Melbourne might get all the gourmet attention, but for foodies in the know, Canberra hides some scrumptious-sense-savouring-secrets. From food trucks to fine dining, from the classics to the game-changers, visitors to Canberra can experience some of the best eateries in the country. Of course, if you’re not here on a palate pilgrimage, but here for business, that doesn’t mean you need to settle for bland hotel food or eating-on-the-go indigestion. Here’s our recommended Canberra spots for eating out even when you’re here for work not pleasure.
Making A Good Impression
Nestled on the corner of Giles and Tench Streets is Pomegranate Restaurant, this popular dining destination that once housed Artespresso, and The European is now in the charge of chef Erkin Esen and his wife Ziba. The culinary power couple bring a vision of contemporary Australian cuisine fused with a Mediterranean influence, delivering simple, tasty food that's sure to make a good impression.
The menu focuses on local seasonal produce and fresh ingredients without overcomplicating matters. Seafood features highly, especially with starters, where you can enjoy the delights of Kingfish cerviché marinated with lemon, olive oil & herbs, and served with herbed lavosh bread or pan seared scallops come with shaved fennel salad, Ligurian olive relish and Dijon lime dressing, and cheeky haloumi moussaka is stacked with grilled eggplant, zucchini and tomato. The desserts make for a perfect finale, beautifully presented and even more beautiful to taste. Pomegranate also boasts a diverse and very accessible wine list to complete your dining experience.
Celebrate Over Dinner
With Carlo Tosolini at the helm (a name in need of little introduction in Canberra) Molto Italian offers a sublime mix of modern and traditional. With the aesthetically pleasing appeal of a modern seaside trattoria, the 130-seat restaurant boasts sleek interiors, high ceilings, an open kitchen and bar and a feature wood fire pizza oven, contributing to a celebration of classic Italy set against the beautiful backdrop of Canberra’s Lake Burley Griffin.
As for Molto’s menu, it is simple yet profoundly satisfying, showcasing classic Italian cuisine served with a modern finesse. Where possible menu items are made by hand (fatto a mano) in the traditional Italian way including hand cut pastas, wood fired pizzas and an extensive stuzzichini menu designed to share. Celebrating fine, fresh produce sourced both internationally and locally, Molto is a truly authentic out-of-Italy experience best enjoyed with family and friends.
For The Casual Meeting Or When You're Missing Home
Otis Dining Hall in Kingston Canberra is indeed a dining hall, not just any dining hall though, it is a baronial dining hall, by way of a wild west saloon, featuring serious wood panelling, loads of mirrors, broad leather dining chairs, dark wooden floors, leather menus and an expansive wooden bar running down one length of the room.
The restaurant is the first solo adventure of former Sage chef, Damian Brabender, and while the somehow homely decor might suggest you're there for roast beef and a Yorkshire pudding, Brabender and head chef Adam Wilson are more about the contemporary French bistro classics, such as their beef tartare with smoked eel, sesame and sago crisps, and creme caramel with whisky and smoked sea salt. Otis brings a new dimension of dining to the capital, with clever, contemporary cooking matched to an enjoyably casual, relaxed vibe.