As I promised in my survey results, I made contact with my dear friend, 'Neen and met her in Canberra for lunch yesterday! It was most enjoyable and was a delight that she spared an hour and a half of her working time - she works for ATO, Australian equivalent of Taxation Office, or, Inland Revenue) so I have no regrets about getting an additional refund from her bosses (the Australian government).
We found a nice licensed restaurant, Ardèche close to Canberra Theatre and Canberra Centre and Casino Canberra. Established since 1998 Ardèche delivers one of the best value for money dinning experiences with a la carte- lunch special– Fixed priced Menu Specialising in French and North African cuisine. We enjoyed a 'full' glass of Margaret River Riesling - I told the waitress I did not want a 150ml 'restaurant pour' and I expected a full 300ml luncheon glass of wine, please. She sent over the manager/owner to pour the wine. We paid for the extra but I just simply hate these modern day 'bar and restaurant pours'. If I am going to have a glass of wine with lunch i want to enjoy it.'
Ardèche's French cuisine is very much in the Normandy-style cuisine. Awarded an honourable mention in the 2005 NSW Restaurant and Catering Awards, Ardèche's positive reputation has been built on serving classics such as pan-fried snails in garlic, butter and white wine served in a mille feuille; coq au vin; crepes suzette and of course the traditional canard a l'orange: twice-roasted duck in orange sauce.
'Neen enjoyed the Selection of fresh seafood (calamari, crab, mussels, scallops & fish) in a mornay sauce, folded in a herb Crêpe w/fresh mixed salad and found the 'Entree' size adequate for lunch. Similarly, I had an 'Entree' sized dish of Ocean fresh prawns flash fried in a steel pot, garlic & herbs, served with fresh dipping bread. The Parmesan and herb-honey bread was a delightful accompaniment.
I did take some photos of the Canberra Centre, unfortunately they got lost in the data transfer. I was using an older Nikon pocket camera and I think the card reader lacked compatibility with the camera.
The other down-side was that I am now almost completely unfamiliar with the newer buildings in the CBD and lost my car in the car park for half an hour - before I realised I was in the wrong 'twin' of two car park high rises! Oh well, and extra dollar charge for time taken to find it! LOL!
Stopped at Belconnen Markets on the way home and secured a lovely locally made blood sausage for the weekend breakfasts and also 2kg of Narooma school prawns - the really small, sweet variety, for $11/kg - a real bargain as most Canberrans do not like the small prawn and believe that 'bigger is better!
Heyyy1 I'm not going to tell them otherwise! So, a feed of prawns and fresh bread rolls for dinner tonight!