Petit Fours: a Sydney food blog


Petit Fours: a Sydney food blog


Petit Fours: a Sydney food blog

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Quarter Twenty One (closed), CBD

It's long been since that when I first tried the famous Wagyu Burger and Peanut Brittle Banana Tart at Plan B that I had to one day eat at one of Justin North's actual restaurants. Relocation and price made that a bit difficult but Quarter 21 is a step towards the more affordable side especially after it joined Full Society as one of the restaurants you can get discounts at. My little secret. But first I want to ramble on about Avengers so skip to the 3rd paragraph if you're only after food.

If someone could tell me where I could find a poster of this around Sydney, I'd be incredibly grateful. 
I went to re-watch this before my late lunch at Quarter 21 and it is brilliant. INCREDIBLY MIND BLOWING. I'm surprised I was able to tutor maths the very next day seeing as my brain imploded and exploded on itself simultaneously. One would assume that since they are inverse actions that my brain stayed in its normal state but no. Due to the sheer awesomeness, my brain is currently scattered all over George St cinema. Love Australia and how they get to see this movie a week after we do. 

MOVING ON, 90 for 7 courses is a decent deal so we were definitely going for the degustation.

Amuse Bouche
Amuse Bouche began with a bonito tartare with cucumber and avocado. Bonito has that hit of umami oiliness that's quite delicious paired with the creaminess of the mixture. Interestingly, I was much more won over by the olive oil with its bold flavour. Overall though, it lack that necessary 'kick' that really makes an Amuse Bouche excite. Perhaps a little extra acidity or something else wouldn't go amiss.

Sourdough with French Butter and Caraway Salt
It doesn't hurt that your bread is freshly baked at the Becasse bakery next door. As the waiter said, fresh bread is one that has crumbs all over the table and I made a mess of it. The French butter is just like Mcdonald's pancake butter except more aerated, much to my delight. 

Salad of beetroot and endive, whipped Baw baw blue, hazelnut & pear
I really marvelled at the meticulous plating of this, seeing the endives stand up. I was initially hesitant on the blue cheese combination, however I actually forgot the taste and kept thinking whilst eating this dish what on earth I was eating, something so familiar, only to embarrassingly look at the menu to be reminded that it was in fact blue cheese. It has a much more mild flavour, definitely there but not over powering. A didn't enjoy this but I appreciated the flavour when eating it altogether. Along with the sweetness of beetroot and the bitter endive leaves, it really jump started my taste buds for more to come.

Lightly cured ocean trout, crab, cauliflower, radish & buckwheat
Probably our unanimous favourite dish of the day. Whilst I usually prefer bigger flavours, the balance and delicateness really highlights the sweetness of the crab whereas heavier flavours would have overwhelmed it. Just enough radish to provide a bite but not make it over bearing, the mild, near non-existent flavour of cauliflower, the slight saltiness of the trout makes the remarkably fresh crab sing. Little balls of buckwheat provided texture and an interesting toastiness.

Pan seared Hiramasa kingfish, Jerusalem artichoke, ham hock & Brussel sprouts.
Kingfish was perfectly cooked, with crispy skin and moist flesh. Fresh and fried brussel sprouts provide an interesting contrast, not as bitter as I would of expected.

Cannellone of ox tail, pickled tongue, smoke scallops, horseradish & kohl rabi
Wow, presented with the tongue in the whole shape and I have to say... cows have big tongues. Definitely chewier than your normal steaks but packed with meaty flavour. Scallops were gelatinous and delicious but the real hero has to be that filled cannellone. The perfectly cooked pasta surrounds melting ox tail and was just beautiful. My only qualm was I just wanted more of it... a bucket worth. On a more seriousness note, A didn't want scallops with it  which we mentioned to the waiter earlier and I felt an appropriate substitute should of been made because it was so integral. That didn't happen.

