What a day it turned out to be!
Some time back Keith had said he had booked for us to have lunch at Quay, a top restaurant in Sydney on our last Friday in Australia. ‘That’s nice’ say I – and here we are. The day dawned bright and we set off to give ourselves enough time to visit the Museum of Contemporary Art before lunch.
Those regular readers will be aware that we had thoroughly enjoyed MONA in Hobart. Against this background we entered the rather awesome portals of the building, impressive from the road behind (our access) but truly magnificent as it fronts onto the harbour. We were a little disappointed to see yet another enormous liner parked along the harbour wall as our reconnaissance mission earlier in the week to find Quay had revealed that it had an amazing view of the Opera House – except when there was a liner in port, when there was a danger that all you would see was a cabin…….
Anyway, the MCA. We took the lift to the top floor where we found the cafe which was busy and had its own wonderful view of the harbour. It also had a sculpture that was in effect a very large weather vane that turned lazily in the light breeze……. we descended through the floors. It was interesting but not a MONA for us. We tried. Keith wandered the vast rooms with his MCA App looking for inspiration………..
The only one we both agreed we liked was something I think was called the Seven Sisters or something similar, although looking at it, there would seem to only be 5……..
There had been an announcement inviting people to gather at 12 noon for a musical ensemble. We passed the area just after 12. They may have ‘ensembled’ but there was certainly not much music about it. At the discordant noise, Keith’s comment was they sounded like ‘seven characters in search of a tune’ which I though summed it up nicely, but I understand it is a misquote of someone quite profound.
The very best item we saw was on the wall of the stairway.
We then left the area to go to lunch, just along the way. On arrival, although the boat (ship!?)) was right up against the windows on one side of the restaurant and was huge, we had the best table in the house……..
overlooking the harbour bridge. The view was stunning and over the period of the meal we were able to watch the bridge climbers scaling the great ironwork and descending having achieved the peak – we’ll done them!
However, there was little distraction from our meal. I am lucky enough to have eaten in some wonderful places. This rated nearly at the top of my gastronomic experience. An eating date with my husnband is never to be taken lightly and this was no exception! I list my four courses below:
Salad of slow cooked carrots, sheep milk feta, smoked almonds, sherry caramel, pepitas, agretti
Smoked pigs jowl, fermented mushroom custard, milk skin threads, young walnuts
Arkady lamb, ice plant, seaweed, black garlic, mountain spinach, Barletta onions, nasturtium
I did warn you! I have no idea what half of it was and have never heard of some of the ingredients, but it was delicious! The menu did not describe ‘amuse bouche’ – I have no idea what it was, but it looked like this. I thought baby birds might have been involved……..
You can tell Keith was enjoying himself – he had that ‘haven’t I done well’ look. Smug might be another way to describe it. You can also see how close we were to the Friday liner!
I, on the other hand, looked suitably inscrutable!
As well as a very enjoyable meal, we (or probably more likely ‘I’) was fascinated by the arrival at the table next to us of Someone Quite Important. Important to Quay anyway. Within a few minutes of him sitting down, the Head Chef Peter Gilmore arrived to introduce himself to said mystery diner (who was obviously expected). I loved it! I was also very pleased that he was given several of the dishes we had chosen. He did not order – just told them what time he had and to bring him what they wanted to showcase – not that I was listening you understand!
The meal at an end, we headed back to the bus – the day had even more to offer. Back at Colleroy Plateau the girls were literally geared up ready for the football. Keith, Tony, Mickey and Coco were off for a night of Aussie Rules football. I set off with them and then got off the bus to head to Manly with the girls. We had a great evening. First at Manly Wine an up market restaurant by the beach. It was definitely a girls night out. Justine’s friend Lesley came too – she is very nice. I could not believe I would eat another thing after my splendid lunch. but managed some giant prawns.
We then moved on to a very grown up bar for a ‘night cap’. The Steyen . In my wisdom I decided to go for a cocktail (I don’t drink cocktails). It was called the Sambucus. I had a view of Sanbucca an old favourite drink of mine…….. Forget that! It was nothing like it. I lost count of the ingredients. Lesley really enjoyed watching the young barman performing the feat of mixing the ingredients and then the dance around the shaking business. A masterpiece of understatement in a glass!
It just tasted of cucumber!
We sat outside looking down on Manly…….. finally! after a quick tune on the piano by Justine it was time to go.
We arrived home at about 9.45 and adjourned to bed. The boys and girls arrived home circa midnight! Apparently the Sydney Swans were robbed, but a good night had been had by all