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With sublime views overlooking Sydney Harbour and the Opera House, Quay Sydney by Chef Peter Gilmore proves to be one of the country’s most celebrated fine dining establishments offering an interplay of textures and colours with its local-inspired menu.


Photography: Nikki To


Focusing on a progression of rare and beautiful ingredients, “texture, flavour and harmony is paramount” according to Gilmore as the importance on produce saw the award-winning restaurant offer both 6 or 8-course dining options taking you on a cultural journey through the Australian landscape. Working with local Australian farmers, fishermen, producers and artisans each detail is artfully articulated by Gilmore and his team ensuring the growth of every element and the selection of every ceramic piece is carefully considered and crafted for its role in the dining experience.


Recognised as one of Australia’s most awarded chefs, Gilmore who took the helm of Quay back in 2001 has been awarded Three Chefs Hats for an unprecedented 18 consecutive years and named Restaurant of the Year six times in The Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide. Quay has also been awarded three stars in the national Australian Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Guide for 18 years. Quay was listed for five years on the World’s 50 Best Restaurant list and held the title of Best Restaurant in Australasia for three of those years. Describing his cuisine as “food inspired by nature” and as a passionate gardener himself, Pe was one of the first chefs in Australia to embrace heirloom varieties of vegetables and continues to work in partnership with small and artesian producers who cultivate bespoke produce exclusively for both Quay and Bennelong. Gilmore collaborates with a range of producers across Australia, from the fishermen who hand dive and line catch the seafood he serves to the farmers who rear rare breed animals with superior flavour and texture for the table. Gilmore’s appreciation of nature’s diversity and his endless experimentation in the kitchen and garden are the driving forces in his cooking.



On offer, the current showcases a delightful mix of Australian delicacies including Tasmanian Rock Lobster, with ginger scented milk-curd and sudachi citrus as well as the smoked eel and green walnuts, complemented by Oscietra caviar and sea cucumber crackling. Replacing Quay’s famous “Snow Egg” the new and improved “White Coral” will not disappoint as the grand finale to the degustation menu. The mouth-watering dessert features a white chocolate mousse, Greengage plum sherbet and coconut crème.


“I had this idea of playing a riff on the Aero chocolate bar,” Gilmore says. The day before service, a mousse of French white chocolate, cream and egg whites is spooned into a cream gun and given two hits of nitrous oxide. The aerated mix is divided into several perspex containers fitted with one-way seals and placed in the kitchen’s vac-pack machine. As the air is removed, the sponge-like form of the white coral quickly appears, as if by magic. The coral is then frozen overnight to preserve its structure. The next day, each piece is cut out of its container to order and bathed in liquid nitrogen for 40 seconds. It emerges very fragile, at almost minus 200 degrees. The waiters have less than a minute to get it to the table before the dessert loses its delicate structure.


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