When a restaurant turns 20, especially in these crazy economic times, it’s the perfect opportunity to pop the champagne, says dining reviewer WENDY JOHNSON.
TURNING 20 for multiple award-winning Grazing in Gundaroo, it was a chance to shine the spotlight on a special birthday icons menu.
It was a wonderful meal and although the special menu is no longer available, that shouldn’t stop anyone who worships quality food creations from taking a lovely trip this summer to Grazing for a unique dining experience (only 30 minutes from the heart of Canberra).
Head chef Kurt Neumann owns Grazing with his wife Tanya. They took over in 2011, so the special menu understandably featured dishes throughout the couple’s rewarding time at the helm.
We sat in a small, cozy, charming room, tended by knowledgeable staff who talked confidently about each dish, with pride.
The five-course menu was $125 per person (matched wines $60 pp extra).
The freshly baked bread arrived with a dipping dish of high-quality olive oil and blood plum vinegar from La Barre (Yass). The taste bud dance began…
We oohed and aahed at the look and taste of the ocean trout rillettes with dill crème and avocado. The dish was created with flair and the fried sourdough wafer crisp and so super thin it was transparent.
Next was butterflied king prawn, perked up with a pipi butter emulsion and an almond picada. The prawn was plump and blessed with fresh, dainty micro herbs decorations. Sensational.
Not everyone is a fan of kangaroo but should try it at a reputable place such as Grazing. This take of loin was ash baked and perched on fetta, candied walnut and wattle seed for essential texture. The beetroot dust created a gorgeous, rich colour. The odd piece of roo was slightly overcooked for some of us, but the dish overall was a winner.
The two-way, local lamb dish was innovative. On the bottom was the rump, cooked to perfection and melt-in-the-mouth. The sticky glazed rib perched on top was fun and couldn’t have been more tender. The meat arrived on a creamy kohlrabi and cauliflower mash, as smooth as satin.
Dessert was a masterpiece of burnt honey crème with ginger and orange blossom pear, honey jelly and candied pastry. The honey used is from the bees that Grazing raises and the dish (much to our liking) wasn’t overly sweet.
Grazing’s wine list is built around the best the local area lovingly produces, including from reputable vineyards such as Nick O’Leary, Clonakilla, Eden Road, Lerida Estate, Four Winds, Ravensworth, Gundog Estate and Four Winds.
It’s so worth putting Grazing on the food bucket list. It’s a beautiful blend of country charm and modern approaches. Simply gorgeous.
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