In a cool new building in a cool part of town, houses a cool new restaurant from a smart young team. When eightysix opened in early 2013, Canberra quickly converged on this share-plates, open-counter kitchen diner, with engagingly casual front-of-housing by co-owner Sean Royle. High-ceilinged and warehousey with a pounding music selection, banquettes and scrawled-on blackboards, it has a style that’s easy to like. And the food goes with the program. ‘Bag salmon’ (brined and sous-vide’d with apple cider vinegar and fennel seeds) makes a very pretty plate with mash, pickled fennel strips and teeny beetroots. A slightly too salty but classic tartare (capers, anchovies, radish, cornichons, Tabasco, parsley and onion) is scooped up with prawn crackers. There’s a signature duck confit salad, a cute goat’s cheese and beetroot take on the cheese course and a pretty amazing chocolate cupcake from nearby Sweet Bones bakery. Wines are local, the bread’s Autolyse from Braddon and the plates are Bison. An exercise in Canberra cool? Indeed.
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