Swoon over Peter Gilmore‘s temple of culinary delights: from the famous guava and custard apple snow egg that featured on last year’s Masterchef finals to the exquisite and beautiful ‘Sea Pearls’ of tuna sashimi and abalone crowned with luxurious caviar. Quay took out the top prize for Gourmet Travellers’ ‘Restaurant of the Year’ two years in a row and ranks No.27 on S.Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. Even the spectacular, breathtaking views of Sydney harbour in the background is no match for the exceptional menu. It might not be in the gastronomic stratospheres of El Bulli and The Fat Duck right now, but it is only a matter of time.
I was recently invited to a wedding function at Quay (probably also one of the best wedding venues in the world). Upon arrival, guests were treated to a range of mouth-watering canapés ranging from truffle, spinach & heidi gruyere risotto balls to ravioli of king prawn, lemon confit & pea shoots.
The cocktails, wine, and champagne flowed freely throughout the night. The cocktails were particularly addictive – particularly the one called ‘Quay Butterfly’ which was a delicious concoction of vanilla vodka, butterscotch snaps, limoncello with a touch of star anise. Within the first hour, it was rather difficult to put down my sixth glass.
My entrée certainly made an entrance – roasted sea scallops, lime crème fraiche, asparagus, fennel, spring onions, leek, lemon jam dressing. I tried my neighbour’s equally delightful Italian proscuitto, green figs, roasted almonds, baby rocket and spring onions.
The menu certainly reflects a superb pairing of ingredients with an interesting mix of flavours, colours and textures. One of the mains – roasted fillet of pure angus beef, potato puree, baby spinach with bitter chocolate black pudding crumbs and morels – absolutely blew my taste buds away! I look forward to experimenting a bit more with dark chocolate and red meats in my kitchen.
The other main, a roasted blue eye (fish) with tomato confit, Sicilian capers, fennel, cucumber, lemon, parsley, and fennel pollen, was fairly average in taste, though it certainly made the most of seasonal fresh local produce.
And the desserts… easily takes home the trophy for the best dishes of the night. There was a choice of:
- Sauternes custard, honey cream, ginger bread, sauternes jelly, sauternes ice cream (Sauternes is a sweet wine from Bordeaux);
- Fresh lychees with coconut granita and rose scented milk ice cream.
My neighbour and I just couldn’t choose, and finished the last bits of each other’s desserts. Unfortunately there was simply no room in our tummies for the beautifully handmade chocolates with tea and coffee…