Review: CIT restaurant, Reid, Canberra

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Have you ever wanted to try a degustation but couldn't really afford one? If you like elegantly presented food at an affordable price, I have found the perfect place! The CIT restaurant in the Reid Campus offers a very affordable lunch menu that changes on a regular basis (changing every school term). You can have one course for $15, two courses for $20 or three courses for $25. Yep, you read that correctly. 3 courses for $25! Unheard of in Canberra.

There are two menus per week - one is available from Tuesday-Thursday and the other is available only on Friday. Each menu is developed by a class of students and there are two classes running concurrently. The menu is set out so that there are 3-4 options per course and you choose which option you would like for each course. Sometimes, there are also specials as well, so you might get 6 options for the main course. As diners, we have a tough job selecting which dishes to order as they all sound amazing on the menu!

I have been to the CIT restaurant a few times now and think it's superb value for money. Here are some of the dishes I really enjoyed there (note that as the menu is constantly changing, these dishes might no longer be available).

Entrées

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I loved this salad. It was so pretty and delicious. The flavours were harmonious and I loved the crunch of the walnut. My favourite part of the dish was the fried cubes of fetta. Absolutely brilliant!

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This dish came with something that was called "green goddess dressing". I'm not quite sure what was in that dressing, but it was definitely a sauce for the gods. My goodness.

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The lovely ravioli was handmade and the capsicum, tomato and almond puree was a perfect accompaniment to the beef and spinach filling.

Mains

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This sweet potato gnocchi was so good that my lunch date made slightly disturbing moaning noises after a taste of this dish. The gnocchi had been fried, so they were crispy on the outside, soft and yet al dente on the inside. It was accompanied by a spectacular burnt butter sauce.

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I had a taste of the lamb and it was chargrilled to perfection and full of flavour.

Desserts

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I had a taste of this tart and all components had been cooked well - from the poached apple, to the frangipani tart, to the caramel sauce.

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But the croissant and butter pudding with the custard sauce was simply amazing. Using croissant for the bread part of the pudding was utter genius. A nice twist on an old classic.

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When I read on the menu that something came in "pillows", I knew I had to have it. I had no idea what it was, but I knew I had to eat the pillow-like food! It turns out, the pillows of sweet five spiced stewed apple and rhubarb were wrapped in puff pastry and baked. This was completely fine by me as it was kind of like an apple pie with rhubarb. The custard sauce accompaniment was perfect.

If you're stuck for a Christmas party idea, why not have it at the CIT restaurant? They have a Christmas lunch menu for only $35 per person.

CIT Christmas

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The Low-Down on the CIT Restaurant Cuisine: European Best value for money: 3 courses for $25 Best for: Any kind of long lunch date. Lots of vegetarian options.

Website: http://cit.edu.au/hospitality_tourism_events/cit_restaurant Phone: 02 6207 3132 (Bookings are essential) Address: 1st floor of K block, CIT Reid Campus, 37 Constitution Avenue, Reid Open: for lunch, Tuesday - Friday 12:00pm - 2:30pm.

CIT restaurant on Urbanspoon

Recipe: Crab creme brulee

This crab creme brulee recipe was kindly given to me by my friend Tracey. The dish was from a 10-course degustation dinner party she hosted with her husband. Check out my other post on the details of the dinner party! Crab crème brulee with ocean trout crackling, rouille, pickled ginger and crème fraiche

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Ingredients

  • 400 ml (1 3/4 cups) cream
  • 1 egg
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped/crushed
  • 2 tablespoons pickled ginger, drained and finely chopped
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 150 g (1 cup) picked white crab meat, finely chopped (dried with paper towel)
  • 50 g (1/2 cup) freshly grated Parmesan

Place the cream in a bowl with the eggs, garlic, pickled ginger and some salt and pepper and mix well. Add in the crab meat, ensuring there is no shell, and mix well again. Cover with cling film and place in the fridge to allow the flavours to infuse for at least 30 minutes, but ideally up to overnight.

Preheat the oven to 150°C (300°F).

Ladle or pour the mixture into the ramekins, making sure you get an even amount of crab in every ramekin, as the crab tends to fall to the bottom. Place the ramekins in a roasting tray. Fill the tray with warm water until the water comes halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Place this bain marie in the oven and cook for 45 to 60 minutes (check after 40 minutes).When cooked through, the mixture should be set but still have a slightly wobbly consistency. Remove the ramekins from the bain marie and allow to cool a little (served warm but not hot).

Sprinkle a very thin layer of Parmesan on top of each ramekin and brown under the grill (or use a blow torch).