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Dinner with friends at a local hotel in Canberra


Monster kitchen and bar is located on the ground floor of Hotel Hotel, a relatively new hotel in Canberra.  The restaurant sources local and seasonal produce and like many restaurants in Canberra now, the meals are prepared for sharing which gives you the opportunity to taste lots on the menu.

It was a little bit strange as the restaurant is actually located in the foyer area of the hotel, with the kitchen overlooking the diners (it is the fact it’s in the foyer that is the unusual part).  The public spaces in the hotel include a library stocked with current and vintage books and two fabulous large fireplaces.

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As its website says, the hotel is a place of collaborative craftsmanship conceived of and made by artists, makers, designers and fantasists. The sixty-eight rooms are dressed with salvaged and restored 20th century Australian furniture, original artworks, collected objects, and artisan made furnishings.

So, onto our food, I ordered three vegetarian dishes to share; eggplant, smoked goats curd and sesame oil (the eggplant was delicious and my friends ate the goats curd), the hand cut chips and house made ketchup (chips were a bit cold and limp unfortunately) and the zucchini, freekeh (which I found out was roasted wheat), nasturtium and sunflower – this was also quite tasty.

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My meat eating friends ordered the liquorice cured duck breast, witlof with cherry and sorrel, the wagu rump with salsa verde, onion and mustard and the steamed Daintree barramundi with miso, pickles and candied nori.  My three friends said each dish was delicious.

I enjoyed the evening with my friends and the food was very nice, so filling that none of us ordered any dessert.