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Nov 11, 2013 04:16 AM

Visiting Canberra next week

Mrs Ecumer & I are going to the capital next week to take in the memorials and museums.

Can anyone suggest some pleasant places to eat? We're after good food, not too trendy or attitudinal or loud. If it's a top spot to view politicians, we'd rather miss it. We will be staying downtown but have a car. Medium prices are fine and we're not looking for an eight course extravaganza.

In Melbourne we like places such as PM24, The Yak Bar, and Chin Chin (which is both trendy and noisy but makes up for it on food). Also if there is yum cha worth a trip we would be very glad to know it.

Thanks in advance for your help,


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  1. Not a lot of Canberra love going on here. I would be grateful for any suggestions.


    2 Replies
    1. re: ecumer

      I always struggle with Canberra. Most eating is OK quality, but it's what I would consider a local evening out in Melbourne. There is certainly nothing in the space of PM24, Chin Chin or Yak.

      Last time we were in town for the gallery, we were planning on going to a good place by the lake, let me check my notes

      1. re: mr_gimlet

        Thanks for your suggestions folks. As it happens we were staying north of the lake near Dickson. Being unfamiliar with Canberra we decided not to drive all over town and ate locally.

        Cholo's is a new Peruvian restaurant in Dickson; we really enjoyed the food despite it being very quiet (albeit a Wednesday night). It inspired me to do ceviche and pork neck adobo almost as soon as we got home.

        Rasa Sayang was a pleasant cheap-and-cheerful
        Malaysian. Good value, good flavours and a few dishes I hadn't seen in other Malaysian places.

        Courgette is a fine dining place in what passes for downtown in Canberra. We were a bit underwhelmed which may have been over-expectations on our part. Some of the dishes were excellent - perfect venison, superb toothfish in a creamy sauce. But most of them had little flaws - overheated plates causing sauces to set crustily, undercooked vegetables, rare tuna cut into little mushy pieces then overspiced to being untasteable. I would go back but I would try other places first.

    2. Hi ecumer,

      I know a lovely place called Pod food. It's in Pialligo, near lots of nurseries and plant farms so you eat surrounded by lots of greenery. Very quiet and peaceful! They have a seasonally driven menu and I know that the chefs try to use locally grown and sourced items, including the wine list. They have a menu online - I would definitely recommend having a look and seeing if it's the type of food you like to eat!

      Urban pantry in Manuka also has quite good food but it is quite popular on weekends (maybe a little bit trendy but not too loud!). I will try to think of some other possibilities that fit your criteria :)

      1 Reply
      1. re: monbakes_downunder

        Thanks for your suggestions so far. I think I've overpositioned myself with my references, a risk of living in the city for too long. Places along the line of Chez Olivier or David's or Dumpling King are some of our long-time favourites.