Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Urban Pantry and Gelatissimo, Canberra

The Boy and I made a whirlwind trip down to Canberra during the Christmas Break. The purpose of our trip was to check out the Renaissance exhibition at the National Gallery of Australia - along with half of Canberra I think (the exhibition of old Renaissance artwork visiting from Italy was beyond crowded).

Normally when in Canberra we stay in the city and just stick to eateries within walking distance from our hotel. This trip we stayed over near Parliament House (or the National round-a-bout as my step-brother calls it {visit the road around Parliament House and you'll see what he means}) which gave us a chance to check out some new neighbourhoods.

After driving through Kingston and Manuka we decided on choosing somewhere for dinner in Manuka - most of the restaurants in Kingston were still shut for the Christmas break.  Urban Panty, a trendy looking bistro with dark floors, pressed metal bar and tiled walls, caught our eye.

We started off with an entree that combines two (of my many) great food loves - olives and blue cheese. Combine the two, crumb them and deep fry them and viola, perfection!  Crumbed blue cheese filled green olives could be my new happy place ($9.00).  A tip though, pop the whole olive in your mouth in one go. I tried to bite through the olive so I could take a photo of the innards and ended up with blue cheese all over me - whoops!

For my main I hijacked The Boys first choice and ordered the AMAZING Linguini with prawns, crab meat, cherry tomatoes, rocket and chilli ($28.00).   The linguini was heaving with big fat juicy prawns and delicious pieces of sweet crab meat that popped when you bit into it. This was a damn good pasta and the crab was just amazing.

The Boy seemed pretty happy with his second choice dinner of lamb rump on caramelised pumpkin, chickpeas and feta with blood plum vinaigrette ($34.00). The lamb was very tender and he really liked the chickpea medley underneath.

We decided to head down the road to Gelatissimo for something small for dessert.  The short walk down the road gave our dinner a chance to move down towards our legs and leave some room for the sweet stuff to come.

I decided to go for a light and refreshing Raspberry Sorbet which was really nicely flavoured and had pieces of real raspberries throughout. The Boy opted for a very festive Christmas Pudding Gelato which tasted exactly like pudding, complete with pieces of glazed cherry and sultantas.

Urban Pantry is at 5 Bougainville Street, Manuka, ACT.  Phone them on (02) 6162 3556.

Urban Pantry on Urbanspoon

Gelatissimo is at Shop T5 & T6A, 18 Flinders Way, ACT.


  1. The last time I was in Canberra was for the Audrey Hepburn exhibit (years ago). Summernats was on at the same time. Good to see that the dining options in our capital have improved heaps since then.

  2. Good to know, I've only had below-average eating experiences in Canberra so far.

  3. i wanna check out the Renaissance exhibition too! shame i dont have time to do it :( cute heart shaped wafer! how come we dont have it in sydney Gelatissimo!

  4. Hi SugarPuffi - you'll be pleased to know we do have Gelatissimo in Sydney...there's one quite close to your house actually.

    Hi Gaby & Bel - there are a tonne of great places to eat in Canberra these days.

  5. i want that deep fried cheesy olive - YUM!

  6. There are some great places to eat in Canberra aren't there! :) I always enjoy a trip there to explore the art gallery etc :)

  7. There are so many great places to eat in Canberra! I like Urban Pantry, they are always jam packed on the weekends

  8. I only went to Canberra once for a day trip and had the worst dining experience of my life, lol. But then it was only one meal. Will have to go back if this is what's on offer!

  9. Canberra has some great places to chow down. I still never seem to find time to head down though for the exhibits that grab my attention.

  10. I went on a day trip to the exhibition with my two nieces! We really enjoyed it and had a delicious lunch in the Sculpture Garden at the Gallery...loved it :) That Raspberry Sorbet looks like it was very refreshing!

  11. Ahhhh, I was so excited that you went to Urban Pantry, but then I cried inside because you left before dessert! Urban Pantry is one of my top go-to places for dessert in Canberra, and I've been dreaming of their maple syrup tart with salted cashew gelato for weeks and weeks now!

    Still, so glad someone is admitting that the Canberra food scene can be awesome. Hurrah! :D

  12. Sorry Hannah! We left as the cafe had turned on the heater above it and we were melting...otherwise we would've stayed for the Pav. Next time. And we love the food in Canberra...it's fantabulous.


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