The Topiary Cafe

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I've been along this dingy road before, looking for a restaurant. After a visit to the local hotel, I find my way to the Topiary Cafe.

The place is set amongst a plant nursery. I couldn't see much on my way in, however. I'll do a sneaky tour after feeding.

The place has a rustic old house feel to it. There's a lot of wood and bric-a-brac around the place.

This place is only open for dinner on Fridays and Saturdays, and tonight is a set-price two-course for $55 or three-course for $70.

Lamb + cous cous

Garlic marinated lamb blackstrap, seeded cous cous + spring leaf dolmade, red capsicum paste, preserved lemon yoghurt, olive + river mint salsa.

I do a coriander check before ordering this feed.

I've never had fancy Moroccan food before. It's usually just served in a big pile, in some pot or other. This is much more interesting.

The garlic marinade gives the meat a slightly interesting taste, but it's at its best when mixed with all the extras. The block of lemon yoghurt combines two strong preexisting flavours into something new. It's gelatinous and very lemony.

I'm loath to include the dobs of olive + river mint salsa (olive usually overpowers everything), but when I do, I find their olive taste to be very mild.

All the components here are interesting, and go nicely together. The big downside of this dish is that it's mostly cold. I think intentionally so. Only the meat and eggplant are warm.

Also, I want a little bit more meat.

Banana + salted caramel

Banana gnocchi, salted caramel, star anise ice cream, peanut praline, flat-leaf parsley.

The little pieces of banana gnocchi are like very-bananaey banana cake. They're fine on their own, but they're not potent or sweet enough to stand out when the anise ice cream and salted caramel are added. The banana gnocchi just tastes like nondescript mush.

This is a very interesting combination of flavours and textures, but it's a bit too much.

Free choccy at the end.

Billy the cat escorts me to my car.