Sunday, September 02, 2012

The Orchard (Armadale) 08/2012

There is always something new for us. The little restaurant has been running for about three years under our radar. Close by Chez Bob and Rouge, on Beatty Ave. it doesn't make it to the Age Good Food Guide but it should. It's a very pleasant place with white linen good cutlery and crockery and some sort of rustic, rudimentary farm instruments and a sled decorating one wall.
The Winter menu is about to change to the Spring menu, which we were told would be little different. The menu is on a single small sheet and, at present, is very hard to read in dim light. Prices are 'normal' for good suburban restaurant with mains around $36 and entree's about $17. They allow BYO wine on Tuesday and Wednesday with corkage of $5/person. There is a special lunch menu on a black board.
We had a very enthusiastic and patient waitress who brought thick slabs of house made bread with oil and salt, and butter on request.
We tried three entrees.Their tomato and caramelised onion tart with Woodside goats curd $17.50 looks nice but is very ordinary.
Pumpkin gnocchi, veloute were very soft and had fine flavour but at $3.20 each they are remarkably expensive.
Semolina dusted Port Phillip calamari, rocket, house made tartare were tender and had good texture. the tartare was excellent.
Wild caught barramundi with lemon risotto with a crab  bisque was a a respectable but not very exciting dish.
What was fantastic, and worth a return trip, was a stuffed slow cooked lamb shoulder to share. This came with seriously over roasted vegetables, tomato, eggplant and zucchini
and crisp roast potato.
The lamb was absolutely superb. You could not ask for anything better. Nicely presented on a wooden board it was extremely tender with a delicate taste and not dominated by fat which is often a feature of lamb dishes.
They have a very limited dessert menu.
This is a very pleasant restaurant for a decent, reasonably quiet meal. They did have some background music for which they reduced the volume for us.

Score: 13.5/20

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