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Braddon’s transformation continues

By Lisa Martin - 29 January 2015 18

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Preparations started earlier this month on more apartments in Braddon’s increasingly popular Lonsdale Street.

Braddon is constantly changing and steadily erasing its industrial past. For a few months in late 2014, it became a bit of a revolving door as temporary pop-up galleries moved in, as well as a bar converted from a mechanic’s workshop.

These have now disappeared as a row of buildings on the Haig Park end of Lonsdale Street is prepared to be demolished to make way for more apartments.

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In the past six months, there have been huge changes in Braddon. New restaurants and cafes are popping up every few weeks; bold apartments complete with artwork and hanging gardens have been constructed; and street food stalls have emerged on the old Beaurepaires site. Canberrans are spoilt for choice in this area with all sorts of food and drink offerings for a range of budgets.

Braddon is becoming a place that meets all sorts of tastes and interests during the day and night from the cyclists that frequent Autolyse of a morning; couples and families enjoying the sun outside Lonsdale Street Roasters on the weekend, and the groups of people with their lively chatter out the front of Hopscotch on a Sunday afternoon.

It’s also becoming quite the spot for fine dining experiences with four of Braddon’s restaurants making Good Food’s list of Canberra’s top 20 restaurants in 2014.

The opening of Hopscotch and Bentspoke appear very much welcome additions with queues to get in a common occurrence on Friday or Saturday nights – and Knightsbridge also has a dedicated following with barely room to move come midnight on a Saturday.

It’s hard to keep up with all the changes in Braddon, and I walk through the suburb every day.

Here’s a selection of some of the newest offerings in Braddon as well as those who have recently added to their menu or entertainment.

Eighty-twenty Food and Drink

This place has been around since mid last year as a popular breakfast and lunch venue but has just opened its doors for dinner on Friday and Saturday nights. I haven’t tried the dinner menu, but this is one of my top brunch places in Canberra. The dukkah spiced eggs are my favourite.

The nearby Mood Food and Co which also opened last year is also a popular breakfast spot. I’ve only been their once but initial observations was that their service is great and the omelettes are huge and great value.

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Farmers Daughter

Taking up a small nook on Lonsdale Street is Farmers Daughter – another breakfast and brunch joint which opened in December.

Bentspoke Brewery

If you haven’t tried this place yet, put it on your to do list. Great for a beer or cider and their burgers are filling and tasty. And the staff are really nice as an added plus. Ideal for after work drinks or a weekend session.

Elemental

This one is described as a paleo café positioned in the Ori building. It will be interesting to see the menu served up when it opens. I’d heard it was due to open in January but looks like it might be a few more weeks away.

Mr Frugii Dessert Laboratory

There’s been a bit of hype surrounding the opening of Frugii Dessert Laboratory – and they even exhausted their supply of desserts during their opening week. They take up a small space within the Ori Apartments complex next to some of the former Lonsdale Street Traders clothing stores offering ice cream and other sweet delights.

The Hamlet

The Hamlet offers a range of street food vans including BrodDogs for hotdogs, Nookie Expresso Bar for coffee, Mr Papa for Peruvian street food such as empanadas, The Brauthaus for German style sausages and the Spit Shack for delicious lamb or pork rolls. This has a good atmosphere going for it on a sunny weekend. It’s a great option for lunch or dinner on the run with many offerings under $10.

Hopscotch

Hopscotch looks to have become a Braddon favourite particularly on weekends. They are now hosting bingo nights with the next one on February 10. Book a table by emailing info@hopscotchbar.com.au

Black Fire & Les Bistronomes

Both these restaurants are fairly new to Braddon, appearing late last year. Black Fire offers Spanish and Italian dishes, while Les Bistronomes serves up a French menu. Both of these restaurants were rated among Good Food’s Canberra’s top 20 restaurants last year.

What are your favourite spots in Braddon?

What’s Your opinion?


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18 Responses to
Braddon’s transformation continues
Ezy 11:21 am 02 Feb 15

rosscoact said :

Ezy said :

There are places in Canberra and Australia that do incredible justice to these types of BBQ. Some of my better bbqs I have had here in Australia than in their country of heritage. You just need to follow your nose!

