The narrow shopfront means a rather oddly shaped dining room.
The narrow shopfront means a rather oddly shaped dining room. Photo: Graham Tidy

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

The Canberra Times Top 20 for 2013: No. 14

A stayer on the top 20 list, Rubicon has the kind of loyal clientele that grows from a long-term owner-operated establishment. The friendly fine diner treads a relatively conventional path, with the emphasis on quality.

An assiette of Berkshire pork makes a great start, with a piece of belly with lime and chilli caramel, rolled and stuffed shin and a lovely crispy ear.

Golden beetroot, mushrooms, millet and parmesan cake.
Golden beetroot, mushrooms, millet and parmesan cake. Photo: Graham Tidy

A beef fillet, hung to age, is cooked perfectly to order, encircled in good bacon - and rounded out with creamy bearnaise and thyme-roasted kipfler potatoes. Beautifully crisped and tender barramundi is well teamed with a sprightly tomato and fennel sauce.

Tarte tatin (French upside down apple tart) is sensational, aromatic caramelised apple enriched with butterscotch creme anglaise and good vanilla ice-cream. Desserts in all are a strong point here, using seasonal fruits, booze and having a comfort bent.

A very impressive cheese list is a constant feature, with wine suggestions for each cheese.

More than 300 offerings grace the tome that is the Rubicon wine list, one of the best lists in town, with strong showings from home and abroad and dozens of half bottles. All dishes have suggested matching wines, and the matches are intelligent. Glassware, too, is up to the wine.

Service is friendly and well-informed, but a little inconsistent on some occasions.

The narrow shopfront at the Griffith shops means a rather oddly shaped dining room, with a small space in the front and a narrow hallway leading down to a larger space at the rear that is pleasantly furnished, if not excitingly. There are white tablecloths, comfortable chairs and little background noise.

Rubicon is a well-run local fine-dining restaurant, one that provides mostly consistent, high-quality food with terrific wine options, in formal but relaxed surrounds. As such, it is a perfect choice for a celebration dinner.