Lanterne Rooms has embarked on an exciting new chapter in their story. They have moved into the ISKIA building in Campbell. Their new home is in a thriving part of Campbell, with the Constitution Avenue residences above and the Campbell 5 precinct close by.
“This is an opportunity for us to create a hub in Campbell,” says manager Adrian.
“We actually run the gym next door! We also plan to open a unique café in the near future.”
For any regulars worried about what changes the move may bring to this Canberra establishment, fear not. The Lanterne Rooms team wants to assure their locals that “we have retained everything that made Lanterne Rooms so special – the warmth, the heart, the character and the charm”.
“We will be building on the hallmark Lanterne Rooms experience that our customers have come to know and love, as our spacious new premises will allow us to offer new services to surprise and delight.”
Step inside the new Lanterne Rooms and you immediately notice the light streaming in, how deep the restaurant goes and its quiet beauty. The design is unique to Lanterne.
“This location is more open, a lot more airy with an outdoor vibe,” Adrian says.
“We utilised that in the design. But, at the same time, we blended it with some warmth, which is a distinctive feature of Lanterne Rooms. It is a much more versatile space.”
The salvaged timber floor stretches out, raw and unpolished. Above hangs a floating ceiling of rustic wood slats, coarsely stained. Wicker chairs flank long tables covered in crisp white tablecloths and set with earthenware bowls, amplifying the exotic/colonial feel.
Two archways between the dining rooms evoke a traditional Nyonya house.
“We are inspired by Nyonya (a blend of Chinese and Malay cultures), both in our architectural design and in our food,” Adrian explains. “We try to bring a refined version of the Nyonya cuisine.”
An outdoor veranda area will be fully enclosed, giving it a glasshouse feel.
“The Lanterne Bar area is nearing completion. It will extend to an outside area where patrons can enjoy happy hour before progressing to dinner in the restaurant.”
Adrian describes a new cocktail created especially for the Lanterne Bar.
“Pandan Paradise brings a distinctive earthy taste, featuring Pandan-filtered rum, a touch of pineapple, a touch of coconut cream; it is tropical, similar to Pina Colada, and topped with a banana leaf garnish.”
Tucked away, with a backdrop of the Lanterne Room’s wine collection, is the private dining room.
“We have carefully chosen wines to match our food. Wines from all around the country, as well as international brands. Some local brands are Collector Wines, Eden Road and Ravensworth. What we would like to bring is a whole spectrum of wines that people don’t know much about, some alternative varieties from small producers in a little country town. We want to highlight some of those quality producers.”
Adrian wants to stress that they are keeping the best-loved dishes on their menu, including their tom yum prawns, the curry and Shanghai rice noodles, and “we might do whole crab when the season comes”.
When you come to check Lanterne Rooms’ new space out, why not sample some new flavours?
Try bite-sized mouthfuls of Otak Otak, tender, steamed seafood cake, each served on a sesame leaf; order the char-grilled king prawns in Penang Assam Laksa, where the tang of tamarind accentuates the salt and sweetness of the prawns.
Taste the delicate slices of beef cheek cooked Nyonya style in white pepper broth with Shimeji mushrooms.
Lanterne Rooms’ new location is in the ISKIA Building at 81 Constitution Avenue, Campbell.
Lunch: Tuesday to Friday – 12:00 pm to 2:30 pm
Dinner: Tuesday to Saturday –- 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm
Lanterne Bar: Tuesday to Saturday – 4:30 pm to 10:00 pm (opening date TBC).
Original Article published by Michelle Taylor on The RiotACT.