Pistachio Dining at Torrens


Bron has bought an Entertainment Book and the plan is to eat our way through the book 🙂 The Entertainment Book provides a substantial discount on a large number of restaurants in Canberra. The value for food lovers is obvious.

On Thursday night Bron and I went to Pistachio Dining at Torrens for dinner. When we arrived for our 8 pm reservation we noticed the restaurant had just under half of its tables occupied and we noticed that night’s service only required one waiter. We were greeted with a friendly smile and shown to a table for two near the back wall of the dining room. The rectangular dining area was very large without any poles or pillars. One wall is the front window panel that reveals the carpark of the Torrens’ shops. At 8 pm on a May evening it’s dark and atmospheric. The restaurant is nicely heated 🙂

The menu is marked by one of my favourite dishes of all time, viz., crumbed lamb brains (I think Dr Offal may reblog this post 🙂 ).

Pistachio Menu April 2014

Pistachio Menu April 2014

It’s no surprise I went for the brains for an entrĂ© while Bron when for the tasting plate.

Crumbed lamb brains with baby spinach, dried prosciutto and split jus

Crumbed lamb brains with baby spinach, dried prosciutto and split jus

Sautéed Sea scallops with smoked salmon, watercress, salmon roe and beurre blanc | Slow cooked lobster tail with pearl barley, chorizo, garlic chips, confit potato and herb oil | Grilled haloumi with buttermilk curd, tomato compote, charred onion and wild rocket

Sautéed Sea scallops with smoked salmon, watercress, salmon roe and beurre blanc | Slow cooked lobster tail with pearl barley, chorizo, garlic chips, confit potato and herb oil | Grilled haloumi with buttermilk curd, tomato compote, charred onion and wild rocket

The brains were delicious, my only negative was the prosciutto not because it tasted bad, quite the contrary it was delicious, but it was dried and difficult to handle with a knife and fork.  I would have used my fingers but that’s not appropriate in a fine dining restaurant.

Bron enjoyed her tasting plate too. I think the tasting plate is the way to go if we eat there again.

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For a main course I chose the lamb shoulder and Bron chose the pork.

Lamb shoulder that has been cooked for 12 hrs and pressed with green cabbage,  bacon lardons, rosemary, turned zucchini and potato

Lamb shoulder that has been cooked for 12 hrs and pressed with green cabbage,
bacon lardons, rosemary, turned zucchini and potato

Roasted pork with mushroom purée, red wine reduction, caramelised onion  and chickpea chip

Roasted pork with mushroom purée, red wine reduction, caramelised onion
and chickpea chip

Both dishes were delicious with easy pull apart flesh. You could just see how tender Bron’s pork was when she used her fork to gently tease a portion of flesh from the piece of pork in the centre of her plate. It sounded like the mushrooms were delicious too.

For me, the lamb was perfect. The lamb came in two parts, on top were thin slices of medium rare meat which was seasoned nicely and delicious. The rest of the meat was a large muscle bundle from the shoulder that was full of flavour and jelly.

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For dessert Bron chose a special which was a Crème brĂ»lĂ©e  with pistachio biscotti and chocolate fondant. I didn’t capture an image sorry. I asked for the passionfruit parfait with vanilla ice cream and pistachio praline. Utterly delicious.

Passionfruit parfait with vanilla ice cream, pistachio praline, syrup and dried flowers

Passionfruit parfait with vanilla ice cream, pistachio praline, syrup and dried flowers

We would happily recommend Pistachio Dining at Torrens. If you live in Canberra, it’s a restaurant worth eating at.

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Pistachio Dining at Torrens

 

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The P Dinner


Last night Bron and I went to dinner party with friends who feature regularly in this blog. A few weeks ago a P theme was suggested and agreed.

We also had another guest, a friend who was visiting from the US.

Menu
Pre-Primary
Pistachios, Peanuts and Peas
Primary 1
Prawn, Pisces and Pals chowder with roast PumPkin Pain
Primary 2
Pear, Pomegranate and Persimmon surPrise
Primary 3
Paella and Pork belly
Post Primary
Profiteroles
Passionfruit souffle´
Pannacotta

Parch Pleasers
Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, PoP

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As you can see the strong P theme. My only contribution was explaining how pissed off I was to pay 50 pence to pee in Green Park last weekend.

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Seafood chowder with prawns, fish, scallops and mussels. I forgot to capture an image of the pumpkin bread.

#dinner Seafood chowder #superyummy

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I really like chowder. This one was thick, tasty and nourishing.

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The next course was the pork belly with crispy crackling and a pear salad with haloumi surprise.

#dinner Roasted pork belly and pear salad #superyummy

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The pork belly was pull apart tender and the crackling was crisp so that an old man with false teeth would love it. Not chewy, not tough, just crispy perfect.

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The paella

#dinner Paella #superyummy

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This was gorgeous. I’d paced myself to get to this point. I declined a second bowl of chowder and I only had one second helping of pork belly crackling.

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The profiteroles

#dessert Profiteroles with vanilla custard #superyummy

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These were also filled with a lovely gooey vanilla custard which was to die for

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The panna cotta

#dessert This panna cotta was amazing #superyummy

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This is the best panna cotta I’ve ever eaten.

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The passionfruit soufflé

#dessert Passionfruit soufflé #superyummy

A post shared by Gary Lum (@garydlum) on

This was light fluffy and full of lovely passionfruit flavour

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This was a great evening. We even had an impromptu video chat with a friend in the US while eating.

