STEAK and seafood sourced within a 500-kilometre radius and fresh produce direct from farmers. That’s what the menu dishes up at a new waterfront restaurant in the middle of the dining precinct developing at Kingston Foreshore (some would say, “finally developing”).
C Dine Bar is a labour of love for Shann Howman and Daniel Keogh, who got down and dirty in building the place.
New restaurants strive for points of difference and C Dine has several. One is the glass “ageing cabinet” in which hangs – on rather large hooks – several big slabs of certified Angus beef from Wagga Wagga, for up to 21 days. Is this too disturbing for vegetarians or those who don’t want to stare at raw beef while dining? I say, it’s a tantalising feature.Then there’s the oyster bar, with freshly shucked, plump, salty oysters from Merimbula and dishes such as lobster poutine (lobster meat, bisque and melted cheese), inspired by the French Canadian creation of french fries, gravy and cheese curds.
Also intriguing is the “progressive art” space in the bar area. C Dine places a blank canvas in a frame and invites local artists in on Mondays, when the restaurant is closed, to progressively create a piece of art. When finished, the artwork is launched. And another difference? The most comfortable bar stools in town. Promise.
Our group settled into the comfy, high-back fabric chairs, absorbing the décor and the menu, which is roughly divided into entrees, crustacean/molluscs, mains (farm and C-food) and desserts.
The “black and blue” beef carpaccio looked glorious on the plate, although we thought the slices were too thick. We were dead wrong. It melts in the mouth and we adored the mustard aioli, crispy capers, pecorino, horseradish powder and baby basil ($18). The wild beetroot entree was another favourite ($16) with goat’s cheese, hazelnuts and a shallot dressing, as was the pulled pork cheek croquette ($18) ordered by a fellow diner, who really wanted to steal my carpaccio.
The winner of the day for mains was the seafood pie (specials board), a must-try if you’re a seafood aficionado. My blue swimmer crab ravioli, with salty crispy caper flowers and house-preserved lemon ($28) was fine but not my fave, although I can’t pinpoint why. One serve of fish and chips hit the spot; another was a bit dry. And the prosciutto-wrapped chicken roulade stuffed with pistachios, bacon and wild mushroom ($34) was a great combo of tastes.
C Dine’s wine list features local options (nice one) and a large number of interesting drops, impressing the wine experts among us.
We didn’t have dessert, but how does the Chocolate Bar sound – chocolate sprayed marquise, bitter orange gel, vanilla, bittersweet feuilletine and black berry sorbet ($16).
C Dine Bar, 17/19 East Lake Parade, Kingston Foreshore, call 6239 5299. Open lunch and dinner, Tuesday to Sunday. Seating inside (for 90) and outside (for 50) with views of the water.
MAIN PHOTO: Twenty-one-day, dry-aged ribeye and freshly shucked Merimbula oysters.