“Pho Phu Quoc remains a strong draw card for those enamoured with the wonders of authentic (and inexpensive) Vietnamese cuisine,” writes dining reviewer WENDY JOHNSON
NEW eateries continue to pop open as fast as cherry blossoms in spring. The latest at the Foreshore – right on the water at Trevillian Quay – is The Kingston Collective.
The space is divided into three areas – a small bar with tall tables and stools, a relaxed café-style space and a dining/lounge area with big, fabric parlour chairs in steel greys and dove tones. Here you dine with lovely linen napkins.
The Kingston Collective’s menu isn’t uber extensive, but that’s just fine. It’s always quality over quantity for us foodies.
We shared the salty fried haloumi, which had a lovely texture (not too squeaky) and was enticing with wild figs and a yummy port wine reduction – a perfect share plate ($12). We also enjoyed sharing the lightly crumbed and tender quail kievs (nice to have quail and not chicken), with a decadent café de Paris butter ($14). The dish promised truffle in the aioli and we didn’t doubt it was there, but thought it very subtle.
We were keen on the beef cheek ragu, especially since it was a crazy cold Canberra winter night, but it wasn’t on the menu (sigh), so two of us selected scotch fillet instead (300 grams for $30). The meat was tender, the mash pretty good and the wild mushrooms a lovely addition. You can choose jus or café de Paris butter. One of us ordered jus, rich with flavour, and the other the butter, which couldn’t quite melt on the meat because it wasn’t hot enough.
Another of our party opted for the pork belly with Jerusalem artichoke ($27). The pork was tender and the trick, we discovered, was to make sure each piece was dipped into the cider jus for the full impact of flavour. The dish arrived with brussels sprouts and sorrel.
For sides, we enjoyed the taste of the broccolini with preserved lemon and pine nuts ($8). Other sides include roasted root veggies, hand-cut chips and a mixed-leaf salad with pomegranate and walnuts.
While we didn’t indulge, we were pleased that most desserts feature nice touches of native Australia, such as the macadamia and wattle biscotti, native plum, lemon myrtle crumb and eucalyptus cream ($10 to $15).
A small warning if you’re sitting in the “parlour area” and are a party of four. The tables are small and can be quite cramped with four plates, glasses and share dishes set about. Next time we’d ask for two tables to be pulled together.
And we did ask for the lights to be dimmed. It was pretty bright for a Saturday night in the “parlour”.
The Kingston Collective, 28/6 Trevillian Quay, Kingston Foreshore. Open 8am to 4pm breakfast and lunch. Dinner from 5pm. Closed Monday. Call 6170 3844.