Tuesday, October 16, 2012

My Trip to Sydney, Australia (Day 8): Peter Doyle at the Quay

After we arrived at Sydney, we walked around a bit to explore the immediate area of our hotel. We were located pretty close to the Circular Quay/The Rocks without having to pay premium prices. As we walked around, we looked at some possible places to have dinner. When we looked at the menu for Peter Doyle at The Quay, we were immediately hooked. We tried our luck with a last minute reservation and succeeded.

This seafood oriented restaurant boasted classic views of the Sydney Opera House, you know, if you're into that. After looking over the menu, we decided to go balls out and order without being hindered with the price. We had saved so much money on food in Cairns that we could splurge a little more now.
Mr. M&P started with the sashimi platter ($23) which included 2 pieces each of: scallop, tuna, salmon, and kingfish. Everything was absolutely fresh and delicious. Was it one of the best sushi we've had? No. But, it was good. No regrets here.
For his entree, he had the whole grilled snapper ($48). This fish was huge. It easily could have fed 2 people or even three if each person got an appetizer. Due to its size, we were worried that it would be overcooked. Fortunately, our skepticism was proven wrong. It was cooked perfectly. Tender, juicy meat that flaked off easily. Well seasoned and the chili sauce wasn't overpowering. It complemented the sweet meat perfectly. The waiter suggested digging into the cheeks for the best cut and he was right. So tender and full of flavor. That little nugget was gold.
I didn't get an appetizer because I wanted the hot seafood platter for 1 ($70). I do not know how they would assume this was for 1 person because the platter was ridiculously big. The plate was probably 18 inches long. This could easily have fed 2-4 people. But I plowed in and did my best. On this plate, I enjoyed: 1/2 lobster with mornay sauce, grilled scallops, oysters mornay, bbq prawns, bbq baby octopus, grilled fish, salt and pepper calamari, and a stuffed jumbo prawn. Phew! I think that is everything.
Starting with the lobster, the meat was tender and juicy but the mornay sauce was really strong and overpowered the subtle sweetness of the crustacean. The scallops fared better which were lightly seasoned and served with capers. The tender, sweetness of the scallops weren't lost but in fact accentuated. The oysters mornay was really good. The briny, salty oyster balanced out the thick, creamy sauce. The bbq prawns were unfortunately overcooked and became tough. The bbq baby octopus (in the middle bowl) was excellent. The Asian flavors really complimented it well. And they weren't rubbery at all. I was full but couldn't stop picking at it. The grilled fish with mango salsa was pretty meaty and paired well with the fruit. It helped lighten up the platter. It was also cooked well meaning it wasn't dry but tender and juicy. The fried salt and pepper calamari was just okay. The batter could have been lighter. The jumbo prawn with bacon, spinach, and macadamia nut filling was amazing. Those flavors just worked well with each other and I wish I had more of them. Unfortunately, I didn't finish the meal. I left about 1/2 of the octopus and a few of the fried calamari. I wish I could finish it all but I can't eat too much fried seafood. If this were the cold platter which I had initially wanted to order but the waiter convinced me that the hot was better, then I probably would have finished it.

Oh, did I mention that the platter also came with a side salad of fresh tomatoes, feta, and basil dressed with balsamic and oil. This was a needed accompaniment as it kept things fresh and light. It's the only way I could have eaten so much at all.
And a side of chips too. These were well salted, super crispy, and hot. I hardly touched these as they were just filler. But they were beautifully executed.
I really enjoyed my meal at Peter Doyle at the Quay. The servings were absurd though and we could have just split one of the entrees. But we were here to splurge and splurge we did. A walk around the water was needed after this meal. Oof!

Peter Doyle at the Quay
Overseas Terminal
The Rocks, Circular Quay
Sydney NSW 2000
(02) 9252 3400

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