Where?

Tosung Charcoal BBQ in Manuka and Hangari Kimchi in Dickson are good examples of Korean BBQ.

For the American BBQ – I really enjoy Smoque. Their brisket and pulled pork have been hits the 4 times I have eaten there. Smoque do seem to be hit and miss for some people though, but I think that this style of food scares people off due to it being really heavy. Smoque are involved in BBQ competitions all around Australia, they aren’t just in it for the trend like some of the other BBQ places popping up in Braddon.

There is another BBQ place I need to check out in the Northside of Canberra somewhere. Sorry the name escapes me.

I have eaten at a few BBQ places in Melbourne and Sydney. Highlights for American BBQ is Le Bon Ton in Melbourne
http://www.broadsheet.com.au/melbourne/food-and-drink/article/le-bon-ton-collingwood

Also Fancy Hanks is really good.
http://fancyhanks.com

Heading to Sydney now… Churrasco in Coogee is really good Brazilian BBQ.
Porteno is awesome as well for Argentinian style BBQ – their place is just undergoing some work as there was a fire in their building. Check out their cookbook ‘Recipes for a Good Time’ http://www.porteno.com.au

Zan 10:05 am 02 Feb 15

I remember the old days. The hardware was run by a couple who lived next door to us. And didn’t Happy’s Chinese Restaurant start it’s days in Lonsdale Streetlong before moving to Garema Place. All the taxi drivers used to eat there as you could park right outside the door. Alex Mildren had a car yard there http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alec_Mildren. Lonsdale Street was the meeting place for teenagers in the early 60s.

old canberran 6:10 pm 01 Feb 15

Reading this article prompted me to dig out a photo I took of Lonsdale street a couple of years after it was opened back around 1950. This photo http://vk2ce.com/Canberra/mystery_pic.jpg was taken looking over our back fence towards Black Mountain. The shed is Cordner’s Fruit and Veg barn and became the home for a Shell Garage and Beaurepaires. To make the road they cut down a pine break similar to Hyde Park which ran along the western side of the new road. The street itself was the original rail line through to Yass but was never finished.
The street quickly became populated with motor vehicle type businesses, auction rooms, pet shops, hardware and produce stores. With all the high rise residential buildings in the vicinity it is no surprise that it has become a foodie hangout.

Alexandra Craig 5:18 pm 30 Jan 15

Mess said :

Alexandra Craig said :

Holden Caulfield said :

Looking forward to all the complaining when Braddon is full of all-new developments and its hipster charm has been lost as if nobody saw it coming.

As to the places to eat, have been to Black Fire (pretty good), 86 (very good), 80/20 (very good), Autolyse (not bad), Debacle (reliable and honest), Italian and Sons (usually very good) and The Hamlet (Mr Papa chanchitos yum yum).

I agree – I was super disappointed when they announced that the building with Lonsdale St Traders was being ripped down. I think it was always the plan, but it’s still sad. I’m also devastated that the Zambreros (their first store too!) is gone, because sometimes – you just need a burrito.

I think I’m the only person who doesn’t like Mr Papa. I tried the pork belly roll/burger thingy, and their chicken wings. SO BLAND. People told me afterwards I was supposed to put all the different sauces on to get flavour, but to me that kind of isn’t a thing. Like, I shouldn’t have to douse something in sauce for it to taste good. I thought that was the responsibility of the chef.

I had the pork belly burger today and it was really great, not bland at all and I only had the one sauce on it.

If you want a great burrito then head down to Guzman y Gomez which will take about 7 minutes walk from Braddon. It’s about the same to the Zambero’s in the bus interchange as well.

I don’t mind Guzman y Gomez, I just really like Zambreros. There is a Zambreros in Civic, but means that if it’s late or dark I have to find a park in the Mooseheads carpark which can sometimes be a pain – I hate walking around at night… I’m a sook!

