Selkirks is a proud old house, freestanding and a block away from the busy main street. A grand stairway leads to the entrance and although it may be bitterly cold outside on the night, the interior is warm and immediately welcoming with its yellow walls and many-coloured, chequered chair covers.
The menu contains five entrées, five mains and five desserts. Michael Manners uses regional produce as much as possible and his food is refined and known well beyond his country location. We chose the ‘Charcuterie plate’, featuring a homemade paté, a rillettes and a terrine. The bread, a lightly soured mixed grain and a potato and rosemary (charged as an extra) were outstanding and in my opinion a much better accompaniment to the charcuterie assortment than the rusks that came with the dish. An entrée of ‘Goats curd cheese galette’ served with a spicy carrot and sultana salad shone because of the incredible quality of the goat’s curd (and went quite well with the charcuterie plate’s rusks). For mains we tried the ‘Rainbow trout, trout mousseline, potato blini, dill sauce’, a credible rendition of a classic dish and a ‘Slow cooked loin of pork, apple and prune compote, mashed potato’, consisting of three thinly cut slices of excellent quality pork, served quite pink, sitting on top of a good mash with quite a sweet apple and prune sauce. We applaud Michael’s practice of recommending a glass of local wine with each dish, especially as the recommendations work very well. For dessert we shared a ‘Mixed dessert plate’, which consisted of a couple of ice creams and a sorbet, almond brioche slice, honey roasted apples and pears with short crust pastry, a sweet almond cake with a rhubarb and strawberry compote, and a rich (baked to order) chocolate torte. Although competent none of the desserts rocked our boat. They offer a good selection of loose-leaf teas and reasonably good coffee to complete the meal.
The wine list shows off local wines almost exclusively, which is commendable, although maybe a little constricting. Service was helpful and friendly. This is an excellent country restaurant, aiming very high and almost succeeding. A little more attention to some of the small details could lift it from good to great.
For more information or bookings:
179 Anson Street
Orange NSW 2800
Tel.: 02 6361 1179