Flint in the Vines

My friends and I had been wanting to go to Flint in the Vines for a long time, but between lack of planning and untimely renovations we hadn’t gone out there until recently. It was lovely sunny day and it really didn’t take that long to drive out there even with the road works.

I had literally thrown on a(nother) dress after eating waffles and bacon for breakfast and started driving to Murrumbateman, so when my friends suggested to share some entrees and starters I had no particular objection.Starters~

Wood fired Camembert apple compote, red wine reduction, warmed ciabatta ($22.00). This ingredients make for a winning combination, the only downside was that the Camembert was not gooey enough, if it had a tad longer in the oven it would have heavenly. It wouldn’t have really have needed more than a minute or two to become perfection.Entrees~

Lamb roulade carrot and parsnip puree, plum jam, mint verde, truffled sweet potato chips ($17.00). I had let everyone else choose our entrees and starters that we were sharing and concentrated on choosing my own main therefore I wasn’t quite sure what we ordered. When I took a mouthful of this I was so surprised about how much flavour there was. The lamb flavours were robust and complimented by the sweet condiments, if I ordered this again, I would not share.
Butter poached prawns anchovy mousse egg-lasagna sheet, sage butter, baby herbs ($19.00). This looked really small and simple in contrast to the lamb but the flavours were just as pronounced. It was absolutely divine! It was to be expected though, who doesn’t love sage in butter *licks lips*. This looked a lot smaller than the other dish.Four dainty prawns hidden under a blanket of pasta.
Pizza~
Caprese basil pesto, sun-dried tomato, cherry tomato, bocconcini, balsamic glaze, fresh basil ($25.00). I must have been a pain to dine with, like a little child I couldn’t help myself but play with the mini lazy Susan that it came on. My friend liked the pizza base and the pizza itself, but towards the end it tasted like it was really tomato heavy and was starting to become an antipasto plate in her mouth.
Mains~
Confit Duck Maryland braised red cabbage, confit fennel, candied nashi pear, orange and anise jus ($34.00). The duck could have been a tad crispier but it was still really good and paired perfectly with all the sweet fruit and vegetables.
Honey brined pork loin romesco, sauteed cabbage, mushroom and sweet peppers, pesto ($33.00). The brine kept the whole piece of loin really juicy and delicious.
Chargrilled eye fillet potato and leek vichyssoise, sauteed baby winter veg, chilli jam ($35.00). As much as I love beef, I really mainly ordered this for the potato and leek vichyssoise. I didn’t know what it was exactly, I just guessed it was going to be a lovely rich white sauce made like one of my favourite soups! The eye fillet was cooked perfectly, it was juicy all over and it dish itself was stunning as it showed off an array of colour of baby winter vegetables.
 When uploading this photo, I got instantly hungry again. 
Sides~ all sides $9.00

Sautéed Dutch carrots almond cream, shallots, smoked paprika and toasted almond flakes. The carrots were slightly harder than I would have liked but I couldn’t get over how amazing the combination of almond cream, shallots, smoked paprika and toasted almond flakes was! People need to know about this.Roasted pumpkin & spinach salad fetta, toasted walnuts, honey & rosemary vinaigrette. So I might have rolled my eyes when the girls I was dining with suggested a salad to share but this was simplicity at its best. I loved this so much that later on in the week I made my own version at home. The rosemary flavour was subtle but vital to the salad’s amazingness (is that a word, probably not). Dessert~ all desserts were $16.00

Vanilla and nashi pear tapioca pudding stewed rhubarb Persian fairy floss, ginger and lemon biscuit. I was excited to taste this because I love nashi pears but I couldn’t really taste it despite chunks of it throughout the whole pudding. This reminded me of a vanilla rice pudding, not the sweetest dessert also not the easiest to share.
 
Lamington fondant (allow 15 minutes) dark chocolate fondant, raspberry jam, coconut ice cream, toasted coconut. This could have been one rich dessert but I was pleasantly surprised that the middle wasn’t runny lava made up of OTT molten cocoa, it was just moist and bitter enough to enhance the sweetness of the jam. When it was paired with all the coconut aspects, it created a perfect balance of flavours and you could eat the whole dish without feeling sick afterwards.                                                    
The food was absolutely wonderful set in an unpretentious, family friendly atmosphere and the waitresses were friendly, helpful and attentive. I haven’t been wowed by a Canberra restaurant (and surrounds) for a while, but this restaurant unexpectedly surprised me with its food quality. I am very keen to go back out again soon.

Venue: Flint in the Vines
Address: 34 Isabel Drive Murrumbateman NSW 2582
Phone: (02) 6227 5144 *
* Please note this phone line is answered between Wednesday and Sunday.
Business Hours:
Lunch – Thursday to Sunday
Dinner – Wednesday to Saturday
Entertainment book card: Yes! Don’t forget to use it
2% Surcharge for Amex
10% Surcharge Sundays
15% Surcharge Public Holidays

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IT’S COMING!

Not just any weekend, it’s the #humanbrochure weekend! All of our #101localhuman training has come down to this one weekend where we can show off #canberra (or the more trendy hashtag #cbr) to our interstate guests as well as our social media fan base (hello, is anybody out there?).

My guests and I have been lucky enough to be chosen to participate in a master class on curing and smoking meats at Poachers Pantry (#Poachersway) followed by a Poachers Platter of smoked meats, accompanied by the vineyards Wily Trout wines. I will try to squeeze in as much as possible with them but with so much to see (and eat) and such little time, let’s see if they can keep up! I will be clogging your #instagram and #FB feeds more than usual this weekend, just a heads up!

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p.s. it was not deliberate to see how many hastags I could fit into post, just a happy coincidence.

