Restaurant recommendations for Canberra, please.

Mar 14th, 2010, 07:26 PM
  #1  
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Restaurant recommendations for Canberra, please.

I'm off to Canberra 26th & 27th March for the Paris exhibition and would love some local recommendations, please.

I'll have a car, so location isn't a problem.

Friday - lunch with clients. They're in Watson, so probably something on that side of town, but not necessarily if there's a gem elsewhere. Just googled Neil's recco of Ruby Chinese and it's close, looks great - maybe that's the best option. Any other thoughts?

Friday & Saturday nights: Free to roam. Game would be wonderful & would love to have some one night. The other, what ever comes to mind. Don't mind whether the eateries for these nights are 'hole in the wall' or 'top of the town'.

Thanks in advance.
Bokhara2 is offline  
Mar 14th, 2010, 08:33 PM
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Bokhara, your clients shuld enjoy Sage, a small and blessedly quiet restaurant situated off the rear entrance to Gorman House, which fronts onto Ainslie Avenue, a couple of blocks north of Civic and only a further 5-10 minutes' drive past Dickson. Entrees $18, most mains $28 + sides @ $10. We ate there last week and I was more than happy with my battered quail entree and salimbocca main; the duck breast was also pronounced very good. Our desserts though were undistinguished. Good wine list and I enjoyed a delicate Canberra-region Jeir Creek sauvignon blanc ($28). Corkage for BYO $15.

Dickson, where the Ruby is located, is close to Watson and almost wall-to-wall eateries, mostly Asian. Incidentally, I come from the Old Haymarket School, which holds that chipped Laminex tables and surly service are the marks of good Chinese food, but don't let the Ruby's clean tablecloths and excellent service put you off. A few others in the vicinity - Taj Agra (Indian), Pho Phu Quoc (Vietnamese), Rasa Sayang (Chinese-Malaysian), all pretty reliable.

I'll do some more head-scratching and get back to you.
Neil_Oz is offline  
Mar 14th, 2010, 10:37 PM
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Thanks Neil, I was hoping you'd pick this up.

Battered quail & saltimbocca - can taste it from here! Don't care about desserts, would rather have a smelly cheese & finish the red with that.
Bokhara2 is offline  
Mar 15th, 2010, 01:34 PM
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Back again - in the above-average (quality and price) department, I've had a good report of Italian & Sons (www.italianandsons.com.au/) at Braddon, just across the road from the northern edge of the CBD (Civic). No BYO but a good list of Australian and Italian wines.

(BTW, I erred in locating Sage as "a couple of blocks north of Civic" - it's actually north-east. No excuse, as I live only 5 minutes' drive away.)

Another reliable venue is Ottoman Cuisine, in Barton, on the south side of the lake.
www.ottomancuisine.com.au/Canberra/Canberra.html

Or there's the pretty classy Watermark (www.watermarkrestaurant.com.au/basic.php) situated on the lakeside (south),

or the Boathouse (also lakeside but on the north side). www.boathousebythelake.com.au/

For less expensive eateries you can't go past the cheap-and-cheerful Asian places. For some reason it seems impossible to find a good mid-priced Italian restaurant in a town with so many Italian-Australians - we thought we'd managed it with Marinetti in O'Connor, a nice and reasonably priced short northern Italian menu, but the noise levels with one large group in occupation were horrendous. Mid-week might be OK.

I forgot La Scala, in Garema Place, Civic (near corner of Bunda Street) - haven't been there for years but it used to be reliable.
Neil_Oz is offline  
Mar 15th, 2010, 03:30 PM
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I'll have to stay for a month! Now, I hear Mr Obama is likely to be in Canberra on 26th too. With the media frenzy likely, I'd best get on wotif this morning or I'll be bedding down at the YMCA!

Many thanks Neil.
Bokhara2 is offline  
Mar 15th, 2010, 05:52 PM
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Canberra accommodation has been tight in the final weeks of the exhibition [now extended to 18 April], so best book asap.

