- Good coeliac knowledge
- Helpful and friendly staff
- Fine Dining
- Small plates, big price
Two weeks ago, I went out to celebrate my birthday with dinner, drinks and tickets to Spiegeltent. I got happily hammered and it’s taken me this long to get through the hangover and write about the meal I had before the alcohol kicked in!
Early on Saturday afternoon, we booked a table online at Temporada for 6pm. We were lucky to get the table and I’d recommend booking earlier than this. When we arrived, the place already had a few tables taken and by the time we left, around 7.30pm, the restaurant was very busy.
Michael had called around 5pm to make sure they could accommodate my coeliac requirements and when we arrived, we were greeted by the wait-staff who confirmed my dietary requirements.
She took us to our table and annotated a menu for me, identifying the gluten free items and noting which dishes needed to be adjusted to be gluten free. She was very friendly and knew exactly what she was talking about when it came to the menu and allergies.
We browsed the drinks menu before ordering. Recognising that I’d need caffeine to stay awake past 9pm, I opted for a Rum Espresso Martini and Michael ordered a smoked cola.
The food menu was a good length, and one of the staff explained to us that the dishes were meant for sharing and increased in size as you went down the list of items. The menu looked really good, although it was quite pricey. It had a nice mix of options for coeliacs.
Eventually we settled on four dishes; marinated olives, burrata, grilled Spencer Gulf king prawns, and roast duck breast. We checked with the staff that we had ordered a good number of items and she believed that, with dessert, we would have enough to eat.
Our drinks came while we waited for our food. My cocktail was nice – the coffee was strong but it was sweet enough to a balance out the alcohol. Michael’s smoked cola was very nice. After the first sip, he decided to get a shot of rum too and it made for a very nice mix – a little like a Cuban but without the lime.
Sitting at the table, supping my cocktail I had a look around the room. The bar was set up in an island in the middle of the room, and tables were set up around the bar. The décor was a mix of sleek, shiny black tiles and rustic exposed wood. The lighting was dark and moody but it was still lit well enough to see.
Our olives came out first and we nibbled these throughout the meal. They were mixed and delicious.
The burrata came out next. Burrata is a buffalo milk cheese which is firm on the outside like mozzarella and soft on the inside. It was very creamy and satisfying to cut into! It was served with confitlemon, fennel caponata and curry leaves. The confit lemon was nice but a little overpowering. It was more bitter and less salty than I prefer, and the lemon skin was pretty tough. Because the cheese was so creamy, I think the dish would have been improved with a saltier and more acidic confit lemon. The fennel caponata was delicious though and the texture of the curry leaves was crisp, making them satisfying to bite.
Our next dish was the grilled Spencer Gulf king prawns, with miso butter and pickled fennel. This looked great when it came out with three big prawns sliced down the middle and grilled. They were so hard to eat though! I love eating prawns but peeling them is a pain, and these were so hard to get out of the shell! Eventually Michael took pity on me and peeled the last one for me. The umami flavour from the miso butter was also too strong and overpowered the prawn meat. The fennel was good though. Overall this was the weakest dish we ordered and it bothered me a little that at $30 a plate, we had paid $10 per prawn.
Our final dish was the roast duck breast with grilled beetroot, orange and vanilla. This was tasty. The duck was well cooked (a little rare as it should be) and the orange was in the form of a light, creamy orange sauce. It was not too sweet or tart and was a great compliment to the duck. The beetroot was vibrant and cooked perfectly so that the texture was firm but not hard.
After our mains, we were still a little hungry so we decided to grab dessert. I ordered my second Rum Espresso Martini and Michael went for a glass of port to accompany our shared desserts of caramelised white chocolate delice, and strawberries with mascarpone cheesecake (modified to be gluten free by removing the cheesecake base).
The caramelised white chocolate delice was very nice. A delice is a firm mousse and it was laid out on the plate like a power cord! It looked substantial, and it was perfectly flavoured with a slight burn from the caramelisation. It wasn’t sickly sweet like many white chocolate desserts. There were some soft burnt meringue squirts on the plate which were very light and a few peeled segments of mandarin. A little extra mandarin would’ve helped balance the sweetness of the dish more but this was a minor issue.
The strawberries and mascarpone cheesecake were also very nice although I was disappointed that there was not an alternative for the cheesecake base. The mascarpone was lovely – sweet, creamy and light. The strawberry sorbet was refreshing and prosecco jelly added an interesting texture even though the taste was overpowered by the other ingredients.
Our dinner at Temporada cost $213.50 including a 10% tip. I can’t fault the service at all. Everyone was friendly and seemed happy to be there, as well as on the ball when it came to my coeliac needs. Many components of the dishes were well executed and it’s clear that the kitchen staff are using high quality ingredients.
However, when you consider the cost of the meal, it is a little disappointing that Michael was still hungry when we left.
15 Moore St, Canberra City ACT 2601
02 6249 6683