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Monster kitchen and bar
L'avis de Gault&Millau
Newly appointed Executive Chef Daniel Flatt has spent more than four years behind the burners at this central Canberra restaurant. The second half of 2018 also heralded the arrival of Ian Curley as the new creative culinary partner.
Situated on the ground floor of the Ovolo Nishi hotel, the overall design and feel is one of industrial chic, layered with deep leather lounges and populated with unusual, rhombus-shaped, chequerboard dining tables.
Start with shimmering sardines, pickled with a deft touch and sharp enough to cut through the richness of the split pea puree. Sliced caperberries add texture and bursts of flavour to every mouthful, while dried olive crumbs bring an earthy saltiness to the dish. Truly a modern Australian culinary masterpiece, the Flinders Island wallaby is cooked to perfection, charred on the outside yet blushing pink throughout, and nestled on intensely smoked beetroot puree. Accompanying the dish are other types, textures and flavours of beetroot, roasted macadamia nuts and peppery nasturtium leaves.
PSST! Be sure to visit Monster seasonally, with winter finding local black truffles right at home across the breakfast and lunch/dinner menus.
Reviewed for the 2019 Guide