At the end of our month-long digital degustation, we can safely say GourMay has been a hit. Together with the local dining scene, we have unlocked some of Canberra’s more favourable flavours. Thanks to everyone who hosted us! We loved sharing your gourmet presence. As of Thursday 1 June, go get yourselves a greasy burger. Life is all about balance.
Monster: Lamb Shoulder
Monster’s pulled lamb shoulder is a signature dish which has stood the test of time on the shared plates menu. Sourced from Crookwell’s Lost River, the lamb is seasoned with a Mediterranean style rub of cumin, pomegranate molasses, and a generous amount of lemon ginger. After its coat, the shoulder is cooked for seven hours until tender and pulled off the bone. Cooked in a lamb sauce from the jus of the pomegranate molasses and then plated with brik pasty, vine leaves, pomegranate seeds, pistachio, and labneh.
If you’re enjoying this pulled lamb dish with a group of friends be sure to keep a fork in one hand and the Girl with the Blue Eyes cocktail occupied in the other. Its bold colour and consistency is a suitable pairing to the lamb, made eye-catching with the addition of blueberries which lay to rest on the rim of the glass. Massenez Crème de Cassis and the earl grey-infused gin are fitting to the homey feel of the fireplace flames burning in the background. Flavours of lemon, mint whites & yuzu are also present.
Lazy Su: Bossam
Winter in a bowl is Lazy Su’s ‘Bossam‘ Korean Noodle Soup. Combining the rich flavours of a 12-hour pork broth, braised pork belly, Asian greens, soy egg and hand-pulled noodles. A soup of this calibre is no easy feat, save yourself the time and opt for a warm-me-up soup from the boys who know how to Bossam. Warning: you may never be able to touch a basic chicken noodle soup again.
Make your night out worthwhile by pairing with the Yakuza Sour. After a warm-up soup comes the warm-up cocktail and this one has a little something sour to keep things interesting.
Courtyard by Milk Crate: Gnocchi
At Courtyard by Milk Crate the house made Gnocchi is on a rotating seasonal menu. You’ll find it every day but the ingredients will differ. The potatoes are roasted upon a bed of sea salt to draw the moisture before adding flours and yolks. The key is to not overwork it, just combine until smooth. For those who played with play-doh as a kid, this method should come naturally.
This week we were treated to the chicken pesto gnocchi which has a slightly saltier taste to it than a red sauce gnocchi. A richer sweet wine such as the ALAMOS Malbec will be a good match to offset the wine.
Turkish Pide House: Chocolate Baklava
There has been a lot of focus on main meals this month, but let us not forget the gourmet indulgence of pastry and sugar syrup. This Chocolate Baklava from Turkish Pide House Woden is made to enjoy after a hearty banquet to ensure not one single food craving could possibly still be lingering. Layers upon layers of pistachio, sweet syrup, and pastry this classic Turkish dessert has a modern twist by adding a chocolate filling. Cleanse the palate afterward with a Turkish delight sorbet.
Don’t be fooled into pairing with a Turkish coffee, the trick is to pair with Turkish Tea so your sweet dessert is settled with something light. Chocolate Baklava with Turkish coffee will be way too heavy and really set you over the edge. Even those discerning of tea drinkers will get around a traditional glass of Turkish tea.
RAKU: California Maki Rolls
As we begin to wrap up GourMay, let us take a minute to appreciate how delicately this sushi has been rolled by none other than RAKU.
Their California Maki Rolls are filled with Queensland Spanner Crab, tobiko, cucumber and avocado. Almost too beautiful too eat, though they are the perfect bite size pieces.
The crab inside the delicious roll will pair well with a light and clear sake such as the Chikuma Nishiki.
Bicicletta: Fritto Di Misto
A restaurant devoted to sourcing seasonal produce from local markets ensures the Fritto Di Misto from Bicicletta is always fresh. A mix of lightly fried soft shell crab, squid, scallops and tiger prawns with charred lime and a side of garlic aioli, this is a starter that will set the standards high for the night.
From the Canberra district, the Wily Trout Sauvignon Blanc 2017 is a full-bodied white wine that won’t overpower the freshness of the seafood.
Walt & Burley: Baked Bread & Butter Pudding
This is a dessert we guarantee you will struggle to finish – the photo doesn’t do its size justice! Baked Bread and Butter Pudding is layers of buttery bread baked until soft, a classic dessert that proves the only thing better than bread, is sweet bread. The vanilla cream and topping are soaked into the warm sponge, all in all, a pleasant experience especially when it’s a little chilly outside.
Finish off the night with a caffeine hit, and a bit of booze, two ingredients to really get you in the going out vibe. A decadent pairing with an Espresso Martini, after a mouthful of vanilla cream you’ll know why these two pair well together. Espresso flavours go hand-in-hand with this warm buttery pudding.
Salotto: Spaghetti Con Frutti Di Mare
Salotto by Santa Lucia located in Kingston is the place to be for great Italian fare and equally as fine wine. The Spaghetti Con Frutti Di Mare features Tasmanian black mussels, baby clams, squid and prawns with a sauce of your choice: ‘arrabiata’ tomato sauce or ‘aglio olio’ an olive oil, garlic and chilli sauce matched with one of Italy’s finest Pinot Gris, Taglia Friuli Grave.
Au Lac: Rice Paper Rolls
For the veggos out there or just anyone after a healthy and delicate cold roll, the Rice Paper Rolls from Au Lac are an absolute treat. Made with fresh produce sourced daily, the Vietnamese flavours from their authentic menu along with the house made exclusive sauces are a unique dining experience to Canberra.
On the theme of refreshing, pair with this housemade peached iced tea. Let the flavours of the fruit wash throughout the tea to make it sweet and enjoy the mint twist from the fresh sprigs.
Akiba: Beef Short Rib
Ending GourMay with one of Canberra’s favourite restaurants Akiba. Share a bowl of the Beef Short Rib with tamarind caramel and Asian herbs, a beef we promise will melt in your mouth. Aside from the obvious rice pairing, you’ll want to order a Panamania with this dish. An Akiba creation exclusive to Canberra; its contents includes 18 Ron Abuelo maple syrup Benedictine, chilli liqueur, bitters, dark chocolate for a decadent end to the culinary journey.