Coconut chicken salad… with coriander, fresh mint, mixed salad and spinach. Photo: Wendy Johnson.

“Dockside was busy, as new places so often are. Canberrans flock to them with glee,” writes dining reviewer WENDY JOHNSON.

Wendy Johnson.

A NEW café, just opened on the Foreshore, is bright, sunny and a perfect place for a casual meal.

Dockside’s fit out is fresh, with the soft colour palette featuring mint green, light pink, dove grey and bright white. Plenty of outdoor dining is available, and in the sun. There’s a long bar area outside also, great for people-watching (and dog-watching).

Coffee is by ONA Coffee and our cappuccino and latte went down smoothly.

All-day breakfast is on the menu weekends and, although not extensive, the variety is great and effort made to cater for all tastes. Lunch is available from 11am and kids are taken care of with a breakfast option ($14) or nuggets and chips ($12). Check out the large cake cabinet too, with homemade goodies that change weekly.

My coconut chicken salad was lovely ($24). The poached chicken was moist and lemon coconut dressing perfectly balanced. The salad was created with coriander which always lifts a meal to new heights, fresh mint, mixed salad and spinach. It was topped off with coconut flakes. My only concern was the large amount of thickly cut and powerful-tasting red onion, which overwhelmed the delicate nature of the rest of the flavours. I pushed most of it aside so as not to confuse my tastebuds.

Angel hair pasta with homemade tomato onion sauce… generous with plump prawns, tender calamari and loads of garlic and chilli. Photo: Wendy Johnson.

My friend was looking for something a bit more substantial, settling on the angel hair pasta ($28) with homemade tomato onion sauce. It looked gorgeous on the plate with the black squid ink pasta contrasting sharply with the bright oranges, greens and reds of the other ingredients. It’s a generous dish with plump prawns, tender calamari and loads of garlic and chilli. The baby spinach was fresh and the cherry tomatoes beautifully ripe. My friend’s only concern, and we agreed it was a personal taste issue, is that the sauce was slightly sweet.

Also available at lunch is a wagyu steak (100g and sous vide, $28), a cheeseburger ($22), creamy mushroom linguine ($25) and fish and chips ($23).

The café isn’t licensed but has plenty of teas, fresh juices, frappes and dairy-free smoothies.

Dockside was busy, as new places so often are. Canberrans flock to them with glee.

It was service with a smile and Dockside is aware it has a few teething problems to sort out including – on our visit – smoke from the exhaust system (shared with a neighbouring restaurant) and service that was a bit slow when we ordered at the bar. Our feeling is that they’ll get there quickly, and become a permanent presence on Eastlake Parade.

Dockside charges 10 per cent extra on Sundays, 15 per cent on public holidays.

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