15.5/20

Ox Eatery

Corner Canberra Avenue and Giles Street, Kingston, ACT

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Pork from the Ox Eatery rotisserie.
Pork from the Ox Eatery rotisserie. Photo: Melissa Adams

Kirsten Lawson

Canberra Times Top 20 for 2012

Ox Eatery is the kind of easy, excellent place that’s certain to establish itself as a firm favourite in the city. The feel is casual, the service is good, the wine is exciting and the food hits precisely the right note.

Owner Chris Hansen brought in a team of well-credentialed chefs from outside Canberra for Ox, and the substantial catering operation alongside, since Ox does food for the East Hotel in which it is housed.

Chicken on the rotisserie at Ox.
Chicken on the rotisserie at Ox. Photo: Melissa Adams

He bought a hefty rotisserie oven, which has pride of place, so you can watch the meat slowly turn. And there’s no question meat is the focus – lovely tender hunks of goat meat, with a well-dressed salad and a pile of roast vegetables alongside; or hunks of chicken, or whatever else happens to be turning on the night.

Bar snacks are also great – four mini hold-in-the-hand burgers piled with aoli; bone marrow on toast; duck buns (just as they sound, great little hand-held packets of duck meat. Dessert is not neglected, with the likes of fresh-made marshmallows flavoured with kiwifruit and passionfruit and homemade chocolates and butterscotch.

The wine list includes vertical clusters of some excellent aged Australian wines. The restaurant is small and the tables are booth-style. You wouldn’t call it intimate, since the feel is quite open, but it’s a pleasant place to spend a while. At the other end of the room is a bar, with high seating around small tables, and a bar menu that makes a specialty of gins and whiskies.

How we score: Food and Wine Annual Top 20

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Corner Canberra Avenue and Giles Street, Kingston, ACT

  • Cuisine - Contemporary, Modern Australian
  • Features - Accepts bookings, Bar, Business lunch, Licensed, Private dining, Wheelchair access
  • Chef(s) - Imrahil Leeder
  • Owners - Chris Hansen
  • Opening Hours - Lunch and dinner Monday to Saturday, bar food till late
  • Author - Kirsten Lawson
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