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Casey Jones Gastropub

Michelle Brotohusodo

It’s been a long time coming, but Casey and Ngunnawal residents finally have a local. And what a local it is.

Casey Jones Gastropub opened last weekend, and it’s unlike anywhere else in Canberra.

Casey exterior

Named after Casey Jones the American railroader (not the vigilante from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), the railroad theme is reflected throughout the décor. It features tables and a bar made from railway sleepers, and a beautiful Canberra red brick arch is a nod to train tunnels.

Casey arch

The space may be huge, but it feels cosy and warm.

The term ‘gastropub’ means a pub that serves high quality meals. I was lucky enough to attend a sneak preview of Casey Jones’ offerings last week, and can tell you that it really deserves that title.

We began with some bar snacks: chorizo with onions, kiss peppers, garlic and chilli and cherry cola wings with scallions, sriracha aioli and celery. Both of these were really moreish, and the celery with the wings was a surprising hit with everyone on our table (sounds weird, trust me, you’ll just have to go try it).

Casey chorizo

Casey chicken

We also got to try the crispy spiced okra with Smetana, dukka and lemon. The way this was cooked reminded me of how other places do zucchini flowers, and I really liked it. My friend was really surprised to find that she did too—she normally really dislikes okra because all other times she’s eaten it, it hadn’t been cooked well and was slimy. This definitely wasn’t.

Casey okra

Next up were some of the mains. First, soft shell crab on charcoaled brioche with sriracha aioli, pickled sesame slaw, coriander, and hand cut potatoes (baked, not fried).

My friend was dubious about the brioche because of the colour, but ended up really liking it. The crab was cooked well and the taste of each element went together nicely. The potatoes were great.

Casey crab

Lots of places offer pork belly these days, and Casey Jones is no exception. Their take on it is served with fennel, apple, watermelon, mustard fruit and watercress. Unusual combinations, but the lightness of the accompaniments balanced out the pork belly well.

Casey pork

The next dish was really pretty, a salad of burrata cheese, romesco emulsion, heirloom carrots, beets, radish, and black salt. While the vegetables were nice, the cheese was the standout, I could have eaten the whole thing on my own. And then some.

Casey salad

We also got to try some gumbo, with prawns, vongole, calamaretti, pork sausage, chilli, okra, and black barley. I’ve read about gumbo in books but never tried it before – this was a good first introduction!

We shared it amongst the table, but if I’d had this to myself I would have mixed it all together to get as much of the sauce as possible on the barley.

Casey gumbo

The last main was my favourite: wagyu rump, onions, cauliflower, mojo verde aioli, and smoked butter. The rump was cooked perfectly and so tender you could carve it with a butter knife (which we did). My mouth is watering just thinking about it as I write. So. Good.

Casey wagyu

Finally, what would a meal be without dessert? Casey Jones has a range of cakes and desserts and, more unusually, a range of affogatos. Our table got the salted caramel surprise, which comprised vanilla bean ice-cream, caramel fudge, salted caramel toffee shards, fresh raspberries, chards of white tempered chocolate, Baileys Irish Crème, and coffee.

This is a really fun take on affogato—you can add as much or as little as you like of everything to the ice cream, and pick your way through the rest. I don’t like coffee so I had a taste of everything before it was added, but the others on my table polished it off pretty quickly after that.

Casey affogato

Casey Jones is also open for breakfast and they even take bookings for it.

A few of the offerings on their breakfast menu include a citrus hotcake, with pickled rhubarb, compressed honeydew, organic maple syrup, macadamias, pistachio and their take on an eggs benny: sourdough, local poached eggs with pickled red cabbage and aerated hollandaise which you can also add bacon or salmon to.

They also offer a pretty extensive range of drinks, including a long list of custom cocktails and 16 beers on tap.

Casey bar

Casey, Ngunnawal and Nicholls residents should be cheering, and the rest of us, well, it’s worth a drive (or Uber) to check it out.

the essentials

The place: Casey Jones
Where: 15 Kingsland Parade, Casey
When: 7am-midnight, seven days a week
Food: Modern Australian
Drink: Cocktails, mocktails, wine, beer
Contact: Call 02 6253 8961, or visit their website or Facebook page.

The author and her friend dined courtesy of Casey Jones, but all opinions remain their own.

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Michelle Brotohusodo

Michelle moved to Canberra vowing to stay for two years, tops. 10 years later, she’s a bona fide Canberra convert. When she’s not working in her day job as a public servant, she’s enjoying Canberra’s culinary delights or finding fun things to do/see in and around town. More about the Author

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    The worst dinner experience we had in Casey Jones. we ordered two burgers and a chicken wing with bbq sauce.
    1. The burger was un cooked (red meat which was cold) both for me and for my daughter
    2. The burger did not come with fries instead the roasted potatoes which tasted awful.
    3. The chicken wing is so salty and the sauce did not like a normal bbq sause. Both my daughter and I could not stand the chicken wing
    4. They are so pricey and I end up paying $50 for the things that I did not enjoy them at all. By the time, we finished dinner, both my daughter and I are still hungry.

    When I got home: I throw up and my daughter had a stomach ache by depositing them back to the toilet.

    DO NOT GO THERE, VERY DISAPPOINTED

    The food is zero stars
    The service is one star (it took 10 minutes to ask for the box and each time we ordered the food, they did not respond it well)
    The place is the only one is 4 stars

    Overall: 1 star experience as they are pricey and the tastes do not reflect to the prices

    The macdonald gourmet burgers tasted much better and a fraction of the prices.