely worth visiting :)

    Thanks Suze! Yeah, it was my wedding :) yup yup, everything was very colourful and pretty.

    Hi Lorraine, thanks!!Yeah, I had trouble towards the end of the night too! Luckily it's summer so it didn't get dark till quite late.. :)

    Thanks missklicious! Yeah, they are amazing! Wonder how the chef actually came up with ideas to make things like that...