When: Lunchtime, Saturday 5 July 2008
Where: 431 Nanima Road Hall ACT 2618 (25 minutes from Civic) Map
What: Smoked meats and wine tasting
Menu: Smokehouse Cafe, Wily Trout Wines
Open: Friday to Sunday for Morning Tea, Lunch and dinner with a booking for 25 or more. Make sure to book as it appears busy.
We arrived at Poachers Pantry at lunchtime on Saturday afternoon to find the carpark full, so I was very glad I’d booked a table. There were lots of nice little touches that made the outing feel good. From the pleasant setting, with the terrace cafe area surrounded by paddocks of young lambs running around, some nice sculptures adorning the grounds and rugs provided to keep warm if you are sitting outside.
On entering your invited to wait in the tasting area as they prepare your table, which then allows you to do a quick tasting and peruse what goods are available for purchase later. After a quick tasting we ordered a bottle of Wily Trout Sparkling and the smoked meat platter.
I’ve read previously that the service at Poachers Pantry can be slow, and unfortunately it looks like my number came up, as while the champagne arrived promptly, they accidentally misplaced our lunch order. Now this wasn’t a problem as we weren’t in a rush, weren’t starving hungry and were quite comfortable taking a turn around the grounds to look at the lambs and chatting. We were just about to ask when we were approached and asked if we’d received our order. It very promptly appeared. Everyone around us seemed to have received their meals quite happily so it doesn’t seem to be a real problem. The floor manager later came and apologised also. They were very friendly and approachable and we could easily have spoken up earlier if we’d thought of it.
The smoked platter itself was very filling and delicious. From what I remember it consisted of:
kangaroo proscuitio, smoked lamb, smoked beef and ham,
chilli stuffed olives, these were very yummy but only 2 of them (wish there were more)
dolmati, 3 types of dips, mushrooms and anti pasta, cold mashed potato with garlic and oil and bread and crackers.
Even though we were full from the smoked meat platter, we couldn’t resist the dessert menu, getting the Blood orange strawberry and almond cake with chocolate dipped oranges and fresh cream, Plum and chocolate clafoutis with brandy sauce and double cream. We had to ask what clafoutis was and found out its a baked custard like dessert and it tastes great. The fresh cream really set these desserts off well.
We then went and raided the cool room for lots of smoked meats. I’m sure they’ll be as good as they look.
So all in all it was great for a lunchtime outing away from town, but still not too far to go. 8/10
PS. They’re having a Fireside Festival on Friday 1 Aug 08 for those looking for a night out.