Review | Quay

By 11:14 AM , ,

On Monday, The Quay was named the third best restaurant in Australia at the The Australian Financial Review Top 100 Restaurants Awards. So of course we were like let’s dine there Wednesday night! Okay, maybe that’s not how it happened. Maybe I made a booking in February and the first available date was coincidentally the day after they were announced number three. But still, it was a lucky coincidence.

Years of watching Masterchef and seeing Peter Gilmore’s amazing creations like the Snow Egg and the layered chocolate cake has fuelled my desire to eat at The Quay, so when I got my first grown up full time job I decided to celebrate by treating myself to dinner.

So late February I called hoping for a booking within the month, but was told the earliest night available was in late May, and if I wanted a weekend night I would have to wait until October. We picked the May date, which suited us as it gave us time to save our pennies!

Tuesday night arrived, and in our little bit too fancy for work but suitable for Quay attire, we arrived at The Quay. We were warmly greeted as we entered and they offered to take our coats. One of the waitresses then showed us to the table. We were immediately impressed with the 360 view of the city, to one side of me was the Harbour Bridge, behind me was the Opera House and to the other side was the spectacular skyline. Not too bad Quay, not too bad.

Although we had studied the menu options weeks before coming to the restaurant we were unprepared for the extensive drinks menu. We ended up settling for a white wine bottle that was in our “we were just uni students’” budgets.

We then ordered our meals, our preparedness meant we were quick to pick and ready to choose our entire selection for the night.

Now I have to apologise for my bad food blogger move here. I not only forgot to charge my camera before going to The Quay but I also forgot a memory card so had to rely on the camera on phone, in the dark restaurant you can guess the picture quality was a little mediocre. So thanks to my friend over at at VVNTHEBLOG who let me steal some of her photos from the night.



Amuse Bouche. Photo Credit: VVN

First up we were presented with a creation by the chef that was a bonus, a little amuse bouche of pumpkin seeds, cucumber and cheese in a nice dressing. This was surprisingly nice for such ordinary ingredients and I found myself craving it a few days later. We were off to a good start.

We were then given bread before the rest of our courses arrived.

Congee of Mud Crab. Photo Credit: VVN
For the first course I chose the congee of mud crab, palm heart, egg yolk emulsion. For fine dining, this tasted like a hearty winter dish- just a smaller serving of it! To quote some words I’ve heard on Masterchef, the dish was well balanced and the palm heart added a bit of bite to the otherwise soft dish.


XO Marron. Photo Credit: VVN
My second course was the XO Marron. A bowl is placed in front of me with the garnished marron, the waiter then pours the XO sauce over the marron, adding a bit of theatre to the meal. I’ve never had XO sauce before, but I loved the rich looking, slightly spicy sauce. I had to resist sponging up the sauce with my bread! 


Flinders Lamb

Next up I had the Flinders island lamb, native coastal greens, hatsuka radish, eggplant, capers, smoked oyster crackling. I was surprised how small it was when it was served, as I assumed the third course would be the bigger part of the meal. In all honesty, I didn’t love this dish but that may be due to my preference for well cooked meat and aversion to oysters (I missed the oyster element when I read the menu!). For those who didn’t mind a bit of blood would not doubt would have found the lamb juicy. I did have bit of the my friend’s duck and that was delicious and beautifully seasoned.



Snow Egg. Photo Credit: VVN

Last up was the snow egg. The darling of the night. The reason we were here. We snapped away and then we got ready to crack open the eggs. Nervously, I cracked open the egg and took a small bite. That meringue! So delicate and delicious. The flavours change, depending on the season and that night we had strawberry and guava. I absolutely loved this dish, the granita, the egg and the cream on the bottom. All the elements individually would have been delicious, but together it was a taste explosion. The freshness of the flavours also meant it didn’t feel heavy after three courses.

We paid $175 for our four courses, which was the most any of us had paid for dinner and we decided although the meal was delicious, the views spectacular and the staff attentive, it might not have been worth that. It was certainly a nice, luxurious night out that we were glad we did but none of us would describe any of the dishes as the best dish we had ever had, and with that price tag you would expect that. I do, however, wish I could go back just for the desserts. I am already craving another snow egg and it makes me sad that I can’t just duck in and get one (if anyone knows how to make one, would you like to be my new best friend?)




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6 comments

  1. Isn't this such an amazing restaurant? I went with the Hungry Dad with miss7, who was 2 weeks old at the time, and it still rates as one of the best meals I have ever had. You're right though, it is so much money for one meal. We had the place almost to ourselves and the view was just jaw-dropping. Didn't get a single photo, sadly :(

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  2. What a lovely special occasion visit. And wow to the waiting periods too. I think we ate on a Friday or Saturday night and it was a three month wait but I'm sure it fluctuates :)

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  3. I didn't realise our booking was made so long ago. You are so right, I am craving that amuse bouche as well!

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  4. We went while we were on holiday in Sydney nearly two years ago and we had to go for lunch, even though it was midweek and I was booking two months out! The view is absolutely spectacular isn't it, although I think I would have been a little disappointed if we hadn't been seated in the tower-y bit because we would have missed so much of it.

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  5. The desserts are always the best part! Yum! This is making me hungry. Hehe I often forget to charge my camera too!

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  6. What an elegant restaurant. Everything looks fantastic!

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Thanks for the comments!