Sunday, December 7, 2014

Moo-light in the Jardin at Jardin Tan (by invitation)

With summertime arriving on our doorstep, it’s time to get out in the great outdoors and relax with food, music and nice décor.  And Jardin Tan in the Royal Botanic Gardens is the place to do all that! Jardin Tan perfectly blends into its verdant surrounds with a breezy, indoor-outdoor dining area.  It’s casual with a generous dollop of classy refinement.

The Eat and Be Merry Crew were invited to attend the launch of the partnership between Moo Brew and Jardin Tan.  Jardin Tan is celebrity chef Shannon Bennett's latest food venture (check out our reviews of Cafe Vue at Heide and Cafe Vue), featuring a farm-to-table philosophy and Vietnamese fusion cuisine.  Bennett is teaming up with Tasmanian craft brewery Moo Brew.

Moo Brew has a range of five craft beers to wet your hipster whistle.

We got to try a range of canapés, including the mini banh mi from the banh mi bikes.  Crunchy baguette with a soft inner, it was filled with slow-cooked pork and loaded with spring onions, thinly sliced cukes, pickled veg and coriander.  They're mini in name only - they're actually quite substantial! The Jardin Tan banh mi bikes tour around the botanic gardens delivery these tasty treats to you.

The eggplant was deliciously unctuous and was served with picked banana blossom on a crispy rice cracker. 

The springrolls were my favourite – crispy skin with a flavoursome porky filling, served with lettuce.

Who doesn't love fried chicken?  In this case, these moreish little nuggets of tender chicken with a crispy oat crust, served with firecracker sauce. 

I’m usually not a fan of tofu but this was pretty good.  Deep fried cubes of slippery tofu, which was encrusted with lemongrass salt and served with fermented chilli.  The salt and chilli turned an otherwise dull ingredient into something quite tasty.

Having a Better Homes and Garden moment – you’ve just got to check out the patio in the 'backyard'...

...and chef’s garden out in the back…I’m very jealous!

The delicate minced barra skewer were served on lemongrass stalks. 

Another favourite of mine was the betel leaf wrapped beef, which was also served in a burger form.  The smoky aromas of the betel leaf infused the aromatic beef.  Yum.

These fritters were packed with chunky prawn and sweet potato and served with pickled green chilli.

The desserts were very rich and decadent.  The strawberry jellies w fresh cream was my favourite.  A smooth, wobbly cube of intense strawberry goodness.  It reminded us of the haw flakes that we used to eat as kids.

The frozen salted caramel cups were gooey and very rich.  

I forget what these were exactly but it was like a choux pastry filled with a very creamy and rich and decadent custard-y filling, served with a sesame brittle on top.  We'd definitely would have liked a cup of tea to properly enjoy this one!

Equally rich and decadent was the frozen coconut and chocolate lollipop w berry sauce.  Crisp layers of biscuit, chocolate and coconut.

Verdict - we liked it a lot.

Jardin Tan really nails the relaxed Australian cafe vibe with it's earthy, contemporary and classy decor (Jamie Durie would approve).  It's spacious, so it's quite family friendly; and I also like the bowls of water for man's best friend.  As family friendly as it is, it's also a great place to hang out with friends and offers something a bit different from the usual pub for a after-work drink. Great spot for a pre or post walk around the botanic garden.  

Jardin Tan on Urbanspoon

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