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Restaurants & Bars

Canberra - brief reviews

mr_gimlet | Oct 1, 201606:00 PM

Canberra doesn't get a lot of mentions on this board, but there are plenty of visitors with money to spend and an affluent population. We probably spent more time looking for things that weren't easy to find at home in Melbourne, so a couple of very contemporary places didn't make the list and nor did the frothy places serving Bao/ Korean sliders/ etc. Braddon is the hotspot for eating these days and probably 80% of the places we visited were withing 200m of the Mort St/Elouera roundabout.

Kusina - really good Filipino food in a 70s shopping centre in the suburbs. In the words of Michelin, worth the detour, and very hip pocket friendly.
Les Bistronomes - French bistro which looks like it's been there a while. Bistro classics done well, best boeuf en croute I ahve for many years and the duck looked good as well. Wine list quite interesting but a little pricey.
Bentspoke Brewery - a brewpub that doesn't sell any guest beers is a brave call. List of 21(?) excellent beers, all brewed on premises. Food looked solid pub grub though we didn't eat there.
Barrio - outstanding coffee in a tiny space
Black Fire - outstanding slow roasted pork and lamb were the highlights of a very good meal here, think asadors in Madrid with some other meat heavy dishes around it. Steaks also looked excellent. Could be pushing hatted status if it wasn't for the frankly embarrassing and abysmal dessert 'platter'. Maybe it's truly Spanish and I shouldn't have even contemplated dessert. Good, compact wine list.
Mamas Trattoria - another 'classic' place serving pasta that hasn't changed since the 70s. Comfort food with a deft touch, they know how to cook pasta here and don't overdo the saucing. Fun.
Rosario - just round the corner from Mama's is the (outdoor seating only) Rosario, a breakfast/lunch spinoff from the very expensive Mezzalira. A short menu of panini and a few special pastas, we visited for their excellent cream free carbonara which delivered. Not cheap, but it's near the barristers chambers...
BrodDogs - Braddon has a little food truck park (of course) and this was the only thing open at 930. Food truck hot dogs and burgers.

One thing I noticed across the board is that eating here is no bargain. Prices are on a par with Sydney. Maybe its rents, maybe its because so many Canberrans are used to Sydney prices. The other thing to eb aware of is how early everything closes through the week - it is almost impossible to eat after 9pm.

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