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First Look: The Cookery

HerCanberra Team

Steak, chicken schnitzel and…baked brie?

It’s not what you’d expect to find on a bistro menu at your local social club, but it’s what you’ll find in The Cookery at the newly-refurbished Erindale Vikings.

You might not expect to find the HerCanberra team there either, but there’s no room for snobbery where delicious food is concerned.

And we’re not the only ones who think so. Wanting to reinvigorate ‘club’ dining was the motivation behind The Cookery’s new look, explains Vikings CEO Anthony Hill.

“With the bistro we really wanted to create a new and modern environment for the whole family—and I think we have achieved that,” he explains.

The new space is fresh (as in, it only opened earlier this month), airy and modern with full-length windows on one side taking advantage of the sweeping view over Viking Park and the Brindabellas in the distance. There’s an outdoor terrace, too—and for parents, brand new indoor and outdoor play areas.

It’s a large space with plenty of room for groups of friends, quiet catch-ups and full family gatherings alike, but carpet and acoustic panelling make sure the atmosphere is never crowded or loud.

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It wasn’t our ACTIVE Editor Ashleigh’s first visit to the club but she welcomed the change.

“Having visited the Vikings Club some time ago, I was gobsmacked upon walking in,” she says. “There’s an almost luxe feel to the interior, which is not something that you’d expect from your typical club.”

And as Anthony reveals, The Cookery is only the first new eatery to launch as part of the refurbishment.

“As well as the bistro, the refurbishments will see an Italian restaurant, outdoor beer garden, gelato bar and café.”

But never fear, Executive Chef of The Cookery Ben Cridland assures us that favourite dishes are here to stay.

“We are still delivering your classic bistro menu,” he says. “We have your feel-good bistro options like the chicken schnitzel and Wagyu beef burger, but have also included dishes like prosciutto-wrapped salmon and a pot-baked brie with bread for those looking for something a little different to the classics”.

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Speaking of food, we were able to sample some of the menu highlights chosen by Ben and his team on our visit, starting with the aforementioned baked brie.

As our Graphic Designer Katie explains, it came as “a small pot of warm, buttery Brie balanced by the fig jam’s subtle sweetness, alongside crusty bread for your scooping pleasure.” Safe to say she enjoyed it.

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For Ashleigh, their Power Bowl provided a hearty-yet-healthy lunch option.

“I love that they’ve thought about some lighter and healthier options,” she said.

“The Power Bowl was packed with veggies, protein in the form of lean grilled chicken, and a generous helping of hummus.

“The steak and burger are both dishes that I’d order again in a heartbeat—the Cape Grim Rib Eye was cooked to perfection with a delicious mushroom sauce.”

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While I will echo that the Rib Eye was amazing, it was the burger that really stood out for me—Ashleigh and I both agreeing that the cheese and pickles were the perfect addition. While we were trying to sample a few of the dishes each, I found myself going back for more of the burger. It was just perfectly-cooked and tasted so fresh.

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We finished off lunch with a serving of the Blueberry Cheesecake and the Brownie Stack and yes, they are as decadent as you’d expect. Our Production Manager Belinda got first dibs.

“I stuck my spoon straight into the Chocolate Brownie Stack and went to chocolate heaven as soon as it hit my mouth. It was loaded with walnuts, warm and gooey in the middle and set off beautifully by the vanilla ice cream. It was so good, I wasn’t very keen to share!”

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“Next up was the Baked New York Blueberry Cheesecake. A lot lighter than the brownie but equally as delicious. The berry compote worked beautifully with the cream cheese and reluctantly, I let the rest of the team have a taste too.”

So there you go. A bistro at heart with a chic exterior that will not only delight new and old patrons alike, but their tastebuds too. Next time you’re looking for a new place to eat, give Braddon a swerve and head to Wanniassa (the parking’s easier, too!)

the essentials

What: The Cookery
Where: Erindale Vikings, 6 Ricardo Street, Wanniassa
When: Open now – for lunch (12-2pm) and dinner (6-9pm) every day
Phone: 6121 2116
Web: www.vikings.com.au/erindale/the-cookery

Images: Tim Bean Photography

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