Ivy and the Fox cafe - Acton, Canberra


Ivy and the Fox is a new Canberra cafe located in Old Canberra House in ANU near the Crawford School of Public Policy and not far from the National Museum.

I was fortunate to be able to attend the grand opening launch party last night, where I had a chat to owner Alex Piris about Ivy and the Fox (Thanks to Jason Perelson for being my cameraman!)  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LoZyJ5UMa3o Alex will be bringing the magic of Fox and Bow to his new venture with co-owner John Stokes, who has owned the Ivy Cafe (previously at Old Canberra House) for the last five years. Initially, Ivy and the Fox will be serving the Crawford School on the week days. On the weekend, it will become a brunch spot where people can bring picnic blankets and sit outside, enjoying the lake view. Expansive shaded green lawns make for a perfect picnic spot, especially during sunset.

  A photo posted by Housh Fallah (@housh45) on

On Friday and Sunday afternoons, Ivy and the Fox will host some live music for after work drinks and Sunday sessions. Jack Billman will be kicking this off at the happy hour this Friday.

Jack Billman at the launch of @ivyandthefox_ #music #livemusic #newacton #foodie #launchparty

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A truly multi-function space, the gorgeous courtyard out the back would be a beautiful space for an intimate event like a wedding!

A photo posted by Wita • P (@wita.pspt) on

The Old Canberra House has been revamped into a sophisticated cafe/ bar with a minimalist colour scheme. Black accents and touches of greenery contrast beautifully against the simple white walls and gorgeous white window. It's an elegant and cosy bar that welcomes anyone and everyone. A feature wall is tucked in a corner, displaying a street-art mural by Steve Caddick.

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The finger food that was brought out at the cocktail party showcased some beautiful produce. My group hovered close to the kitchen entrance so we had the best chance of getting to the food as soon as they were brought out!

The prawn, wasabi and avocado mousse was a simple and fresh pairing of flavours. The peppered lamb crostini, mint and cashew pesto, beetroot relish was an interesting mix of flavours and textures. The perfectly pink lamb went so well with the crunch from the pesto and the sweetness from the beetroot relish. The whipped goats cheese and slow roasted heirloom tomato tartlets was a delightful interpretation of classic tomato and cheese flavours.


I also enjoyed the wagyu rump skewers with chimichurri (an Argentinian green sauce used for grilled meat). The meat was just so tender and the sauce was punchy and balanced out the richness of the meat.

My favourite canape of the night was the chilli crab and pea croquettes with kewpie mayonnaise and bonito flakes. I love putting this seasoning on my rice and it was a genius decision to add it here. The croquettes themselves had a wonderfully fluffy texture and an obvious crab flavour. It was so good that when I saw them come out again, I rudely abandoned my conversation with someone so I could go over to the waiter and grab one!! (luckily they came with me)



Ivy and the Fox really know how to throw a party! If you are looking for a secluded, elegant party venue with a view of the lake, I suggest you get in touch with Alex and his team!


As for the kind of food they will be serving as a cafe? It will be similar to Fox and Bow cafe, but with a few tweaks. Menu coming soon, so stay tuned!

Ivy and the Fox Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Low-Down on Ivy and the Fox Eatery type: Cafe and bar Address: Old Canberra House, Lennox Crossing, Acton (Australian National University) Open: Mon-Fri as a cafe from  7 Sep. Friday drinks and brunch on Sat-Sun coming soon. Phone: 0422 108 713 Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Ivyfoxfood

Are you on social media? Don’t miss my latest updates on the best food and drink in Canberra and beyond! You never know what hidden gem  might be just around the corner from you!

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Thanks to @housh45 @foodpornjournal @inexplicablewanderlust @wita.pspt and @outincanberra for their lovely Instagram photos!

Westside Acton Park - shipping container village


After our yum cha experience at AKIBA, Linda and I decided to go in search for dessert. I'd heard that the shipping container village was doing a soft launch on the Canberra Day weekend and we wanted to check out the creperie, news of which kept tantalising me.

Image credit: Linda Soo

When we got there, it looked as though the recreational area was ready to be used, but not all shops were open, including the creperie. The skateboard swings were pretty cool though!



A bit of digging on the Westside Acton Park website uncovered the following information I was after about the food and drink on offer:

Miss Vân’s Street Food (Vietnamese, Lao and Thai food)

Miss Vân’s is proud to offer food that has been cooked by three generations of our family, spanning over four different countries. Though focusing primarily on Vietnamese cuisine, we incorporate a heavy influence of Lao & Thai cooking flavours and dishes. Food that is commonly sold by street vendors and at hawker markets in Vietnam, Laos & Thailand; we present tasty, vibrant, fresh and healthy classic dishes.

A central menu consisting of phở (beef noodle soup), bánh mì (Vietnamese sandwich) & bún (Vermicelli noodle bowls), we will offer a weekly rotating “specials” menu, where one featured dish is sold in addition to the regular menu. These dishes will include items such as Vietnamese pork & lemongrass soup (Bún bò Huế), chicken congee (Cháo gà), Vietnamese chicken rice, sticky rice & grilled chicken, pad thai, springrolls & stuffed chicken wings etc.

Beverages will include Vietnamese iced coffee, homemade soya bean milk infused with pandan leaf & ginger, young coconut juice, along with the standard fare of soft drinks.

La Crepe (French Creperie)

La Crepe is the creation of Parisien, Franck Leonhardt, whose connection with Australia commenced after a chance meeting with an Australian woman in the romantic city of Paris. It was love at first sight! They got married, lived in Paris for twelve years and relocated to Canberra in 2012 with their two sons.

Franck will be recreating the delicious sweet and savory crepes from his childhood at the exciting new Westside Acton Park precinct.

O' So Smoothie (smoothie bar)

O‘ So Smoothie will predominantly be a smoothie kiosk which will also offer the O’ So Smoothie specialty muesli. We have developed a menu which caters to the dietary requirements of dairy-free and gluten intolerant people, being a health focused café.

The menu includes a range of rich and creamy to light and refreshing smoothies. There will be everyday smoothies and a specials board which will change weekly. We will have low-carb options for those who wish to watch their sugar intake and high protein and energy shakes for those looking to power through the day. All smoothies will be made from fresh and healthy ingredients sourced and bought locally where possible.

Damn Fine Roasters (Canberra's first drive-thru coffee shop)

Damn Fine Roasters is a coffee roasting business with its roots and family heritage originating from Italy. It’s unique blend is Southern Italian, a family recipe which will leave you with the hypnotising aroma of this fine blend of fresh coffee.

Along with selling fresh coffee, they also offer hot herbal teas, ice cold herbal teas, Italian ice cream, and a new product from Italy called Crema Caffe.

What is unique and sets Damn Fine Roasters apart, is that it will be the first drive thru coffee shop in Canberra, strategically positioned at Westside Acton Park to be able to operate from dusk till dawn.

Aviary (rooftop bar)

This ground-breaking rooftop bar is Canberra’s first sky high saloon, the perfect place to drink in views of the city skyline while you, well, drink in! The entire structure has been designed from the ground up (literally!) with custom furniture made from recycled wooden pallets complementing the ecological feel of the garden bar.

The panoramic windows provide spectacular views of Black Mountain Tower, the National Galley, Parliament House and many of Canberra’s most famous landmarks, all while you sample a bespoke menu of crisp cocktails, craft beers, side by side with both the best of local and imported beverages to suit everyone’s tastes.

Located on Barrine Drive in Acton, Westside Acton Park will officially open on Saturday 14 March 2015.

Want more information on the Canberra shipping container village? Check out the website and Facebook page.

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