The Loft Bar and Grill


The Loft Bar and Grill is a pop up restaurant situated above The Duxton in O'Connor, Canberra. Previously a cocktail bar, The Loft will run as a restaurant for 3 months while The Duxton undergoes renovations. Head Chef is Griff Pamment, formerly executive chef and culinary director of Luxe espresso, kitchen and bakery (in Sydney), culinary and creative director at Bill Granger's Bill's Restaurants (Sydney, London Japan). I was kindly invited* to attend the launch of The Loft’s pop up restaurant to sample the menu offerings. The produce has been selected with care, with the dishes using the freshest ingredients available. Creative flair can be seen in dishes like the incredible octopus salami from the Fish charcuterie board. After having octopus cooked so beautifully this way, I’m not sure why you would have it any other way! The use of the frozen persimmon in the dessert dish also worked well.

Elements of each dish are well balanced in terms of flavour and texture. I never would have thought grapes would go with chicken, but it did. Also, the chicken was so flavoursome - the seasoning had somehow penetrated the entire chicken breast, and the potato rosti just finished off the perfect dish. All potato rosti should taste like this. It should be made of grated potato and crispy on the outside (not just deep fried mash potato).

I liked that the amount of steak you get for each dish is given in brackets on the menu. So you know exactly how much you're getting for the price. The Dry aged angus sirloin on the bone with roast bone marrow was a delicious main dish that could have easily fed two people (with some sides).

The Loft at Duxton is a great venue for all occasions - from a romantic night for two, to a gathering for friends or family. The dishes can be easily shared or had individually.

Check out my photos from the launch night:










*I dined as a guest of The Loft Bar and Grill but all views are my own.

The Loft at Duxton Location: Corner of Macpherson St and Sargood St, O'Connor ACT 2602. Entrance is via the stairs in the DuxtonPhone: 02 6247 7330 Open: for lunch Wed - Sat 12pm - 3pm. Open for dinner Wed - Sat 6pm - Late with the bar open from 5pm. Website and menu:

Loft at Duxton on Urbanspoon

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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.

Are you on social media? Check out my latest updates on every dish that’s worth eating in Canberra and beyond! Facebook : /thefoodavenue Instagram: @thefoodavenue Twitter: @thefoodavenue