Pei Modern @ Marque

Saturday, 19 October 2013

For one night only, our Victorian neighbours crashed one of Sydney's best restaurants. That would be Mark Best's Marque in Surry Hills, an establishment I have been dying to try (this seemed like a good enough excuse). It's Good Food Month you see, a veritable collision of talent from across the world and the food that Aussie's can be proud of. Best has forged a splendid career in what started as a little restaurant on Crown Street and branched out to open Pei Modern in Melbourne. Under the supervision of Head Chef Matt Germanchis, P.M. has been very well received, being awarded the Best New Restaurant in the Age Food Guide 2013 and a hat to boot. 

Out front: Pei Modern in Collins Place, Melbs Source: Daily Addict

I'd seen pictures of the restaurant interior but hadn't actually stepped inside. If you didn't know where it was, you could easily stroll right past those curtained glass walls. Funnily enough the front door was locked, making entry slightly awkward. A simple table clothed dining room with egg shaped lamps adorning each table, we started the night with house purified sparkling water (and a glass of orange wine for myself). Next came that pillowy soft bread tucked in a cotton basket. If I hadn't been there for an 8 course degustation a.k.a. gastronomic blowout I wouldn't of held back - but lucky I did.

Salumi & chicken liver parfait. Popped onto out table like a picnic lunch, that bloody parfait was PARFAIT. I mean, the texture was so rich and creamy, it definitely got the palate going. The prosciutto dissolved in the mouth. I would have to say the the salami was a bit thick but yum none the less

Smoked tuna, goats curd, pomelo - this one was possibly my favourite. A delicate and light entrée this dish was very 'Quay'. The tuna was so lightly smoked, it was really like a straight sashimi, putting all those tuna nigiri I've had over the years to shame. For shame!

An eggy panorama: asparagus, egg and ash. What a way to supplement the charcoal intake (yep, it's real). I had hopes that my yolk would explode and ooze all over my 'asparagoose' but it was slightly overcooked! Dang 

Brought to the table by Best himself, another personal favourite: rockling, white beans & boudin noir. The broth was so clear and cleansing, right before you get a hit of salt from the blood sausage all washing over the fish. A well conceived dish

Duck, treviso, fermented blueberries. A pretty palette from this dish. The duck was cooked well, complemented well with the warmed blueberries and radicchio. The stems of the treviso were rather thick and chewy, are they meant to be consumed?

Hanger steak, beetroot & caramelised yoghurt. Being the 6th course I was really starting to feel it (luckily they spaced out the courses a little). For such a tricky cut of meat to perfect, this steak was gloriously charred on the outside but so tender (and rare). The yoghurt was akin to a dijon mustard without the 'up the nostrils' heat

White chocolate ganache, sorrel sorbet and mandarin. The white disc of a wafer disappeared with a 'puff' on the tongue. There are parts of this meal that I will rave about in weeks to come, one of them being this sorbet. The degustation had come to it's climax and was now floating back down. Like a sigh on a hot afternoon, this sorbet was like a dream (fresh az')

Does this even need words?! Spice doughnuts, whey butterscotch. Oh lordy lord. The crème that was tinged with mandarin was a lovely touch. Only a little morsel to stave off guilt.....

Magnifique! There we have it, a lovely evening by Pei Modern, hosted by big brother Marque. The night had a decidedly casual feel to it, despite the fine dining setting. The food speaks for itself - I'm just glad I got to sample it.

Thanks for reading!
xGourmand Marque on Urbanspoon


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