I HADN’T been to Pulp Kitchen for yonks… since before new management took over with Daniel Giordani at the helm.
This new crew has just picked up its first “chef’s hat” rating from “The Sydney Morning Herald”, following fast on the heels of being named one of Canberra’s top 10 dining establishments in “Gourmet Traveller” magazine’s 2014 Australian restaurant guide. So it’s all happening at this European brasserie at Ainslie shops.
We popped by for brunch, and the place was pumping, but at a pleasant pace. If you adore a leisurely start to a Saturday or Sunday, you can comfortably hang out at Pulp Kitchen sipping on a coffee or hot chocolate in a cup or massive bowl.
Many brunch dishes come in small or regular size, which is a nice touch. You can enjoy something simple such as a fresh croissant ($4.50) or heartier fare, with many dishes super rich but super tasty.
The Cotechino sausage, which enjoys cult status in Italy, with soft fried egg and Gruyere Bechamel on toast ($10 small; $19 regular), tickled my fancy, but my friend selected it first.
Once she got stuck into it and discovered the creamy Swiss cow’s milk cheese, she started to grin. The sausage was sensational and she would order this dish again. Or would she? Why, you ask? She ended up with food envy, wishing she had ordered my choice, the “Breakfast Raclette” ($10 small; $19 regular). It was created with bacon (loads of), potatoes and spinach in béchamel sauce and melted Raclette cheese. Truly “a moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips”, but worth every bite. This semi-firm, cow’s milk cheese is perfect for melting and melt away it did. No boring toast for me at brunch.
Other options that caught our attention were savoury granola (puffed, wild rice toasted in honey and spices) with poached egg, smoked ham hock and cheese ($9 small; $16 regular) and pulled pork in tomato braised beans, with baked egg ($18, one size only). And for those who really want to dig in, the Farmhouse breakfast offers everything but the kitchen sink ($22).
The service at Pulp Kitchen is friendly and was somewhat efficient on our visit. However, I had a moment with my coffee. It was spilled while being delivered to the table and arrived with my cup sitting in a pool of coffee.
No problem, but I had to ask for the obvious – a tidy up. Instead of efficiently substituting my dirty saucer with a clean one, the staff member mopped up the spilled coffee at the table. Not the end of the world, but a bit awkward and strange behaviour for a one-hat restaurant.
Pulp Kitchen, Ainslie Shops. 6257 4334. Brunch Saturday and Sunday. Dinner Tuesday to Saturday and lunch Wednesday to Friday.