As part of my family's Christmas celebration we joined the Melbourne branch of our family at The Artisan in Narrabundah, Canberra for a lovely dinner late last week.
The Artisan is easily my favourite restaurant in Canberra. The food is of an incredibly high standard, yet avoids being overly fussy. The service is impeccably professional, but still very friendly. I really loathe hoity toity service that leaves you feeling like you must be on your best behaviour. At The Artisan you are very well taken care of, but made to feel welcome and relaxed.
You will have to forgive my less than brilliant photos which do not give the beautiful food justice, I was silly enough to forget my camera and was in a hurry to eat rather than take amazing food portraits.
Wagyu bresaola, chesire cheddar, pickled beetroot, rosemary grissini and quail egg.
What a perfect little plate of flavours if ever there was one. This starter was just divine, a perfect balance of textures and tastes to begin a meal. I stopped talking to everyone at the table to eat this one. In addition, I may or may not have had half of Dad's pork belly (maple brushed pork belly, slow braised in Gypsy pear cider with witlof and hazelnuts), which was also highly delectable.
Blackberry glazed roast duck breast with sugar snaps, baby carrots and chestnut puree.
The gaminess of the duck, earthy flavours of chestnut and fresh sweetness of the baby carrots and sugar snaps made my tummy very happy. Sometimes I feel the additions to duck can make it far too heavy and rich, but the light accompaniments to this dish complimented the duck very gently, without distracting from the duck itself.
Bitter chocolate and cherry pavé with crème anglaise and rose fairy floss
This dessert, oh my goodness. To start with, it was abundantly gorgeous with its toupée of brightly pink rose fairy floss. The crème anglaise provided a soft, creamy background for the richness of the bitter chocolate and sweetness of the fairy floss to sit against. I was surprised to hear this, and in fact the vast majority of the dessert menu, was wheat and gluten free. This treat was the perfect end to the meal.
The Artisan has fast become my family's favourite for special occasion dinners so I'm sure I'll be visiting Canberra again soon for more of their scrumptious delights.