Poacher’s Pantry – a perfect Country Lunch for a very special day out!


Poacher’s Pantry, just out of Canberra, on the Nanima Road is looking very beautiful after her recent makeover.


With extended opening hours for the Christmas season and a special tasting menu, I was very impressed by how well they have created a very relaxed and gorgeous lunch experience.


Whether you choose to go for one of the shared platters, or the full $59 four course menu I’d really recommend taking the lovely opportunity to meet Sarah, Cellar Door Manager, who will help you choose your Wily Trout Vineyard Wine.


We were very impressed with the locally grown (as in just down the road) wines and bagged several to take home.


Wily Trout Premium Pinot Chardonnay 2013 $35 , Blanc de Blanc NV, Wily Trout Sauvignon Blanc 2016 $25, Wily Trout Chardonnay 2014 $25, Wily Trout Rosé 2016 $24, Wily Trout Sauvignon Blanc 2016 $25, Wily Trout Pinot Noir 2015 $28, Wily Trout Shiraz 2014 $27

Our absolute favourites were the vintage pinot chardonnay, rose and pinot noir.


However, the rose was the perfect match for our Christmas Tasting Menu…

$59 per person

Carrot & ginger gazpacho, seared yellow fin tuna, passionfruit


Pissaladière bread, green asparagus, wild rocket leaves, tallegio cheese, Poachers classic prosciutto


Ocean trout, tomato chilli jam, smoked garlic aioli, eggplant, oven dried tomatoes



Poachers smoked chicken breast, cos, pear, cottage cheese


Baked chocolate mousse, strawberries, coriander, cream, cherry sorbet


All amazing dishes!

Wine pairing is also available at $25per person

Trading Hours

Smokehouse Restaurant

Brunch Sat & Sun 9:30 – 11:30am

Lunch Fri – Sun 12:00 – 3:00pm

Christmas season only

Lunch Monday 19th – Thursday 22nd 12:00 – 3:00pm

Lunch Monday 27th – Thursday 29th 12:00 – 3:00pm


Boxing Day, 1st – 3rd January 2017

Poachers Pantry Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Trying Daana’s Thali


Daana is well setttled and busy in their new Curtin home.

There’s plenty of room and a warm welcome for larger groups.

An easy way to order and enjoy a range of tastes is the Thali.


It’s also a good way to cater for different appetites. Refills are plentiful and the food is unlimited, in the style of true South Indian hospitality.

On the evening we visited the Thali included:

Gobi Kempu Bezule (Cauliflower), Koshambir Salad, Vegetable Saagu, Chicken Korma, Potato Khana Curry, Tomato Rasam, Sambar, Poori, Rice, Papad


It also finisihed with a lovely dessert of Phirmi ( a dish from Kashmir).


The Thali dinner costs $25 per person for just vegetarian curries and $30 if you’d like to include non-vegetarian curries.

Another way to order for a group is to design your own shared menu.

My $25 per person suggestions for a group would include:


1 Dal Vada ($12 for 4) per 4 people ($3pp)

1 Paneer Kathi Roll per 4 people (cut into 4 pieces –they are large) $12 ($3pp)

1 serve idil ($12 for 4) per 4 people ($3pp)



Choose three of the Vegetarian/Chicken/Lamb/Seafood curries per 4 people (they come with rice or bread so just get a mix of both (I think 1/2 Paratha and ½ steamed rice would be lovely) – around $16 per person.

Daana also offers BYO at $6 per bottle.

Daana Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Monster Kitchen & Bar, Acton – Perfect for a Canberra brunch!


The Monster nature of Monster Kitchen and Bar makes it a perfect choice for a Canberra brunch any day and any weather.

Elegant in both decor and dishes – this interesting and stylish restaurant morphs throughout the ground floor of Hotel Hotel in New Acton taking on new personalities as it fills different spaces.


And while the ambiance is fine dining, prices are unexpectedly, very reasonable.

My favourite is the Salon, filled with eclectic furnishing and luxurious fabrics that hark back to an era when everyone dressed well to dine.


