"CANBERRA: I hope you had an okay-ish time"
I went down to Canberra this weekend with some friends to see a friend of ours that moved there for work. It's only taken 4 years for us to get around to doing it, which makes us Good Friends (TM).
We originally planned to head down to 2-hatter Aubergine but, through misadventure and some external factors, ended up at sister restaurant Courgette (not knowing they were related at the time).
Dinner is a four course menu for $75 (plus wine and all that jazz), with four or five choices for each course. The dishes themselves read a little odd, with something like "crisp skin local snapper with poached moreton bay bug, clam, garlic mussel emulsion" sounding like an error at the printers where they put two dishes together on the same line.
I start with the blue swimmer crab with avocado, tomato jelly, celery and lime mayo (above). It's an excellent start with it's classic flavour combinations and crystal clear flavours. It's just a shame it took over an hour between walking in the door to this arriving on the plate.
The second course is a difficult choice, with everything on a similar level of temptation. I opt for the quail with scampi, corn mousse, peas, sesame wafer and truffle (yes, a lot of ingredients). It's interesting to see scampi and quail on the same plate, but the dish seems to work. It's not an amazing dish but I enjoy how broad the flavours are, yet still integrated.
The third course brings beef with an oxtail "cigar" and potato mash (above). It also says "sugar snap pea salad" but as it's half of one pea I refuse to acknowledge it.
It's a good dish, with all of the elements being tasty. Again, not amazing but still solid.
The fourth course is dessert, but cheese spoke to me so I went in that direction. Its's a decent cheese course, with an (perhaps over)abundance of crackers, fruit and nuts to call upon.
Service is excellent, though let down by the slow execution by the kitchen. Food is good and worth the price. It won't set the world on fire (my world was at room temperature at the end of the meal), but for some fine-dining at a price that won't break the bank, Courgette provides a good option.
RATING: Okay, may go back [?]