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Canberra’s Meat-ing Places

Amanda Whitley

Committed carnivore? Me too. Here are some of our favourite ‘meat-ing’ places around town.

BURGERS

Brodburger

We couldn’t go past this, could we? It may have moved from its iconic red caravan to the warmer climes of the Canberra Glassworks, but Brodburger remains the burger joint of choice of many Canberrans. We have it on good authority that the Broddeluxe (two x ½ pound flame grilled beef patties, two eggs, lots of crispy bacon, topped with fresh lettuce, tomatoes, spanish onions, homemade aioli and tomato relish) is the ultimate burger challenge for the guys. The challenge can be upped by adding fries on the side. Their milkshakes also get a big thumbs up.

After the indulgence you can take a long stroll around the foreshore and, on Sundays, peruse the Old Bus Depot Markets right next door, open between 10am and 4pm.

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Could this be Canberra's best burger? Brodburger is a Canberra icon.

London B&B

The London Burgers and Beer is a big hit with the men in our lives. Big burgers, chips, beer and four plasma tvs playing sports pretty much says it all. Their burger menu is extensive, but we love the Mexican chilli beef burger with melted Swiss cheese, spicy tomato salsa, sour cream, lettuce, tomato and onion; and the Rosemary lamb burger with roast capsicum and onion, horse radish cream, lettuce, tomato and onion.

Grease Monkey

The newest addition to Socrates Kochinos’ stable is packing them in with old style burgers, shakes and jam donuts the order of the day. Grease Monkey sits in the refurbished Repco Car Service workshop in Braddon, and retains that authentic garage feel, with the interior a mixture of thick timber, unfinished metal and concrete.

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The antithesis to Lonsdale Street’s proliferation of kale and quinoa, Grease Monkey unashamedly offers ‘sometimes food’. The ‘GFC’ (Greasy Fried Chicken) is finger licking good, served with mash and gravy and coleslaw, and the Dirty Bird is another cheeky nod to the colonel’s secret herbs and spices. We also love the slow-cooked, mouth watering smokey BBQ pork brisket, crispy apple cider slaw + a spicy habanero mayo.

Breakfast is also firmly in the ‘hangover cure’ camp, with the ‘Greasy Breakfast’ burgers — the ‘Jump Start’ and the ‘Automatic’ — including maple bacon, HP sauce and hash browns.

Read about our first look here.

MEAT

The Meating Room

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The Meating Room’s Ribs.

 

The Meating Room‘s menu is extensive and eclectic, with far more on offer than the traditional ‘pub menu’. Head Chef, Brendan Sedatis, was previously the owner of Civic’s Fish Shack, and this is evident in the oustanding seafood options: the laksa is full of fat, fresh prawns in a rich tomato broth, and the salt and pepper squid is tender with the right amount of spice.

Share plates encourage friends and families to settle in to this Weston café, bar and grill – ribs are tender and sticky and accompanied by crispy baked potatoes and a simple salad; and roast chicken is simple but tender and accompanied with a range of sauces including a smoky tomato sauce and creamy aioli.

Read the full review here.

Chifley’s Bar & Grill

Chifley’s Bar & Grill features a stand-alone steak menu, offering a choice of 18 different cuts including David Blackmore wagyu and Cape Grim Black Angus. all produce is locally foraged and seasonal, actively adopting a paddock to plate philosophy to ensure freshness and flavour.

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This place takes their steak seriously, with the menu educating the diner about the origins of the meat in question. But there’s also a great range of seafood and poultry dishes for non-red meat eaters.

Read our full review here.

Black Fire

Elegantly decorated, one of the main features of Black Fire in Braddon is the open fire roast in the kitchen which, along with a wood-fire oven and charcoal grill, is used to create mouth-watering dishes of tender, juicy meat.This includes eight-hour slow roasted suckling pig and lamb, wagyu steaks, and Magret de Pato: a juicy duck breast marinated in jerez balsamico and stuffed with honey and black olives.

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Magret de Pato, duck breast marinated in jerez balsamico, honey and black olives, seared and roasted for 6 minutes at 300, frico and orange berries coulis from Black Fire in Braddon.

