19 November 2021

Five minutes with Robbie O'Dea, Cork & Glass

| Lottie Twyford
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Robbie O'Dea

Robbie O’Dea is the co-owner of suburban wine bar Cork & Glass. Photo: Cork & Glass.

Who is Robbie O’Dea? I’m the co-owner of Cork & Glass, a little suburban enoteca/wine bar at the Yarralumla shops.

Best recent dining experience: Dinner at The Boat House – the whole meal was outstanding from start to finish, but I could have just eaten the canapes all night.

Boat House Dine at Home

The Boat House’s delicate meals are renowned across Canberra. Photo: The Boat House.

Most embarrassing pantry item: Instant ramen. Need I say more?

Must-buy ingredient: Chianti. While I rarely put it in the food, I never cook without it.

Next big thing: Champagne! Okay, yeah, I know it was already a big thing, but we are now noticing even more growth in this juggernaut.

From the big houses to the small producers, it has been a struggle to keep stock on the shelves. The tiny nation of Australia is the sixth biggest market globally.

Champagne and Christmas decorations

As the festive season approaches, champagne sales are likely to be strong once more. Photo: File.

Favourite place for breakfast in the ACT: Tilley’s Devine Cafe.

My wife and I live in Lyneham and we love being able to walk there with our two kids. It’s more about the atmosphere than anything else, they have been operating since 1984 and the restaurant has an old soul.

We have lots of happy memories there.

My Canberra food secret: Lamshed’s. It’s hidden down a little corridor next door to us. The atmosphere is relaxed and the food is fantastic.

Tilley's

Tilley’s in Lyneham is a beloved Canberra institution. Photo: File.

Biggest culinary influence: Travel and my mum.

Favourite cookbook: Cooking Under the Influence. It was written by two Australian wine journalists (Ben Canaider and Greg Duncan Powell), neither of whom are trained chefs.

The recipes are great and everything is related back to wine with plenty of sound advice and humour incorporated throughout.

READ ALSO The Institutions: Cheers to feminist icon Tilley’s Devine Cafe

Who I admire in the Canberra food and wine scene: My old friend Nick O’Leary is a bright and intuitive winemaker and one of the best we have in the district.

It has been a real joy to see him build his wine brand from the ground up.

I also admire my business partner Adrien Murphy. He took over the family business (Jim Murphy’s) with some big shoes to fill and has now taken a well-established Canberra institution to even greater heights without compromising its ideals.

What’s on the menu this week: Hopefully some Beaujolais Nouveau by the glass (if it arrives) and cheese … lots of cheese.

Chairman and Yip, Barton

Chairman & Yip are renowned for smooth service and good food. Photo: Chairman Group.

Where I’m going next: With lockdown finally over I can’t wait to return to my favourite restaurant, Chairman & Yip.

Death row meal: Spaghetti and meatballs with a bottle of Cepparello.

READ ALSO The Big Breakfast: choose your own adventure at Assembly (and bring another plate)

My COVID-19 response: Recognition of a universal truth: bottle shops are an essential service.

My really simple recipe tip: If herbs can be added, do so.

Cork & Glass can be found at 25 Bentham Street, Yarralumla. It’s open Monday to Saturday from 10 am to 7 pm and Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm.

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