Quay's three-month long renovation is nearly upon us and the closing of its doors will also mark the end of a dessert era. That's right, Sydneysiders — this month is your last chance to taste the famous Snow Egg before it's gone forever.
One of Australia's most awarded restaurants, the three-hatted venue will close its doors on Sunday, April 1, to undergo a major facelift, reopening in mid-2018 with a new state-of-the-art kitchen facility and a revamped dining room. Executive chef Peter Gilmore is again teaming up with TZG architects (who designed other Fink Group restaurants Bennelong and Otto Brisbane) and the fit-out will mimic Gilmore's approach to food — with elements of texture, nature and intensity in the design. Seating with views of the Harbour Bridge will open for the first time and the existing 100-person dining room will be reduced to a more intimate affair, with small dining spaces featured around the restaurant.
Likewise, the menu will be completely reimagined — sans Snow Egg — and only tasting menus will be available at both lunch and dinner. The service model will also change to offer a more interactive culinary experience for guests.
"After 16 years of Quay in its current form, this new incarnation will give me the opportunity to fulfil even greater aspirations for my food," says Gilmore. "This new chapter will facilitate a long-held desire to take the diner on an even more personal dining experience."
With the new menu comes teary-eyed goodbyes to some of Quay's most iconic dishes, most notably the Snow Egg. Making fan-crazed waves as the star dish in the 2010 Masterchef finale, the dessert's decade at Quay has seen over half-a-million made in more than 20 flavours. For the final version, Gilmore is offering up a custard apple and mangosteen Snow Egg, served with pear granita and custard apple ice cream.
"The Snow Egg has graced our menu for over a decade, but this is a time of change and I want to be looking forward," says Gilmore. "It was a tough decision but removing it gives me the opportunity to grow and evolve the menu to give guests a new dining experience."
As a farewell to the Quay of old, the restaurant is holding a super-pricey retrospective dinner on Wednesday, March 28. It will showcase some of Gilmore's most defining dishes over his 16-year tenure — including the original pork belly and sea scallops from 2001 and Gilmore's decadent sea pearls from 2006, along with mud crab congee and free-range chicken with truffle — and finished off with the beloved Snow Egg. The $500 per-person dinner also includes a premium wine pairing by renowned sommelier Amanda Yallop.
If you can't quite fork up this amount of cash but are still keen to nab one last taste, the Snow Egg is also available on the regular lunch and dinner menus through till April 1.
In the lead-up to its retirement, expect to see S(no)w Egg posters, like the below, pop-up around Sydney.