canberra

Grease Monkey | Braddon, Canberra

Grease Monkey | Braddon, Canberra

The words ‘Grease Monkey’ are on everyone’s lips at the moment – and judging by the number of Instagram posts about them, so is the taste of their delicious burgers. If you haven’t heard, Grease Monkey is the newest Braddon hotspot (at least until something new comes along), located on the corner of Lonsdale and Elouera Street. It’s the brainchild of Canberra hospitality stalwart Soc Kochinos, and its name, design and concept pay respect to the mechanics and wrench heads of Braddon’s past.

Grease Monkey’s idea is simple, but like finding a good mechanic, not necessarily easy to achieve – it’s billed as a place where you can grab some of the best burgers (and fried chicken) in Canberra, and where people can hang out and have a drink. You could argue that the burger market is reaching saturation point these days, but Grease Monkey has got a few things going for it: prime real estate, a different offering to everywhere else nearby in Braddon, an experienced team, oh – and the fact that they actually do make excellent burgers.

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Lilotang | Barton, Canberra

Lilotang | Barton, Canberra

The Chairman Group has been one of Canberra’s hospitality mainstays over the last two decades. Since opening in 1992, the iconic Chairman & Yip restaurant in Civic has been serving up refined yet honest Cantonese food, attracting a loyal following of politicians and suits along the way. In 2008, the group (headed by Josiah Li) added the Lanterne Rooms to their stable, followed by Malamay in 2012; and both restaurants have been great successes.

Li’s latest venture, LiloTang, focuses on modern Japanese cuisine, and opened its doors to the public in January 2015. It’s located in Barton’s Burbury Hotel and sits just two doors down from Malamay (with the door in between them being the hotel’s entrance), giving guests at the Burbury not one, but two incredible dining options without having to leave the building. Times sure have changed from when the hotel restaurant was just a buffet of overcooked roast meats and mushy veg!

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Pâtissez | Manuka, Canberra

Pâtissez | Manuka, Canberra

Fresh off the back of their My Kitchen Rules experience, Canberra girls Gina and Anna Petridis opened up Pâtissez in Manuka just a few short weeks ago. Normally I wouldn't be too excited by ex-reality show contestants opening up their own place, but having seen some of the photos of their food and drink going around I was pretty keen to check it out!

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Akiba | Canberra CBD

Akiba | Canberra CBD

Akiba’s opening in December 2014 was greeted with much anticipation from Canberrans. The concept, the location and the marketing (who didn’t walk past the 2m high decals spanning the whole width of its windows at some point or other?!) was a breath of fresh air and reminded us that it was worth detouring from Lonsdale Street or the Kingston Foreshore to dine in Civic once in a while.

Occupying the space that Dieci e Mezzo previously held, Akiba is neither strictly a bar nor a restaurant – more a space to hang out and have a good time (albeit where you also pay money in return for food and drinks). Its name represents the Akihabara ‘electric town’ district in Tokyo, and the fitout and atmosphere of Akiba reflects this with its neon light features and vibrant colours.

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Up 2 U Chinese Restaurant | Belconnen

Up 2 U Chinese Restaurant | Belconnen

Growing up in a Chinese household, you tend you get fed some weird and wonderful things - cubed pig's blood, pig ears and sea cucumber to name a few. Thankfully for me, hot pot (while not being that weird) was also one of those things. 

We were lucky enough to have a electric hot pot at home (which isn't unlike an electric frypan really) - it was a garish green colour on the outside and would be placed in the middle of the dinner table, with an assortment of meat, seafood, vegetables and noodles sitting around it just waiting to be cooked. I remember the worst thing being how long it took for the broth to heat back up after you'd dropped some pork or seafood in (mum and dad said the water had to boil again before it was good to eat), but it was always worth the wait!

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Grill & Sizzle Fusion | Dickson

Audaciously calling itself 'Canberra's New Taste Sensation', Grill & Sizzle Fusion occupies a space on Dickson's Woolley Street that Jimmy's Place once held. 

As you walk inside, the space is quite open but elements of the decor give off the feel of a nightclub, such as the black vinyl seats that are at some tables, and the sparkly gold ones at others (like ours... forgot to take a photo though!). There also seemed to be strobe/disco lights mounted on the walls.... maybe some late night karaoke goes down there too?

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