“Head chef Daniel Li has pulled together an intriguing menu that celebrates so much that is famous about Mediterranean dining, making it challenging to decide what to order,” writes dining reviewer WENDY JOHNSON
ONE doesn’t always associate Woden with cool, contemporary places to dine. Sure, there are heaps around but in my mind, many are “shopping mall like” (yell if I’m wrong).
So we were delighted with the fun, quirky décor of No.10 Restaurant + Bar at the Woden Abode Hotel. Our question was whether the food would measure up.
No. 10 opened in 2016 and is a great spot for those living and/or working in Woden. It’s relaxed and customers can pop by for a quick drink and a light snack or stick around for a long, leisurely meal.
The menu is intriguing and carefully thought through.
Entrees range from $16 to $19. The gluten-free Korean fried chicken (not heavy) was super delish, including the Kewpie mayo and pickled daikon. A real winner was the melt-in-the-mouth calamari, freshened up with coriander and mint, and perked up with chilli. The palm-sugar dressing wasn’t overly sweet. I’m a fan of quality poke bowls, especially with rare salmon, and mine didn’t disappoint. The wakame and kimchi were great elements.
We fussed over mains, with so many enticing options on offer. The eye fillet steak ($36), another gluten-free dish, was cooked as ordered and the mushroom fricassee was lovely and earthy. The potato galette was yum, especially with the confit garlic jus.
The smoked lamb, slow braised and served on a wooden board, came with red onion, pomegranate and cos lettuce salad ($33). The lamb was fantastic and who doesn’t love tangy pomegranate?
Things went a bit pear shaped with my main. The duck breast was undercooked and the fat on top not properly rendered. The pinot noir risotto was gluggy and lacked flavour. The staff were professional and accommodating when I returned the dish.
We tried to share a crème brulee but it didn’t hit the mark. It was cold and needed refining. We weren’t charged for the dessert.
The wine list at No.10 is impressive and celebrates top local wines, including great drops by the glass. We enjoyed the 2016 Three Lads Sangiovese ($13) and the 2012 Bourke Street Chardonnay ($11), both Canberra District wines. Happy hour 4.30pm to 6pm – $6 for a wine or $5 for a beer.
Despite the blips, which we suspected were unusual, we’ll be back. No.10 has a super outdoor area that gets sun during the day and it’s a welcome addition to the Woden food scene. The portions are super generous, especially for the price. On our next visit, we’ll just share a couple of entrees instead of ordering one each.
No.10 Restaurant + Bar, 10 Bowes Street, Woden. Open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and drinks from 7am to late, seven days.