News location:

Canberra Today 3°/9° | Saturday, April 13, 2024 | Digital Edition | Crossword & Sudoku

Turning Japanese… every night at the Dockside

It’s a café by day and a Japanese-fusion restaurant by night. Dockside Kingston, by Chong Co Group, now offers dinner with picturesque views of the water, writes dining reviewer WENDY JOHNSON.

If passing Dockside Kingston as the sun sets, don’t be misled. At it looks exactly as it does by day, which sadly doesn’t do the food justice. 

Wendy Johnson.

A better ambience is needed – lights could be dimmed, table candles would help, and effort is needed to transform the décor, perhaps with colourful Japanese decorative elements. 

Putting that aside, the food is gorgeous and stunningly presented. An option – and the one we chose – was the tasting menu (minimum two guests, $79 each, or you can enjoy a tasting menu for $59 each). We couldn’t fault one dish.

Fresh oysters were served on a mound of ice, to preserve their temperature, and on a magnificent dish shaped like an oyster shell. Citrus-based ponzu, sweet negi oil (such a taste of Japan), and red caviar all popped with flavour. We could have ordered dozens.

The salmon tacos, served on a special stainless tray, were punchy, vibrant and addicting. Flavours include spicy mayo, jalapeno onion salsa, and furikake (a savory-sweet rice seasoning). 

Next were mozzarella cheese baked scallops, each a moment-on-the-lips-lifetime-on-the-hips. I normally like scallops served more simply, but was encouraged by a friend who had indulged in these beauties before. They are worth the experience. 

Cooked to perfection was the sliced melt-in-the-mouth wagyu scotch fillet with a side of snap peas. A small bowl of chimichurri and another with a reduction of black pepper yakiniku accompanied the dish and the person who served us recommended combining the two. It was great advice.

Also cooked to perfection were the decadent kipfler potatoes fried with herb oil. To liven matters up was a delightful mixed-leaf green salad. Fried wonton on top added crunch and the wafu dressing was simple and delicious.

Rounding off the experience was cool, creamy panna cotta dusted with matcha green tea powder and adorned with fresh berries. 

Gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian and vegan dishes all appear on Dockside Kingston’s menu, so everyone is taken care of.

The wine list leaves something to be desired. It’s sparse and no local wines are offered. Sparkling, whites and reds start off at $10 a glass and labels include Garfish, Stonefish, Starborough and Nanny Goat. 

Beers include Coast Ale from Capital Brewing and, of course, Japanese varieties. Signature cocktails are stirred and shaken, and Dockside Kingston serves a range of sake and non-alcoholic, carbonated soft drink Ramune.

Our Australian Garfish pinot grigio (2023) was refreshing with stone fruit characters. We’d go the BYO route next time (wine only and corkage $4 a person). 

Who can be trusted?

In a world of spin and confusion, there’s never been a more important time to support independent journalism in Canberra.

If you trust our work online and want to enforce the power of independent voices, I invite you to make a small contribution.

Every dollar of support is invested back into our journalism to help keep strong and free.

Become a supporter

Thank you,

Ian Meikle, editor

Wendy Johnson

Wendy Johnson

Share this

Leave a Reply

Related Posts

Home & Garden

Space heaters: 5 types with their pros and cons

Space heaters provide an extra boost of warmth, making even the coldest rooms feel inviting, says DAVID ELLINGSEN, CEO of Gas and Plumbing Australia. In this sponsored post he shares the pros and cons of five space-heater options. 

Follow us on Instagram @canberracitynews