The Artisan Restaurant Review

On Thursday night Bron and I dined at The Artisan in Narrabundah. We’d previously dined there in September 2013 and enjoyed the experience. For our second visit I’d made the booking through Dimmi and had no trouble making a reservation for 7 pm.  

The Artisan on Urbanspoon

When we arrived, the restaurant was fairly bare with only two other tables occupied. Throughout the evening it was just the three tables so we had the full attention of our waiter who was very friendly, cheerful and helpful. We could choose any table we wanted so I went for a table for two at the end of the long bench seat along the main wall opposite the kitchen pass.  

The on-line menu is a little different to the menu on the night so if you’re looking to check out The Artisan it’s important to understand some of the items on the on-line menu aren’t always the same. That said, what I did notice was some mixing and matching of elements. So for example, when I checked the on-line menu there wasn’t a twice baked potato soufflé for an entrée, however, on the on-line menu the soufflé was available with the Angus beef. On Thursday night the double baked potato soufflé was available as an entrée and the Angus beef was served with a roasted onion tarte tatin.  

While we were looking through the menu we were served an amuse bouche of beef tendon which had been dried and cracked into wafer thin curls. The tendon had been cooked with some spices that really popped when you put the pieces of tendon in your mouth. I really enjoyed this.  

Shortly after having our choices taken, we were served with a really nice (and very hot) bread roll and some butter. The roll had a lovely citrus aroma and taste. It was really nice.  

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For entrées Bron chose the double baked soufflé with sorrel while I chose the pork jowl (cheek) croquette which was served with an apple sauce.  

Double cooked potato souffle Apple iPhone 5s with iPhone 5s back camera 4.15mm f/2.2 at 4mm and f/2.2, 1/15sec, ISO 500
Double cooked potato soufflé Apple iPhone 5s with iPhone 5s back camera 4.15mm f/2.2 at 4mm and f/2.2, 1/15sec, ISO 500 Photograph courtesy of Bron.

The croquette was nicely cooked and quite hot on the plate. I really need to wait and not put such large pieces of food in my mouth. The apple sauce went very well with the tender pork and crunchy croquette coating.  

Slow cooked pork cheek with gruyére rosti, celeriac remoulade and pork glaze Apple iPhone 6 with iPhone 6 Plus back camera 4.15mm f/2.2 at 4mm and f/2.2, 1/4sec, ISO 125
Slow cooked pork cheek with gruyére rosti, celeriac remoulade and pork glaze Apple iPhone 6 with iPhone 6 Plus back camera 4.15mm f/2.2 at 4mm and f/2.2, 1/4sec, ISO 125

For mains, we both chose the Angus beef with the onion tarte tatin, mushroom and ochra. We normally ask for our beef to be rare but our waiter explained the Chef recommends medium rare. We were not disappointed at all with this Chef’s advice. When the dish was served the beef had a glorious pink blush. You could tell it had been well rested by the way the surface of the meat looked. It had a slight sheen but it didn’t ooze.  

Apple iPhone 6 with iPhone 6 Plus back camera 4.15mm f/2.2 at 4mm and f/2.2, 1/4sec, ISO 125
Apple iPhone 6 with iPhone 6 Plus back camera 4.15mm f/2.2 at 4mm and f/2.2, 1/4sec, ISO 125

The beef had a very full flavour, not strong but robust. The onion tarte tatin and mushroom went really well with the beef. The ochra added a nice crunchy texture. We’d also asked for a side of rosemary potatoes which came out as wedges. They were well seasoned and in hindsight I probably didn’t need the potatoes. The main course was great without the extras.  

Angus beef, Onion tarte tatin and ochra Apple iPhone 6 with iPhone 6 Plus back camera 4.15mm f/2.2 at 4mm and f/2.2, 1/4sec, ISO 125
Angus beef, Onion tarte tatin and ochra Apple iPhone 6 with iPhone 6 Plus back camera 4.15mm f/2.2 at 4mm and f/2.2, 1/4sec, ISO 125

For dessert we both chose the Ballen which is cherry and lemon gel filled doughnuts with toasted almond marshmallow and candied lemon zest. This looked the bomb and the doughnuts tasted okay but the doughnuts were dense and hard and unlike a typical doughnut texture. We both thought it would be better with some ice cream, or cream or some sort of sauce. I really liked the marshmallows.  

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Cherry and lemon gel filled doughnuts with toasted almond marshmallow and candied lemon zest Apple iPhone 6 with iPhone 6 Plus back camera 4.15mm f/2.2 at 4mm and f/2.2, 1/17sec, ISO 500
Cherry and lemon gel filled doughnuts with toasted almond marshmallow and candied lemon zest Apple iPhone 6 with iPhone 6 Plus back camera 4.15mm f/2.2 at 4mm and f/2.2, 1/17sec, ISO 500

We both enjoyed our meals and I would recommend The Artisan for a quiet night out. The restaurant is relatively quiet and nicely lit. The service is friendly and helpful. Booking with Dimmi is easy.  

A note on the photography from this evening. Rather than use my low light camera, viz., the Sony α7S with the 35 mm Sonnar lens, I elected to use my new Apple iPhone 6 Plus. I’m quite pleased with the images. They’ve been processed a little in Adobe Lightroom to increase the exposure. I avoided playing with the noise because the images were already a little soft. That said, I prefer shooting restaurant food with my Sony so I can shoot RAW and then have more data to manipulate in post processing.

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UrbanSpoon reviews http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/344/1562914/restaurant/ACT/Canberra/The-Artisan-Narrabundah

Dimmi reviews http://www.dimmi.com.au/restaurant/the-artisan-restaurant

 

 

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