Modern Australian Restaurant in Sydney, Australia: Quay Restaurants, Wine, Travel, Opinions

Quay Heart
Restaurants and bars
Price: Expensive

Reviewed By

Sue Dyson and Roger McShane
Phone Number: +61 2 9251 5600
Address: Circular Quay West
Sydney, New South Wales, 2000
Country: Australia
Food Style: Modern Australian

The Quay really is in a beautiful spot. Perched at the end of Sydney's International Terminal it seems to be comfortable with the Harbour Bridge towering above and the Opera House providing a backdrop on the other side. It is light, airy and appealing inside.
The round section at the front houses the most popular tables and, obviously, provide the best view.
But, unlike many restaurants with views, the food here is very good as well. And it is backed up by professional and unobtrusive service, although we found the wine service to be a bit indifferent on our last visit.
We started one recent meal with a jellied consommé of smoked salmon topped with salmon roe and crème fraiche. Tiny dice of the jelly were served in a narrow 'shot' glass. The flavour was clear without being over assertive (as some smoked salmon dishes are) and the texture was close to perfect.
Starters consisted on an amazing dish of confit pork with scallops with a little salad of shitake mushrooms, jellyfish and very fine noodles. This classic Mediterranean paring of pork and shellfish reminded us of a pork and clam dish that we had tried at Brasa in Seattle. However this one was far more refined and was a fascinating interplay of textures and flavours.
A square of suckling pork had been cooked until the skin was perfectly crispy and the meat was soft and almost unctuous. Sea scallops adorned the dish and the tiny salad provided nice crunch from the jellyfish. This was a great way to start the meal.
A special of marron with ricotta ravioli failed to reach the same heights as the other starter, however it was cooked perfectly - it just lacked something indefinable.
Main courses of pressed duck with baby silver beet and salsify and lamb with baby fennel were both lovely main courses that had sufficient variety in the dish to interest both the palate and the eye.
We were very happy with our meal and decided to return. Although we wanted to try some of the other entrees we had to try the confit of pork belly again just to remind ourselves of how good it was the first time we tried it. It was, again, sensational.
Our other entrée this time was a dish of mud crab nestling inside a zucchini flower and accompanied by salted cucumbers, a lovely tomato jelly (there was a lot of jelly on the menu!), some slow cooked tomato pieces and a tomato sorbet. Like our other entrée, this one shows great care and attention to detail with texture and flavour in harmony. At $28 per entrée the food is not cheap but there is so much happening on the plate that the price is justified.
For main course a piece of snapper was roasted perfectly and accompanied by pieces of cuttlefish, more zucchini flowers, some pea shoots and an interesting ginger oil. We ordered the duck again to marvel over the beautiful rectangle of perfectly crisp meat sitting astride the spinach and the garlic puree.
We finished with a raspberry dessert that was one of the best dessert we have had anywhere in recent years. It arrived as a simple cube that enclosed rectangles of raspberry jelly. The delicately set mousse was studded with granules of raspberry toffee? That added crunch. Delicate, refined, full of flavour - perfect.
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