Birthday for me means sharing of good food with close family and friends and this year is no different. There are a couple of restaurants on my bucket list but Quarter 21 shouts out the most for a couple of reasons: it’s part of my favourite restaurateur Justin North’s empire, it’s convenient (located inside Westfield Sydney) and it’s perfect for groups. The booking process is simple via email and I received confirmation straight away.
The evening commenced with cheerful waiting staffs serving us drinks. Then they served us some wonderfully warm breads that are crunchy on the outside yet fluffy inside. The bread is freshly baked from Becasse Bakery right next door, and after we made our orders, all the girls at our table ran out to buy some of their yummy bread for breakfast tomorrow. The waiter tempted us with second round of breads but I had to save room for entrée, main, and of course desserts!
For entrée I ordered scallops that are well seasoned and seared perfectly. For main I had the dry-aged beef, which is hanged at the entrance of the dining room. At the entrance you can make a few choices, turn left for the restaurant dining room and right for a gourmet food retail store. Inside the store there is also a workshop kitchen for cooking classes. This means you can cook, eat and buy food all at Q21 – brilliant isn’t it?
Back to the beef that has been cooked in two ways - the braised beef are melt-in-your-mouth tender. The serving portions are generous here but somehow I still managed to find room for desserts. The passionfruit & vanilla bombe has the ideal balance between sour and sweet, comfort and not too guilty :P
I had an extremely enjoyable evening thanks to my dear friends and the team at Q21. The service at Q21 is fluent and the food is packed with flavour. As I am writing this post I came across some gloomy news: http://www.afr.com/p/national/north_becasse_calls_in_administrator_I0OWV6C1SASNVnrDcS5PVO
I hope Justin will find a way to continue running his magnificent empire (especially my favourite restaurant Becasse and Etch). All the best Justin!!
I also encourage all my friends and readers to go out and dine mid-week. A few benefits of mid-week dining are: it gives you something to look forward to during the week and makes weekdays go faster, restaurants are less busy during weeknights so you are likely to get better service and some restaurants even offer mid-week dining specials. Enough of me talking, here comes the good food - enjoy :)
L Loves... Complementary warm crusty bread
Sydney rock oyster
Lightly cured ocean trout, crab, cauliflower, radish & buckwheat
Salad of heirloom carrots, Hindmarsh goats’ curd, hazelnut & cocoa
L Loves... Seared scallops, boudin noir & crisp pig’s tail,
charred leek & Jerusalem artichoke
Red wine poached hapuka, sea urchin butter, beetroot & watercress
Blanquette of skate, yabby & veal sweetbread,
spring onion, navet & noilly prat
White polenta, organic egg, wild mushroom persillade & cavolo nero
Roast & braise of Riverina lamb, sheeps’ milk yoghurt,
almond, broadbeans, artichoke & cardamom
L Loves... Dry-aged local grass fed beef, bone marrow, parsley, mushroom, glazed onion & red wine
L Loves... Passionfruit & vanilla bombe, yoghurt, candied macadamia, rhubarb sorbet
|L Loves... Passionfruit & vanilla bombe, yoghurt, |
candied macadamia, rhubarb sorbet
|Soufflé du jour|
Quince soufflé with ginger beer ice cream
|Single Origin tea served with petit fours|
· Taste: 8/10
· Ambience: 4/5
· Value: 4/5
· Service: 4/5
· Creativity and other WOW factors: 2/5
Overall rating: 22/30
Sydney NSW 2000
Visited May 2012
Friendly advice: Q21 is normally packed during weekends so go there on a weeknight. For groups of 10 or over, Q21 offers a well thought-out group dining menu at a reasonable price of $75 (+ 10% service charge) for 3 courses.