17 May 2019

First Look: The Kitchen @ Beaver Galleries

| Sophia Brady

Lemon Meringue Tart. Photo: Supplied.

With a regularly changing exhibition program, four gallery spaces and a sculpture garden, Beaver Galleries in Deakin is Canberra’s largest commercial gallery, attracting people year round.

No longer a local secret, the gallery has a national profile through its active promotion of contemporary Australian artists. On each visit, you are treated to an outstanding selection of paintings, prints, ceramics, glass and sculpture. Plus the gallery shop also has beautiful products from leading Australian craft artists and jewellers for sale.

With indoor and courtyard dining areas, regular patrons may remember the onsite restaurant Palette cafe. Well, there is now a new chef and owner at the helm with a fresh name and food philosophy. The Kitchen @ Beaver Galleries may only have been open for just over a month but it is quickly gaining a reputation for one the best freshly made dessert cabinets in town accompanied by sensational coffee using artisan wood-fired roasted beans.

Owner and Chef David Lockwood, said “All the cakes are house made from scratch and finished on the day. Preparation for all desserts is on a daily on-going basis. Customers have responded very well to all the cakes and desserts however the lemon meringue tart has been a favourite from day one. All our pastries use organic eggs and pure butter, no blended vegetable fats what so ever that’s why they taste so good!”

Chef David Lockwood. Photo: Supplied.

Beyond the sweet stuff, the cafe is fully licensed with a vibrant and creative all day menu using seasonal, organic and sustainable produce with David revealing, “Our food is simple modern Australian with some Asian influences. Our focus is on seasonal organic/biodynamic produce, the way nature intended!”

“Even though my culinary career started in 2006, I have been cooking since the age of 13. My skills and knowledge of growing food and cooking started with my father, a brilliant Chinese chef who has had over 25 years of experience in traditional Chinese cuisine. Under his influence, I decided to become a chef. My aim is to nurture people with my food by using high-quality ingredients prepared simply to allow the palette to fully appreciate the main ingredient.”

Our first visit to The Kitchen @ Beaver Galleries, coincided with a busy weekday lunch rush, with the place full of diners. There for a quick work catch up, we were pleased with the attentiveness and speed of the wait staff, who quickly handed out menus and water upon our arrival. Since we were there on a cold day, we all opted for hot meals, with my pick being the perfectly portioned, delicate broth full of chicken dumplings, which was the perfect remedy for the winter chill and rain outside.

Even though our visit was short, the flavours of the food were memorable and have already got me planning my next trip. Next time, I plan to linger longer, starting with a glass of wine with my meal and ending with one of the tempting cake and coffee options.

Delicate broth full of chicken dumplings. Photo: Sophia Brady.

House-made pie. Photo: Sophia Brady.

The Kitchen at Beaver Galleries is located at 81 Denison St, Deakin.

Open from Tuesday to Sunday – 9:00 am to 5:00 pm

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