Tasted by / May 31, 2011

5 hours, 8 courses and $310 lighter

The food elite have their work cut out these days. Never has there been so much pressure and interest from the growing foodie community for restaurants to deliver their best. It’s very easy for diners to expect unreasonable things at this level being ranked 26th in the world and sitting comfortably on 3-hat status.

So did this degustation send me sky high in culinary heaven and pay off my mortgage? No. But Quay offers a package few can offer: deliciously progressive food that has its own unique sense of style, accommodating and professional service and a setting that cannot be beat. Feel proud we have a world beater nestled in our own harbour.

Amuse: Caviar, seaweed cream and herbs - Possibly the smallest morsel of food ever served. It was appropriate to think about eating a Big Mac at this stage.

Sashimi of sea scallops, smoked eel flowers, pickled apple, organic crosnes, horseradish, sorrel shoots, native sea celery, virgin pine kernel oil - A perfect starter boasting supremely fresh produce and beautiful execution.

Mud Crab braised in its own juices, tapioca, rice germ, pea flowers - There's no mucking about with crab, just let it do the talking. The chefs here know when to exercise restraint.

Salad of French breakfast radishes, pickled beetroot, goats curd, blood sorrel, violets, olive, pine resin, balsamico - A garden bed in your very own eyes!

Organic heirloom carrots, cumin, fennel & celery seeds, comté-infused curd, almonds, amaranth - An alternate dish that raised a few moans despite being a vegetarian course. Impressive.

Black lipped abalone & shiitake mushrooms, braised in seaweed & oyster juices, ginger milk curd, purslane - Highly refined Chinese inspired dish that sports bold flavours but light on the palate at the same time.

Butter poached coturnix quail breast, pumpernickel & ethical foie gras pudding, walnuts, quinoa, truffle custard, milk skin - A surprisingly rich dish where the Quail melts away leaving rich earthy undertones from the truffle. Delicious.

Confit of Suffolk lamb loin, smoked white carrot cream, fennel infused milk curd, Pantelleria capers, nasturtiums, fennel pollen - Did not sample this one.

Slow braised Berkshire pig jowl, maltose crackling, prunes, cauliflower cream, perfumed with prune kernel oil - Have never seen the humble prune paired so well with a impossibly soft pork combined with a clever 'crackling' coating. Well balanced flavour complexity between sweet and savoury.

Wagyu beef, poached in an oxtail and morel reduction, molé puree, farro & ezekiel crumbs - Felt this this was the weakest course of the night as earthy flavours were already explored and felt that poaching wagyu is inferior to grilling.

Strawberry and Guava Snow Egg - Lives up to its fame as a spectacular signature dessert: beautiful but deceptively complex in its preparation. Few desserts can achieve refreshing yet unusually decadent qualities in the one dish.

Caramelised white chocolate walnut palm blossom sugar brioche, prune sorbet - By this stage we were well an truly stuffed and left in awe by the snow egg. The sugar shell encasing warm broiche was a highlight.

Petit Fours

Vivid lights up the Opera House

Come for

The complete dining experience: unique nature inspired food, a stunning setting and peerless service

Not for

Those looking for a booking at short notice. We are talking months.

Will cost you

$220 p.p for the 8 course tasting menu. Matched wines another $90 p.p on top. There is also a ‘premium’ wine option for $180 p.p.

Dont miss

  • Soaking in the view
  • Seafood dishes – superb
  • The Snow Egg

Give a miss

  • Thoughts about having McDonalds afterwards


Food = 17.5/20

Ambience = 9.5/10

Service = 9/10

Value = 9/10

Overall = 45/50


Overseas Passenger Terminal
The Rocks, Sydney
NSW 2000

(02) 9251 5600


  • one day i hope to try that snow egg. and if it takes a McDonalds cheeseburger to top off the night to fill the stomach then i’m sure it’s worth it :-)

  • Betty Pham says:

    i dont think ill get to wuay this yr- maybe next ? great photo’s, so lucky of u to got the booking at the same time vivid was on! i liked the 7 layer chocolate thingiomajiggy – is that stil on the menu anymore?

  • Phillip Nom says:

    Hey Betty! The eight textured chocolate cake is on the 4 course menu (which I prefer over the 8 course) as it gives you more control. Either way, its fantastic.

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