Nothing more exciting than going to an opening night. And a restaurant re-opening night at that.

And while Quay, one of Sydney‘s best restaurants has been on hiatus since April, 3 mates and I decided to book a table to celebrate two birthdays on the opening night. And yes, we were always going to be in for a treat.

Quay – the restaurant on top of the Overseas Passenger Terminal in Sydney has been a culinary icon for years, expertly run by chef guru Peter Gilmore, who, in this incarnation, is supported by 35 extraordinary staff.

I could go on and on and on – and I would love to – but to be honest, instead of dissecting each & every course, I want to give you a feel and vibe of the place. Oh. And of course, we have to talk food!

Here are some of my take-home musings.(By the way the duck is extraordinary! )And that wine list – it was like a Bible with a couple of pages dedicated to just about every vintage of Krug champagne.

Have a look at the 10 course degustation here – but there is also a six course one which is what we decided on.

Take a look at some of the morsels from the either 6 or 10 course degustation menu – such as an Oyster Intervention (tastes and is oyster but just without the texture, of which chef Peter Gilmore has never been a fan.)

I’ll start with the lighting – when you first sit down the overhead down-lighting (a tad unflattering) is quite bright so you can peruse the menu comfortably – and with well over 500 wines to choose from you could be there for hours! Then, as your meal goes on, your above table lighting adjusts so the ambience feels cosier. Direct downlights are nobody’s face friend!

It is like fine dining has been deconstructed – the interior (by Tonkin Zulaikha Greer) is cleaner and leaner, seating 80 people, not 100 like before. There’s a private dining room and event space – all with that killer Sydney harbour view.

And instead of the famous & now retired Snow Egg dessert, Peter has created something called White Coral. Worth saving up just for that.

Quay isn’t inexpensive but It’s a true culinary experience with a staff who know their stuff back to front. Try a malted barley crumpet with truffle and you’ll get the picture. And all food requirements are catered to.

I loved the sustainable solid spotted gum tables which were devoid of linen – & you are surrounded by materials derived from nature including some stingray patterned divides, volcanic lava stone with a pattern that looks like cracked bark and there is a series of blue carpet pools, referencing the ocean, of course.

Put it on your edible bucket list. And even better it wasn’t all quiet, reverential and serene: while our table was probably the loudest (sorry) it also proved that having fun, laughing (a lot) and fine dining are able to go hand-in-hand.

*Melissa and her table were paying guests at Quay restaurant