While staying at the Midnight Hotel in the heart of Canberra, we were given complimentary a la carte breakfasts at Braddon Merchant, which is a restaurant that shares the same space as the hotel. All of the food was fresh and beautifully presented (so many local components; I love places that support local producers!), but funnily enough, the biggest standout item for me while having breakfast here both mornings was their porridge. I generally love Chinese porridge/congee/jook, and I’ve had many different version of oatmeal/porridge in my life across many cities and homes. But this porridge was just so different in terms of its flavor layers and textures. The description on the menu was: steamed millet porridge, golden fig jam, muscovado sugar, and fried thyme. The nuttiness of the millet and the fine bite of it was amazing, as was how the sight sweetness of the jam and muscovado sugar complemented the savoriness of the fried thyme. I would never have though to add an herb like thyme into porridge before this meal!
I purchased millet at home this year to mimic the vegan lemon coconut millet loaf I had while in Vancouver last year, but now I can use it to experiment with porridge now, too, since this dish inspired me. I never would have thought any porridge would excite me this much, but here we are, still thinking about the best porridge I’ve ever had right here in Canberra.