Restaurant Review: Eight Six | Braddon

By February 10, 2014 canberra restaurant reviews, cbr foodie

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As you might have gathered, I love discovering new restaurants, and having heard great things about Eighty-six in Braddon, I thought I would check it out for myself.

Now there’s no fun in dining alone, so I thought I’d take my friend Bree (who we are staying with) along, to say thanks for her hospitality. Oh and for letting me to raid her extensive closet almost daily. Bless.

Gus Armstrong from Ellacure and Sean Royle have teamed up to bring Canberra a casual-cool fine dining experience it’s never seen before.

The menu changes so often that they just casually scrawl the day’s choices on a blackboard. It consists largely of plates for sharing, all prepared directly in front of you in the open kitchen.

There’s something nice about watching your food being prepared for you. It’s almost like you’re cooking at home, except you don’t have to lift a finger.

The space is intimate, with textured walls and atmospheric lighting. There is a large bar bench which runs alongside the kitchen, where you can eat, drink and chat to the chefs…

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I told you it was cool.

I will warn you though, the waiters are all those uber trendy (and attractive) hipsters that are that confident and outgoing that it borderlines arrogant, but it totally works.

They are brash, engaging and somewhat flirtatious, which almost reminds me of a nightclub. I was both taken aback and impressed by their confidence and in depth knowledge of the  menu.

Upon arrival we were greeted by the owner, Sean, and told to sit at the bar. We didn’t even need menus because he told us he was going to order for us. See what I mean by brash?

His confidence and charisma made the control freak in me happily relinquish control and eagerly wait for our surprise menu while sipping on my champagne…

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We were not disappointed with what he came up with.

Freshly shucked oysters with Tabasco and lime…

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The Heirloom tomato & grape salad served with a goats cheese curd…

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The Smoked trout with mandarin…

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The Shaved pork with figs and goats cheese…

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My favourite of the mains was the serving of the most delicious charcoal fried chicken I have ever tasted. Served with aoli, lime and hot sauce, these babies had my mouth burning, in such a good way.

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The real stand out though, was the caramel popcorn sundae… it was a cup filled with caramel goo, topped with ice cream and covered in caramel popcorn that gave every mouthful a delightful crunch. It’s hands down the best dessert I have ever had. And I eat dessert a lot.

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Overall I found the food to be of fine-dining quality without the stuffy atmosphere that often goes hand in hand.

And although on the more expensive side of dining, it’s worth every penny.

I must also mention that it’s not just the food that works here. After dinner Sean swaggered over to Dr Dre playing in the background, and his flirtatious confidence had cocktails in our hands without us even picking up a menu.

His killer selection was the Watermelon margarita…

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And the traditional lemonade…

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So if you like incredible food, served in a casual, fun and flirtatious way (who doesn’t?), you’ll love Eighty-six.

But don’t have your heart set on ordering yourself, sometimes it’s best leaving it to the experts anyway!

Read more on this restaurant on Eightysix on Urbanspoon. Please right click & open the link in a new window.

Anisa – The Macadames. xx

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