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Quintessential SYD Restaurants for Entertaining with Great Food & Fantastic Views?

We took your advice and went to Quay on Saturday evening (the day after Australia Day). The food quality did not disappoint. The flavours and textures were wonderful, and the combinations were outstanding. Especially enjoyed the Duck, which was crispy and had subtle hints of ginger...wonderful.

One BIG criticism of Quay in particular, and Sydney restaurants in general: nowwhere in the world have we encountered less value for the money in fine dining restaurants as we have in Sydney.. The portion sizes at virtually all upscale Sydney restaurants (at least by North American standards) are shamefully small. At Quay, the line that was actually used with a straight face: "We carefully design our menu item sizes so that it will be possible for our guests to enjoy 3 or 4 of our wonderful items". Are you kidding...give us a break. At $40+ main course prices, $20+ for salads and the tiniest $22 chocolate cake in the universe, they could at least come up with a better line than that! Add to that, an average NZ Sauvigion Blanc (it costs $11 at a wine store in the US; $21 at a local Sydney Wine Shop and $68 at Quay) and you wonder why people often describe Sydney as the city with the least value for the dining out dollar anywhere...often topping London, which is hard to do.
While the service was pleasant, it was not up to the level of prices charged at Quay...maybe if tipping were encouraged rather than the exception to the rule, it seems (and mediocre waiters weren't paid $15/hr to go through the motions), diners would feel better about forking out $150 per person, and would not feel ripped-off DESPITE good quality food. Overall, Quay's food quality did not disappoint...nor did the view, which is excellent. Despite all of that, however, it's still disappointing to leave having felt like one's pockets were picked. I won't say I wouldn't recommend it for the food quality and view. As for the value? Very bottom of the list. A shame.

Jan 30, 2007
kvez in Australia/New Zealand

Melbourne Restaurant Suggestions during the Australian Open?

Thanks to all for your help. We wound up going to Scusa Mi. Overall, the restaurant was better than average, although certainly not among the top restaurants we've been to, and disappointing value for the price. We had a risotto and Oso Bucco. Both were fine, but nothing special. Value, however, was another story. They came with nothing in the way of vegetables; those were all ala carte. The Oso Bucco was fine, and a decent portion. It was >$40; too expensive for what we got. The Risotto (Spinach & Mushroom) was over $30...way too much for what we got. Bread was ordinary, and wines were marked up 4X...outrageous. The service was relaxed and casual, probably too relaxed for what we paid. The tab (above entrees, 2 standard salads a bottle or mineral water and a $59 bottle of very ordinary Australian Sauvignon Blanc) was a very UNreasonable $167. Food was good, not great, and for those prices, it should have been better. Tutte Bene (next store) would have been a better bet.

Jan 25, 2007
kvez in Australia/New Zealand

Quintessential SYD Restaurants for Entertaining with Great Food & Fantastic Views?

Thank you very, very much. This is a terrific reply...we'll take your suggestions and book several of them while we're there.

Mark

Jan 21, 2007
kvez in Australia/New Zealand

Quintessential SYD Restaurants for Entertaining with Great Food & Fantastic Views?

Hello:

We are going to be in Sydney for only 3 days from 26-29 January 07(we're from Toronto, and in the restaurant business there) and we need to entertain one business couple each night we are there. We don't need the trendiest spots (*although that would be fine as well), but we need to have KILLER views and great food...doesn't need to be the most innovative, just very good. None of the couples we are entertaining have ever been to Sydney before. We have been given some "old standbys" by frequent visitors to SYD: Cafe Sydney, Harbour Kitchen in Bar (in the Hyatt)as well as Otto in Wooloomooloo. Overall, we are looking for a great Sydney experience that will be memorable. $$ not a real concern.
Anybody have some other (or better) suggestions?
Don't need any Asian food unless it's sensational as we are going to Bangkok & Singapore for a few weeks upon departure.

Many thanks!

Jan 16, 2007
kvez in Australia/New Zealand