Restaurant Review – Lanterne Room

astrojax 23 March 2008 13

Went to the new place in Campbell shops tonight. ‘Lanterne Room’ was open for just its sixth sitting, replacing the venue ‘Chill’ once occupied, having opened last Saturday night.

The service was crisp and friendly, not over-bearing but very competent. The menu was narrow, though very engaging, and prices were about $17-18 entree, $25-28 main and for that very good value. Overall, my rating is ‘delicious!’ four stars (from five). The decor is very tasteful, with as many blends of different parts of Asia as the menu, but works very well. Tables nicely spaced so we didn’t feel crowded and word must have gone around already because the sitting was full.

In some more detail, four of us dined, bringing our own wine – though Lanterne Room is both licenced and BYO; I am assured the wine list is excellent, and with the guys from the excellent bottle-o setting it up, I’d expect no less – and a sumptuous and demanding choice for both entrees and mains. We went with three entrees, a half dozen oysters done with a light sauce and daikon, a whiting with fennel and carrot confit, and cripsy tofu and miso sauce with artichoke and aubergine – the tofu soft and delicious melting in my mouth. All three delightful and beautifully presented.

Mains saw us with black vinegar braised pork belly, a spicy galangal chicken and okra dish and I had a very Malaysian rice noodle cake marinara. I expected a crispy noodle cake but was offered a dish of slices of gelatinous rounds of noodle with prawns, fish, scallops and calamari in a deeply rich and yet delicate sauce – a delightful surprise and a texture you have to try!

The kitchen’s repetoire comprises about thirty dishes, of which about ten to twelve are offered at a time with the restaurant changing them every few days, so it will be worth revisiting. At the moment just two desserts were offered, an Indian cardamon and cinnamon ice and an outrageous tomato sorbet with goats cheese and a corriander drizzle. Apparently they toyed with adding anchovies to this as an entree but it was a divine and inventful palate cleansing and delicious dessert. The fruit of the tomato a novel and welcome treat.

Even the coffees were excellent – we four accrued a bil of about $250, so not too expensive but certainly not an every night affair. The staff were well drilled and friendly, the chef apparently has been working in Chairman and Yip’s kitchen working through the menu and it will be also open for lunches in a couple of weeks.


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13 Responses to Restaurant Review – Lanterne Room
Whipper Snapper Critic Whipper Snapper Critic 10:04 am 19 Aug 08

CR, I think you’re in the wrong place mate, rump is good and all but if that’s all you’re interested in maybe you should stick top the RSLs. I went to Lanterne Rooms and was blown away with the quality of food and service. Almost as good as The Chairman and Yip

astrojax astrojax 9:23 pm 24 Mar 08

s’ok CR, you can pro’ly wear the flannies and uggs and i rekkun they’d still look after you. it was a pretty relaxed joint, jst delicious’s all.

(btw, ‘lanterne’ is simply a french spelling – and with a good dollop of vietnamese in the asian-fusion mix, is reasonably appropriate)

Swaggie Swaggie 9:09 pm 24 Mar 08

CR, Ive just been up to the Lanternnnneee with the Meat Tray I won at the Tradies last week, I told ’em you were coming and liked a bit of Rump so they bought the lot off me for $300. Enjoy 🙂

CanberraResident CanberraResident 7:43 pm 24 Mar 08

Ha! Danman, I remember those steaks at ‘Quangers’; choosing the sauce was always the most exciting part of the night! I always went with Dianne or Pepper. How boring!

Astrojax, your post about the Lantern has prompted me to take the missus out for a nice night out. We might even try the LanternEEEEE. Don’t worry, we’ll dress appropriately for the occasion, and we’ll even pay for the bill … 😉

CR out.

Danman Danman 6:51 pm 24 Mar 08

The contract owner I worked for done 2 buck rumps when I worked at Quangers Leagues Club last century.

The old folks on Wednesdays loved it.

We did 6 buck Sunday roast

CanberraResident CanberraResident 10:18 am 24 Mar 08

Danman – two buck rump night? Maaaaate … get with the times will ya? They’re about six bucks these days, but still a bloody good feed. The three veggies are even worth their weight in gold, although one time they forgot to defrost the peas. And they let ya inta the club with ya truck driver gear, thongs and all, no dress code till after eight so the missus and I eat early. She just wears her flanny tracky-dacks and gets in no prob.

Anyone for a foursome dinner? We could go down to tha Lantun at tha local Camball shops.

Hasdrubahl Hasdrubahl 9:02 pm 23 Mar 08

What a load of old cods.

You won’t catch me anywhere near a pretentious-sounding cafe that can only spell “Lantern” with an ‘e’ tacked on the end.

Danman Danman 8:53 pm 23 Mar 08

Sounds like Canberra resident may be more of a fan of 2 buck rump night at your local generic club.

Perish the thought I tell him of $45 mains at places I frequent (but not too often)

Thumper Thumper 6:53 pm 23 Mar 08

Tofu can be surprisingly good when cooked correctly and with a little flair.

astrojax astrojax 6:34 pm 23 Mar 08

aww CR, ya really oughta go try the sorbet – might be a bit like your woolies vanilla icecream with some big red splashed on it! ; )

see, straight away i figured, tomato – fruit – sorbet – fruit ice… must be ok.

while i agree that tofu ‘can’ be glue and paper sauteed with sawdust, this was divine! (i am starting to like ‘cripsy’ [sic] – i’ll have to find more opportunities to make that a real word, i rekkun!) and while yup, $60+ seems lavish, and african countries would like that as their GDP, this wasn’t over-priced when compared against most places i’ve been asked to pay that much – we had starter beers/gins, entree, mains, dessert and coffees, pretty well the whole box n dice.

nuts, ant? can’t recall nuts, but if you have a dietry concern with nuts you’d probably be asking first anyway, and they seem pretty amenable folk, might be able to do something that’s not been in the same suburb as nuts – certainly nothing with obvious nuts in our dishes.

and sorry, yes, the chill has gone (sounds like a blues standard waiting to be written!) but by the end, good riddance really. never quite lived up to its potential for mine; lanterne seems tohave made a good start; let’s hope they keep it alight…

CanberraResident CanberraResident 3:00 pm 23 Mar 08

Nice write-up astro, but OMG, I couldn’t think of anything worse than “outrageous tomato sorbet with goats cheese and a corriander (sic) drizzle”. And they considered adding anchovies to this atrocity? Blaagh! Sounds like some chef has gone “ok, what’s the worst possible mega-disgusting combination I can come up with today?” Anyway, gimme vanilla ice-cream. Cheap $2.99 per 2 litre tub no-name brand at Woolies.

What is cripsy (sic) tofu? Or should that be a crispy toad? Crispy toga perhaps? Oooooh, tofu! That glue-like substance with a cardboard like cover? Got it.

$250 for four people? OK, you brought your own wine, so that works out to about $62 bucks each. Glad someone can afford it – $250 feeds my entire family for a fortnight, and an African family for a year.

Onya astrojax … our culiunary cuisine critic.

(Only kidding – had too much no-name coffee after my $6 lunch)


Pandy Pandy 12:37 pm 23 Mar 08

Chill is gone?


ant ant 11:53 am 23 Mar 08

thanks for this, I was interested to hear how Chill’s replacement was. Um, was there any peanuts being used? Bit scared of kitchens that have peanuts in them and nowadays most SE Asian-styled places seem to have them.

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