A post from No Experts Australian Correspondent
Racine is beautifully located at La Colline winery, on the lower slopes of Mount Canobolas, in Orange NSW, the restaurant has beautiful views across the vineyards to Orange. Named after the restaurant of the same name in London’s Brompton Road, Racine specialises in local produce, from an area that has become known as “ The Food Basket” of NSW, with the majority of the dishes having over 75% of their ingredients sources locally.
Our initial amuse bouche of Duck and Orange Bullion was beautifully spiced with lemongrass and ginger amongst other spices. It just left us wanting more, which I guess is exactly what a good amuse bouche should do. It was simply delicious!
I started with the Quail Breast and Leg pumpkin purée, garden peas & eschalot accompanied by a 2010 Angullong Sauvignon Blanc. Having tasted a 2010 Sauvignon Blanc earlier in the day, I was not totally shocked by the fact that the wine was so young. The Quail was wonderfully offset by the sweet pea and pumpkin puree. My partner started with The Perigord Ham & Pea Consommé which was delicately spiced, with plenty of ham hock , and crisp fresh peas. This was matched with a lovely ripe Chardonnay, which somewhat over powered the Consommé, but was delicious in it’s own right.
For mains courses we decided to tuck into slow roasted venison loin accompanied by parsnip and white chocolate purée with minted broad beans, which was a very strange combination indeed. The parsnip and white chocolate puree seemed to be completely lacking in any sort of flavour whatsoever. Minted broad beans did seem to complement the venison although this is not a traditional combination. My main course of Slow Cooked pork Belly with pumpkin cream, Brussels sprout leaves, currents and almonds was superbly cooked, with the lovely crackling on top, and wonderfully tender meat. The almonds appeared to have been substituted with hazelnuts at the last minute, which added an extra very likeable dimension to the dish, however I was not totally over awed by the pumpkin cream’s resemblance to diced carrot!
Our finale of Textures of Chocolate, was the star of the evening. A lovely dish, we had chosen to go with 2 spoons, leaving me to wish that I’d ordered one all to my self! Delicious! The textures were well defined, and this dish exceeded in expectations my last experience of this dish at Sidart in New Zealand.
Over all a good night, although the restaurant could certainly have benefited from better supervision of staff, who appeared to spend more time chatting at the bar than serving customers. I could certainly have managed a couple more glasses of wine had the staff been more attentive. It is a shame that so many country restaurants with superb kitchens, are let down by a poor front of house, never the less, should your travels take you to Orange, I do recommend Racine.
Marks out of 10