Glazed pork neck, parsnip, purple carrot, cabbage & crisp pig's ear
I refused to eat this but A told me the pig's ear was crisp. According to her, the pork neck was porky? Great. It's comforting finding someone with a vocabulary nearly as limited as mine is ahaha. 

Slow cooked Glenloth Farm pheasant, braised endive, raisin, caper & Grand Marnier
I found the pheasant too over-cooked and it ended up being a tad dry. Braised endive was the only redeeming point, the bitter, smoky braising helped lift this dish but not enough. 

Yes I'm well aware that I just took a picture of salad. Food blogging changes people. Salad which came along with the mains was evenly balanced, seasoned and well dressed with just enough without a pool resulting underneath, a good sign. Mains were very heavy so this felt appropriate.

Carob, apple marshmallow & ginger beer sorbet
A sadly didn't enjoy this because she loathes ginger with a burning passion. I sort of do because, despite enjoying the flavour, the heat can sometimes be overwhelming. I found it interesting, however, that the aforementioned heat is countered by the coolness of the sorbet and it really plays with your mouth and was delightful. The carob kind of just stood in the background but the compressed apple resulted in an interesting acidity and flavour.

Banana creme brulee, salted peanut brittle & milk coffee sorbet
I have a fascination with all things brulee. Whilst not having the requisite chariness that all brulees have, the huge surface area of crackling has to undoubtedly make up for it right? The custard isn't as viscous as I was expecting but was very pleasant considering the other textures. And dear me, salted peanut brittle you say? Absolutely. I love this stuff, especially when made by anything Justin North owned. However, it sticks to your teeth which makes for an incredible amount of jaw exercise, unlike the ones at Plan B. The sorbet gives a kapoow of unmistakable coffee flavour which really makes this dish one of my favourites today.

Warm 68% Alto Beni Zokoko chocolate pudding, honeycomb & pear sorbet
This was A's but I kept coming back for more. Split the fondant and a gorgeously thick sauce emerges from it. What's not to love. The sorbet was distinctively peary and it's sweet neutrality goes really well with the honeycomb. A wonderful finish. 

Petit Fours
Coffee in the end was so and so. Had I known it cost an additional 6-50, I would of definitely not ordered it.

The service, although slow and aloft at times, was undeniably warm, personal and occasionally humorous. My qualms were that $6-50 Latte towards the end which left a sour taste when I should of been made aware of the additional rather pricey cost. Most restaurants offer it as part of the degustation with no additional cost. Also, I would of appreciated if they replaced certain aspects of the dishes we didn't enjoy eating as well like the scallop for A and there were some inconsistencies here and there. However, a 90 dollar 7 course degustation at this quality of food is a great deal and certain things were memorable like that cannelloni. Wow that cannelloni. And the crab. The desserts were quite fantastic as well. It was a delightful, thoroughly engaging meal and Quarter 21 has so much potential but I think I'll wait a while before reconsidering coming back.

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the combo of a creme brulee and salted peanut brittle sounds amazing!

I'm so they kept the banana creme brulee from the Becasse menu (when they were still on Clarence st), definitely one of my fav desserts. I've still yet to try Q21 but it sure is great value, even better with the fullsociety discount :)

@ tastyfoodsnaps. It was truly spectacular! Definitely a very interesting and delicious combo

@ Vivian. I've never been to original Becasse but I'm glad they've decided to keep the good dishes. Full Society is great, definitely an incentive to retry the Brulee.

Great food plus Great presentation are combined with this post.How i long to taste those featured foods.

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No, we aren't the most amazing gastronomes or chefs. Heck, half our team doesn't even know how to cook... well. However, what we really love is eating. And lots of it. We enjoy that occasional freebie, filling up that craving for a midnight snack and finding a 20 in our pockets that we thought we never had, and using that as an excuse to go out eating. As we battle the ongoing war on uni student poverty, we'll bring you the most swoon worthy recounts of our latest foodie adventures.

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