Sunday, January 15, 2012

Canberra 2011: Aubergine


Aubergine
18 Barker Street
Griffith ACT 2603
(02) 6260 8666

Whenever we catch up with An, we have to do at least one all-out, treat of a dinner.  (See these posts for previous examples: Rockpool SydneyArtespressoSpice Temple Sydney, Vue De Monde, Embrasse).  For this particular trip to Canberra, we chose Aubergine, a two-hatted restaurant in Griffith.


Aubergine is located near a very quiet suburban shopping strip, and has floor-to-ceiling windows, which allow in lots of natural light.  The decor felt slightly eighties to me, reminding me a lot of the now-closed San Giorgio in Carlton. (I'm showing my age here - does anybody remember that restaurant?)

Housemade sourdough bread, served with soft butter

2010 Verget Syrah - $10; 2006 Clover Hill Sparkling - $14


I really enjoyed these meaty, spicy little olives.  My fellow diners aren't really into olives, so I got to have these to myself! Muahaha!

Diners can choose from either a 2-course ($62) or 3-course ($75) fixed price menu, and unlike our previous meals in Canberra, we all went for the 3 courses!  The dishes were all very cheffy in their presentation, reminding me of Vue De Monde (dish composition), Embrasse (the use of flowers and micro herbs), and even The Point under Scott Pickett (the swirls of sauce on the plates).

Let's have a look at the entrées. I'm not going to describe the individual dishes in detail, as they were all fantastic, and I'm sure you'd get bored of me saying: "This was delicious!", hehe.
Duck breast, confit leg and sausage, spiced carrot purée, braised endive

Zucchini flower filled with goat's cheese, potato gnocchi, sweet corn, basil

Fillet of mackerel, butter poached lobster, shellfish cream, radish, puffed rice
Butter-poached lobster, you say?  Don't mind if I do!

And now, the mains:
Mustard crust pork loin, pork croquette, black pudding, roast pumpkin, sage

Two of us went for a vegetarian option for our main: a pithivier of portobello mushroom, with shimeji mushrooms, roast Jerusalem artichokes and blobs of mushroom sauce.

Portobello mushroom pithivier, shimeji mushrooms, roast Jerusalem artichokes
This was definitely the highlight of the evening - such wonderful buttery pastry!

Green beans with eschalots - $9

These beans were also fabulous - cooked to be soft rather than squeaky, and absolutely drowned in butter. Gorgeous!

We decided to share our desserts, having a cheese platter first (for an $8 supplement), and then two sweet desserts between us.

Cheese selection - Délice de Bourgogne (triple cream), Pont-l'Évêque (washed rind), Roquefort (blue), Morbier (semi-soft), Murcia al Vino (semi-hard) - additional $8

Chocolate truffles
With the cheese platter came these adorable chocolate truffles. They were very dark, very rich, very intense.

Coconut and mango panna cotta, financier, mango sorbet

I love how the panna cotta looked like a fried egg! I also loved the smooth, fresh mango sorbet and little chunks of mango, but my favourite element of this dessert was the almondy pieces of financier.

Chocolate fondant, coffee délice, salted caramel ice-cream
With its salted caramel ice-cream, this was a very current dessert (I would say "on trend" but I hate that phrase!).  The chocolate fondant was just perfect - slightly crunchy on the outside and meltingly soft within.  We were very full by this stage but just had to finish up every last crumb on the plate!

I loved Aubergine, and it is easily the best restaurant in Canberra that I have visited so far.  It was extremely well priced, service was great, and the food was absolutely delicious!

Aubergine on Urbanspoon

2 comments:

Bizzy Lizzy's Good Things said...

Looks as though the standard at Aubergine is still first class! Thanks for sharing your meal with us.

Hannah said...

Oooh, it's gone more prettiful since I last ate here! I used to work at the chiropractor just a few steps away, and I still love Mountain Creek with all my heart. Hurrah!