As part of the annual Fireside Festival held around Canberra and its surrounding regions every August, many restaurants such as Podfood, Grazing, Flint in the Vines and more have special demonstrations/lunches/dinners. It also happens to coincide with truffle season.

I attended the Poachers Pantry degustation last year and loved it so I was excited to try it again in 2013.

Course 1 – Tempura cauliflower and cheddar foam. Undecided on this dish. The cauliflower itself was tasty but slightly oily. I still don’t know whether I liked the cheddar foam or not. It was very strange – a twist on cauliflower cheese bake.

Tempura cauliflower florets with aged Tilba cheddar foam, dusted with shaved Poachers bresaola crunch

Course 2 – Mushrooms with brioche and truffle butter. The mushrooms cooked in a tasty sauce and the sherry vinegar gave it a nice little kick. Loved it!

King and Swiss brown mushrooms with warm brioche, sherry vinegar and Canberra black truffle butter

Course 3 – Smoked duck breast and scallops. The slivers of duck were cooked nicely and the scallops with cocoa nibs and pine nuts on top were also cooked perfectly. The best part (for me) was the pomegranate dressing – it added a bit of kick and punchiness to the overall dish. YUM

Poachers smoked duck breast and seared sea scallops served with fresh pomegranate dressing, cocoa nib and pine nut crumble

A closer view of the duck and scallops

Course 4 -Beetroot and chicken consomme. My least favourite dish. I’m not a big fan of beetroot so a beetroot broth didn’t go down that well. I could really taste the smoked chicken though – pretty smart way of cooking!

Beetroot, smoked chicken and celery leaf consomme

Course 5 – Lamb. My favourite dish of the night with all the meats cooked perfectly. The lamb cutlet was juicy and slightly pink but not bloody (just how i like it). The braised shoulder was soft and tasted fabulous. Didn’t really like the garlic relish – a bit too bitter for me.

Lamb assiette of Poachers smoked lamb cutlet, 8 hour merlot braised shoulder and Poachers lamb prosciutto served with honeyed heirloom carrots and Bredbo black garlic relish

Course 6 – milk custard with rhubarb and quinoa crumble. OMG this was awesome! Quinoa crumble, who would’ve thought it? An excellent alternative to the traditional crumble and best of all, great for those who are gluten-intolerant. The somewhat plain custard was a great base for the strong rhubarb flavour. The crumble with white chocolate was my favourite part. YUM!

Macadamia milk custard, spiced rhubarb compote and caramelised white chocolate and quinoa crumble

Love Poachers Pantry 🙂 One of my favourite restaurants I always recommend to people and out-of-towners.

Foodgasm 8/10 
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