A return trip to Orange to celebrate Australia Day and my 31st birthday meant two things: Lolli Redini and Racine. Yes we would be reliving our previous trip to Orange but all for delicious reasons.
Lolli Redini was opened by Simonn Hawke in 2001 and has been awarded one hat in the SMH Good Food Guide practically every year since. Dining at Lolli Redini is a must when you visit Orange (and visit Orange you most definitely should). The restaurant offers a choice of two courses for $68pp or three courses for $85pp.
Two courses – $68.00 per person / Three courses $85.00 per person
The first time we dined at Lolli Redini we arrived for our relatively early booking to a rather quiet restaurant. This time around, knowing we’d be rushing back from our winery tour, we’d made a later reservation and arrived to a restaurant absolutely bustling with couples, families and groups all enjoying themselves.
A complimentary bowl of olives arrived while we were browsing the menu. A good variety of types and sizes the olives were meaty and flavoursome, their saltiness whetting our appetites. Having been wine tasting and eating all day long we set out for a two course meal. But that wasn’t going to stop me from devouring a delicious house baked bread roll smothered with glorious butter. As for the number of courses, we’d have to see how we felt after mains.
Porcini mushroom papardelle with a duck ragout, oyster & shimiji mushrooms, red kale and shavings of truffled pecorino cheese.
Although we’d been eating and drinking all day I was drawn to the freshly made papardelle. Funnily enough, Dylan was thinking the same thing. It was the intense and exhilarating aroma of truffled pecorino that hit the table first. Quite a large bowl full of beautiful ribbons of al dente pasta blanketed in a rich ragout. Shimiji mushrooms with a nutty peppery tone and oyster mushrooms with flavours akin to their namesake added a meaty textural component to replace that of the duck that was ever so soft. Both the duck and the pasta were the kings in this dish but that truffled pecorino was definitely nipping at their heels.
Slow cooked shoulder of lamb, celeriac & gruyere gratin, broad beans, peas, spinach and artichoke.
Being Australia Day weekend we had to celebrate with some lamb, slow cooked shoulder of lamb. Out of character Dylan and I both ordered the papardelle and the lamb. Quite a substantial serving, the lamb was just as lamb should be. Accompanied with a hefty portion of celeriac & gruyere gratin and all of a sudden I realised I’d need more than my dessert stomach to get me through this meal. Celeriac has fast become one of both Dylan and my favourite vegetables of late. Its appearance here produced a wonderful gratin with its celery-like flavour and nutty overtones.
Truffle Paris mash, fried breadcrumbs, chives and parmesan ($8.50).
Truffle + potato + fried breadcrumbs + chives + parmesan is a recipe for heavenly mash. When dining at Lolli Redini it’s an essential side. The mash was silky, smooth and marvellously decadent. Chives pitched in some herbaceous hints, breadcrumbs gave a toasty depth and top-notch texture and the parmesan the extra salty kick to finish it off. Indulgence at its best.
Steamed beans, snow peas and broccoli with lemon infused olive oil ($9.50).
And while Em may hate greens there was no way we were going to let her get away with mash and not punish her with greens 😉
I just love lemon juice and olive oil splashed over all kinds of greens as it brings out so much in them. Infusing olive oil with lemon was a nice touch as the acidic lemon permeated the dish as the oil clung so well, rather than sitting in a pool in the bottom of the dish as lemon juice often does.
Callebaut hazelnut & dark chocolate mousse terrine, chocolate macadamia wafers, espresso syrup and amaretti cream.
Moments after finishing my main I thought I was done for the night, having eaten non-stop all day. But as we sat and finished our wine the meal began to settle and we started to entertain the idea of dessert. Of course I couldn’t resist.
The older I get the more I tend to be disappointed by chocolate desserts, finding them overly rich, overly sweet and/or overly bitter. But that hasn’t stopped my search for beautiful chocolate desserts and this was a classic example of why I am constantly drawn back to chocolate. With a light and airy texture and layers of hazelnut and bitter dark chocolate mousse this was just the right note to finish on. A rich chocolate dessert balanced by the hazelnut layer and rounded out with slightly bitter almond flavoured cream and a good hit of espresso syrup. It ticked all the right boxes for a chocolate dessert.
Honey jelly & vanilla bavarois, caramelised brown Turkish figs, fig leaf, verjuice and honeycomb ice cream.
Dylan was drawn to a similar dessert to what we’d had previously – with honey and vanilla at its core. Now honey can be quite an overpowering element in a dish, especially in a dessert that is already sweet by nature. Last time the kitchen’s deft touch allowed the honey to shine without being dominant – and again this time they did the same. Working well with the vanilla it made the bavarois something special. Caramelised figs were absolutely stunning but it was probably the combination of verjuice and honeycomb that made the best impression.
Turkish delight, nougat & pistachio vacherin, rhubarb sorbet, rose petals and vanilla bean cream.
Em chose a rather superb looking tower of a dessert, the Turkish delight. Rose, pistachios and rhubarb were the heart of this dessert and a combination that really dazzled. The rosy-red rhubarb sorbet had a slight tang to it making it the perfect partner for sweet meringue and rose flavoured parfait. There’s no denying the flavours here all worked really well but we felt the parfait was too firm and needed a little more time out of the freezer.
A round of espressos and some pleasing hand made chocolate truffles brought the meal to a close.
Full to the brim we made our way back to the hotel rather content. Lolli Redini cook with the freshest produce and a whole lot of passion. The food is down to earth, service attentive and atmosphere warm and welcoming. We had a beautiful meal and will continue to recommend the restaurant to friends. Next time we might just need to eat a little less beforehand.
48 Sale street
Orange NSW 2800
(02) 6361 7748
Lolli Redini Website