Dining trends for 2014?

by The Editor

2014 0107 Couple dining

Well, that’s 2013 done. Now for the New Year, and now a whole new range of trends that will grace your plate over the next 12 months. We’ve had a look through the tea-leaves, and here’s what we think may feature in Canberra dining through 2014.


Casual food has been thrust to the fore in recent years with the burger, taco and hotdog receiving serious makeovers. Next in line could be the Japanese favourite, ramen, with its heady mix of noodles, meat and spices. International juggernaut Ippudo opened in Sydney last year, and Hokkaido Ramen Santouka can’t be too far behind. We wouldn’t be surprised if some entrepreneurial Canberrans picked up on the possibilities of such a dining outlet for the Capital. Hai!


Ask your parents about days of yore when meals would be flambéed at your table, or dessert carts wandered by with a selection of the evening’s finishers there for all to peruse. We spotted the first trolley of the modern age at The Ginger Room in Old Parliament House prior to its sale last year. This one was loaded with cheeses, but we’re keen for all manner of delights across any course. It’s yum cha writ large and we like the sound of it.


Get used to them, unless the Government cuts jobs in the ACT to the extent no one can afford to eat. What started in 2010 as a way to hype-the-hype of new restaurants in Melbourne has now gone mainstream. “Can I make a booking?” you ask. The answer is no, instead you can stand around awkwardly with other hopefuls while glaring at people who have finished their desserts. A couple of Canberra venues have introduced this – but to date it’s been more a part of a casual approach to dining. Perhaps this year our city’s new restaurants will try it for themselves. See you outside!

Gluten Free

We’ve seen (gf) on menus for years, but in 2014 this one could go beyond the plates of long-suffering coeliacs and head mainstream. Expect a whole new range of breads to grace side plates, while pastas and burger buns follow suit. Who knows? Perhaps we’ll all feel better for it.


Eating with your hands
Cutlery? No. Giant Pile of serviettes? Yes, please! This could be one to follow hot on the heels of the street food revolution. While acceptable in bars across town, we’re yet to reach the point where such a sensory experience is expected in actual restaurants. Imagine a time where you can scoop up your dahl and rice happily with you right hand, or perhaps pick with your fingers at a plate of tasty morsels while the waiter pours the wine. It’s au naturel in the most delightful way… and your mother would be appalled.


So, there you have it – a few ideas of what might be to come. Regardless, let’s hope the local scene builds on the successes of 2013 and continues to show us all how good we have it in Canberra.