11 April 2024

Matt Moran opens the doors to Compa &Sando

| Lucy Ridge
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Matt Moran and woman in apron at till.

Compa &Sando are the first new venues in Canberra for Celebrity Chef Matt Moran. Photo: Buffet Digital.

The two highly anticipated venues from celebrity chef Matt Moran have opened in Civic. There were long queues as Canberrans vied to be the first to grab boutique sandwiches from &Sando, and restaurant Compa has also received a warm welcome.

Compa offers a menu with a range of steaks on or off the bone. Prime cuts like rib eye, premium scotch fillet, and a whopping great 1.2 kg bistecca fiorentina will be available.

Chef Nick Mathieson in white shirt, red apron, sitting in restaurant

Nick Mathieson has been appointed head chef at Compa. Photo: Buffet Digital.

While Chef Moran oversees the sister venues from a distance, steering the ship at Compa is head chef Nick Mathieson, who comes to Canberra following a career in Sydney and the Blue Mountains. He most recently headed up the kitchen at Misc, Parramatta, but an earlier stint at famed Sydney steak house Bistecca will have warmed him up nicely for the grill at Compa.

“I grew up eating at Matt Moran’s venues and reading his books – the fact that I have now been appointed head chef of his latest personal ventures is not lost on me,” Nick Mathison said.

“I’ve had the opportunity to work with some fantastic people and businesses throughout my career to date, and I can’t wait to bring those learnings to Canberra. There’s a lot going on in the nation’s capital and we are really keen to take part in it!”

A queue out the door of &Sando

There were queues out the door at & Sando on opening day. Photo: Buffet Digital.

But it’s not all about the steak. Compa’s menu also features vegetarian and pescetarian-friendly dishes like fried zucchini flowers with three cheeses and lemon or Gnocchi con funghi (that’s mushroom gnocchi). We’re particularly excited about the whole Snowy River trout, served with preserved lemon and caper burnt butter, which sounds like it would make a gorgeous meal when paired with any of the 10 different veggie-based side dishes on offer. The cacio e pepe mac ‘n cheese, in particular, sounds like a real guilty pleasure!

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Cured meats from the Moran family farm are available on the menu as well: provenance is an important part of Matt Moran’s culinary ethos. The drinks list is also personal, with wines on offer from Matt’s personal cellar (we should be so lucky). Canberra local Tasso Rovolis will oversee the drinks list.

Large t-bone steak, sliced with lemon and lettuce.

Bistecca fiorentina is just one of the carnivorous options at Compa. Photo: Buffet Digital.

&Sando had a very successful opening week with queues out the door. The menu offers seven different deli-style sandwiches, and a range of pastries to go with a coffee, including buns from Under Bakery in Mawson.

The Not So Boring sandwich is a baguette packed full of egg salad and ham, and the Pastrami Me is a classic New York deli-style affair with pickled cabbage, provolone cheese and mustard mayo. The Tuna Fish comes with capers and avocado, and the made-to-order steak sanga is likely to be a big seller (it comes with beetroot, of course!)

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The Shroomy is the only vegetarian sandwich on offer, featuring grilled field mushroom, rocket, pesto and ricotta. There’s also the promise of regularly changing specials.

Sandwich with green tiles and takeaway coffee cups

&Sando serves up sandwiches, coffees and pastries to grab and go. Photo: Buffet Digital.

“Canberra has long had some really exciting restaurants and talent, and I have been visiting the region and working with local producers for many years,” Chef Moran explained.

“I’d been looking for opportunities in Canberra for some time before finding the perfect location for Compa and &Sando, and am thrilled to finally be officially opening the doors to both sites!”

Compa &Sando and located at 148 Bunda Street, Canberra. &Sando is open from 7 am to 3 pm Tuesday to Friday, and from 8 am to 2 pm on Saturdays. They will be opening on Sunday and Mondays from mid-May.
Compa is open from 12 to 2.30 pm, and from 5 pm until late Tuesday to Saturday. Visit their Compa Ristorante to learn more.

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