It's been a couple of years since out last visit. This time was a little disappointed with the main courses.
Our starters were delicious. We had the tasting plate. (See photo). Every morsel was tasty. The two sausages came with different accompaniments - emu with a sweet relish, camel with a spicy one. The crocodile nugget was crunchy on the outside and retained its sweet moistness inside. The quail eggs were just on the cusp of being hard-boiled so were still melt-in-your-mouth smooth/creamy. The feta was sweet, not too salty and subtle in flavour. The quandong fruit pieces tasted like they had been poached/stewed and were of a generous portion that allowed their sweet, slightly tart fruitiness to be savoured. (When quandong is commonly used as a seasoning, their subtlety is a bit lost.)
The other starter was mutton bird - very unusual menu item. The portion looked like smallish squab but a bit darker (but not as dark as duck) and very succulent. The flavour was clearly of the sea...a bit difficult to describe but imagine fish oil infused quail; hardly any bird/chicken/duck flavour at all, just fish flavour. Very unusual.
For mains, the macadamia encrusted chicken breast was a little lacking in flavour - a bit more salt maybe, and more generous with the herbs/spices?
The salt bush lamb on a bed of couscous had a distinctly burnt flavour in both ... which came from the burnt underside of the lamb. On the one hand, Charcoal Lane is a training facility and so such indiscretions is somewhat expected. But on the other hand, part of training is to recognise when something is truly over done and to re-do the dish.
The table service was very good. Tap and sparkling water was offered, nice in-house baked bread given and local herbs dukkah placed on table. The maitre'd was kind enough to advise that we may wish to skip sides as we had ordered plenty. He was right.
Charcoal Lane is always worth visiting for their use of local produce - some common, some rather unusual.
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