Buvette Masthead

Temporada: First Taste

Amanda Whitley

I had been looking forward to this meal since I first read about the newest partnership of Aubergine‘s culinary magicians, owner and chef Ben Willis and sous chef Chris Darragh, in Good Food in September last year. And finally, after months of anticipation, Temporada opened its doors yesterday at noon.

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Temporada exterior

As we revealed in our sneak peek last month, ‘Temporada’ means ‘seasonal’; but the restaurant isn’t focussed on Spanish cuisine. However, its branding certainly has a certain ‘bodega’ feel and the “Spanish way of thinking, cooking and eating” is evident in the sharing that Temporada encourages.

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Temporada interior

It’s an airy and welcoming space, its moody charcoal walls softened by the high ceiling, raw timber wall panels, metal light fittings, pressed tin bulkhead, and patterned floor tiles that could have come straight from Morocco. The large bar is the focal point of the restaurant, and diners are encouraged to sit and eat ‘tapas’ style or just enjoy a cocktail or one of the wines from the ‘small but interesting’ list.

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Temporada Interior

Temporada has the amazing, fresh produce that Canberrans have come to expect from the Aubergine kitchen, and while the food is simpler, it’s no less delicious. The meats are tender, the oysters and fish super fresh, the fruit and vegetables and other accompaniments full of flavour. So, let’s look at what we ate.

Because we are so predictable in our love of good food, Michelle Brotohusodo had both made (separate) bookings at Temporada last night…which is good for you, because we get to show you more food!

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Beef Short Rib Roll, Fermented Cucumber, Horseradish Mayo

My mum arrived in town last night, so I promptly whisked her off to dinner with our two girls, aged five and seven years. Taking kids to a restaurant where you know there’s unlike to be the ‘easy’ stand by of pizza or pasta is always a little daunting, but they loved the Beef Short Rib Roll, Fermented Cucumber, Horseradish Mayo (sans Cucumber) – pictured above. Although Miss Seven said ‘that’s not a burger!’ when she saw the amazing fall apart meat, she was converted at first bite and wolfed the entire thing down in no time.

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Pigs Head Roll, Romesco, Avruga Caviar

Michelle’s favourite dish of the night was the Pigs Head Roll, Romesco, Avruga Caviar (above). She says, “I would quite happily go to Temporada and eat two or three of them and nothing else. Just delicious.”

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Wapengo Lake Rock Oysters from South Coast of NSW

Miss Five declared she wanted oysters. I was skeptical, but ordered three Wapengo Lake Rock Oysters from the South Coast of NSW for myself (Michelle had the Moonlight Flat Clair de Lune Bouton – above), and let her have one. She loved it. They came with a tangy eschalot dressing and a lime wedge, which I enjoyed, but they were equally good nude.

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Blue Mackerel, Smoked Eel, Fire Roasted Capsicum, Capers

For mains, Mum and I started with the Blue Mackerel, Smoked Eel, Fire Roasted Capsicum, Capers (above) – simply prepared, it was big on flavour but nice and light. Which was just as well, because then we had 350g Beef Rib Eye, Sauteed Potatoes, Herb Butter (below) to get through.

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350g Beef Rib Eye, Sauteed Potatoes, Herb Butter

The beef melted in the mouth, with the herb butter and accompanying jus making it a rich, delicious meal. Very French.

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Peach, Fennel and Goat's Cheese Salad

As an accompaniment, we chose the Peach, Fennel and Goat’s Cheese Salad (above) – a beautiful, fresh salad with sweet chargrilled peaches contrasting with a creamy goat’s cheese.

For Michelle’s ‘mains’, she and her friend shared the Grilled Lamb Ribs, Spiced Eggplant, Lemon Dressing (below). She says, “The lamb ribs were cooked to perfection, juicy and full of flavour and nicely accompanied by the spiced eggplant which was also cooked just right. The lemon dressing added a nice bit of tang.”

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Grilled Lamb Ribs, Spiced Eggplant, Lemon Dressing

Their other dish was the Zucchini Flowers, Ricotta Gnudi, Salsa Verdi (below) which they really enjoyed – especially the ricotta gnudi, but commented that they “found the zucchini flowers a bit plain, we prefer them stuffed.”

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Zucchini Flowers, Ricotta Gnudi, Salsa Verdi

We tried one of each dessert – the Lime Parfait, Licorice Custard, Hazelnut Praline; Coconut Sponge, Passionfruit Curd and Jelly, Star Anise Sorbet; and Salted Caramel Donuts, Banana Ice Cream, Marshmallow. Yep, they taste as good as they look. My girls loved the donuts (although a bit full on for me), while my mum raved about the liquorice custard, and I adored the fresh flavours of the passionfruit curd and sorbet.

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Lime Parfait, Licorice Custard, Hazelnut Praline

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Coconut Sponge, Passionfruit Curd and Jelly, Star Anise Sorbet

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Salted Caramel Donuts, Banana Ice Cream, Marshmallow

Michelle reports the cocktails were also fantastic, her friend trying the Jerry Jam – “so great, tasted just like you think jam would if it were a cocktail – he liked it so much he had two.”

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Jerry Jam

For cocktail lovers, the list looks adventurous and exciting, Michelle says, “I really liked the sound of the Sherry Cobbler, the Strawberry and Pineapple Batida and the Respect Your Elderflowers – it’s a pity my alcohol tolerance is so low!” 

All in all, a wonderful meal in a relaxing and welcoming space. Service was friendly and professional, with our gorgeous waitress even taking my kids upstairs to the toilet when nature called. We can’t wait for our next visit!

the essentials

What: Temporada
Where: 15 Moore Street, Canberra City
When: Weekdays 7.30am till late – serving coffee, breakfast, lunch and dinner. Saturday from 5pm. Closed Sundays.
Web: www.temporada.com.au
Phone: 02 6249 6683
Email: [email protected]
Facebook: www.facebook.com/temporadacanberra
Twitter: twitter.com/temporada1 

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Amanda Whitley

Amanda Whitley is the founder and director of HerCanberra. In her 'spare time', she instructs zumba, loves to cook (and eat), and wrangles two gorgeous little girls. She's done everything from present the tv news to operate a stop and go sign and is passionate about connecting Canberra women. More about the Author

  • Barb Fisher

    Yum! Looks amazing. Can’t wait to visit on my next trip back to Canberra.

  • I was lucky enough to get there last night too, thanks to seeing one of your Tweets about it, so thank you for the reccomendation 🙂 My best friend and I had a great time, and we ordered many of the same dishes that you have, however we got the Sardines on toast and the Spatchcock.

    I think that it’s a brilliant new addition to Canberra and I can’t wait to head back 🙂

    • Amanda Whitley

      Oh, I was tempted by the spatchcock – next time! I also can’t wait to go back sans kids with my lovely husband for a leisurely long meal…

  • Oh I can’t wait to head here and I wish it much better fortune that the litany of bad chinese places that preceded it in that spot. Thanks for letting me know it is open.

  • Tanya

    It would be good to get some info on prices – looks fantastic but also like it might be a bit pricey?

    • Amanda Whitley

      Thanks Tanya – I did this post in a bit of a rush, so will go back and include pricing info. But, just quickly, there are a range of ‘nibbles’ under $10, including the beef roll mentioned in the post ($8) and the pork head ($7); the peach salad is $12, the mackerel $19, the zucchini flowers $22, lamb ribs $33 and the beef rib eye $39. Desserts are all $16. Hope that helps!

  • caron

    Looks amazing..Definitely visiting and tasting next time Im in Canberra.

  • Tash

    And now I’m hungry… It all looks great!