The Nation’s Capital – What to Eat

June 17, 2015

One of my friends has recently migrated over from the West Coast of Australia and decided that he wouldn’t feel like he was a real Sydney-sider until he had gone for a visit to the Nation’s Capital (i.e. Canberra). 

So we thought we would make a weekend of it and go back and get re-aquainted.
Canberra - Willow Tree2

I haven’t been to Canberra since I was a little kid on a school excursion and to be frank I can’t remember much about it… But on our recent visit I was pleasantly surprised at the good old “Berra”. The city has had a huge makeover and it’s definitely looking good these days!

Canberra - Burley Griffin

This was going to be a ‘Canberra in a weekend’ post but you were going to need to pack a picnic lunch just to read it – so I have split it into two. This rambling will be Canberra eats and next up will be places to visit and stay!

So here we go…



A-Baker (short for Acton Baker) is one of the newest restaurants inside the New Acton precinct of Canberra. We stopped in for lunch on arrival into Canberra and loved the open kitchen and the industrial interior style of the restaurant. I think the best way of explaining it is modern Australian flavours meets Italian bakery.

A-Baker - Interior LightsA-Baker Interior

We tried the the slow cooked eggs with crispy smoked salmon, creme friache and charred bread…

A-Baker - Eggs2

The cured king salmon with pickles, yuzu mayo and lemon balm.

A-Baker - Salmon

The table next to us were snacking on some delicious looking antipasto boards decorated with cured meats, cheeses and olives – I may have considered sliding over to their table for a few split seconds but I resisted the urge!

A-Baker - Pass

If were not itching to see a bit more of Canberra then we would have opted to spend the rest of the afternoon in the Parlour Wine Room next door where it is always wine o’clock. The Parlour sources all sorts of amazing local and international wines which you can have over tapas or just by itself.

The ‘next time’ list is already so long!

Parlour Wine Room

♦ Picture from Parlour Wine Room ♦



We had dinner at Temporada which is the second restaurant opened up by the owners of 2 Chefs Hat restaurant, Aubergine.

Temporada - Interior

Due to it’s popularity, we had to book in for the early bird session at 6pm, but that didn’t matter because we got straight onto some aperitifs to get our appetites going.

If you like campari then they make a good negroni here – nice and strong with a twist!

Temporada - Apertif

The waiter talked us into some mini burgers. The boys opted for the slow cooked pig head burgers while the girls chickened out and went for the beef short rib burgers! The pork head rolls look so much better than I imagined but we were more than happy with choice of beef!

Temporada - Mini BurgersFor our mains we tried the roasted hapuku fish with burnt butter sauce…

Temporada - FishHuge fried gnocchi balls stuffed with oozy cheese…Temporada - GnocchiAnd wood fired rump with kipfler potatoes and bone marrow sauce.

Temporada - Rump

And also made room for a mouth watering coq au vin and kingfish sashimi. If this is how good Temporada then I need to book into Aubergine – stat!



After we finished our ‘granny dinner’ at 8:30pm we felt too guilty to go back to the hotel, so we popped back into Monster at Hotel Hotel for a night cap or two and some dessert.

Monster - The Menu

We ordered the “chocolate and turkish delight” which we took quite literally but it ended up being a beautiful looking chocolate mousse with turkish delight ice cream.

Monster - Turkish Delight

We also got the most amazing rhubarb and strawberry crumble with pink pepper corns which is the perfect winter dessert – especially when it is accompanied by a toasty fire!

Monster - Crumble2

Monster - Fre

We were planning to re-hash back to Monster for breaky but unfortunately they were all booked out. Such a shame because I had my eyes on the snowy river trout hash brown with the soft herb eggs. Never mind – it just adds to one of the many reasons to return!


Urban Pantry 

If you can possibly tear yourself away from the New Acton precinct and want to eat something and somewhere a bit more ‘low key’ then the Urban Pantry is a nice little restaurant in Manuka.

Urban Pantry - Coffee

The girls ordered the lamb shoulder salad which was stuffed with quinoa, parsley salad, beetroot puree and toasted walnuts and feta.

Urban Pantry - Lamb Salad

And the boys tucked into a grain fed beef eye fillet on sourdough with onion marmalade and french black truffle butter.Urban Pantry - Truffle Beef

On the way out past the dessert cabinet I also picked up an italian doughnut for good measure… looked suspiciously like a doughnut king doughnut but regardless was cinnamony, sugary and hit the spot!


So that’s all the food we could possibly fit into our weekend in the “Berra”… it’s such a shame because I feel like we only hit the sides of Canberra’s foodie scene. It is only three hours away so I hope we can get back there soon to tick some more places off the ‘next time’ list!

Canberra - Willow Tree4

Stay tuned for places for some sight seeing and some ideas for places to stay in the next post! Here’s cheeky little picture of me taking my good buddy Kevin for a whirl around Lake Burley Griffin – more of Kevin coming your way soon!

Pedal Car - Driving


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