Quay will close for three months next year in March to undergo major renovations.

When it reopens there will be a new menu and dining hall as well as changes to service; the motivation is to deliver a more personal dining experience. The establishment has long been at the forefront of Australian fine dining. After 16 years in its current form, it is time for a change.

“I’ve been in this restaurant for half my life. We all feel it’s time to reinvent how we do fine dining,” John Fink, creative director of the Fink Group (the company that owns Quay) told Broadsheet.

“Peter Gilmore [Quay’s executive chef] is at the height of his creative output. We want to explore what it means to have one of Australia’s best chefs cooking for us.” The reinvention will involve Quay saying farewell some of Gilmore’s defining dishes and moving towards a tasting-only menu.

Whether or not the iconic snow egg will outlive the evolution is unknown, but Fink says if it doesn’t, “That would be a bit shit, wouldn’t it? People will be on the streets protesting.”

The restaurant will go from 100 seats to 80 in a step toward delivering a more intimate feel.

“We realised if we want to keep that quality we have to make it smaller. The room has served us well but we have to think of the next 15 years.”

The Fink group (which also owns Bennelong, Otto Ristorante and Firedoor) has partnered with TZG Architects to rework the layout of the restaurant and make the most of its harbourside location.

Fink says every guest will have the best seat in the house with uninterrupted views of the water. “Personally, I would like to see a more sensory experience – what you are smelling, hearing, seeing is important. There are other senses besides taste that matter in dining,” says Fink.

In the lead up to the March closure Gilmore will host a series of retrospective events highlighting the evolution of Quay over the years.

Quay will close from March 19, 2018 and will reopen in July 2018.