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Quay Restaurant

2011 April 2

There are some opportunities that present themselves but rarely. Opportunities you just can’t say no to. Recently, one of those opportunities landed in my inbox courtesy of Electrolux.  Dinner at Quay with a demonstration/masterclass with Chef Peter Gilmore. The essentials: Peter Gilmore along with Tetsuya have custom built kitchens using the latest technology from Electrolux. This was an opportunity for Gilmore to demonstrate the use of these appliances in the restaurant.

We were treated with NV Bollinger Champagne Special Cuvée as we milled around the stunning room taking in the twin vistas of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House. Vistas I failed to capture as I enjoyed the canapes and Champagne! But really the most important feature of the night was the food: the beautiful, expertly handled food.

The highlights for me started with the BUTTER POACHED marron. Yes, BUTTER POACHED. Oh Yes. Once more? BUTTER POACHED. Sealed Sous Vide style with butter and steamed for mere minutes. Reminds me of a similar technique Tetsuya used with some fish, cooking it covered in glad wrap in a 90º-100º oven. According to Gilmore, the advantage of cooking the delicate shellfish like this is not losing the juices to any poaching liquid as the butter naturally seals the marron.

Native Fresh Water Marron, Rose Salt, organic pink turnips, jamon de bellota cream, oloroso caramel, society garlic flowers

The Marron was paired with Natural Selection Theory Pear Cider, Coromandel Valley (makers of my fave quaffing wine)

If this was it, if this was the extent of the demonstration and subsequent meal, with the view and the company I would’ve been perfectly content. But there was so much more to come.

The next dish to be demonstrated was another POACHED in BUTTER: BUTTER POACHED Coturnix quail breast, pumpernickel, morel and ethical foie gras pudding, walnuts, quinoa, truffle custard and milk skin:

Butter poached Coturnix quail breast, pumpernickel, morel & ethical foie gras pudding, walnuts, quinoa, truffle custard, milk skin

The quail was matched with a 2008 Terravin Pinot Noir from Marlborough, NZ

I think by this stage we were all rendered speechless by the lushness of the individual ingredients: The ethical foie gras, the new season chestnuts, MORE BUTTER, the truffle infused custard…oh my….Gilmore gave us an outline of how the ethical foie gras was produced, and how it’s used in the restaurant as more of a flavouring. It’s produced just once a year, when the geese naturally gorge themselves before the cold winter weather sets in, and in preparation for migration. Regardless of the merits or otherwise of this new style production of foie gras, the dish as a whole was a feast of textures from the crunchy “popped quinoa” to the spongy cakiness of the pumpernickel, to the rosy pinkness of the quail.

Chef Peter Gilmore, Quay Restaurant

The next and last highlight for me was dessert: Those who follow on twitter would know that my background profile image is the 8 texture chocolate cake from the old menu at Quay. Not as glam or famous as the Snow Egg, but unbelievably rich and lush..So I was ecstatic to see a chocolate based dessert on our menu: Preserved Wild Cherries, Coconut Cream, Chuao Chocolate Crumble, Cherry Juice and Chocolate Sorbet…um, yes more please!

Preserved Wild Cherries, coconut cream, chuao chocolate crumble, cherry juice and chocolate sorbet

Dessert was paired with Claude Courtois Vin de Mistelle, Sologne

As you can see from the picture below, I thoroughly enjoyed dessert. It’s diminutive size hid its powerful flavours.

If I’d been at home, I would’ve picked up the beautifully sculpted dish (it had hand/finger grooves along it’s underside) and licked it clean. But I kept my head, and managed to get home un-disgraced.

Quay is one of those singular food experiences where it all comes together: The food, the ambiance, the views. If you get an opportunity to go and experience the magic take it. It’s worth every second.

I enjoyed this experience courtesy of Electrolux

Quay Restaurant
Overseas Passenger Terminal
The Rocks
02 9251 5600
Quay on Urbanspoon
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13 Responses leave one →
  1. April 2, 2011

    Whoa! Nice one. Best email ever, I’m guessing.

  2. April 2, 2011


    That’s pretty much all I can say right now.

    Apart from wooooooooooooooooooooowwwwwwwwwww.
    Injera´s last post..Food TV – Chinese Food in Minutes

  3. April 3, 2011

    how fortunate, it looks amazing….butter poached….hehe 🙂
    muppy´s last post..Gnocchi and Pesto with Sun-Dried Tomato Focaccia

  4. April 4, 2011

    It was a great night wasn’t it? Every dish was astounding.
    Helen (grabyourfork)´s last post..Quay Restaurant- Sydney

  5. April 4, 2011

    The quail looks fabulously slimy. 🙂

  6. April 4, 2011

    The photo of the marron is just stunning! Would love to try that sometime. Nice shot of the (almost) clean bowl at the end

  7. April 4, 2011

    Isn’t it a great event? And “butter poached” can only result in deliciousness!
    Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella´s last post..Indiana- Cottesloe Beach- Must Wine Bar and an Indigenous Tour

  8. April 4, 2011

    You are a lucky duck! I doubt anyone would turn down such a fabulous invite.

  9. April 6, 2011

    Wow, that looks great – I think I want Electrolux to be my sponsor. I was lucky enough to eat at Quay 18 months ao and it was brilliant. A trip is due to Sydney so hurry up and give us a date for the conference 😉
    Ed´s last post..Food that looks like Hitler- risotto

  10. April 11, 2011

    From the looks of those dishes, it would have taken considerable self control to not lick that dish. That marron looks beautiful – love the presentation!
    Forager @ The Gourmet Forager´s last post..Paddock to Plate- Pulled beef and pine mushroom cannelloni

  11. April 12, 2011

    This is perfection! Everything looks so stylish and mouth-watering and if these are really good dishes then I’d probably do the same. I even had to put my face in front of the monitor to closely scrutinize how the chef designed it.

    Thanks for sharing!

  12. April 12, 2011

    the food at quay is always so pretty! looks like u had a super gastro feast 🙂

  13. April 17, 2011

    what a fabulous night out! The photos aren’t quite as good as being there but I have a very good imagination and those pics gave it a quick start. (I probably would have licked the plate)
    Maureen´s last post..Fresh Turmeric

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