A leisurely lunch at Grazing Restaurant

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Thirty minutes from Canberra is a wonderful little town called Gundaroo and on the corner of Cork and Harp Streets you will find a wonderfully restored 1865 pub called ‘The Royal Hotel’ and inside a wonderful restaurant called ‘Grazing’.

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The restaurant has won so many awards including in 2013 the ‘restaurant of the year’ by Restaurant and Catering.  I booked for eight of us but unfortunately four friends could not make it (skiing and the beach taking precedence) so four of us sat down for a wonderful afternoon and to celebrate one of my dear friend’s birthday.

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We ordered a lovely bottle of chardonnay which one of my friends had recommended as she arrived early into Gundaroo and gone shopping in the Royal Hotel shop having bought chardonnay and riesling and some olive oil…all in all around $160 spent for some great products.

The menu is excellent with a good selection of vegetarian food so we all started off with a selection of rye bread rolls (nice and warm) with La Barre’ blood plum vinegar and Yass olive oil…a lovely way to start the meal.  My lovely friend, who was celebrating her birthday, and I shared a beetroot and lentil salad which was presented beautifully with roast baby beetroot and fine green lentil salad along with a goat’s cheese fritter and garden herbs.  We both then chose the creamy pumpkin risotto with wattleseed & pepita burnt butter, witlof and radicchio salad – delicious and so filling.  But not that filling as I was able to fit in a few of the hand cut chips with aioli.

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My two meat eating friends ordered the pork belly for entree and this meal, again was beautifully presented.  Both spoke very highly of their dish which was an eighteen hour slow cooked belly of pork with braised carrot, soubise, apple and prune.  My male friend ordered the ox cheek for his main course which comprised an ox cheek in Pedro Ximenez with heritage carrots, horseradish and parsnip.  ‘Delicious’ he said!!

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My ‘foodie’ friend ordered the Petuna ocean trout loin with grains, salsa verde and crackle – again another winner.

Service was excellent throughout the afternoon – although my friend did have to wait ten minutes at the front door for seating before I arrived.

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For dessert I ordered the absolutely delicious caramel salted hazelnut which looked fabulous on the plate.  It was frozen caramel and salted hazelnut custard with chocolate parfait, chocolate aero and pastry tidbits and my two other friends ordered the bread & butter pudding which was a spiced fruit bread and butter pudding with toffee banana and chestnut crème.  My ‘birthday’ friend was too full to eat anything else (she does not know what she missed out on)

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This was an excellent way to spend the afternoon and so worth the thirty minute drive from Canberra.  I wish it wasn’t pouring with rain when it was time to depart as I really would have loved to look in the shop and buy some oil/wine and chocolates.  But definitely somewhere I want to return as the town of Gundaroo looks so lovely with it’s little shops and stores.

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