There is something old-fashioned and inherently charming about sneaking away for a long lunch during the week. Even if you are not really playing truant from your daytime responsibilities, a long lazy lunch feels fabulously indulgent, making a welcome change from inhaling a sandwich while hunched over a bright computer screen.
Especially post COVID-19 restrictions, making time during the day to sit among company in beautiful surroundings to enjoy the true joy of lunch gives me a sense of being between an episode of Mad Men and Emily in Paris.
Capturing the spirit of the long lunch is Braddon Merchant with their newly launched lunchtime offering.
Located on the bottom floor of the Midnight Hotel in Elourea Street, Braddon, the eatery has created a bright, modern, calming space with a smart European feel that is very different from the neighbouring hustle and bustle of the Lonsdale Street burger joints and coffee shops.
Available Tuesday through Friday, the new lunchtime menu exemplifies the ethos of the restaurant, offering fresh, simple Mediterranean dishes, championing seasonal produce and local suppliers with Executive Chef Bernd Brademann at the reins.
Honing his craft for the last 18 years, Brademann brings to Braddon Merchant an uncomplicated yet interesting approach to fine dining, focusing on local and seasonal produce and a passion for paddock to plate. Brademann’s journey in the industry began with a Canberra-based apprenticeship, which he completed before moving overseas to advance his career.
He began in London as a Sous Chef at the pan-Asian restaurant Eight Over Eight, and then moved to Sloane Square to assist with the opening of upmarket British restaurant, Botanist. Eventually, the lure of Canberra proved irresistible. Brademann returned to the city and stepped into various impressive roles, including heading up the kitchen at the Australian National University’s restaurant, Boffins.
In the kitchen at Braddon Merchant, Brademann features specials like scorched cuttlefish with chilli, parsley and garlic, and Casarecce pasta with silverbeet, Bredbo black garlic, egg yolk and shaved Pecorino.
He is also introducing diners to Vanella Stracciatella, the gooey, creamy, fatty heart that you would find in the popular starter burrata. It is served with mandarin and roast fennel seed oil with a side of house-made charred bread to smear it all on.
And he is bringing in lesser-known cuts of meat like the incredibly tender and flavourful grilled butchers’ steak, which is served with shiso and orange pesto, and salt-roasted beetroot.
Braddon Merchant is located at 1 Elouera Street, Braddon and is open for lunch Tuesday through Friday from 12:00 pm, and dinner from Tuesday to Saturday from 5:00 pm.