A Birthday Celebration At Quay Restaurant, Sydney – Part Two

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Bone Marrow Noodles, Mud Crab; Miso Butter. Quay review by White Caviar Life. Food photography by Sydney photographer Kent Johnson for White Caviar Life.
About to try Quay's Bone Marrow Noodles with Mud Crab and Miso Butter. Photo credit: Kent Johnson

Continuing my birthday celebration at Quay restaurant in Sydney…

Bone Marrow Noodles, Mud Crab; Miso Butter

Bone Marrow Noodles, Mud Crab; Miso Butter. Quay review by White Caviar Life. Food photography by Vivienne She for White Caviar Life.
Who knew… that a bowl of noodles could be this flavoursome! Photo credit: Vivienne She

Who knew… that a bowl of noodles could be this flavoursome! First of all, a big thumbs up to the noodles… creamy, sticky and chewy. The bite reminds me of the Shanghai noodle but the body and the texture of the noodles were more jellylike.

Bone Marrow Noodles, Mud Crab; Miso Butter. Quay review by White Caviar Life. Food photography by Sydney photographer Kent Johnson for White Caviar Life.
This bowl of goodness is meaty, luscious and satisfying. We want MORE!!!

The fattiness of the bone marrow, the hint of the sea from the crab and the umami flavour from the miso butter coated the noodle deliciously! This bowl of goodness was meaty (although hardly any meat), luscious and satisfying. This was no doubt my favourite course of the night and Kent’s too. Needless to say, we wanted MORE!!!

Vivienne She, the writer/creator of White Caviar Life at Quay restaurant. Image by Street Fashion Sydney - Kent Johnson.
Being an Australian Chinese, I think it’s fair to pay homage to Australian food on this special occasion. Photo credit: Kent Johnson

One of the main reasons why I chose a modern Australian cuisine to celebrate my milestone birthday is, as a Chinese girl born and raised in Taiwan, I have been living in Australia longer than my homeland of Taiwan. I think it’s fair to pay homage to Australian food on this special occasion. Plus, I couldn’t find a hatted dégustation menu based on Chinese or Taiwanese cuisine anywhere in Sydney. If you happen to know such venues, please let me know in the comments.

Quay restaurant review and image by Vivienne She for White Caviar Life.
It doesn’t get more Sydney than this view! Photo credit: Vivienne She
Sydney photographer and Street Fashion Sydney creator Kent Johnson at Quay restaurant in Sydney. Image by Vivienne She for White Caviar Life.
Kent, contemplating the meaning of fine dining… Photo credit: Vivienne She

2016 Maretti Barolo, Piemonte, Italy

2016 Maretti Barolo, Piemonte, Italy. Quay review by White Caviar Life. Image by Vivienne She for White Caviar Life.
Finally an Italian wine! (Our sommelier that evening was an Italian lady.) Photo credit: Vivienne She

Finally an Italian wine (our sommelier that evening was an Italian lady)! This red wine had a beautiful ruby hue. The taste was dry but had earthy undertones. Very smooth and well balanced. Another great choice we liked. Kent swears he’s doing well tasting the various terroirs tonight.

Slow Cooked Pig Jowl, Umami Custard; Black Pig Salami

Slow Cooked Pig Jowl, Umami Custard; Black Pig Salami. Quay review by White Caviar Life. Image by Vivienne She for White Caviar Life.
Slow Cooked Pig Jowl with Umami Custard and Black Pig Salami. Photo credit: Vivienne She

Meaty, juicy and rich! We loved how the silky, tender pig cheeks melted in our mouth when we took a bite. The saltiness of the salami and the sweetness of the pork jowl complimented each other in harmony.

Slow Cooked Pig Jowl, Umami Custard; Black Pig Salami. Quay review by White Caviar Life. Image by Vivienne She for White Caviar Life.
Meaty, juicy… We loved how the silky, tender pig cheeks melted in our mouth! Photo credit: Vivienne She

Layers of the Umami Custard provided a rich depth of flavour. For a dish like this, the dry red wine proved to be a great choice.

2014 Giesen Clayvin Vineyard Pinot Noir, Marlborough

2014 Giesen Clayvin Vineyard Pinot Noir, Marlborough. Quay review by White Caviar Life. Food photography by Sydney photographer Kent Johnson for White Caviar Life.
2014 Giesen Clayvin Vineyard Pinot Noir, Marlborough. Photo credit: Kent Johnson

This time our wine journey took us to New Zealand. This red cherry coloured Pinot Noir had good intensity.

