Darwin Blog

Mardi Gras Night in Sydney
Monday, 6 August, 2007, 8:25 am
Filed under: Best Kept Secrets - Sydney, Dining


Since we were in Sydney on Mardi Gras night we acknowledged that this may be the only opportunity we would get to see the parade and experience everything Mardi Gras.  We tried desperately to get reserved seating on the Glamstand and missed out.  There was an exclusive cocktail party in the vicinity of the Glamstand, but for the several hundred dollars you were paying, no one was willing to let you know how exclusive, exclusive was and what you exactly got.

Therefore, we bit the bullet and booked into Marque Restuarant for dinner.  When I booked our table, quite sometime in advance, I was told by Emma that we would have a choice of a degustation menu or al a carte.  It was also fine to make our mind up on the evening.  We confirmed our booking and also factored in extra travel time due to the different road closures etc due to Mardi Gras.

Upon our arrival, we were seated and advised that a degustation menu would be served.  As we had a degustation meal at Tetsuya’s the night before, we were not sure if we could handle another one.  After the meal, let me assure you that we had no regrets.

We had a funny little incident after advising of my allergies to fish and peanuts, that a course of fish was served to me, of which I proclaimed in good nature to the waiter that he was trying to kill me.

The menu was sensational and included the following:

Chaud-froid free range egg

Almond Jelly with Blue Swimmer Crab, Almond Gazpacho, Corn Custard and Herring Roe

Cured Ocean Trout with Manning River Rock Oyster, Melon Gherkin and Avocado

Joselito Iberian Jamon with Belgian Endive and Parmesean Custard

Boudin Noir with ‘Risotto’ of South Australian Calamari and Lobster Broth

Roast Muscovy Duck with Jerusalem Artichoke and New Seasons ‘Slippery Jacks’

Mandagery Creek Venison with Baby Beetroot and Chocolate Feuilletage

La Tur (Italian Cow, Goat and Sheep Milk Cheese) with Marzipan Cake and Vanilla Celery

Sauternes Custard with Caramel

‘Amedei’ Chocolate Terrine with Nougatine and Tomato Raspberries

Petits Fours; Salted Caramel Chocolates and Apple Fruit Jellies with Vanilla Sherbet


We could not fault the menu, the taste of the food and the quality.  It was fabulous.  They substituted any of the dishes I couldn’t have, which were two from memory and they made them as close to what they serve the others.  I also got to have  Mark Best’s signature dish, Beetroot Tart with fresh Horseradish Cream.  Honestly, it wasn’t my favourite and I felt I disappointed Mark when he asked about it, as it just did not do anything for me. 

The downside was the occassionally slack service.  One of our party decided to have the accompanying wines – this did not work too well, as from time to time it was not in tandem with the food.  Myself and the other at the table constantly had to ask for our drinks to be replenished, which we felt they should have been on top of.  It wasn’t a flat out night as far as patrons go.

My absolute favourite was the Sauternes Custard with Caramel and in fact, I had three.  Mine, another at the table and then they gave me an extra for almost killing me.  I was absolutely grateful and I even used my finger to scrap the bowl and lick it.  I would definately pop in there just for this dessert anytime.  I proudly admitted this to the chef.

To top the night off, the chef Mark Best came and joined our table.  He thought we were from Singapore and we took no time to assure him that we were nowhere near as sophisticated as the Singaporeans, but we do love our food.  Not only did he join our table to talk about the food, he graciously signed our menus for the night and then had several photos with us.

Whilst the service could not and did not compare with Tetsuya’s, the food was excellent and Mark Best did keep an eye on his patrons throughout the evening, even coming onto the floor from time to time.  In fact, he showed one of us to the bathroom.

Would I go back, absolutely.  In fact, we are extremely glad we missed Mardi Gras in light of the great night we ended up having.  There was also no doubts in having another degustation meal. Ten points for the personal approach at the end of the night.


1 Comment so far
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Tetsuya never disappoints!

Comment by julie

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