It literally started storming halfway on our way to Marque from our hotel on foot. While we took cover at periodic intervals on the way to Marque, we got a little wet from the rain (me in my dress, T in his suit) by the time we arrived. We stepped into the dimly lit and elegant restaurant, and things only started to get better that led to a fantastic night of unforgettable food and service. We were greeted by the host who saw that we were obviously wet from the rain and calmly offered directions to the restrooms if we wanted to dry ourselves with towels before getting seated.
Headed by Chef Mark Best, Marque offers only a degustation menu. Why would anyone not want a degustation meal anyway at a restaurant where the chef was awarded Best Chef of the Year by the Sydney Morning Herald? We enjoyed every moment at Marque and are still reminiscing the food, both in taste and presentation. I just want to say that we really, really liked Marque.
Potato mille feuille with foie gras butter and bonito
Meant as a play on the delicate nature of mille feuille pastry, the very thin slices of potato creatively reflected a delicate crisp that one would expect when biting into mille feuille. Sandwiched in between the potato slices were foie gras butter and bonito.
Blue swimmer crab, almond gazpacho, buttermilk, almond jelly, and popcorn
After the server placed this at the table for T, I lamented, "Now I'm a little jealous". Our server could only playfully reply, "But you can't have it!" No thanks to the shrimp and crab allergies that I recently developed (yes, in adulthood).
Tomato gazpacho, cucumber, strawberry
I didn't stay envious for long. The kitchen prepared a beautiful gazpacho dish for me. I don't remember the last time when gazpacho impressed me as much as Marque did.
Marron crayfish, tomato jelly, and tomato leaf
The Australian crustacean was delicately presented with just enough accompaniments without distracting the true taste of the crayfish.
Dutch cream potato, sea urchin, bone marrow, and coffee
To have our favorite items combined together to make a dish was more than a delight. Sea urchin + bone marrow + coffee. Who knew that each of the items that we love would make a perfect marriage of tastes. Clearly, Chef Mark Best knows best (no pun intended).
Bar cod, Vadouvan Indian spice, kaffir leaves, lemon puree, and fish floss
The petite piece of fish was seared while maintaining a great moist texture inside. We also really liked the play of slight Indian influence from the spice and kaffir leaves.
North American muscovy duck, dill puree, beer infused cream, pickled strawberry, and onion
Another solid course, I remember enjoying this duck so much I didn't want it to end.
Wagyu beef, tendon, brocollini, and jus
Clearly the wagyu beef was the star of the night, hands down. Served rare, the wagyu beef was served in a generous slice and almost filling up the entire plate. We have had a lot of rare beef served as tartare or carpaccio, but this piece of wagyu beef at Marque was really something that blew us away. The piece of meat was tender, fresh, and pure at best, with the melt-in-your-mouth texture.
Egg custard with Bourdeaux dessert wine and dark caramel
We dug deep into the egg shell with our spoon and each spoonful of egg custard was perfectly coated with dessert wine and caramel. Even this pre-dessert item was indulgent.
Frozen chocolate mousse, banana pearls, coffee ice-cream, and parsley
Chocolate, banana, and coffee may not be a unique combination of flavors and in fact perhaps a little overplayed but Marque knows how to do it differently. The chocolate mousse was coated with malt powder and the banana pearls which basically melted right away in the mouth made me happy like a kid.
4/5 355 Crown StreetSurry Hills NSW 2010
2012 Australian Gourmet Traveller Restaurant of the Year
2011 TimeOut Sydney Best Restaurants
2011 Sydney Morning Herald Restaurant of the Year
2010 Sydney Morning Herald Chef of the Year, Mark Best
2010 Australian Gourmet Traveller Restaurant of the Year Finalist2010 Restaurant & Catering Association of Australia Restaurant of the Year
2010 San Pellegrino & Restaurant Magazine UK Top 50 Break through award