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2011 part 5 – a super special Sydney lunch

Without giving away too many details of this awesome weekend I will tell you about a couple of amazing meals.

This particular December Friday lunch at Quay, Australia’s number one restaurant according to San Pel’s World’s Best Restaurants. To give you just a little context, we had locked in a long weekend away at Dunkeld to celebrate both of our birthdays. The plan was to stay and have dinner at The Royal Mail. I had initially wanted to go to Quay but when I tried to book, they were full on Fri and Sat nights until January, so Ben had (said we were) booked into Royal Mail…. And then, on the Thursday night before we were meant to leave for our long, long drive…. he proposed…. with a ring… in a frozen yogurt… in the freezer (haha, don’t ask!)… He did very well to surprise me on the only day of the year he probably could… His birthday. So I probably shouldn’t have been surprised that he had more up his sleeve. Like when we turned off the freeway a long way before Dunkeld… into the airport.

We arrived in Sydney and checked into our hotel, which had a fabulous view across to the Opera House and down to the Overseas Passenger Terminal, the main event location for the day. Ben had managed to book arguably the best restaurant in Sydney for a long, luxurious lunch. Eight course degustation if I got my way… which I didn’t. Ha! As usual, the thought of sitting through eight courses of me and my conversation was not completely exciting to Benny so we settled on 4 courses each and I got to choose what we were both eating to ensure I got to try as much as possible! See below for some amazing savoury dishes!

Sashimi amuse bouche
Poached native freshwater marron, young almonds, bergamot marmalade, pomelo, green mango, elder, chamomile
Salad of rhubarb, endive, beetroot, purple carrot, rosa radish, kohlrabi, goat's curd, pomegranate molasses, violet
Slow cooked coturnix quail breast, stone ground semolina enriched with Alba truffle butter, buckwheat, farro, walnuts, pumpernickel, malt
Smoked and confit pig cheek, shiitake, shaved scallop, Jerusalem artichoke, juniper, bay
Spring lamb with some pretty flowers
Berkshire pig jowl, maltose crackling, prunes, cauliflower cream, perfumed with prune kernel oil

We sat out on the balcony with a view towards the harbour bridge and felt like we were at our own private lunch. Embarrassingly so actually, as at one point Ben had excused himself and I was checking out my beautiful ring… perhaps taking photos of it…. Seeing the light reflections at different angles… different fingers… no doubt you can imagine. So.. when I got up for a bathroom break, a couple sitting just inside the window congratulated me as I walked past with big smiles on their faces… Aaarrrggghhh! What a dick I must have looked like dammit!

And then came dessert.

Eight texture chocolate cake
The famous white nectarine snow egg

Suitable impressed?! I was certainly full…. or replete as my mother would prefer I said. Completely, repletely, absolutely, incredibly, magnificantly full!

And then came truffles and the best photo ever taken on an iPhone…

Truffles at Quay and check the photography!

The only problem with this lunch was that I had spent 6  months getting over the fact we couldn’t get into Quay and looking forward to The Royal Mail. First anniversary maybe?

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