Waterfront comes to life

C-Dine Bar in Kingston is one of the new restaurants coming to the area.
C-Dine Bar in Kingston is one of the new restaurants coming to the area. Photo: Daniel Spellman

Local chef Dan Keogh and business partner Shann Howman have opened a swish new steak and seafood bar on the Kingston waterfront, kickstarting what’s set to be a boom in eateries and bars in the area. The pair’s C Dine is in the new Aurora apartment complex, on the lake shore in front of the Canberra Glassworks and Brodburger, with an outdoor ‘‘beer garden’’ and casual eating area looking across the lake, and a bar. It’s open for breakfast on the weekends, lunch Tuesday to Sunday and dinner Tuesday to Saturday.

Keogh was part-owner in Ellacure, the popular hits-the-spot cafe near Bruce Stadium, before he went to Canada in 2010. Returning in 2011, he was chef at Artespresso in Kingston until mid-2012, when he moved to the Honkytonks bar in Garema Place. But he says the Kingston foreshore has long been on his mind. ‘‘I’ve been waiting on Kingston foreshore to be complete for some years, it’s an idea I saw coming since I was 16 or 17, when I thought ‘gee, that would be great place to have a restaurant one day.’ And now here we are.’’

He worked with Howman, who handles front of house, at Verve and at Artespresso. We gather C Dine is named for the seafood (the mains priced $28 to $32), which is a big focus of the menu, not least in an oyster bar where the team freshly shucks Merimbula oysters to order. The other point of difference is the beef, which Keogh dry-ages himself, a skill he learnt in Canada. Keogh says the grain-fed black angus beef from the Riverina comes from a butcher in Sydney who dry-ages it initially for two weeks, then at C Dine Keogh ages it in a cabinet for 21 to 36 days. A whopping 660 grams of 21-day dry-aged rib eye with house-smoked dipping salts will set you back $65, but that’s probably your meat allocation for the week.

Keogh says it has been pretty busy since opening day, given the number of residents already in the Aurora and nearby apartments. ‘‘We had a great week last week,’’ he says. ‘‘It’s just word of mouth. Hundreds and hundreds of residents have been dying for somewhere to open.’’

To date, Brodburger and the Chinese fusion Wild Duck further along the foreshore have had the area to themselves, but given the pace of building here, you can expect a lot more. In September, Morks Thai Restaurant is expected to open in the building, and the ever-expanding coffee empire Lonsdale Street Roasters is also moving in, probably about October.