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Six new places to eat in Canberra

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It’s been over a month since we published a round up of new places to eat, so it’s not surprising that there are more than five to talk about now (and we’ve actually split this post into two, because there are actually over 10! Stay tuned for more…) So, if you’re after ways to keep warm this weekend, why not make it your mission to work your way through this list…

But before you do, get the full run down of new openings this year – just click on the date to read the round ups: 21 November,  27 August,  18 July, 9 May, and 18 April. Feeling full yet?



Locale, in a sunny corner at Deakin shops.

Omar Muscat and Michael Nager know their stuff. Separately, and together, they’ve been running successful restaurants and bars in Canberra since I was a young, single thing (Lot 33, anyone?) and are the experienced hands behind Manuka’s Urban Pantry and Double Shot in Deakin. Now they’ve expanded their empire – literally next door – taking over the corner spot at Deakin shops that was home to Cape Cod for years.

The name says it all. Locale offers homestyle, locally sourced, traditional Italian dishes that are perfect for enjoying with friends and family. This isn’t tricked up, fine dining – this is authentic and honest fare that you can enjoy inhouse or take home to enjoy in front of the tv.


The Locale Menu


The pasta menu reveals handmade favourites, such as Pappardelle alla Bolognese and Penne Alla Arabbiata, sitting alongside more intriguing dishes like Ravioli di Granchio: crabmeat filled ravioli, leeks, asparagus, enoki mushroom, bisque; while the range of woodfired pizzas spans from a simple Margherita with buffalo mozzarella, fresh basil, and extra virgin olive oil to a richer Folletto – buffalo mozzarella, Italian sausage, porcini mushroom, truffle oil, parsley.

It’s also a bar, which will be welcome news for Deakinites keen to grab a drink close to home. We’re betting this will become the new local.

Locale | Shop 5, Deakin Shops, Deakin| Open seven days, 5pm til late | 6162 2888 | www.localepizzeria.com.au


The now famous Nutella and salty pretzel shake.

The now famous Nutella and salty pretzel shake.

It’s the real life version of Enid Blyton’s Land of Goodies, and the Petridis (Anna and Gina of My Kitchen Rules fame) and Toorawa clans are on a winner with this Manuka newbie. While Pâtissez’s pastries and desserts are the attention-grabbers of this welcoming space on Manuka Lawns, the savoury options are also worth a look.

Fantasy sweets, such as Enchanted Forest and Peanut Butter Chocolate Fudge Éclair elicitoohs’ and ‘aahs’ from those gazing through the pastry cabinet windows, while their over-the-top shakes have quickly become the most instagrammed dishes in Canberra. The Nutty Pât, a warm salted caramel shake with pecan pie and cinnamon whipped cream, is decadence in a mason jar; likewise, the Nutella and salty pretzel shake – a cold Nutella shake with lashings of Nutella, whipped cream and crushed salty pretzel.

But Pâtissez isn’t just for the sweet tooths – it’s also a great bet for a hearty breakfast, brunch or lunch. The Field: Portobello mushrooms, poached eggs, goats cheese, shaved truffle, toasted pinenuts, and balsamic reduction, on crusty bread is delicious, and the Cheeky: slow cooked beef cheeks with black eyed beans, and poached eggs, with crusty bread and kale pesto is the perfect winter dish.

Read the full review here.

Pâtissez | Shop 2/21 “The Lawns”, Bougainville St, Manuka | Open seven days, 7am to 4pm | 0423 637 777  | www.facebook.com/patissez.pty.ltd

The Meating Room


The Meating Room’s Ribs.

Weston just got a bit cooler, with co-owners Phil Sacksady, Robii Khalil and Hamish Walker throwing open the doors to café, grill and bar, The Meating Room.

The menu is extensive and eclectic, with far more on offer than the traditional ‘pub menu’. Head Chef, Brendan Sedatis, was previously the owner of Civic’s Fish Shack, and this is evident in the oustanding seafood options: the laksa is full of fat, fresh prawns in a rich tomato broth, and the salt and pepper squid is tender with the right amount of spice.

