Hotel Restaurants play a bigger role than ever before in local dining. Today more than ever, eating out is a lifestyle and hotel eateries have become a destination to dine even if you’re not an overnight guest. In Canberra we are lucky enough to have a few boutique hotel’s with restaurants that lead the way in encapsulating our city in a mouthful. In this instance we chose to dine at Hotel Kurrajong’s Chifley’s Bar & Grill.

Saju Rajappan has been the Executive Chef for over three years. His passion for feeding guests makes you feel like you’re in his home dining room. He prides himself on simple menus and cooking techniques with quality, seasonal ingredients. First and foremost, Saju promises a reliable menu with all your essentials beautifully presented.

We started off with the most delightful Scallops. They were spiked with tequila – which is probably why I enjoyed them so thoroughly. Pancetta crumbs and lightly seared in mandarin oil and served on an ever so slightly sweet corn puree.

For the light lunch crowd, a Quinoa Salad is the way to go. With the option to add grilled chicken or prawns to make the dish a little more substantial, this salad is a crowd pleaser. Roasted broccolini and capsicum give the salad its colours and crunch and the Persian feta allows for a creamier texture.

The grill is taken very serious at Chifley’s. We tried out 400g Cape Grim cooked to medium rare perfection. With every succulent mouthful you can taste the quality of the cut of meat. You won’t have to pay extra for sides at this venue – a chef’s selection of seasonal veg accompanies your steak which lays on a bed of truffle cauliflower puree. The sauce is the final touch, selecting from pepper corn, wild mushroom, garlic cream or béarnaise will be the hardest decision you make all week.

The signature Fish of The Day is a standout for those who enjoy seafood. We were served the Narooma King Fish with a coconut lemon green sauce, trapped inside banana leaf which held all the flavour in. Once you cut through the leaf the most amazing curry smells is released and the sauce seeps onto a bed of steamed rice with grilled veggies, revealing the fresh fish.

The Duck Breast was most intriguing, pan seared Magret Duck which is a meatier breed and your popular sweet sauce pairing. The duck arrived with a vibrant pea puree and duck fat smothered potatoes with a Vermont maple jus, if you were ever on the fence about duck this dish will convert you.

For dessert we stuck to some classics, a light and fluffy Belgium Chocolate Mousse with fresh strawberries and mint, finished off with some indulgent chocolate shavings.  And, a Mango Vanilla Cheesecake with berry compote and mango coulis, layered within fresh mangoes a biscuit base, cream cheese and mango jelly.

8 National Circuit, Barton
Hotel Kurrajong