In November of last year I went to Sydney for a weekend with a friend. We were lucky enough to get a two for one deal on our flights earlier in the year and I suggested that we splurge and go to Peter Gilmore’s Quay restaurant for lunch while we were there.

View from our table

View from our table

In 2012 Quay was voted Number 29 on the S.Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurant’s list (the highest ranked Australian restaurant) and has been named the best restaurant in Australasia for the last three years. The restaurant has also had 3 Hats and 3 Stars in The Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide and Australian Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Guide for 11 years. I had of course also seen Peter Gilmore and some of his amazing food on Masterchef Australia over the years.  I was thrilled that we got a reservation (we did book 6 months in advance) and couldn’t wait to try the food.

My amuse bouche

My amuse bouche

My friend’s seafood free amuse bouche

Unfortunately a cruise ship was in the day we were there, so we didn’t get the views of the Opera House. We were informed of this when we booked however, so it wasn’t a surprise. The views from our table, on the observation deck, were still amazing with great views of the Rocks, the Harbour Bridge and Luna Park.

First course - Salad of preserved wild cherries, albino and chioggia beetroots, radish, creme fraiche, violets

First course – Salad of preserved wild cherries, albino and chioggia beetroots, radish, creme fraiche, violets

1st course

First course – Fragrant poached chicken, white radish, sea scallops (omitted), smoked eggplant cream, pea blossoms

I had very high expectations from what I knew of the restaurant  and happily the food and experience did not disappoint and in fact exceeded my expectations. It was one of the best meals of my life, definitely the best lunch I’ve ever had and is up there with my dinner at Heston’s The Fat Duck the year before (post to come soon, promise). We chose the four course lunch and everything was just amazing. Each plate looked like a work of art, too beautiful to eat. But then when you did eat it the flavours and textures were incredible. It is making my mouth water just thinking about it!

Second course - Line caught iki jime Tasmanian squid, squid ink custard, society garlic, pink turnips

Second course – Line caught iki jime Tasmanian squid, squid ink custard, society garlic, pink turnips

2nd course

Second course – Smoked and confit pig cheek, shiitake, shaved scallops (omitted), Jerusalem artichoke leaves

The flow of the food was very well timed, not once did it feel like you were waiting too long for the next course, while at the same time it didn’t feel rushed. The longest wait of the day was for our bill! I want to go back to Sydney again just to go back to the restaurant. My friend doesn’t eat seafood, but that was easily accommodated by the restaurant.

Third course - Hawkesbury free range chicken, steamed brioche, egg yolk confit, Alba truffle

Third course – Hawkesbury free range chicken, steamed brioche, egg yolk confit, Alba truffle

3rd course

Third course – Milk fed lamb slow braised, globe artichoke and white lentil leaves, parsnip cream

On the way out we ran into Chef Peter Gilmore in his chef whites and he had a chat to us, which I was thrilled about (I admit, I get a bit excited and flustered when I meet these top chefs). He was lovely. It was so nice to be at a top restaurant and actually see the chef there. I was so flustered I forgot to buy his book on the way out. Luckily for me he was at the Margaret River Gourmet Escape the next weekend and, even though he wasn’t signing the day I was there, I was able to arrange for a signed copy that was sent to me after the event.

Dessert - White nectarine snow egg.

Dessert – White nectarine snow egg. Amazing and so light and refreshing!

Quay's Eight texture chocolate cake. Incredible rich.

Quay’s Eight texture chocolate cake. Incredible but very rich.

Although every dish was extraordinary, the highlight for the meal for me was the white nectarine snow egg. So refreshing and the different textures were incredible.

Even the butter was beautiful!

Even the butter was beautiful!

Petit fours that came with our tea.

Petit fours that came with our tea.