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From poké bowls to moonshine, we’ve rounded up Canberra’s hottest food and drink trends.
Doughnuts are hardly a new food—they’ve been a favourite sweet snack for more than a century. But as coffee has gone upscale, doughnuts have followed…and while you can find some fine locally-crafted morsels at cafés around town, Canberra has lacked a dedicated artisan outlet. Until now.
The Doughnut Department, open now in the city’s No Name Lane Precinct, shuns the typical doughnut style (small, mass produced and full of pre-bought tinned fillings and toppings). Instead, their larger handmade doughnuts are made by Chef Nathan Frost with yeast-raised dough, table-cut by hand and filled with fine sweet—and savoury—ingredients.
The Doughnut Department will also offer a unique champagne and doughnut experience Thursday and Friday nights. All our favourite things in one place.
The Doughnut Department | No Name Lane Precinct, 40 Marcus Clarke Street, Canberra City | thedoughnutdept.com
Perhaps it’s a knee-jerk reaction to the recent molecular gastronomy frenzy, but these days diners are flocking to restaurants serving up nostalgic dishes.
It’s classics like Pepper Steak—once decried as ‘old fashioned’— that are proving a winner at Kingston’s OTIS Dining Hall. But banish that image of an RSL counter meal from your head, OTIS’ pepper steak is a 200g melt-in-the-mouth beef fillet, topped with a silkwood pepper crust and served with a velvety brandy jus.
As OTIS’ Chef and Owner Damian Brabender reflects, “throughout the recent years of forever-changing
Australian food trends, steak au poivre has always been a strong reminder of what good food is really about, and the processes that make great chefs what they are.
“It is a dish that you can’t hide behind— it is either right or it is not”.
OTIS Dining Hall | 29 Jardine Street, Kingston | thisisotis.com.au
In a throwback to prohibition days, moonshine is gaining a new generation of admirers. Though it’s been distilled in backwoods Appalachia since the 1800s and mostly produced in secret, today’s Moonshine is leaving behind its “illegal” and “illicit” past and emerging as a serious alternative to Vodka as a mixer.
A unique Whiskey, being un-aged, the liquor has a very distinctive taste and can be enjoyed straight or combined with a variety of mixers. The latest craze? Moonshine mixed with Mountain Dew—affectionately known as “Moondew”.
Baldwin Distilling Company’s Moonshine is handcrafted right here in Canberra from 100% Australian Corn and is available in Original, Apple Pie, Honey and Peach flavours.
Baldwin Distilling Company | 1a/70 Dacre Street, Mitchell | baldwindistilling.com.au
If you’ve just discovered acai bowls, bad luck, you’re already too late. Poké bowls (pronounced POH-kay), have become the newest darling of the Instagram set.
A traditional Hawaiian dish with Japanese influences, Poké bowls typically feature bite-size pieces of raw fish like tuna and salmon, marinated and tossed through a bowl of edamame beans, cucumber, pickles, shiitake and rice.
Think of it as a big sashimi-style salad—the perfect healthy fast food.
Lazy Su | 1/9 Lonsdale Street, Braddon | lazy-su.com.au
NOSE TO TAIL
In a world where an estimated 50 per cent of food is thrown out before it would reach a plate, the Nose to Tail movement is an important step towards sustainable eating.
Based around the philosophy of not wasting any part of the animal, Nose to Tail cooking is being championed locally by Blood n Bones—a Canberra collective hosting pop-up dinners around the city to showcase the movement to locals.
While many consumers baulk at the thought of eating offal or
offcuts, Blood n Bones’ dishes— such as this starter of smoked and roasted bone marrow with herb and caper salad and toast—prove they can be downright delicious.
But it’s not just about the taste. Blood n Bones hopes that their innovative approach to Nose to Tail food will encourage consumers to be more mindful about the food that they prepare and eat.
Blood n Bones | Various locations | facebook.com/eatbnb
They’re the antithesis to the formal three-course format that’s long been de rigueur, and a reflection of the casualisation of dining as a whole. Share plates have fewer constraints, more variety, and offer diners the chance to enjoy multiple flavours and tastes within each meal. Food envy, begone!
Share plates are a key feature of Pialligo Estate’s paddock-to-plate menu and underpin its welcoming farmhouse atmosphere—think family and friends gathering to share a meal.
The fare itself is homestyle food taken to fine-dining levels: a platter of Chicken liver parfait, Chicken galantine, Veal tongue and oxtail terrine and Pork and prune terrine is served alongside slow-roasted Flinders Island lamb shoulder—designed to be pulled apart and distributed among plates—and moreish sides.
Share plates are about more than just the food—they’re about a shared experience. The chance to taste, to talk and to come together.
Pialligo Estate | 18 Kallaroo Road, Pialligo | thepialligoestate.com.au
STYLING Belinda Neame
PHOTOGRAPHY Tim Bean Photography
This article originally appeared in Magazine: Future for Winter 2017, available for free while stocks last. Find out more about Magazine here.