Marque, Surry Hills

on May 30, 2015 in Modern Australian

Marque, Surry Hills

Marque restaurant headed up by Mark Best is one of the most well established fine dining restaurants in Sydney, the restaurant is considered one of the best in Australia and has previously been awarded three chefs hats (currently at two). Earlier this month Marque celebrated it’s 16th birthday and a special menu was served consisting of some of the restaurants classic dishes throughout the years – I had the pleasure of being invited to check out the menu at a dinner which lasted an amazing 5 hours.

Coffin Bay Oyster with Grilled Sea Foam

As I’m sure most of you regular readers are aware I’m not a big fan of oyster (ah yes, the blasphemy), not much to comment here but it looked like the others on the table enjoyed it much more than myself 🙂

Wine: 2008 Courabyra 805 Sparkling – Tumbarumba, New South Wales

I won’t be speaking about the wine pairings as I’m not quite well versed in the area, although I have to say that the Semillon (up next) was definitely my favourite wine served that evening.

Tomato & Parmesan Marshmellow, Beetroot Macaron, Potato Maxim w/ Olive Truffle & Foie Gras

The entree dishes were all quite nice. The potato maxims were a nice salty start, followed by the tomato and parmesan marshmellows which were very light and soft. The beetroot macarons had a nice subdued taste.

Chaud-Froid Free Range Egg & Grissini

As a lover of egg dishes in any form I have to say the chaud-froid egg was a tasty and creamy dish, definitely one of my favourites. It’s quite minimalistic but I liked the very nice and clean presentation.

Fraser Island Spanner Crab with Almond Jelly, Almond Gazpacho & Avruga

Wine: 1999 Mount Pleasant ‘Lovedale’ Semillon – Hunter Valley, New South Wales

The spanner crab which was the first of the larger dishes was also one of the more interesting ones served this evening, I thought it was quite different as almond and crab is not something you see everyday. Generous amounts of crab meat made for an enjoyable and fulfilling dish.

Eel with Parmesan Gnocchi & Pumpkin

I’m not a regular eel person but I was pleasantly surprised with the dish, the eel here is very thinly sliced, served with a strong yet fragile parmesan gnocchi and covered in the pumpkin scented sauce.

Marron with Vadouvan & Lemon Curd

Wine: 2012 Quealy Friulano ‘Amphorae’ – Mornington Peninsula, Victoria

The marron was actually one of my favourite dishes, I’ve always enjoyed crayfish because of the taste and texture so this was a given right from the start. The vegetables and lemon curd were a good match and I liked that it didn’t overpower the taste of the seafood.

Calamari Risotto

Another of my favourite dishes would have to be this deceptively simple looking and sounding calamari risotto. I was actually surprised to find out that the top is made of prawn and the risotto itself is diced up calamari which basically melts in your mouth with each spoonful.

Darling Downs Wagyu with Sauerkraut & Gherkin

Wine: 1999 Cullen Cabernet Sauvignon Melot – Margaret River, Western Australia

I’m not sure I could ever find a fault in rare wagyu beef, especially when served with my favourite sauerkraut and gherkin. The dish itself is quite simple but the quality beef shines through here.

Autumn Leaves

The autumn leaves which were served with the wagyu were quite nice in general. The radicchio was an exception which I found too overpowering and I saw most of the other diners had skipped on it also.

Bar Cod with Fish Milk & Scales

Wine: 2013 Domenica Chardonnay – Beechworth, Victoria

The fish in this dish was very tender and I loved the creamy sauce which it’s served with. The ‘scales’ on the other hand were a bit dividing, they were very chewy and had a very strong fish scent which threw me off.

Rabbit with Cashew & Wakame

Wine: 1999 Torbreck ‘The Steading’ Grenache et al – Barossa Valley, South Australia

It’d been a very long time since I’d had rabbit and I forgot how much it actually quite literally tastes and feels like chicken, I very much enjoyed the dish which is well cooked and presented. Luckily for me I had an extra portion because the girls next to me considered rabbits too cute to eat 😉

Kipfler Potato, Sea Urchin & Bone Marrow

I actually found it a little bit difficult to differentiate the sea urchin and the marrow in the dish but I assume it’s all mixed together to create a nice creamy sauce for the potatos, a great side for the rabbit.

Holy Goat ‘La Luna’ with Pineapple & Onion

Wine: 2012 Sinapius Riesling – Pipers Brook, Northern Tasmania

I absolutely love goat cheese so I was pleasantly surprised to see a whole serving of it on the menu. The sweetness of the pineapple and caramelised onion was a great counterbalance to the cheese.

Honeycomb & Cultured Cream

Wine: 2012 Laughing Jack ‘Cane Cut’ Semillon – Barossa Valley, South Australia

A very simple but amazing dish, the cultured cream which I believe is similar to the one used at Pei Modern is very light and smooth which goes well with the very sweet honeycomb.

Caramelised Tomato Stuffed with Twelve Flavours & Star Anise Ice Cream

Wine: Seppeltsfield ‘DP57’ Grand Tokay – Rutherglen, Victoria

I’m still unsure as to what is inside the tomato however it’s served warm and is quite ‘meaty’ for a dessert, but still good. The star anise ice cream on the other hand was superb, star anise is a spice I’m very familiar with growing up in an Asian family but having it in ice cream was a (delicious) eye opener.

Parsnip Cornetto

I was actually very pleasantly surprised by this dessert, the cone itself is literally a deep fried parsnip hollowed out and filled with ice cream. Delicious and one of the more innovative dishes.

Sauternes Custard, Campari Bonbon, Salted Caramel Chocolate

The little campari bon bons were one serious hit, it’s lot stronger than I expected but I loved the kick. The chocolate and custard were also great finishers, both similar in that they were smooth and very sweet.

Since we were situated in the private dining room the lighting was difficult to work with so apologies for the photo quality! As expected the interiors of the restaurant are beautiful and the service is impeccable.

Overall I definitely enjoyed the meal, a few of the dishes at the beginning weren’t quite to my likely but the vast majority were amazing and I can now see why some people have told me they rate Marque as one of the best dining experiences they’ve had in Sydney.

The Food Diary dined as guests of Mark Best & Marque Restaurant.
All views and opinions expressed in this post are our own.

Marque on Urbanspoon


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