Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Quay @ Circular Quay


The infamous Quay. Everyone has seen the desserts such as Snow Egg and Eight texture cake on Masterchef Australia, and now I have been lucky enough to try not only the desserts but also the tasting menu. The reason for the dining experience was for my 21st Birthday, where someone very special to me spoiled me with the Quay dining Experience (THANK YOU!!!). I am also lucky that my birthday coincides with Vivid Sydney, meaning that the entire night there was the view of the pretty changing lights of the Sydney Opera House. 

The photo doesn't quite grasp the amazing view

Quay is a 3 chef hatted restaurant, and is the first of the 3 hatted restaurant I have been able to dine. Quay provides two dining experiences, the tasting menu and a choice of 4-course menu.We had two menus, I received the tasting menu (TM) and my dining partner had a 4 course vegetarian menu (VM). Originally, it was supposed to be 2 tasting menus, but due to certain allergies the Quay kitchen were unable to cater. Therefore, for every second meal I had, my partner had 1 meal. 

Lychee Mocktail (I don't know why this photo is showing up weird)

Amuse Bouche: Salmon and Kingfish jelly with wasabi cream (TM)
I never thought that salmon and kingfish could be presented in such an interesting way. They were filled with their natural flavour, succulent, but yet gelatinous? The wasabi cream added the kick, which helped balance it all out. 

Congee of Northern Australian mud crab, fresh palm heart and egg yolk emulsion (TM)
This is generally not what you picture congee to look or taste like. Despite what I was expecting, it was delicious. The mud crab was shredded and cooked to perfection. The emulsified egg was just another way of eggs that I wish I knew how to make, such a soft and delicate egg.

Salad of albino and chioggia beetroots, preserved wild cherries, goat's curd, scorched beet leaves and violets (TM & VM)
A fun dish to eat, being that every mouthful provided different tastes and textures. Every bite became more interesting than the last. Our favourite part was what seemed to be beetroot croutons/freeze dried beetroot which added crunch to the dish. The goats curd was subtle, and added a creaminess to the beetroot.

Red claw yabbies, garlic scented custard with yabby velvet broth (TM)
This was my first time trying yabbies, and I think I may have had a slight allergic reaction. But, nothing that water and lychee mocktail couldn't fix. I find the taste of yabbies to be an in between of a prawn and lobster. I really enjoyed the garlic custard with the broth that brought out the delicacy of the yabbies.

Roasted goose, forbidden rice, black miso and hatsuka radish (TM)
Another first - Goose. It is a fattier meat, at is has a layer of fat underneath the skin which keeps it nice and juicy. It is quite a tasty cut of poultry, that has similar characteristics to duck. However, I find that goose is a bit more chewy. Forbidden rice is rice which has an assortment of grains with varying textures. It added the saltiness to the dish.

Eight mushrooms, truffle custard with chestnut mushroom consomme (VM)
So many different mushrooms, where we were only able to name half of them! My photo doesn't give it justice. There was a variety of detail on the difference types of mushrooms. All cooked to perfection, which accompanied the custard and lovely consomme.

Smoked and confit pig cheek, shitake mushrooms, shaved scallops, Jerusalem artichoke leaves topped with pork crackling (TM)
Mmm pork. A little package that contained all great tasting elements. I was expecting to dig straight into the pork, yet came across the delicate scallops and mushrooms first. The pork cheek was nestled under all the layers, and was absolutely tasty! It wasn't too salty, or dry, and the fat to meat ratio was what you expect in a great pork cheek.

Pasture raised veal, bitter chocolate black pudding, green walnuts, slow cooked wallaby tail, salsify, smoked bone marrow and chestnut mushrooms (TM)
This was my least favourite of all my dishes of the evening. It was quite salty, and had components that didn't quite suit my personal preference. The bitter chocolate pudding was the strangest part, where it was bitter, salty yet you there was a subtle touch of chocolate. Wallaby tail is definitely something you don't come across often, and has a nutty taste.

Organic Korean green rice, seaweed, buckwheat, mountain spinach and sesame (VM)
The saltiness of the seaweed was an overpowering component of dish. This means that it was hard to taste the other components.
Andalucia: Vanilla icecream topped with crushed meringue, citrus zest, almonds and tuille (TM & VM)
Pre-dessert!!!! This definitely helped start the desserts of the night after the last few salty dishes. The Andalucia had a great balance between sweet and citrus. The citrus zests helped cut the sweetness of the almond meringue and ice cream. The almonds in the meringue added a lovely nuttiness, which accompanied the tuille. So many elements that all worked well together.

Guava Snow Egg (TM & VM)

Cross-section of  Snow Egg
The infamous Guava Snow Egg. The last challenge for season 2 of MasterChef Australia. Peter Gilmore has made this dessert the talk of Sydney, by being one of the most wanted to try desserts. All the components are ABSOLUTELY delicious. The custard apple ice cream centre encased in poached meringue topped with a tuille. All the varying layers of textures and tastes worked perfectly together. Below the snow egg, there is a guava based custard which added another element of sweetness against the fruity granita. Blogging about this is making me crave the snow egg. I wish Quay provided a dessert hour of the night where you can just dine in for the desserts.

Eight texture chocolate cake - extra order

The chocolate pop

Oozing chocolate!
Another infamous dessert that appeared in the MaststerChef Australia 2012 in a pressure test. All different textures and layers of chocolate, it is every chocolate lovers dream. It was rich with flavour, and due quality of the chocolate it wasn't too sweet. The oozing hot chocolate sauce definitely completes the dish. Salivating just looking at the photo of all the chocolatey elements.

Take home birthday chocolates
As we went to Quay to celebrate my 21st birthday, I was given take home chocolate truffles. 

A downside to Quay was that they were informed of the allergy 3 times prior to the dining experience, which allowed time to approach the issue, yet when arriving the kitchen was informed on the night. Lucky they were able to compromise by timing the dishes of  1 per 2 tasting menu course. Despite the little hiccup, Quay provide great service and great  food. The staff members are very hospitable. The view from Quay is breath taking, and is probably one of Sydney's best dining views. Peter Gilmore's Quay definitely lives up to the reputation it holds and provides an array of interesting and delicious dishes.

Good food, good times!


Annie 12 June 2013 at 22:13

OMG that oozing chocolate!!! happy birthday! that would have been an amazing bday pressie :D.

Simon Leong 12 June 2013 at 23:08

great view especially for vivid. my favourite dish was the Congee of Northern Australian mud crab when i went.

milkteaxx 13 June 2013 at 10:21

ooh lucky you, such a beautiful place for your 21st! happy birthday dear! its still on my list because i never seem to book soon enough for a table for 2 and the wait is usually 6 months!

Thanh @ spoonfulsofgoodness 13 June 2013 at 12:46

@Annie: The oozing chocolate just makes you want to lick your lips hahaha

@simon: the view just made the dining experience that extra bit special. The congee was definitely nicer that I expected it to be.

@milkteaxx: Wow, really 6 months? Damnn, that I didn't know. I am not sure how early this dinner was planned.

Tina @ bitemeshowme 14 June 2013 at 10:10

What a lovely birthday celebration. Great views, great food and even better company. You lucky girl x

Oh My Kitchen Aid 14 June 2013 at 13:03

oh my goodess.. that 8 textured chic cake looks deadly delicious!!!! no wonder you had a wonderful birthday! ;)

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