Friday, July 22, 2011

A visit to Quarter Twenty One, Westfield - Sydney

I was totally amazed to hear that there was a new foodie floor at the new Westfield in Pitt St Mall. Previously this would have been a food court with slices of pizza and cheap chinese food in a bain marie. Uninspired food to keep shoppers tummies' full, and not much more. Westfield have really stepped up. The mall is full of the world's most luxurious shops (Chanel, Bottega Veneta, Mulberry, Paul & Joe, Prada and Miu Miu, to name just a few!) and the foodie floor matches this.

The food blogger coverage of this place has been a PR dream, and I've been reading with great interest.  Justin North's Bécasse & Quarter 21 has got the lion share of this - it's a veritable centre of excellence, with 2 restaurants, a pâtisserie and a burger bar (Charlie & Co) So when I knew that I was owed a day of babysitting by Mr Heavenly for my birthday, I called Quarter 21 (with my fingers crossed) and managed to get a table.

Quarter 21 sits at one end on the fifth floor, alongside the Bécasse pâtisserie, the Quarter 21 providore and the cooking school. Lessons were taking place as we arrived, and looked like a lot of fun, and the set up for the classes in a U-shape almost meant that everyone looked really close to the teacher.  Entering the restaurant itself you feel the space and lack of people - it's the scene of calm with a simple but beautiful interior.

Slow-cooked Glenloth chicken with brussels sprouts, chestnuts, swede 
& smoked potato purée

Katie, Rosanna and I were instantly excited. We chatted to our really knowledgeable waiter who clearly samples the meals regularly. He told us all about where the chicken and pheasants were bred, and that the pheasants they buy are not incredibly 'gamey' to cater for the Australian pallet. Unfortunately these very special pheasants were all sold out on this particular day. Katie chose the chicken (that replaced the pheasant in the same dish) and Rosanna and I went with the 24 hour veal cheek.

24-hour veal cheek, sweetbread 
& scallop, cep potato purée, 
butternut squash & lemon thyme

The veal was very tender, but still pink, but had formed a slight crust on the outside. The cep potato puree and butternut squash added a very wintery feel to the dish, but the lemon thyme left it still feeling light.  Wow. I'm not a big fan of sweetbreads, but totally understood what both this and the lightly fried scallops added to the dish. Stunning.

The lovely Katie

I could have tried at least 3 of the desserts, and was quite tempted, but remembered that we had already broken our morning shopping with a stop at the pâtisserie bakery for an almond croissant. So good and yet so evil at the same time.

Soufflé du jour

Rosanna and I shared the soufflé of the day - which I recall, but did not write down, was a carrot soufflé with walnuts and a caramel sauce. Our waiter spent a long time justifying carrot in dessert - but it made instant sense to both of us, as carrot cake does from the first time you taste it. We weren't disappointed. The soufflé was light and perfect, with a touch of cinnamon. The caramel sauce and ice cream brought decadence to the plate.

Katie tried one of the smaller dessert plates - a great way to tempt girls to have an extra course! Rhubarb granita with pickled ginger  & Sheep’s milk yoghurt. I've never come across rhubarb used like this, and it was clean and refreshing. A beautiful ending to the meal.
We were also served madeleines, a current favourite of mine (see this post). I was one very happy lady. 


  1. yum yum yum can I come next time?

  2. If you can get yourself to Sydney, I'll take you out to lunch Op shop girl!

  3. Wow, looks like you had a great time! I was just at the food court today, it's quite fancy pants!! ;)


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