Pulp Kitchen: Best Canberra restaurants 2015

Kirsten Lawson
Confit duck croquettes at Pulp Kitchen.
Confit duck croquettes at Pulp Kitchen. Photo: Graham Tidy

Pulp Kitchen is the place you go for good Euro bistro food in super relaxed surrounds. Somehow, it manages to be the place you can shuffle up to in your home gear for Friday night tea and also a place where you can glam up a little bit and head for a celebratory dinner.

It seems to achieve this dual feat by virtue of a kind of effortless grunge in the set up, polished concrete floors, a whole-wall blackboard, red brick on another wall, low lighting with candles on the tables, a small dining space and a long bar where the chefs are at work, and loos in the alley. 

Pulp is so relaxed it doesn't trouble you with a formal menu, but combines entrees and mains into one list that you can order as small or large dishes, at very good prices. For us, the simple, gutsy dishes with only a few elements are always best here - a pile of salty little whitebait with aioli as a starting snack, duck liver pate with sourdough, polenta with mushrooms and parmesan, even beef tenderloins with fries and bearnaise of you're in the mood for Friday night steak and chips. 

The wine list aims for inexpensive and interesting, gutsy and country-style wines from Australia and France. Owner Daniel Giordani is on the floor and keeps a close eye on a restaurant that he has made his own.

1 Wakefield Gardens, Ainslie, 6257 4334, pulp-kitchen.com.au