I always love being served a warm bread roll with creamy butter to start my meal at a restaurant. With Becasse Bakery around the corner, it’s no surprise that the bread is wonderfully soft and delicious.
Quarter Twenty One is one of the newest additions to Justin North’s food empire, having recently opened on level five of the new Westfield Sydney. Sir D and I are here for dinner tonight to celebrate my graduation and even though they’ve somehow lost the booking, we’re dining relatively early so we have no problems getting seated. We debate whether to go with the 7-course degustation menu at $90pp but instead choose to order off the a la carte menu.
My eyes immediately darted to the words “smoked bacon” on the menu and so I chose the Kurobuta pork belly as my entree. It arrived on a seemingly custom-made plate, with a round indentation to hold the slow cooked egg yolk perfectly. The dish was smaller than expected but rich and fatty, with paper thin sheets of bacon draped over the medley of mushrooms and egg yolk. The consommé was quite salty but when eaten with the other elements of the dish, everything worked well together to give an overall meaty, porky flavour.
The king prawns were beautifully presented on a layer of vivid green persillade purée with a pretty array of colours from all the different ingredients used to construct the dish. The prawns themselves were perfectly cooked and super tasty, and I relished the crunch of the deep-fried pigs ears. The garlic custard was also an interesting addition, tasting a bit like steamed egg with only a very subtle garlic flavour. It is definitely one of my favourite dishes of the meal.
My main course of veal cheek had me practically licking the plate clean trying to get every bit of puree and sauce off the plate. I love slow-cooked meats and this veal cheek was so soft and tender. The sweetbreads were almost like little chicken nuggets and the scallop was also cooked well. As delicious as the veal cheek was, my favourite part of the dish was the cep potato purée with the earthy flavours of the mushrooms combining with the smooth creamy mash – give me a bowl of this and I could eat the whole lot!
Sir D’s steak arrives pre-cut which is perfect for lazy people like me :) It is cooked medium rare as requested and is nice and pink in the centre. The accompaniments are just as tasty as the steak itself, with baby heirloom carrots, a buttery potato purée, assorted mushrooms and greens.
We’re presented with the dessert menu and we have a hard time deciding between three desserts. In the end Sir D suggests that we get all three and I can’t help but grin at the suggestion! So yes, we ordered three desserts between the two of us – don’t judge us!! The kitchen and waitstaff were even kind enough to honour our request of having them served one by one so we had our own little mini dessert degustation! The first dessert was the banana crème brulée which was nothing like I expected. It was served in an inverted conical glass set inside a spherical one and covering the glass was a thin layer of toffee with a little scoop of milk coffee sorbet on top. Cracking through the toffee revealed creamy innards of chunks of banana, a rum-based syrup and salted peanut brittle which was a nice crunchy surprise. This was definitely a creative take on a traditional crème brulée and I loved it.
I love a warm chocolate pudding on cold winter nights and this one ticked all the boxes with the innards oozing out when we cut into the pudding. This was a rich, cakey dessert with a red wine plums on the side and a vanilla ice cream sitting on a chocolate soil. The richness of the chocolate was offset by the slightly tart red wine flavours and the ice cream which wasn’t too sweet.
Our final, gluttonous dessert was the soufflé of the day which was pear today. It arrived puffed up out of its ramekin with a side of amazing chocolate sorbet and a light caramel sauce. It was a nice surprise to find chunks of cooked pear inside the soufflé. The soufflé with the caramel sauce was very sweet and I think I needed a bit more of the bittersweet chocolate sorbet to counteract the sweetness (or perhaps it was just my body telling me I had had enough sugar for one day!). The texture of the soufflé was light as a cloud and the perfect way to end a fantastic meal.
Having three desserts for dinner was an amazing way to celebrate my graduation with Sir D but the staff at Quarter Twenty One were so friendly, attentive and happy to accommodate our requests (like our mini dessert degustation hehe). The food was beautiful to look at and to eat and with all of the mains below $40 it won’t burn a massive hole in your wallet either.
Quarter Twenty One
Level 5, Westfield Sydney
Cnr Pitt St Mall and Market St
Sydney NSW 2000
Ph: +61 2 9283 3440