Canberra comes alive with colour for Floriade (14 September - 13 October). The celebration of spring is a great excuse to visit the nation’s capital, with the festival’s program extending to events after dark with NightFest. TheFork has curated a selection of Canberra’s most colourful restaurants with cuisines from around the globe. Add these to your Floriade itinerary:
Designed to mimic the food halls of East Asia, Akiba is a favourite for locals and visitors alike. The menu features Asian barbecue styles, street food, dim sum and a raw food bar. The eclectic menu is paired with exotic cocktails and an extensive craft beer menu. We recommend trying Akiba’s black Angus sirloin with chipotle butter and Zuni pickled onion. Or if you’re feeling adventurous, why not opt for the ‘Just Feed Me’ menu - eight of Akiba’s favourite dishes for only $49 per person.
Located in Weston Creek, The Conservatory offers simple contemporary Australian cuisine. Produce is sourced primarily within Canberra’s 100-mile foodshed to support farming in the region, with a focus on organic and biodynamic produce, heirloom meats, seasonal vegetables and fruits, and sustainable sea and freshwater produce. Favourite dishes include slow cooked wagyu cheek, celeriac puree, confit eschalots, and Brussel sprouts.
Located in the Hotel Realm precinct, the award-winning LiloTang offers a modern Japanese menu featuring sashimi, robata-grilled yakitori skewers and duck breast sukiyaki with tempura egg. For the full LiloTang experience try chef Shunsuke Ota’s tasting menu which can also be matched with cocktails, wines and saké.
Careful consideration has gone into all aspects of Temporada to make the bar and grill warm and inviting. The menu is based around a magnificent wood-fired grill, with many tapas and sharing plate options available. The food is simple and uncomplicated and the restaurant itself is somewhere you just want to be. Chefs Ben Willis and Chris Darragh are quickly developing reputations as kings of the BBQ world. Menu highlights include oysters cooked in the wood grill and Pan-fried veal sweetbreads served with summer corn, fermented chilli and crispy chicken skin.
Situated on the top of Red Hill, Onred has become a Canberra institution representing the best of contemporary Australian cuisine and drawing inspiration from seasonal local produce. . The wine list features an eclectic mix of local and international wines with a focus on boutique producers, cult heroes and rising stars. Tuck into Corowa lamb, venison fillet, slow cooked pork belly or poached apple in saffron and spices. Onred is the perfect spot to watch the sun go down.
Nestled in the New Acton precinct of Canberra, Bicicletta Restaurant brings the traditional taste of Italy to Australia. Take a seat in the Library Bar or the outdoor courtyard and try piping hot pizzas or toasted paninis from the restaurant’s pizza window. The menu also features antipasti, pasta and plenty of delicious mains. It wouldn’t be an Italian feast without a scoop of gelato to finish.
Head chef Anand Ramakrishna brings a unique perspective to Malay and SouthEast Asian cuisine driven by a passion for method, process and provenance that is part of the DNA at XO. The restaurant is passionate about communal share plates, with an unwavering commitment to unpretentious, honest food, with the highest standards of service. The easy-to-read menu features Sexy squid, Asian Bolognese, Lamb kari and Gai lan, or opt for the group banquet menu at $75 per head. XO offers a vegetarian menu, with dishes available in gluten free, dairy free, and vegan. Save room for dessert - with dishes like Milo soft serve and Ume-misu, you’ll need that extra stomach.
The Bavarian Woden has indoor and outdoor dining areas designed for maximum enjoyment, including a beer-stein chandelier that holds more than 500 glass steins. Feast on Bavarian favourites like giant pretzels, crispy pork knuckle, or a selection from the extensive schnitzel menu. Wash it down with your pick of 20 beers on tap including imported Bavarian favourites, Lowenbrau, Stiegl, and Hofbrau.
Producing rich flavours, Jewel of India draws inspiration from the kitchens of the maharajas and nizams. Its dishes reflect the diversity of India with an assortment of mouth-watering dishes made with fresh ingredients. Can’t decide between onion bhaji, lamb cutlets or pappadams? The Entree platter combines all the best starters and can be vegetarian too. For mains, try Prawn vindaloo, Goan fish curry, Chicken Chettinad or Tawa goat and be sure to soak up the leftover sauces with plenty of Naan or Roti.
Bringing a touch of Paris to Canberra, Les Bistronomes is a relaxed French bistro with an alfresco dining area surrounded by plants and herbs, ideal for outdoor dining during spring. Take your pick of classics like Escargots, beef tartare, French onion soup, Beef bourguignon or Duck a l’Orange. The drinks menu features a range of cocktails, beers, fine spirits and plenty of French wine to complete your experience.