As Virginia Woolf says in A Room of One's Own “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” This is particularly pertinent when you’re travelling, and experiencing new restaurants and cuisine can be the highlight of a business trip.
Visitors to Canberra will be particularly impressed with the quality of breadth of cuisine available in our Nation’s Capital. Here are a few top eateries to entertain colleagues and clients the next time you are in Canberra:
All memorable business trips start with drinks, and Kokomos in the CBD is a fun choice. Think tropical cocktail bar with trans-pacific inspired cuisine. There is a main bar area for socialising in large groups, or more intimate areas for a quiet drink to wind down with colleagues at the end of a long day. Where: 1 Genge St, Canberra.
For a failsafe dinner with colleagues, Monster Kitchen and Bar in New Acton’s Nishi building will impress. The space is split into four intriguing areas with a lounge, Mosaic Room, The Salon and dining room, so it always feels intimate and easy to talk without competing with background noise. The menu focuses on local and seasonal produce, prepared into irresistible modern Australian dishes designed to share. Where: 25 Edinburgh Ave, Acton.
On the Northside, Versatile at Gold Creek offers a luxury dining experience with crisp white linen tablecloths and round tables that are perfect for small groups. Versatile describe their food as “fine casual dining in a relaxed, contemporary setting”, which is spot-on, especially when paired with their wine list showcasing sensational local wines. The current menu features favourites such as lamb rump, pork belly, and beef fillet, among other dishes that highlight quality ingredients and masterful favours combinations. Where: Federation Square, 18 O'Hanlon Place, Nicholls.
Kingston foreshore is home to Morks, one of the best contemporary Thai restaurants you’ll ever find. Classic dishes such as massaman and red curry have been reinvented and taken to the next level with sophisticated flavour fusion. The rich, dark interior makes for a warm and cosy atmosphere – perfect for winter evenings. Morks were also recently awarded one Hat in the Good Food Guide 2019. Where: 18/19 Eastlake Parade, Kingston.
If you’re in the mood for something fancy, Canberra has plenty of fine dining options.
Located in the heart of Kingston, Pomegranate’s dishes described as “modern Australian with a Mediterranean influence” are a crowd-pleaser. The restaurant interior is stylishly decorated, and has a warm, welcoming feel. The current menu showcases dishes such as Confit Duck Leg, Chargrilled Cowra lamb cutlets, and Baby Hiromasa Kingfish with braised leeks…just to tempt you! Where: 31 Giles St, Kingston ACT 2604.
Boffins at University House is a Canberra institution. Recently renovated, the interior has a calm, contemporary feel and an intimacy that is ideal for couples and groups alike. Fresh, local, seasonal products are a priority, and Boffins pride themselves on considering “our environmental footprint by eliminating mileage on produce, limiting food waste in the production of the menu and supporting smaller farmers and producers over large scale enterprises and mass production”. The chefs have excellent relationships with local producers and as a result, the menu changes regularly (even daily) depending on the best produce available. Bread is baked daily and served with artisan butter, and the wine list also showcases amazing local wines. Boffins is centrally located in Acton and there is convenient parking at the front. Where: 1 Balmain Crescent, Acton.
With a long string of one Hat awards from Sydney Morning Herald spanning six years, Courgette has earned itself an irrefutable reputation on the Canberra dining scene. Courgette is all about offering a luxury experience – first and foremost through food, and then through the little details, such as lounge-like chairs for diners to get comfortable in.
The menu is comprised of dishes designed with the freshest seasonal ingredients, then layered with suitable sauces and accompaniments. Courgette also offers private dining rooms for groups. Where: 54 Marcus Clark Street, Canberra.
Rubicon is a hidden gem in Griffith, which could be easily walked past due to its unassuming nature. Once you step inside, you know you’re in the hands of experts. The delicious modern Australian menu is supported by quietly confident service that is attentive yet unobtrusive. Separated into four smaller dining rooms, Rubicon is the perfect space for intimate dining as a group or couple. Where: 6A Barker Street, Griffith.
A stone’s throw away from Rubicon is Aubergine, another Canberra institution showcasing contemporary food with classic techniques supported with fresh local ingredients, as well as a top-notch selection of local wines. With a string of awards for food and wine under its belt – most notably the Sydney Morning Herald 2 Chef Hats, these guys clearly know what they’re doing. Aubergine currently offers a 4 course menu for $105 per person, which includes a diverse range of options such as pork belly, lamb rump, barramundi and beef. Where: 18 Barker Street, Griffith
The Campbell shops is home to Lanterne Rooms, a dining experience based on Nyonya flavours (a fusion of Chinese, Malay and Indonesian cuisine) with “A-ma (grandma) soul”. The interior has a feeling of dark, rich opulence, which culminates with the food for a luxurious dining experience. Where: Shop 3, Blamey Place, Campbell.
Canberra has a dining option for every occasion. There’s something to suit everyone - from a quick bite to eat after a long day at the office to a unique degustation dining experience, your colleagues and clients will be impressed with Canberra’s culinary delights.