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Canberra’s top eateries?

By 16 April 2012 99

There seems to be an excessive amount of restaurants and cafe’s in the capital, the standard from personal experience is quite low in many forms of the dining experience, especially in the quality of food or poorly made coffees, with the exception of a top restaurant starting with “S” that I found to be excellent in all forms.

What are your thoughts?

What are your favourite places to eat and why?

What makes these places stand out?

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99 Responses to Canberra’s top eateries?
#1
kepayne3:52 pm, 16 Apr 12

Au Lac in Dickson is absolutely fantastic and great value for money as well. I go there about once a week and have never been disappointed.

While they only serve vegan food, many of my meat-eating friends love it just as much as I do!

#2
Holden Caulfield3:58 pm, 16 Apr 12

S for Search?

Here’s a few I’ve enjoyed and found reliable over the years and would happily recommend. In alpha order…

Aubergine
Courgette
Dieci e Mezzo
Italian & Sons*
Sage
The Ginger Room
Water’s Edge

…and, once again, Vale Anise (and Caffe Della Piazza to a lesser extent).

*Although not always good service.

#3
johnboy4:00 pm, 16 Apr 12

One can only assume S is for Sage

#4
SnapperJack4:06 pm, 16 Apr 12

Can’t beat the bistro at the Hellenic Club.

#5
Watson4:08 pm, 16 Apr 12

It depends what you are after?

One restaurant where I always love going is Sammy’s in Civic. It’s not at all haute cuisine, but their food is consistently excellent and the service is mind-bogglingly fast. And if you sit outside there on a summer night, it almost feels like you’re in a big city.

Of the more upmarket restaurants – I have found the few I tried rather dissapointing personally. I did like D’Browes when I went there a couple of years ago. I felt the urge to lick my plate clean and the staff were very friendly. I might have been a little bit biased because they were so great with my 4yo daughter, but that just shows good business sense.

#6
Holden Caulfield4:08 pm, 16 Apr 12

johnboy said :

One can only assume S is for Sage

Yep, agreed.

Actually, I had a meal in the restaurant section of Public the other night and was very pleasantly surprised at how good it was.

#7
rosscoact4:13 pm, 16 Apr 12

Ellacure must have something going for them, I’ve given up trying to boo.

#8
rosscoact4:14 pm, 16 Apr 12

that would be ‘book’

#9
p14:19 pm, 16 Apr 12

The dry chilli beef Peking style at Kevin’s Place in Kippax is exceptional.

#10
astrojax4:22 pm, 16 Apr 12

tasuke, for authentic as possible in canberra japanese

lanterne room, for delicious and inventive food in intimate surrounds

sage – ’nuff said, it seems

your kitchen, with some time, good ingredients and some good recipes/inspiration…

#11
Ben_Dover4:29 pm, 16 Apr 12

For fine dining you cannot beat Hawker Chippy.

#12
Mysteryman4:31 pm, 16 Apr 12

Watson said :

It depends what you are after?

One restaurant where I always love going is Sammy’s in Civic. It’s not at all haute cuisine, but their food is consistently excellent and the service is mind-bogglingly fast. And if you sit outside there on a summer night, it almost feels like you’re in a big city.

Of the more upmarket restaurants – I have found the few I tried rather dissapointing personally. I did like D’Browes when I went there a couple of years ago. I felt the urge to lick my plate clean and the staff were very friendly. I might have been a little bit biased because they were so great with my 4yo daughter, but that just shows good business sense.

Just my opinion – I have tried a lot of Chinese restaurants and found Sammy’s to be essentially the same as all the others with regards to taste/quality of food, but in a far noisier atmosphere.

If you want something that’s actually tasty, and similar to real Chinese food (the stuff you would actually get in China) go to Spicy Ginger near UniLodge. Way better!

#13
Aaroncbr4:36 pm, 16 Apr 12

kepayne said :

Au Lac in Dickson is absolutely fantastic and great value for money as well. I go there about once a week and have never been disappointed.

While they only serve vegan food, many of my meat-eating friends love it just as much as I do!

Oath! My personal fave in Canberra.

#14
chewy144:39 pm, 16 Apr 12

Holden Caulfield said :

johnboy said :

One can only assume S is for Sage

Yep, agreed.

Actually, I had a meal in the restaurant section of Public the other night and was very pleasantly surprised at how good it was.

The food there is alright but its expensive for what it is. Just like their alcohol i suppose.

#15
Postalgeek4:45 pm, 16 Apr 12

I often visit TCH during meal time, and you can usually find untouched or unfinished meals. Their cold mash potato is to die for.

#16
ainira4:46 pm, 16 Apr 12

If you’re not after fancy, I highly recommend Tak Kee Roast Inn in Dickson. It very much reminds me of the tiny BBQ duck/pork places in Sydney Chinatown :) The duck pancake serves are really generous and they provide Pu-er tea with meals. Also, every time I’ve been there, it’s been packed with other Chinese diners, which is more than enough recommendation to keep eating there :P

The Turkish place at Yarralumla shops is awesome too. Generous serves of yumminess :)

#17
poetix5:23 pm, 16 Apr 12

johnboy said :

One can only assume S is for Sage

Yes, OP could have used the name, especially given he or she only has nice things to say about it. I had the best meal there since I became vegetarian the other night, including a potato dish with potato done four different ways which looked and tasted wonderful. And Mr Poetix thinks he managed to get foie gras past me (i.e. that I didn’t notice him ordering it) but it was actually noticed but not argued about because it was our 20th wedding anniversary. He had a few hundred different types of pork as well.

