Set menus bring bold flavours with soul

Share Canberra's trusted news:
Pork riblets with black vinegar reduction. Photo: Wendy Johnson.

“Like many restaurants dealing with the continual challenges COVID-19 creates, Lanterne Rooms is operating with set menus at the moment… our culinary experience took us through the six dishes of the chef’s tasting menu and it was a delightful journey.”

IT was our first visit to Lanterne Rooms’ new location in the Iskia Building on Constitution Avenue in Campbell. The fitout of the new premises (both indoors and out) is elegant, well thought-out, warm and inviting. 

We love the smaller rooms inside and made a note to return one day to dine outside before our party of three quickly settled in to check out the menu. 

Like many restaurants dealing with the continual challenges COVID-19 creates, Lanterne Rooms is operating with set menus at the moment – a banquet menu at $65 per person and the chef’s tasting menu at $85 per person (selection of options applies to the whole table). Two sittings are being offered per night, with a limited number of guests per sitting.

Our culinary experience took us through the six dishes of the chef’s tasting menu and it was a delightful journey. 

Pan-fried pork roll… intriguing and perfectly balanced. Photo: Wendy Johnson.

The pan-fried pork roll was intriguing, the tastes perfectly balanced and the bean curd skin wrapping a playful addition to this wonderful starter. 

For our second starter we selected the tom yum infused prawns, plump and juicy and a bit on the sweet side. The accompanying rockmelon and apple worked seamlessly with the tom yum flavours. 

Tom yum infused prawns… plump, juicy and a bit on the sweet side. Photo: Wendy Johnson.

Our first main was soy glazed spatchcock. The meat was super moist and we appreciated the fresh, lively cucumber salad with ginger and shallot, which helped cut through the richness of the spatchcock.

Slow-cooked Angus beef curry, Kampung style… inspiring, vibrant colours and sensational flavours. Photo: Wendy Johnson.

A star dish of the evening was the last main, the slow-cooked Angus beef curry ‘Kampung style’ (Kampung means ‘village’ so this is comforting home-style cooking at its best). The vibrant colours were inspiring and curry leaves danced about the dish. The flavours were sensational although some pieces of the beef could have been cooked a tad longer so they could fall apart. Still, it was an impressive, great-looking dish and typical of the bold Nyonya flavours with soul the Lanterne Rooms is famous for.

Our only comment on the menu design was that a vegetarian dish would have rounded matters for our liking and balanced the heavier emphasis on protein.

We agreed some dishes rolled out too quickly, so some were lukewarm by the time we got to them and we did feel a bit rushed (unusual for a member of The Chairman Group) towards the end. We may have been part of the problem arriving a little late for our booking (heaps of trouble getting a taxi). That might have been an influencing factor for the kitchen, which is fair enough.

Lanterne Rooms’ sister restaurant in Canberra, Chairman and Yip, is also offering diners a set menu during these crazy COVID times.

Who Can You Trust?

In a world beleaguered by spin and confused messages, there's never been more need for diverse, trustworthy, independent journalism in Canberra.

Who can you trust? Well, for more than 25 years, "CityNews" has proudly been an independent, free, family-owned news magazine, serving the national capital with quality, integrity and authority. Through our weekly magazine and daily through our digital platforms, we constantly and reliably deliver high-quality and diverse opinion, news, arts, socials and lifestyle columns.

If you trust our work online and believe in the power of independent voices, I encourage you to make a small contribution.

Every dollar of support will be invested back into our journalism so we can continue to provide a valuably different view of what's happening around you and keep citynews.com.au free.

Click here to make your donation and you will be supporting the future of journalism and media diversity in the ACT.

Thank you,

Ian Meikle, editor

Previous articleIt’s all parties, parties, parties from here… 
Next articleWine / Go early, go cheap is the mantra of the times
Wendy Johnson
Wendy Johnson: Food reviewer for Canberra CityNews magazine since 2004, covering stories for true foodies to digest.

Leave a Reply