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Not one single Canberra restaurant in the Gourmet Traveller top 100

By johnboy - 22 August 2012 14

Read it and weep local gourmands.

Aubergine rates a solitary star as the only ACT entry in their “stars”:

One star means there is an element of pizzazz as well as professionalism which raises an eatery beyond the everyday.

aubergine

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14 Responses to
Not one single Canberra restaurant in the Gourmet Traveller top 100
dpm 10:00 am 05 Sep 12

Aubergine also got two hats (out of three) in the 2013 SMH good food guide (and best regional restaurant and best regional wine list).
Courgette, Italian and Sons, The Lanterne Rooms, Ottoman Cuisine all got one hat:

http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/restaurants-and-bars/good-food-guide-2013-full-list-of-winners-20120904-25blt.html

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd 12:31 pm 23 Aug 12

Jungle Jim said :

schmeah said :

Sadly, this isn’t surprising. Service in Canberra is inexcusable, even at pricey venues like Aubergine where basic requests are sneered on.

I am surprised the Rubicon doesn’t get a mention, it’s probably the best restaurant in Canberra and the staff are actually dedicated to clients. Very professional.

Maybe Aubergine has changes a lot since I was last there, but the service I remember from their wait staff was impeccable. One of our party wanted a margarita before dinner. Our waitress returned and very apologetically told us that the margarita would take a short wait as they had no tequila, but they’ve sent someone across the road to buy a bottle. We saw someone else actually running to the shops to sort it out.

We couldn’t fault the place, the food or the people at all.

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd said :

Yeah Canberra eating is rubbish.
Just about everywhere we try is garbage so mostly stick to Indian affair.
It was a very sad day for this town when terrapin closed its doors.

My wife and I loved Terrapin. Great family restaurant! Apparently the owners are much happier now that they’re running some caravan setup.

Yeah they took over the s***ty road caravan at hume. dropped in hoping for something different but they still serving crappy hotdogs and pork riblet rolls.

Understandable though, you gotta be happy in life, and sadly terrapin was not for them.

Still, miss it immensly.

Jungle Jim 12:18 pm 23 Aug 12

schmeah said :

Sadly, this isn’t surprising. Service in Canberra is inexcusable, even at pricey venues like Aubergine where basic requests are sneered on.

I am surprised the Rubicon doesn’t get a mention, it’s probably the best restaurant in Canberra and the staff are actually dedicated to clients. Very professional.

Maybe Aubergine has changes a lot since I was last there, but the service I remember from their wait staff was impeccable. One of our party wanted a margarita before dinner. Our waitress returned and very apologetically told us that the margarita would take a short wait as they had no tequila, but they’ve sent someone across the road to buy a bottle. We saw someone else actually running to the shops to sort it out.

We couldn’t fault the place, the food or the people at all.

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd said :

Yeah Canberra eating is rubbish.
Just about everywhere we try is garbage so mostly stick to Indian affair.
It was a very sad day for this town when terrapin closed its doors.

My wife and I loved Terrapin. Great family restaurant! Apparently the owners are much happier now that they’re running some caravan setup.

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd 6:57 am 23 Aug 12

Yeah Canberra eating is rubbish.
Just about everywhere we try is garbage so mostly stick to Indian affair.
It was a very sad day for this town when terrapin closed its doors.

dpm 8:24 pm 22 Aug 12

beejay76 said :

dpm said :

And highest income per capita too

Highest mean income per capita, that is. This does not necessarily equate to high incomes, but perhaps a massive middle class. These are not necessarily people that have a huge disposable income as compared with, say, Mosman or Vaucluse.

Fair point. Though, when looking at the ABS data for ‘EQUIVALISED DISPOSABLE HOUSEHOLD INCOME’ per weekin 2009-10, we can see the following for NSW and ACT (Sorry, I couldn’t find a Sydney-specific figures quickly, but I’m also a bit lazy! Besides, the NSW one is likely to be quite highly influenced by the Sydney popn) :
NSW
Mean $859
Median (P50) $718
P20 $415
P90 $1,502

ACT
Mean $1,101
Median (P50) $1,009
P20 $616
P90 $1,815
http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/DetailsPage/6523.02009-10?OpenDocument

So, if anything, I think the ACT income is higher across the board, with a median closer to the mean. So, it really comes down to population at those incomes?

With a popn of ~4 million, Sydney then has 45 places with 1+ stars (11.25 per million people) to Cbr’s 1 * 1+ star place (in a popn of ~300,000; 3.33 per million people). I guess it comes down to what popn size you need to before high-end places become viable (surely not all people dining at the Syd places come from Mosman or Vaucluse)? If these things work on a balance of supply and demand, we can say that 300,000 people is not enough to warrant more ‘star’ places! Either that, or reviewers stick to the bigger cities in general?
Personally, if I like a restaurant, I don’t need it to have a ‘star’ or high rating from a reviewer. For example,
http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/restaurants-and-bars/pier-chef-returns-hats-saying-the-heat-is-too-much-20100517-v9h1.html
But then again, i’m simple! 🙂

JimCharles 7:28 pm 22 Aug 12

gentoopenguin said :

Doesn’t surprise me in the least. The price you pay for what you get in Canberra is obscene compared to other capital cities in Australia.

Been to Perth lately? Anything more than pizza and you’re stuffed….astonishingly expensive for ordinary food.

milkman 7:23 pm 22 Aug 12

Fine dining is crap value in Canberra, due in no small part to the crap service.

HenryBG 6:53 pm 22 Aug 12

Ah, come on you mob of whingers – where else in the country are your waiters so good at waving around a pepper grinder just as you are about to tuck in?

But if I can suggest one thing to Canberra restaurateurs – if you are serving a 1cm-deep layer of soup in a wide bowl, it is probably a good idea to ensure the bowl starts off at something slightly higher than 10 degrees, or you’ll be serving cold soup to your unimpressed customers.

basketcase 5:51 pm 22 Aug 12

So how much does the Gourmet Traveller want per star per entry? My view is that most of these ratings organizations could be more correctly classified as extortionists

beejay76 5:12 pm 22 Aug 12

dpm said :

And highest income per capita too

Highest mean income per capita, that is. This does not necessarily equate to high incomes, but perhaps a massive middle class. These are not necessarily people that have a huge disposable income as compared with, say, Mosman or Vaucluse.

dpm 12:42 pm 22 Aug 12

c_c said :

Surprising given we supposedly have the highest per capita number of dining establishments..

And highest income per capita too….! You’d think there’d a be one or two places would try to fill the ‘high end’ gap at the top?

schmeah 12:11 pm 22 Aug 12

Sadly, this isn’t surprising. Service in Canberra is inexcusable, even at pricey venues like Aubergine where basic requests are sneered on.

I am surprised the Rubicon doesn’t get a mention, it’s probably the best restaurant in Canberra and the staff are actually dedicated to clients. Very professional.

c_c 11:51 am 22 Aug 12

Surprising given we supposedly have the highest per capita number of dining establishments.

I wonder if there’s perhaps an element of chicken and egg? Canberra is seen as a small, culinary backwater and therefore talent leaves and talent can’t be attracted, and because of that we remain a backwater.

gentoopenguin 11:43 am 22 Aug 12

Doesn’t surprise me in the least. The price you pay for what you get in Canberra is obscene compared to other capital cities in Australia. It really reminds you that this is an overgrown country town in certain aspects. The problem starts with people’s attitudes towards fine dining, i.e. the perception that Canberra is a charity case and we should be grateful to have a new start up here rather than be more discerning about the quality and value of the food.

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