On a cool or rainy day the large open fire that forms an engaging centrepiece is greatly welcome. The underground parking means there’s not need to brave the elements. Thoughtfully, Monster guests can validate their parking tickets to receive half price parking rates.

Monster’s cheeky nature also means it’s open early serving breakfast from 6:30am right up until 12 Noon.

The understated menu underplays the deliciousness of the dishes.

It is easy to miss those moreish, comforting House made crumpets with Hotel Hotel honey, a large serve at the great value price of $11. It’s a must have to share for the table!


My table agreed that our favourite dish was actually the Braised lentils with sauteed bitter greens (actually not bitter), oft egg and zaatar $18.


Next was the Poached eggs with avocado, whipped chevre and (great) dukkah $18. It was also generously garnished with wonderful fresh herbs that completed this excellent dish.


The Spelt and Maple Granola with roasted rhubarb, berries and whipped ricotta is very beautiful and an absolute steal at $13. Full of crunchy nuts and with just the right amount of sweetness, it’s a well put together dish.


The Confit ocean trout with poached eggs, turnip, radish, spinach and lemon $19 was done well but was not quite as interesting as the other dishes.


The Baked eggs with kale, sheep milk feta, chilli and lemon $18 looked a good choice at another table and the Porridge has some wonderful toppings – spiced pear, halva, pistachio and rose $14. I’ve added them to my wishlist for next time.

An unexpected added bonus is that Monster also provides breakfast for Hotel Hotel guests, one of Canberra’s most popular places to stay and clearly the choice of TV celebrities and famous chefs. We shared our brunching with four national identities also enjoying the hospitality of Monster.

Monster Kitchen and Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Casey Jones Gastropub, Casey – lovely new lunch dishes!


Unexpectedly, I was soon back at Casey Jones Gastropub!

But this time, there was a new lunch menu to try.

The highlights were the highly instagrammable Beets and carrot salad $20….


Delicious pumpkin risotto $19 (enough to share)…


… and the small and elegant Ceviche of seafood $16.90 (perfect if you’d like to share a dessert as well).


Ever surprising, Casey Jones is still making a mark in Canberra’s far north.

Casey Jones Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Maple & Clove, Barton – lunch update 


Maple & Clove in the Realm Precinct is still lovely for lunch.

In the spring weather it’s good to sit outside…


and enjoy the most delicious lunch dishes which were the ….

GRILLED BARRAMUNDI SALAD $24.5 – Roasted pumpkin, fetta, spinach, rocket, broccoli, asparagus, celery, tomatoes + pepitas…

The broccoli and pepitas added crunch and flavour to the leaves and supported the pumpkin, feta and barramundi as the feature ingredients.

Also looking lovely was the Seared Ocean Trout Salad at the next table with chat potatoes, free range eggs, green beans, cherry tomatoes, broccoli, asparagus, olives + salad leaves $24.50

The was also the breadless PORTOBELLO MUSHROOM BURGER – With tomato, avocado, roasted beetroot and creamy cucumber yoghurt with a side of sweet potato wedges $16.

A good choice, especially for brunch, but also availalbe for lunch,  is the SAVOURY SPELT WAFFLE – Wholemeal spelt, zucchini + sweet corn waffles served with smoked salmon, smashed avocado, and slow cooked eggs $20

For something a bit simpler there’s EGGS ON TOAST
Poached, scrambled or fried on your choice of seeded rye or white sourdough $13.50

Or design your own meal, with gluten free bread.

Maple & Clove Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Two Before Ten in the City – my new favourite for brunch @TwoBeforeTen


The very popular Two Before Ten in Aranda is one of my favourites.So it’s great news to me that they’ve opened up in Hobart Place in Cafe Arirang’s old spot, offering all day breakfast and lunch dishes, seven days a week.

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I’ve had my eye on the Bear for a while and it didn’t disappoint.

At $9 it’s a bargain and just hits the spot for something light.


BEAR: Boiled Egg with Smashed Avocado on a Rye Muffin

The specials vary, but the Haloumi with freekah, roast beetroot, blood orange and mint salad for $14 was a good pick.


Even though the food, prices, decor and setting are excellent, what really stands out to me is the friendly, warm and welcoming service. Bookings, special requests and just  a friendly chat are no trouble.

