Victor Kimble, pictured, opens his first Canberra restaurant this week, an eatery all about the food of New Orleans and the American south. He's at Wanniassa, which is a bit of a trek from town, but good news for southsiders.
The menu at his Soulfood Kitchen looks appealing. It includes po'boy sandwiches, with fried oysters and mayonnaise; or with pork and barbecue sauce. He's offering shrimp, chicken and sausage gumbo, and rice jambalaya with andouille sausages made by a Sydney butcher.
Rice and beans with smoked sausage; shrimp creole; crab cakes; burgers; and pork ribs basically complete the short menu (most dishes under $20), which is nicely attuned to the food Kimble, who was born in Alabama, grew up with and has been sharing with Canberrans through cooking classes since he moved here two-and-a-half years ago.
Kimble says he's dispensing with table service and formalities, and aiming for a restaurant that feels like his lounge room – so there's an old piano, a wall of photos, and the like, and you order from Kimble at the counter.
Why Wanniassa? Partly because it's close to where he lives, Kimble says, but he hasn't ruled out taking his food to a city venue in time.
Soulfood Kitchen opens at the Erindale shops on Thursday, March 28, Shop 8, 38 Gartside Street, is BYO until a liquor licence comes through, Tuesday to Sunday noon-9.30pm, 6231 2568.