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Lunch for tourists in Canberra???

By 12 April 2007 21

I had guests from overseas last week. We did all the usual tourist stuff and everything was great until we wanted lunch last Wednesday 4/4. Admittedly it was a little later than usual, 2.30 to be precise. We were up at Black Mountain Tower. Was there anything hot to eat? no. There were a couple of bread rolls in the display cabinet that did not look at all appetizing. (there were six of us BTW)

I had a “brainwave”. “Let’s go to the Botanic Gardens” I said,”they have great food there”.

Yes, they do, but not at 3pm. All we wanted was a wrap or a sandwich, but no. We could have cakes of any description or share a couple of small quiches. By then we were famished and decided to give the girls the quiches and make it afternoon tea for ourselves after all. So much for good ol’ Aussie hospitality!

Easter Saturday wasn’t any better. We were at Regatta Point and remembered our last experience with lunch. It was 1.15pm. The cafe was busy and seemed understaffed. As we approached a delightful young woman informed us that lunch was no longer available as they were already too busy! Seriously!

Come on Canberra, we need to lift our game, especially in our designated tourist areas. It was pitiful and I was a tad embarrassed. I love Canberra and we can do so much better.

We were gastronomically restored at the wonderful Bellucci’s at Dickson a short while later. It was quiet and the service excellent, like the food. My guests (from Norway and Sweden) were impressed. My faith was restored.

Try Bellucci’s first, it’ll save a lot of disappointment.

Lynn

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21 Responses to Lunch for tourists in Canberra???
#1
Gentleman Farmer6:33 pm, 12 Apr 07

It’s the same at the National Gallery too. Got there at 2, there was only coffee, cake and biscuits left. Not even a sandwich. OK, maybe a hot meal takes a bit more in labour and associated costs, but having some decent, nay, “gourmet” focaccias or wraps in the cooler that can be optionally bunged in a toaster for a few minutes is surely not beyond the capacity of places like this? (And I do realise there’s something of a staff shortage going on.)

#2
dajala9:47 pm, 12 Apr 07

You are lucky you went to Bellucci’s at Dickson first because the service at the Woden store is terrible and the standard of the food has slipped dramatically in the last year.

#3
Woody Mann-Caruso12:11 am, 13 Apr 07

You appear to assume that because you happen to feel like lunch at 3pm, cafes and restaurants should keep food and staff sitting around idle every day just in case you happen to turn up (presumably, when you don’t, they can just throw the food away and bear the cost). Similarly, you appear surprised that you couldn’t just stroll into a popular venue during a peak period without a booking – of course, all eateries should keep an empty table in case you turn up unannounced. Try eating lunch when everybody else does, or planning ahead a little (surely you owe your international guests that much) and you might get lucky.

#4
spin46200212:37 am, 13 Apr 07

Hi Woody, it is late and I guess you haven’t had a good day. I think the tone of my post was pretty reasonable and I wasn’t demanding a hot meal at all. Just a sandwich or wrap. I don’t believe there is a regulation about when people should eat lunch, and I cater to my guests and their needs, not mine. They chose the places they wanted to visit and they determined when they wanted to eat.
I wrongly assumed we could easily pick up something for lunch along the way. I learned the hard way. No need for your sarcasm.
Lynn

#5
Genie12:46 am, 13 Apr 07

I’m a late lunch eater – usually around the 230pm mark, and i have unfortunately learnt that about the only thing you can pick up at that hour is the usual McDonald’s/KFC/etc.. Even stores in most shopping malls dont serve normal lunch meals after about 2pm.

And yes who says lunch cant be eaten after a designated time ??????

#6
shauno5:25 am, 13 Apr 07

At the Dickson Noodle house they don’t close between lunch and dinner so you could get a feed there after 2

#7
auntiesocial6:04 am, 13 Apr 07

And while enjoying your lunch at the Dickson Noodle House, your car could be getting a well deserved service next door by Phill and his staff at Morris Brothers Automotive Engineering.

#8
Maelinar7:52 am, 13 Apr 07

WMD says jump so you must all jump. All together now…

#9
xman9:19 am, 13 Apr 07

Regatta Point – The Deck – what a waste of a beautiful location. Enourmous Potential. Sadly what you get is lousy food, crappy furniture and indifferent staff.

They’re sitting on a gold mine and don’t know how to (or just plain don’t want to) make it work.

#10
seepi9:25 am, 13 Apr 07

So right Xman – what is with that. It should be a real feature, instead you queue up for 20 minutes (probably only behind one other person) for a really expensive and bad sandwich.

Lunch in general is hard to buy in Canberra on a Sunday. Dickson Noodle house is a good option. Zeffirellis does lunch for a long time, but does close before dinner. Pho Phu Kwok Vietnamese also, and Hudson’s cafe in Dickson. Carlos in Watson, and Edgars in Ainslie will serve all day i think.

#11
VYBerlinaV8 now_with10:14 am, 13 Apr 07

Food in Canberra is only good if you are in an appropriate ‘food’ suburb. Anywhere else is almost impossible to get something decent. And guess what – our ‘food’ suburbs aren’t necessarily where the tourist attractions are!