Sydney photographer and Street Fashion Sydney creator Kent Johnson at Quay restaurant in Sydney. Image by Vivienne She for White Caviar Life.
Kent swears he’s doing well tasting the various ‘terroirs’ tonight. Photo credit: Vivienne She

Maremma Duck, Preserved Blueberries; Black Garlic, Kampot Pepper; Ice Plant

Maremma Duck, Preserved Blueberries; Black Garlic, Kampot Pepper; Ice Plant. Quay review by White Caviar Life. Food photography by Sydney photographer Kent Johnson for White Caviar Life.
Maremma Duck, Preserved Blueberries; Black Garlic, Kampot Pepper and Ice Plant. Photo credit: Kent Johnson

We don’t always get what we wish for in life… And that’s exactly how I felt about this duck course I had. I love duck!!! So I was really looking forward to trying this duck – Quay style.

Maremma Duck, Preserved Blueberries; Black Garlic, Kampot Pepper; Ice Plant. Quay review by White Caviar Life. Food photography by Vivienne She for White Caviar Life.
Being a duck lover, I really wished this dish had turned out differently. Photo credit: Vivienne She

Well I do love duck with fruit combos such as duck with plum sauce (Chinese), duck à l’orange (French) and Thai’s red duck curry with pineapple and lychees. Duck with berries is tasty too, but these Preserved Blueberries didn’t have the fruity sweetness I was searching for. The jus had vegemite-like flavour which I thought was rather unpleasant. Not only did I not enjoy the flavour profile on the plate, the meat was undercooked for my liking. Not all fusion dishes fuse…

I really wished this dish had turned out differently; it was my least liked plate of the night. By the time we finished this course and our vino, Kent and I were both thinking that our wine parings tonight might have outshone the plates.

2017 Kracher Cuveé Beerenauslese Welschriesling Blend, Burgenland, Austria

2017 Kracher Cuveé Beerenauslese Welschriesling Blend, Burgenland, Austria. Quay review by White Caviar Life. Food photography by Vivienne She for White Caviar Life.
Fabulous wine just kept coming – although we found it a bit hit-or-miss with the dishes. Photo credit: Vivienne She

Fabulous wine just kept coming – although we found it a bit hit-or-miss with the meals. Kent and I both think the wine list was outstanding! Hats off to Quay’s Head Sommelier Shanteh Wong.

White Coral, Greengage Plum Sherbet

White Coral, Greengage Plum Sherbet. Quay review by White Caviar Life. Food photography by Sydney photographer Kent Johnson for White Caviar Life.
White Coral – aerated and freeze-dried white chocolate ganache, crowning Greengage Plum Sherbet. Photo credit: Kent Johnson

I first saw Chef Peter Gilmore’s White Coral dessert on MasterChef Australia in 2019. This was the replacement of his lauded and much loved Snow Egg – a gastronomic masterpiece that made Quay a destination restaurant. I had mixed feelings when spotting White Coral on the menu as it confirmed that I had missed out on the Snow Egg – forever! As I had never tried it, my chance was gone… On the other hand, I was eager to try its successor and was hoping it would be as mind-blowing visually as what I had seen on television. And of course, to experience the taste sensation I could until now only imagine.

White Coral, Greengage Plum Sherbet. Quay review by White Caviar Life. Food photography by Sydney photographer Kent Johnson for White Caviar Life.
Overall, I found this dessert icy and underwhelming. Photo credit: Kent Johnson

White Coral – aerated and freeze-dried white chocolate ganache, crowning Greengage Plum Sherbet. When it arrived our table, there was no dry ice fog effect as I once saw on TV and have seen repeatedly through Quay’s commercial images. In terms of taste, I found the whole thing icy and underwhelming. Texture-wise, although there were ganache and sherbet, it was still a bit one-dimensional to me. For a dessert that replaced the world-famous Snow Egg… Huge expectations dashed! Sorry but I expected more.

Pereira D’Oliveiras Tinta Negra 5 Year Old, Madeira, Portugal

Pereira D'Oliveiras Tinta Negra 5 Year Old, Madeira, Portugal. Quay review by White Caviar Life. Food photography by Vivienne She for White Caviar Life.
Kent and I were both thinking that our wine parings tonight might have outshone the plates. Photo credit: Vivienne She

Sweet, with a subtle savoury edge aftertaste which I like. Our wine journey was consistent high marked.