And I had cheese instead of anything sweet. I didn’t like the fact they put chocolate on top of the Stilton, so they brought yet me more Stilton after I had carefully scraped the chocolate off. And I finished with the really good Cognac, which was heaven. So for me the fact that they don’t treat vegos as idiots, and the attentive service, makes Sage the best place in Canberra at the moment.

Also the wine list, I seem to remember.

#18
TheGingerNinja5:35 pm, 16 Apr 12

I did mean Sage, I didn’t know if it would be appropriate to use the name as i didn’t want to appear biased when i generally trashed the whole of canberra when it came to food in so many words, I do enjoy delissio in braddon but its slipping lately, dzire and sfoglia in dickson are quite decent also!

#19
schmeah6:17 pm, 16 Apr 12

My Rainbow Dreams in Dickson. Healthy and local, you just have to get past the slightly ‘cultish’ business model :)

If you’re looking for up-market and amazing .. go for Rubicon in Griffith. I’ve never had a bad experience!

#20
milkman6:29 pm, 16 Apr 12

My personal favourits are:

* Rice in the city
* Diamond Chinese in Queanbeyan
* Indo Cafe in the city
* Dickson/City Asian Noodle House (Dickson or city)
* Chinese BBQ in Woden
* Punjabi Hut in Queanbeyan

There are lots of other places I like too, but these I love. We are truly fortunate to have such good food locally.

#21
dungfungus6:39 pm, 16 Apr 12

The food at Vivaldis (ANU Campus) is tasty and reasonably cheap which equals good value.
Unfortunately, the wine prices are just a huge ripoff and the seating is far to cramped (OK for Japanese/Eskimo students I guess) Worth the discomfort is there is a good band playing for which a reasonable cover charge is applicable.

#22
breda7:00 pm, 16 Apr 12

Lanterne Rooms, Campbell for fine dining.

Fekerte’s Ethiopian, Dickson for yummy, filling and not too pricey.

Italian & Sons, Braddon for desserts to die for.

#23
XO_VSOP7:06 pm, 16 Apr 12

TheGingerNinja said :

I did mean Sage, I didn’t know if it would be appropriate to use the name as i didn’t want to appear biased when i generally trashed the whole of canberra when it came to food in so many words, I do enjoy delissio in braddon but its slipping lately, dzire and sfoglia in dickson are quite decent also![/.
Haha those three would be no where near the top of anything. Sage and dieci are currently one and two Italian and sons might also get a run in the top three! But don’t forget the region Grazing is doing some great things and using all there own produce. Le tres bon is also one to keep on the radar. That’s resturants covered. Cafes Ona Manuka doing good things and urban pantry.
I could go on I think you just don’t get out enough.

#24
el7:23 pm, 16 Apr 12

johnboy said :

One can only assume S is for Sage

“Silo”, surely…

#25
Spykler7:28 pm, 16 Apr 12

Ben_Dover said :

For fine dining you cannot beat Hawker Chippy.

Agreed, and you don’t have to wait 90 minutes for one of their burgers.

#26
DodgyBoys7:31 pm, 16 Apr 12

Brodburger. Although I understand you should order now and it should be ready on Friday evening.

#27
I-filed7:40 pm, 16 Apr 12

If you don’t fancy breaking the bank at Sage, I recommend Pulp Kitchen at the Ainslie shops. Mid price for a white-linen-tablecloth experience (main $30, dessert $14), good wine list, free parking, very friendly, background noise at conversation level (thanks to good sound baffles & things) great desserts, and perfectly timed service – enough time between courses for each one to settle.

#28
Spykler8:23 pm, 16 Apr 12

Postalgeek said :

I often visit TCH during meal time, and you can usually find untouched or unfinished meals. Their cold mash potato is to die for.

Try the leftover (read: rejected) warm lime jelly with the mystery dark hair sitting atop for decoration.

#29
Ben_Dover8:33 pm, 16 Apr 12

schmeah said :

My Rainbow Dreams in Dickson. Healthy and local, you just have to get past the slightly ‘cultish’ business model

I can’t even get past the bloody name of the place.

#30
TheGingerNinja8:40 pm, 16 Apr 12

XO_VSOP said :

TheGingerNinja said :

I did mean Sage, I didn’t know if it would be appropriate to use the name as i didn’t want to appear biased when i generally trashed the whole of canberra when it came to food in so many words, I do enjoy delissio in braddon but its slipping lately, dzire and sfoglia in dickson are quite decent also![/.
Haha those three would be no where near the top of anything. Sage and dieci are currently one and two Italian and sons might also get a run in the top three! But don’t forget the region Grazing is doing some great things and using all there own produce. Le tres bon is also one to keep on the radar. That’s resturants covered. Cafes Ona Manuka doing good things and urban pantry.
I could go on I think you just don’t get out enough.

It just is personal taste i guess, le tres bon is the restaurant near jazz apple cafe? its not that I don’t get out enough, and i was basing sfoglia and dzire based on their coffee and their semi decent breakfasts! seems alot of the cafe’s can’t even poach an egg properly so when i get a decent poached egg and decent hollandaise i tend to rate higher!

Tried Mezzalira tonight, was well worth the $145, great service, great food, great knowledge, and apparently its the same owner as italian and sons!

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