Monday, October 26, 2009


Time : 6.30pm
Date : Thursday 22 October, 2009
Place : Quay Restaurant

Such is the allure of Quay that the better half of one of the Tarts, who normally would rather stick needles in her eyes than attend a watch function, was happy to endure the tediousness of watch chatter in order to enjoy a spectacular dinner. And Quay did not disappoint (though we're not quite sure about whether this was necessarily the case with the watch talk....).

With a formal, yet casual atmosphere, spectacular views of the Sydney harbour (one which I’m sure people will be offering limbs and organs for come NYE), you could not ask for a better venue for a watch "do".

I’ve never been to Quay (their price point being a little prohibitive) and I was determined to enjoy myself as a guest at an event (rather than work at) and try not to drink myself silly (which the Quay had indirectly and inadvertently helped by controlling the flow of alcohol). I’m not usually much of an events kinda person since I don’t really enjoy the small talk and mingling with complete strangers. No, not even for the goodie bags at the end of the night. However, it was a watch thing and I was happy to note that I knew almost half the people in attendance. (The Tarts making up the majority of that).

Hublot TV

Although it was touted as a Hublot function, Mr Jean-Claude Biver had other motives – the cheese!! I think he spent more time talking about the cheese than his watches, a point he humorously mentioned, “… a watch thing and all he can talk about is the bloody cheese! And we can’t even sell it!” and he had also declared his love for Mac “…those bloody d*** machines… yes I’m a Mac user, and sorry for the advertisement for Steve Jobs…”

Mr Biver had a way with words, and if only all CEOs gave speeches like he did, I think the world would be a much better place indeed… well, at least the corporate world. I believe his soft sell approach (by talking about cheese at a watch function - HIS watch function), his charisma  and his personality sell more watches than any advertising can.

We were shown pieces from the current range, as well as some bling-bling, (a must have accessory in the days of the GFC, or the recovery from…) and some new pieces that have just been launched.

The major selling point of Hublot is the “FUUUUSION!!!!!” of materials to make the watch. Rather than simply using traditional materials such as steel, gold, and ah… gold, Hublot combines many different materials, high tech and traditional, much like the fusion of Eastern and Western dishes into one. For example, you could get a watch combining gold, titanium, carbon fibre, steel and rubber. This multitude of materials give the Hublot watches a very striking and distinctive case, making them stand out in a sea of boring Swiss watches.

Tom, Chris & Gary

Gary, Narelle, John Z.

Inevitable shoe shot : Corthay Wilfred in leather and suede

As for the food…well…I’ll let the photos speak for themselves. Needless to say all the dishes that were laid in front of me were simply amazing, and Quay did live up to their reputation. The service was attentive and friendly, really couldn’t fault it.

Italian Proscuitto, Green Figs, Roasted Almonds, Baby Rocket, Spring Onions

Sashimi of Hiramisa Kingfish, Baby Radishes, Gently Poached Octopus,
Nasturtiums, Dashi Jelly, Horseradish.

Brioche and Parsley Crusted South Australian Mulloway, Leeks, Celery Heart, Fennel, Tomato and Saffron Confit.

Roasted Fillet of Grain Fed Beef, Shitake, Enoki and Swiss Brown Mushrooms, Eschallots, Walnuts and Baby Spinach, Potato Puree.

Potato Side dish

Salad side dish

Vanilla and Passionfruit Fusion
(created for the eveining)

Seven Texture Valrhona Chocolate Cake

Petits Fours


The goody bags

Now, the cheese… it’s another one of Mr Biver’s passions and I have to say it was the best cheese I’ve ever had. Coming from me, that might not mean much as I’m not much of a cheese connoisseur, but that’s because a lot of the cheese just didn’t appeal to me in taste or smell. But this cheese was absolutely delightful, and goes great by itself or with wine. I believe the taste and texture was due to the cows eating flowers or something. I didn’t quite catch that part. But apparently (from those who know a bit about cheese) it was a surprisingly mild Gruyere.

Naturally, what is a watch event without some watch photos?

Panerai PAM203

Jaquet Droz

More Hublot

Some of the Tarts in attendance (with new friend Milan)


Final thanks go to Hublot, Swiss Prestige (Emil Klingelfuss, Loic Biver and Jacqueline Ng in particular), Peter Gilmore and the wonderful folks at Quay and especially to Mr Biver for making the long trip down under. It took him 32 hours to get to Sydney and the next day he was off to Melbourne for another dinner, after which he hopped straight on the plane for a 1am flight to Tokyo!

It was a thoroughly enjoyable night and I haven’t enjoyed something like this for a very long time. Great food and great company and great watches and great cheese! I could easily do one of these every week. And you have no idea how portentous that previous sentence is…Stay tuned…

[Onomatopia. Photos by Onomatopia & AP]


Anonymous said...

yummy . .kingfish. .i wonder if there is any restaurant that makes good king fish sashimi??

Simon Food Favourites said...

very noice event! :-) how was the 7 textured chocolate cake? i never got to try it when i visited last year for good food month but it sounded amazing.

The Sydney Tarts said...

Well....I got the 7 textured choc cake & admit that I forgot that it had 7 textures & didn't try to pick them all :-O LOL

It was a very noice event indeed! Almost 90 folks all up.


Anonymous said...

Needless to say the food and presentation was simply delicious and delightful. Having attended the dinner and sitting at the Host table I found the service rather substandard for an establishment of the caliber of Quay. As entree was served no accompanying wine or beverage was served until the host had to make it known to the service staff that he wanted a glass of wine. I gently reminded the service staff that this was the host table and that the service sequence needed attention and there was no excuse that this had to happen. Point taken the service became more attentive and remained friendly. It should not have happened in the first place. Besides this hiccup the evening was enjoyed by all.