Australia’s Top Restaurants – Canberra’s Elite


D’you remember that time someone asked you about the next big thing? Brace yourselves, because this is it.


–     What You Need To Know     –

Seven of Canberra’s finest restaurants will be running specially curated dining programs throughout the working weeks, from the 19th – 31st May; the perfect way to inject a little excitement into an otherwise hum-drum week of pencil pushing. You’re going to want to get in early with your bookings though, as places are filling out fast!

Lilotang – Legit Japanese Cuisine

Capitol Bar & Grill – Perfectly Grilled Steaks & Wines

Black Fire Restaurant – Traditional Spanish

Lanterne Rooms – Country-Style Malaysian Fusion

Monster Kitchen & Bar – Modern Australian

Malamay – West Chinese Fusion

Italian & Sons – Italian. Duh.


–     Canberra’s Finest     –


Black Fire Restaurant

4 Courses with Matched Wines – $110pp


Thursday, 28th May from 6pm to 10pm | 45/38 Mort Street, Braddon | (02) 6230 5921
Menu | Directions | Urbanspoon

Hah, I’ve got your attention now, don’t I? Let’s be honest though, who could say no to a rack of spit roasted meat, just hanging off the bone; calling your name, begging for you to devour it like the caveman you are. This is Jono talking here by the way hahah – Lil’s the civil one of the two of us! =P

Don’t let the rack of ribs fool you – their Dining Program showcases the philosophy of Black Fire – taking awesome, down-to-earth Spanish dishes, and bringing it into the 21st Century. Diners can expect to begin the night with some fresh; light, and lifted seafood dishes, before getting stuck into the really hearty main courses that feature air dried Wagyu, and 12 hour slow-roasted suckling pig and lamb. Match that with wine pairings that grade perfectly from a light, crisp cider with your Seared Tasmanian Scallops for entree, to a Sherry with dessert to cap off the night, and you’ve got a winner.



6 Courses – $80pp

Tuesday – Friday, 19th-22nd and 26th-29th May, from 6pm to 11pm | 1 Burbury Close, Braddon | (02) 6273 1424
Menu | Directions | Urbanspoon

Having heard numerous rave reviews of the latest addition to the Chairman Group family [Chairman & Yip; Lanterne Rooms, and Malamay] naturally, one of the first questions I asked was “So what’s Lilotang all about?” Check out their website, and you’ll know what I mean straight away – while the rest of the Chairman family are all sitting on the same group website which pretty much screams fine-dining, Lilotang’s website is flourescent pink and yellow, with an animated superman flying around the page.

“A relaxed atmosphere; casual dining; real Japanese food, and great Saké”

– Andrew, Lilotang

From our short conversation over the phone, I think I got a pretty good feel for what Lilotang was doing – making delicious, legit Japanese food accessible and enjoyable to the everyday person. Lilotang’s ethos revolves around the Japanese philosophies of Kaiseiki and Izakaya dining, which equates to multiple dishes served throughout the night, which you share with your fellow diner(s) – think of it as a Japanese-style tapas!



8 Course Tasting Menu – $82pp

Tuesday – Friday, 20th-22nd and 26th-29th May, from 6pm to 11pm | 1 Burbury Close, Braddon | (02) 6162 1220
Menu | Directions | Urbanspoon


Headed up by co-owner and head chef Jeffrey Shim Jr, Malamay has been giving Canberrans a taste of the cuisine from the Great West of China – something not often found in the fine dining arena – since it opened in 2012. It’s won several awards, including one Chef’s Hat in 2014; and if you’re after a “road-less-traveled” cultural experience in a fine dining setting, Malamay is the place for you. Earl Grey custard with peanut popping candy anyone?

“These guys put the ‘Mmmm’ in ‘Co-mmmm-unism’!”

– This guy I once knew. May or may not have been me.



Lanterne Rooms

8 Course Tasting Menu – $76pp

Images sourced from
Tuesday – Friday, 19th-22nd and 26th-29th May, except for the 20th, from 6pm to 11pm | Shop 3, Blamey Place, Campbell
(02) 6249 6889
Menu | Directions | Urbanspoon

In case you haven’t noticed, the Chairman Group does pretty well for itself, with Lanterne Rooms the third restaurant from the group to feature in the AFR’s Top Restaurants Dining Programs! What you have to love about the Chairman Group is that their cuisines are diversified between restaurants, and executed to perfection. In this respect, Lanterne Rooms is definitely no slouch, serving up delicious, authentic Malaysian Fusion food that has earned it multiple rave reviews and awards since it first opened in 2008.

I have a personal soft spot for Malaysian food, especially the sort that Lanterne Rooms put out. If past experiences are anything to go by, diners lucky enough to secure a table during the fortnight can expect some brilliant dishes with plenty of spices and rich flavours, like their Gulai Kambing and Kampung-style Slow Cooked Wagyu with 9 Curries. Oh man, my palms are getting sweaty just thinking about them…


–     The Wrap Up     –

“Hey, that’s only four of the seven Dining Programs!”, you might say – and rightly so! Unfortunately Italian & Sons didn’t want to take part in this post, and I haven’t been able to get responses from Monster yet, but I’ll keep on pinging them and hopefully I’ll have something for you guys soon! Jemma from Capitol Bar & Grill has given me the thumbs up and said she’ll get me some material tomorrow, so keep an eye out for the update!

But hey – 4 out of 7 isn’t bad for now, with many of them award winners in a variety of diverse cuisines from around the world. All four restaurants are well known for well-executed dishes that hit the nail on the head in terms of representing their cuisine, and with prices like $76 for an 8 course tasting menu, it really doesn’t get much better than this!

exciteSee? This kid gets it!


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