19 April 2016

Our first look: Boffins Restaurant new menu

| Ryan Johnstone
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With all the hype and commotion about all the new cafes and restaurants opening around Canberra, it’s easy to forget about the original establishments that have stood the test of time. One such treasure is Boffins Restaurant, nestled in the elegant surrounds of University House. For over 25 years, the team at Boffins has been providing the finest food, wine, and service in one of Canberra’s most sophisticated venues.

Boffins Restaurant: Piano

Walking along the fishpond terrace to Boffins transports you back to another era with its sprawling green lawns and blooming gardens. Boffins Restaurant set with all crisp white linen and polished antique silver, is truly one of a kind.

With the end of the truffle season comes a fresh new Spring menu highlighting the uniqueness of native Australian food with a modern Asian edge. The menu is short, however diverse enough to cater to most people’s desires, and is complimented by a rather extensive wine list showcasing mostly Australian wines, with a definite emphasis on Canberra region vineyards.

The meal started off with fresh sourdough bread and also a complimentary amuse-bouche to showcase the chef’s techniques, and to prepare the diner’s palette for the entree course. We skipped pre-entrees and went straight into one of each of the three entree options. These are: the Lamb Cutlet with aged Parmesan, oak smoked bacon and bocconcini; the Spring Assiette of confit seasonal mushrooms with yellow baby beets, turnips and goats curd; and the Trout Textures with pickled-smoked-mousse, green mango salad, and roe. All of which were fresh and delicious, especially the trout.

Boffins Restaurant: Entrees

After entrees were cleared, we were served a lime and lavender sorbet, once again complementary, to cleanse our palette before mains were served. We chose the Miso Chicken Fillet served with crisp duck polenta and enoki mushrooms, and also the Parsley & Shallot Linguini which is served with kutjera (Australian desert raisins), sugar snaps, and broccolini with a smoked tomato ragu. The mains were filling and flavoursome without being too overwhelming. Other options include Kangaroo, Fillet Mignon, Catch of the Day, and Scotch Fillet, but we simply couldn’t fit any more in.

Boffins Restaurant: Main meals

We didn’t stay for dessert, however they all sounded amazing, there was a Strawberry & Rhubarb Bavarois, and a Layered Chocolate Gateaux which were the most tempting, as well as a Camembert platter, a fruit platter, and a chef’s selection of sorbet and gelato.

The overall experience was superb and the restaurant was the ideal setting to be wined and dined, and relax with the apt jazz music playing throughout the evening. We were given the option of a table or a booth, but decided on a table as it seemed a bit more sophisticated. For more privacy, I have been told you can hire a private dining room at no extra cost should you have ten or more guests. The room will cater up up to 16 persons and allow you to choose from Boffins a la carte menu, served by your own personal waiter.

Boffins Restaurant: Private Dining Rooms

The restaurant is open for dinner 6pm – 9pm 7 days a week, and also for lunch from 12pm – 2pm Monday to Friday; however, the lunch menu changes daily. Boffins in located inside University House at 1 Balmain Crescent Acton on ANU campus, across from the National Film and Sound Archive.

For bookings and enquires call Boffins on 6125 5285 or go to unihouse.anu.edu.au for more information.

Boffins Restaurant: Menu Details

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I love Boffins, and its old style fusty dining, particularly the booths.

The menu is always good and the food excellent.

That it isn’t avant garde is actually part of its charm.

Fellows downstairs has a charming beer garden if you want a change of pace.

Wot, no salted caramel freakshakes?

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