Restaurant review: Australia Menu at the Royal Academy, Piccadilly, W1
PUBLISHED: 15:32 02 December 2013 | UPDATED: 15:32 02 December 2013
For many people, penning a review of an Anitpodean-themed menu launched to celebrate the Royal Academy’s Australia exhibition on the first day of the Ashes would encourage lots of lazy cricket metaphors, but luckily I’m not that kind of reporter.
Tube: Green Park
T: 020 7300 5608. www.royalacademy.org.uk
Food: 2 courses £32.50, 3 courses £35.50, inc exhibition ticket
Broadly speaking, this is a collection chronicling the history of art down under, from bold aborigine colours to Sidney Nolan’s vivid depiction of the boundary riding outlaw Ned Kelly.
And to honour the occasion, the Academy’s elegant in-house restaurant has cooked up a set tariff of Aussie fare designed to bowl you over.
It was my maiden visit to the eaterie, which is tucked away at the back of the building, and it’s a beautiful place to eat - more than a century old, with high arched ceiling and works of art dotted across the middle. But things got off to a bit of a sticky start when we first swanned in; one of the two starters on offer - the wild boar sausage roll - was unavailable.
No matter, the crab cake alternative came in to bat and was tasty enough, particular when complimented with a zesty fennel salad.
Pausing for a quick drinks break we moved onto the mains, of which there were also two choices. The seared barramundi was a refined and tasty fish but the accompanying broth was a bit of a disappointment - initially pleasing, after a couple of mouthfuls the driving green tea flavour began to overpower everything else and it felt more like a morning drink than a lunch.
The kangaroo fillet, however, was a triumph. Rich, dark and tender meat under which a sweet bed of pumpkin, spinach and mint lurked with teasing intent - it really was a cut above. It defiantly edged it over the fish.
We didn’t have the Lamington cake for dessert which would have been a test for our full bellies, but at just over £30 for two courses plus exhibition entrance, trot off to get a ticket - you’ll have a ball.
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