Aubergine is a quiet little restaurant tucked away at the Griffith shops in Canberra. It has a small outdoor garden area and many tables for two inside facing alongside the floor to ceiling windows.
Before December 2015, we had only been here once as a couple because it is a very popular fine dining restaurant (therefore expensive), and we have been attempting to try all of the fine dining restaurants in Canberra (without blowing the budget!) We decided to return to Aubergine for our anniversary so we could celebrate in style and with some delicious food and wine.
After having dinner here, you can understand why Aubergine is considered Canberra’s #1 restaurant. I really enjoyed all the food we were presented – it looked amazing and it was heaven for my tastebuds. There were some dishes that tasted better than others, but this often happens when you have a five course meal.
We started with bread rolls. Usually I don’t get to eat those delicious bread dinner rolls, but this time, I got lucky! I was given a delicious gluten free roll. It was light and fluffy – not like the dense tasteless “cake bread” that I have come to know. It was a great start to my meal.
We were given an appetiser of three bite sized portions. The first appetiser we tried was the crispy fish skin one. It looks like an oyster, and you would imagine that it wod taste salty, but it didn’t. It had a hint of a fish taste to it, but nothing overpowering.
The next one we tried had some kind of pinkish-red powder over it, possibly a mixture of paprika with some other seasoning. It was like two wafer thin rice cakes with a thick, creamy, cheese in the middle. I liked the Gouda cheese taste mixing with the light chips, but my partner said the cheese taste was way too strong for him.
The third one we tried is the middle one in the picture above. It was some creamy cheese with a slice of raddish. The cheese was on top of a light and fluffy styled cracker – it tasted very similar to the prawn crackers you get in a giant bag from Chinese take away stores. This was my least fa oh rite of the three.
Then we moved on to the courses. The first “course” was the chefs choice for the night. This was a cold dish of chicken with a Parmesan foam. I was surprised that the chicken was so soft. I was also surprised at how well the flavours blended together, with peas, Parmesan and chicken making a great fresh start to the courses.
For the next course, I chose to have the quail. This was the first time I had tried deboned quail wrapped into a small looking ‘log’. It was a lot easier to eat than eating it off the bone, which is how I am used to it being made. This dish had a charred BBQ taste to it and it was my favourite dish of the night.
My partner had a fish dish, but I can’t remember what it exactly was. We ended up swapping dishes as he didn’t like the fish and I knew he would love the quail. The fish dish was fresh and had a hint of dill in it. I enjoyed it, but the quail was definitely better.
The main course was pork belly. I expected to have the small pork portions with a chunchy cracking top, but this is not what I received. Instead, the pork was a long 1cm thick price of pork belly. The pork was nice, but it wasn’t great. What I did enjoy was the spinach leaf beside the pork belly. The large leaf was been rolled up like canilloni pasta and stuffed with a thick mustard sauce filling. The tangy mustard flavour was what made the dish go from nice to delicious.
Finally we finished the course with some sweets. I chose to have poached pear. It was a really light and fresh tasting dessert, but it still had the sweetness needed to finish off the four courses.
The wine list is quite extensive at Aubergine and the wait staff are very knowledgeable on not just wine matching, but also the story behind the wine. Before we had our first glass, the waiter explained the back story of the winemaker and why this wine would taste the way it does.
I also enjoyed that the waitstaff have skills in creating a small temporary piece of art with napkins. We saw a chef hat being made, and even a chicken! The chicken napkin was a hilarious way to end our meal!
It is one of those restaurants and experiences where it is hard to fault. I suppose the restaurant could probably do with a facelift. The carpet and decor are starting to look old and slightly worn. Other than that it was a great dining experience and both myself and my partner will definitely return to Aubergine.
My rating of Aubergine Restaurant
Atmosphere: 4.5/5 | Customer Service: 5/5 | Speed of Service: 4.5/5 | Presentation of Food: 5/5 | Taste: 4.5/5 | Value for Money: 4.5/5
Overall thoughts:I love going to Aubergine and would recommend it to anyone considering it. It has great food and it is hard to fault it.
For more info on Aubergine click here.
Have you been to Aubergine Restaurant? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section!
Bye for now,
Vintage Barbie xoxo
All opinions in this post are my own. Unless otherwise stated, this post has not been sponsored and I have not been paid for this post
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