Sydney


Quay

Quay

Quay is the first to be named restaurant of the year twice in the same year – first by the Australian Gourmet Traveller 2009 Restaurant Guide and then by the 2009 Sydney Morning herald Good Food Guide.

Quay is set in one of the most beautiful spots in Sydney. Located at the end of Sydney’s International Terminal, the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House provide backdrops on either sides.

Chef Peter Gilmore has introduced a set price four course degustation. Each course offers four or five dishes to choose from, essentially allowing the diner to design their own degustation.

Edible flowers and baby vegetables – a mix of pink and white radishes, turnips paired with tiny spring onions, native violets have been grown for quay alone . It tastes just as good as it looks.

Amuse Bouche

Starters : Jellied consomme of smoked salmon topped with salmon roe and creme fraiche.

Sea Pearls

First Course : Sea Pearls, French aquaculture caviar, sea scallop, smoked eel, octopus, sashimi tuna, abalone, pearl meat ( $25 supplement)

Sashimi

First Course : Sashimi of Blue Fin toro, Spanish mackerel, Yellow fin loin, Hiramasa kingfish, horseradish cream, baby radish, green almonds, white tea and seaweed jelly

Southern Rock Lobster

Second Course : Gently poached Southern rock lobster, lobster and tapioca dumpling, lobster velvet, almond cream ( $25 supplement )

Confit of shaved Australian squid

Confit of shaved Australian squid

Second Course : Confit of shaved South Australian squid, octopus coral, garlic custard, baby radishes, native violets, roasted squid consomme

Two kinds of duck with abalone

Third Course : Two kinds of duck with abalone. Look how small the baby turnips are!!!

Slow-braised lamb

Third Course : Eight hours of slow braised milk fed Suffolk lamb, baby carrots, Arbequina olives, nasturtiums, capers, calendula, sheeps milk fromage, coriander flowers

Snow Egg

Dessert : White peach snow egg – Fine shards of white peach granita served atop creamy vanilla ice cream while nestled at the peak is the ‘snow egg’ – a ball of white peach ice cream wrapped in fluffy meringue, coated in toffee then dusted with icing sugar.

 Eight texture chocolate cake

Dessert : Eight texture chocolate cake, featuring Amedi ‘Chuao’ chocolate

Petit Fours

Petits Fours – The little chocolate cylinders filled with caramel cream are amazing and can top anything on the menu. It’s an exaggeration I know, but it’s that good.

Quay at night

4 Course Menu $145

Summary : Quay has spectacular views and great food. It’s inspired modern Australian food which is exciting but not overdone to the point of being trendy. The uniqueness of the self-grown produce is an added bonus as it added a dimension of adventure and discovery to the dishes.

Subtle flavours and texture were heavenly and stood out in the dishes. The slow braised lamb was unlike anything we’ve had. The duck was cooked to perfection. Crisp on the outside and melt in your on the inside. The white peach snow egg was heavenly. Each layer of the dessert a new sensation in the mouth. A very elegant dessert.

Post dinner analysis would have us say the dinner was good but…  There were times when the muted flavours, overall lightness and restraint of the dishes were not what we wanted but it’s probably a matter of personal preference. Quay is a restaurant where subtleness and restraint of flavours reign supreme. Visit with an open mind and enjoy.

Quay
Overseas Passenger Terminal
The Rocks, Sydney 2000
Tel :   61 2 9251 5600  
www.quay.com.au

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Din Tai Fung

Din Tai Fung

I couldn’t wait for my trip to Sydney to try out Din Tai Fung the world famous Taiwanese dumpling chain with shops in China, Singapore, Japan, Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, the USA and Australia. Located on the second floor of World Square shopping centre, it is located in a very unassuming corner. The location didn’t seem to be a problem to anyone judging by the long queue outside the shop. Two girls with headsets took down our names and gave us queue tickets. The dumpling house itself didn’t look like a typical Chinese restaurant. It was tastefully done with modern wooden tables and chairs. The large paper lamps from the ceiling also added a nice feel to the place.

