18 Barker St Griffith, ACT 2603
|Opening hours||Mon-Sat 6pm-late|
|Features||Accepts bookings, Degustation, Events, Groups, Licensed, Wheelchair access|
|Prices||Expensive (mains over $40)|
|Payments||eftpos, AMEX, Visa, Mastercard|
|Phone||02 6260 8666|
Hang on, shouldn't fine dining be stiff and poncy, all tablecloths and starch? Walking into the split-level hubbub of diners at Aubergine, you'd think you were in a buzzy bistro instead of such a celebrated restaurant. Until you crunch into a feather-light beetroot crisp, that is, or pick up the frankly awesome wine list. A whip-smart entree combines veal tartare with parsnip, sweetbreads, a touch of bitter cocoa and crisp, soft-yolked quail egg; while another of tommy ruff fillets is an artful scattering of grilled octopus, globe artichoke and jamon. Everyone gets plate envy when a rib-eye of beef turns up, with snow-white waves of smoked potato puree and bone marrow vinaigrette. And how good to see quince on a menu, as a spiced terrine with creamy curd, oatmeal biscuit and immaculate fig-leaf ice-cream. Classy, flavour-first food and a cheery lack of pretension make this not just a big night out but a fun night out, too. BYO Monday to Thursday.