Podfood

I haven’t been to Podfood in years and I was unaware that they even had a dinner session but I was on a mission to cross out as many restaurants from my Entertainment book gold card before it expires (and break my existing record of 14 restaurants). Most people when asking me what I was doing Friday night were surprised to learn that there was even a restaurant out in Pialligo, but it is still definitely there tucked away amongst the bushes.

After my very big call of claiming that I had the best panna cotta of my life, I came here again with TimmyC within the week. Most of the dishes that I enjoyed from the first evening were re-ordered, I’ll merge my two visits into one blog post and note which dishes that I ate twice.

2 course ($57.00), 3 course ($70.00) 5 course degustation menu ($90.00 or $130 with matching wines).20140330-215026.jpgPodfood is surrounded by beautiful gardens and you’re greeted with a dangling pomegranate tree.20140322-053744.jpg20140322-053805.jpgThey have a nice outdoor deck where we enjoyed a few drinks before the mosquitoes got to us and the waitress kindly fetched our drinks as we went inside.20140322-053815.jpgThe Apple thief Pink lady cider ($8.50) and Brangayne ‘Isolde’ Reserve Chardonnay ($12.00).20140322-053828.jpgGreen tea ($4.80).20140322-053844.jpgA minimal dining room that can lean towards being cold, bring a jumper.20140322-053857.jpgThere are always fresh beautiful flowers on each table.20140322-053909.jpgComplimentary bread and amuse bouche~

House made roll with fennel caraway served with nori butter. The roll had a really crusty exterior and not much ‘bready’ substance which was a bit disappointing. I couldn’t really taste the nori but the butter was extremely creamy and soft. During my second visit they had changed the bread roll to something with hazelnuts and it was much nicer, but I still couldn’t taste nori in the butter.20140322-053929.jpg

20140322-053943.jpgAmuse bouche lavish bread with cheddar mousse with duck ham and pickled lotus. The duck wasn’t overly salty but it was balanced out by the creamy cheddar mousse which made it a perfect morsel.20140322-053953.jpgEntrees~

Salmon gravlax, passionfruit, goats curd, compressed melon, cucumber, rye. The other girls got a taste of intense passionfruit paired with their salmon making this their favourite entree, I on the other hand got a hit of saltyness (from the gravlax) and a hit of dill therefore making it the least favourite entree of the night.20140330-083920.jpgScallops, smoked corn, morcilla, strawberries, pistachio and apple crumble. A kid disliking veggies before they even try them is like me disliking offal/blood products before I even order it. I have occasionally come across morcilla and more often than not, don’t realise it and have mistaken it for a burnt crispy chorizo. Morcilla is in fact a blood sausage that undeniably complimented the scallops with its crispy texture and spicy flavour. The apple pearls were made with agar and so instead of getting a burst of flavour in your mouth like a fish roe, it was more like a chewy ball that you would find in the bottom of your bubble tea.20140330-083937.jpg

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20140330-083954.jpg65˚c free range egg, mushrooms, hazelnut and pepita. My egg was perfectly cooked leaving a molten yolk goodness which mixed well with the savoury creamy earthiness of the mixed mushrooms. This dish has the more basic ingredients but still definitely competes with the other entrees in taste and textures.20140322-054011.jpg

20140322-054036.jpg20140330-084037.jpgMains~

We all took portions of each other’s main and we all had different opinions of which was our favourite. I wasn’t too fond of my main, I rather enjoyed my friends salmon who didn’t like hers but rather the pork. It goes to show that everyone has different palettes, opinions and preferences in flavours.

I found the addition of lemon balm throughout the mains and dessert dramatically lifted the flavours and gave everything a hint of refreshing citrus.

Pulled pork shoulder & loin, beetroot puree, apple, olive. The apple salsa on top of the pulled pork was sooo tart, it made me pull a face instantly. Albeit the pork lion was very moist, for me it had a strong taste of pork (it tasted like how raw pork would smell) which took me by surprise. The beetroot puree was intense in colour but luckily was subdued in flavour which I thought was good as that could have easily dominated the dish. The pulled pork shoulder was very tender and soft.20140330-084125.jpg

20140330-084241.jpgAtlantic salmon, fennel, kipfler potato, cherry tomatoes, squid ink pasta, fume. We each tried the consomme, it indeed had flavours of a lobster shell although we couldn’t understand why the crispy skinned salmon was sitting in a pool, I usually find consommes work better with steamed or poached fish. The squid ink pasta didn’t really add anything to the dish. What stole the show for me and made this my favourite main was how beautifully the salmon was cooked. The salmon was cooked to medium rare/medium with a really gorgeous crispy skin which I kept as my last bite.20140330-084314.jpg

