Although its spacious new premises are a surprising contrast to the Campbell original, Lanterne Rooms has kept its Penang panache and inventive South-East Asian dishes.
The new digs are within the ultra-modern Iskia development that has transformed the surrounding precinct, though it feels like stepping into a Malaysian colonial mansion. Airy rooms are divided by arches, while cane chairs and rattan ceiling fans, bright artworks and indoor greenery are the work of Capezio Copeland, the design firm responsible for the look of many of Canberra’s best eateries. Book a discreet table for one or join the crowd in the bar.
Lanterne is a popular spot for locals on lunch break; solo diners are common and welcome. Old favourites remain – such as classic dishes otak-otak fish cakes rolled in sesame leaves, tom yum prawns and Angus beef kampung-style curry – while new stars include pork and prawn tortellini in an umami-rich aromatic broth. The warm service and superb wine list are all the company you need.
Iskia building, 139/81 Constitution Avenue, Campbell; (02) 6249 6889; open Tuesday-Friday for lunch and Tuesday-Saturday for dinner.
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