Chocolate D’Or – Robyn Rowe’s chocolates

I didn’t expect to head to Robyn Rowe’s straight after our brunch at Poachers pantry but then again I didn’t expect to eat two breakfasts that morning either. It is literally down the road from Poachers pantry, so it would be silly not to go to Chocolate D’Or!

Robyn serving happy customers who have driven quite a long way to visit her.IMG_4313.JPGA window into their operations and behind the scenes area.IMG_4312.JPGI wonder if the staff get paid in money or chocolate… I would choose a little from column A and a little from column B!IMG_4326.JPGThey have a nice patio to sit and enjoy their hand-made chocolates.IMG_4311.JPGMore seating out in the sun, if only it came out to play.IMG_4310.JPGDespite being full, each couple ordered an assiette to share which consists of a hot chocolate (milk or dark), three chocolate truffles, a chocolate cup filled with ice cream and complete with a chocolate spoon ($18.00). It would be hard to choose only three truffles from their large range of flavours that they had but I told myself that one day I’ll get around to trying every flavour eventually.IMG_4333.JPGSea salted caramel, butterscotch schnapps truffle and a caramel raspberry. Chocolates are made weekly to ensure freshness as they don’t have a long shelf life in comparison to store bought chocolate. I found that this batch of sea salted caramel (which had always been our favourite) to be too salty and sharply drowned out the sweetness of the caramel rather than enhance it. The butterscotch schnapps didn’t impress me that much either but the raspberry caramel- wow! One of my new favourites!

A close up of the goodies on the plate.IMG_4337.JPGWe chose a dark hot chocolate because it was just as tasty as the milk (and TimmyC never usually goes for dark!), you have to stir quickly in order to avoid lumps.IMG_4332.JPGI ❤ their caramel raspberry truffle.IMG_4340.JPGI had also come out here to grab a gift for a dear friend, selections for his truffle box included: lime coconut zing, French vanilla, caramel raspberry and orange créme truffle ($2.00 per truffle).IMG_4321.JPGHmmm, what to choose?IMG_4320.JPGA cute place to grab an afternoon tea as well as grab a lovely gift for someone. After trying their cocoa nibs and chocolate callets, I couldn’t help but buy a block of chocolate for home. Do I dare state that I liked it more than Haighs plain chocolate? I’m a big fan of Callebaut.

According to their website, they have chocolate flavours which include Sea Salted Caramel, Belgian Style Café Truffles, Star Anise Truffles, Orange Créme Truffle, Banana Flambé, Minty, Chilli Chocolate, Caramel Raspberry Framboise, Aramatoquie Poire, (Pear), Open Sesame, Lime Coconut Zing and Caramel Speculaas. Ooooh caramel speculaas! My next flavour to try.

 

Venue: Chocolate D’Or

Address1153 Murrumbateman Rd Nanima, NSW

Phone: (02) 6227 0550

Website: robynrowechocolates.com.au

Chocolate D'Or on Urbanspoon

Brunch at Poachers Pantry

I was very keen to head out to Hall and make a return visit to Poachers Pantry not long after my two 101 local human experiences. Brunch is served from 10am – 11:30am and it was very easy to book a table on the website for 10:30am and it was noted that we would have to vacate our table at 11:45am in time for the lunch time service. Instantly I receive a text and an email confirming my booking, I couldn’t help but feel that Poachers Pantry had been burned before as they also then sent me another text which I had to confirm my table the day before but it gave me peace of mind that I had a table after I drove to the other side of town.IMG_4275.JPGIt was filling up fast inside for the brunch service.IMG_4280.JPGSides~

Parmesan and chive hash brown ($5.00). After being housebound for a few weeks, I might have been a wee bit over excited and ordered two breakfast choices as well as a side but this sounded really interesting. It wasn’t exactly what I expected, I don’t know what they made the hash brown out of but it looked very orange. I think it needed more salt despite supposedly having parmesan cheese in the mix.IMG_4293-0.JPGIMG_4304.JPGBaked farmhouse eggs served with bacon, roast vine tomatoes and potato roesti ($21.00). TimmyC didn’t really go out of his way to share his dish, but I guess I was busy with my two plates of food. He really enjoyed the eggs which had a herby creamy sauce that he could spread over the bread and went very well with everything else on the plate.IMG_4283.JPGA close up of the baked eggs.IMG_4286.JPGButter croissant with Poachers ham and Swiss cheese ($9.00)IMG_4289.JPGHuevos rancheros with smoked lamb, fried egg and an avocado chipotle sauce ($22.00).IMG_4290.JPG

IMG_4291.JPGPumpkin and ricotta hotcakes with maple bacon and cinnamon sugar ($21.00). I thought the pumpkin would be pureed and used to create a moist dense hotcake but there were actual chunks of pumpkin giving sweet pockets within every few bites. Not the most ‘normal’ sounding breakfast but the sweet and salty flavours went really well together despite the fact that it looked like someone went a bit crazy with the cinnamon sugar. IMG_4295-1.JPG

Injectable doughnuts with salted dulce de leche ($17.00). My failed attempt of injecting the doughnuts left TimmyC commenting that my filling only went ‘pimple deep’ :/ The filling was more liquid-y than I thought it would be, so it really just soaked into the doughnut rather than being a thick sweet paste. I think it would  have worked better if the doughnuts were slightly smaller and there was more filling.IMG_4298.JPG

IMG_4302.JPGWe weren’t rushed out after our meal even though my slow eating caused us to go a little over the time limit. People were very happy with their brunch choices and I left feeling overly full and greedy, maybe next time I’ll stick to just one menu item.

It doesn’t really feel that you’re in Canberra any more when you drive out to where the air feels cleaner but conveniently it isn’t that far away from the city as long as you don’t drive past the turn off.