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The Loft Bar & Grill

Amanda Whitley

Climbing the stairway to (foodie) heaven

When I first moved back to Canberra in 1999, I was an O’Connor girl. Back then, the excellent Delicate Eating was the darling of the inner north food scene, in the building now inhabited by The Duxton. It’s a space that’s seen many changes over the past couple of decades, and now there’s more movement at the station.

Back in 2013, The Loft at Duxton – the Manhattan-esque cocktail, wine and tapas bar – emerged as an option for those looking for a drink experience more ‘sophistication’ than ‘sports bar’. The Capezio Copeland designed space was one of the Canberra pioneers of the now ubiquitous ‘industrial’ look, with warm rustic recycled timbers, an open truss roof with exposed ducts, huge steel doors, and splashes of black and white marble.

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Since then, it’s gained a reputation for good food and inventive cocktails. Now it’s taking Canberran palates to ‘new heights’ in its newest ‘pop-up’ incarnation, The Loft Bar & Grill. And in news hot off the press, it’s here to stay!

Renowned chef Griffith Pamment, has been given given full rein in the kitchen for lunch each Wednesday to Friday, and dinner from Wednesday to Saturday. Pamment has cooked Thai at Longrain, modern Chinese at Billy Kwong, spent time at Rockpool, and as head chef at Sean’s Panaroma in Bondi. He also worked for several years as Creative and Culinary Director at Bill’s Restaurants International across Sydney, London and Japan.

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For the restaurant experience of The Loft Bar & Grill, it’s all about the grill and a ‘farm to table’ ethos which delivers the flavours of top quality local steaks and produce.

“The grill is a universal cooking medium. From the USA to Japan, the Mediterranean to the Aussie back yard. We’re going to be exploring some of that while providing that classic bar and grill atmosphere here in Canberra,” says Pamment.

HerCanberra’s Food and Wine Feature Writer, Tess Parisotto, attended the launch of the menu and called it “approachable and unpretentious dining that doesn’t disappoint.”

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Dishes reflect Pamment’s eclectic experience, a touch of Spain here, a dash of Japan there. For entree, you might try a deceptively simple dish of sautéed peppers, goats cheese & walnuts ($14), graze on the fish charcuterie board of octopus salami, tuna bresaola, smoked Ora king salmon with grilled bread ($22) or enjoy the punchy flavours of grilled baby squid, morcillia, peperonata ($18).

Mains let the quality of the produce speak for itself: a dish of grilled Morton Bay Bugs with white miso ($28) is beautifully balanced, while a chilli marinated riverine flank 24 steak (250 g) with Kim Chee pickle ($24) lifts the humble ‘steak’ above the ordinary.

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If you’re still up for dessert, you won’t find the usual suspects here, either. Chai buttermilk Panacotta ($12) and Chipotle chilli chocolate bar ($12) are intriguing twists on old favourites, while the frozen persimmon, ginger icecream, spice biscuit ($12) – seen above – is something completely different.

The experience is delivering high quality, inventive food at very reasonable prices, bringing some much needed oomph to the inner north and bringing a new energy to The Loft.

the essentials

What: The Loft Bar & Grill
When: Open for lunch between 12 and 3pm, and dinner from 5pm Wednesday to Saturday.
Where: Cnr Sargood & MacPherson Streets, O’Connor
Book: 02 6247 7330
Web: www.theloftatduxton.com.au

This is a sponsored post.

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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