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Pialligo dessert

Pialligo Estate Farmhouse Restaurant

Michelle Brotohusodo

The good thing about winter is that it’s an excuse to eat hearty food and enjoy the heat of a crackling fire. Pialligo Estate Farmhouse Restaurant is the perfect place to do both.

My friend and I went along to the Farmhouse for dinner on a chilly night, where the temperature was heading quickly towards the negatives. Stepping into the restaurant, you could immediately feel the warmth from the merrily-burning log fires (yes, there are more than one).

Pialligo wine

 

It was the first visit for both of us, and we were taken with the decor, which really did create the look and feel of a warm and cosy farmhouse.

Pialligo kitchen

Before dinner, we decided to make the most of the fireplace, and settled down to enjoy a drink. Then, after warming up a bit, we moved to our table. Pialligo Estate has its own market garden, orchard, and herb garden, and has had a bumper harvest of pumpkins this year. Turns out they’re not just good for eating—the mini ones look great as table decorations (and so does garlic, who would have thought?).

Pialligo table

Our waitress explained that on Saturday nights dinner is the chef’s surprise six course degustation. The menus are designed around what’s been harvested that day, so even the staff don’t know what will be served until they can see what they’ve got to work with. It also means the food is super fresh.

We were given two amuse-bouches to whet our appetites: the first was a salmon pastrami.

Pialligo salmon

Next was an oyster each (from Ewan McCash in Bateman’s Bay).

Pialligo oyster

The amuse-bouches were delightful and a good way to lead us into the first course, which was swordfish with garden tomatoes, samphire, and elderflower.

Pialligo swordfish

Next we were presented with Fremantle octopus served with fennel, mussels, and shellfish sauce.

Pialligo octopus

The third course was Daintree Barramundi with yuzu emulsion, ginger, and sea urchin.

Pialligo barramundi

My friend and I both love duck, so we were thrilled with the final savoury course: Muscovy duck with heritage carrots, farro, and chestnuts.

Pialligo duck

We were starting to get full, but were keen to see what dessert would be. To prepare us, there was a pre-dessert: orchard nashi with macadamia and sichuan pepper ice cream. It might sound weird, but it was wonderfully light and the perfect palate cleanser.

Pialligo nashi

Then it was time for actual dessert, which turned out to be Santarem chocolate with salted popcorn, lemon, and buttermilk. I’d been hoping for a chocolate dessert, and this one was just delightful—enough of a chocolate hit but balanced nicely with the other elements so it wasn’t too rich and overwhelming.

Pialligo dessert

That said, we were now feeling really full, so it was with both excitement and a bit of despair that we greeted a serve of mignardises that arrived at our table (doughnuts, ginger fudge, mandarin marshmallows, and raspberry macarons). How were we going to fit them in?? However, the despair quickly dissipated when we smelt the warm doughnuts and started eating the mignardises. Yes, we finished them all. They were just too good.

Pialligo mignardises

Feeling content and well-fed, we moved back to the fireplace to finish our drinks and have a chat. It was so comfortable sitting in the wing back chairs and getting toasty by the fire that we almost fell asleep! The food was outstanding, the atmosphere was warm and cosy, and it was a wonderful way to spend an evening. So if you’re looking for a reprieve from the cold, I highly recommend heading out to the Farmhouse.

Pialligo fireplace1

The author and her friend dined courtesy of Pialligo Estate, but all opinions are their own.

the essentials

The place: Pialligo Estate Farmhouse
Where: 18 Kallaroo Road, Pialligo
When: Lunch: Thursday-Sunday, bookings available from 12-2.30pm; Dinner: Wednesday-Saturday, bookings available from 6pm-8.30pm
Food: Modern Australian
Drink: Extensive wine list
Contact: Call 02 6247 6060, or visit their website or Facebook page.

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Michelle Brotohusodo

Michelle moved to Canberra vowing to stay for two years, tops. 10 years later, she’s a bona fide Canberra convert. When she’s not working in her day job as a public servant, she’s enjoying Canberra’s culinary delights or finding fun things to do/see in and around town. More about the Author

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