November 1st, 2009


For my recent birthday I was treated to dinner at Quay.

After deciding 6 months ago that I wanted to experience Quay, I asked to go there for my birthday, and couldn’t be happier with the choice.

Unfortunately our view of the Opera House was shielded for most of the night, as the Star Princess was docked and only left towards the end of the night. It was quite nice watching the ship leave and seeing everyone waving goodbye as they went on their holidays though.


There is nothing to fault Quay on, except that I couldn’t afford to go there other than very occasionally. When you see the beautiful location with the Harbour Bridge and Opera House in full view, the friendly attentive staff and of course, the exquisite creations designed by Peter Gilmore and created by chefs on the night, you understand the prices charged. ($155 for four courses, $210 for seven courses – the signature menu).


Nick and I decided to go with the four course menu, figuring we would try 8 different meals between us (although most were from Peter’s signature menu).


The bread with butter came out after a lovely appetizer (sashimi tuna, with tapioca and creamed-cheese – I think) with the favourite bread being the malted sourdough. Nick almost wanted to just eat bread all night :).


The first entrees came out. I chose the mud crab congee, which was lightly and beautifully flavoured, with nice pieces of crab and a very nice rice porridge which went surprisingly well in the congee.


Nick chose the signature sea pearls for his first entrée (I really wanted to see them, but don’t like most sea food). They look amazing and we are both very intrigued how they are made to be (almost) perfectly spherical. Nick enjoyed most of the sea pearls, they contained sashimi tuna, aquaculture caviar, sea scallop, smoked eel, octopus, mud crab and abalone.


The second entrée came and it was difficult to choose who was going to have what, as we were both choosing between the same items. I got the crispy pork belly, with tofu. The pork belly was perfectly cooked, with a crispy top and the fat underneath being well rendered, and the meat was lovely and soft. It worked fantastically with the tofu, which was quite creamy, and the Japenese mushrooms.


The other second entrée was the partridge-breast, which was delicately flavoured, although it did seem a bit on the rare side. Having never eaten partridge before we weren’t sure how it was meant to be cooked, but the flavours and textures were pleasant.


For the mains, we were also both choosing between the 24 hour slow cooked lamb and the special for the evening which was a slow roasted wagyu beef. I was very happy when the lamb was placed down in front of me. The meat fell apart with little force and was beautifully flavoured throughout, marrying well with the baby carrots and sheep’s milk fromage on the plate.


The Wagyu beef was also cooked perfectly, medium rare and with great accompaniments. The sauces and Shitake mushrooms worked beautifully with the beef.


Now to dessert, and I did leave room for dessert 🙂 . Having chosen the 8 textured chocolate cake for dessert, I thought it best not filling up on the delicious bread to begin with, but rather waiting to savour dessert. The cake came out with a flat top, but when the waiter spooned on the 8th texture, a warm chocolate ganache, a well was formed in the cake. I’m not sure whether this is done by having some of the middle layers in donut shapes, with the chocolate on top being a disk which would melt with the heat of the chocolate ganache. Not sure and don’t care particularly, as this question only stayed in my thoughts until I had the first bite, then all I could think of was how great the cake was. I was especially loving the chocolate biscuits-type bits in the cake.



Nick chose the custard apple snow egg with jackfruit granita for his dessert, as we were both intrigued by what this would be like. The snow egg had a reasonably hard, thin toffee shell, which after cracking showed a well-made replica of an egg, with a white marshmallow next to the shell and a custard in the middle. The dessert as a whole worked very well together, and showed, along with the other meals, the dedication, time and thought that goes into these pieces of food-art.



What could top off the night better than a few fireworks 🙂


P.S. I am waiting patiently for Peter Gilmore’s cookbook…


  1. i really hope to go back to quay again. everything looks so lovely 🙂 it’s really good to see what the dishes look like

  2. Ellie says:

    Happy birthday!! Great food at Quay. I am thinking of going there for my birthday but still not decided. I just found out Gilmore’s family live in the same suburb as me. How exciting!!

  3. Oooh great post! I’m going there next weekend and I love that everything is so current so I know what’s on the current menu 😀 Ahh yes if only I could eat there more often. Happy Birthday! 😀

  4. FFichiban says:

    Happy Bdayyy ^^! Oh wooowww… they all look soo gooooddd but tis quite pricey haha buutttt soooo looks so tastttyy

  5. Happy Birthday Anita. Great choice. I have wanted to go to Quay for a while. Maybe next birthday I’ll make it. That dessert looks awesome.

  6. Steph says:

    WOW! Happy birthday! What a fabulous looking meal. This is exactly what I wanted to do for my birthday but I don’t think I can afford it 🙁

  7. Happy birthday, Anita. The experience sounds wonderful. You are lucky having so many fabulous restaurants nearby in Sydney!

  8. Beta Gal says:

    MMMMMmmmm. That is the most exquisite meal I’ve seen in a long time. I’m especially impressed by the snow egg, I have no idea how they would create something like that. Sounds like the flavours of the entrees and appetisers were nice and subtle too, which is something I particularly enjoy.

    Glad you had such a special night.

  9. The sea pearls look so interesting!!

  10. Barbara says:

    I’m probably never going to get to Quay- but I loved reading about it through your eyes.
    That chocolate cake is extraordinary looking! But then just about all your photos were intriguing! The menu looks varied and unusual.

    Happy Belated Birthday!

  11. Juliana says:

    Happy belated birthday! And from what I see, I am sure that you had an great time…all the food look so delicious, absolutely mouth watering, and the cake, oh my, just no words to describe it 🙂

  12. oh wow! Firstly, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! secondly…wow again! Quay has been on my list of places to eat for longer than I care to remember. All those dishes look stellar! Absolutely fantastic, and your descriptions…I can almost taste the dishes… especially that chocolate texture cake. I gotta get to sydney I REALLY want to eat that cake now!

    And how can you beat they view. It was really nice of Nick to organize the fireworks for your birthday….best husband ever right there! 😉 Well I hope he took the credits for the fireworks! lol

  13. Y says:

    Wow, what a great way to celebrate a birthday. Happy belated Birthday!

  14. betty says:

    i want to come to quay now, but i wonder if the vegetarian meals are any good?

    the chocolate cake looks so good..

  15. Great review. I was there three weeks ago and we had the same desserts …. so amazing. 😉

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