21 June 2012

Quarter Twenty One: European, CBD Sydney (20 June 2012)

Level 5, Westfield Sydney, Cnr Pitt & Market St, Sydney NSW 2000

Soul searching for one

‘The name Quarter Twenty One is derived from the soul: it's been said that the soul's weight in the human body is 21 grams, and we put our soul into the food we prepare’

With the news of Justin North's 'the Group' going into voluntary administration I thought it best to try Quarter Twenty One soonish in case it became a casualty throughout the process as its been on my wish list since its opening. With no one available for a more than average priced working week lunch it became a table for one. Just like going to the movies it can be liberating going solo but you don't get the share factor during the experience. The 7 seeded bread roll (complimentary) with churned butter and caraway salt on the side was served warm, had a nice salty crust and good flavour throughout. Another one was offered but I saved myself for the dishes ahead. Pambula Rock Oysters ($3.50 each) was on the specials menu which was a no brainer for me. I love oysters and these were evidently shucked to order possessing a good amount of salty brine with a clean fresh flavour. The champagne vinaigrette worked well to help soften some of the salty flavour. It was very tempting to order more but had to save room for other dishes. 

The Seared Queensland scallops with boudin noir and Jerusalem artichokes ($28) came with crispy artichoke for texture and nicely cooked scallops. A flavoursome dish with the boudin noir (black pudding) that thankfully wasn't too overpowering. The 5-6 elements on the dish all worked well together and wasn't over-complicated. Market Green Salad ($8) was fresh and dressed evenly throughout. I sort of missed a bit of sharpness on the palate that could have been provided with some balsamic vinegar. Hand cut fries ($8) were crunchy and made from Dutch potatoes that were twice cooked (blanched then deep fried). I'm still a bigger fan of the triple cooked chips which melt in your mouth more after the shattering crunchiness. For dessert the Banana crème brûlée, salted peanut brittle & milk coffee sorbet ($18) was recommended to me by MsCritique. Its presentation reminded me of the same dessert I had at Bécasse in 2008. The sorbet had excellent flavour and thankfully the peanut brittle wasn't too sticky and hard making it a pleasure to eat. Service overall was friendly, professional and knowledgeable and the dishes from the kitchen were timely. I look forward to revisiting one day to try other dishes on the menu that tempted me like the Fried Hawkesbury squid ($15) and Kitchen charcuterie of bresaola, prosciutto and coppa ($22).

PROS: Friendly, professional and knowledgeable service, Quality ingredients, Nice decor and ambience, Dishes presented well, Focus on showcasing good produce
CONS: Expensive (entrees over $25, mains around $40), Window view looks towards fitness centre, Toilets are located outside the restaurant in public area, Table support
MUST TRY: Oysters, Seared Queensland scallops with boudin noir and Jerusalem artichokes
VERDICT: Was an enjoyable dining experience that tempts me to try more on the menu with the hope of oysters as a special again
Table for one please

Cute salt tray

7 seeded bread roll with churned butter with caraway salt (complimentary)

Churned butter with caraway salt

Freshly shucked Pambula Sydney Rock Oysters ($3.50 each menu special)

When oysters are supplied with their lid you know they've been freshly shucked to order

Lemon, blood lime and champagne vinaigrette

Seared Queensland scallops with boudin noir and Jerusalem artichokes ($28)

Market Green Salad ($8)

Hand cut fries ($8)

Banana crème brûlée, salted peanut brittle & milk coffee sorbet ($18)

Banana located at the bottom under all the other sweet goodies

Bill $72.50 for one — I probably should have forgone the salad and fries and enjoyed a glass of wine or coffee with petit fours instead

Menu cover

Not a fan of the table supports — I prefer them flat like at Rockpool Bar & Grill

Chef Justin North

Produce offerings

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Quarter Twenty One on Urbanspoon


Richard Elliot said...

Wow, it's big news that Justin North's empire is going into administration.

Quarter Twenty One tempted me a few times, but I never made it.

joey@FoodiePop said...

Q21 is safe for now, but I've never liked it as much as I liked Etch which is goneski.

Nic@diningwithastud said...

Quarter 21 is def on my list. I love the look of the dessert :)

Tina@foodboozeshoes said...

Love the Banana crème brûlée montage ;)

Simon Leong said...

hi richard, it is big news but time will tell how it all goes for him. here's hoping they find a good creditor. hopefully it'll still be around when you visit Sydney again.

hi joey, pity about Etch, was a nice dining room.

hi nic, best to visit soon just in case it's not their for long. hopefully it will be though. happy to join you for a lunch if you need another diner.

hi tina, was a hard one to do because it was so yummy and i had to keep stopping to take a photo hehe

gaby @ lateraleating said...

Oh no, I hope to make it before it's too late!

Simon Leong said...

hi gaby, i hope so too for those who haven't tried it yet.

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