In Canberra, we are lucky enough to have a diverse and abundant foodie scene. New restaurants are seemingly opening up on every corner, and old establishments are continuing to flourish and improve with time.
Our restaurant landscape is also incredibly diverse, offering numerous types of Asian cuisines from Vietnamese to Japanese and Thai – but some of Canberra’s best Asian restaurants are fusing all the delicious cuisines together.
Canberra’s thriving restaurant scene has attracted some of the world’s most talented chefs, who are bringing their unique twists and experiences to their menus to create original and exciting dining experiences. So, if you’re looking for somewhere new to eat on your next night out, keep reading for a helpful guide to some of Canberra’s best Asian fusion restaurants.
What makes a great Asian fusion restaurant?
- Creativity and imagination. Blending the unique cuisines of Asia takes skill and imagination. There’s an enormous difference between a restaurant that offers multiple dishes from different cultures, and one that creates unique dishes by blending their techniques and flavours. It takes an imaginative chef who is committed to providing a unique and exciting dining experience to create a truly great Asian fusion restaurant.
- High-quality ingredients. As is the case with any dining experience, the quality of the food itself depends almost entirely on the quality of the ingredients. Look for restaurants that are using fresh, locally-sourced produce in their food for the best possible meal.
- Stunning service. All restaurants are elevated by outstanding service. From making you feel welcome to explaining the menu and recommending drinks, as the face of the restaurant the waitstaff can really make or break the entire experience. At an Asian fusion restaurant where the menu might be completely new to you and your table, a helpful and friendly waiter is key.
- Atmosphere. Atmosphere encompasses many things, but really it comes down to how good you feel being at the restaurant! From the interior design, the comfort of the furniture, music & ambience, crowd and hygiene, the atmosphere of a restaurant can really make or break your experience.
- Value. Restaurants vary in terms of price range, but “expensive” does not always mean “better” anymore than “cheap” means “worse” – it’s all about value. The price you pay for your evening should reflect the quality everything we’ve already listed. No one wants to pay top dollar for less-than-excellent food or service!
The best Asian fusion restaurants in Canberra
RiotACT’s editorial team has combed through 20 years of on-site comments to compile a list of the most recommended businesses according to you.
To be listed in our Best of Canberra series, each business needs to have consistently received positive feedback on RiotACT and Facebook as well as maintaining a minimum average of 4/5 stars on Google.
Located on the Lonsdale Street strip of bustling bars and restaurants, Lazy Su has mastered the art of American-Japanese-Korean retro restaurant culture. Laid out and decorated like a hole-in-the-wall bar-restaurant straight out of a Tokyo laneway, food and drink here are served up express and designed for sharing. It’s loud and quirky, and the menu features decadent and indulgent fusion pieces from cheeseburger spring rolls, spicy prawn & bacon wontons and jalapeno poppers to fried chicken ramen and tea-smoked duck pancakes.
'Local Guide' Paul Baynham puts it simply in their Google review for Lazy Su, "Just the best Asian fusion food around, can't get enough. Great drinks friendly service. Must try."
A true hidden gem and local favourite, White Chaco is mastering the art of Asian fusion cuisine and cosy dining, all at an affordable price. Their unique blend of Taiwanese, Japanese and Chinese cuisine yields one of the most intriguing and undeniably delectable menus in Canberra right now. By blending the techniques and flavours of these cuisines, White Chaco offers a menu featuring wasabi king prawn tempura bao, Taiwan-style popcorn chicken and an array of delicious ramen and rice bowls.
As Facebook user Frank Madrid writes, "What a fabulous experience! You know the food is extraordinary when you order more of the same dishes! This is to die for. We all left in awe of the experience."
Zaab is an upbeat restaurant-bar located in the centre of Braddon. Zaab's fusion is two-fold: the interior fuses street and sleek with their graffiti-style wall art and modern copper bar top, while the kitchen blends Lao and Thai street foods to create an exciting and unique experience for all diners. With small and big plates perfect for sharing, plus a delicious cocktail menu to boot, there's something for everyone at Zaab.
As Helen Ping writes in their Google review, "Amazing services, brilliant food and wonderful drinks. My favourites include the mocktails, beef massaman and all of the small dishes. Recommended to a number of friends and they all loved Zaab."
Inka is the new kid on the block, having only opened its doors at the end of March this year. Inka's menu is Nikkei cuisine, the unique blend of Japanese and Peruvian cuisine. Decked out with original pieces from a Lima-based artist, the kitchen serves amazing blends of the two cuisines' flavours and techniques with their acevichado maki rolls, ceviche, lamb cutlets with quinoa and miso, and many more delicious, inventive dishes.
Facebook user Ali Ibrahim writes, "I simply love the food here! Took my friends here and they loved the ambiance of the place. Will certainly visit you guys again soon for sure!"
This modern-hawker style venue encapsulates some the best Asian-fusion dining available in the Canberra region. Home to many tasty morsels, extensive sake list, and a raw bar this venue has character in spades. Akiba describes itself as "pan-Asian," fusing the cuisines of the East Asia region to create an incredible and diverse menu, showcasing the many styles of Asian barbecue, modern-day Dim Sum, raw food, and so much more.
On Google, 'Local Guide' RObert Irvine wrote, "Great staff, awesome wealth of knowledge from all attendants highly recommend if you wanna go somewhere with good atmosphere and food + drinks."
For more relaxed dining options in Canberra, you might like our article on the best pubs, the best gastropubs, and the best steakhouses Canberra has to offer. And, should you fancy a tipple perhaps the best cocktail bars or the best wine bars may also be of interest.
Your experience with Asian fusion restaurants in Canberra
Thanks to our commenters who have provided insightful feedback, if you believe we have got it wrong, please let us know.
Have you been to any of the Asian fusion restaurants listed above? Did we miss your favourite? Share your thoughts and feedback below.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Asian fusion cuisine?
Asian fusion cuisine is when traditional techniques, ingredients and flavours from one Asian cuisine are fused with another. However, it doesn't always have to be one Asian cuisine and another - Asian + American and Asian + Australian fusions are popular as well.
Can I eat Asian fusion if I have dietary requirements?
Absolutely! A lot of Asian cuisines offer many gluten and dairy free options as they are often rice-based, however you should always check with the restaurant ahead of time to be safe.
Does Canberra have a restaurant district?
Canberra is lucky enough to have so many restaurants all over town that there is no singular restaurant district. That being said, areas like the CBD and the suburbs in the Inner South (Barton, Manuka and Kingston, for example) have a relatively high concentration of restaurants.
Can I order takeaway from restaurants in Canberra?
Not every restaurant offers takeaway, but some absolutely do. Before calling and asking, check the restaurant's website or social media and find out if takeaway is available.