In The Taratory is a Canberra blog reviewing anything and everything to do in the ACT and surrounds. It’s been a busy few months – here are some of the highlights:
Love him or loathe him, one of the biggest events on the foodie calendar was the opening of Jamie’s Italian earlier this week. My verdict? It’s not gourmet, but it genuinely tries hard and delivers on quality (for a reasonable price).
To cap off some cold winter months, it was easy to keep warm with wine and good food at Poachers Pantry. Mt Majura Winery took part in the Truffle Festival over winter, and their offering of truffled brie helped me finally understand what all the fuss is about with truffles!
There’s a similar amount of fuss over Aubergine (and it’s had a great year with awards), but my experience left me a little disappointed. The Artisan in Narrabundah is instead my pick for a really lovely night out with great food and service. Belco’s HaHa Bar on Lake Ginninderra still delivers some of the best breakfasts in town. We’re also now well acquainted with Sage’s new Spring menu.
Some of the blog posts over the last few months have also been filled with superlatives. I declared the one-off Brooks of Melbourne pop-up dinner in the Burbury Hotel the best dinner I’ve ever had. The Canberra International Riesling challenge was the event I simply didn’t want to write about because it is that good.
That said, there have been some real disappointments. We had a disastrous experience at Maple + Clove in Barton, where their gluten-free menu items turned out to be not-quite-gluten-free. This sparked a range of comments from people with a similar experience, sadly. New kid on the block A Baker left us hanging in their first few days of service, but I’ve since been assured it’s dramatically improved.
Spring is also a perfect time to visit wineries (okay, when isn’t a good time?). The Murrumbateman Moving Feast was a popular event – so popular that some of the food sold out quickly! – so I’ve written a range of “lessons learned” so I and others can prepare better next time. I also had a lot of fun fancying myself as a winemaker for the day at Mt Majura’s TSG blending class a few weeks back.
To work off all this food and wine, we’ve been up and down a few of Canberra’s hills. Percival Hill in Nicholls is a quickie but a goodie, and it’s easy to see why Mt Taylor is a favourite walk among Canberrans. On the other hand, Boyfriend didn’t talk to me for most of the Uriarra Loop track from Shepherd’s Lookout once it became clear it’s a little steeper than I made it out to be (oops!). The Mt Majura walk remains one of my favourites. I reluctantly gave Pitch and Putt in Narrabundah a go, and found I really enjoyed myself. I’ve also made a start on the Cententary Trail – only ~145km to go!
And then there have been the big events on the Canberra calendar. Floriade Nightfest was pretty, but didn’t quite have the magical/carnival feel I was expecting. The year’s second Small Brewers Beer Festival still proves itself to be a great concept, but there’s a lot to be learnt regarding venue choice. There were unsurprisingly huge turn outs for the Canberra Nara Candle Festival and Oktoberfest. I’m still not entirely sure what the centenary Spin events were all about, but I enjoyed Spin Saturday all the same.
The next few months promise to be just as big… the next week alone will see reviews of the many Canberra Beer Week events!