Quay 2.0 – 8 October 2019

Quay was the second fine dining restaurant I visited back in 2011. I really enjoyed the first experience, from the view, to the decor, to the food, especially the pork jowl dish! And everything else. To this day, some of the dishes I had then are are still prominent in my memory and a lot of other restaurants trigger the memories of that visit, notably the marron with grapefruit, the congee, and the pork jowl.

Recently they renovated, and started featuring crumpets on their menu instead of the usual bread options. There’d been a crumpet craze, and I joined in that craze when Saint Peter did uni on crumpets (which are SOOOO good!). So, I decided, now’s the time to revisit!

Amuse bouche

The thing is, I’ve been so behind on writing up my Sydney adventures that I’ve forgotten what this amuse bouche is! All I know is that it was tasty, but that’s a given!

Tomato, ponzu, funghi

I had booked the shorter course as that was the only thing available on their website, but on the day, they advised we had the entire table so we opted for the full menu! We still received the complimentary drink. Since I’m no good with alcohol I chose their tea instead, which was a savoury style tea, tomato consomme style! I thought that was really cool!

Hand harvested seafood

Look at the texture on that bowl! It kind of reminds me of oyster shells, which is fitting since the first dish is about seafood! We even got tweezers to eat this with, that’s how delicate the food is!

“2” by NON

Juice pairing time! The first beverage was a non alcoholic wine, made by an ex-Noma staff member, how cool!

Osetra caviar, smoked eel, walnuts, sea cucumber crackling

Yeah. So many interesting things about this dish! This was my favourite for the night (and so early in the meal too!). The caviar itself I’ve had to death in my New York trip, but the smoked eel cream was absolutely spectacular. It was rich, strong, smooth, full of flavour, it was just so good! Wow! And the sea cucumber crackling was a great way to transform an ingredient that I don’t like! I love it when restaurants use things like sea cucumber, fish eyes, beef tendons etc to make crackling because it makes so much sense!

Matcha, green apple, yuzu, agave

This was the pairing with the caviar. A very light matcha flavour, which is good since I’m not a fan of most matchas and very refreshing!

Earl grey, ginger, grapefruit, mandarin oil

The next drink was out, and I love this flavour combination. I do love tea based drinks and when they feature oils, it reminds me a lot of how Noma infuse an insane amount of flavour and texture into their juices!

Raw Blackmore wagyu, XO, cultured cream, red pea flowers

Man those red pea flowers are gorgeous. What is really great is that Peter Gilmore is really into heirloom varieties and breeding interesting vegetables. Most pea flowers I see are white, and occasionally purple, so seeing these red ones were a treat! Plus one can never go wrong with a tartare dish!

Peas, seaweed, succulents

A mini snack in between courses, this was so cute because it reminded me of a pot plant – that little succulent sticking out like it was growing from the mountain of peas! All my favourite ingredients in one, I loved this little tart!

Seedlip garden, mushroom, tomato and ponzu

Yep, this looks like a concentrated shot! Given that Seedlip was used, this was meant to resemble spirits!

Steamed mud crab custard

Ah, this is like their new congee dish! Well ok, I should actually describe it as a crab dish rather than the congee since that’s the main ingredient. Chawan mushi-like with some tasty broth!

Poolish crumpets, smoked roe, cultured cream

Ah yes, the moment I was waiting for! The entire reason (ok well maybe not entire reason) I booked Quay! It’s crumpet time! The smoked roe was so good though there totally wasn’t enough cream! Very enjoyable, even though it didn’t actually turn out to be my favourite dish. I still think Mr. Niland’s crumpets are the tastiest, but admittedly those are fried so they’re hard to beat!

Malt, hops, honey, tonic

I seem to have either taken the photos out of order or there were an uneven number of drinks to courses? Oh well. One day I’ll get this blogging thing right. Until then, I’ll just assume this is the corresponding picture. A beer-mimicking drink to go with the crumpets!

Bone marrow pasta, white asparagus, koji & garum butter

Woah! Pasta! Infused with bone marrow! Yeah! Nice and al dente, this had a great texture! I really enjoyed this one!

Charred buckwheat, bergamot, mandarin, rosemary & coriander

Okay I am guessing a bit here so apologies if I’ve done it in the wrong order. I think this was the buckwheat drink to pair with the pasta. I love herbacious flavours in drinks too, and I think it really complements the roastiness of the buckwheat!

Smoked pig jowl, black lipped abalone, shiitake, fan shell clams

The almighty smoked pork jowl dish! How it’s changed so much but still very much a similar concept! Personally I liked the 2011 version better, but I mean, that was a pretty high bar and it’s not like this was bad, I just liked how the textures came together better on my previous visit. Still a very good set of ingredients and such soft pork!

Pear, mint, infused dry tonic

I loved the presentation of this drink! A pear shaped frozen thing! But softly frozen, like fine granita that would melt into the drink. Pear, like apple, seems to be a good pairing for pork!

Roasted Maremma duck, preserved persimmon, speckled peas

I love that Peter Gilmore loves peas! Speckled peas this time! But let’s talk about the duck. I love duck and have had a few recently, including the one at Eleven Madison Park, and that one didn’t actually impress me (sorry guys!). This, on the other hand. WOW. It’s been a very long time since I’ve been surprised by a duck dish and this was GOOD!!! The duck was tender, well flavoured and the reason this is a winner – that skin was thin and perfectly crispy! Woah! I really was not expecting this to be next level crispy skin! What!!!! Yeah this was absolutely mind blowing!!! Ok so I didn’t mention it at the beginning of my post as one of my favourite dishes but yes if you ever wonder whether or not you should choose this duck the answer is yes! Definitely! It is so good!!!

Seedlip spice, honey and grapefruit soda

Yeah after the food I don’t remember much about the drink haha.

White coral

After that mindblowingly amazing duck dish, it was time to move onto dessert. Look at the foamy thing on top! Visually this reminded me a lot of Noma Australia’s rum lamington, but this had a harder texture and was less melty. There was also a lovely berry ice cream hiding underneath!

This is such an adorably presented dessert! So-called for the jersey milk cream that was so delicious. I’m an absolute sucker for cream so this was a real winner! Super rich and creamy! Plus those biscuits were super thin, and I am always impressed by super thin stuff! There was also some tasty caramel hiding underneath.


I liked this round of desserts better than the ones in 2011 (yes, even surpassing the snow egg!), but that’s probably because I have a strong bias towards cream.

Mandarin, lavender, lemon and blossom

Ok, so it looks like I am missing a drink photo. There were 10 listed on the menu but I only seem to have 9 shots. Oops! I think this was the pairing with the white coral. I must not have gotten a photo of the Moo pairing, which was apricot, cola, pepper and coffee. Man that last drink was actually quite tasty!

Petit fours

And finally petit fours. I was so full after this! My friend had to leave early so I had to eat all four fours! Ahaha but they were good, and while the caneles look really dark on the outside, they were pretty good!

Overall my second visit to Quay was just as fantastic as the first! Very different food experiences and it’s interesting to see how main ingredients have carried through but in very different iterations. Comparing the dishes was really fun and I really should revisit restaurants more often because a lot of the fun is in watching them evolve!