“Diners gather around a large, round table enjoying fabulous views of the lake. It’s a set menu so life is easy. You chill and watch the world watching you having fun,” says dining reviewer WENDY JOHNSON.
WHEN in the Dock Dining Dome, you’re in a Canberra bubble, but not the political kind.
Passers-by regularly stop and are perplexed at the large, clear plexiglass igloo that now forms part of The Dock, Kingston Foreshore, wondering what it’s all about.
Well, the Dock Dining Dome is a unique experience for 10 to 12 people. Diners gather around a large, round, custom-made table, sitting on seats adorned with sheepskin covers (fake) and enjoying fabulous views of the lake. It’s a set menu so life is easy. You chill and watch the world watching you having fun. The dome is brilliantly heated, so plummeting winter temps aren’t a problem. Acoustics are A-1 so it’s easy to hear everyone talk. Even play your own music on the dome’s bluetooth sound system.
We kicked off with yum grazing boards, loaded with quality Jensen’s aged-cheddar and Manchego cheese. Other tasty items included a creamy pumpkin hummus, and an intriguing carrot and coconut dip. Piles of cured meats and olives kept us happy as we sipped champagne.
The star of the shared mains was the braised Wagyu brisket with Dijon and chimichurri. It was absolutely sensational and melted in the mouth. What a winner.
We also indulged in a soba noodle main with wakame, Asian greens, chilli (nice hit) and decadent miso dressing. I wasn’t sure how it would fit into the overall menu, but it turned out to be a spunky dish.
The main that didn’t get a big thumbs up was the organic Atlantic salmon. The flesh was perfectly cooked, but the skin wasn’t crispy and we felt the dish overall was a tad bland. It was also served on top of the polenta that, sadly, made it soggy.
Sides include heavenly roasted chat potatoes, with confit garlic and rosemary, gorgeous charred broccolini and a roasted pumpkin salad with pomegranate. Mains and sides are all gluten-free, dairy-free or vegan.
The sensational selection of desserts featured a pucker-power lemon tart (which I devoured, since it’s a passionate love of mine).
Staff were exceptionally keen to please and we take our hats off to them for asking if there’s anything they could do differently to enhance the dining experience. We gave a couple of suggestions, including providing forks with desserts. They could also rearrange the order of some dishes, serving the salads and salmon and noodles before the beef (which would be better with the hot potatoes and broccolini).
The Dock Dining Dome is part of the ACT government’s covid-safe tourism initiative. It’s $75 per person and a 50 per cent deposit is needed to confirm your booking (based on minimum spend of 10 people).
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