Sunday, January 11, 2015

Dinner @ Lilotang

Last night we had a unique experience. (Yes, I know the word unique is often misused. But this really did feel like a once-in-a-lifetime gig.) As fellow Canberrans will know, this town practically shuts down for a month over summer. People go to the beach or wherever, and many venues are closed. A friend celebrated her birthday this weekend and when her husband tried to book a table at her favourite restaurant for a birthday dinner he discovered it was still closed. However ... he found the owners were in the process of opening a new restaurant, and was offered a table there instead.

So ... Lilotang. The latest venture by the people who run three other iconic Canberra eateries (The Chairman and Yip, the Lanterne Rooms, and Malamay), Lilotang is in the Burbury Hotel in Barton, and offers a modern twist on traditional Japanese cuisine. As some of the earliest guests we were treated to a very personal experience: a degustation dinner comprising about twelve artistically-arranged courses, each explained by the very charming chef. I didn't take photos of all of the courses, but here are a few to whet your appetite:


Umami-jime snapper with white peach and heirloom tomatoes


Sashimi tuna and avocado with wasabi okra soy


Roast umami vegetables with orange miso in orange pot


Chargrilled Wagyu sirloin marinated in Japanese herb miso


Sticky mochi-mochi tofu with brown syrup and green tea ice cream


Houji tea smooth pudding with sweet potato


The d├ęcor was cute too. Rather than our usual red wine  which could have drowned the flavours – we tried several different sakes. There are plenty to choose from.

One of our fellow diners described the meal as edible art. It was indeed a most memorable and delicious evening. We hope Lilotang does well!

 Lilotang Japanese on Urbanspoon

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