Five minutes with Frank Condi, Edgar’s and Public Bar

Michelle Rowe 16 July 2021 35
Frank Condi

Wakefield’s Bar + Wine is the latest venture for hospitality veteran Frank Condi. Photo: Megann Evans.

Who is Frank Condi? I’m the owner of Edgar’s, The Inn, Mama Dough and Wakefield’s Bar & Wine in Ainslie, and Public in Manuka.

Best recent dining experience: White Chaco in Braddon. It’s a great little hole-in-the-wall hidden secret. I think I ate a bit of everything. I asked them to please just feed us, and they did. My favourite dishes were probably the soup dumplings and the seared scallop sashimi.

Soup dumplings

Taiwanese soup dumplings from White Chaco hit the spot with Frank and his dining companions. Photo: Michelle Taylor.

Most embarrassing pantry item: Chocolate. I love it – particularly Lindt dark chocolate mint.

Must-buy ingredient: Good-quality flake salt. I need to season everything. Also, Kewpie mayo – you can put that on anything.

Next big thing: I think that with the cost of meat products rising, there has been, and will be, a drive to look at more vegetable-based offerings. Local produce from well-farmed, sustainable organic producers.

Favourite place for breakfast in the ACT: I always find myself going back to Edgar’s, our first place in Ainslie, for breakfast. I love the mushrooms and pesto on sourdough toast with poached eggs, along with a macchiato.

Edgar's Ainslie

Mushrooms with pesto on sourdough toast with poached eggs at Edgar’s in Ainslie. Photo: Edgars.

My Canberra food secret: KYO Coffee Project in Braddon, a tiny place hidden in a courtyard off Lonsdale Street. They have great sandwiches for lunch and it’s the perfect place for a quick meeting.

Biggest culinary influence: I have always watched what Justin Hemmes has done through his Sydney hospitality group Merivale. The ability to create world-class experiences is something that influences me.


READ ALSO: Justin Hemmes set to bring city chic to Narooma


KYO Coffee Project, Braddon

KYO Coffee Project is hidden in a small courtyard off Lonsdale St, Braddon. Photo: KYO Coffee Project.

I’m also a big fan of Lennox Hastie, who runs Firedoor in Sydney’s Surry Hills. His use of fire and smoke and how he controls the heat working with such a natural product is incredible, as is his passion to source from and work with great producers. Before COVID, I was able to send one of my head chefs to work with Lennox. Getting an understanding of what he does inspired me to open The Inn upstairs at Edgar’s. Lennox is a great guy who loves what he does.

Favourite cookbook: At the moment, I’m reading Marriage of Flavours by Scott Pickett. I love his philosophy about food – keep it simple and make it bloody tasty. Don’t reinvent the wheel.

Who I admire on the Canberra food and wine scene: I like many young kids coming through who are doing great things – Ross, Dash and Mal at Pilot, Josh at Bar Rochford. Pat at Italian and Sons, Gus from Eighty Six and Sean at Rebel Rebel are guys I enjoy talking to and whose food I love eating. Hamish from Mada Wines is an absolute legend, a down-to-earth guy whose wine is amazing and who always has time for a chat.

What’s on the menu this week: A 12-hour slow-cooked lamb shoulder with salsa verde and tzatziki at The Inn. Also, the amazing lamb riblets at Wakefield’s.

The Inn at Edgar's

Slow-cooked lamb shoulder with salsa verde and tzatziki at The Inn. Photo: The Inn.

Where I’m going next: When I can travel next, I want to try Agnes in Brisbane, which focuses on wood-fired cooking.

Death row meal: Probably Mum’s lasagne.

My COVID-19 response: When the pandemic hit, we made sure the essentials were there – coffee and pizza! They were the two parts of the business that got us through. Then we introduced a new platform that allowed people to order everything from the table. At first, I was unsure about the idea, but it really has done wonders for us. We just have to adapt to whatever comes because who knows what will happen next?

My really simple recipe tip: I love a great steak cooked on the grill over coal. Any chance I get, I will put on the apron and go for it. Grass-feed beef, good salt and pepper and some mustards. Serve it with pumpkin roasted over the coals, skin on, with olive oil and turmeric. Yum!

Wakefield’s Bar & Wine is the latest addition to Frank Condi’s hospitality line-up. It’s open from 5:00 pm until late, Wednesday to Saturday, at 2 Wakefield Drive, Ainslie.


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35 Responses to Five minutes with Frank Condi, Edgar’s and Public Bar
Paul Angelatos Paul Angelatos 12:54 pm 20 Jul 21

Thanks to you and Willow for your hospitality on the opening night. Great venue - very much appreciated.

Paul Munslow Paul Munslow 11:32 am 20 Jul 21

A good read Frankie Frank Condi!

Paul Kelly Paul Kelly 10:18 pm 18 Jul 21

Good stuff Frank! I remember the good old days working at Pandora’s mate! Great to see you’re doing well.

Mookie Blaylock Mookie Blaylock 2:13 pm 18 Jul 21

The menu at Wakefield looks superb Frank...Anchovies!!!!

Le Soumi Le Soumi 1:40 pm 18 Jul 21

Frank Condi looking great 💪

Jak Kanard Jak Kanard 11:40 am 18 Jul 21

...the restaurant upstairs is excellent - food, wine, service and staff all exceptional !

Trudi Jeffrey Trudi Jeffrey 9:04 am 18 Jul 21

Kristie Szabo, Simone Bridie, Sienna Jade… remember Franky , DJ from The Private Bin 👆💪🙌 #Legend

    Sienna Jade Sienna Jade 9:21 am 18 Jul 21

    Trudi Jeffrey yes I remember him well.with my name change frank would have zero idea who I am haha. Fun timed with Julian his flatmate and the boys.

    Kristie Szabo Kristie Szabo 12:25 pm 18 Jul 21

    Trudi Jeffrey oh wow, yes I do.

Mike Houston Mike Houston 8:57 am 18 Jul 21

Well done Franky !

Sharon Nour Goddard Sharon Nour Goddard 10:14 pm 17 Jul 21

Love Edgar's Inn - my local 💙

Mick Reyn Mick Reyn 9:19 pm 17 Jul 21

The Man. The Legend.

Rod Wark Rod Wark 8:43 pm 17 Jul 21

Congratulations Frank, job well done mate.

Emma Gorrell Emma Gorrell 8:02 pm 17 Jul 21

Aaah frank. Best of the best

Jason Kelly Jason Kelly 7:57 pm 17 Jul 21

Well done frank…

Laura Gooyers-Bourke Laura Gooyers-Bourke 6:35 pm 17 Jul 21

Mama dough 🤤 best woodfired pizza in CBR

Maree Bryant Maree Bryant 6:10 pm 17 Jul 21

One of the nicest people in hospitality good to see you get the recognition you deserve Frank!

Kirsty Noad Kirsty Noad 5:07 pm 17 Jul 21

Clearly hard-working, with an excellent work ethic and commitment to personal success. Well done ⭐⭐⭐

Brett Foster Brett Foster 5:05 pm 17 Jul 21

Yes Franko. Looking sharp mate.

Claude Canas Claude Canas 4:29 pm 17 Jul 21

Frank Condi awesome mate really happy for you buddy... hope you’re well

Barney Burke Barney Burke 4:26 pm 17 Jul 21

Looking swell Frankie

Bernard Miller Bernard Miller 4:21 pm 17 Jul 21

As a tradie, I have done work for Frank at a couple of his businesses, he is true gentleman and a pleasure to do work for.

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