There’s also a decent range of veggie and seafood dishes as well. Read our full review here and check out their menu here.

Marble & Grain

Any places that has a Butcher’s Board which boasts venison sausages, lamb ribs, wagyu rump, chorizo roasted onions, bullhorn peppers stuffed with black pudding and herb jus has to make this list.

12hr Braised beef short rib, smoked carrots, cavolo nero, herb jus.

12hr Braised beef short rib, smoked carrots, cavolo nero, herb jus.

 

Marble & Grain is, as the name suggests, a meat and beer- lover’s paradise. This stylish bistro on the ground floor of Braddon’s Avenue Hotel has a great range of options from the grill (we love the 12hr Braised 500g Beef Short Rib with smoked carrots, cavolo nero & herb jus) and some fantastic dishes to share.

Read our full review here.

Charcoal Restaurant

Charcoal Restaurant needs no introduction – since 1962 they’ve been all about the meat. Steaks from Australia’s prime beef producing areas are complemented by Australian wines, and there’s some fantastic seafood to round out the menu.

Fresh oysters are delivered direct from their Clyde River oyster farmer, and the seafood marinara is made from fresh seafood on request.

Ox Eatery

There may not be a lot of elegance to a big slab of meat, but when it’s doing its lazy dance on a rotisserie, there’s some kind of magic. Kingston’s East Hotel is home to Ox Eatery, an essential destination for the meat lover. The menu is small, simple and delicious, with an emphasis on big flavours, and the authentic imported French rotisserie spins out a variety of meats each day.

You might enjoy Roast Beef, Armagnac & Green Peppercorn Sauce, Whole Suckling Pig on a board, Homemade Apple Sauce and Crackling; or Rib-Eye Beef Crown.  The starters and desserts are equally tasty.

Eightysix

Eightysix in Braddon is still one of the very best eats in town.The menu changes daily, but if you’re lucky, you’ll find some faves on the menu. We love the fall-apart Whole Lamb Shoulder, which comes served on a thick wooden board, with lemon and accompaniments; and the Black Chicken with Buttermilk Slaw (below). So, so good.

Eightysix's blackened chicken

Eightysix’s blackened chicken

PUB FOOD

It wasn’t all that long ago that Canberra didn’t really do pubs. But all that’s changed in the last couple of years, and there are now a few good, reliable players on the scene that tick all the boxes.

Hopscotch

As the name suggests, Hopscotch offers hops and scotch…and ‘wood-fire wizardry’. The latter comes from their Argentine wood-fired grill, imported from Northern California. Designed to cook mouth-watering meats over red-hot coals, the grill uses a mixture of Iron Bark and Red Gum to impart a light smoke flavour to the meals.

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Lamb 'souva' from Hopscotch.

If you had to capture the menu in a few words, it would be ‘international BBQ’…a quick look at the dishes reveals a classic French-inspired Rib-Eye Steak with Duck Fat Potatoes, Ratatouille, Paris Butter  sitting alongside an Argentine Slow Cooked Brisket with Red Chimmi Churri, Soft Maize, Smoked Eschallots  and Korean Bbq Pork Bulgogi, Kimchi Slaw, Pickled Ginger, Spring Onions. Other exotic offerings hail from the Middle East, the Caribbean, Greece, and Italy, with the All-American Beef Burger with Mustard, Ketchup, Monteray Jack Cheese, Onions, White Butter Bun  keeping traditionalists happy.

In a word? Yum.

Edgar’s Inn

Edgar’s Inn in Ainslie is a slick, refined sort of pub that’s retained the staple comforts of a neighbourhood watering hole. The menu is among the best pub grub in town at reasonable prices, and your bloke can catch his favourite sporton the big screens while enjoying a one of the many beers. There is also a decent wine selection for the non-beer drinkers in the family.

