Not all corporate, ground level, glass-fronted lunch spots in Civic are made equal, especially when you have somewhere like Temporada hiding amongst the ranks, a casual city café with fine dining sensibilities and a very pro-stance on upmarket day drinking if that’s your vibe. Of course you can pop in first thing for a roasty espresso and a little baked treat – scones with jam and cream are pocket change at four bucks a pop, and they do a monster salted caramel cookie too. But that would be wasting the potential of this venue to thrill your palate on even the drabbest weekday.
If you want to lunch like a French duke, order the duck liver pâté, a quenelle of farmhouse funk on a single toast slice with a daub of spiced sweet pear jam to round things out. The raw yellowfin tuna looks like a springtime flower crown but is no pansy on the flavour front. Tuna pieces like uncut gems join ranks with savoury dashi jelly, fresh radish slices, puffed black rice for crunch and a supercharged citrusy avocado. Anchoring the flavours to earth is a base of smoked olive oil that adds gravitas to the dish.
Forget mushroom risotto (bane of vegetarians everywhere) and order the caramelised onion pierogi. Two Polish dumplings with a soft, gnocchi-like exterior are stuffed with potato and caramelised onion and laden with heavily salted mixed fried mushrooms, black garlic, nettle purée, onion purée and fried nettle leaves. It tastes like a fantasy novel set in a forest.
Temporada was set up as the more casual cousin to Aubergine, and it strikes the balance perfectly between somewhere you could get your daily coffee and somewhere you’d take a hot date for dinner.
15 Moore St
|Opening hours:||Mon-Fri 7.30am-late; Sat 5pm-late|