Fine Dining at Quay

June 01, 2014

I had the pleasure of celebrating my 24th birthday at Quay thanks to DT and it was a much anticipated dining experience, mostly for the famous snow egg made popular by the Master Chef TV show. We came on a weekday because that allowed for a booking 2 to 3 months in advance as opposed to weekend bookings which are much harder to secure. Unfortunately that night our view was obstructed by a cruise ship so that was quite disappointing but not the restaurant's fault so I will let that slide. We were originally set on the four course dinner menu but were finally swayed towards the tasting menu so we could sample a bit of everything they had to offer.

To start every fine dining session is the amuse-bouche. I honestly do not remember what this was or what it tasted like because there was nothing particularly special about it.

Just your standard cocktail comprising of a blend of tropical fruits. It was actually a tad sour and I was expecting something much nicer in flavour.

Raw smoked Blackmore wagyu, dory roe, horseradish, soured cream, salty ice plant
The wagyu was a melt-in-your mouth texture which was to be expected. The salty ice plant was an interesting element to the dish and complemented the dish visually and tasted quite nice. Overall the dish was overly salty.

Congee of Northern Australian mud crab, fresh palm heart, egg yolk emulsion
This would be the standout dish of the night. It was a completely different take on traditional congee  and I really loved it. The congee blended seamlessly with the creaminess of the egg yolk emulsion. The flavours of this dish were perfectly balanced.

XO sea five treasures
I personally am not a fan of XO sauce and also not a big fan of seafood so I did not particularly enjoy this. The XO sauce was too overpowering for me and the seafood was nothing remarkable.

Gently braised quail, morel cream, brioche porridge, hazelnut floss
I thoroughly enjoyed this dish especially the hazelnut floss as it was so delectably moreish. The quail was also perfectly cooked. I did find that the cream made it taste slightly heavy and overall the dish was a tad too salty.

Duck poached in a fermented green plum master stock, scorched leaves, forbidden rice, umeboshi, young almonds
All I can say is that the duck was succulent and flavoursome and the garnishing made everything delicious. This was one of the better dishes of the degustation.

Roasted grass fed pure Angus, mushrooms, miso, eggplant
You may not be able to see it but there was a piece of beef hiding under there. Nothing much to say here besides the beef being extremely tender. I just remember it being overly salty which appeared to be a recurring issue throughout the degustation.

Peach snow egg
Finally what we have all been waiting for! Ta-da! I present the snow egg. In all honesty it was actually a bit of a let-down. Do not get me wrong it was a delicious and visually striking dessert but after all the hype and thus heightened expectations I thought it would be the most amazing thing ever. The granita was nice but nothing like the granita I had at Tetsuya's, this was too chunky. The egg itself looked fantastic but did not taste mind-blowing and I may be biased here being that I am not a fan of meringue due to its taste and texture. 

Dissected peach snow egg
I do admit that I did enjoy cracking the shell of the egg to reveal a fluffy meringue and the delicious ice cream presented to resemble an egg yolk. Everything does get a little too sweet though.

Jersey cream, salted caramel, prune, milk and sugar crystals
I think I actually liked this dessert more albeit not as visually appealing as the snow egg. The salted caramel flakes dissolved in the mouth and all the elements went well together.

Check out the awesome teapots. DT opted for sencha which came in the red-brown teapot and I chose a fragrant white tea.
Petits Fours
Adorable yummy truffles to end the night.

It was a great experience but I felt the dishes tried to incorporate Asian elements and failed to execute them properly because many of the dishes were too salty. Degustations are supposed to tantalise your taste buds with different flavours and textures but I really did not get that experience from Quay's tasting menu. I was expecting much more from Quay being a three chef's hat restaurant and I had an amazing experience at Tetsuya's which has two chef's hat. It all felt quite impersonal at Quay whereas at Tetsuya's they specialised the dining experience for DT by serving a cake with a candle on it for his birthday. I believe attention to detail coupled with excellent food is what makes or breaks a restaurant. They are both expensive restaurants but if you had to pick one save your money for Tetsuya's because their degustation menu consists of 10 courses for $220 as opposed to 8 courses at Quay for $225.

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  1. I liked the salted caramel dessert more than the snow egg too haha