Dining / On fire in Braddon

“Blackfire’s only been open a couple of weeks but it won’t take Canberrans long to discover it,” says dining reviewer WENDY JOHNSON

BLACKFIRE is the name of another restaurant that’s just opened in Braddon, an area that simply can’t sit still.

Wendy Johnson.

Wendy Johnson.

Blackfire has an open fire pit and woodfire oven, and it specialises in some pretty delish Mediterranean cuisine.

It’s only been open a couple of weeks but it won’t take Canberrans long to discover it.

The kitchen is headed by an executive chef who has worked in two-Michelin-star restaurants in Italy and Spain, two countries that worship food.

Paolo Milanesi, who hails from a Sicilian family of restaurateurs, has put his own stamp on the menu, plating up as nicely as he creates modern, yet rustic dishes.

We shared several items on the extensive menu, nicely guided by Paolo. Truth be told? We would have indulged in more except we maxed out.

It was a great start with roasted piquillo peppers, stuffed with big chunks of tender crab meat and king prawn cutlets ($6 each). Next up was grilled artisan morcilla (sounds so much nicer than blood sausage), made especially for Blackfire in Sydney. If you’ve not had this before, don’t be afraid. It has amazing spices and is fab on top of bruschetta with roasted sweet pimiento ($5 each).

We continued to share, with a risotto celebrating the wonderful world of mushrooms ($27). It was cooked perfectly with generous serves of earthy brown and Swiss varieties. We agreed the dish was a wee bit salty.

The shaved radish and poached fennel with preserved oranges, black olives and capers, with creamy goat cheese and beetroot vinaigrette ($16), danced on the plate. Such a beautiful combination of textures, colours and flavours.

Then came the organic, farm-certified, free-range lamb, roasted for eight long hours and served on a wooden board ($36 for a piece easily shared by several diners). Another dish packed with flavour, it was tender as and we gobbled it down with some of the best mash I’ve had in yonks.

Blackfire is a great destination if you love open-fire, slow-roasted meats. Suckling pig is on the menu, as is certified purebred Black Angus and Wagyu, more than 36 months old and dry aged for 30 days.

I also love the idea of wood-roasted vegetables, seasonal and sourced as much as possible from local farms (some organic). And if you love haloumi, that’s prepared wood roasted, too.

Indeed, there’s not a dish in the house I wouldn’t order and I can’t wait to return for wood-roasted chorizo and sautéed alubias white beans ($15), pan-tossed king prawns marinated in Pedro Ximenez and pil pil infused ($17) or any other dish for that matter.

Desserts are delightful. The décor is classy but warm. The wine list is impressive. This is a great place to book out for a special event or Christmas party. I’ll be back, and well before Santa arrives.

 

45/38 Mort Street, Braddon. Open seven days for breakfast, lunch and dinner, 7am-11.30 pm. Call 6230 5921.

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