To move forward, sometimes you have to let go of the past chef Peter Gilmore says philosophically about what is possibly his most celebrated creation – the Snow Egg.
The Quay chef has announced that following a three-month closure of the harbourside restaurant for renovations the fine diner will reopen, but minus the dessert.
The dessert is an egg-shaped poached meringue served in a glass with an ice-cream centre. It’s coated in a sweet tuile (almond-biscuit) and then taken to with a blowtorch. It’s served on a bed of fruit fool and granita
“The Snow Egg has graced our menu for over a decade,” Gilmore said in a statement. “But this is a time of change and I want to be looking forward. It was a tough decision but removing it gives me the opportunity to grow and evolve the menu to give guests a new dining experience.”
“We know this is going to cause outrage,” John Fink, the creative director of the Fink family restaurant group that owns Quay, added in the same statement. “Who knew one little dessert could have such a snowball effect, but rest assured whatever Peter comes up with will exceed eggpectations.” (Boom, tish.)
Over the course of its 10-year lifespan, 500,000 snow eggs have been made and there have been more than 20 flavour changes. It has been a newspaper star and a hit on TV after it appeared on MasterChef in 2010.
The night the dessert featured on Channel 10 Quay received more than 100,000 hits on its website, which crashed. People then began lining up at the restaurant to request a “takeaway” Snow Eggs, and the phones didn’t stop ringing for five days. Years later, 70 per cent of diners finish their meal with the dish.
The restaurant will close for three months on April 1 for a major renovation and redesign of the dining room and kitchen. Gilmore describes it as an opportunity to provide a brand-new guest experience and menu offering.
But before it departs stage left Gilmore will host a retrospective dinner on Wednesday March 28 showcasing not just the Snow Egg but the defining dishes of Gilmore’s 16 years at Quay. The menu will feature Sea Pearls (2006), mud crab congee (2004), the original pork belly and sea scallops (2001), the free-range chicken with truffle and young vegetables (2007) and, of course, the Snow Egg (2010). The dinner will include a premium-wine match by Amanda Yallop.
Bookings are limited and tickets are $500 per person. Quay will close for three months on April 1.