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Sage — a review

By Kerces 1 April 2006 14

Where: Gorman House, Ainslie Ave, Braddon
Ph: 6249 6050
Cost: approx $80 per person
Date reviewed: 29 March 2006

The other night for my birthday I was taken to Sage in Gorman House for dinner. I came out of there thinking it was one of the best meals I have ever had.

The restaurant is quite small but very cosy. On a mid-week night they had five or six tables full and two staff running the place, one of whom I thought might be fairly new. That said, he was looking after our table and the service was fabulous.

And the food! First up I had fried goat’s cheese dumplings with tomato jelly, olive tapenade and rocket. The tomato jelly dobs confused me at first until I worked out to roll the dumplings in them. The dumplings were orgasmic (seriously); they just cracked open in your mouth and the cheese melted away languidly. The scallops my partner had were ethereal and perfectly accompanied by the rocket and its dressing. The entree and main were accompanied by a white wine which I’m told was lovely (I thought it was nice too but haven’t quite got a discerning palate yet).

For the main I had torn saffron pasta with Balmain bugs, Queensland prawns and peas in a lemon and chive butter. I thought serving the pasta as torn was a nice way of letting the homemade pasta take centre place, rather than the sauce as often happens. Having gone to all the effort of making the pasta, and it definitely tasted freshly-made, why not show it off? The sauce had just enough tang to it to have a sharpness that contrasted nicely with the pasta. I found more bugs than prawns but both were excellent.

Dessert was a wedge of mango and coconut semi-freddo with a coconut wafer and passionfruit coulis. The flavours were subtle but worked well after the sharpness of the main. Plus I love a semi-freddo. My partner’s lime meringue and mandarine sorbet stack (judging by the meals we saw around us, the chef was having a tall food night) on the other hand was quite flamboyant with its flavours. On discussion we decided the lime napoleon was a cheerleader while the semi-freddo was a refined lady. However it too was glorious, as well as quite spectacular to look at. To accompany these delicious desserts we had a Morris tokay, which tasted to me very much like sultanas, and latte which I’m told was very good (I’m a coffee drinker with training wheels).

Overall I thought the food was spectacular, the service pleasant and efficient and the atmosphere delightful and I would most definitely go there again.

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Sage — a review
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caf 1:28 am 05 Apr 06

Ya, we went to Sage after seeing a screening at the French film fest the other weekend. It’s a great restaurant – I loved those goats cheese dumplings too, and the lamb main course is fantastic.

Definitely no kiddies around when I was there too – in fact one of the things I liked about it was that it was so quiet (noise-wise; every table was taken).

johnboy 10:31 pm 03 Apr 06

of course if you have no licence then the licencing laws do not apply.

Mr_Shab 1:50 pm 03 Apr 06

amen bonfire. It’s not like your life has to cease when you have kids, but a restaurant like Sage is not the place to take junior. Get a babysitter for a couple of hours.

FYI – I’m pretty sure that Sage never claimed to be “kid friendly”. I think it’s just that they don’t have any signs saying “no kids under 12” or words to that effect.

PS – I’m pretty sure under the licencing laws, you’re not allowed to charge for tap water; and it’s compulsary to provide it.

BTW – Everyone be aware of a new, and I think very questionable practice in some higher-end restaurants in Canberra (not Sage, BTW). They will ask if you want water when you’re seated (like everywhere) and when you say yes (If you’re like me, you’ll naturally assume that’ll be tap water) get a bottle of still springwater, and get charged $12 a bottle for it.

You’re already paying $200+ for dinner for two, so it’s not really a question of cost, more of being informed. It leaves a bad taste (no pun intended).

Big Al 1:44 pm 03 Apr 06

Child friendly you say. Now that’s got me interested! I just love a place that can accommodate my sweet little darlings – Cerberus and Tracy (named after the cyclone of course) and has a menu that doesn’t include chicken nuggets or anything in the Reef’n beef / surf’n turf category.

Absent Diane 1:21 pm 03 Apr 06

its making me hungry just reading about it…

bonfire 1:09 pm 03 Apr 06

i really like sage, except that its ‘child friendly’. too small to be happily child friendly and charging the prices they do.

if i cant hear my companion over a little darlings tantrum, my enjoyment suffers.

Big Al 1:09 pm 03 Apr 06

Sorry for the shocking tying on last post.

Big Al 1:08 pm 03 Apr 06

“We had a meal at tasuke and i was suprised to be charged $1 for a glass of tap water- is this aloud?”

Why not – what value would you put on it? Considering they have to provide the galss, claen it after you’re finished – that and your taking up the space a real customer could have used. Sure, some places might absorb the real cost of providing a glass of tap-water – that’s their choice I suppose.

toriness 12:43 pm 03 Apr 06

Sage is absolutely divine! Definitely one of the best restaurants in Canberra IMHO.

Blossy 12:20 pm 03 Apr 06


I think I need to find a dinner date.

lenny 5:20 am 03 Apr 06


lenny 7:07 pm 02 Apr 06

We had a meal at tasuke and i was suprised to be charged $1 for a glass of tap water- is this aloud?

Slinky the Shocker 11:21 am 01 Apr 06

Hmmm…Sage is great! If I find the time (and can be bothered) I’ll write a review about a great meal at Carlo’s sometime.

seepi 11:08 am 01 Apr 06

We went there last night! It is lovely – the food is fabulous and we got an Entertainment Card discount. So ours was 90.00 for two, for 2 entrees, 2 mains, a salad and a bottle of wine. The scollops were great – we’ll be back.

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