 

Dumpling Making

Dumpling Making

The dumpling shop itself looked impressive. There was a whole team of clinically outfitted dumpling ‘techinicians’ making the dumplings and examining each piece closely. There was even a QA guy making sure all the dumplings coming out looked perfect.

Xiao Long Bao

Xiao Long Bao

The drunken chicken was out of stock which gave us a reason to order more dumplings.

The Xiao long bao pork dumpling ( Aud$8.80 ) were served first. The dumplings were sitting temptingly in the bamboo steamers. I could see how the soup inside made the dumplings wobbly through the translucent skin. The skin didn’t break when I transferred the xiao long bao from the steamer to my spoon. I didn’t put vinegar or chili on my first dumpling to gauge the full flavor. I bit on a small section of the dumpling skin to get access to the soup inside and gingerly sipped on the soup. The soup was sweet and plentiful for such a small dumpling. I popped in the rest of the dumpling into my mouth and savoured every bit. The dumplings are the best I’ve had so far. It’s even better than the famous Shanghai Yu Yuan garden xiao long bao.

Xiao Long Bao steamed crab meat and roe with pork dumpling

Xiao Long Bao steamed crab meat and roe with pork dumpling

The Xiao Long Bao steamed crab meat and roe with pork dumpling $13.80 had the very subtle flavour fo crab roe mixed with the soup. I found it quite expensive and had better crab roe xiao long bao’s flavour wise. But Din Tai Fung’s dumpling skin is still clearly a winner. The skin is just so delicate and thin enough.

Shrimp and Pork Shao Mai

Shrimp and Pork Shao Mai

The Shrimp and Pork Shao Mai AUD$8.80 is very interesting as it also had soup inside. Interesting shao mai’s but I would still go for the classic xiao long bao’s.

Zha Jian Mian ( Spicy Pork Mince Noodle )

Zha Jian Mian ( Spicy Pork Mince Noodle )

Zha Jiang Mian (Spicy Pork Mince Noodle ) is a classic Taiwanese dish and was done well. It was a good complement for the multitude of dumplings we were having.

Rating : Love It

Food   : Xiao Long Bao

Summary : Din Tai Fung is extremely addicting. I’ve been there twice in one week. You can’t help but have thoughts of perfect little dumplings in sweet broth on your head while going through the day. Be very careful in visiting the place as it will spoil you and set your standards high on how dumplings should taste like elsewhere.

Din Tai Fung

Shop 11. 04 Level 1
World Square Shopping Centre
644 George St, Sydney NSW 2000
Tel :   +61 (02) 9264 6010         
Open 7 days
11:00am-2.30pm
17:00pm-22:00pm (last order 9.15pm)

A visit to Grazing takes you to the town of Gundaroo population 300. I fell in love with Grazing the moment I set eyes on it. It is a rustic restaurant in a 1830s stone building located in rural New South Wales 30 minutes from Canberra. It is a country restaurant which serves the freshest produce, most of the vegetables from the chef’s own herb garden.
Grazing restaurant

Grazing restaurant

The restaurant evokes warmth, character and coziness from the wooden floorboards, tables and the fireplaces.

Grazing interiors

Grazing interiors

The food is superb. Sophisticated country dining at its best. The catch of the day ($27) was served akin to to a thick bouillabaisse with a subtle creaminess that complemented the freshness of our fish.

Catch of the day

Catch of the day

The crispy duck confit ($17) was heavenly. The skin is thin and crisp with the meat extremely tender.
Duck confit

Duck confit

The pear tart with cream ($14) was perfection. I’m not a fruit dessert person but there’s always a dish which makes you into a convert and this was it.

 

Pear tart

Pear tart

Rating : Love It

Food    : Try anything on the menu

Summary : I’m looking forward to my next visit although I’m 700 kilometres away. Grazing is definitely a must visit for anyone who drops by Canberra. There is perfection in simplicity.

GRAZING
The Royal Hotel
Corner Cork and Harp Streets
GUNDAROO NSW 2620
Telephone:                   02 6236 8777           
http://www.grazing.com.au