After our big birthday lunch for The Boy at Wagamama, and our visit to the National Museum of Australia it was time to think about our dinner plans.
We had originally thought we would go to our old Canberra favourite Gus’ for dinner – but as they have limited indoor seating we didn't fancy the idea of outdoor dining in Canberra on a chilly winter’s night. I had then suggested Kingsley's Steakhouse but failed to think I would need to make a booking – this is sleepy Canberra after all. More fool me as when we got to Kingsley is they were fully booked.
Not to worry as one of my Canberra favourites was just a few doors away.
Cream Cafe and Bar is a lovely art deco inspired corner cafe resplendent with cream tiles, stunning art deco light fittings and lovely wooden seating. Unfortunately for us there was no indoor seating and so we had no other choice but to sit outside (or go back to the hotel and eat chips from the mini-bar). Our table was underneath a huge outdoor heater and we were actually both really warm, warmer than we would have been at Gus’ I think (who do have outdoor heaters, just not like the mega-one at Cream)!
We start are evening with a small bowl of Queen Green and Black Kalamata Olives marinated in chilli oil ($8.00). I love olives, and I love having them slightly warm and the chilli adds a great “kick”.
Although I don’t think we “need” them The Boy puts in a birthday order for beer battered fries with aioli and tomato salsa ($11.00). The chips are fat, crispy and crunchy. I really enjoy the aioli and its garlic hit, and the tomato salsa is an interesting twist on your regular bottle of tomato sauce.
In an “I’ll have what she’s having” moment I ask the girls at the table next to me what they are having as it looks really nice and I can’t see anything resembling it on the menu. They assure me their Chicken Carbonara (from the specials board) is beautiful...and it is! Thin, but succulent chicken breasts topped with a lush and creamy carbonara sauce that is studded with crispy bacon and mushrooms. OMG – so naughty, but so tasty! I appreciated the token greens on the plate by way of Broccolini.
The Boy also orders from the specials board – Kangaroo Rump for him as Kangaroo is something that he loves but we never cook at home.
Sadly, the waitress who took our order came back to our table with Lamb Rump as she had inadvertently ordered the wrong dish for our table. We could have sent the lamb back but it would have been a 20 minute wait for the Kangaroo. By that time I would’ve finished my meal (or it would’ve gone cold waiting for The Boy’s replacement dish) and he would’ve been STARVING! I suppose they could have taken my dish away too and re-cooked it, but that seemed very wasteful. So Lamb Rump it is for The Boy – he liked the dish, and enjoyed the pieces of chorizo dotted through the bean medley that accompanied the lamb...it just wasn’t Roo if you know what I mean. To their credit Cream took this item off our bill which I really appreciated (or my wallet did anyway).
Cream Cafe and Bar can be found at the Canberra Centre - Shop FG10/ Bunda Street, Canberra.
A note on my photography: after the total girly hissy fit the Nikon D3000 chucked on our night out at Gotham Bar I had no intention of treating it to a night out in Canberra with The Boy and I. The Canon G11 was jumping up and down in the hotel room just itching for an outing...he dislikes the Nikon D3000 as much as I do at the moment as he's been relegated to "second camera", a place no-one rightly wants to be. After a bit of an internal struggle I relented and took Mr Nikon as his "final chance" to come up with goods before I chucked him on eBay. Lucky for him things seemed to have turned out...not too bad. Our table at Cream was REALLY dark and I have to say I was worried. I heeded the advice of fellow bloggers and switched from manual to aperture mode, put the ISO on auto and upped the f/stop to 2.2 for most of the shots - I think things turned out not to bad...all things considering (and thanks to be a bit of help from Mr Picasa). Time will tell though if we've made up for good...