Two before Ten in the City is my firm favourite for brunch. Open weekdays 7am-4pm, weekends 8am-2pm

Two Before Ten - Cafe & Coffee Roasters Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Little Brother Red Hill – back again already!


I’m not sure why, but I just love the raisin toast at Little Brother Red Hill. On another cold and rainy day, it was just perfect for my brunch.


My fellow diners chose the Sweet potato and beetroot fritter with poached eggs, wilted spinach and horseradish cream $19 which was a lovely dish.


But a big part of why I enjoy heading to Little Brother (besides the great view) is the lovely, warm service!


Highly approachable and accommodating, Little Brother also takes bookings and gives Canberra Entertainment Book holders a 25% discount.

Little Brother Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Daana, Curtin – newly opened this week!


Daana, has a new home! 

This week Sanjay and Sunita celebrated their re-opening in their new Curtin home, previously occupied by Silver Fox and Delissio.


There’s a wonderful new menu full of regional specialties.

New dishes like Street Chaat – Dahi Vada $12 (a dish served cold)…


…and a lovely traditional Kerala dessert Kei Paysam of rice cooked with ghee and jaggary, garnished with dried fruit and cashews $10.


But there’s still  old favourites  like Idli with Sambar and coconut and tomato chutneys $12..


…and those great prices that we love!

There are just so many new dishes to try – Bombay specials, Southern Delights, Daana Specials, Thalis, weekend specials and more, that it will take many trips to work through them all. I think I’ll just need to gather a group and order a bunch to share.

Next on my wishlist is the Kati Rolls, Samosa Chaat, Dosa and Kulfi Fulooda.

BYO wine is $6 a bottle and you can be relaxed and cozy inside or make the most of the sunshine outside.

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Do watch out for the Karma nights too – a great time of community and generosity!


Parking is easy, close and free!


83, Theodore Street, Curtin
Canberra, ACT 2605


Tuesday – Saturday 11am – 10pm
Sunday – 10am – 3pm
Monday closed.10% surcharge on Public Holidays.

Closed on Christmas Day.


Sanjay – +61 429 945 500
Sunita – +61 435 849 970



Daana Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Casey Jones Gastro Pub, Casey’s new local


Casey Jones Gastro Pub is the hot new item in Canberra’s North.


They are just so organised in their communications! Their online menu is fully of tantalising photos.

On a Sunday Casey Jones offers an all day breakfast-lunch menu….but how can you go past hotcakes that look like this!!!


Citrus Hotcake $16 Pickled rhubarb, compressed honeydew, organic maple syrup, macadamias, pistachio $16

Although the Tortellini pasta with mushrooms, spinach pesto, young zucchini and Meredith’s cheese goat was also very delicious $22.


For something traditionally pub like there is also the

Bacon and Eggs on a milk bun, award winning Pialligo bacon, fried eggs, ranchero relish, Iberico cheese $14

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Other great looking menu options are the Sourdough with Eggs, ancient grain sourdough, local poached eggs, avocado, fennel, garden kale, dukkah, grana padano and the Fruit toast with lemon whipped goats curd, banana, strawberry gel $13

Excellent opening hours!

Monday – Thursday Friday – Saturday Sunday
8:00am – 10:00pm 8:00am – Midnight 8:00am – 10:00pm
Breakfast Pizza & snacks Dinner
8:00am – 3:00pm 12:00pm – 9:00pm 5:00pm – 9:00pm

Casey Jones Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Pedlar, Campbell – a first look at brunch


It’s great to see the Pedlar Cafe so popular! On Saturday morning it was buzzing with couples and families!

The Crunchy Granola $12, Big Breakfast $19 and Roasted Swiss Brown Mushrooms $16 going past all looked excellent but it was hard to resist the Coconut Crusted French Toast $17. It sounded so good with white chocolate mascarpone, berry compote, maple syrup and matcha dust and looked so pretty!


We also ordered the Shashuka Baked Eggs $18, rich and tasty with the sourdough.


But the Pedlar’s greatest asset has to be it’s friendliness and warm welcome.



The Pedlar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato