Tag Archives: Restaurant

La Rustica by the Lake, Kingston Foreshore

16 Jan

Kingston Foreshore feels almost ‘filled out’ now. The empty shop spaces are filled up and – at least in these summer months – each venue seems brimming if not bursting with people on these storm-filled afternoons.

If La Rustica sounds familiar, it is – for many years it was a mainstay of the Kingston dining scene on Kennedy Street but has been lured down to the foreshore. Like many of the establishments, it’s got a huge, sprawling space. Early Saturday afternoon we’re offered to sit wherever we like – but this doesn’t mean it’s quiet; we just find our seats amongst the busyness!

We have enough time to pore over the menus to result in major decision issues: I’m tempted by fettuccini salmone ($22.90), gnocchi gorgonzola ($23.90) and patate pizza (starting at $16.90 for a small) – and don’t decide on any of them. Our wines are served in large portions.

It’s a short, reasonable wait before our generous portions are served hot and fresh.We’re offered parmesan which is served in a bowl with a spoon (I love that we can keep adding spoonfuls!).

My Spaghetti Nero ($22.90) is perfect al dente; tangy mouthfuls are made moreish thanks to a creamy base, and heat the back of my tongue between bites.

Spaghetti nero (ie with squid ink)

My friend’s Balmain Bugs ($26.90) has three big bug bites, but the white wine sauce with shallots and garlic – while okay – doesn’t pack quite the flavourful punch she’s expecting.

Balmain Bugs spaghetti

As we finish the rain starts rocketing down. Other establishments scramble to rescue tables and shares, but La Rustica simply closes its roof. That said, rain has a habit of slicing sideways and we’re offered to move inside to any seat we like. We do.

We’ve been offered dessert menus. I’m a nooooooo toooooo fuuuuuull kinda person (although I wouldn’t refuse another glass of wine), but the time it takes between receiving the menu and having someone coming back to take our orders has me more than locating my dessert stomach (read: it’s a long time). Once ordered, our desserts arrive quickly.

Profiteroles ($12.90)

The custard-filled profiteroles are no match for my friend, who delights in them. I’ve never had panzerotti (sweet ricotta-filled fried dough) and the casing is probably a little too tough for my tastes (but this isn’t a restaurant issue – I think they’re supposed to be like this!). The vanilla bean ice cream served in a small dish surprises me: for presentation it’s pretty (see for yourself!), but it’s painful for practical purposes.

Panzerotti with vanilla bean ice cream ($14.90)

For a solid meal and very reasonable wine prices at a pretty lovely location, I’d recommend. A few hours of our Saturday comfortably slip by.

Date: Saturday, 10 January 2015

Where: Kingston Foreshore

Cost: $110.60 (including two mains, two desserts, two sauv blancs and two rieslings)

Value for money: Reasonably high

Worthwhile factor: Worthwhile

Want more? Out In Canberra can fill in blanks.

La Rustica By The lake on Urbanspoon

Chifley’s Bar and Grill, Barton*

19 Dec

* I dined at Chifley’s Bar and Grill courtesy of the restaurant. In what must surely be the one of the busiest years of restaurant and cafe openings in Canberra’s history, historic Kurrajong Hotel is capping off 2014 and meeting 2015 head-on with the opening of Chifley’s Bar and Grill (Tuesday night) and the relaunch of the hotel (early February). Chifley’s is named after former PM Ben Chifley who preferred to reside at Hotel Kurrajong (believing it would save taxpayers money) and – unsurprisingly – regularly dined there. Continue reading

Pho Hub, Belconnen

14 Nov

There are two things you should know before I start this post:

1) I loved Pho Viet on Beissel Street in Belconnen. I was saddened when it closed (but couldn’t be unhappy when Belconnen got its own Asian Noodle House in its place).

2) I think Belconnen has great amenity. The high rises – whatever you think of them – have space underneath, and many of the newer ones like Altitude and Sentinel, and even Oracle (Benjamin Way facing) have the potential to create a real street and cafe culture. Remedy by Lonsdale Street Roasters and Chatterbox have helped to kick that off.

Look, Belconnen will never be a Braddon – hell, we don’t want to be; we’ve got our own vibe – I think there’s the same sense that opportunities are emerging. There’s space to do things – not land to be developed necessarily, but there’s room to move and create. And hey – compared to Braddon, Belconnen has tonnes of parking. ๐Ÿ™‚

With that in mind, here’s the review:

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Plumb on Tennant, Fyshwick

21 Oct

I’ve spruiked continuously that Canberra is full of these ‘hidden gems’ – often we only hear about these places because they’re where we live, or through word of mouth (often because other people live there!). I’m not sure I would ever have heard of Plumb on Tennant if it wasn’t for CBR Foodie‘s lunchtime post a few weeks ago. You see, this hidden gem is in Fyshwick!

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Les Bistronomes, Braddon

21 Oct

I’d wondered what would be replacing Canberra institution Delissio when it shut its doors back in June, and was glad we didn’t have to wait (too) long for an answer. French is a cuisine that interests me but it’s one to which I’ve had little exposure; my naive impressions have been that it’s pretty dense and stuck in the 80s. But Les Bistronomes’ chefs come with a serious pedigree, having worked – at a minimum – in Canberra’s finest establishments, so I’m looking forward to seeing what they can do.

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Jade Dumpling Noodle House, Gungahlin

15 Oct

Wow. Last week was a huge week for this little blog, namely due to this passionate little piece. My previous day’s best ever record was smashed right out of the park. And a certain news.com.au journo agreed (presumably jokingly – but I am 100 per cent all for it to happen) that he’d let me show him the Canberra he can’t yet see.

But what those otherwise meaningless achievements reflect is a real engagement with the article. Why did people engage with it, and want to engage with it? Well, it’s probably the subject of future blog posts. (And it was certainly interesting to note how many people interpreted my call to arms very differently, including on Reddit.) But the fact is, it seems what I wrote meant something. And not just to known staunch defenders of this city. That’s revealing in itself.

Before I talk more about another very important subject (dumplings!), I need to stress that pride in a city doesn’t mean you just love and defend everything about it. If that was the case, not much would ever get done. Often people want to see change or improvements because they care about and love their city. So you can damn well love Canberra and be proud of it while also having some ideas on what to change. On what you want to be different. Don’t underestimate the power of people power. Don’t underestimate the power of your suggestion or idea, or your challenge to an suggestion or idea. And we’re connected in so many ways we’ve never been before, physically and through technology, that there’s no reason not to participate – whether it’s to promote your city or find a way to improve it. The only thing you really need to do is do it.

And hey – while I’ve got you – thank you. The support, the Facebook shares, the retweets, the comments and conversations: it all meant a great deal to me. What I can say? I love Canberra!

Okay: dumplings time.

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C Dine Bar, Kingston

11 Aug

C Dine Bar is the recent winner of the AHA Award for Best Restaurant in Canberra. It has a prime location on the Kingston Foreshore, and I’ve always admired its vast outdoor seating and heard rumours of its excellent seafood.

10 minutes after arriving at the Foreshore we’ve taken advantage of the bright warming sunshine on this cool day and we’re sat outside with menus and views.

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