Morsels: Rishi Desai's book, BentSpoke, Rockpool visit

Natasha Rudra
Owners of BentSpoke Brewery in Braddon, Tracy Margrain, and Richard Watkins, celebrate their opening.
Owners of BentSpoke Brewery in Braddon, Tracy Margrain, and Richard Watkins, celebrate their opening. Photo: Rohan Thomson

Hopscotch coming
We've already brought you the news about Hopscotch, the new bar at 5 Lonsdale Street opening in July but our Canberra Times magazine In the City has brought us more details. Hopscotch will focus on whisky and beers with wood-fired meat – an Argentinian parillada barbecue will be the main attraction there. It's owned by Brian Smith and Nick Parkinson.

Rishi's new book
Before Tash Shan was carving it up on our TV screens, Rishi Desai was flying the flag for Canberra on MasterChef (well, okay, for Queanbeyan, but he's definitely one of us, particularly now that Canberra is officially cool as per the New York Times). The MasterChef 2013 alumni and former public servant has now got his own book deal. Modern Indian features more than 70 recipes from Desai's kitchen and takes you through the components of a contemporary Indian dinner from pickles and spice mixes to curries, roast meats, vegetarian course and desserts. It's out now from New Holland Books. $45.

Inside BentSpoke
By now you'll know that BentSpoke is open – we've been tweeting it, and had a full story and pictures up once the doors were open. Chris Shanahan has already had a first look at two of the six new drops on tap – the Barley Griffin, which has hints of oregano, and the Adam's Cider. He reckons the Barley Griffin has the stunning freshness that only comes straight from the brewery tank and has rich malt with finely judged hop flavours. Stay tuned for his verdict on the rest of the new beers. We were also interested in the upstairs eatery which has a spare menu of burgers, meat on the grill with sides and salads, cheese boards and chicken wings. Most intriguing is the vegetarian Spent Grain Burger ($16), which features leftover mash and grain from the brewing process. The grain is also used to crust the chips and the chicken wings. Grazing plates are available 11am-10pm and the grill is available 12pm-3pm and 6pm-9pm. Corner of Mort and Elouera Street in Braddon.

Phoenix Pub still closed
The Phoenix on East Row in Civic will postpone its reopening until July. The pub has been closed since a devastating fire in February.

Rockpool checks out Canberra
The wine team from Neil Perry's Rockpool took a road trip down the Hume Highway in May to check out Canberra's wineries a little while ago and have reported back with findings. They singled out Clonakilla's syrah (intensely floral and already showing "the hallmarks of greatness") and the 2012 Ravensworth riesling, from our columnist and food writer Bryan Martin, among the standout wines, alongside Collector's Lamp Lit marsanne/rousanne/viognier 2013, Nick O'Leary's White Rocks riesling and the Eden Road shiraz.

Raw food workshop
Learn to make a raw food banquet on June 13. You'll discover how to make five dishes – a salsa and avocado dip, a soup, a winter salad, nut loaf with barbecue tomato sauce and a fruit and chia parfait with cashew cream. And then there's a movie afterwards. It's organised by Organic Energy at Griffith shops, Grande's Cafe, Sweet Bones Bakery and Principles of Health. It runs from 5.45pm-9pm on Friday June 13 and tickets are $75 or $65 each if you book two or more tickets. See organicenergycanberra.com.au.

Walt and Burley
Another much anticipated opening on the Kingston Foreshore is the new Walt and Burley bar which is set to open its doors late this week if everything goes to plan. It's got a particularly good spot looking out over the lake and it will be quite a sight in the warmer months. Owner Guy Randell tells us the bar is designed with a Scandinavian or Canadian lakehouse aesthetic – a very different look to most of the new bars in Canberra. "We wanted it to be something different that suited the setting, we really want it to become an iconic location," he says. "Our view is the best in Canberra and the setting is perfect."  There'll be brunches on the weekend and the menu will be sourced from local produce wherever possible. Another one to watch.