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Although it’s on the other side of the world to France, Canberra is home to some of the finest French restaurants and best dining spots in the world. Here are 10 of the very best French dining establishments to be found in the Australian capital.
Head chef Clément Chauvin cooks up a top class menu of delectable French dishes at Les Bistronomes, many of which are infused with the fantastic flavors of French truffles and foie gras. The elegant yet pleasantly casual ambiance amplifies the exquisite quality of the food. Their menu is bursting with delicious traditional French dishes like bouillabaisse, steak tartare, and crème brûlée. The restaurant’s owner, Abel, is also the house sommelier and will help guide you through the subtle notes and flavors of each wine on the lengthy list.
Having been awarded Best ACT Restaurant of the Year 2015, the Sage Dining Rooms at the Gorman House Art Center should be at the top of your list when visiting the capital. Lead by head chef Damien Bravender, who previously worked under Michelin-starred chef Pierre Kaufmann at London’s Royal Opera House Balconies Restaurant, this bistro takes French cuisine to a new level. Enter the restaurant through the Mint Garden Bar, a beautiful french-style courtyard, and take in the breathtaking interior of timber and glass. Their menu changes frequently, keeping everything constantly fresh and a la mode.
As the name suggests, this restaurant is sat right on the water’s edge of lake Burley Griffin, with magnificent views across the water and also down the famous Anzac Parade. Located by the National Portrait Gallery and the old parliament building, Water’s Edge is perfectly positioned, and it is a very popular venue for weddings. Run by top European chef James Mussillon, this restaurant serves up the epitome of fine dining. Choose from their a la carte menu or opt for the degustation, and opt for delicious dishes like Mandagery Creek venison, perfectly cooked Atlantic salmon, and white chocolate panacotta.
Pulp Kitchen infuses traditional French dining with an urban twist. Tucked away in Wakefield Garden, this vibrant, easy-going European brasserie is the perfect place for dinner. If you’re visiting in summer, we recommend sitting on their outdoor terrace where you can enjoy the sun setting over the capital. Although their menu is small, it packs a delectable punch, with dishes such as roasted veal loin and dark chocolate and hazelnut pavé.
Located on the top of Red Hill Lookout, next to its sibling restaurant On Red, the views from Little Brother are second to none. Dine here and watch the sun set over the Australian capital, and watch the city lights sparkle once night falls. Many of the tables are set up next to ledges which run alongside the vast windows of the restaurant, so as to maximize your viewing experience. In contrast to the highly sophisticated level of dining at On Red, at Little Brother you will experience a more casual atmosphere and a fresher, more playful approach to food. Although not an authentic French restaurant, this place serves up a fantastic menu that is packed with French flavors. Begin your meal by ordering a starter of rillettes de Perigord, followed by a beef and red wine ragu, and a delicious orange, thyme and pink peppercorn panacotta.
This top class restaurant, situated in the heart of the city near the St George building, is the embodiment of class and elegance. Courgette offers up a refined yet relaxed ambiance to its diners, set in soft, candle-lit interiors. Their menu is select, but still full of exciting dishes. Try the melt-in-the-mouth prawn, yellow fin tuna and avocado starter, followed by the two quails and pork belly. Then move on to a delicious feast of black angus beef and Dijon mash, finishing with the best hazelnut crusted white chocolate mousse you’ve ever tasted.