Although I’m not a coffee drinker, I’ve always recommended Mocan and Green Grout as a definite stop over for those coffee addicts looking to get their next hit. I was surprised to find myself going there, not for the beverages but for their dinner menu which consists of seasonal sharing plates (only between Tuesday and Friday nights).
We couldn’t stress to them enough that we had a movie at 6:45pm and because they technically not open until 6pm, they did their best to move us along as fast as they could. I thought arriving at 5:40pm, that we would be by far the first ones there but when we went in, there were already some people finishing their afternoon teas and coffees and not long after that, the whole dining room filled up fast with hipsters, trendy older people that could easily afford to eat here and then there was us.
We ordered some beverages while we were waiting for the menus, the waitress kindly let us know that they menus were being printed and we would get one as soon as they were done. There is something that changes on the menu each day so they print them every day. Interesting…
Chai tea with bon soy milk in a teapot ($5.00). The taste of herbs and spices was very potent yet not overwhelming. It was the strongest chai I’ve ever had but the creaminess and the froth from the soy milk balanced it out. Although it wasn’t very sweet, it was just sweet enough and didn’t require any sugar/honey.
Bottled fruit juice Oracle organic orange ($5.00).
I couldn’t understand how $22.00 equated to a ‘sharing plate’ but soon I learned that the portions were very very small and the price were very very high.
Smoked potato, Morcilla, Ortiz anchovy ($4.00 individual serve) – I definitely could taste the smokeyness and I quickly found out what morcilla was but I couldn’t detect any potato. Probably could have done without this.
Soft shell crab, kewpie, sriracha ($19.00) – A dollop of kewpie mayonnaise in a pool of sriracha makes for a surprisingly good dipping sauce. Not overly oily, my only downside to this plate was the portion size but I soon learned that everything was this size.
Cauliflower, quinoa, toasted ricotta, pistachio ($16.00) – The dried pomegranate seeds provided a refreshing and surprising bursts of sourness between the butteriness of the roasted cauliflower. These unexpected flavours went really well together and made for a pleasant surprise.
Roasted brussel sprouts, bonito butter, furikake ($16.00) – The katsuobushi used as a topping really dominated the flavour but when you ate a brussel sprout on its own it wasn’t too bad or bitter, but it was lacking some more salt or butter (or bacon/speck?).
Boxgum grazing pork belly, eggplant, miso, crisp enoki ($22.00) – Boxgum grazing is by far one of my favourite places to get meat from, it really lets your palette know the difference of free range pastured pork and everything else. Even though the skin wasn’t crispy, the pork was very tender and was amazing with a drizzle of miso, which wasn’t overwhelming and the enoki added a bit more texture to the whole plate. Easily one of my favourite dishes of the night.
Just in case you thought the pieces of pork was big and sufficient.
Pulled lamb shoulder ‘brik’, yoghurt, harissa, dukkah ($24.00) – I don’t think it needed all the condiments on the side as the ‘brik’ itself was so tasty. The only downside was receiving only a quarter of what was an already small cigar of crispy spring roll pastry encasing very delicious and tender lamb.
Eden snapper, pumpkin, lentil, hazelnut, fennel ($23.00) – Turns out, I’m a big fan of French lentils, they tasted slightly buttery. This combination, if you can get a bit of everything on your fork, is brilliant and a lovely way to finish the meal.
We were a little late to the movie but they did the best that they could in their very busy kitchen and dining area to get us out. I thought I was still hungry (there was no chance we were going to have dessert) but when all my food settled during the movie, I felt content. As delicious as the food was, I found it very expensive for what it is, you could probably get more food for the same prices at a fine dining restaurant.
They don’t take bookings so maybe it is smart to grab a table early.
Venue: Mocan and Green Grout
Address: 1/19 Marcus Clarke Street, New Acton South, ACT
Phone: (02) 6162 2909
Day: Monday – Saturday (7am – 6pm)
Sunday (from 8am)
Evenings: Tuesday – Friday (6pm – 9pm)