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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?
#31
canberralocal8:52 pm, 16 Apr 12

To be honest, you all need to get out more into some serious restaurants like Rubicon and La Scala. They are way ahead of the run of the mill variety.

I ate at Public the week that it opened and it was diabolical so I’m pleased to hear that it was a good experience for someone a bit more recently.

#32
Spykler9:25 pm, 16 Apr 12

canberralocal said :

To be honest, you all need to get out more into some serious restaurants like Rubicon and La Scala. They are way ahead of the run of the mill variety.

I ate at Public the week that it opened and it was diabolical so I’m pleased to hear that it was a good experience for someone a bit more recently.

Rubicon- yes, La Scala- No…That’s all you need to know.

#33
screaming banshee9:55 pm, 16 Apr 12

There must be two sage restaurants in Canberra because the one I went to was crap. They gave brodburger a run for their money on service times and brought out one main plate a full 30 mins before the rest of the table. The food was average at best and the staff useless, we won’t be going back.

#34
MJay12:19 am, 17 Apr 12

Onred was nice (by Canberra standards of course ;) ) last time I went- which was a while ago so no idea what they are like at the moment…

Lanterne rooms has some scrumptious food.

I would second the suggestion of Fekerte’s Ethiopian.

Italian and sons is on our must try list.

#35
The Dark12:41 am, 17 Apr 12

Gonna throw my 2 cents in for Debacle in Braddon (don’t think they have been mentioned in a while). Great beers, pizza and tapas, the pizzas can be abit pricey but good for there size and Monday and Tuesday are 2 for one, so splitting a few with a couple of mates is fairly cheap, same sorta thing with the tapas plates, cheap on there own or platters to share. Similar sorta place to ABN and Tilly’s, the inner north pub/eatery style but with more focus on food and with high end cafe style breakfasts in the morning. Good place to check out if you havn’t before or havn’t been in a few years.

#36
buzz8198:56 am, 17 Apr 12

The Dark said :

Gonna throw my 2 cents in for Debacle in Braddon (don’t think they have been mentioned in a while). Great beers, pizza and tapas, the pizzas can be abit pricey but good for there size and Monday and Tuesday are 2 for one, so splitting a few with a couple of mates is fairly cheap, same sorta thing with the tapas plates, cheap on there own or platters to share. Similar sorta place to ABN and Tilly’s, the inner north pub/eatery style but with more focus on food and with high end cafe style breakfasts in the morning. Good place to check out if you havn’t before or havn’t been in a few years.

Too bad they are being either forced to move, or shut down! BOO!

#37
jezmezer9:21 am, 17 Apr 12

Seoul Palace – in Civic on Northbourne. Found this beauty as a Uni Student, still going back there. Great food, great wine and BYO available, fast service, friendly, never been disappointed!

#38
Genie9:51 am, 17 Apr 12

Hmmm I need to get out more.. I haven’t heard of half these places…or maybe I’m just too simple..

Give me a burrito from Zambreros or a Grill’d burger any day of the week !

#39
Genie9:55 am, 17 Apr 12

Wait a minute ! Did someone mention Tilly’s.. as in DING your microwaved food is ready???

#40
johnboy9:55 am, 17 Apr 12

Tilley’s is more about the vibe.

#41
poetix10:20 am, 17 Apr 12

Genie said :

Wait a minute ! Did someone mention Tilly’s.. as in DING your microwaved food is ready???

I go to Tilley’s every day. I love the fact I can write there for hours if I want without being thrown out by the staff. I like the soup, too, and stopping there with my daughter for a glass of wine sometimes after school. (She doesn’t have wine yet.)

The coffee is fine too.

#42
johnboy10:24 am, 17 Apr 12

Rather than have an argument on the merits of Tilleys how about we continue to make constructive suggestions of places we like to go.

#43
stormboy10:35 am, 17 Apr 12

I had lunch at BBP the other day and was wowed by what’s on offer at The Fat Goanna. Diverse ala carte menu, well priced and bloody good eating.

#44
MonarchRepublic10:48 am, 17 Apr 12

My wife and I have been eating at Sea Salt Dining in Bruce on average about once a week. The atmosphere is quite good, the seats are comfy, the service friendly, and the food is brilliant. Best fish I have eaten in Canberra in a long time, and the rest of the menu if fantastic too. I feel quite reasonably priced too. They have a good selection of wine, and they do BYO also at only a couple of dollars per head

#45
TheGingerNinja11:58 am, 17 Apr 12

we’ve covered a lot of the high end places which is great, my list of places to try is very abundant, now what are some of the lower end places to go when you’ve blown your money on the nice places?

#46
in_the_taratory12:03 pm, 17 Apr 12

+1 for ellacure – great experience all round. Have been back countless times since this review http://inthetaratory.wordpress.com/2012/02/28/curious-about-ellacure/

#47
Jim Jones12:08 pm, 17 Apr 12

TheGingerNinja said :

we’ve covered a lot of the high end places which is great, my list of places to try is very abundant, now what are some of the lower end places to go when you’ve blown your money on the nice places?

Home.

#48
in_the_taratory12:12 pm, 17 Apr 12

Oh, and in terms of cheap and cheerful, you cant go past Madam Woo in Kingston. inthetaratory.wordpress.com/2012/01/25/madam-woo-i-do-love-you/

Also a big fan of Pho Viet in Belco.