Ezy said :

Another point – If you are upset about Lonsdale Traders disappearing, don’t get too attached to The Hamlet.

I wonder if the opening of The Hamlet has taken much business away from the Mandalay Bus. It’d be cool if there was a bit more room at the top of Lonsdale Street so all the food vans could fit in one place.

rosscoact 3:57 pm 30 Jan 15

Ezy said :

There are places in Canberra and Australia that do incredible justice to these types of BBQ. Some of my better bbqs I have had here in Australia than in their country of heritage. You just need to follow your nose!

Where?

Ezy 3:06 pm 30 Jan 15

Another point – If you are upset about Lonsdale Traders disappearing, don’t get too attached to The Hamlet.

Ezy 3:04 pm 30 Jan 15

rosscoact said :

Alexandra Craig said :

I think I’m the only person who doesn’t like Mr Papa. I tried the pork belly roll/burger thingy, and their chicken wings. SO BLAND. People told me afterwards I was supposed to put all the different sauces on to get flavour, but to me that kind of isn’t a thing. Like, I shouldn’t have to douse something in sauce for it to taste good. I thought that was the responsibility of the chef.

Alexandra, you are so right. If your barbeque needs sauce to make it taste good then you’re not doing it right. Hell, the whole point of rubbing and creating a bark is so that another level of flavour is created which is then chopped or mixed into the meat so that little flavour bombs hit your tongue as you eat.

There is so little exceptional BBQ being created in Australia (and none in Canberra that I’ve experienced)

Mr Papa isn’t BBQ. It is Peruvian street food – yes, they have different sauces to put on your food. It is like having BBQ, tomato or sweet chilli sauce to choose from. Each sauce will give that dish a unique flavour.

In regards to the comment of ‘little exceptional BBQ being created in Australia’. You do realise there are so many different types of BBQ out there? The Australian idea of BBQ is nothing more than a hot plate with a few snags and minute steaks thrown on. How about American BBQ by way of Smoker? Argentinean BBQ using an Asado? Middle Eastern BBQ (hello kebabs!), Korean BBQ, Jamaican BBQ… MAN MY MOUTH IS WATERING. Point is, there are so many types of BBQ. There are places in Canberra and Australia that do incredible justice to these types of BBQ. Some of my better bbqs I have had here in Australia than in their country of heritage. You just need to follow your nose!

Mysteryman 2:10 pm 30 Jan 15

How about the government get rid of the ridiculous number of U-turn areas between the north and south lanes of Lonsdale St and replace them with more carparks. There’s no point having a section of unused road remain empty when people can easily and quickly turn around at either end of the street. It’s just adding to the growing parking problem.

Mess 1:52 pm 30 Jan 15

Alexandra Craig said :

Holden Caulfield said :

Looking forward to all the complaining when Braddon is full of all-new developments and its hipster charm has been lost as if nobody saw it coming.

As to the places to eat, have been to Black Fire (pretty good), 86 (very good), 80/20 (very good), Autolyse (not bad), Debacle (reliable and honest), Italian and Sons (usually very good) and The Hamlet (Mr Papa chanchitos yum yum).

I agree – I was super disappointed when they announced that the building with Lonsdale St Traders was being ripped down. I think it was always the plan, but it’s still sad. I’m also devastated that the Zambreros (their first store too!) is gone, because sometimes – you just need a burrito.

I think I’m the only person who doesn’t like Mr Papa. I tried the pork belly roll/burger thingy, and their chicken wings. SO BLAND. People told me afterwards I was supposed to put all the different sauces on to get flavour, but to me that kind of isn’t a thing. Like, I shouldn’t have to douse something in sauce for it to taste good. I thought that was the responsibility of the chef.

I had the pork belly burger today and it was really great, not bland at all and I only had the one sauce on it.

If you want a great burrito then head down to Guzman y Gomez which will take about 7 minutes walk from Braddon. It’s about the same to the Zambero’s in the bus interchange as well.

rosscoact 1:24 pm 30 Jan 15

Alexandra Craig said :

I think I’m the only person who doesn’t like Mr Papa. I tried the pork belly roll/burger thingy, and their chicken wings. SO BLAND. People told me afterwards I was supposed to put all the different sauces on to get flavour, but to me that kind of isn’t a thing. Like, I shouldn’t have to douse something in sauce for it to taste good. I thought that was the responsibility of the chef.

