This blog is my baby :) I am responsible for everything, the writing, the photos and most importantly the eating :P And very rarely will Mr Bao help me…except for the eating part hahaha he’ll occasionally help me take photos but will never participate in the writing or very little photo editing. That’s why I was really surprised when he kept asking me to post about our experience at ‘Quay‘, usually he doesn’t even know what I’ve posted and I need to remind him to read my blog! How sad is that?!?
But nonetheless, he kept asking…”When are you going to write about Quay? Don’t worry about the other posts, do Quay first!”, and when I asked him why, he simply replied, “Because its THE best restaurant we have gone to and the SNOW EGG!” LOL Anyhow, I have been meaning to write our experience at Quay for a couple of weeks now, but have been very busy :( Also writing restaurant posts especially ones with such complicated dishes takes even more time >_<
Even before our Little Aussie Trip, I had put Quay on the top of my ‘Must-go’ lists. But I admit, I didn’t know much about Quay before Masterchef and the episode about the Snow Egg. But since then, I have been mesmerized by it! That’s why it was the perfect excuse to go and it was going to be part of Mr Bao’s birthday present, even though it’s a couple of months late :P
I have heard that getting a table at Quay is quite difficult especially for dinner, unless you book 6 months in advance. So I had my mind set to have lunch there instead, it’ll also make it easier to take photos :) I called up probably two weeks before we were going to go to Sydney and made a reservation, thank gosh…I had no troubles getting a table on the time and day I wanted ~
It was going to be a date, so Little Luk (Mr Bao’s cousin) who was traveling with us wasn’t coming (I did invite him :P) , we had breakfast with him at the Rocks before walking to Quay. Mr Bao was very excited about going to Quay, he even worehis favourite suit jacket and ‘suited-up’ for this event, upon walking in, we were immediately greeted by the friendly staff behind the counter.
They immediately showed us to our table, with one of the best views of Darling Harbor! It was such a beautiful day ~ the res. I already had a look at the menu online and decided we were going to get the 4 course lunch menu instead, of the tasting menu.
And don’t laugh…but the only reason for that was because, the tasting menu only came with Snow Egg for the dessert but I really wanted to try the 8 texture chocolate cake as well :)
We both made our choices, ensuring we don’t get the same dishes. The first thing to arrive at our table was a complimentary entree, in a little glass which was a sashimi almond medly with grapefruit. Flavours were quite refreshing especially with the tartness from the grapefruit ~
The lovely waiter then offered us a selection of sourdough bread, white, mixed seed and polenta and malt. The bread was freshly baked with a nice crust and soft mellowly center, we just thought it could have been slightly more sour as it was intended to be sourdough :)
First up, my entree which was a poached chicken with scallop and smoked white eggplant cream. We thought it had bit of an Asian twist with the use of Chinese artichokes and Korean virgin black sesame oil. I really liked the strong sesame taste and the tenderness of the scallop, I didn’t think a dish with chicken and scallops and was impressed that they complimented each other quite well. The smoked white egg plant was also lovely with a creamy texture and even though I’ve never tried white eggplant, we found the natural flavours of the eggplant was less prominent.
Mr Bao loves his Japanese food, so got the Sashimi for his entree. This was not the conventional sashimi that he is use to, this entree had more elements with the flatheat, oyster cream and abalone which were things neither of us have had before and used the radish to give it a different type of taste and more crunch in terms of texture.
We have been very lucky and had actually tried this dish the week before we came to Quay, as we won tickets from Agnes’s blog for Peter Gilmore’s masterclass event will post about that very soon :) Because we previously tried this dish, we were already familiar with the flavours, but for this dish, pig cheek was used, while the one Peter made for us used pork jowl. We found the pork cheek to have a slightly firmer texture than the pork jowl but was still nonetheless succulent. I absolutely adore this dish :) There are also scallops and when eaten with the pork cheek, we thought it gave it a sweet flavour ~ I don’t think neither of us have had artichokes before and even if we have, it was definitely not fried and made so crispy :D
Once again we were very lucky and had sampled this dish before, and loved it the first time and this time we found it to be even better as the flavours of the seafood was more pronounce.
