Dining / There’s no knocking The Knox

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Fresh flathead with sautéed potato… the batter was light and crispy, the potatoes crunchy, the fried capers salty and the iceberg and herb salad a winner. Photo by Wendy Johnson

WE were at the Gallery of Small Things for an exhibition and felt peckish. The Watson shops were a hop, skip and a jump away so we headed for lunch, to explore The Knox, which has been dishing up good grub for the local community (and beyond) for around three years.

Wendy Johnson
Wendy Johnson.

The place has a “made-in-Watson” feel and a strong, friendly neighbourhood vibe. The décor was kind-of Melbourne grunge, which was fun.

The Knox serves breakfast, brunch and lunch on weekends.

The black rice corn fritters ($19) were delightful. They arrived with two perfectly poached local eggs, an amazing salsa (not as spicy as I thought it would be given the menu promised jalapeno) and a gorgeous sweet and spicy aioli. It was loaded with goodness and hit the spot. My second choice would have been the Buddha Bowl, featuring teriyaki-glazed chicken, pickled cabbage and other gorgeous ingredients ($19).

One of our party was in for a bit of fish and so ordered south coast flathead ($22). The batter was light and crispy, the potatoes crunchy, the fried capers salty and the iceberg and herb salad a winner. The iceberg – cool and crunchy – was sliced thinly and the salad fashioned after a yummy coleslaw.

The veggie burger ($19) wasn’t our fave dish. Perhaps it was potato overload… a sweet potato patty plus chips on the side. The brioche bun added even more sweetness, although the beetroot tzatziki, smashed avo and pickled beetroot cut through somewhat.

Black rice corn fritters… loaded with goodness and hit the spot. Photo by Wendy Johnson

The desserts are on show as you walk in. They made us drool and are all homemade, we’re told. They looked divine, weren’t expensive and the ones we indulged in were delish. The rose and white chocolate tart ($5.50) was big enough for us to share. The small Portuguese tart had perfect pastry and the lemon curd tart with torched Italian meringue ($5.50) had major pucker power.

The Knox has a small wine list but a good one; three decent whites and three reds (including local options). Wine starts at $9 a glass and tops off at $44 a bottle for the reds.

Beyond alcohol, The Knox has put serious consideration into other drinks, including its health juices. Smoothies and shakes are $7.50.

We salute The Knox for sourcing as many ingredients and supplies from the region as possible.

It’s service with a smile at The Knox. It took a while to get served, but the staff were working it with the place entirely packed when we arrived.

Towards the back of the eatery is a great play area for the kids. The big outdoor area is protected with plastic barriers and has heaters for winter.

The Knox, Shop 1, Watson shops. Open seven days, 7am-5pm. Call 6255 4615.

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Wendy Johnson
Wendy Johnson: Food reviewer for Canberra CityNews magazine since 2004, covering stories for true foodies to digest.

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