If you have ever parked within the massive parking block on Bowes Street in Woden, chances are you have seen the patrons enjoying brunch or happy hour on the deck of No. 10 Restaurant + Bar – drinking pretty drinks and wonderful food beneath the glow of the deck’s cosy lights. The hum of happy people draws more people in, and that is certainly what No 10. Woden is finding.
The casual restaurant has just launched a fabulous new menu that reveals head chef Rob’s penchant for fine dining. Chef Rob brings a varied breadth of culinary experience to the kitchen, a career spanning 40 years and several continents. He has worked around the world in five-star resorts and restaurants, including as an executive sous chef at celebrity chef Antony Worrall Thompson’s Menage a Trois restaurant, famed for only dishing up starters and desserts.
We pop in to taste some of Rob’s new menu items on offer and discover some delightful dishes.
The starter – salmon gravlax – brings a Mediterranean slant on cured salmon. Thin folds of velvety lemon-kissed salmon on a bed of garlic-infused eggplant mousse, served with crispy toast shards. I like how the lemon lightens the richness of the salmon.
The teriyaki beef skewers are three succulent chargrilled skewers, glossy from the umami teriyaki glaze and speckled with sesame seeds.
Every component of the Korean barbecue chicken surprises me.
First of all – that kimchi is fantastic. Best kimchi I have had. Made from crunchy wombok, it nails the balance of salty, sweet and sour, with lingering heat from the chilli. Cubes of barbecue chicken have been marinated and then grilled in a sticky, sweet yet tangy sauce. The freshly pickled carrots maintain a crisp texture and have an exotic flavour depth to them that I can’t quite put my finger on.
The pressed lamb shoulder is toothsome and tender in a rich jus with al dente snow peas and broccolini. Classic flavours done with finesse. The accompanying potatoes are peppery perfection.
Our Bombay chicken has large mouthfuls of juicy chicken marinated in masala and coconut cream. The dish comes with fluffy basmati and an aromatic dhal where the lentils hold their shape rather than being cooked into mush.
The Italian baked fish – a peppered piece of boneless swordfish on a tomato-rich bed of braised tomatoes and onion – is a rustic plate with homey flavours you might find at a seaside trattoria.
Time for dessert.
The chocolate fondant’s crunchy fudge-like exterior gives way to a creamy dark chocolate filling. The mandarin compote is a refreshing and tart foil to the sweet chocolate. It is just lovely.
We highly recommend the coconut lime and malibu pannacotta with pineapple compote and candied lime. Exotic flavours in a tangy, almost comforting sauce. Inspired and surprising. It is my pick of the desserts because of its creativity and how the flavours work together.
No. 10 also offers a $17 express lunch menu with five quite varied dishes that promise to fly out of the kitchen in plenty of time for you to enjoy in your lunch hour.
The menus are available across both its Woden and Belconnen restaurants.
No 10 Restaurant + Bar is located at 10 Bowes St in Woden and 3 Grazier Lane in Belconnen. It is open from 7 am to 9 pm on weekdays, 7 am to 11 am and 5:30 pm to 9 pm on Saturdays, and 7 am to 11 am on Sundays. Follow No. 10 Restaurant + Bar on Facebook and Instagram to drool over their newest offerings.