Lanterne Rooms, Campbell – the $18 Market Lunch

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The Lanterne Rooms has gorgeous decor and staff service.

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It’s also one of the few fine dining restaurants in Canberra to offer a quick weekday lunch for under $20.

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The Market Lunch is excellent at $18 per meal.

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You can choose from:

Kari Daging –  Slow cooked beef in traditional Malaysian curry w/ Pickles, croquettes, salad & rice (my overall favourite)

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Kari Ayam Chicken thigh cooked in coconut gravy w/ Pickles, croquettes, salad & rice

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Babi Assam Pork stew cooked in tamarind sauce w/ Pickles, croquettes, salad & rice (the best favoured sauce).

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Team it with a bottle of BYO wine at $12 corkage per bottle and it’s great value.

Lanterne Rooms Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Boathouse By the Lake – a first look!

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The Boathouse by the Lake, must have one of the best positions in Canberra.

The views are lovely and it’s perfect how they change over the evening with each course.

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The four course meal for $90 included a chef’s plate of snacks…

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….homemade bread with cured butter, beetroot puree and pickled beetroot on parmesan shortbread, choux pastry with goats cheese and honey

…and a 65 degree egg course, which is surprisingly lovely.

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The menu changes, but on the evening we visited we enjoyed:

Cured ocean trout cucumber, labnah, avruga caviar (our favourite)

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Pan seared bug baby gem, buttermilk, chlorophyll

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Blue eye cod baby spring vegetables, prawn, fumet

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Slow cooked lamb rump eggplant, chickpea, puffed rice (our favourite for this course)

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Rosemary cheesecake sweet beetroot, blood orange, burnt butter

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Mandarin & black pepper sorbet liquorice custard, blueberries, green tea (voted the best dessert)

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To finish, we were surprised with lovely petit fours.

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BYO corkage is $25 per bottle, but a 25% discount up to $40 is offered for Canberra Entertainment Book holders.

The Boathouse is very well set up for large groups and this is it’s great strength and this could be a little overwhelming for more intimate diners who feel distracted by what’s going on in the rest of the venue.

Boathouse By the Lake Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

 

XO, Narrabundah – a first look at lunch

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XO at the Narrabunday shops is fun dining!

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It’s approachabilty and accessibility remind me of Supernormal and Cumulus Inc. in Flinders Lane Melbourne. The staff are very lovely and the atmosphere is sophisticated, but relaxed.

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While it has great energy at night, it’s also good for a light weekday lunch, cobbling together a few of the smaller dishes like the….

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SHANTUNG BAO $8 each with TWICE COOKED PORK BELLY and CUCUMBER, PICKLED DAICON & GINGER

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GREEN PEAS $10 SNOW PEAS, SUGAR SNAPS TOSSED
IN A GARLIC & GINGER CONFIT

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CHARRED LETTUCE $10 DRESSED WITH A LEMON VINAIGRETTE

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CHRYSANTHEMUM TEA SOFT SERVE $5 CONE OR CUP

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The Bao was very good and I would always have the soft serve cone, but when I head back I think I’ll try the small plates.

XO Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Pistachios, Torrens – perfectly portioned!

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Pistachios Dining Rooms at the Torrens shops still have the best portion sizes I’ve ever had!

The wonderful Tasting Plate of three Entrées $19 and Tasting Plate of four Desserts $19 are still on the menu.

It’s my perfect way to enjoy seven different dishes and still leave feeling comfortable.

This week the Entrees were lovely and featured the ….
Seared Scallops, Black Sesame Seed, Rice Noodle, Yuzu, Avocado, Chilli (my favourite)

Goat’s Cheese Ravioli, Peas, Sage, White Truffle Oil, Smoked Bacon

Red Wine , Braised Lamb Shank Soup, Roast Root Vegetable

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The four desserts were also very excellent ..

Vanilla Brûlée, Pistachio, Almond Biscotti

Chocolate and Hazelnut Blondie,
Dark Chocolate Mousse, Tia Maria Sauce

Apple, Blackberry Compote, Rolled Oat Crumble, Vanilla Ice cream, Caramel Sauce

Maha Sponge, Lemon Curd, Black Sesame, Cream Cheese, Chocolate ( my favourite)

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It’s great value but there’s more…

BYO corkage is $7 per bottle.

Pistachios and delicious bread are complimentary.

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If you have the Canberra Entertainment Card there’s also a 25% discount.

While it’s true that the ambiance is a little faded and with very little effort Pistachios could reinvent itself into a new young thing, it remains worthy of Canberra fine dining.

It’s soft furnishings make it excellent for conversation and parking is easy.

Pistachio Dining at Torrens Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Buvette, Barton – great lunch fine dining at mid range prices!

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Buvette is fairly new to the Realm Precinct in Barton, but already it’s famous for it’s French cuisine and Petit Feast.

However, it is a well kept secret that Buvette is also a top lunch spot in Barton.

