1 August 2023

Canberra's Such and Such nominated for Australia's 'best new restaurant'

| James Coleman
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Such and Such interior

In its review of Such and Such from May this year, Gourmet Traveller described the restaurant as “Fun with a capital F” . Photo: Lucy Ridge.

It only opened in January this year, but it’s already making waves on a national scale.

Such and Such‘ on London Circuit in Civic is a finalist for Best New Restaurant in Gourmet Traveller‘s Restaurant Awards for 2023.

Its co-owner Dash Rumble is also in the running for the Restaurant Personality of the Year award.

Every year, the Australian handbook for foodies hands out awards for Readers Choice Icon, Restaurant of the Year, Best New Talent, Best New Restaurant, Best Wine Bar, Best Destination Dining, and Restaurant Personality of the Year.

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Gourmet Traveller editor Joanna Hunkin said it’s about celebrating the very best in Australian dining.

“Wine bars serving serious snacks, top chefs moving to the regions and hyperlocal produce-driven menus are just some of the key trends we’re seeing,” she said.

“Together, these finalists represent an exciting and diverse lineup of talent from across the country that reflects the deep creativity that exists within the Australian hospitality industry.”

Dash Rumble, Ross McQuinn and Mal Hanslow

Dash Rumble, Ross McQuinn and Mal Hanslow opened Such and Such in January this year. Photo: Such and Such.

Dash, together with business partner Ross Mcquinn and chef Malcolm Hanslow, is “really happy” with the honour.

“You never really go into opening a restaurant with that goal, but it’s really nice for us and the team to be recognised and appreciated like this,” she said.

It’s actually the team’s fourth mention in the Gourmet Traveller awards in the space of three years. Their first restaurant, Pilot in Ainslie, was named ACT Restaurant of the Year in 2021 and 2022, and a finalist for New Restaurant of the Year in 2020.

“We don’t come from a background of investors or big money, so we’re just trying to do the best we can with what we have,” Dash said.

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Where Pilot might favour fine dining, she said Such and Such was designed to come across more laid back. The “comfortable and quirky” design is inspired by “our own houses”, while the food is “just food we like to eat”.

“We put it under the umbrella of modern Australian, but there are a lot of dishes on there we really wanted to put on the menu at Pilot, but it wasn’t quite fine-dining enough,” she said. “So it’s really good to have a space we can share equally delicious food, but in a more casual style.”

plates of food on terrazzo tile table

Dash Rumble says Such and Such’s quirky design is inspired by the team’s own homes, and the menu is simply “food we like to eat”. Photo: Lucy Ridge.

In a review of Such and Such from May this year, Gourmet Traveller described it as the sequel to Pilot “and Canberra dining is better for it”.

“A meal might begin with stellar sourdough flatbread that’s more like a crumpet, given glossy sheen from a smear of extra-sharp toum,” author Matty Hirsh wrote.

“From there it could zig to a bowl of crunchy fried school prawns and cashews, coated in a tingly ‘666 spice’ mix that’s not quite as demonic as it sounds. Or zag to hibachi-grilled beef intercostals and enoki mushrooms designed to be wrapped in a sesame leaf kissed with perky miso sambal.”

cocktail glass with granita such and such

The limoncello granita is deliciously sour. Photo: Lucy Ridge.

Whatever many of those words mean, the restaurant is clearly striking a chord with more than the judges.

“The response has been really good,” Dash said.

“We’re building up a new customer base, as well as a lot of regulars from Pilot who are checking us out.”

Details of all the finalists are included in the August issue of Gourmet Traveller, on sale from today (Monday 31 July). All the winners will be profiled in the September issue, which will also feature Australia’s top 95 restaurants in the annual Restaurant Guide.

Such and Such on 220 London Circuit, Civic, is open from 12 pm to 12 am, Wednesday to Friday, 4 pm to 12 am Tuesday and Saturday, and closed on Sunday and Monday.

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