Executive Chef Darren Tetley runs a tight and well-organised kitchen, and his contemporary menu is innovative and interesting. Located within the National Press Club, down the hill from Parliament House, Column Restaurant is the regular haunt of many journalists from the venerable Canberra Press Gallery. It has a convivial atmosphere, with wallpapered walls surrounding intimate tables nestled close to each other.
The extensive menu prioritises Australian and locally sourced produce where possible, and comes complete with wine suggestions matched to each dish. Crispy coconut Gulf of Carpentaria prawns have a crunchy crumbed coating. They are perched atop a pool of native hibiscus flower gel accented with white peach puree. Sous-vide Cowra three-bone lamb rack is served rare and partnered with spiced Israeli couscous, tart barberries and green heirloom tomatoes. The warm flavour of roasted almonds brings the dish together.
PSST! Make sure you wander through the well-curated wine list, which contains some Canberra treasures as well as classic reserve reds.