Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Marque: Surry Hills (27 June 2012)

Yay birthdays! Whilst many say it's time to slow down with the celebrations after turning 21, I view birthdays as another opportunity to catch up with family and friends and of course more eating! So I was especially overwhelmed and happy to have been surprised by M with a birthday dinner planned at Marque. Awarded Australian Gourmet Traveller restaurant of 2012 along with SMH's Three Chef's Hats, Marque restaurant is definitely one for those special occasions. Upon entering the restaurant, we were promptly greeted by a waiter, our coats taken and ushered to a dimly lit table.

Simple modern decor
Dimly lit
Spanish mackeral with Foie Gras, Potato & Olive Truffle
I don't know whether it's the same for many people, but I have a strange liking for the amuse bouche (the complimentary single bite sized appetiser) served at restaurants so much that it sometimes overrides what I feel for the courses to follow. While each course to follow were all unique and innovative in their own accord, the amuse bouche that was served at Marque was simply delicious. Sandwiched between two crispy thin potato slices revealed the stronger flavours of foie gras, mackeral and olive truffle in a creamy texture form.

Almond Jelly with Mud Crab,
Almond Gazpacho, Sweet Corn & Avruga
After the excellent amuse bouche, it was followed by the first course of almond jelly. The almond jelly was shaped like an upside down cone, hiding the other ingredients at the very bottom. The lightness of the almond jelly matched perfectly with the full-bodied and highly acidic 2010 Stift Goettweig "Goettweiger Berg" Gruner Veltiner (Austria).

Dutch Cream Potato with Bone Marrow, Sea Urchin & Coffee
Another one of my favourite courses - the dutch cream potato was incredibly smooth and creamy, and topped with small pieces of bone marrow and sea urchin, and sprinkled with the coffee powder. I would have probably preferred it without the coffee powder since I'm not a huge fan of dishes with the coffee flavour (unless it's dessert), but M seemed to like it a lot. Served with the 2009 Haymann Lowenstein "Schieferterrassen" Riesling (Mosel, Germany).
Murray Cod with Shallots, Fish Milk, Pomelo & Roe
Although I'm generally not a fan of eating fish at restaurants, I loved how soft and buttery the fish was and admired the way they were able to play up the creamy texture with the crunchy sides. This course was matched with the 2010 Mac Forbes "Gruyere" Chardonnay from Yarra Valley
Rosewood Squab with Boudin Noir, Pickled Corella Pear & Rhubarb
I find it very hard to cook small birds at home, so I'm always impressed by how well some restaurants manage to cook birds like squabs (young domestic pigeon). Marque does it very well, managing to have the squab fully cooked with a crispy skin, without drying out the meat on the inside. This was matched with the 2010 Benedicte & Stephane Tissot "singulier" Trousseau (Arbois, France) which was a pale, dry rose wine with aromas of dried cherries and red currants.

Mandagery Creek Venison with Beetroot, Liquorice,
Blackcurrant & Nameko
The final savoury course which was served was the tenderly cooke venison, served with the 2009 Friends of Punch Syrah (Geelong) which was a heavier and spicier red wine. 

Jerusalem Artichoke with Chestnut, Cynar & Rye
The first dish to ease you into the main dessert was a mix between savoury and sweet, having a creamy and nutty texture that was probably leaning more towards the heavy side. Perhaps I was already quite full by then, but I didn't particularly like this dish and was more than ready to have a fully sweet dessert. However we were both more than impressed with the wine that was served with it - the 2010 Small Acres Cyder 'Pormona Lee' Orange (NSW). It had rich sweet apple flavours, with a citrusy zing, that makes it the perfect crisp accompaniment to the rich dessert. 
Gentiane Sour
Our waitress then came back to make the gentiane sour cocktail for us, which was basically a generous "free pour" of the gentiane with lemon juice. Interestingly, it matched the citrusy lemon flavoured dessert that it accompanied well, and was further complemented by the creaminess of the white chocolate curls. 
Charred Lemon with White Chocolate & Tarragon
Sauternes Custard
The final dessert course was served in an emptied eggshell (still wondering how they managed to take of the top part so perfectly), and was basically a lovely rich set custard infused with sauternes and topped with a very bitter caramel.

A lovely gesture by the team at Marque, I was presented with a parting gift for my birthday celebrations in the form of wine filled dark chocolates.

Overall it was a wonderful dining experience, with some dishes standing out then others. What made it special though was the wine matching, as we thought that it was the wine matching that really helped enhance the flavours of each dishes optimally. Thank you M for a truly wonderful birthday :)

355 Crown St
Surry Hills NSW 2010
02 9332 2225

Marque on Urbanspoon


  1. mm it was joey! and the wonderful service and lovely atmosphere all added to the whole experience :) definitely a birthday I will remember