Dinner with friends at the top of Red Hill, Canberra
This is another restaurant in Canberra that I have wanted to try – it came with good recommendations from diners on the net and from some of my friends. The restaurant is located on the top of Red Hill, one of the ‘mountains’ in Canberra with a menu that is for ‘tasting’ with entrée size meals so that you can order a few and enjoy tasting a lot of the dishes on the menu.
I arrived early so was able to take some photos of Canberra; the city and the bush from the top of Red Hill. I now look at them and they look like they were taken in the 1970’s with a bad camera (but I did only take these with my iPhone so they are not so great).
This dinner was with two friends (Karen and Renee) and for the past six months or so, we have been going out to dinner or lunch trying out new restaurants around Canberra. It’s been really nice for the three of us to catch up and we also get to try lots of new and different places in Canberra with some mixed results. This was one such restaurant where we had heard great things about and actually didn’t ‘love’ the food.
I had rung the restaurant weeks before to make a reservation as I wanted to book dinner early for 6.00pm. I was told they were hosting a christmas lunch party which would run until around 5pm in the afternoon so they could only accommodate dinner at 7.15pm as they needed to clean up after the party and prepare for dinner. So a bit late for us (me really) on a work night but I agreed.
Well when I got there at 7pm, the party was still going with lots of noise; very loud unfortunately. And you know what it’s like when you are somewhere and not drinking and others have been drinking for six hours…nothing is funny to you; loud people laughing like hyenas are not funny to sober people!!!
Anyway my friends arrived a little later and we exchanged birthday presents for my friend Karen and started off with a glass of wine, which was really nice. Service was great also throughout the night. The views from the restaurant are lovely and it was nice to see the sun setting over the mountains.
We ordered from the tasting menu and my friends ordered three meat/seafood dishes and I ordered three vegetarian dishes. My dishes were the eggplant and chickpea pistachio with tzatziki which I found a little boring, not much taste but looked good.
My next dish was the zucchini and caramelised onion tart with baba ghanoush (again not seasoned enough I found).
My friends ordered a range of dishes including the moreton bay bug, crustacean bisque and green pea then the blue eyed cod with salad and chilli jam. And it’s funny they said the same thing as me that the dishes whilst looking good, were a little bland.
My friends then had the seared scallops with watermelon, bonito, cucumber and dash (I still have no idea what dashi is and neither did my friends) and the shredded confit duck leg with beetroot, sweet potato and kale. Again both said these dishes were ‘ok’ but a little bit bland; needing more seasoning or something.
But we all said that our desserts were the best meal of the evening..we all ordered something different and each said ours was the best!!
I had the warm chocolate tart with berries and honeycomb (too much to eat so I shared with Renee – who was very happy to have one and a half desserts).
Karen ordered the strudel of apple and drunken sultana with honey and rose (really nice display on the plate and Karen said it was delicious).
And finally my other friend Renee had the white chocolate marquise with salted caramel and fudge..again was nice and looked fabulous but she said my chocolate dessert was the best.
The three of us were glad we went as the views were lovely from the restaurant and service was good but it was much too noisy and food, whilst looked great when served, was, this evening, a little bland.