Marque Restaurant – Lunch – Degustation – Sydney

I’ve always wanted to go to Marque restaurant and what better option than to take off on a Friday and enjoy a phenomenal lunch.

When chefs become famous, there’s this temptation to open 20 restaurants, write books & be on tv constantly – basically to get away from the restaurant & the cooking that made you famous.

But not at Marque, as we walked in, Mark Best was behind the counter doing the kitchen service – it’s so nice to see a chef be a chef.

When I initially made the reservation, I was told there was no degustation at the Friday lunch, just the special 3 course lunch deal 😦

Fortunately, the person I was talking to was wrong. Unfortunately, the booking I made (thinking there was no degustation) was for 2 hours.

Anyway, I can’t fault the food – that’s for sure. Below is the 4 course $95 lunch degustation at Marque (they were also offering an 8 course degustation for lunch but I could only fit so much in 2 hours).

Chaud-Froid Free Range Egg (Ala Alain Passsard 1998)

This looked to be so simple yet it was so complex and full of wonderful flavours. There was the most delicately cooked egg yolk inside & surrounded by flavours of maple syrup cream. The saltiness of the toothpick thin breadsticks went phenomenally with the sweetness of the maple & the creaminess of the yolk.

*sigh* it was the first dish of the lunch and I had no idea how Mark Best would top that.

Once we’re seated, we’re (of course) asked if we wanted water. We were each given a 1L bottle of sparkling which I found out later were $10 each. For the 3 of us, we really could have just done with max 2 bottles – we didn’t finish the water & 2 of us had the wine pairing. It just seemed a cheap attempt to take some money off us.

There wasn’t a wine paired with this, so I drank my $10 water and eagerly anticipated the next part of the meal.

Of course there was the requisite fresh baked, sliced bread – but do you really want to see a photo of it? There were 2 options today – sour dough & rye – both good & warm fresh from the oven.

Almond Jelly with Blue Swimmer Crab, Almond Gazpacho, Sweet corn & Avruga

This piece of fluff didn’t look like much but this almond foam hid a succulent piece of crab & almond jelly. Truly a great dish – my fav is still the egg above though.

This was paired with 2004 Markus Molitor, Riesling Spatlese, Zeltinger Himmerlreich, Mosel, Germany. I thoroughly enjoyed the wine pairings in this meal, they were carefully selected & highly complimentary to the food served.

Roast Scampi with mustard & ham vinaigrette

Absolutely gorgeous in both taste and presentation. Another meal up there with my favs, the only downside is that the fennel flowers were a bit overpowering in their aniseed taste.

Paired with 2008, Gulfi ‘Valcanzjria’ Carricante/Chardonnay/Albanello, Sicily, Italy

Wagyu Striploin with Shallots, Leek, White Asparagus & Ox Heart

Perfectly cooked meat, could not complain about this dish. The black dust is actually leek ash – the flavour of which was so wonderful, I was sorely tempted to lick my plate.

Paired with 2007, Sutton Grange Winery ‘Giove’ Sangiovese/Cabernet Sauvignon, Bendigo, Victoria

Sauternes Custard

A palette cleanser before dessert. It was like a reverse creme caramel with bitter caramel. I actually preferred this to the dessert itself.

Chocolate Mousse ‘ecrase’, Eucalyptus & Coconut

The coconut was okay, it tasted like it was made from dessicated coconut rather than from fresh so that was a bit disappointing.
The chocolate mousse though was superb – there was a hard chocolate crust on the outside and lovely soft mousse inside that was rich and decadent. The frozen chocolate rocks also provided another depth to the dish. And the chocolate sauce was foodgasmic.

Paired with Provencal Musketeer.

*sigh*

*sigh*

I want to go back…right now!

*sigh*

Definitely one of the best meals I ever had, I need to go back at some point and do the 8 course degustation – must save up my pennies.

A comment on the service though, besides the water gouging issue. Yes, I know I only had a reservation until a certain time, however, as that time neared, the waiter informed us, due to a last minute cancellation, we didn’t need to rush out & we could take our time.

This was great, we savoured our desserts and were informed our petite fours would come. The same waiter came around again & then basically gave us the bill and kicked us out sans petite fours. Why tell us we could take out time & not long after give us the bum toss? I’d rather have been in the original mindset of a time limit AND I didn’t get my petite fours. 😦

The lowdown:

The good – Mark Best was in da house! All the food, the starter was an absolute winner but the rest of the meals were close to that level of deliciousness as well

The mediocre – If I had to nitpick, it would be the coconut part of the dessert & the service (water gouging & throwing us out).

The bad – absolutely nothing

Details:

Marque Restaurant

4/5 355 Crown St Surry Hills NSW 2010

Phone: (02) 9332-2225 (bookings essential)

http://www.marquerestaurant.com.au/

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3 Responses to “Marque Restaurant – Lunch – Degustation – Sydney”

  1. Marque restaraunt was an absolute let down. I had the 8 course degustation menu and i only finished one course! They spend too much time trying to make food trendy by blanching ocean trout in campari so it looks like salmon, (and tastes like crap), or not cooking pidgeon and serving it blue. The waiters look down their noses at you, then at 3:30 in the afternoon on a Friday they were ironing the table cloth of the table next to us! By 4:30 we were being asked to leave so they couold set up for dinner at 7, by 4:45 they were standing next to our table holding our coates tapping their feet. This is without question the worst fine dining experience i’ve ever had.

  2. I think its one of the best restaurant in Sydney, food was great and the atmosphere was great too.

  3. Great post thanks for sharing =D

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