Share plates encourage friends and families to settle in – ribs are tender and sticky and accompanied by crispy baked potatoes and a simple salad; and roast chicken is simple but tender and accompanied with a range of sauces including a smoky tomato sauce and creamy aioli.

But the pièce de résistance is The Meating Room’s signature dessert – a deep-fried mars bar cheesecake. Yes, these guys have managed to go one step further then the deep fried mars bar and combined the concept with deep fried ice-cream, coming up with a pretty magical dessert to get people talking.

Read the full review here.

The Meating Room | Where: 45B Liardet Street, Weston | Open 7:30am until 4pm Monday, 7:30am until late Tuesday to Sunday | www.meatingroom.com.au

Grease Monkey


The newest addition to Socrates Kochinos’ stable is already packing them in, with old style burgers, shakes and jam donuts the order of the day. Grease Monkey sits in the refurbished Repco Car Service workshop in Braddon, and retains that authentic garage feel, with the interior a mixture of thick timber, unfinished metal and concrete.

The antithesis to Lonsdale Street’s proliferation of kale and quinoa, Grease Monkey unashamedly offers ‘sometimes food’. The ‘GFC’ (Greasy Fried Chicken) is finger licking good, served with mash and gravy and coleslaw, and the Dirty Bird is another cheeky nod to the colonel’s secret herbs and spices .

Breakfast is also firmly in the ‘hangover cure’ camp, with the ‘Greasy Breakfast’ burgers — the ‘Jump Start’ and the ‘Automatic’ — including maple bacon, HP sauce and hash browns.

And while the ball is still in the government’s court in terms of permits, a rooftop bar could be as little as six months away.

Read about our first look here.

Grease Monkey | 19 Lonsdale Street, Braddon  | 7am til late Monday to Friday; 10am till late Saturday and Sunday | Find them on Facebook.

Canberra Wine House


Fine Canberra region wines, great local produce, an elegant wine bar. Where am I? No, not at one of Canberra’s fancier hotels or restaurants – the new Canberra Wine House at The Dickson Tradies. It’s great wine without the faff.

The Tradies has focussed on giving Canberra wines the home they deserve and The Canberra Wine House is elegant, warm, intimate and friendly. With over 15 wines available by the glass and starting at $6, this is one of the best bargains in town. The staff are knowledgeable and happy to make suggestions based on the type of wine you generally enjoy.

As well as offering wine by the glass, and many more by the bottle, The Canberra Wine House also stocks a great selection of takeaway wines.

But, before you hurry away, it’s not just about the wine – you can settle in for the night with some cheese and nibbles, browse the shelves of local produce, and more.

Read our full review here.

The Canberra Wine House | The Dickson Tradies, 2 Badham St, Dickson  |  Wednesday to Saturday 4pm-9pm  |  02 6162 5656  | thetradies.com.au



Barrio’s intimate space in Braddon.

Lonsdale Street continues its romp towards becoming a caffeind’s paradise, with Sam Burns (Two Before Ten‘s former roaster) bringing along business partners, Dan Zivkovich and Duncan Turner, to create Barrio.

A small space that focuses on ideas of simplicity, transparency and quality of coffee, Barrio is pouring a few really tasty Columbian blends, sourced and roasted locally, with the intent of changing the coffee on a seasonal basis. Interestingly, the venture also offers its customers a dairy-free milk made from macadamias, cashews and almonds.

If you love your breakfast, you’ll be pleased to know that Barrio’s options include stroopwafels, sour cherry Danishes and thick cinnamon toast. And if you’re still feeling peckish after your midday coffee hit, you can expect cheese, pickles, cured meats, smoked fish and bread for you to munch on too – all locally sourced and each with their own story.

Read the full review here.

Barrio Collective Coffee | ORI Building, 59/30 Lonsdale Street, Braddon | Open 7am to 2pm Sunday to Wednesday, and 7am to 5pm Thursday to Saturday | 0423 100 814 |  www.barriocc.com.

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