The Canberran

A snobby (though tongue-in-cheek) look at the finer sides of the National Capital. Got a tip? Email

Category: Bad Dining

Where the Hell is a good breakfast in this town?

by The Editor



Going out for breakfast is something of a weekend indulgence. Rather than slinking from the bedroom to the kitchen, blearily throwing on a pot of coffee and scraping some butter across a piece of toast, we get buffed and polished and head out into the sun to for a coffee, juice and plate of recovery-food that will probably cost the best part of $30.00.

The problem is that what’s on offer isn’t very good.

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Jamie’s Kitchen – Canberra’s Latest Vindication

by The Editor

Jamie's Italian

It’s a funny thing, Canberra’s retail ‘cringe’. The news of Jamie’s Italian opening in the Canberra Centre – among outlets such as Supre, Aldi and Roger David – got fingers-a-tweeting late yesterday afternoon. But, really…why?

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Curious Canberra Menus

by The Editor

Cheeseburger in a Can

Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve come across a number of menu items that have struck us as a little, well… odd.  With the appearance of alpaca burgers at the Canberra Show last week, we’re intrigued as to what else may be out there – perhaps on a more permanent basis.

So, with our appetite whetted for gastronomic games, we want to know what you’ve found in local restaurants, bars and cafe that raised an eyebrow or two.  We’ll spend a few days on this – both via the blog and our Twitter feed – and report back soon.

So get cracking, dear readers!  Throw your suggestions in the comments below. We can’t wait to hear what you come up with!

Bad Dining? Sunrise Cafe

by TheEA

A Canberra institution you never knew existed: Sunrise Cafe

Over the years we’ve seen a large number of venues come and go. Others appear to be dyed-in-the-wool institutions who maintain inexplicable popularity no matter how classless or banal they may be. Then there are a sacred few who, through sheer passion, hard work and the dedication of a loyal customer base, survive without many Canberrans even knowing of their existence.

It is in the spirit of this final category we’d like to introduce you to The Sunrise Cafe, the oldest friend you never knew you had.

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Bad Dining: Costco

by The Editor


We avoided Brand Depot for the entirety of its existence.  The idea of trekking out to the airport to shop in substandard outlets simply appalled us but, to be honest, the thought of heading to Costco with its clientele of tracksuit-wearing, wagon-driving bogans buying 50-packs of toilet paper seemed even worse.  Having dipped our toes in the water at Frank and Beans a week earlier, we were truly afraid of what it might mean to dine at the American wholesaler.

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Rant: Menu Rage

by The Editor

Dear Canberra Restauranteurs.

Thank you.  Thank you very much one and all for your efforts over 2011.  It’s certainly was a hard year for the industry.  Belts have tightened across the board and, thanks to Masterchef and its imitators, almost every domestic kitchen is kitted out with a rice cooker or sous vide.

So, at a time when the Restaurant and Catering Awards are but a hazy memory and the hospitality community prepares ramps itself back up after a brief rest before another year of hard work, The Canberran feels it is time to sit back, reflect, and gain a perspective of where the local dining scene is at.
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Bad Dining(?): The Pancake Parlour

by The Editor

There are certain things in life on which you can rely.  The sun will rise, your ex- boyfriend/ girlfriend will be a bastard/bitch, and the Pancake Parlour will be open.  Such things are inevitable.  They are absolutes.  Always have been; always will.

While it’s impossible to road test the former two for the greater public, The Canberran decided it best to examine the third.  On an unseasonably humid spring day, lunch was taken at the aforementioned downstairs dining institution.  Truly this was an act of bravery (or foolishness-  your correspondent was unsure).  What should one expect of a 27 year old gimmick?

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Bad Dining: Ikea

by The Editor

Experience a taste of Sweden!
At IKEA we can satisfy all of your culinary needs! Come and eat our Swedish specialities, such as our iconic Swedish meatballs, or choose our local dishes at our restaurant, grab a quick coffee and cake in the cafe, have a hot dog in our bistro at the exit and even take home a taste of Sweden from our Swedish Food Market.

Is there a furniture shop more divisive than Ikea?  Perhaps you think they sell mass produced furniture made by Chinese kiddies around the world in an attempt to homogenise middle class living rooms from Tokyo to Timbuktu; or maybe you consider their products are inspired design bringing Scandinavian simplicity to the world at an affordable price.  Wherever you stand on the Swedish behemoth, you probably have never debated the culinary relevance of its food.

On a wintery Sunday, The Canberran visited Ikea, not for a 5 x 5 Expedit bookcase in black/brown, but rather to take on what is perhaps one of the most frightening prospects for lunchtime dining – the Ikea restaurant.

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