Restaurants & Bars 5

Quay - [Sydney]

BeanTownGolfer | Aug 1, 2011 04:37 AM

After weeks/months of waiting, the day finally came for my reservation at Quay. Granted, I wasn't willing to commit to a weekend 6 months out, after about 6 weeks wait I was able to get a Wednesday night. Sure, not ideal, but I was dining by myself so Wednesday worked out quite well. I went with the full degustation and treated myself to the premium wine match. The meal was great, but the wines were stellar. I asked at the beginning of the meal if I'd be able to take a copy of the menu when I left so I didn't bother taking notes on the wines only to get home and see that two of the listed wines were different than the menu they left on the table for me (and that I drank).

While I haven't been to that many higher end restaurants in Sydney so far, this meal definitely tops them all (Tetsuya's and Aria in Sydney). The service was spot on and the meal moved quite nicely without dragging on or feeling rushed. I had a 6pm reservation and was the first table seated in the banquets looking out at the Opera House. I can't think of another restaurant anywhere with a view like that. The meal started out with them asking me if I'd like to take a look at the Quay cookbook since I was dining alone. It was a nice touch since I was going to be spending the next 3 hours eating.

The menu itself was a very good progression. The highlights were the salad of pickled rhubarb, endive, beetroot, purple carrot, rosa radish, kohlrabi, she eps milk curd, pomegranate molasses and violet. The pickled rhubarb offered a great balance to the rest of the salad and worked very well with the 2009 Bass Philip Gamay.

The butter poached, golden tapioca (cooked with roasted scallop stock), squid noodles, lobster velvet and pea flowers. The tapioca was extraordinarily rich and offered a good balance to the gently poached lobster. This also went to my favorite wine of the night. The 2009 Pyramid Valley 'Field of Fire' Chardonnay. Wild ferment and unfiltered, has made this probably the best Chard I've had from this part of the world since moving here. Came home and ordered a few bottles to have around the flat for the summer.

The most interesting course was the braised Berkshire pig jowl served with a 2008 Joh. Jos. Prum Auslese 'Wehlener Sonnenhur' Riesling. The dish was written with a maltose crackling. It was exactly what I was expecting, but nothing I would have expected. The sweetness of the faux maltose crackling paired with a sweet wine did a great job countering the sweetness of each wine. It was also finished with a palm kernel oil which was something I haven't come across before, but could be the most delicious, fragrant oil I've smelled.

The sommeliers were great throughout the night. They answered all my questions about the regions and producers and other vintages. They mispoured the wine for the pork jowl course and while it was a sweet riesling as well, the difference between the two definitely let me know I made the right choice going with the premium wines. While it certainly wasn't bad, the wines with the premium were as they described them. More funky and out of the ordinary. About half were from Oz/NZ and the rest were old word from France, Italy and Germany.

I was a bit disappointed that I didn't get the signature dessert, but that was probably the only disappointment of the meal. The food was well cooked and well seasoned. Some courses had a lot going on and a few could have done with a few less components. Certainly a splurge, but not one that I'm regretting at all. If I get through the rest of the restaurants on my list, Quay would be on the list to return.

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