#12
jemmy10:23 am, 13 Apr 07

Small hijack here, a bemused observation:

When I moved here 6 months ago, I said to my brother, who’s lived here 25 years, right let’s get a sandwich for lunch. Hmm, he says, that could be hard.

He was right! Lol, you can get anything in Canberra (seriously, you guys have got it pretty good for multiethnic food, and I’m from Melbourne!) except a sandwich. Plain white bread with chicken lettuce and mayo, makes a nice change from pho sometimes. But I still can’t find anywhere to get it north of the city.

Every time I go over to his place I ask for a chicken sandwich. He’s getting a little tired of it, but I persist.

#13
seepi11:46 am, 13 Apr 07

jemmy – sfoglia and granny’s bakery and Craigel’s bagels at dickson all do sandwiches (or bagels)

#14
jgangsta12:35 pm, 13 Apr 07

i’m a little bit with woody (but understand you were only after a wrap etc). maybe you don’t know canberra too well or you would’ve found a place to get lunch (or 3pms’s’s’s’ or linner). other than the tourist places you went to. i’ve been to many other cities world over and the actual tourist places (as in the actual attractions) have the same problem. you have to go elsewhere to get food or if there are wraps they’re all manky and you ahve to pay heaps for them. i understand your pain, but a bit of planning wouldn’t have gone astray. lose yourself in canberra, make a note of where the places are you like so when you get visitors again, you can go – oh yes, i remember now.

don’t forget, we’re a city of only 300,000 and we shouldn’t expect the universe.

#15
Woody Mann-Caruso12:47 pm, 13 Apr 07

WMD says jump so you must all jump

Funny- I thought it was you tossers saying restaurants and cafes have to jump when you say jump. They’re businesses, not community services, and your lack of planning or eratic schedule is your problem, not theirs. You may be a beautiful and unique snowflake, flitting about on the breeze, subject to no mortal man’s law, but that means you get to take a packed lunch. Alternatively, you could join the real world and make a booking, or understand that when you rock up at the last minute, you might just miss out.

I think the tone of my post was pretty reasonable

Yeah, it’s pretty reasonable to expect the whole of Canberra to “pick up its game” because you couldn’t get a sandwich at 3pm on a Wednesday afternoon – you know, when most businesses that sell sandwiches are closing down for the day are just serving cake and coffee, and when most restaurants are taking a break before the dinner shift. It’s pretty reasonable to expect restaurants to give you a table when they’re completely full and you don’t have a booking. It’s pretty reasonable to stew over this for a week then post an online rant about it. It’s reasonable to claim that these businesses are ‘pitiful’, when the word is more aptly applied to your abilities as a host.

Hang on – I’ve used the word ‘reasonable’ when what I meant to say was ‘quit your whiny bitching already’. My mistake – it must be late, and I must be having a bad day. Anyway, it’s almost 1pm, and I have a booking for lunch in Kingston – like a normal person would on a busy Friday. Toodles!

#16
astrojax1:22 pm, 13 Apr 07

i think spin is trying to suggest surprise that, in a city – and a nation’s capital at that – there is not the demand for a broader time frame whereby common foodstuffs are not more readily available.

i’ve often railed at the empty sky (‘casue no-one else would listen, and i don’t blame them) about the difficulty of getting a decent hamburger on a sunday evening after 7pm. bloody near impossible!! i just would have thought that theo’s at ainslie, or the lyneham shops, or dickson fish n chip shop bewteen them would have noticed enough demand to open til mebbe 9 or 10pm and be busy enough.

(note, i live inner north, so this is a location-specific rant. i also don’t class these chain fast food places as either ‘decent’ or ‘real food’)

still ‘n all, spin. tak kee across the road from belucci’s, seems to always be open and does a great duck! yum.

#17
johnboy1:27 pm, 13 Apr 07

The tradies noodle house will do you a burger at just about any hour.

But I’d recommend the laksa once you get there.

#18
spin4620021:29 pm, 13 Apr 07

thanks for your understanding astrojax. point taken about tak kee, I guess it was their ducks in the window that I admired on the way back from Bellucci’s, so will definitely go there next time.

have a great weekend : )

#19
West_Kambah_4eva2:38 pm, 13 Apr 07

Woody Mann-Caruso – do you work at Tilley’s?

#20
Maelinar2:56 pm, 13 Apr 07

There’s this place that sells chicken between two bits of bread that’s open for ages and ages every day, called KFC.

#21
astrojax9:42 pm, 14 Apr 07

tak kee’s fabulous, spin: try the duck and wonton noodle soup. or duck laksa. (and the spring rolls – though they come out at odd times in the meal and rarely before the soup! – are worth it too)

yum.

oh, and maelinar, i think unlucky fried kitten was famed for its fried chicken before it found bread… :) [and chicken gourmet in civic - two locations; one near the wig and pen. briulliant! - is to be greatly preferred...]

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