Sydney is known for its wow factor when it comes to having so much to offer. Anyone can enjoy the multimillion-dollar views of the Sydney Harbor Bridge and Opera House. You can embrace the fresh sea air and take a stroll along the foreshore and harbour promenade gazing out over busy Sydney Harbour, sit outside the Sydney Opera House and enjoy the view, relax with a picnic in the verdant Royal Botanic Gardens. You can further indulge at any number of top restaurants, outdoor cafes and bars all offering great food and stunning views of Sydney Harbour. Recently, I was invited to what I have to admit is one of the best restaurants I've been to in Sydney.
Q Dining located on level 2 of Pullman Quay Grand Sydney Harbour has had a recent refurbishment and it's stunning. The venue is situated at 61 Macquarie Street right down the end at Circular Quay between the glorious Royal Botanic Gardens and Sydney Harbour.
Simple marble topped table settings fill the open space. One side of the room allows natural light to stream through floor to ceiling glass wall panels and the opposite side has a comfy row of gum leaf blue banquette seats.
Q Dining, Pullman Quay Grand - image credit Guy Davies
Native flowers break up the glistening airy room with sprigs of colour in brass vases. Warm shards of subtle lighting shimmer from an array of sparking grapevine spheres hanging at different lengths high above.
Set on the 2nd floor, the Pullman Quay Grand is assessable by lift or stairs down from the Macquarie Street hotel entrance or a few steps up from the busy stream of people enjoying the outdoor cafes that line the harbourfront walkway to the Opera House. In any season or weather condition, you can languish inside in comfort. The perfect venue to enjoy a long leisurely brunch or lunch bathed in natural light or an intimate dinner against a sky illuminated by the sparkling city and Harbour lights whilst taking in the awe-inspiring harbour view.
We arrived for a long lunch which proved an ideal time for receiving extra attentive service whilst the atmosphere remained peaceful and intimate. Our table was at an ideal vantage point against the glass wall. Looking down, we could enjoy people watching and the ever-changing action of the ferries and tour boats motoring past on Sydney Harbour.
The view from our table - image credit: Seafarrwide
The a la carte menu offers dishes using locally sourced produce from the land and sea infused with the native flavours of Australia. The kitchen team have worked closely with the Aboriginal community to create unique subtle flavours using rare artisanal ingredients. Just reading the menu made our mouths water in anticipation.
Our friendly waiter Colan explained the menu and brought us some sparkling water. If you love good wine, you will be pleased to see the wine selection. A varied list of Australian varieties but also some excellent European wines.
My eyes lit up when I saw a wine from the Alsace region in France. Ever since I had a holiday in the Alsace, I had fallen in love with the French region's wine. It was an easy choice to pair with the seafood starters. Pinot Gris, 2016 Domaines Schlumberger "Les Prince Abbes" Alsace, France. The wine was glowing golden yellow with aromas of yellow fruits, dense honeyed flavours of golden apple, quince and an underlying smoky finish. I could have sipped this wine all afternoon, it was truly magnificent.
This dish had an intense prawn flavour without being too rich in chilli and butter. I sneakily ate a small piece of moreish crunchy prawn shell. I had to restrain myself from acting like a ravenous cave dweller and gobbling the complete shell. The pan seared scallops, cooked in burnt vanilla butter and wild osmanthus flower were plump and delicate. They had been cooked not a second too long, tender, with a subtle flavour of the sea.
I could smell the seared tenderloin before my first delectable morsel of juicy and incredibly tasty meat. This tenderloin was cooked medium rare and one of the best steaks I've eaten in a long while. My partner also paired this dish with a glass of Super Tuscan 2014 Villa Antinori Toscana, IGT, Tuscany, Italy.
You wouldn't think you could be excited about a side dish vegetable but the asparagus, goats curd, wild rocket and sunflower seeds was also another tantalising dish. The asparagus still had a nice crunch to it but was well cooked and flavoursome.
Feeling very spoilt and enjoying such a decadent meal, we indulged in a glass each of dessert wine. Sauternes 2011 Chateua Roumieu, Bordeaux, France. Thankfully choosing desserts proved an easier task.
If the sound of "Textures of chocolate, feral plum, strawberry, eucalyptus oil, and warm chocolate fudge" doesn't appeal to you, then you aren't my friend. The cocoa creation of anything chocolate has always seduced me with promises of bliss. This splendid visual dish was everything I imagined it would be.
Textures of Chocolate - $16 - image credit: Seafarrwide
The first mouthful of much anticipated white chocolate cream melted in my mouth, luxuriant, silky, heavenly bliss, the food of love. Alongside were chards of mixed chocolate sprinkles, voluptuous berries, dark and milk chocolate delights and a warm blob of chocolate fudge. I almost licked the plate clean.
But there was more to consume and also another visually tantalising dish. Almond milk panna cotta, green ant meringue, pumpkin caramel, ginger cake and wild fennel. This was a delightfully delicate dish that was subtle in flavours. The panna cotta texture was perfectly light and clean. There was a tiny quiver as I broke the dainty gold form, scooping up a little ginger sponge wiped in a streak of pumpkin caramel and topping it all with a tiny straw of light as air green ant meringue. I savoured the concoction in my mouth. The whole experience forced my eyes to close in grateful surrender.
Almond milk panna cotta - $16 - image credit: Seafarrwide
What a totally decadent and delightful lunch. Q Dining not only has the perfect location but offers outstanding food and excellent service. Thank you to the Sous Chef Andrea Trevisan, John on the grill and Richard on the desserts and our waiter Colan. The talented team of food wizards and service staff had created the most desirable and memorable meal. It was obvious to us, the new Q Dining is set to be a sought after dining destination in Sydney.
The Pullman Quay Grand Sydney Harbour is also the perfect hotel if you wish to stay in Sydney overnight; you couldn't find a better hotel offering an outstanding location, stylish rooms, spectacular views and premium service.