Quay: The view is stunning, but the food is better.
Quay: The view is stunning, but the food is better. Photo: Supplied

Upper Level, Overseas Passenger Terminal The Rocks, New South Wales 2000

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Opening hours Lunch Fri-Sun noon-2pm; dinner daily from 6pm.
Features Accepts bookings, Bar, Business lunch, Licensed, Private dining, Views
Prices Expensive (mains over $40)
Chef Peter Gilmore
Phone 02 9251 5600
Free wine for Citibank cardholders here

The reservations line will inform you at the time of booking if there's to be a cruise ship keeping the Opera House out of sight on the day you wish to dine. Should this happen, don't bon-voyage those anniversary/birthday/must-try-the-snow-egg plans just yet. The harbour view is stunning, sure, but even better is Peter Gilmore's elegant and simple cooking (plus it's fun to play Rear Window with the Queen Vic's passengers). Textures flourish in saltwater-poached quail under a vault of fermented shiitake, smoked parsnip and kai-lan blossoms while an eye-fillet of roasted angus is plumed with an autumnal rainbow of mushrooms that has all the magic of a forest floor. The milk, honey, quince and almond dessert is a creamy last-days-of-summer sonnet and service is on point from go to sadly inevitable whoa.

And… Vegetarian and gluten-free tasting menus with 24 hours’ notice.

Vibe Theatrical, big-night-out.
Best bit The anticipation as you’re led to your table.
Worst bit The six-month wait for one of those tables on a weekend.