A Dining Debut at C Dine at Kingston Foreshore
by The Editor
On Wednesday night (24 July) C Dine threw open its doors as the first restaurant in Kingston Foreshore’s dining precinct. It’s been a long time coming. As the apartment blocks have crept slowly from Wentworth Avenue down to Kingston’s quay, the fitouts – including Max Brenner, La Rustica and Morks among others – are slowly nearing completion. Hurrah!
Entering the restaurant through the large windows that front on to the water, one immediately notices the dark tones that populate the space. On a grey carpet, the tables are covered in white and surrounded by soft, high-backed chairs. It’s a choice of furnishing that brings a sense of warmth and cosiness to a space that will be open and breezy once summer days are back again.
Taking a seat and looking across the floor to the well-lit kitchen pass, one cannot help but notice the extraordinary fridge for aging beef. It sits about four feet off the floor, and breaks up the winding, wooden counter that runs from the bar all the way through the kitchen to the pass. The light in the fridge is like nothing else in C Dine – having that slightly bluish hue that is common to butchers’ shops across the land. It’s certainly an attractive inclusion for the carnivores among us.
We started with a collection of oysters ($3.50 each) across three varieties – Mornay, tempura and natural. The tempura was a certain hit with the creamy oysters contained in the batter with a slightly sweet chilli accent. The natural version allowed the subtle salt to come through, and was wonderfully fresh.
It was time to journey in to some pretty serious mains. We set ourselves out to share (not the recommended style of C Dine, but was perfect for us to get a good sampling menu) with a couple of heavy hitters. Firstly, we tucked in to the Whole Ocean trout served with peas and a chimichurri pesto ($32.00). While we weren’t too sure about the pesto, we’ll let you make the casting vote and perhaps let us know what you think. Regardless, the trout was absolutely spot on – delicate and tender without a hint of dryness. We loved it.
Next was the pièce de résistance – a frighteningly large slab of rib eye served with a knob of butter and jus ($64.00). At 660 grams, it’s not a dish for the faint-hearted, but the bone takes care of a bit of the bulk, lest the casual diner suffer a meat coma before making it half way though. Cutting in to the portion the medium-rare steak had been perfectly rested and was not so much of an effort to get through as we might have thought. The lesson here? Don’t be afraid. It’s a stunner.
After that little effort, a mix of the relatively healthy along with another stab at indulgence meant we were soon sharing the C Chocolate Bar – (chocolate sprayed marquise, bitter orange gel, white chocolate snow and black berry sorbet – $16.00) and the Sangria poached fruits (fig, pear and sour cherry, hazelnut ice cream – $16.00). The chocolate bar was soft and creamy, despite its deceptive rectangular shape and the Blackberry sorbet a tangy delight. On a cold winter night though, it was the warming spices of the sangria that bought a feeling of comfort to the poached figs and pears. It was as close to a guilt free dessert as you might get. The hazelnut ice cream was smooth and beautifully balanced.
As one of Canberra’s few waterfront dining venues, we can get quite excited as C Dine makes it way through the last weeks of winter and sprouts into spring. We’ve been cynical enough of Kingston Foreshore over time, but C Dine is the first of what could be a strong roll-out of venues between now and Christmas. If you’ve been waiting to see what scene would develop in the lake’s East Basin, get down and support the first flag-planters for Canberra’s culinary outpost. We think you’ll enjoy the expedition.
17/19 East Lake Parade
Tue – Fri: 12 – 2:30pm | 6pm – Late
Sat: 9 – 11:30am | 12 – 2:30pm | 6pm – Late
Sun: 9 – 11:30am | 12 – 2:30pm