Onzieme is a small bistro and wine bar located in Kingston, Canberra. There's a great wine list and a tasty food menu available in this small space with a broad range of influences despite its French name. You'll find dishes like Murray Cod, avgolemono & cress or pumpkin, tahine & pomegranate and cornsilk ice cream with whey caramel for dessert.
Om zom zom zom zom.
Laura and I have seen the name Onzieme so many times and yet the name cannot seem to catch in our memory and the above is just a selection of things that we referred to the restaurant as (Laura has dyslexia, I have no excuse). Onzieme actually means one of eleven equal parts and is said to reference Paris's bistro laden 11e arrondissement.
Chef Louis Couttoupes' menu changes regularly and skips across many continents from Italy, Peru and Japan. Prices are reasonable which is a nice surprise because prices don't appear on the online menu. Given that we had an unexpected blowout at Mork's the night before we thought we'd go easy on the menu here and just order a few things to try.
Service is very good and knowledgeable. If Onzieme were transported to Sydney in Surry Hills or Newtown it would fit right in. The wine list is interesting with wines from Europe and Australia and a bunch of Unicorns (rare wines). Laura and I are more cocktail sort of gals but in our case a mocktail since we've had pre dinner drink's at Joe's bar.
Citrus Husk Soda $6 Hibiscus Cordial $6
The citrus husk soda is like my perfect soda. It's basically a dry soft drink with flavours of citrus zest and pith so that it has a moderated bitterness with a sweet finish. Laura has a hibiscus cordial which is exactly as you'd expect with the berried notes of hibiscus flower.
Bread and Butter $6
Food-wise we start simple: bread and butter mainly for the mussels we are ordering later. The bread is by Under bakery in Mawson and the butter is housemade with flakes of sea salt on top. Our only criticism is that we need maybe 25% more butter than what is on the plate.
Saucisson Sec, Pfefferoni $12
The Saucisson Sec dry cured pork sausage with pickled pfefferoni is simple but satisfying. And because Laura doesn't eat red meat and pork that leaves me to eat it all which I do. It's an LP's saucisson sec with plenty of garlic and black pepper. I eat every slice and chase it with a bite of pfefferoni chilli.
Galette, Smoked Philly, Roe $16
Sometimes one dish sticks in your memory and in this case it is these potato galettes. These are cubes of crispy, compressed potato layers with a fat dab of smoked Philadelphia cream cheese and fish roe on top. It's intriguingly smoky and crunchy with pops of roe on top. And we love that there are four of these bite sized delights per plate as you'll definitely want another after you finish your first one.
Mussels, Garlic, Fermented Chilli Butter $36
The mains are enticing sounding but honestly we had eaten so much already today that we decide to share one main. The mussels are served with garlic and melted, fermented chilli butter. They're so tender and best removed from the shell and then placed on the spoon with a scoop of the chilli butter sauce and a slice or two of the sweet chillies.
Corn Silk Ice Cream, Whey Caramel $16
I'm going to admit one thing to you Dear Reader: I rarely finish dessert. I'm usually a one or two bite gal and I'm done. But not this one. This corn silk ice cream is so perfectly creamy with the flavour of corn (one of my favorite ice cream flavours, it's my Asian background) and it is served with a delightfully tangy whey caramel and popcorn. Holy heavens it's good. My only concern? It may not be on the menu when you or I visit again.
So tell me Dear Reader, are you good with remembering words that you've never seen before? Do you always finish your dessert?
This meal was indendently paid for.
35 Kennedy St, Kingston ACT 2604
Tuesday to Saturday, 6-9pm