I call it a seafood medley because that’s what it felt like ~ the seafood went so well with each other it was like singing a song in my mouth hahaha And I can’t tell you how delicious the broth was definitely the most amazing one I have ever had ~
Mr Bao got the milk fed lamb for his main. I don’t usually eat lamb so was reluctant to try, but eventually gave in and it was so good! It wasn’t gamey at all nor did it have that lamb taste and we both agreed we could actually taste the milk flavour from the meat :) It was quite fascinating as I have never enjoyed lamb but really liked this. I probably would have thought it was veal if I didn’t now any better ~ Mr Bao also liked the crunch he got from the globe artichokes and also the creamy and slight sweetness from the parsnip cream.
I chose the Berkshire pork jowl knowing it was Quays signature dish, and was immediately amused by the maltose crackling :) I remembered Peter Gilmore saying that because the pork jowl has such a large fat content, it is virtually impossible to create a crackling. Therefore, he created a ‘mock’ cracking using ‘maltose’ which is malt sugar and caramelize it and as it cools, it hardens to become the ‘crackling’. I LOVED IT! It was super sweet which counteracted with the salty pork jowl so well and even though I could see all the fat, I didn’t care! The fat would just melt in your mouth :) I also liked the prunes which were also quite sweet and the cauliflower cream, I’ve tried making cauliflower puree at home before, but it’s never this smooth! Mr Bao didn’t enjoy this dish as much as he found it a bit too sweet pfft whatever :P it was perfect for me !
PHEW! I finally got through all the savoury dishes :) They were all quite complicated and hard to describe. *Drum Rolls* please! Moving onto DESSERTS :)
We started off with the Eight texture chocolate cake, which is now very well known to most Australians because of Masterchef hehe ~ but for those who have not heard or seen this cake before, it’s basically a chocolate cake with 8 different textures. It has a cake base, chocolate and hazelnut dacquise, chocolate cream, chocolate mousse, milk chocolate praline disks, caramel chocolate ganache and a dark chocolate disk for the top.
But what’s so magical about this chocolate cake is that, after being assembled, a bit in the middle is scooped out and the dark chocolate disk is placed on top, the waiter will then come over with some hot chocolate sauce which will melt through and cause a mini chocolate volcano! It’s truly AMAZING! As for the texture and flavours, couldn’t get any better, this is every chocolate lovers dream come true. It’s so rich and indulgent full of chocolate and it’s slightly warm too so very comforting. Mr Bao said that he would have trouble finishing the cake by himself because it was a bit too rich for him, but nope not for me, I swear I could eat another one all by myself!
Now to the showstopper – the one and only snow egg. The flavour of the snow egg changes depending on what is in season and for us it was a jackfruit, which we found it to be quite unique as we haven’t had jackfruit before. Once again because of Masterchef, the snow egg has received so much attention and many customers will go to Quay just to try this dessert, and it did not disappoint.
It is a very complicated dessert ~ it starts off with a granita base, then the snow egg replicates a real egg with an ice-cream center as the ‘yolk’ with the maltose tuilles to create a crunchy egg shell along with a poached meringue. It was by far one of the exquisite desserts we have had, and we both LOVED it! I have never seen Mr Bao be so excited and fascinated by a a dessert :) He really liked the texture of the snow egg itself and the flavours just blew his mind away. The jackfruit had a light and refreshing taste it really cleaned our palates and we forgot that we just had the 8 texture chocolate cake only seconds ago :) Mr Bao couldn’t stop eating it and in between eating he mumbled “This is the best dessert I’ve had in my life!”.
I had to send him multiple death stares and threaten him nicely to get the snow egg out of his hands. Within seconds the snow egg was gone and nothing was left in the elegant glass >_< He then turned around and said to me “Why can’t you make desserts like that?” ROAR I was furious hahaha I simply said “because I’m not Peter Gilmore!”
This wasn’t the end of the meal, we added $10 to our meals to get coffee, tea and petite fours which were two truffles a chocolate truffle with crunchy chocolate pearls and the other was a salted caramel truffle rolled in sugar with a hazelnut ganache inside. Mr Bao was pretty chocolate out and couldn’t finish the truffles so I had 3 outta the 4 we got :P they were scrumptious and I have decided to borrow the crunchy chocolate pearl idea next time I make truffles at home :)
Mr Bao was getting a massive food coma after all that food, so ordered a latte which helped him regain consciousness. While I got an English Breakfast Tea which was comforting and exactly what I needed after this extraordinary lunch :)
Our verdict – we loved it :) And it was definitely one of the most delicious meal we have had…everything was perfect, the weather, the food, the atmosphere and most importantly the snow eggs ~ We highly recommend you trying Quay next time you are in Sydney, especially for a special occasion. We’re sure you’ll enjoy it as much as we did :)