Quay restaurant in Sydney, Australia, is the type of fine dining establishment that can immaculately preserve the fine balance between location, ambiance, service and cuisine that is required. The more you learn about this restaurant that sits directly across from the Sydney Opera House, on the water, with its floor to ceiling windows, it is no wonder it has won so many awards. 

So far, the three-star restaurant has earned Three Chefs Hats for 12 consecutive years, been named Restaurant of the Year five times in “The Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide,” and Restaurant of the Year three times in the “Australian Gourmet Traveler Restaurant Guide”.  Its star chef, Peter Gilmore was named Chef of the Year, by the “The Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide 2012,” celebrating ten years with Quay.

The clean lines and neutral interior of the restaurant provides a subdued foundation for the exquisite view of the bay and the Opera House. To see the infamous Sydney Opera House lit up at night, is truly a sight to behold. Especially, when there is one of Gilmore’s dishes before you.

The wonder of this restaurant is not the warmth of the ambiance and the service provided, the true beauty lies in the fact that the view does not overshadow the food. At Quay, you are getting an entire experience, not just one or two fancy aspects.

Gilmore is well known for his passion for great food directly from the garden. An avid gardener, he has taken pride in sourcing unique and rare plants and heirloom seeds. However, the garden is not his only domain. His appreciation for the diverse culture of his country, and the creativity it inspires, also extends to the farmers and other food harvesters. For instance, he will collaborate with fishermen, divers and farmers to breed or discover animals with textures that are suited to his style of cooking and the table he wishes to provide. 

Gilmore plans his menus a season ahead, and his bespoke collaborations with his vendors create dishes such as, “a hand-caught flathead, pairing it with wild oysters, periwinkles, wakame seaweed and abalone that the fish might feed upon in its cold Southern Ocean home. Peter places great emphasis on texture in his cuisine, so a rare breed pig cheek is first slowly braised for twelve hours, and then lightly smoked, and teamed with hand-dived sea scallops, shaved Tasmanian shiitake mushrooms, and crisp Jerusalem artichoke skin to create a perfect interplay of just four ingredients.”

According to Gilmore, “What we try to do is to produce original, beautifully crafted food with a big emphasis on layers of texture and flavors to create an overall sense of balance. Food that tastes beautiful that takes you on a journey of different sensations, that makes you think about where it came from.”

The warm, knowledgeable and passionate staff at the Quay, round out the balance needed for the three-star restaurant to truly be an ultimate experience. When one finally rises from the table to depart, stomach full of a culinary masterpiece, eyes and heart in wonder over the twinkling lights, dancing on the rippling tide of the harbor, a sigh of contentment will be the perfect ending to a splendid night.

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