Bras at Quay

Bras at Quay

It’s Monday evening and I am on my way towards Circular Quay to join Y, M and Mitch for a World Chef Showcase dinner with Sebastiean Bras at Quay restaurant. On a day where most of are cursing the start of yet another work week, it is the unofficial day off for the lovely people in the hospitality industry. This partly explains the rather festive atmosphere floating in the air the moment I stepped through the door and noted the presence of food critics and chefs alike, but regardless of who you are that night, you were there to worship at the altar of gastronomy.

Bras at Quay

The event was part of SIFF’s World Chef Showcase. A first of its kind in Sydney’s gastronomy calendar, it partners some of Sydney’s best restaurants with world class chefs from around the world for an unforgettable dining experience. Priced at around $300 per head, it wasn’t the cheapest of dining experiences, but when considering the fact that you are able to eat at one of the top ten restaurants in the world without leaving the city it was an amazing deal.

My dining experience can be best summarised by Uhh:

Sebastian Bras at Quay
Bras, the restaurant he and his father Michel run in the centre of France is considered that country’s finest and one of the top 10 in the world. There they gather amongst other things local vegetables, herbs and flowers and combine them to dizzying effect. Sydney’s Quay is arguably Australia’s finest restaurant and it too has gained a worldwide reputation based on chef Peter Gilmore’s understanding of the natural. Those lucky enough to afford it will be treated to a six-course menu by these two like minded souls.

Bras at Quay

We started with a fresh apertiser consisting of vongole, burghul and goats curd. This simple, but beautifully balanced dish was a perfect introduction to the rest of the evening.

Bras at Quay

Next was the signature Gargouillou of young vegetables, with grains, herbs and grilled almond eggnog. Also known as the most beautiful combination of vegetables and petals on a plate, I’m sad that this photo did not it any justice aside from capturing the endearingly tiny baby radish. Each vegetable was braised individually to bring out its flavour, and it was unbelievable how much flavour each piece of piece packed in every bite.

Bras at Quay

Next was a feast of colours with juicy sauteed scallops on sugar -loaf cabbage, white apple and garden cress, apple juice and almond prune oil.

Bras at Quay

Next was the rather surprising orange dusted king prawns wit a vegetable broth and touch of coriander. I could barely remember the coriander from this dish, but I still remember the sweet orange dust on the side of the plate like edible fairy dust that burst in my mouth.

Bras at Quay

I should mention that although wines were not included as part of the meal, matching wines were thoughtfully recommended within the menu. I decided to have a glass of the 2007 Ramon Bilbao, Viura, Rioja, Spain with the next dish. Aptly named Earthly Flavour it consisted of green asparagus crusted with black truffles, toasted barley and ham. It reminded me of a mini haggis in appearance, but the flavour was smoky, green and very earthy. A complete turning point to the previous light and delicate flavours.

Bras at Quay

Next was the roast rack of lamb on the bone: chopped aromatic herbs, Mexican tarragon with salted lemon and slightly spiced sauce. It was beautifully done, but not the most memorable part of the meal. I wonder now if I had ordered the wine, it would have made the pairing more interesting.

Bras at Quay

There was a noticeable lag as we waited for the longest time for our cheese. During this time both Sebastien Bras and Peter Gilmore wandered around to say hello to all the diners. Too star struck to say anything I just watched them walk closer and closer to us.

Bras at Quay

Dessert could not come soon enough with the first being meringues shaped into the sails of the Opera House garnished with a palette of local fruit, rose petal and gentian. It was unexpected and eventhough shaping food in the form of the Opera House is sometimes trite, it seemed fitting this time around. I am not a big fan of meringue as a rule, but found this version not too sweet and matched brilliantly with the fruits and sugar coated rose petals.

Bras at QuayLast, but not least was the potato gaufrette nut brown butter cream and salted butter caramel. We grabbed a piece and munched on this crispy, sweet dessert with a satisfied crunch.

Bras at QuayThe time was close to midnight when we finished, I was full, but happy and could not think of a better way to start a week…

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11 Comments on “Bras at Quay”

  1. October 18, 2009 at 11:29 am #

    Happy Birthday! 🙂 Hooray for finally publishing photos. That potato caramel thing still gets me every time I see it. YUM.

    • October 18, 2009 at 12:47 pm #

      Thank you! I have more photos to blog and post about, it’s a vicious cycle I tell you!

  2. October 18, 2009 at 11:40 am #

    that dinner looks magnificent! I too would have been too starstruck to say anything!

    • October 18, 2009 at 12:48 pm #

      Thanks and as usual photos didn’t do it justice 🙂

  3. October 22, 2009 at 5:10 pm #

    Your photos are amazing!

  4. October 30, 2009 at 11:24 pm #

    Is it just me to think food being plated up as the opera house is rather tacky? like rice being shaped into pyramid in egypt, or paris will have bread of the eiffel towel?

    • November 5, 2009 at 11:42 pm #

      Normally I would, but it seemed fitting and rather surprising that night.

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