The Canberran

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

Category: Suburbs

Mad Mex – Getting Loco in Belco

by The Editor

Mad Mex Logo

The Mexican Wave continues it would seem.  Another outlet has opened in the form of Mad Mex – a group out of Sydney with a slight twist on the Mexican cuisine we have become accustomed to over the last couple of years.  At the invitation of Clovis Young, co-owner of the group of some thirty restaurants, we traveled well out of our comfort zone to head to Belconnen Mall, and visited the new section (up the top and around the back somewhere) to see what the newest chico on the block has on offer.

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Edgar’s Inn – Canberra’s Best Breakfast?

by The Editor

Nothing sets the tone for a sparkling weekend than a satisfying breakfast.  Now that the sun has reappeared a lazy morning with papers and friends is becoming more and more attractive.  So, if you’re one for the organic and healthy, or perhaps nursing the after-effects of an indulgent ‘night before’, would you ever think to go and have breakfast at a pub?  Well, we certainly hadn’t.

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Spotted: The Bravest Person in Canberra

by The Editor

Well, there are certainly some brave souls in Canberra.  After the jump you’ll find something spotted on the side of the road at 10.30 last night (14 June 2012).  It was around 5 degrees, and God only knows what was in store for the hours to come.

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Paste-ups around town

by The Editor

Update:  Scroll down after the jump to see the progess of the last couple of weeks.

A couple of clever pieces of street art have appeared around the city over the last couple of days.  We particularly liked this one, located in the city above Sour Cherry cafe on City walk – an area known particularly well to Canberra’s parkour enthusiasts.

While this was a simple and witty effort, one piece caught our attention on an early morning sortie for coffee on the Southside…

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Lightning Review: Duxton – O’Connor Shops

by The Editor

Image:www.facebook.com/theduxton

We’d just about had enough.  There’s only so much rain you can be expected to take.  Despite every intention not to leave the house before the sun came out, there was nothing to do but grab a brolly, take on the elements and get out of the house before we started climbing the wall.  We decided it was time to hit Duxton.

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Lightning Review: Gryphons Caffe – Griffith Shops

by The Editor

Well this one certainly snuck up on us… while having a sneaky look at Duxton in O’Connor shops, Gryphons Caffe flung its doors open to Southside pubgoers with little fanfare.  Finally, Griffith shops has its own pub.

We made our way from a lazy (though deeply satisfying) breakfast at Edgar’s in Ainslie – but more about that at a later time.  Out the front of Gryphons Caffe (don’t get uptight about punctuation or spelling – we’ve been through this before) we were delighted to discover a blackboard proclaiming it had indeed opened on the 23rd.

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All Bar Nun: Duxton: The Nun

by The Editor

Update:  Duxton will be open today (Friday 24 February) from 2pm.  The plan is to get the beer pumping before entertaining a pre-Brumbies crowd.

You’ll get to enjoy that ‘new pub’ smell, with all the existing woodwork receiving a tidy up and new coat of varnish.  A semi industrial feel not dissimilar to Tongue and Groove pervades, with  metal pendant lighting over the front bar, while in the back bar chesterfield couches are matched with heavy wooden benches.  The back area is decorated with shades of grey and green, and hanging potplants have the potential to create an inside/outside feel in a similar vein to Public in Manuka.

Back in the front bar, a large 1920s-style graphic of a geezer riding a beer barrel dominates the large wall opposite the entry.  You can expect around ten beers on tap, with Matilda Bay’s Dirty Granny the cider of choice on draught.

There’s an upstairs area coming some time in the future, and rumours exist of a complete revamp of the space sometime later this year.  Three weeks is a very short period to give such a large space a makeover, but it looks as though time has been well spent.

Don’t expect anything radical for now – This looks like a same-same-but-different enterprise for now.  Rather than a new direction for Inner-North socialising,  Duxton might be more like meeting an old friend who’s grown a moustache.

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Recently we reported on the movements of the Kenny brothers regarding the new ‘Gryphons Caffe’ in Griffith, it’s worth providing an update on O’Connor shops as we head back to where it all began.

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Trisensa: Oriental Luxury Spa

by The Editor

As mentioned in the Kingston Rumours Roundup, we first visited Trisensa only a week after it opened, initially drawn by the minimal fit-out first spied a few weeks before. With a simple wooden back wall, selective lighting and similarly plain desk, we were rather thrilled at the elegant simplicity of the space.

On a Sunday afternoon at the end of their first week of trading, the small reception area had softened with the addition of some orchids in pots as well as three humans, all smiling and ready to welcome the first of the customers. A feeling of warmth had arrived, so necessary in a place where relaxation is the primary product for sale.

We were intrigued by what the point of difference would be, especially given the number of day-spas in the area. “Well,” stated one of the attendees, “We’re trying to achieve an Asian-Hungarian feel.” An Asian-Hungarian feel… those words just seemed to hang in the air between us…

This was something we would definitely have to check out.

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Cheeky Afternoon Delights

by The Editor

(No… it’s not what you thought!)

The Canberran was thrilled last weeks to run into a couple of inner city entrepreneurs selling their wares on the busy footpath on The Boulevard, between Industry House and Sour Cherry Café.

For those not familiar with this end of town, on Thursdays the footpath between Akuna and Alinga Streets is the scene for a small collection of card-table stalls selling fresh fruits, cut flowers and odd little handicrafts. Typically, these stalls are attended by seniors who are perhaps market gardeners or craftspersons.

On the last sunny Thursday of the school holidays I came across Kirsten and Maria, a couple of lovely ladies decked out in pink aprons and standing behind a table covered in different baked goods. After some inspections of the slices, cakes and macarons on offer, I asked about their sudden appearance at the typically dowdy little market gathering. As it turns out, both are school teachers who decided the best way to escape their children for a day was to do some baking and see how their cookies sell.

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Rant: Architecture – Sky Plaza Tower

by The Editor

On a recent trip to Woden, the Canberran was reminded of the unspeakable vulgarity of Sky Plaza Tower.  It had been long enough for the image of this monstrosity to recede into the realm of hazy memory, but once it reappeared to offend my sensibilities, the horrors came screaming back.

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