20140330-084303.jpgDuck breast & confit leg, red cabbage, dutch carrot, white peach, puy lentil. The duck paired really well with the sweetness of the carrots and the white peach which I found as an unexpected delightful surprise, but I expected more juicy flavours from the fat and the skin of the duck breast. I ordered this again as a main over the salmon as I thought TimmyC would enjoy this more but I think salmon is much better.20140330-084340.jpgThe difference between plating between the two nights, the dish looks completely different.20140330-083455.jpgLamb loin & belly, apple, black garlic, cauliflower, mushroom, potato boulangeres, kale. The other dish that I also wanted to try that I didn’t get to during my initial dinner visit was the lamb, so naturally this was my choice for my main. I loved everything about this dish (although the lamb loin could have done with more seasoning), I’m really glad that I got to try it. The vegetable components were prepared so well, it was better than the protein.20140330-083837.jpg

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Sides~ ($8.50 each)

New season fig, Persian fetta, balsamic pearls, rocket. Fresh figs are always great but pairing it with a subtle fetta is pure genius and I happily re-ordered this side the second visit. I think I’ve just found my new favourite fetta!20140330-084202.jpg

20140330-084216.jpgFried kipfler potatoes, speck, rosemary, aioli. I love potatoes (especially crispy ones) and I love salty cured meats so I thought naturally I would love this dish. The smaller pieces were crisper but I expected that the speck would be much more salty to balance out the amount of potatoes. They also had a creamy aioli sauce which helped between all the bites of potato.20140330-084228.jpgPalette cleanser~

Cucumber sorbet palette cleanser with ginger bread soil. What is more refreshing than a cucumber? A cucumber sorbet. I had an urge to crack open a bottle of Millers gin when I took my first bite. The base was interesting, a lot of intense flavours. I made a face when I bit into the anise but I really liked the toasted sesame seeds.20140330-084404.jpgBlackberry sorbet with a gingerbread soil (palette cleanser of night #2). I think the flavours of the soil are like a Russian roulette game, you don’t know what intense flavour you’re going to get and you may unknowingly bite some anise.20140330-083505.jpg

Dessert~

Chocolate almond cake, sheep milk yoghurt, meringue, cherry. The chocolate cake has an intense flavour of rich dark cocoa so it was probably best that it was in small pieces. I wasn’t fond of the idea of trying sheeps milk yoghurt but it surprisingly it didn’t have an overwhelming ‘dirty’ taste that you would get with goat and sheep milk products. My friends were crazy for the cherry/cinnamon flavours so I left them go nuts on scraping the plate with the meringues.20140330-084438.jpgPialligo garden, apple, oats, cheddar, rhubarb, vanilla ice cream. This would have been the oddest dish of the night. Your spoon pierces the apple skin and through a soft apple flesh before hitting a lava centre of cheddar mousse(?). It tasted like apple with a touch of alcohol infused creamy custard. The flavours left me puzzled and I’m not quite sure how I felt about this one.20140330-084423.jpg
Vanilla bean panna cotta, strawberries, mango, macadamia. This is what I based my whole second visit on, this one dessert. I had to provide evidence to TimmyC that I had the best panna cotta of my life and also to gauge some quality control on the restaurant and hope that it wasn’t just a once off fluke. Luckily it wasn’t, it was just as nice in texture and creaminess and only a touch sweeter than the previous week. It is so wobbly, it was hard to take a photo when someone bumped the table as it took its own movement. The sweetness was not from sugar but from vanilla that they used which made it overall the perfect amount of sweetness. The texture was of silken tofu, so soft and insanely smooth. The mango sorbet was made from fresh Kensington prides from QLD (surely the last of the lot). The strawberries weren’t too overwhelmed with Cointreau so they still retained their natural sweetness. You could really smell the strawberries when the plate was set down. 20140330-083442.jpg
So smooth and creamy.20140330-084514.jpg

A great little unexpected place to have a lovely dinner at. I hope they keep that panna cotta on the menu!

Venue: Podfood

Address: 12 Beltana Rd, Pialligo ACT 2609

Phone: (02) 6257 3388

Entertainment book: Yes! It’s on the gold card.

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