New menu doesn’t disappoint, pity about the service

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The beetroot-cured salmon… the salmon was melt-in-the mouth and the dish danced with ingredients. Photo: Wendy Johnson

THE eatery with the best possie at Kingston Foreshore is Walt and Burley, the first bar to open in the area. Expansive views of the water, a large outdoor dining area that enjoys full sun, a massive fireplace inside for winter months and an intriguing décor with the long bar a main feature.

Wendy Johnson
Wendy Johnson.

We were on a mission to try the new menu and weren’t disappointed with the food (more on service in a bit). Our group decided to share small plates and a couple of mains, for a broader experience.

The grilled, half-shell scallops were cooked just so (scallops are horrible when under or over cooked) and we cherished the bright green and fresh spinach puree and spring onion oil ($22). The scallops looked beautiful on the plate.

So, too, did the beetroot-cured salmon ($24), which was a fabulous combo of vibrant flavours and colours (and we all know eating a rainbow of colours is good for us). The salmon was melt-in-the mouth and the dish danced with ingredients such as heirloom baby beetroots, goat’s cheese, compressed cucumber, shaved radish and olive and fennel crumble.

Suckling pig croquettes with fennel salt and maple mustard aioli. Photo: Wendy Johnson

The suckling pig croquettes weren’t too heavy and we rejoiced at the fennel salt and maple mustard aioli ($16). The only starter we didn’t fancy was the salt and pepper squid, mostly because it wasn’t hot when brought to the table, which affected the texture and flavour ($20). The chipotle mayo was yum, however.

Chickpea burger with Middle Eastern flavours… the beetroot hummus was creamy and looked pretty on the plate. Photo: Wendy Johnson

For mains we shared (a bit awkward, but our choice) the chickpea burger, with Middle Eastern flavours ($20). The beetroot hummus was creamy and looked pretty on the plate. The mint yoghurt was refreshing and the tabouli tangy (not overly so).

The lemon and chilli poached crab and razor clam linguini ($28) was far from exciting. It was unexpectedly super sweet and lacking in the promised chilli. We ordered it on a friend’s recommendation who had enjoyed it a couple of weeks before, but even he couldn’t rate it a gold star, saying he didn’t even recognise the dish.

The service didn’t get a gold star, either. Even though the inside was less than half full and outdoors not packed, the service was slow and, as one of our party put it, “sloppy”. It took more than 30 minutes for starters to start arriving. We went inside to enquire but were just told it wouldn’t be long (it already was). None of our plates were cleared – we felt sorry for the poor empty scallop shells still sitting outside in the sun even after we finished our mains.

White wines average $58 a bottle (without factoring in the $97 bottle option) and reds more than $60 a bottle (not factoring in options above $90). Nice to see some local wines on offer.

Walt & Burley, 70/17 Eastlake Parade, Kingston, open seven days, 11am until late. Call 6239 6648.

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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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