Corella alights elegantly on Lonsdale Street. | HerCanberra

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Corella alights elegantly on Lonsdale Street.

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There’s a new bird on the block in Braddon, promising fine food and a beautiful bolthole on the foodie strip of Lonsdale Street. And it spreads its wings on Thursday 22 April.

Corella is the brainchild of the team behind Assembly, and is located just across the road. And yet the two venues are entirely different. Corella promises intimate fine-dining, wine and cocktails with a twist.

A bespoke and delicate menu is inspired by native ingredients and shaped by modern Australian cuisine. For instance, you may savour the plum cured kingfish with blood lime, chilli & chives or the beetroot, cultured cream and native pickled fennel. One of Corella’s signature dishes is a version of Duck a L’Orange featuring sunrise limes and bunya nuts.

Photo by Ohboi Creative

Desserts sound particularly appetising with the Corella cherry ripe and coconut ice-cream, or the burnt honey mousse with milk sorbet and Nem’s coco pops.

Nem refers to head chef Nemanja Babic, a Bosnian-born immigrant who came to Australia at age 19 and began his hospitality career as a ‘dishy’ at Courgette before rising through ranks to become sous chef. Nem is in charge of the kitchen at Corella, ably assisted by Brandon Hardiman, who cut his teeth at Edgar’s Inn in Ainslie before working his way around the county, including a stint at Orana in Adelaide.

Photo by Ohboi Creative

With dishes such as a Jerusalem artichoke pasta with coral mushrooms and saltbush, Corella is being mindful of the number of vegans and vegetarians who frequent Lonsdale Street.

Restaurant owner Wes Heincke said Corella will bring niche native ingredients into the mainstream. “We want to combine native ingredients and classic cooking techniques in a modern multicultural Australian kitchen.” And he is keen that all of this will be delivered with knowledgeable, welcoming and unpretentious service.

Brady Scholes and Wes Heincke. Photo by Ohboi Creative

Meanwhile the cocktail menu is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. Devised by barman Joel Shapiro, the list includes such gems as the Half-Thyme Oranges— combining Starward two-fold whisky, Fresh OJ, Cointreau, plum bitters and fresh thyme. The Basil Zempilas of Poor Toms Gin, Sydney Dry Gin, basil and lemon also sticks to a more classic line.

The wine list is compiled by Corella head honcho Brady Scholes, who brought Assembly to light alongside Wes. Whether you just want to pop by Corella’s elegantly fluted eucalyptus green bar for a tipple or you’re a serious wino, Corella won’t disappoint.

Photo by Ohboi Creative

In preparation for over six months, the wine list is more on the classic side and boasts almost 60 bottles consisting predominantly of Australian producers, some established and some young-up-and coming, with a feature of local stars. International producers will play a slightly smaller part on this list but they will represent well.

The décor is truly something. Arched windows down one side, with a high bar across the street frontage, Corella seats just 30 inside (with outdoor dining out the front being a future warm-weather prospect). Its muted colour scheme of soft pastel greens and a green and blush terrazzo bar is immediately calming. You can see everything that is going on in the kitchen out the back, while keeping an eye on the happenings on Lonsdale Street out the front.

Photo by Ohboi Creative

Originally pegged as a wine bar, Corella definitely encompasses more of a restaurant and fine-dining feel. While it is archetypically Australian, the vibe is also more than a touch European. It opens this Thursday and is licensed to midnight from Wednesday to Sunday. The kitchen and bar promise to cater for afternoon and late-night customers in need of a cheese platter or after dinner cocktail.

We can see ourselves in this elegant new place, perched in a corner on a chilly afternoon, imbibing a cocktail and ordering up some of the country’s most unique flavours.

Photography by @ohboicreative

The Essentials

What: Corella.
Where: 14 Lonsdale Street Braddon
Open: From Thursday 22 April, then Wednesday to Sunday, midday to late.


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