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Review: Parlour Wine Room

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This post is the culmination of months of ‘selfless’ research. For those who follow the HerCanberra Facebook page, you will know that I’m a fairly regular visitor to Parlour Wine Room in New Acton…so I thought it was probably time I actually wrote something about the place, rather than just posting photos of my food!

If you haven’t been to Parlour since the fire, you’ll find that the fitout has changed quite a bit. The centrepiece is the bar, which now sits in the middle of the room rather than along the wall, and the décor has a more modern feel, although it still sports the eclectic mix of furniture that was one of the best features of the ‘old’ Parlour. There’s also seating outside, which is lovely during the warmer months, and will still be ok in winter with the help of a good brazier or two.

[pe2-image src=”http://lh5.ggpht.com/-6fkLAF1x168/U5z5JAzsXqI/AAAAAAAAE-w/zAK2b7vOJ_Y/s144-c-o/2013-11-07%25252019.41.23.jpg” href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/108454826374315674707/ParlourWineRoom#6024964334745837218″ caption=”Love Parlour’s logo” type=”image” alt=”2013-11-07 19.41.23.jpg” pe2_single_image_size=”w614″ pe2_img_align=”center” pe2_caption=”1″ ]


The wine

While Parlour is a wine bar, my pathetic alcohol tolerance (i.e. none) means I can’t personally comment on the drinks on offer, but the friends I’ve been there with have always been pleased with their selection. At a recent HerCanberra team dinner, our lovely film reviewer Ros Hull was pleased to find one of her favourite wines on the menu, the Mount Majura Vineyard Graciano 2012 and chardonnay snob and editor, Amanda Whitley, was so chuffed with the Toolangi Chardonnay she decided to buy a bottle.

And while the house wines at some other establishments are usually at the bottom end, this is definitely not the case at Parlour—the first time some friends and I tried the lunch special ($16 for bread, a main, and a glass of house wine or soft drink) I remember my friends exclaiming with surprise about how nice the house wines were.

But you’ll understand why when you know who’s behind Parlour’s wine list – that would be sommelier Peter Bell, who’s done stints with Aubergine, Burbury Hotel and – further afield – Quay and Etch. This is a bloke who’s passionate about wine – it’s virtually impossible to get a bad drop under his supervision.

Lunch for less

Speaking of the lunch specials, I am a little bit addicted to them. You may remember me laying out my criteria for a good work lunch in a previous post: good and reasonably priced food, and decent and quick service. Parlour hits the mark for all of these. From noon til 3pm from Tuesday through Sunday, you can get a main with a glass of beer or house wine for $16. I know, right??

The first time I tried the lunch special, I ordered the pappardelle with pork belly and sofrito. My friend and I liked it so much we went back the next day and ordered the same thing. And I know my friend went back again the week after and ordered it yet again, and I did the same the week after that. Yes, it’s that good!

[pe2-image src=”http://lh3.ggpht.com/-u6LuRRmM0A4/U5z5EPPaZJI/AAAAAAAAE-o/kSC0f2Id09s/s144-c-o/2014-05-08%25252013.18.24.jpg” href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/108454826374315674707/ParlourWineRoom#6024964252720850066″ caption=”Pappardelle with pork belly” type=”image” alt=”2014-05-08 13.18.24.jpg” pe2_single_image_size=”w614″ pe2_img_align=”center” pe2_caption=”1″ ]


I did branch out on one occasion and order the steak special, which was also really nice, particularly in this cooler weather.

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Tasty tapas

Besides the lunch specials, I’ve also really enjoyed the tapas at Parlour. Back in November last year a uni friend of mine from Sydney came to visit, so our other friends and I took her to Parlour on a Friday evening after work. It was really nice sitting outside, chatting and sharing food, and she was really impressed.

Go on a Tuesday night, and you’ll enjoy two courses (chef’s selection) and a beer or glass of house wine for just $30.

[pe2-image src=”http://lh4.ggpht.com/-2Be9krA1m_A/U5z4ye2ScmI/AAAAAAAAE-g/7RPpOFJyCeo/s144-c-o/2013-11-07%25252018.41.23.jpg” href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/108454826374315674707/ParlourWineRoom#6024963947672793698″ caption=”Tapas outside during Spring” type=”image” alt=”2013-11-07 18.41.23.jpg” pe2_single_image_size=”w614″ pe2_img_align=”center” pe2_caption=”1″ ]


I also had the pleasure of trying Parlour’s winter menu for the first time last week, at the HerCanberra team dinner I mentioned before. While everything was delicious, my favourite dishes were the battered calamari coated in squid ink, the pork belly (of course) and the rice with wild dried mushrooms and truffle oil.

I also have to comment on how impressed we were at how attentive the staff were to those of the group with food allergies and intolerances (and we had a few—one coeliac, one dairy and seafood allergy, one vegan, one pescetarian). The waitstaff remembered who each of them were, advised us each time a dish came out that included something someone might be allergic/intolerant to, and were also able to alter dishes to make a version that was suitable.

In short, Parlour is a great venue for so many different occasions: a casual work lunch, a celebration, drinks after work or a movie, a lazy Sunday afternoon (Sunday is 2-for-1 Tapas day), or a nice dinner. If you haven’t ventured out there yet, what are you waiting for?

The essentials
The place: Parlour Wine Room
Where: 16 Kendall Lane, New Acton (Kendall Lane runs off Marcus Clarke Street)
When:  Sunday 12pm-10:30pm Tuesday-Thursday 12pm-midnight, Friday & Saturday 12pm til late
Food: Tapas, not tapas, desserts, and sides
Drinks: Extensive wine, whisky and spirits selection, cocktails
Specials: $16 lunch inc. a main and beer or wine Tuesday to Sunday; $30 two-course dinner inc. beer or wine Tuesday nights; 2-for-1 tapas each Sunday.
Contact: Call 02 6257 7325, visit the website at www.parlour.net.au or check out their Facebook page

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3 Responses to Review: Parlour Wine Room

Elias Hallaj says: 17 June, 2014 at 9:55 pm

Love this review. Such amazing food at affordable prices. Canberra is changing so fast it’s hard to keep up with all the great places and events and stories worth sharing. Thank you for sharing this.

Michelle B says: 24 June, 2014 at 12:40 pm

Thanks for reading, Elias! There are so many great places to eat here – not just the new ones, but the hidden gems, like banh mi at Saigon Fresh in Gungahlin, Kudos Taste Japanese in the Canberra House Arcade, Tudo Vietnamese at the O’Connor shops, and there are so many more – lots I don’t even know about yet. I wish I could just eat with abandon and not gain weight, so much good food out there.

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