A couple of weeks ago, the Australian Financial Review (AFR) announced Australia’s Top 500 Restaurants,…
We have the first look at Pialligo Estate’s Market Grill which showcases seasonal produce, simply prepared, for maximum flavour.
Many a food lover’s fondest travel memories come in the form of a special restaurant. Often, it’s a tiny hole-in-the-wall where fresh seasonal produce is simply prepared, showcasing regional flavours with minimal fanfare—emphasis squarely on the region’s offerings.
This intimate experience is what Pialligo Estate is aiming to emulate for diners when its newest restaurant the Market Grill opens next week.
In a cosy and private section of Pialligo Estate’s newly refreshed Pavilion, the Market Grill will seat 48 diners with a menu focused entirely on what our local region does best—from the Estate’s market gardens a stone’s throw from the kitchen to Canberra’s nearby coastlines.
“More than 75% of the fruit and vegetables we use are grown on the Estate. We now have five team members who are planting and harvesting 12 acres of market garden on the Estate. So, when we say it’s a seasonal menu, it truly is,” says Pialligo Estate’s General Manager Scott Taylor.
“We’re working with three different [South Coast] fishing boats, so we get emails at 3 am telling us what they’ve caught overnight. That then gets delivered to our door between 10 and 11 am and it’s on diners’ plates at midday.”
Indeed, the restaurant’s offerings will be wholly informed by what’s available on the day. Market Grill’s main menu is an oversized blackboard updated daily, meticulously filled with what’s on the menu and where it came from, including the grower’s name.
“The menu operates exactly like a fishing village menu,” explains Scott. “Where the catch of the day gets written up on a chalkboard, we put it over flames and let the quality of the produce do the talking.”
However, it won’t just be seafood and Estate produce on the menu—the Estate’s famous smoked goods and spectacular on the bone rib-eyes get prime position too, as well a gorgeous choice of vegetarian dishes showcasing the Estate’s garden produce.
“We’re just as serious about our beef dry-ageing rooms as we are about our fish program,” says Scott. “It’s such a wonderful opportunity to be able to source the finest produce Australia’s got to offer.”
This isn’t a new concept for the Estate. Since its inception in 2015 as a farmhouse-style restaurant, food has been paddock-to-plate, with as much produce as possible grown on the Estate’s grounds. As Scott says it’s not only a sustainable and environmentally friendly practice, but one that doesn’t allow them to get too caught up in the process.
“It’s nice that we don’t actually get the opportunity to do things too cleverly,” he says. “We keep things simple, let the produce shine through and cook things meticulously but simply—that’s what Market Grill is all about.”
To create a unique feel for the Market Grill, a slice of the central Pavilion’s airy interior has been sectioned off and fitted with monochromatic pressed-tin panels, marble tables and luxe velvet banquettes and chairs. As Scott puts it, “it’s a restaurant within a restaurant.”
Tucked away behind the blackboard menu is the slim, dark-tiled kitchen where a giant custom-built flame grill sits in pride of place. But what committed foodies might be most excited about is the bar alongside—the Market Grill’s private Kitchen Table.
Guests can book the Kitchen Table for intimate dinners or special occasions, with the bar table seating up to eight people. With the food served and cooked right in front of you straight from the kitchen, guests will be able to select the Chef’s Menu, which Scott describes as “10 morsels served by the chef themselves”. A not-to-miss opportunity for foodies.
“It’s really beautiful and moody,” says Scott of the space. “It really allows us to put the focus on the flames.”
What: The Market Grill at Pialligo Estate
When: Opening mid-November. Open Wednesday–Saturday 12 pm–until late. Sunday from 12 pm–3 pm
Where: Pialligo Estate, 18 Kallaroo Road, Pialligo
This editorial was created in partnership with Pialligo Estate. For more information on sponsored editorials, click here.