Confit duck with goat's cheese, pickled carrot and plum salsa at Rubicon.
Confit duck with goat's cheese, pickled carrot and plum salsa at Rubicon. Photo: Richard Briggs

6A Barker St Griffith, ACT 2603

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Opening hours Mon-Fri noon-2pm; Mon-Sat from 6pm
Features Vegetarian friendly, Licensed, BYO, Accepts bookings, Degustation, Gluten-free options
Prices Expensive (mains over $40)
Chef Owen Kenyon and Evan Speed
Seats 60
Payments eftpos, AMEX, Cash, Visa, Mastercard
Phone 02 6295 9919

Canberra Times Top 20 for 2012

For more than decade, Rubicon owners Owen and Jane Kenyon have run a consistent, high-quality fine diner with an exemplary wine list.

More than 300 carefully chosen wines make a serious read to begin the evening – with matches suggested for all dishes. You could do worse than start with the suggested pairing of NV Gosset Brut Excellence Champagne and Sydney rock oysters with rice wine, ginger and lime dressing.

An assiette of Berkshire pork (pork done three ways) is a well-balanced selection of good pork, a piece of belly with lime and chilli caramel, rolled shin stuffed with a little boudin blanc (French white chicken and pork sausage) and a lovely crispy ear. A light herb salad is a nice counterpoint.

Service is friendly, and mostly well-informed, if sometimes a little inconsistent, chairs are comfortable, tablecloths and napkins are starched and the noise levels are deliciously low. A traditional fillet of beef is well flavoured, wrapped in good bacon, and served with bearnaise, and thyme-roasted kipfler potatoes. Barramundi is beautifully crisped and flakes nicely under the fork, and works well with a sprightly tomato and fennel sauce. A large side of green beans is great with white anchovy on top, and adds balance to both mains.

Vegetarians get more than a look in here, with four dishes, available as entree or main, including mushroom ravioli, roasted gnocchi and stuffed zucchini flowers. A very impressive range of nine cheeses, from France, Spain and Italy, all have comprehensive notes, and make a good end point to a very pleasant meal.

Or you can choose a classic dessert – creme brulee, panacotta, dark chocolate pudding, or French upside-down apple tart. The tarte tatin is full of aromatic soft apple, enriched with butterscotch creme anglaise and good vanilla ice-cream.

Rubicon provides an intimate and relatively traditional fine-dining experience, with reliable food and a magnificent wine list.

How we score: Food and Wine Annual Top 20