| Rydges Hotels


Drink/Dine,Humour ian 3/16/2014

Today Rydges Capital Hill in Canberra is proud to present our Figtree Restaurant Kitchen Rules… and to add to the fantasy, let’s imagine that we have MKR judges, Pete & Manu, pulling up outside…


Ding Dong.

It’s the doorbell. No time for panic because preparation is complete. Our Executive Chef, Sandeep, and his team are ready for the challenge!

With the heavily sponsored car parked, the dapper diners straighten their matching suits, say ‘bonjour’ and ‘g’day’ to restaurant manager, Carlos, who smiles and shows them to their table.

Curiously they sit on the same side of the table. Cosy indeed, but lousy for conversation. That’s okay, however, these chaps are used to dining without talking – they have developed a secret code where raised eyebrows and quirky grins speak volumes.

Carlos moves the cutlery to accommodate the seating arrangement and entrées are served…

Pete has ordered the Grilled Calamari with chorizo, cannellini bean and piquillo pepper salsa. He is grinning like a Cheshire cat so he must be pleased with the presentation…

Manu has ordered the Star Anise Poached Spatchcock with cous cous and kaffir lime yogurt. Only a Frenchman could make Star Anise Poached Spatchcock sound deserving of an R Rating. He is also grinning like a chat de Cheshire donc il doit être satisfait de la présentation…

Both judges eat. Slowly. In silence. With their mouths closed, as their mothers taught them.

Pete’s left eyebrow arches like a sprayed caterpillar. He is obviously very impressed. Either that or he has wind. Manu’s brow furrows and he nods sagely. He’s also impressed. Either that or he has detected that Pete has wind.

The mains are served.

Pete has gone for the Crispy Skin Barramundi with chive mash or thick cut chips, warm olive tapenade and baby asparagus. Manu has ordered Duck Confit with flageolet ragout, lentils and sticky jus. His accent renders the flageolet ragout positively X-Rated and, in some countries, he would have been arrested for his rendition of sticky jus.

They nod knowingly to each other, agreeing that the duck must be done on the cook top and the barramundi in the oven. Ducks and fish are usually separated by a surface.

They again eat in silence, leaving not a skerrick on the plate. In fact, the plates are so clean they nearly sport that little animated sparkly thing that goes ‘ding’.  Cheshire cats indeed!

Time for dessert.

Pete had one eye on the Bailey’s Crème Brulee served with cookie dust and fruit compote and the other on the Trio of Macaroons with fig sorbet and orange blossom fairy floss. So did Manu. They share their desserts, each trying to get the bigger portion like two seagulls fighting over a chip. It is not pretty.

Pete and Manu’s eyes meet. The moment must be seized. They nod, give a simultaneous wry smile, spring to their feet, rip open their shirts and do a lap of the table, performing an overactive impression of flappy birds.

“Perfection!” Pete announces, climbing onto his chair. “Oui! Parfekshon!” Manu agrees. “Ten out of ten!” shouts Pete. Manu agrees, “Oui! Dix out of dix!!!”

Well! Were Sendeep, Carlos and the team surprised at the judges’ reaction?! Not at all. Apparently it happens all the time…

For the full menu at Rydges Capital Hill’s Figtree Restaurant, click here.