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“Never disappoints” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Quay Restaurant

Quay Restaurant
Upper Level, Overseas Passenger Terminal, Circular Quay West, The Rocks, Sydney, New South Wales 2000, Australia (City Centre)
61 2 9251 5600
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Ranked #63 of 5,322 Restaurants in Sydney
Price range: $25 - $100
Cuisines: Australian, Contemporary, Eclectic, Fusion
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romance, Special occasions, Entertaining clients
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Delivery, Late Night
Neighborhood: City Centre
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Top Contributor
80 reviews 80 reviews
36 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
“Never disappoints”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

We LOVE this restaurant. We visit each time we're in Sydney no matter whether it's business or pleasure.

As others have said - the location is second to none, perched in the edge of the Harbour with the Bridge in the background.

We love Quay so much, we even came here on the day that the Queen Mary II (ocean liner) was docked outside the restaurant. The staff at the restaurant are so open and helpful, they even told us that the ship would obscure our views if we chose to dine there for lunch on the day we visited. Not to be deterred, we went, and spent a lot of time marvelling at the food and almost none on the obscured view!

Full points to them for being so honest.

The degustation was par excellence as usual, and the snow egg dessert the perfect finish.

The wait staff/somelier could expertly answer all our food and wine-matching queries, although they were a little rusty on their knowledge of the QMII (which was solved by a little quick Googling on our iPhones!).

If you haven't been to Quay? You're missing out on a true Sydney institution. Worth the money.

  • Visited March 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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876 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • French first
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  • Any
English first
Melbourne, Australia
Top Contributor
62 reviews 62 reviews
35 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

Thankyou Quay for setting a new standard in fine dinning. Staff, the location, the food, the wine i couldnt recommened this place more highly. You do need to book 4-6 months in advance. For the first time the chef selection and wine matching represented great value with wines matched perfectly. The pourings per glass were great as well unlike some other places ive been to of late. I think we had the best table in the restaurant wich was amazing. If you can afford to eat a quay please try it you wont be dissapointed. Cost per head is from 300+ per head with moderate wines. If you can push to 400+ then you a have huge choice of wines fomr the new and old world.

  • Visited February 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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King's Lynn, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
275 reviews 275 reviews
187 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 113 cities Reviews in 113 cities
213 helpful votes 213 helpful votes
“Fabulous food and a breathtaking setting”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 13, 2013

Dressed casually for our long-awaited meal at Australia's top restaurant, we had a few apprehensive minutes as we followed 2 couples from our hotel to the same venue who were dressed in tuxedos and ball gowns. Fortunately, it turned out that there was a works outing at one end of the restaurant (lucky, lucky people to have to come here on business) and everyone else was, like us, dressing down.

A slow start from the sommelier was the only hint of anything less than perfection throughout an evening of fantastic, creative cooking. Even the hideous cruise liner which had dominated the view from our hotel room miraculously moved off from the quayside as we perused our menus.* From our table we could then view in one direction the Sydney Opera House and in the other the Sydney Harbour Bridge. As darkness descended and the lights came on the setting was magical - probably the most beautiful location anywhere in the world for a city restaurant.

There are 2 ways to go at Quay, 4 courses from the a la carte menu or 8 in the tasting menu and both of them are unbelievably expensive. Since 2 of the 8 featured beetroot and squid, which are not to my wife's taste, we opted on this occasion for the a la carte. Taking a deep breath we also entrusted wine selections by the glass to the sommelier who finally arrived at our table just as the first courses were served; we were not disappointed by anything he suggested, a Tapanappa Pinot Noir and a Thick as Thieves Nebbiolo proving especially memorable. A glass of Bollinger champagne was the ideal accompaniment for an amuse bouche of creamy goat cheese, capers, tomato and dried fennel in a shot glass; its subtle flavour confirmed that we could expect some wonderful food.

Until the dessert stage I made the better choices, starting with a congee of Northern Australian mud crab with fresh palm heart and egg yolk emulsion, while my wife chose the native freshwater marron having discovered that this was the local name for a crayfish rather than a very expensive water chestnut. Her dish looked the prettier, 3 delicate pieces of tail meat dressed with rose hip, radish, creme fraiche, woodland sorrel and pomegranate seeds but mine had a depth of flavour that said loudly and clearly there was real talent at work in the kitchen.

We both chose the quail breast for our second course which was a riot of contrasting textures and tastes. There was hazelnut in evidence, quinoa, faro and many more things besides, served alongside a steamed truffle brioche with egg yolk confit and Vin Jaune cream. Our final savoury course saw my wife opt for a really delicate Suffolk lamb loin dish, embellished with eggplant skin and olive puree, sheep's milk creme fraiche, fresh and preserved flowers, while I was treated to what I think is the finest pork dish I've ever eaten. Described as Berkshire pig jowl, it was a small square of porcine perfection, with a maltose crackling which was both crisped to perfection and yet cut as soft as butter. Accompanied by prunes and cauliflower puree and perfumed with prune kernel oil it was, like the two preceding courses, 'lick the plate clean' food.

At the dessert stage we had pre-selected the two celebrated dishes I'd read about on various Australian food blogs, the cherry and coconut snow egg and Quay's 8 texture chocolate cake, and agreed to argue later about who would get which. Only when the wine pairings were revealed did my wife choose the former (accompanied by a glass of a frizzante rose Bugey Cerdon) while I got the latter with a glass of S'Naranja, Pedro Ximenez infused with orange. To be honest, while I loved the chocolate dish it didn't stand out in the way my 3 previous courses had: the 8th 'texture' was, very theatrically, poured over in the form of a liquid which drilled a neat hole in the centre of the dish but I would have been hard-pressed to identify more than a couple of others. The snow egg by comparison was both a work of art and delicious eating.

The evening flew by, service was exemplary and unnecessary apologies were offered for some problems with the lighting. This was one of the finest meals we've eaten anywhere and we would book again without hesitation on any future trips to Sydney, having first consulted the shipping timetables of course.

* Actually not a coincidence. Booking several months earlier from the UK, we were grateful for the advice of Elise, on reservations, that this would be the only night of the week free from these eyesores. During the summer months you need to know that this problem exists and is out of the restaurant's control. Given their name and the fantastic location when there are no boats around, it would be hard to relocate from the quayside but it is seriously off-putting and clearly bad for business.

  • Visited February 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Gosford, Australia
1 review
“Never Again”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2013

The service was absolutely disgusting. We felt rushed and ignored. The meals were thrown onto our table by waiters on their way to somewhere else, our entree arrived with our starter. Desserts took a while and coffee didn't arrive until fifteen minutes after we finished the dessert. The main waiter for our section was abnoxious and pre occupied. He was rude and disorganised. At the end of the evening he started making racist comments and engaged in an offensive racially motived discussion with tables around us. The main disappointment was, the food was great - how unfortunate the wait staff let down the entire experience. Will not go back. How they received the 2013 restaurant of the year award, I will never know!

  • Visited March 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney Australia
19 reviews 19 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Amazing food, wines & service”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 8, 2013

We went to Quay for a 40th birthday dinner. We had to book 6 months in advance and could still only get a Friday night. Testament to the restaurant's popularity. It's reputation for fine dining is well deserved. We all had the degustation with matching wines, all of which were simply outstanding. The snow egg finale lived up to it's well deserved reputation. The premium wines were all well matched to the food courses. The wait staff were friendly, attentive without being too "in your face". The addition of a cruise ship leaving and another arriving added something to the night. All in all, just a fabulous experience but be warned: a dinner for 4 people can run to a significant sum, in keeping with all top class restaurants.

  • Visited March 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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