Lanterne Rooms, Campbell, Canberra
It certianly has been a while since I last went to Canberra. I was in Canberra for work and considering I haven’t seen E for a while, I thought we should catch up. We first met whilst we were holidaying in the Caribbean. Two different group of friends had organised to watch cricket, Cricket World Cup back in 2007. It was one trip neither of us will ever forget, we met, chatted, had a few beers and became long life friends. It is a shame that none of us were that organised for the 2011 Cricket World Cup.
E suggested the Lanterne Rooms as she has wanted to go. Josiah Li and Jeffrey Shim are the brainchild behind this, who are also the team behind the Chairman and Yip, which has been established for over 16 years from the previously recognised Madam Yip Restaurant. Lanterne Rooms claims their menu is ‘a blend of the local Nyonya style cooking layered colourfully with Indian and Chinese influences’.
The restaurant was rather dark, and I didn’t bringthe big camera with me so had to use my point and shoot – so apologies in advance for the dark poor lighting. I love the interior though, dark wood beams and coloured glass tiles. Pity the lighting was so bad!
The waiter recommended we get two entrees to share, a main and a side dish and we did just that. We started with the duck rolls with kaffir lime dressing ($15.50). Two duck spring rolls, it was a little pricey for just two I thought. However….
Crispy spring roll, generous duck meat served with a zesty lime dressing with a distinctive Asian flavour with hints of kaffir lime, chilli and coriander was GOOD! More than good in fact, tender and succulent duck meat, and the kaffir lime dressing which had a nice tang was wonderful complement. One was certainly not enough!
We also ordered a side of Tom Yum infused crispy prawns with rock melon and apple slaw ($16.50). Now I have never seen prawns served with rock melon and didn’t think it would work, however, this was delightful! Crispy tender prawns which were peeled already, the rock melon was sweet and brought out a lot of flavours. Bursting with richness and flavours, it was surprisingly quite tasty!
For mains, we shared the slow cooked blackmore wagyu +9 beef curry ‘Kampung Style’ ($31.50), which is similar to that of beef rendang, to be shared and serve with rice. Again, a little pricey for beef rendang. The beef just melted in your mouth, it was incredibly tender that it just fell apart. The beef curry was thick, and had a nice spice kick to it. It was absolutely wonderful!
The baked pumpkin with garam masala emulsion ($8) was one of the best baked pumpkin I have had in a while. The garam masala wasn’t as spicy as I had hoped, but was flavoursome and with a bit of beef curry sauce it was superb!
The dessert menu wasn’t as ‘Asian’ as we had hoped. However, we both couldn’t go pass the chocolate and coconut panna cotta served with pandan pearls ($14). OH MY!!! The panna cotta was excellent, creamy, smooth and chocolaty. The coconut was subtle, but the highlight would have to be the pandan syrup and pearls. The combination of it all was just magnificent. The pearls were tiny, not the one you get from bubble tea, but that didn’t really matter, the flavours were just stupendous!
It was served with pineapple and a dollop of ice cream – the sides were great but the highlight was definitely the panna cotta! I love how it was presented, it was so pretty to eat.
It’s not your typical Chinese Restaurant, it’s very fusion where East meets West. I thought the price was a little expensive for your average or typical Chinese food, however, the flavours were magnificent, the food were certainly aromatic and it smelt as good as it tasted! The beef curry ‘Kampung Style’ was divine but the panna cotta was definitely the perfect way to end a wonderful meal!
The service was excellent, and the food were beautiful presented. My grainy photo really didn’t do any justice *sigh*. I did notice on the website that they had a link to The Chairman, a restaurant in Hong Kong which I thoroughly enjoyed. Not sure if it’s related, I didn’t get to ask but I am sure this won’t be the last time I visit the Lanterne Rooms. Their degustation ($75) sounded good, but not sure if E and I can eat THAT much food! Reservation is HIGHLY recommended!
Thanks E for keeping me company, so I didn’t have to dine alone. I look forward to our next meal in Canberra soon!
GA’s ratings: 7.5 / 10
3 Blamey Place
Campbell, Canberra, 2612
Ph: +61 (02) 6249 6889