#49
XO_VSOP12:17 pm, 17 Apr 12

Soju Girl in the City is doing great thinks , ex Parlor chef. And for the cheap and easy Noodle house in Dickson its an institution best Laksa around

#50
astrojax12:19 pm, 17 Apr 12

TheGingerNinja said :

we’ve covered a lot of the high end places which is great, my list of places to try is very abundant, now what are some of the lower end places to go when you’ve blown your money on the nice places?

someone already mentioned tak kee in dickson – as close to authentic chinese roast duck house as you’ll get [including a public health notice a while back for preparing food in the parking lot out the back - like, it's supposed to be done that way, innit?? :) ] and they do perhaps canberra’s best spring rolls (prepares for contradiction…)

tudo, in o’connor shops, is also excellent, as is the vietnamese in dickson, pho quoc [i think that's its name] which does delicious pho. the dumpling house in childers st does excellent dumplings, well priced – don’t bother eating any other dishes there, though…

#51
poetix12:27 pm, 17 Apr 12

I second Pho Phu Quoc in Dickson, nice and fresh and quite cheap.

#52
Holden Caulfield12:29 pm, 17 Apr 12

TheGingerNinja said :

we’ve covered a lot of the high end places which is great, my list of places to try is very abundant, now what are some of the lower end places to go when you’ve blown your money on the nice places?

Watson Take Away.

#53
Holden Caulfield12:31 pm, 17 Apr 12

Oh, and the Fish Shack in the City is actually bloody good.

I gave up on the more conveniently (for me) located Flatheads in O’Connor years ago, but Fish Shack has restored my belief that you can get half decent fish’n'chips in this town.

In the warmer months the Yacht Club back door is quite good for fish’n'chips too.

#54
poetix12:38 pm, 17 Apr 12

Ben_Dover said :

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.

Pretend it says Rambo and you’ll be right! And don’t read the meaningful quotes board outside, that makes me feel violent, and I’m a vegetarian.

#55
EvanJames12:45 pm, 17 Apr 12

TheGingerNinja said :

le tres bon is the restaurant near jazz apple cafe? … Tried Mezzalira tonight, was well worth the $145, great service, great food, great knowledge, and apparently its the same owner as italian and sons!

Le Tres Bon is at Bungendore. French Provincial by a chef with good local form for this type of food.

Mezzelira has been pretty reliable since it opened. Pricey and finnicky, but the food really is pretty special. Owned by the Trimboli family and they keep a pretty tight rein on the kitchen.

#56
TheDancingDjinn12:50 pm, 17 Apr 12

I will have to prop a place I got to eat at last week, I am a mum of 2 and I haven’t been to dinner since before my oldest was born in 2006, so I was rather happy to go and eat out for a change. We went to El Dorado in Dickson, it was fantastic and I’d go every week if I could. Service by great and friendly people,food was amazing, and my man won the 1 kg steak ” big eldo” challenge and won a prize and has his name of the wall. It was a fun night, and it may be because I don’t get out much, but I truly enjoyed it.

#57
Amanda Hugankis1:06 pm, 17 Apr 12

Holden Caulfield said :

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.

Della has been closed for quite a while now. And I miss it. It weren’t fancy-shmancy-pants, and it was in Garema Place, but it was my go-to place for tasty and inexpensive din-dins. I still dream about a particular garlic, hungarian fetta and pine nut pasta they did for me once. Siiiiiigh.

#58
c_c1:13 pm, 17 Apr 12

We do have the highest per capita apparently, but then we also have the cash to splash on average for it.

Aubergine
Ottoman
Waters Edge

Never tried Courgette and frankly their bargain meal ads on the radio scream desperation – that and wearing kevlar may be advisable on the premises.

Anise was another good pick but unfortunately, is no more.

I’m surprised no one has mentioned Urban Pantry in Manuka, it’s always busy – not sure why, my meal came with a side of charcoal – it wasn’t meant to.

#59
Watson2:35 pm, 17 Apr 12

EvanJames said :

TheGingerNinja said :

le tres bon is the restaurant near jazz apple cafe? … Tried Mezzalira tonight, was well worth the $145, great service, great food, great knowledge, and apparently its the same owner as italian and sons!

Le Tres Bon is at Bungendore. French Provincial by a chef with good local form for this type of food.

Is that the one that used to be in Manuka? That was noice…

As for some of the other suggestions:

I only went to Rubikon once but didn’t feel compelled to go back. I cannot clearly remember why now though.

Unfortunately I also was dissapointed in Joey’s Kitchen in Watson. More upmarket than the name suggests – $36 for a steak, but I thought their food wasn’t really worth the bill and I am not dazzled by their spartan (or cafe-like) interior. My daughter is however a regular customer for their lemon-lime gelato.

El Dorado is a dump. Sorry, my opinion. But it is club food at twice the price and they cannot even cook a steak to order properly.

And I will definitely need to get out more and try some of the other suggestions. Though I will be very happy just having my leftover Pad Thai from Yum Thai in Dickson tonight.

Oh and Poetix, your description of your meal at Sage made my eyes glaze over! I love ending a good meal with cheese and cognac! That just makes me want to purr like a cat. :)

#60
BelcoMan2:38 pm, 17 Apr 12

Lime Leaves Thai in Queanbeyan
Lemon Grass Thai in Tuggeranong – Best service in Canberra
Erindale Vikings – Tastiest Steak in Australia “Portugese spice Prime Rib, on the bone, with Garli Aioli (SP?)”
Sfoglia – Dickson – Best value lunch menu with good service

I don’t do fancy – Serve me well and I will rave about you for life

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