The Italian Kitchen

What a night! Two friends and I dined at The Italian Kitchen in Kaleen last night. It all started out so quietly, but in the end there was so much going on, I actually left the restaurant without paying for my meal! Add to the mix that we were served by the BEST WAITER in Kaleen and that we feasted on succulent dishes plated up Masterchef style.
How awesome to find a fantastic Italian restaurant that is close by, not halfway across the city. Yes, I am aware that everything in Canberra is apparently only a 20 minute drive away, but if we can shorten that drive by 15 minutes, we are happy AND our carbon footprint is minimal-er.
I will have to go and check the place out in daylight, ‘cause the owners wanted to know if I had seen the chickens outside. The chicken sculptures under the tree outside looked great, but sadly they didn’t come out in photos, given that it was night time.
The Italian Kitchen feels modern but is still cozy. The décor leaves you in no doubt what type of cuisine you will be eating.

Make sure you check out the artwork done by one of the owners. Pretty talented!
We made CANBERRA’S BEST WAITER wait for ages to take our order, as we had hoped a fourth friendwould be joining us.

But finally we gave in made our choices.We ordered the selection of breads. I especially liked the sundried tomato bread.
We all chose to have an entrée as a main. I had the Eggplant, King Prawn and Scallop Stack in a Lemon and Sage butter sauce. It was wonderful. Thick slices of eggplant, not overcooked or greasy, just meaty and tender. The seafood was cooked to perfection and I could not get enough of that sauce! I licked my fingers several times and may have done the same to the plate except that I was dining with ladies! (In keeping with tradition, my favourite dish was the one I photographed least well, all a little blurry, but you get the idea. I guess I need to get over the social awkwardness of photogrpahing food, and just take my time. I am learning)

I sampled my friend’s Chargrilled Vegetable Stack with Feta cheese and Bocconcini served with homemade pesto and a yoghurt sauce. It was fresh and rich, and the feta remained firm.
My other friend ordered the Fried Goat’s Cheese served with Yoghurt and Char grilled Vegetables. The fried goat’s cheese was just how I love it. Big on crunch and then yielding that creamy explosion of pungent goat’s cheese. Bliss.
AUSTRALIA’S BEST WAITER had been attentive all evening. After my dish and generous samples of the others, I felt full. I hadn’t seen dessert on the menu, and actually forgot about it. But to his credit, the BEST WAITER EVER felt it was in our best interest to look at the dessert menu. He pointed out which desserts that would be the most photogenic. I am grateful to him for his desert suggestions as they were awesome!
I cannot find the dessert menu online:
But here is the Chocolate Mousse. Isn’t it pretty? Rich and smooth.

And here is the Lime Tart. It was yummy and not overly sweet.

INTERNATIONAL WAITER OF THE YEAR also highly recommended another dessert: something like ‘banana wrapped in crushed nuts’. But my fellow diners were full, as they are ladies. I nearly suggested we get a trio of desserts and that I would pay for two of the deserts, but as I have to date not paid a cent for the dinner at all, I am glad I didn’t.
How come I did not pay for my meal? Well, my friend paid for the entire meal with her credit card and at that precise moment, I was so caught up in taking photos and being shown artwork that I totally missed the part where I handed the cash for my meal to her! The shame!
Get to The Italian Kitchen (Gwydir Square in Kaleen)….all the staff are fabulously friendly and helpful! Next time I go I will be doing the risotto, pasta, pizza thing.

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