Situated in the Burberry Hotel complex in Barton.PROFILED BY DE GROOTS MEDIA
The timely addition of Realm to the Canberra hotel scene was well-matched with the introduction of Anthony Fullerton leading the kitchen of Konoba, Canberra’s dining treat. With an ample outdoor area softening the imposing mass of the Hotel Realm, Konoba’s wide glass doors beckon invitingly. Inside, the dark ceiling and bar are offset by the use of light natural timbers for the floor and seats, and a racy pattern for the upholstered banquettes. The idea is well-done, if unoriginal, and the large open space of the dining room can get noisy as the evening wears on. In fact, this is a most atypical hotel restaurant – you’d be hard pressed to actually find a tourist, as Canberra’s trendy set descends regularly on Friday and Saturday nights.
Konoba is certainly a place to see and be seen; it is also a place to dine exquisitely. The chef’s personal mantra is “sourcing the highest quality ingredients to deliver the finest product”. This is amply obvious from the menu. Konoba does not do things by halves. For example, an opulent start to dinner is the house charcuterie plate where everything (even the grissini) is made in the kitchen. The menu combines traditional and modern Mediterranean cuisines with class. A good example would be the duck confit with braised cabbage, pancetta and Puy lentils. However, those wishing for a little more, will not be disappointed by Konoba’s grill, featuring such delights as whole South Australian tiger prawns, or Tajima 9+ Wagyu beef. If you still have room, tuck into a frozen nougat sandwich (between slices of chocolate shortbread), or share the excellent international cheese plate. As Konoba begins to make a name for itself, it’s best to get in early, before the politicians discover it.