Many thanks to our wonderful hosts for another spectacular evening of fun and food.

Food glorious food; since Wednesday; this has included dining out and home cooked happiness


On Wednesday I spent the day in Sydney for a meeting. I flew back to Canberra on Virgin Australia. I was able to enjoy an afternoon snack of cheese and ice cream plus some quince paste.

A snack on a Virgin Australia flight. Cheese, quince paste and an ice cream sandwich.

On Thursday morning inspired by the Ranting Chef and a post on 09 August I made baked beans on toast. I added a little Holbrooks Worcestershire sauce and some chili flakes plus Tabasco sauce for spice. I would have added an egg but it was already going to be enough.

Baked beans on toast with coffee

On Thursday evening we went to celebrate the birthday of a friend. We went to Sanur’s Balinese Restaurant in Belconnen. We’ve been there a few times before and I’ve blogged about the experience. Bron and I shared an entrée (Sanur’s Deluxe Platter for Two $18.9 A platter of mixed spring roll, chicken or beef satay, sweet corn patties and battered prawns) and I asked for fried chicken (“Chicken” Char Grilled or Fried ½ Chicken $18.9 Sanur Style Chicken marinated in house special ingredients and served with sambal bajak). I was a little disappointed it was dry and not that flavoursome. Bron had the Crispy Ayam ($18.9 Battered marinated chicken thigh tossed with garlic and aromatic salt) which was delicious. The chicken was moist, tender and tasty. For dessert we both enjoyed the Coconut Delusion ($8.90 Coconut pancake filled with unti (shredded coconut) with pandan anglaise, ice cream & toasted almonds).

Entrée platter

Entrée platter

Fried chicken

Bron’s chicken

Coconut dessert

The evening was punctuated with hilarious stories of menstrual period iPhone apps and videos of a bloke called Merv who is good at sucking. The flow of the conversation had periods of tension and hilarity. There was lots of talk about the ladies cycling together. I didn’t know they all had bicycles. 🙂

This is Merv


On Friday morning Bron and I enjoyed our regular Mavi Breakfast wrap.

Mavi breakfast wrap

For lunch on Friday I felt like some hot chips from Urban Bean in my work building. These chips are delicious. A small container costs $4 which sounds expensive (and it is) but the container is quite large. It also comes with some aioli.

Great hot chips

On Friday night Bron made a light dinner. We had a baked egg in a creamy Italian style risotto. It was delicious. This is a split photograph edited before and after the egg was cracked.

Baked egg and risotto

For breakfast on Saturday we had poached eggs and ham. I wanted a little cranberry sauce too.

Poached egg with ham and cranberry

After doing some washing  and house work we went out to Ricardo’s café in Jamison for afternoon tea. Bron had a golden mousse and I ate a swan.

Golden mousse

Swan

For dinner on Saturday we celebrated another friend’s birthday and went to Chairman and Yip after drinks at Benchmark wine bar. I was a little disappointed by the Benchmark wine bar. The drinks were really expensive and I got the feeling they were trying to get us out yet the restaurant was only about a third full. There was a huge hens party going on and we had wait staff asking us if we wanted more drinks every five minutes. My greatest disappointment as someone who cannot drink alcohol though is the absence of pineapple juice. That’s what I wanted. In the end I settled for a lemon lime and bitters. To be fair it was our waiter’s first shift. A friend asked for a Chardonnay and he received Chandon sparkling wine. Our waiter was very apologetic and smiled a lot.

At Chairman and Yip it was very different. The wait staff were efficient yet unobtrusive and allowed us to enjoy our meal. This was one of the nicest meals I’ve eaten in Canberra. For en entrée I asked for duck pancakes and ended up sharing with Bron who had pan fried Kurobuta Rich River (Victoria) pork cake with red wine vinaigrette. Both entrées come for $16.50. Both were delicious although the pork cakes were more filling.

Duck pancakes

char-grilled fillet of beef with shallot and spring onion sauce

For a main course I asked for a char-grilled fillet of beef with shallot and spring onion sauce. Bron asked for beef and scallop ground pepper hot pot, M asked for chairman’s red curry chicken and L asked for pumpkin and cucumber with caramelised chili and kaffir lime.

pumpkin and cucumber with caramelised chili and kaffir lime

My first plate, in the end we shared everything amongst each other.

For dessert I asked for a panna cotta with a passionfruit sauce. Bron asked for Pyramid of chocolate mousse over white chocolate mousse that sounded like chocolate fellatio which created uproar at our table. 🙂

Panna cotta with passionfruit sauce

This morning we had breakfast at Ellacure in Bruce. We’ve been meaning to do this for a long time. It didn’t disappoint. I asked for poached eggs on toast with a side of hollandaise and avocado while Bron asked for Eggs Benedict with bacon (this is Bron’s instagram image). Breakfast at Ellacure is very worthwhile. The service is very good and the food is delicious. The service verged on trying to get us out, but really, it was 0900 in the morning and they would be very busy after 0930. They were very efficient. I would rank this a great place in Canberra for breakfast or brunch.

Look I got pineapple juice 🙂

The best thing was I got pineapple juice 🙂

Poached eggs, hollandaise and avocado. This is one of the best photographs I’ve taken.

Don’t forget coffee 🙂

Tonight I was inspired by another blogger I follow, viz., Live2EatEat2Live aka The Mouse. He recently posted a picture that I have fond memories of as a boy. This is my version.

Rice with egg, lup chong and soy plus some spring onions