Considering I celebrated my last birthday at Tetsuya’s, the only worthy restaurant for my 24th birthday would have had to be Quay; recipient of the Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide’s three chefs hat since 2003 and Restaurant Of The Year in 2003 and 2005.
Quay’s breaktaking views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and The Opera House makes it a destination for special occasions. But it was the exquisite four-course degustation that completes the superb view and makes this place one of Sydney’s top restaurants.
We started with an appetiser which was a sublime showcase of what would be on offer. I don’t recall the ingredients but the taste and texture was delicious… and the presentation which included little edible flowers were almost too pretty to eat.

Quay Restaurant - appetiser

Zen’s entree of sea pearls were made up of delicate morsels of sea scallop, aquaculture caviar, creme fraiche, smoked eel, tapioca, crab, yuzu and egg white pearls. There was a $20 supplement associated with this dish but the interesting blend of flavours was rather divine. We love love loved it.

Quay Restaurant - Sea Pearls, sea scallop, aquaculture caviar, creme fraiche, smoked eel, tapioca, crab, yuzu, egg white pearls

I had the sashimi toro and loin of South Australian Blue fin tuna which was served with minuscule radishes, dashi jelly and horseradish cream. It was bold, artistic and tasty.

Quay Restaurant - Sashimi toro and loin of South Australian Blue fin tuna, radish, dashi jelly, horseradish cream

A standout was Peter Gilmore’s signature rare breed pig belly served with shavings of green lipped abalone and Japanese mushrooms. The lavish flavours were naturally balanced with handmade silken tofu and decorated with tiny chive flowers. The richness of this dish made me almost lick the plate clean… and led me to pay little attention to Zen’s order of slow cooked quail breasts, shaved baby squid, hazelnuts, truffle and grey ghost mushrooms, which he gave thumbs up to.

Quay Restaurant - Rare breed pig belly, gentle braise of green lipped abalone, handmade silken tofu, Japanese mushrooms, chive flowers

Quay Restaurant - Slow cooked quail breasts, shaved baby squid, Joselito Iberico Jamon de bellota, hazelnuts, truffle, grey ghost mushrooms

The main dishes arrived with a side salad, tossed in a cabernet vinaigrette. My butter poached Murray Cod with shaved sea scallop, green garlic, pea shoots, celery heart cream and smoked eel reduction was tender, light and comforting.

Quay Restaurant - Butter poached Murray Cod, shaved sea scallop, green garlic, pea shoots, celery heart cream, smoked eel reduction

Zen’s poached fillet of pure black Angus Beef was rich and earthy. The beef was a perfect pink medium and was served with a khaki green blend of young spinach, morels and fresh Tasmanian wasabi butter. The wasabi butter wasn’t as overpowering as you’d expect and went hand in hand with the poached tenderloin.

Quay Restaurant - Poached fillet of pure black Angus Beef, young spinach, morels, fresh Tasmanian wasabi butter

Quay Restaurant - www.jenius.com.au - Jennifer Lam and Zen Huang, for my 24th birthday

Quay Restaurant - foodie.jenius eating chocolate cake

Earlier research had also mentioned a chocolate cake featuring Amedi ‘Chuao’ chocolate which boasted eight different textures. The waiter brought out a perfect circular mould of 7 chocolate layers. The last one was scooped from a pan of warm chocolate sauce which sunk the centre of the cake. It was a rather amazing process to watch. The cake was truly decadent… and not at all too rich. I loved the subtle hint of hazelnut… the textures, oh, the textures. Mmmm…

Quay Restaurant - Eight texture chocolate cake, featuring Amedi 'Chuao' chocolate

The pear creme caramel, sauterne jelly, pear icecream and caramel cream was nothing short of being fabulous either. Zen finished spoonful after spoonful in no time.

Quay Restaurant - Pear creme caramel, sauterne jelly, pear icecream, caramel cream

Quay Restaurant - Zen Huang

Quay Restaurant - tea

We finished off with tea and these beautiful passionfruit infused petit fours. The marshmallows were fruity and spongy, and the white chocolate truffles completed this memorable night on a sweet note.

Quay Restaurant - petit fours: passionfruit marshmallow and white chocolate with passionfruit truffles

Quay Restaurant - interior with view of The Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge

The Sydney Opera House

Sydney - Circular Quay at night

Sydney Harbour Bridge at night

While I don’t think the service is up to scratch, Gilmore makes Quay a remarkable dining experience.
I felt so spoilt… hehe… thanks for the lovely night, Zen 😉
Quay on Urbanspoon
Quay
Overseas Passenger Terminal
The Rocks, Sydney
Phone: +61 2 9251 5600
Web: www.quay.com.au

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Jennifer is the founding blogger of I Ate My Way Through (originally, Jenius.com.au). Growing up in the multicultural melting pot of Sydney’s Inner West as a second generation Australian (of Vietnamese refugee parents of Teochew Chinese ancestry), Jen has always had a deep curiosity about global cuisines, culinary heritage and the cultural assimilation of immigrants. For Jen and her family, food is always at the centre of all celebrations, life events and milestones. A lover of the finer things in life, as well as cheap eats, her blogging ethos is all about empowering and inspiring people to expand their culinary repertoire. When not running her two companies (she is also the Managing Director of The Bamboo Garden online marketing agency), Jen can be found exploring old-world charms at vintage markets and delving into local eats around the world. She has a weakness for fried chicken.
  • looks great! i am dyiiing to go to quay.. i’ve heard so much about the 8 texture chocolate cake and also the snow egg…