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Narrabundah’s New Mystery Eatery

Beatrice Smith

Everyone loves a good mystery, and it seems that even after the sale of The Artisan was confirmed to an unknown buyer in early May, we’re still no closer to knowing the name of the venue that will replace the Narrabundah shops’ fine dining establishment.

What we do know is that new owner ‘Greg’ has teamed up with one of the energetic “young Canberrans with a big vision” behind a certain inner south Asian eatery long patronised by politicians, celebrities and more. The writing is on the wall, so to speak.

However, their actual identities are being closely guarded as the owners quietly redesign the fit out for their new restaurant, aiming for a September opening.

HerCanberra spoke to Greg about what is fast becoming one of Canberra’s most-hyped restaurant openings. He said that he and his business partner have plans to drastically change the feel of the space, utilising “light colours and vibrant whites” to transform the venue to suit their cuisine.

He added that the focus would be on “exceptionally executed food in a relaxed environment” with each diner having an “incredibly authentic experience.”

The cuisine itself will be modern South East Asian, with a focus on sharing plates and the bar menu will be formatted to match dishes accordingly. Greg says the partners are also looking into showcasing Canberra region wines, as he’s conscious of the quality produced in the Territory and surrounding areas.

Keeping things close to the chest, Greg wouldn’t reveal the name of the restaurant or disclose any dishes they’re hoping to include on the menu but he insisted that he and his business partner are “very excited” about revealing their restaurant to Canberra.

As with the rest of Canberra, we’ll just have to wait to see how the venue comes together, but HerCanberra’s fingers are crossed that these ambitious new owners exceed all expectations when they open in September.

The Artisan will be sadly farewelled – it was recently recognised in this year’s Australian Financial Review Top 500 Australian Restaurants and has deservingly enjoyed accolades since its inception in 2010.

The sale marks the end of an era for outgoing owners David Black and Sam McGeechan, who will now part ways to further progress their careers. Sam will make the move overseas while David has taken an executive role with Canberra hospitality management company CoCu.

UPDATE: The name, XO, has been released and construction has begun on the new fitout. Register for updates at XO’s website.

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Beatrice Smith

Bea loves that her job as HerCanberra’s Editorial Coordinator involves eating, drinking and interviewing people - sometimes simultaneously. The master of HerCanberra’s publishing schedule, she’s usually found hunched over a huge calendar muttering to herself about content balance. Otherwise you’ll find her at the movies, ordering a cheese board or ordering a cheese board at the movies. More about the Author

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