The menu is simple yet covers all the bases – snacks, burgers, steak, fish, pizza, salads and vegetarian and gluten free options, and everything is cooked thoughtfully without being over the top. We love that they’re not afraid to offer Steak with retro Dianne, Mushroom or Pepper Sauce…

Public

Public in Manuka is our ‘local’. The food is great quality ‘pub grub’, you can get a decent tipple if you’re fussy about your wine (like me), there are nightly specials, and there’s a really friendly and relaxed environment that – at least during the day and early evening – is perfect for the whole family.

It’s a surprising menu – the ‘sharing’ plates, in particular, break out of the usual pub fare with dishes like Soft Shell Crab Tortillas and Lamb chops, chimichurri, aubergine relish.  But they also do great burgers, steak sandwiches, sliders, and more of the usual suspects with a twist; but our favourite is the Lamb & rosemary pot pie. Perfect comfort food.

Soft Shell Crab Tortillas from Public in Manuka.

Soft Shell Crab Tortillas from Public in Manuka.

RIBS

Ribs are quite possibly the most masculine food ever. Meat, oozy sauce, bones that demand to be picked up and gnawed…they’re (literally) fingerlicking good.

Smoque

Smoque, in Petrie Plaza in the city, is meaty man heaven with diners encouraged “to embrace the simplicity of good barbeque and eat with your hands.” Their Southern American BBQ ribs (below) come in Memphis Pork or Smoque Signature Texas Beef Rib and are nothing short of mouthwatering. The pulled pork sloppy joes and wings are amazing, and the BBQ Trifecta (a platter of pulled pork, pork ribs and brisket with a side of your choice) is huge and delicious. If he’s into dessert (or you are) then finish with the brownies and salted caramel ice cream.

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The signature ribs from Smoque.

Lazy May’s

It’s Tuggeranong’s new hotspot and it boasts some pretty ‘oh my Lordy Lord’ dishes – and Braised BBQ Beef Rib  is just one of them. Ribs not your thing? You might like to head for the Pulled Pork Neck Damper Roll, Buttermilk Southern Fried Chicken or Slow Cooked Pressed Pork Belly.

Pulled Pork Neck Damper Roll.

Pulled Pork Neck Damper Roll.

 

Keen for dessert? Lazy May’s Mini Brioche Slider Buns with Salted Caramelised Banana and Strawberry Filling served with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream is the ultimate food porn.

Read our full review here.

The RUC

The Grill at the RUC Rugby Union Club in Barton have amazing  BBQ Chilli Short Ribs, served with tabasco wedges and garden salad. If that’s not your style, then you could always go a RUC Scotch Fillet Burger, Half Pound Beef Burger or a variety of salads. See the menu here.

BEER

Bentspoke Brewing Co.

Usually, beer is a bit of an afterthought, an aside to the food. But, at these places, it’s the highlight.

Braddon microbrewery and taphouse, BentSpoke Brewing Co. is a fantastic inner city destination for beer and cider aficionados and lovers of pub grub. It has a fantastic range of beers, including Barley Griffin, Crankshaft, Mort’s Gold, Dick Tracy and Braddon Bitter;and Adam’s Cider, but there’s much more to it than ale. Expect dishes like Big Nut BBQ beef ribs alongside Pork Belly Burger and Big Nut Texas Chili. Yum.

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Crankshaft's younger sister Sprocket, available from BentSpoke Brewing Co.

Zierholz

Zierholz Premium Brewery is a destination for both north- and south-siders, with HQs in Fyshwick and at UC in Bruce, but it’s home to handcrafted beer and some wonderful European-inspired food, reflecting master brewer,Christoph Zierholz’s, German heritage.

The menu includes such treats as The Footlong Kransky Roll – Kransky sausage on rustic bread w/ dried shallots, sauerkraut and mustard;  The Otto Krause Burger, and The Haus Special Slow Roasted Pork Knuckle served with Sauerkraut, braised red cabbage and mash. There are also banquets for sharing, and a kids’ menu.

Where’s your favourite ‘meat-ing’ place?

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Amanda Whitley

Amanda Whitley is the founder and director of HerCanberra. In her 'spare time', she instructs zumba, loves to cook (and eat), and wrangles two gorgeous little girls. She's done everything from present the tv news to operate a stop and go sign and is passionate about connecting Canberra women. More about the Author