Friends from out of town queued for two hours last Friday (bring a sun hat), but the general advice is that you'd still be better going on Friday rather than Saturday. The previous weekend we went to a late (4.30) Sunday afternoon talk at the Gallery [Elaine Lewis talking about her book about her Australian bookshop in Paris] and the exhibition lines outside and the crowds inside were huge. The consensus among those who have been is that it's one of the best exhibitions they've seen. Be sure to also take in the National Portrait Gallery.

More Canberra dining -

http://www.fodors.com/community/aust...n-canberra.cfm
farrermog is offline  
Mar 15th, 2010, 07:58 PM
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There is also Tosolini's in Civic - quite a nice café.

Lavandula
lavandula is offline  
Mar 16th, 2010, 02:23 AM
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I love Ottoman, also Chairman and Yip, and last time I was in Canberra for a conference we went to a fabulous place for tapas just down from ANU. I'm going back to ANU tomorrow so I'll ask what the name of the tapas place is--they had a great wine list also.
Susan7 is offline  
Mar 16th, 2010, 06:08 PM
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Bokhara2, my strong advice is to get your accommodation bookings sorted as soon as you possibly can. A lot of rooms have already been set aside for President Obama's visit, and even though he's only staying a night and a day in Canberra his entourage is bound to be the usual US presidential Royal Progress, preceded by an army of hangers-on.

Obama is under pressure to stay in DC while the future of his health insurance reforms are still in doubt, but I wouldn't bank on a no-show.

Plus, the French Masters exhibition at the NGA is going gangbusters, attendance at 320,000 already against an expected 250,000 all up. It would also be wise to make restaurant reservations for your favoured establishments.
Neil_Oz is offline  
Mar 16th, 2010, 06:29 PM
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Thanks everyone for your very helpful tips - much appreciated.

Neil - found one at Rydges Lakeside. No bargain for this old property, but it's better than a park bench on a cold night!

As an aside, in the "where were you when....." department, I was ironing a shirt for my uncle at the Lakeside when Lindy Chamberlain's conviction was announced. He was a friend of 'Aldo Giurgola & we were having lunch with him that day. Very interesting & charming man. (the Architect for the current Parliament House)
Bokhara2 is offline  
Mar 18th, 2010, 03:08 AM
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Another good restaurant in Canberra is Verve in Manuka, one of our favourites or Cream in Civic - but a little noisy.
aussie_10 is offline  
Mar 18th, 2010, 03:14 AM
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The great place for wine and tapas in Canberra is the Parlour Wine Room: http://www.parlour.net.au/

Another accommodation possibility University House, I stayed there last night and it's quite pleasant.

The queues for the French Masters weren't too bad today, apparently they have gone as far as the high court!
Susan7 is offline  
Mar 18th, 2010, 01:26 PM
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Three other exhibitions that are really worth seeing while you are in Canberra: at the Drill Hall an Aboriginal art exhibition: Art from Roper River (some knock-out works in that one), another Aboriginal art exhibition, the Emerging Elders show at NGA (upstairs in the Australian galleries), and two mid career surveys of local ACT artists, Jude Rae and Ruth Waller at Canberra Museum and Art Gallery.
Susan7 is offline  
Mar 18th, 2010, 02:38 PM
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Thanks again, everyone. Susan7, many thanks - I'm very interested in Aboriginal art, particularly some of the contemporary artists & styles, so will definitely have a look the Drill Hall, Canberra Museum & upstairs NGA exhibitions.
Bokhara2 is offline  
Mar 19th, 2010, 01:55 AM
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As you'll have seen by now, the Prez's visit has been deferred, probably till June. Pity in one sense - after recent rains Canberra is looking great at the moment and the weather has a touch of autumn - maximum temps in high 20's, cool nights. Perfect.
Neil_Oz is offline  
Mar 24th, 2010, 03:07 AM
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We stayed at Rydges Lakeside recently and thoroughly enjoyed our meal at the newly opened Restaurant Locanda there. Ditto the Moroccan food at the Mecca Bah in Manuka.
Suelynne is offline  
Mar 24th, 2010, 03:11 AM
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Thanks Suelynne,
How was the Lakeside's accommodation?
Bokhara2 is offline  

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