A friend and I drove out to Lark Hill Winery (not that we drink) to try out the restaurant. We heard about this place after reading an article in the Good Food Guide and after seeing a photo of the poached rhubarb dessert, I knew I had to try it! Located in Bungendore, it’s about a 35 minute drive out of Canberra depending where you live. Lark Hill is split into two streams – the cellar and the restaurant.
The restaurant sits right next to the vineyard. It was a lovely sunny day.
There is outdoor dining available under the shade of umbrellas overlooking the vineyards.
Open on weekends for lunch between 11.45am – 2.30pm, the menu offers 2 courses for $50, or 3 courses for $65. There were only 3 entrees to choose from, none were that enticing to me. I ended up choosing the pork belly with apple slaw and salted caramel snow. The pork belly was okay but not the best I’ve had. I left all the belly fat on the plate. The crackling was very thin on top but still crispy and got stuck in my teeth as crackling does. The apple slaw was fresh and crunchy. I couldn’t taste the salted caramel snow as it was only lightly dusted on top and around the plate. The pork belly itself is already salty so I don’t think it made much difference. I must admit I’d completely forgotten about it until writing this post and going through the menu again.
The mains on the menu sounded a lot nicer and I was tossing up between the beef skirt tagliata and the salmon. The salmon won out. A 50 degree ‘bag’ salmon with buttered leeks and salsa verde foam. The salmon is sealed in a bag and then immersed in water at 50 degrees celsius. The salmon was exquisite – unbelievably soft, tender and oh-so-moist. The best piece of cooked salmon I’ve ever had. The knife beside my plate wasn’t required as my fork cut through the salmon as if it were butter. It’s the way it should be cooked! The small chunks of potato were tasty with simple seasoning, and the buttery leeks tasted great. The salsa verde foam was very subtle – I couldn’t taste the herbs just buttery goodness. Just eating the salmon on its own would’ve been satisfying for me.
My friend ordered the confit duck leg with parsnip, beans and mash which was served on a wooden board. She was happy with the meal and the duck was cooked wonderfully.
As mentioned above, I was eager to try the poached rhubarb dessert however our waitress informed us that the chefs weren’t happy with the quality of the rhubarb that day so it wasn’t available. Drat. The other desserts were a coconut pannacotta or a cheese board, none of which were appealing to me. The substitute to the rhubarb was a raspberry millefeuille with mascarpone, cream and chocolate chilli sauce, so that’s what my friend and I both ordered. Not exactly what I was expecting and not your normal millefeuille, however, I found it light and fluffy. The raspberries were a tad sour and I couldn’t taste any chilli in the chocolate, but the cream was fresh, the pastry was crispy and flaky, and it was presented well.
Service is good and it didn’t take long for the food to come out. The minimalist look is used inside the restaurant – neutral colours and lots of white bare walls. Simple and clean.
Not overly impressed with the entree or dessert, but the salmon was to die for. I would go back for that and so I can try the rhubarb dessert. Something to try if you want to get out of a Canberra for bit. Not to mention the cellar is open 6 days a week for you wine lovers.