08 May 2012

Marque Restaurant: Friday Prix Fixe 3 course lunch menu $45, Surry Hills (4 May 2012)

4/5 355 Crown Street  Surry Hills NSW 2010 

Hitting the Marque for lunch

Thanks to Richard Elliot for organising a catch up lunch with two other friends at Marque for their Prix Fixe 3 course menu ($45) which is only served for Friday lunch. It included an amuse-bouche and post-dessert plus housemade bread making it perhaps one of the best lunch deals in a 3 hatted restaurant. I was fearing the service would be a bit stiff but thankfully they came across as friendly and welcoming while still being professional with a good knowledge of the dishes being served. Seating was comfortable and the ambient music relaxing and appropriate. On the menu the restaurant prewarns you they've installed a chilled, filtered, carbonated water system and to support this initiative $5 per person will be added to every bill. I thought this was a bit rich since plain old Sydney tap water is available for free at most if not all other restaurants in Sydney including 3 hatted restaurants but luck would have it due to a machine breakdown table water was free on this visit. The wine menu isn't cheap but Richard generously bought a bottle of 2009 Bourgogne Blanc Domaine Roulot ($114). Complimentary Housemade sourdough was good with the Coopers Pale Ale rye caraway bread having a bit more taste than the plain — I enjoyed both. 

First served was an amuse-bouche of Black olive mousse with mandarin granita and juniper salt which I struggled to like. I liked the granita and the olive mousse on their own but not together although others at the table did enjoy. Perhaps the olive taste was meant to help lead the taste buds into the entree? The entree of Fried mussels with barigoule, tomato & mussel custard had great flavours making it a favourite for me. The shavings of their housemade kalamata olive truffle sprinkled over the dish was very good. Celery shavings was a clever technique I hope to use at home one day, maybe for a salad. I enjoyed the tender meat and flavoursome greens in the main of Veal rump with buttermilk, chocolate & lettuce although I could have perhaps done without the flavourless wafers of crispy burnt milk on top. I feared the chocolate would overpower the dish but thankfully was quite subtle mixed in the jus. For dessert the Jasmine with hazelnuts & new season apples had nice flavours and I really enjoyed the jasmine ice cream but I tend to find deconstructed dishes quite awkward to eat when you have to try and get a bit of everything on your spoon to taste it together. The meal finished with a Sauternes custard with bitter caramel which was very smooth and delicious — more please, and I'd love to know how they cut those eggshells so perfectly.

PROS: Service was knowledgeable and professional yet still down-to-earth and friendly, Innovative and interesting dishes, Quality ingredients, Nice ambience and seating
CONS: Expensive menu but good value Prix Fixe, Table water is billed $5 per person, Some dishes challenge the palate which might not suit everyones taste, Need to allow time for a long lunch
MUST TRY: Returning to try the degustation menu
40º Latitude Tasmania Sparkling Mineral Water ($10, 500ml)

Amuse-bouche: Black olive mousse with mandarin granita and juniper salt
Housemade sourdough
Housemade Coopers Pale Ale rye caraway bread
Fried mussels with barigoule, tomato & mussel custard

Veal rump with buttermilk, chocolate & lettuce
Jasmine with hazelnuts & new season apples
Post dessert: Sauternes custard with bitter caramel 
How do they cut the tops off so cleanly?
2009 Bourgogne Blanc Domaine Roulot ($114) — generously bought by Richard for the table
I love a good refraction — Hi Richard!
Menu: 3 course, 5 course or 8 course
For those with a bit more money to burn

Cutlery by Robert Welsh — handles quite nicely

Always a crowd pleaser. All that's missing is perhaps a nice vase of flowers.

Hand towels = a touch of class

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Marque on Urbanspoon


Miss Kimbers said...

All I can think of is their water system and the $5 fee! Next thing you know, you will be up for $5 to use the toilet.

Tina@foodboozeshoes said...

Looks absolutely delish..! That Sauternes custard was definitely my favourite from prior visits.

sugarpuffi said...

ive always wanted to try their lunch menu but could NEVER find the time...i work wacky hours... the sauternes custard with bitter caramel looks fantastic! i always wonder how they cut it too!

SarahKate (Mi Casa-Su Casa) said...

That looks like a very beautiful lunch! Not sure about the automatic $5 for water (I'm a tap water fan... not into poncy waters at all) but at least you managed to avoid that!

Izabella Hyde said...

What a lunch...looks pretty awesome!

Simon Leong said...

hi miss kimbers, hehe one day i wouldn't be surprise.

hi tina, i'd happily have that one again that's for sure.

hi sugarpuffi, it's definitely a hard one to get to if you don't work close to the restaurant. i took the day off so i didn't try and stress getting there and back from work.

hi sarahkate, hopefully it's really nice water when they do charge $5. i'd rather have plain tap water and give the $5 as a tip for the service.

hi izabella, hope you get to try one day.

sirandmladydineout said...

Hi Simon. Great review. $45 for lunch is a great deal. Think I'll grab a few people and do the same. Was it crowded for Friday lunch and did most people seem to be going for the $45 deal?

Nic@diningwithastud said...

Stunning dishes. I love your photography :)

Simon Leong said...

hi sirandmladydineout, it was fairly full on the friday lunch but i think we managed to book about 2 weeks in advance. there were maybe a couple of tables free. hope you enjoy if you get to go.

hi nic, thanks. hope you get to try one day :-)

Richard Elliot said...

Great review and photos Simon.

It was definitely a fabulous Sydney send of for me. I don't think you can beat the Marque Friday lunch special.

Anonymous said...

They cut the egg shell using an egg topper. This is one of the better ones on the market if you want to start trying it at home: http://www.molecularrecipes.com/techniques/tips-paderno-world-cuisine-egg-topper/

Simon Leong said...

hi richard, thanks so much for organising. was great to try.

hi anonymouse, thanks for the info. you've solved the mystery of the egg cutting for me :-)

Anonymous said...

Wow, if you think $35 for three courses at a three-hat restaurant counts as an expensive menu in Sydney in 2012 you're even more ignorant than your "writing" would suggest. Do you expect these people to work for free? What a joke.

Simon Leong said...

hi anonymous, perhaps i didn't make myself clear but when i write 'Expensive menu but good value Prix Fixe' it means normally it's an expensive menu but the price of the Prix Fixe is good value. i think it's great value paying $35 for 3 courses in a top restaurant with such excellent service too.

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