Lo and behold, San Pellegrino Top 50’s Number 5 in 2014 – Dinner. This is the highest ranked San Pel restaurant I’ve visited so far, and it’s great to finally sample Heston’s/Ashley’s cooking. All I knew about this place was that it was vastly different from The Fat Duck, and was a modernised version of food consumed in the 1300s – medieval brought back to life! They had beautiful menus set up, with bits of trivia to read while perusing the menus. We were also lucky enough to be seated right in front of the kitchen, so we had a great view of flames and ovens and a total head count of about 15 chefs in that small space. It’s a fairly large restaurant from what I could see, and it blended into a bar in the Mandarin Oriental.
Quay was the second degustation I had, and my third fine dining experience. I only compare this to Tetsuaya’s, however, and not Rockpool Bar and Grill. I was still relatively new to the game, so I wasn’t sure what to expect when I arrived. I only knew three things about Quay at the time – Jewels, Snow Egg, and Peter Gilmore. Oh, I do believe it was ranked 26th in the San Pellegrino Top 50 Restaurants at roughly this time.
I’d looked up at Quay every time I walked past the Overseas Passenger Terminal, wondering what mysterious entry point the restaurant had. It turns out it was actually ordinary, just a set of stairs to the upper level. We’d arrived early for our booking, but they were accommodating and allowed us to pass time on the balcony while they finished setting up for the night’s service. As a bonus, when they were ready, we were seated at a window table – a prime spot for the view! Being the only diners at the time, we had several waiters offer menus and drinks. As a side of trivia, Masterchef once filmed an episode here where I marvelled at the silver ceiling. It turns out in real life, it’s not as shiny and as a few tarnishes from all that cleaning.
That night, there was a large ship docked outside the restaurant, so the staff apologised for the view. They did mention that it would be departing shortly, and they even made conversation in regards to watching a fluouro-vested man at the docks having been there for the last two hours to ensure everything went smoothly.
While they have an a la carte menu, we opted for the degustation. We were then presented with an amuse bouche of ginger milk curd in a seaweed and oyster consomme. It was delicous and warming, and helped stimulate our appetites for what was to come.