Last night I had the the great pleasure of attending a QT Canberra exclusive event to celebrate the launch their new Cocktail and Dinner menus; held at the QT Lounge, Capitol Bar & Grill, and Lucky’s Canberra. The evening was an opportunity to sample the fresh new menus from Capitol and Lucky’s, and to see just what the August updates would bring.
The QT Canberra team put on a hell of an evening for Canberra Media and Bloggers alike, showcasing new menu items and their already great service. We kicked things off with the Cocktail presentation in the gorgeous QT Canberra Lounge, located on the 15th floor of the hotel and ordinarily reserved for a very exclusive members list. The stunning panoramic views of Canberra are breathtaking and such an unexpected treat for someone who has lived here for the past ten years. The presentation was expertly handled by Jared Thibault, Beverage Manager for AHL Group and the mastermind behind the QT Canberra cocktail menu revamp.
The presentation was fascinating to watch, with Jared talking us through the origins of the cocktails, his specifications for making each, and demonstrating how the cocktails were made before giving us our own taste of his creations. We sampled four cocktails during the presentation: Pineapple and Cinnamon Caipirinha, Smoked Apple Sour, Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler and French Toast Cocktail. While they were all delicious, my favourite was by far the Smoked Apple Sour. My cocktail of choice is an Amaretto Sour or a Whiskey Sour; and this was a remarkable take on this style of cocktail, with a smokey undercurrent provided by Peychaud Bitters and a spritz of Laphroiag that offered a subtle flavour of, well, smoked meat. It sounds revolting I know, but smoked pork and crisp apple are a winning combination; and this cocktail was divine!
Our cocktail presentation was followed by dinner in the Capitol Bar & Grill, the in-house restaurant of QT Canberra. Service was impeccable, and the presentation of the food was simple and chic. We positively gorged ourselves on seven courses, four sides, matched wines and another cocktail. The dinner menu included The Rooftop Garden Vegetable Plate with ingredients grown on the QT Canberra site, a tuna belly carpaccio, a spiced duck confit on a bed of sumptuous lentils, Crisp Buttermilk Chicken and Waffles, a truly amazing New York Sirloin, and A Kubrick Era Dessert. The food was expertly prepared and beautifully presented, and the knowledgeable hosts shared their knowledge of the foods and ingredients as each dish came out. The stand out for me was of course the Crisp Buttermilk fried chicken, which is flavourful, textural and decadent without leaving you feeling like you were eating something bad for you, as fried chicken so often does.
The A Kubrick Era Dessert was of course the star of the dinner, but I will save that for this month’s monthly Vlogs; as it truly needs to be witnessed to be appreciated.
After dinner we were shown to a reserved private booth in Lucky’s Canberra, where we were presented with the final cocktail for the evening – A Truffle Negroni. The presentation of this cocktail was quite stunning: served in heavy carved crystal tumblers on black ceramic trays with campari dust, orange rind and dark cocao coated truffles. The Truffle Negroni was beautiful to behold. I do feel like I let Jared down a little here, as a Negroni is simply not to my tastes at all. I tried it, and tried to savour richness of the truffle infused gin, but alas this cocktail was never going to suit my incredibly sweet-leaning tastes.
The French Champagne, however, was another story.
Finishing out the evening in Lucky’s, chatting with the other guests and staff, I felt very lucky indeed to have been a part of such a luxurious evening. Each time I visit the hotel I come away with a new favourite part of the hotel to share with my friends. There’s an old-world charm to the Hotel that seems incongruous given the incredibly modern interior, but works none the less and provides you with a truly enjoyable experience. I’m looking forward to heading back to QT Canberra soon with my friends to share the dining experience, and to checking out some of the other QT properties as well. I have a feeling that I will be equally blown-away.
Finally, I want to finish by extending a huge thanks to the team at QT Canberra for making this possible, especially to Jarad for his brilliant presentation, and Jemma the Digital Coordinator, who made the whole event possible.