Drive-Through or Drive In? Dining at Space Kitchen
by The Editor
For many, the idea of dining in a car park is a foreign one. For others, it reeks of Melbourne-cool and appears urbane and edgy.
Well, while not quite underground, Space Kitchen has opened, and we were certainly intrigued to see who heads to Woden on a weekend for brunch in a car park.
There’s an extraordinary new-ness to Space Kitchen and its surrounds. Set on Furzer Street, the view along the road is not a pretty one, but rather filled with sheets of glass and grey metal that soar six stories on either side. Once the green leaves fall from the burgeoning oaks, one can only imagine a rather bleak vista.
However, inside Space there is plenty of energy. People are clearly interested to see what the second venture for Ricardo de Marco (of Macquarie’s eponymous Ricardo’s) has on offer, and what we have is an interpretation of its setting through the repetition of the blacks and greys of the surrounding car park. Meanwhile, the use of other road and traffic symbols – such as pedestrian crossings and numberplates – pushes the theme even further. With soaring ceilings and an interior filled with hard surfaces there is certainly a feeling of ‘space’.
The truly great news is that the food is…. truly great. There’s a great sense of adventure throughout the menu with interesting interpretations of familiar themes. For brunch, we settled on a sweet dish (Hotcakes) and savoury (Smoked Salmon). A couple of coffees (good, strong brew with a thin, underdone milk) came out quickly. Disappointingly, ordering is done from the bar, which means the relaxing tradition of enjoying a couple of coffees while lazily perusing the menu becomes more of a hassle than a Saturday morning indulgence.
The hotcakes were a rich, pretty and tasty plate filled with boysenberry. A dusting of freeze-dried raspberry was a clever touch, and the white chocolate dust was a more interesting alternative to icing sugar. As soon as it landed at the table, there was plenty of attention from other diners who, with menus still in hand, craned their necks while trying to match the clever presentation to the words on the sheet.
For the smoked salmon, the poached eggs, coconut rosti, and the dukkah, coconut & lime dressing makes for a light and fresh dish. This was great on a hot morning, and we can see it being a popular choice across the next six months. Even the coconut rosti was restrained, helping to fill out the meal while managing to avoid feeling.
The lack of table service is a downer. A lot of work has been put into the fitout, so it’s a shame the service hasn’t been borough up to the same level. Perhaps that will change as they get their bearings and systems fall into place.
Those who have come to love Ricardo’s delightful pastries will be happy to know there is an entire fridge dedicated to these under-bar delights. One can only imagine these multi-coloured treats walking out the door and heading out to brighten up the grey and dull buildings that surround this exciting little café.
Ground Floor, Skypark
Furszer Street, Phillip