The Canberra Nara Candle Festival has had to be reimagined this year due to COVID-19 restrictions. The vibrant family-friendly festival, which usually sees a magic scene of thousands of candles light up the beautiful Lennox Park each October, will instead be culminating with a foodie weekend.
The annual festival is a celebration of the Canberra Nara Sister City relationship and has grown in popularity year after year showing the warm regard that Canberrans have for Nara and the genuine interest Australians have in all aspects of Japanese culture.
While the outdoor candle display will not be lighting up Lennox Park, the spirit of the event and the food will remain. There will be Japanese-inspired activities to pursue at home and a slew of vendors serving up delicious Japanese food.
During Itadakimasu – Canberra Nara Foodie Weekend between 22 and 25 October – Canberrans can celebrate the Sister City relationship by enjoying delectable Japanese-style dishes from over 20 participating restaurants including a special set dinner menu featuring nine dishes and takeaway gyozas from your favourite market.
Itadakimasu means “Let’s eat!” in Japanese so Region Media has rounded up a few things to tuck in to:
If you are up for an origami challenge, Super Bao has a tasty reward for your efforts. On Saturday and Sunday, during the lunch or dinner service, if your table successfully folds a paper crane with the instructions provided you will receive a 50 per cent discount on an order of Takoyaki to enjoy for your efforts and go into the draw to win a Super Bao gift voucher. You can admire your handy work as you munch down on the tasty little Octopus balls served with Okonomi sauce, Japanese mayo and bonito flakes.
Super Bao is located at 6 Cape Street, Dickson.
The cosy Japanese restaurant has a special set dinner menu for the occasion. For $62 per person, you can feast on the Wagyu Premium Beef Ninja Banquet and enjoy nine authentic Japanese dishes. From perfectly portioned Edamame, Seaweed Salad, Age dashi Tofu, Sushi, Sashimi, Sushi Rolls, Miso soup, Rice, Tempura and Teriyaki Chicken to Wagyu Premium Beef Garlic Steak, nobody is leaving Iori hungry.
Iori is located in the Sydney Building, 41 East Row, Canberra City.
The early bird gets the Gyoza on the weekend. From 7:00 am to 11:30 am you will find Nobu the Gyoza Guy at EPIC Farmers Market on Saturday and Southside Farmers Market on Sunday. Enjoy sensational Japanese pan-fried or boiled handmade dumplings to eat straight away or to take away. Fillings include pork and a delectable Japanese vegetable curry.
Find Gyoza Guy at either the EPIC Farmers Market on Saturday or Southside Farmers Market on Sunday.
Shin Sen Teppanyaki Restaurant
Shin Sen Teppanyaki Restaurant is ready to celebrate Canberra Nara Foodie Weekend with big plans. All Teppanyaki bookings on either Friday or Saturday night that use the code ‘Nara’ will be treated not only to all the glories of having front row seats to watching your food be cooked on the hot grill in front of you but also receive a free serve of Takoyaki octopus balls.
On Sunday between 12:00 pm and 6:00 pm, the team is setting up a Japanese street food stall. The chef will be preparing handmade Takoyaki and beautiful Taiyaki, fish-shaped cake with fillings of custard, red bean paste and taro.
Shin Sen Teppanyaki Restaurant is located at 2 Cape St, Dickson.
For a full list of participating restaurants and a range of cultural activities to enjoy, visit The Canberra Nara Candle Festival.