During a bus ride full of caffeinated “humans” giggling and talking, I didn’t take much notice of which way we were going until we pulled off the Barton highway and took the turn towards Poachers Pantry. I had not been out here in years but I occasionally dabble in some smoked meats at the more convenient location of Fyshwick markets. I was excited to see what the place looked like and if it had changed much.
A bus full of happy local humans.It is picture perfect out here. A zooming action shot taken from the bus.Since my last visit, Poachers pantry have successfully expanded their product nation wide as well as on an international level. They have also established a brand of Wily Trout wines from their vineyard that they planted in the late 90s. We were greeted by Susan Bruce one of the owners of Poachers pantry as well as one of her children, his name escapes me right now, so lets call him baby Bruce who runs the vineyard side of things.
She explained to us that this was all started in 1991 not knowing where it was going to go and if it was going to succeed. Well we all know how that story ends with Poachers Pantry being a very popular place to visit and the success that they’ve had with their products. They lucked out on location having the benefits of country living while being so close to Canberra and coincidentally it had the best conditions for smoking meats using Nothern European techniques and growing a vineyard.The local humans taking in all the sights, sounds and soon to be tastes of Poachers pantry.We all head inside and gather around to see what Poachers pantry has to offer.Sue preparing samples for us and explaining their smoking preparations.We were wine tasting at 10:30am in the morning which didn’t seem to phase anyone.(Not so) Baby Bruce introducing each wine before giving everyone a taste.Would you like a taste? Yes please!A great selection of smoked meats ranging from chicken, duck, kangaroo prosciutto, pork and beef.They paired these delicious hot and cold smoked meats with sparkling, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot noir. You can really taste the difference between preparations and it’s easy to compare as they are usually from the same cut of meat, it is amazing how vast the difference is. I particularly liked the chicken breast with tarragon and lemon, traditional ham, peppered beef sirloin and Thai chicken thigh.
I didn’t dabble in their wine but I heard the other “humans” say that they don’t usually drink a particular type of wine but when they were given a sample they were pleasantly surprised. It goes to show that a good wine or chef can make you change your perception of what you think you may or may not like. They also house gourmet condiments that would compliment their products.When I expressed interest in purchasing some items, Sue said she would organise an esky so we could take things on the bus (how sweet!). Upon hearing this, several of us beelined straight to the cold room. I am actually writing this as I happily snacking upon their traditional ham! I also bought their chicken thigh with Thai spices. Sue suggested to fry up some onion, garlic and ginger, then warm through some coconut milk and adding in the chicken for a simple meal. They really endorse the use of their product to make simple enjoyable meals at home.Don’t miss the turn off as it is easy to drive past. I really enjoyed Sue’s enthusiasm to show off produce and wine from Canberra’s district to the rest of the nation and even the world. Poachers pantry are also creating a new wedding space as they also do a lot of weddings out here, I’m looking forward to seeing it when it is completed.
As we were leaving, the sun was hitting the front terrace perfectly and I was envious of the happy people I walked past who were enjoying beautifully presented food. I must come back and try the injectable donuts that the waiters kept walking past with *drool*
Venue: Poachers Pantry and Wily trout wines
Address: 431 Nanima Rd, Hall NSW 2618
Phone: (02) 6230 2487
Prices: this experience was paid for buy VisitCanberra as part of the 101 local humans campaign for the human brochure but we bought our own smoked goods.
Brunch Sat & Sun 10am – 11:30am
Lunch Fri – Sun 12pm – 3pm
Cellar door and retail sales
7 Days 10am – 5pm