Moo

Moo. Quay review by White Caviar Life. Food photography by Vivienne She for White Caviar Life.
Moo, well named from its visual effect! Photo credit: Vivienne She

Moo, well named from its visual effect. Dulce de leche mixed with cream was the prize when scooped into the smooth, velvety centre through its crispy biscuits sealed on the top. Creamy, sweet and rich! It’s not the sort of dessert I normally go for, but it was a nice scenery change after the White Coral.

Moo. Quay review by White Caviar Life. Food photography by Vivienne She for White Caviar Life.
Kent gets his hands on the Moo. Photo credit: Vivienne She
Moo. Quay review by White Caviar Life. Food photography by Sydney photographer Kent Johnson for White Caviar Life.
Can’t wait to dive into Moo… Photo credit: Kent Johnson

Petit Fours

Petit Fours. Honey Tartlets and Salted Caramel Canelés. Quay review by White Caviar Life. Food photography by Vivienne She for White Caviar Life.
Kent ate one of the Salted Caramel Canelés before this photo was taken. Photo credit: Vivienne She

Honey Tartlets and Salted Caramel Canelés. To be honest I think the Salted Caramel Canelé I had was a little dry.

My Seven Textured Valrhona Chocolate Birthday Cake

Quay's Seven Textured Valrhona Chocolate Cake. Quay review by White Caviar Life. Food photography by Vivienne She for White Caviar Life.
Here comes my birthday cake – Quay’s Seven Textured Valrhona Chocolate Cake! Photo credit: Vivienne She

‘What would a birthday be without a cake!’ Says our smiling waitstaff. And just when we thought we had reached the end of our food journey, here comes my surprise birthday cake! Well it’s an impressive one – Quay’s Seven Textured Valrhona Chocolate Cake. Here’s my tip, always mention it if you are celebrating a birthday or other special occasions, as we choose the venue and we deserve to be spoiled by the house if you ask me.

Quay's Seven Textured Valrhona Chocolate Cake. Quay review by White Caviar Life. Food photography by Sydney photographer Kent Johnson for White Caviar Life.
Cracking the tempered chocolate disc on top of my birthday cake. Photo credit: Kent Johnson
Quay's Seven Textured Valrhona Chocolate Cake. Quay review by White Caviar Life. Food photography by Sydney photographer Kent Johnson for White Caviar Life.
Here’s my tip, always mention it if you are celebrating a birthday or other special occasions when you book a restaurant… you might get a surprise! Photo credit: Kent Johnson

What makes it a multi-textured cake? Here’s what I’ve learnt… It consists of a fudgy chocolate cake based, chocolate mousse layer; a crisp chocolate and hazelnut meringue layer, a caramel; chocolate and vanilla scented ganache layer, a crunchy milk chocolate layer containing a hazelnut praline and finely chopped caramelised puff pastry; milk chocolate whipped cream and a tempered chocolate disc on top. Sounds impressive? It tasted delicious! This chocolate cake was the perfect grand finale to our four-and-a-half-hour dinner celebration.

Vivienne She, the writer/creator of White Caviar Life at Quay restaurant. Image by Street Fashion Sydney - Kent Johnson.
I was hoping we could celebrate my milestone birthday in style and I guess I got my wish. Photo credit: Kent Johnson

Living through these COVID times, it seems like anything could happen at anytime. An uninterrupted birthday dinner plan was simply good luck and good timing (don’t think they’re the same thing, are they?)! At the time of writing, we are in the beginning of the Greater Sydney’s 14-day lockdown. (On the day of publishing, this lockdown extended another seven days.) We’ve learnt not to take things for granted long ago, and with an attitude of gratitude, we cherish this dining experience. I was hoping we could celebrate my milestone birthday in style and I guess I got my wish.

The view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge from Quay restaurant. Quay review by White Caviar Life. Photography by Kent Johnson.
Thank you Quay for taking us on an unforgettable epicurean journey. Photo credit: Kent Johnson

Thank you universe for the blessing, thank you Kent for being there and documenting and enjoying it all, and thank you Quay for taking us on an unforgettable epicurean journey.

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Vivienne is a traveller, author; story teller and sometimes a muse. She seeks a balance between travelling in comfort and style with value; perhaps being the daughter of a hotelier helps there. Through White Caviar Life, you will share in her travel experiences, stories and tips that she hopes to help enhance your own travel.

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