7 July 2008

Restaurant Review - Poachers Pantry

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Poachers Pantry
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.

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I agree with LG and the equilibrium thinggy.

Jonathon Reynolds11:09 pm 12 Jul 08

Interesting to compare with the review written back in September 2005

The only time I have been out there was part of a work function put on by a vendor last year.
I can attest the food was excellent, but can’t provide any comment on the level of service given the nature of the event we were at.

kean van choc7:09 pm 12 Jul 08

Like the way you think, Needlenose. Grabbed a Milawa Washed Rind to go with a newly procured batch of the smoked tomatoes – thanks for the tip.

Those smoked lemon myrtle tomatoes are incredible with a really good washed rind cheese.

Now I’m hungry….


Nice one che

Was wondering what this place was like, surprised there hasn’t been a review of it here yet. I’d go and sample it myself, but it doesn’t sound like the best place for a vego. Had the Wily Trout though, not bad. The best Canberra gift wine IMO.

Full respekt for the review.

kean van choc11:58 am 08 Jul 08

Poachers produce is awesome – and you can buy it in many IGA’s in Canberra. Go and get some smoked tomatoes and some kangaroo proscuitio, wrap the tomato up in the proscuitio and you have a taste sensation.

tylersmayhem11:57 am 08 Jul 08

Great platters and great wine! Had a similar service experience but if they keep the platters at such good value – we’ll be back!

Told you that you would enjoy it che !

That place is also very photogenic re the barn out the back

I love Poachers Pantry. Their lemon and tarragon chicken is so delicious. And nothing beats their hams.

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