Eightysix: Best Canberra restaurants 2015

Natasha Rudra
Duck buns from Eightysix, Braddon.
Duck buns from Eightysix, Braddon. Photo: Supplied

Eightysix made a big splash on Lonsdale Street when it first emerged on the restaurant scene a couple years ago but it's settled down mightily and we love Gus Armstrong and his team for it. 

Glamorously dark and noisy, it's a place to see and be seen. Sit at the bar and watch the action behind the pass with a drink or take one of the tables outside on the corner for long summer dinners. Standout dishes remain the black chicken - supremely tender, spicy, sweet and smoky all at once, matched with a crisply dressed slaw and a spritz of lemon - and that "ghetto beef", juicy rare meat topped with dabs of salsa verde and parmesan.

Pretzel-topped banoffee pie.
Pretzel-topped banoffee pie. Photo: Jeffrey Chan

In the past year there have been several visits from celebrity friend and chef Christine Manfield, who whipped up dinners made entirely of desserts last summer and then dropped by again to do modern Asian dishes in July. (She's here for a third time to do a pop up event featuring Indian dishes this week).

Service has refined greatly since the brash early days and is cheerful and energetic without being overwhelming. And you can't leave without a serve of the banoffee pie crowned with pretzels and luscious banana and creamy custard. 

Corner of Elouera and Lonsdale streets, Braddon, 6161 8686, eightysix.com.au