Monster Kitchen and Bar

I have a mate in town from Darwin. We worked together when I was living in the Top End. He’s in Canberra to spend a couple of weeks doing course work at the Australian National University. We’d originally agreed to meet for a meal on Tuesday night but I was feeling crook with dizziness and nausea. I hope it wasn’t the Dagwood super dog from the weekend at The Ekka in Brisbane. I felt better yesterday so we agreed to have dinner at Monster Kitchen and Bar in Hotel-Hotel in the Nishi building in Acton.

It was freezing outside so it was good to be inside and sitting down. The restaurant was reasonably busy for a Wednesday night. Our waiter was friendly and helpful. He handed us menus and I noticed mine had grease marks on it. Happy with water we dispensed with the wine list.

The menu for the evening meals consists of some small plates and larger sharing plates. A lot of the dishes were non-meat and our waiter recommended for two people three sharing dishes would be about right. There were only three meat dishes on the menu so it was pretty easy to assume we would go pig, lamb and beef. Fortunately there were also some specials which sounded okay. There was a Wagyu beef dish from the specials so we subbed out the short rib from the menu with the with Wagyu flank steak special.

It seemed to take an age for our food to arrive. The dishes come one at a time and we started with the pig cheeks. My first reaction was why suggest sharing dishes for two people and have three pieces of meat on the plate. For two people either have two lumps of flesh or even better four. Three means we have to negotiate cutting a piece. When blokes are hungry you don’t want to negotiate cutting a piece of meat.

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Fortunately the pig cheeks were delicious. It was like eating pure fat. The crackling was also pretty good. Full marks from me.

Twice cooked pigs cheek, pigs cheek, burnt eggplant, hoi sin, scallop floss, Sichuan vinaigrette vinaigrette
Twice cooked pigs cheek, pigs cheek, burnt eggplant, hoi sin, scallop floss, Sichuan vinaigrette vinaigrette

The second dish to come out was the Wagyu flank steak with stuff. I was a little disappointed with this. The Wagyu I’ve eaten from Chifley’s Bar and Grill and Wagyu I’ve cooked myself has been melt in my mouth amazing. This was a little tough. Again, three pieces of meat!!!

Wagyu flank steak
Wagyu flank steak

The third dish was the lamb shank. This was good. I really liked this. The meat was cooked just right. It had great flavour and the yoghurt went so well with it.

Pulled lamb shoulder, lamb shoulder, pistachio, yoghurt, vine leaf, pomegranate, brik
Pulled lamb shoulder, lamb shoulder, pistachio, yoghurt, vine leaf, pomegranate, brik

We elected not to eat dessert and have coffee instead. The damage was just over a hundred bucks.

On balance it was a pretty good meal. I’d happily eat there again and I’d recommend it to visitors and locals alike.

So what else have I been eating over the last couple of days? I know you want to know.

Humpday Wednesday breakfast. Crumpets with Buderim Ginger Factory ginger marmalade and golden syrup.
Humpday Wednesday breakfast. Crumpets with Buderim Ginger Factory ginger marmalade and golden syrup.
Headache snack
Headache snack
Chocolate chip chocolate cupcake
Chocolate chip chocolate cupcake
Thursday breakfast. Tinned spaghetti on an English muffin.
Thursday breakfast. Tinned spaghetti on an English muffin.
Thursday lunch. Berry yoghurt cup.
Thursday lunch. Berry yoghurt cup.
Thursday dinner. Red coconut chicken curry with quinoa rice and mushrooms.
Thursday dinner. Red coconut chicken curry with quinoa rice and mushrooms.

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5 Responses

    1. Thanks Caroline. The food was fine. I agree, like but not love. I too was surprised to see it placed as number one. I mustn’t be ‘with it’.

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