Region Profile | Canberra | Brix heads to the Capital
Posted: Nov 12 2014
So we thought we'd get some culture into us and head to the Capital. We stayed in possibly the best hotel in the country. Hotel Hotel was so good they named it twice, from the decor to the feel and the service, everything was outstanding including the lobby restaurant Monster Kitchen and Bar. Usually steering clear of hotel lobby restaurants we are very happy we broke our rule on this occasion. The food was fantastic, a collection of shared plates from a delicate gin cured kingfish to a boisterous and powerful venison rump with grilled morcilla and beetroot. The wine list was pretty damn good too meaning that we woke up with sore heads more than once.
Other food highlights were EightySix, a fast paced, noisy, slightly chaotic lots of fun eatery. Italian and Sons provided us with a delicious simple bowl of pasta after a sobering walk through the war memorial, and Mocan and Green Grout for all your hipster coffee/tea toasted sandwich needs.
Culturally Canberra ticks all the boxes. The National Gallery was brilliant and we were lucky enough to catch the Arthur Boyd Agony and Ecstasy Exhibition, which was mind blowing. Seeing his work on so many different mediums from canvas to ceramics to huge tapersteries made in Portugal and even the wall of his uncles old house which was brought in to the gallery.
Parliament House is always a must see in Canberra, even if like me you know very little about politics but want to see the room with the blue/green chairs that they always show on tv.
Walking through the war memorial was a very sobering but also uplifting experience, something every Australian should do.We had a great time in Canberra but unfortunately it was too short. We will definitely be back to try all of the places we didn't get to.
On the outskirts of this small city are some fantastic wineries and we loved the fact that so many restaurants and bars in Canberra champion the regions that surround them. One of our favourites is Ravensworth out of Murrumbateman. With high altitudes and cool climates the wines are all super aromatic with a strong backbone of acidity and very very drinkable. Bryan Martin the man behind Ravensworth is also the winemaker for Clonakilla but he started career as a chef. His life as a chef combined with a winemaker means that Bryan puts great importance on texture and mouthfeel. He loves to talk about the shape of the palate. In many of his wines he uses the skins to add texture and breadth, he also experiments with different vessels such as a ceramic egg for the Pinot Gris. Two of our favourites are the 2014 Riesling and the 2014 Pinot Gris. The Riesling being aromatic and playful with a bit of fruitiness while the more serious Pinot Gris is all about the minerality, texture and spice.