It seems that eateries named after birds are having a moment in the sun. Between Sparrow and Finch, Bird's Nest, Black Bird, Birdcage and the soon-to-open Flying Cock, feathers are in fashion and beaks are the new black.
In light of this, it's really no surprise that brand-new fine dining restaurant The Foraging Quail is pretty fine indeed. Owner and chef Minh Le (formerly of another bird-loving restaurant, Deer Duck Bistro) has realised his dream of opening his own venue and the resulting restaurant is spectacular.
In the interests of sustainability, the menus are seasonal and based around local produce. Foraging Quail is a degustation restaurant with options including a three-course express menu for $45 per person (available between 5.30pm and 6.30pm Fridays and Saturdays), a five-course menu ($65 per person) or the spectacular eight-course Chef's Menu ($95 per person or $140 with matched wines). A few dishes you may encounter include confit trout with clams, mussels, bonito malt and seaweed (with amazing flavours and textures evoking the ocean meeting the shore); melt-in-the-mouth slow braised beef brisket with pommes mash, vine-ripened tomatoes and eucalyptus jus; and bone marrow with salsa verde, mushroom duxelles, pork chips and jamon.
Vegetarians, don't despair; you won't find yourself looking at yet another mushroom risotto here. The vegetarian degustation features dishes such as the Jerusalem artichoke panna cotta with roquette veloute, black garlic and pecans, and the faro with butternut pumpkin, borlotti beans and cheese foam. Other dietary requirements are also catered for upon request.
What better way to end a meal than with a chocolate forest, complete with marshmellow-meringue trees? The seven textures of chocolate include ice cream, truffle, ganache, aerated, soil, jelly and the to-die-for dehydrated chocolate.
The restaurant's interior is as elegant as its menu. Gold barstools complement the polished marble bar and lightbulbs in birdcages cast an atmospheric glow over the large group dining table in the centre of the room. Smaller, candlelit tables line the outside walls, making this the perfect date night destination.