Monday, October 28, 2013

Eightysix - take two

Some of you may remember I spoke of going to Eighty Six some time ago here It was a memorable post given the use of swear words, and I've been told, was read by a few people in Canberra town.

But anyways that was then and I thought I'd give Eightysix another go, but this time for lunch. Actually that isn't how it went at all. A friend saw Eightysix were doing a good food month special, and in case you needed an excuse for lunch, the opportunity for a glass of champagne and a rolling menu for $55 did it for me. Oh, that and the charming company of course!

And I have to say lunch was amazing. The pace so much nice than dinner, service friendly and a lot more refined. And the music! Hello playlist of Buddy Holly, Johnny Cash and all things sixties rockabilly. And the food. First up was ravioli with heirloom purple carrots, sage and hazelnuts were a bite size piece of heaven. The cheese crumble tasted like a buttery roux. I wanted to eat fifty of them.

The buttermilk chicken was a standout again - you need to order this if you go to Eightysix. Spicy, sticky outer chicken - tender, moist inner chicken. And who doesn't love coleslaw?!

Next was the ghetto beef with salsa verde. Perfectly cooked rare pieces of beef in a simple salad. I would order it again just to use the word ghetto. 

On to fish. I can't remember exactly what this was other than it was the best thing I ate all day. Salmon which had been cured in a bag with vodka and maybe beetroot? And pickles. Home made pickles. For me this summer is going to be the summer of the pickle. 

We then asked for this because it became apparent it was necessary. Manchego pudding (or something like that). Listen, it was good. Like really good. But it did taste a bit like ghetto cheese spread. And by ghetto, I mean just normal cheese spread. 

Here is a pretty drink made from lemon and liquor.

Then we had the gnocchi that we really didn't *need* to have. It was like eating clouds covered in bits of lamb ragu (and you wonder why I'm not a full time food critic).

I don't quite remember what happened next due to the sugar high of sampling four different desserts. Below is a dark chocolate and sour cherry terrine, a passionfruit eton mess and a caramel popcorn icecream sundae. Missing was a lemon curd with fresh raspberries on shortbread. Dreamy.

So in summary. Eightysix... when you strip back all the hipster too cool for school-ness, you have a solid and interesting menu, executed well and served in a fun and comfortable dining environment. Part of the current Canberra renaissance, where this little town city is coming of age.

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