Sunday, August 15, 2010

The need for Quay....Snowegg that is

I remember sitting infront of TV during the MasterChef finals when they revealed that the final challenge was to recreate the Quay Snowegg. Almost immediately, all the friends I went to Quay with, started messaging each other.

"SNOW EGGGGGG!!@#%#$%@!@!#$"

Before the challenge was over, we had basically organised a group of people to revisit Quay just for the snow egg. We were VERY lucky in being able to get a booking for the 2nd Thursday after the show aired. Apparently Quay is booked out until Feb 2011!! Thanks goodness we've been talking about the snowegg non-stop since our last visit, and didn't hestitate in committing to another night out at Quay.

This time, we invited a few other friends to join us. I guess they got sick of hearing us talk about the Strawberry Guava and Custard Apple snowegg and wanted to try it for themselves. The days leading up to our dinner, I was disappointed learn that they changed the snowegg to Jackfruit! (Actually, the night the show aired, Quay was offering only a Guava snow egg anyway) I love eating jackfruit when in asia, but I find the ones in Australia very bland and almost "off" in taste. Despite this, we were still looking forward to our night out.

Last time we did the tasting menu and all of us went into a food coma by the end of the night. This time we opted to go for the 4 course a la carte menu so we didn't stagger out of there.

We start off with an Amuse Bouche of Tuna Tartare with a consomme jelly type thing with eggplant puree. Again, their amuse bouche just blows you away and kick starts your appetite. I'm not sure what they did to the eggplant puree, but I wish eggplant tasted like that every day!

First Courses:

Raw Chinese artichokes, Hiramasa kingfish, smoked eel, horseradish, nasturtiums, octopus, pickled kohlrabi, egg white & radish flower

For the first course, I had the kingfish with raw chinese artichokes. I still have no idea what the chinese artichokes are, but I can tell you the dish was really light and a great first course. In the centre of the pile is the pickled kohlrabi that really lifted the whole dish up. I enjoyed it so much, I guiltily moped up every last bit of the dish with bread. (Hopefully the waiters didn't see!)

Mudcrab Congee

Most of my friends had ordered the mudcrab congee. Since I had it last time, I chose something different. But when it came, I can tell you I had serious food envy! The smell of the gorgeous aromatic congee wafted around the table making me salivate! FOOD ENVY!!! FOOOD ENVYYYYYYY!!!!! >_<

Second Courses:

Butter poached partridge breast, chestnuts, truffle, bitter chocolate black pudding, milk skin, walnuts

In the tasting menu, you get a butter poached quail breast. We assumed for the a la carte they were going to present the exact same dish, but using a larger partridge breast. The description on both menus are exactly the same, but the dish couldn't have come out more different! It still got the thumbs up though!

Confit of shaved South Australian squid, organic red core radishes, garlic custard, native violets, rosemary flowers, roasted squid consommé

My jaw dropped when this dish got placed infront of my friend. The gorgeous super thin see through slices of red radishes surrounded the plate was breath taking! I whip out the camera, ready to take a photo when the waiter says "I'm going just going to pour on the consomme now". My brain did a silent "NOoOOoOOoOoooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"


The waiter was faster than me. But he wasn't as fast as my friends on the other side of the table, who went into a frantic to take a photo of the dish before he got there with his jug if consomme.

Besides the picture perfect dish, I did taste the consomme, and it was an explosion of flavour in my mouth! Not sure about a whole bowlful, as my friend said it got a bit too flavoursome by the end of the dish. But I certainly wasn't complaining about the little bit I did try!

Crisp confit of pig belly, green lipped abalone and cuttlefish, handmade silken tofu, Japanese mushrooms, chive flowers

Again, same description as what was on the a la carte, came out looking different. Still tasted just as great according to my friends!

Gentle braise of sea scallops, pearl oyster, rock lobster, lettuce hearts, tapioca, lobster velvet, oyster cream, pea flowers - $15 supplement

I just could not resist the sound of this dish! It was the lobster velvet and oyster cream that got me. The only problem was, I couldn't really tell it apart from everything! With that said, it was still an amazingly complex dish. The tapioca alone is worthy of being a dish on its own. I made sure I scraped up every last tapioca pearl.

Third Courses:

Complimentary salad

Nameko, shiitake, enoki, & king mushrooms, truffle custard, mushroom consommé

My friend chose the vegetarian dish of mushrooms, custard and consomme. Too bad she was sitting on the other side of our huge table, I would really have loved to try this dish. I loveeeee mushrooms and tofu! She did tell me that it was a beautiful dish and ate every last bit.

Roasted wild snapper, smoked butter, celeriac cream, young greens, winter melon, vongole juices

I didn't try this dish, and I actually don't remember hearing my friends talk about this dish at all. Not because it was bad, but because I was in a world of my own......

Slow braised Berkshire pig jowl, maltose crackling, prunes, cauliflower cream, perfumed with prune kernel oil

Let me get 2 things straight. I hate prunes and I hate cauliflower. The only time I eat cauliflower is when its been deep fried or smothered with cheese. Prunes? I just don't eat it full stop. So why did I order this dish?? I had faith in Peter Gilmore that he can make me like it. And I couldn't get past the maltose crackling! I figured since I already had 2 seafood dishes, I needed some meat in me, preferrably with crackling!

The dish is placed in front of me, and I'm immediately hit with the fragrance of prunes (In a nice way). I tentatively dig into the cauliflower cream and immediately had a "When Harry met Sally" moment. I've never tasted cauliflower like that in my life before. It was rich, hearty, yet delicate and was a light as clouds. LUCKILY! Friends on both sides of me ordered the same dish, meaning I didn't have to share this! MUAhaUAhaUAh

After the initial orgasm over the cauliflower, I take my knife and tapped the crackling, expecting a nice crunch. There was no crunch. The knife went straight through the crackling and then through the meat! HUH? It was only then that I realised the "maltose crackling" wasn't crackling basted in maltose. The crackling was MADE of maltose! Holy crapola! ITS MADE OF MALTOSE! The thinnest, crispiest maltose toffee, covered the most tender and melt in your mouth piece of pork I've ever had. *swoons* Even the prunes went amazing with the pork. This is hands down, the best main dish we've had at Quay. This time, it was my friends who had food envy!! It was so good, I had to borrow a piece of my friend's bread to mop up everything.

The moment finally arrived when it was time for the snowegg. I can hear the satisfying crack as I dig into the egg with my spoon. The texture is just the same as I remembered. The crispy shell, soft meringue, cool crunchy granita and smooth creamy puree. But the taste...the taste just didn't compare to the strawberry guava and custard apple version. All of my friends who came with me last time agreed that the Jackfruit version just wasn't as good. And given a choice between that and the BTS, we all unanimously chose the BTS. But those who had never tried a snowegg before, absolutely loved it!

Even with 4 courses, we were still stuffed by the end of the night, and could not fit in tea or petite fours. I can't wait to come back and try Quay again, especially when Guava and Custard apple is back in season!

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joey@forkingaroundsydney said...

One of my favourite Sydney dining experiences for sure. I don't worship the snowegg, but I think it's really good. Everything else I've tried there has always been wonderful.

SoRMuiJAi said...

haha I think I only worship the strawberry guava and custard apple snowegg! MmMMmmm snowegg... And now...maltose crackling with cauliflower mousse!!!

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