Chef Carl Jensen has been a part of The Shire community for three decades. He has opened Jensen’s (the original), Bella Costa, Naked Grape and Summer Salt in the area.
For this iteration of Jensen’s, the chef has brought back his famous roast duck, a dish he’s been cooking for 30 years. The duck sits on a bed of broccolini and a nutty celeriac puree. The venue is relaxed, but the presentation of its dishes is elegant. Besides the roast duck, the menu at Jensen’s changes regularly, sometimes weekly. Other dishes include John Dory fillets with carrot and ginger puree, and a pumpkin, feta and caramelised onion ravioli.
The wine list focuses on Australian wines, many of them from the Southern Highlands, but the cocktails are the highlight. Le Noir, a mix of gin, Chambord, chocolate and grapefruit is dramatic, served in an opaque black glass.
The vast dining room seats 150 people. It features sandy and blue colours, and the space is split into pockets of seating by a white, Moroccan-inspired screen and hanging plants. The main dining room has tables, banquettes and semi-circle booths. The marble bar suits a casual meal of pizza with a glass of wine. No matter how cold it is, though, the glittering terrace with views of treetops as far as the eye can see is the best seat in the house.
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