Grazing at Gundaroo. Photo: Richard Briggs
Canberra Times Top 20 for 2012
There’s a lot to like about this restaurant housed in a series of little rooms in the historic former Royal Hotel at Gundaroo. That lovely setting for a start, where you can be in a private room with a single table and an open fireplace, or head through the rabbit warren into bigger spaces, a set-up that lends a sense of occasion to dinner.
The food in the hands of Kurt Neumann retains its country heartiness – the serves are big, the flavours are generous and the approach isn’t fussy. You’ll always find a wild rabbit dish, a big country pie, smoked local rainbow trout, and kangaroo – the latter at the moment as kangaroo tail in beetroot tortellini.
Steamed local yabbis with a hazelnut and parsley 'picada'. Photo: Richard Briggs RCB
Neumann also brings sophistication to the plate. With your grass-fed steak, you get ‘‘oxtail-studded bubble and squeak’’, and you’ll find dishes such as, on the current menu, caper and lemon-crusted lamb’s brains with ‘‘parmesan custard’’; poached sardines with caramelised onion and raisins; and a terrine.
There’s always proper recognition of vegetarians here, and in the sides, you’ll find a big focus on whatever is growing at the time in the extensive garden out the back.
Also a really good children’s menu offering the likes of mac and cheese, fish and chips, and a mini burger, all freshly and properly made. Well-priced, too, at $15 including a toy pack to keep them busy, and $5 for homemade ice cream.
If you’ve got space for dessert, it’s hearty, in the likes of peach tart tatin with warm custard and ice cream; or an espresso and raisin cake with chocolate parfait.
The wine list focuses on local wines, with some good options by the glass. It includes the full Capital Wines range, since Capital owns the building.
How we score: Food and Wine Annual Top 20
- (02) 6236 8777
- Features - Licensed, Wheelchair access
- Chef(s) - Kurt Neumann
- Owners - Kurt Neumann
- Opening Hours - Lunch Fri to Sun, dinner Thurs to Sat
- Author - Kirsten Lawson