Georgia's grandparents flew up from Melbourne for a couple of days so we thought, fine, you can baby sit while we go out. So we did. To one of Australia's best restaurants - Marque. It has been a while since we've been here, 2009 I think, and it has been 7 months since just the two of us have been out for a meal. There was no way we weren't going to go he whole hog and not have the full degustation menu. Michelle took it easy on the wines but, hey, I'm not breast feeding so I went for the full complement of matching wines too.
Marque, according to Australian Gourmet Traveller, is the number one restaurant in Australia. It is indeed mighty fine. As fine as the delicate and totally scrummy dishes chef Mark Best dishes up. Starting with..
Bonito with Foie Gras & Potato
Almond Jelly with Blue Swimmer Crab, Almond Gazpacho, Sweet Corn & Avruga
2009 Niepoort 'Tiara' Codega/Rabigato/Donzelino, Douro, Portugal
Warm Oyster with Braised Abalone, Citrus Salad & Cocoa
2008 D. de Belliviere, Chenin Blanc, Jasnieres, Loire Valley, France
Poached Calamari with Lardo & Black Radish
Toro Albala, 'Olorosso Viejo' Pedro Ximenez, Montilla-Moriles, Spain
Duck Egg with Globe Artichoke, Mint & Radicchio
2010 Farr Rising 'Saignee' Pinot Noir, Geelong, Vic
Luscious isn't it.
Pigeon with Mullet Roe, Sauteed Lettuce, Cucumber & Dill
2009 Beatrice & Pascal Lambert 'Tradition Graves' Cabernet Franc, Chinon, France
Grain Fed Wagyu Sirloin with Onion, Black Tea & Stem Salad
2008 A.A. E. Piro & Figli, Barbara d'Alba Superiore, Piemont, Italy
We arrived for the final sitting so by the time we finished we were the last ones in the restaurant. It's kind of nice having a restaurant to yourself.
Pre dessert cocktail that for the life of me I can't remember what was in it.
Sauternes Custard served in an egg. One of Mark Best's signature dishes is an amuse bouche, Chaud-Froid Free Range Egg (Alain Passard 1998) - Egg, cream, sherry, maple syrup & grissini for dipping, but when it didn't appear this time I was slightly disappointed. But this custard egg almost made up for it.
Roast Pineapple with Szechuan Pepper & Manjimup Black Truffle
Salted Caramel Chocolate, Lemon Drops & Bitter Bon Bons
According to Marque due to environmental concerns Marque no longer use bottled mineral water. They've installed a chilled, filtered, carbonated water system and, as far as water can be, it was delicious. A very light carbonation like the best Italian or French mineral waters. Five bucks a person is a small price to pay for this exquisite water.
Marque Restaurant is at 4/5 355 Crown Street Surry Hills and has been awarded 3 Hats by the Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide.