There’s been quite a bit of fanfare since Quay 2.0 opened its doors after a few months of renovations last year with a revamped menu and a sleek new look.
We booked ourselves in to celebrate a special occasion and were treated to the best seat in the house – with stunning views of both the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House (once the Carnival cruise ship sailed away…) as we dined on the six course degustation menu (priced at $225 a head).
Before we got started on dinner, we indulged in a couple of pre-dinner cocktails featuring QQQQ Gin by Four Pillars (a signature gin which is the result of Peter Gilmore and Quay’s bar manager teaming up with the famous Yarra Valley distillery). We decided to try their gin two ways – as a classic G&T served with Capi dry tonic, basil, lemon and bee pollen, and also as a Gin Martini, paired with a Carpano dry vermouth (as a Side Car), lemon twist and mandarin mist. Both cocktails were refreshing, with a range of intriguing Australian botanicals showcased in the gin that created some distinctive notes.
QQQQ Gin & Tonic, $18 and QQQQ Gin Martini, $26
For our amuse bouche, we were presented with an impeccable bite-sized Shiitake Mushroom Custard with Pork Crackling Tart, which was a flavour bomb in a super thin package.
Amuse Bouche – Shiitake Mushroom Custard with Pork Crackling Tart
The first course proper showcased a selection of Hand Harvested Seafood, including dainty tendrils of Coffin Bay octopus, Sydney pipis and succulent slivers of scallops from WA, seasoned with virgin soy and aged balsamic vinegar. Together with the umami rich seaweed, the dish was so fresh and delicately balanced.
Hand Harvested Seafood, Virgin Soy, Seaweed, Aged Vinegar
Next up, we moved onto a very smooth, savoury cloud of Smoked Eel Cream served with a lightly crispy milk skin, walnut oil and walnut for textural crunch.
Smoked Eel Cream, Young Walnuts, Milk Skin
For our next course, we were presented with a pair of intriguing Poolish Crumpets, which are denser than your garden variety crumpets and an indulgent treat when smeared with tangy cultured cream and topped off with plump pearls of smoked roe.
Poolish Crumpets, Smoked Roe, Cultured Cream
For the last of our appetiser sized courses, we had the beautifully silky Steamed Mud Crab Custard which was one of the most luxe renditions of this comforting dish we’ve ever had, with the delicate seafood essence poured over the shredded mud crab meat.
Steamed Mud Crab Custard, Lotus Seeds
Following on from the seafood focused appetisers, the mains feature a couple of well-executed red meat dishes and we opted for one of each to try both options out. The buttery Smoked Pig Jowl does still have a seafood element, with chewy smoked abalone slivers and an interesting sea cucumber crackling that added a wonderful crunch to the dish.
Smoked Pig Jowl, Smoked Abalone, Lion’s Mane Mushrooms, Sea Cucumber Crackling
The Maremma Duck has been dry-aged for five days, is tender yet juicy and is served with an intensely flavoured dollop of black garlic and an aged mirin sauce to elevate it even further.
Maremma Duck, Black Garlic, Aged Mirin
There are two options available for the revamped dessert course, one of which is an unusual looking creation featuring snow-like Crystallised Oloroso Caramel which had a depth of flavour, when scooped up with the prune cream and prune jam hiding underneath it all.
Crystallised Oloroso Caramel, Prune Cream, Prune Jam
The geometrical lines of the new White Coral dessert (intended to replace the iconic Snow Egg) are impressive on first glance, with delectable flavours hidden within to match. The dessert showcases a snap-frozen white chocolate ganache (as the “coral”), as well as white chocolate mousse, paired with a delicious mango ice cream and coconut cream.
As it was a special occasion, Quay surprised us by serving Peter Gilmore’s famous Eight Texture Chocolate Cake, together with our petit fours to cap off our meal. It was a glorious medley of decadent chocolate flavours and textures that we absolutely loved.
Eight Texture Chocolate Cake and Petit Fours
Our experience at Quay was spectacular from start to finish, from the stunning view, attentive service and of course, the night of marveling at the culinary prowess and precision with which their revamped degustation menu has been executed. It was an unforgettable dinner that was distinctly Sydney and a bucket list item that was well worth ticking off finally.
Overseas Passenger Terminal
The Rocks NSW 2000
Phone: (02) 9251 5600