Alexandra, you are so right. If your barbeque needs sauce to make it taste good then you’re not doing it right. Hell, the whole point of rubbing and creating a bark is so that another level of flavour is created which is then chopped or mixed into the meat so that little flavour bombs hit your tongue as you eat.

There is so little exceptional BBQ being created in Australia (and none in Canberra that I’ve experienced) that I fear the current food movement will be short lived. At it’s best, it is mind-blowingly great, a food experience that lives in the mind for years after. The pap that is being created now is a disgrace to its heritage.

Alexandra Craig 10:46 am 30 Jan 15

Holden Caulfield said :

Looking forward to all the complaining when Braddon is full of all-new developments and its hipster charm has been lost as if nobody saw it coming.

As to the places to eat, have been to Black Fire (pretty good), 86 (very good), 80/20 (very good), Autolyse (not bad), Debacle (reliable and honest), Italian and Sons (usually very good) and The Hamlet (Mr Papa chanchitos yum yum).

I agree – I was super disappointed when they announced that the building with Lonsdale St Traders was being ripped down. I think it was always the plan, but it’s still sad. I’m also devastated that the Zambreros (their first store too!) is gone, because sometimes – you just need a burrito.

I think I’m the only person who doesn’t like Mr Papa. I tried the pork belly roll/burger thingy, and their chicken wings. SO BLAND. People told me afterwards I was supposed to put all the different sauces on to get flavour, but to me that kind of isn’t a thing. Like, I shouldn’t have to douse something in sauce for it to taste good. I thought that was the responsibility of the chef.

Holden Caulfield 9:40 am 30 Jan 15

Looking forward to all the complaining when Braddon is full of all-new developments and its hipster charm has been lost as if nobody saw it coming.

As to the places to eat, have been to Black Fire (pretty good), 86 (very good), 80/20 (very good), Autolyse (not bad), Debacle (reliable and honest), Italian and Sons (usually very good) and The Hamlet (Mr Papa chanchitos yum yum).

therealarigold 6:45 am 30 Jan 15

Alexandra – spot on regarding Autolyse. I just wish, especially being Summer for LSR and some of the other ‘hip’ places are open past 1600 on a weekday…

Alexandra Craig 10:33 am 29 Jan 15

Hate Mood Food. Had a terrible experience there and refuse to go back.

Really like Farmers Daughter – their food is great and reasonably priced, though they are a little inconsistent. Some days it’s table service, other days it isn’t…. but they don’t tell you. You have to work that out for yourselves.

Autolyse is good but the staff are always super rude like you’re inconveniencing them by being there.

Italian and Sons has the best food. Love it. The only dodgy thing is, they don’t have a soft drink menu and let you find out that the cost of a glass of postmix Coke is $7 when the bill arrives – too bad if you’ve ordered 2 or 3!

I haven’t tried Black Fire yet but it’s on my to-do list! Have heard awesome things about it.

Vitis Eatery is also very good. Delicious food, reasonably priced.

I don’t like 80/20 after a bad experience. We waited 45-50 minutes in the sun for two very basic dishes that weren’t even that good. We were told “this always happens on weekends”… Um, well maybe put an extra staff member or two on?

My favourite favourite place in the whole world is eightysix. THE BEST. Their food is out of this world. Having a bit of a dribble just thinking about it.

Rollersk8r 10:07 am 29 Jan 15

It’s definitely the place to be at the moment – car parking is near impossible in the evenings and on the weekend!

I hadn’t been up there in a while and had a look yesterday, including Frugii. Lonsdale Street is bursting at the seams! I just wonder if there’s too much there now? Autolyse and Lonsdale Street Roasters are wildly popular – but what about the others? Including Civic itself there would have to be 50+ places to get a coffee within a 1km radius.

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