Less than a week after my first visit to Temporada, a new bar/eatery that had only just opened at 15 Moore st, Canberra City, I was back for more! Despite it being a week night, I couldn't resist trying another cocktail from their intriguing drinks menu. This time I selected the Sherry Cobbler ($16), which was a very fruity and refreshing cocktail. It wasn't too sweet, nor too sour. My favourite part of the cocktail was actually the pineapple bits sitting on top of the ice. They had been marinated in sugar but also some other spices and it was delicious!
Having loved the Marinated Sardines on Toast ($4.50 each) from my first visit, I recommended them to my friends. They were not disappointed - the tasty morsels were as awesome as they were the first time!
We were keen to try as many different plates as we possibly could, so we ordered 5 large plates to share. How we were going to ALL share each plate we did not know!
I noticed the Blue Mackeral dish that I had tried during my first visit was sadly missing on the menu! I was told that because of the seasonal nature of the menu, once they had run out of stock on a particular item, it would no longer be available (but another dish would replace it).
My favourite dish of the night was the Grilled octopus, rockmelon, prosciutto ($22). The presentation of this dish was visually beautiful - almost too pretty to eat. The grilled octopus was fantastic, apparently the secret is in the flavoured wood from their grill! The delicious orange-looking mayonnaise-type sauce was the perfect accompaniment for the octopus. I love it when sweet and salty flavours are combined in a dish...the rockmelon and prosciutto does that so well. This is a very well thought-out dish. The richness from the prosciutto was balanced by the juicy freshness of the rockmelon slices. Utter perfection!
I really enjoyed the flavours of the Whole Roasted Flounder, Capers, Heirloom Tomatoes ($32). The sauce was mostly flavoured oil but I didn't mind that. It was nice and herby. The flounder was slightly crispy on the outside but tender on the inside.
I was really looking forward to trying the Spatchcock Chicken, Roasted Corn, Kimchi Cabbage, Lime Yoghurt ($22). Again, the meat was cooked to perfection - tender and moist. The accompanying elements - the corn, the sauces, the "western kimchi" really made the dish and showcased the level of detail applied to each dish.
The Grilled Lamb Ribs, Spiced Eggplant, Lemon Dressing ($33) was a more substantial dish than the other plates. I would definitely categorise this dish as "dude food", meaty, juicy, and full of flavour. Quality was not compromised here though, as the meat was absolutely melt-in-your-mouth soft. Out of the dishes in a similar price range, this is what I would pick to have again (if it's available next time, that is)!
I have never had sweetbreads before and I didn't really know what to expect. I tried the Veal Sweetbreads, Clams, Turnip Greens and XO Sauce ($28) and it turns out, sweetbreads have a very irony flavour, similar to the distinct flavour in liver and bone marrow. However, while I love bone marrow and liverwurst, I wasn't a huge fan of the sweetbreads. The more I chewed, the more I could taste that flavour. I found that I needed a lot of the XO sauce (which was delicious) to mask the unusual flavour. I loved the clams in the dish though. If the dish had only the clams and the XO sauce, I would order it again in a heartbeat!
While it had taken us a while to pick which main dishes to order, there was no doubt about dessert. Everyone at the table had their heart set on the Salted caramel donuts, banana ice cream, marshmallow ($16) so we each ordered one! For me, the dessert was delicious, but also slightly disappointing. The banana flavour in the ice cream, was very subtle, I could barely taste the banana flavour at all (though the icecream was still quite nice).
The donut was a bit dense for my liking and not as fluffy in texture as it could be. In another blog that I read about Temporada, their donuts had salted caramel sauce oozing out of the centre. I was pretty disappointed mine was lacking such a crucial part of the dish. I did wonder why it was called a "salted caramel donut" when I only got a swipe of the sauce on the plate! I didn't know this at the time, but everyone else seemed to have had the salted caramel sauce filling in their donuts! I guess we didn't talk about it at the table because we just assumed all the dishes were the same! It was only afterwards that I discovered my donuts were the exception to all the others. (EDIT: Another dish at the table also didn't get filled donuts, so I wasn't the only one!) How weird. Anyway, the elements of the dish all tasted great together (I even enjoyed the somewhat random toasted marshmallow), and the caramelised sugar atop the banana slice was a lovely touch.
Regarding the service, the wait staff seemed young enough to be part of the hipster crowd but they were too friendly and too well-trained to be categorised as such. It makes for a much more pleasant dining experience than some other eateries of this type.
Temporada, Canberra is a place where you would expect to pay a bit more for good quality food. I spent $70 and that got me a cocktail, a starter, shared 5 main dishes and a dessert. I was pretty happy with that!
Let me know in the comments below if you would be brave enough to try the sweetbread dish! Or if you've had it before and like it, let me know why you like it!!