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Decadent decor belies the modest prices for lunch options that are very genrously served with sides of salad and french fries, like the QUICHE OF THE DAY – $12

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..or the delicious CHICKEN BAGUETTE – $16 Tarragon Aioli, Comte, Tomato, Baby Cos Heart

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Also tempting are the  CROQUE MONSIEUR – $14 Ham, Gruyère, Mustard, Toasted Sourdough and the SMOKED SALMON BAGUETTE – $16 Capers, Crème Fraîche, Red onion, Baby Cos Heart.

Don’t overlook this well priced, stylishly set lunch spot with a reputation for fine French dining.

Buvette Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Chefs of Canberra Truffle Dinner @TruffleFest @ VisitCanberra

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Last week some of Canberra’s best chefs created an amazing truffle gala dinner  at the Arboretum’s Conservatory Restaurant  –  a highlight of the 2016 Canberra Region Truffle Festival featuring truffle themed dishes and Canberra wines.

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The evening commenced with canapes of truffled Belvedere shooters and truffled popcorn from Chef Janet Jeffs and the Ginger Catering Team. This was served with 2012 Mount Majura ‘The Silurian’ Sparkling Chardonnay Pinot Noir and Kosciusko Pale Ale.

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First Course was created by Chef David Revel from Rydges, Capital Hill – a beautiful looking 65 degrees egg with foie gras emulsion, pain d’epices, bronze fennel, red vein sorrel, target beetroot and shaved truffle. The accompanying wine was my favourite of the night – 2013 Lark Hill Byodinamic ‘Mr.V’ Marsanne/Rousanne/Voignier.

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Second Course came from Chef Alex O’Brien who cooks at the Boathouse. Truffle Savoy cabbage, raclette, bone marrow and herb truffle brioche with shaved truffle. Unexpectedly, it was my favourite course. This was teamed with 2014 Lerida Estate ‘Cullerin Pinot Noir’.

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The next course was Chef Sean McConnell and Daniel Flatt’s, from Monster at Hotel Hotel – Wagyu rump with truffle, lardo and turnips – teamed with 2012 Freeman Secco Rondinella Corvina.

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Dessert was a creation of Chef Frankie J Bodel and the Ginger Team – choux truffles, truffle custard, green peppercorns and white chocolate – along with Surveyor’s Hill Sweet Touriga.

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Amanda Whitley, of HerCanberra, convened a panel of local producers who entertained us with their inspiring stories and passion for their products….

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….Jayson Mesman from the Truffle Farm Canberra, Chef David Revel of Rydges and Anne Caine from Lerida Estate.

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A very lovely event and a very fun night out with tables of ten.

Well worth the $112.50pp, all inclusive cost.

Well done Canberra!

 

 

 

 

Courgette, Canberra City – very fine dining

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Chef James Massillon continues to creates magic with food and service at Courgette on Marcus Clarke Street in Canberra City.

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Indeed Courgette’s wait staff are the finest in Canberra –  familiar faces who develop an instant rapport while behind the scenes, seamlessly choreographing the meal to ensure a perfect evening.

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Each of the three ($66) or four ($88) courses offers a choice of beautifully presented dishes carefully matched to the serving ware.

The flavours and textures of each dish are clearly carefully chosen.

Courgette also very helpfully takes bookings and offers BYO wine at $18 corkage per bottle.

The current choice of dishes differs a little to the Four Course Dinner menu on-line.

First course is not as strong as the other courses and offers a choice of…

Meredith goats cheese cloud, heirloom tomato, basil pesto, green olive, toasted seeds, sundried tomato crisp which is beautifully presented on a very appealing natural piece of wood, but it misses out on creating a memorable flavour….

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…whereas the Prawn cannelloni, sweet bell pepper, baby cos, smoked paprika, radish, tarragon oil is very flavoursome and nicely textured (particularly the cannelloni) making this the better choice of these two dishes on offer.

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Second course offers a choice of four dishes.

The rare roasted Mandatory creek venison, baby capers, carrot gel, pickled cucumber, reggiano, bush pepper has great flavours and is a good choice.

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The seared scallops, smoked cauliflower purée, fennel crunch, fermented black garlic come on the most the amazing background dish but again, lacks a wow flavour.

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The chicken liver parfait, brioche, quince onion jam, sultanas, spring flowers and herbs gets much praise from Memoirs of a Foodie and would be well worth a try.

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Third course

The Cowra lamb cutlets, lamb shank, tomato chilli jam, baby fennel, celeriac, fresh mulberries are truly delicious and an excellent choice. The  pulled lamb shank meat is mixed with the other flavours and is wonderful.

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The black kingfish fillet with smoked salmon, avruga caviar, courgette blossom, charred leek and pea puree is very good as well.

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Fourth course

The Japanese citrus pannacotta, cinnamon crumb, mandarin gel, lemon and ginger consommé….

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…..and Baked chocolate mousse, banana fritter, honeycomb, salted nutty ice cream are both good choices and have a better flavour than the…

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Seasonal berries, shortbread, toasted Italian meringue, mango sorbet, coconut curd and slivered pistachio nuts.

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Overall, it’s a lovely experience and every care is taken to make you feel special. Dishes appear just when you’d like them, as if Courgette was already expecting you. Even your own BYO wine is decantered and served with care.

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It’s the perfect place for a very special occasion.

Courgette Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato