Kinn Thai, Canberra

Today was a travel day for work, which means trying new places in a completely unfamiliar city. Although it might not be that unfamiliar, I’ve been a fair few times by now. This was the lunch choice for today and I’ve previously been for a dinner service which was just as pleasant. Kin is part of a chain of restaurants and based in the Canberra Centre here, so has a fair share of foot traffic in any already busy locale.

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The few times I’ve been these always serious crowds though we didn’t quite have to queue on this occasion as there are quite a few seats and there was only two of us. The menus are pretty expansive with lunch options amongst the sharing dinner menu options which are also available. Service was efficient and the food didn’t take long to come either.

The Pad Prik Khing was stir fried crispy pork with beans and wasn’t as spicy as it appears – the chilli kaffir lime jam is really tasty and the pork is amazingly fried and crispy. I can see why my friend has recommended it and the price points here are pretty reasonable.

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The second option we went for was the Kua Gai Noodle which was essentially flat noodles with egg, chicken and interestingly, bacon. The dish came with a side of chill sauce, which I’m not a huge fan of, so perhaps it was a bit more under-seasoned for me. Otherwise it was pretty good and the quality of the ingredient was fab. A solid option for slightly modern Thai when in Canberra town.

Pro tip: good for sharing options, book for a big table

8/10

Kinn Thai Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Coffee Lab, Canberra Civic

One of the most decadent starts to the morning I’ve ever had, coupled with fantastic coffee make Coffee Lab a sugar fire winner. If I’m going to be waking up to Canberra, I’ll be having my brunch dammit. For part two of a stay in the state for work my friends dragged me over to the offerings from Coffee Lab, which had a Nutella donut French toast on the menu. This was a serious affair. To put things in perspective, all three of us ordered the Nutella donut French toast. Coffees here were great and whet our appetites for when the glorious plate of sugar would finally arrive onto our tables and into our tummys.

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It was a little spectacle of all things sweet and delectable with the dish living up to its moniker and proving to be a rich, rich affair. Two donut-like layers of bread sandwiching the favourite spread of children and adults alike, heaped with cream and syrup and raspberries fresh and dried. Perhaps too sweet for my taste as an amalgamation, but I enjoyed a solid half before the saccharine notes kicked in. The other food from the other non-Nutella French toast ordering tables also looked fair, and the service was friendly for sure. Coffee Lab is worth checking out for your morning in Civic.

7.5/10

Coffee Lab Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Jamie’s Italian, Canberra

I enjoyed a working lunch in Jamie’s Italian whilst I was in the area and was rather happy with what I got. Service was fine for the sitting, I ordered a side of polenta chips, a soda of some description alongside my main lunch of a mushroom pasta dish. Everything was well seasoned (not talking about the soda here, mind you) and came to the table quickly. Ha! It’s a working lunch so I wouldn’t have minded if they took more time. Polenta chips were definitely on the chunky side but were standard fare otherwise.

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Soda, why on earth did I get a soda? It was fine. I enjoyed the crumb on the pasta which gave the dish an enjoyable crunchiness in the creamy sauce. Overall thought it was a competent experience for the afternoon before I made my way to many business-business meetings.

7/10

Jamie's Italian Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Shorty’s, Canberra, ACT

After an afternoon of heated negotiations on where to eat (media people!) the team finally arrived at a choice for our evening in Canberra and we headed over to the nearby and bustling venue of Shorty’s. I quite liked the vibe of the place and encountered success on Pokemon Go whilst here, but some of the food we ordered on the night was less successful.

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For a weekday evening this place has a serious crowd, but the dishes still did come out quick (a little too quick in Som cases) so props to the kitchen here. According to the website, this is Canberra’s coolest bar and everyone knows you can’t lie on the Internet these days. A friend and I opted to share mains and our first one was a roasted duck salad. I quite liked this dish but my counterpart didn’t, the crispy pieces of duck were satisfying when it did appear and the salad was well dressed. Could have had more duck for the >$20 price tag.

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Our second main media (heh) was the Shorty’s three piece feed ($26) of fried chicken served with grilled corn, mashed potato, bun and chicken gravy. The seasoning of the chicken was tasty but I wasn’t a fan of gravy being served on top of the chicken as it eliminated the crisp coating which surely is one of the motivations of fried chicken. Also, some of the pieces weren’t evenly cooked and we were a bit suss about the pinkness in one of the bigger pieces.

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At $13 the Deep Fried Golden Gaytime has some calculable mark-up, but of course we couldn’t pass the opportunity to try Australia’s national treasure, in deep-fried form. It was a nice little play on an classic item and the ice-cream was adequately coated in a cake like crumb batter. It melted fairly quickly and came with crumbled honeycomb and caramel which I’m undecided if it really needed. Not sure I’d recommend it, seemed a haphazard in the end. Shorty’s makes for a happening and funky spot for groups, needs a bit more work in the menu if I’m coming in for that.

6.5/10

Shorty's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato