It’s a cold winter’s Friday evening and we’ve just discovered that our fridge is lacking gastronomic inspiration. Stomachs rumbling, we are all glad to be heading out to try the Italian banquet at Krack’d Peppa Cafe at Rose Cottage. With the promise of hearty platters of pasta to combat the frigid Canberra temperatures, we head out to the family-friendly cafe located within the grounds of the historical Rose Cottage in the Southside suburb of Gilmore.
Dating back to the 1800s, Rose Cottage – on the corner of Isabella Drive and Monaro Highway – is a sprawling precinct made up of a pub, four function areas and Krack’d Peppa Cafe. Surrounded by bushland, there is a distinct relaxed country feel as you turn into the driveway of the property, which continues once you step inside Krack’d Peppa. There is a crackling fire in the main dining hall and low candle lighting, setting the mood for a tranquil evening ahead.
Tracy and Anthony Shaw are the new owners of Krack’d Peppa. The husband and wife team have a wealth of experience in the hospitality industry with Anthony clocking over 30 years working in some of Canberra’s most well-known kitchens. Since taking over Krack’d Peppa, they have worked hard to build a loyal customer base offering decadent and delicious breakfast and lunch options Friday through to Sunday. Recently they have added dinner service on Friday and Saturday evenings that pays homage to Anthony’s love and passion for Italian food.
As a young boy, Anthony’s earliest food memory is learning how to make pasta under the tutelage of his uncle. Years later, he was able to hone his skills working for the Belluci’s group of kitchens. Synonymous with classic Italian food, the Belluci’s restaurants in Manuka and Phillip cemented his understanding of the techniques and flavours of the cuisine.
So when it came time to design a crowd-pleasing dinner menu for Krack’d Peppa, Anthony constructed the Italian two-course banquet. Available for $29 per person, the menu is plentiful, generous and celebrates fresh house-made traditional flavours sure to please.
All the food for the banquet is served family style with share platters in the middle of the table. For starters, the warming combination of house-made garlic, olive and herb focaccia set against the background of a crackling fire set the meal off to a great start. Salt and Pepper Calamari along with a thoughtful antipasto board full of cured meats, marinated vegetables and dips nicely round out the first course of the banquet. Tracey, who heads up the front of house, keeps a watchful eye on tables and paces out the courses to ensure there is plenty of time to linger and enjoy every last morsel.
The second course is a pasta platter made up of three dishes. Diners can pick from classics such as Spaghetti Marinara, Cannelloni with Spinach and Ricotta or Fettuccini Carbonara. The house-made pasta and sauces melted away any of the winter chills we were still feeling from the frosty day outside and the generous portions meant we were able to take some home to enjoy the next day.
For those wanting to live ‘La Dolce Vita’ and enjoy the good life of enjoying Italian food from home, Krack’d Peppa has the Italian feast to go for four people. With all of the inclusions of the banquet plus four cans of soft drink included, it is incredible value at $65.
Krack’d Peppa Cafe at Rose Cottage is located on the corner of Isabella Drive & Monaro Highway, Gilmore. To book the Italian Banquet or order takeaway, call 0418 994 982.