Malamay - Barton, Canberra - Malamay is the new - or newish - place from the people that brought you The Chairman and Yip. We were in a large group in a private room and had to have one of the set menu's. We all chose the $92.00 option which had (as listed on their web site) crab and manchego croquette with smoked portobello and squid ink; three chilli relish prawns with hand-made noodles; slow cooked apple, leek and beetroot with ginger chilli; white fish with mapo tofu; pork and prawn tortellini with cumin, paprika and chilli oil; wagyu beef flank in hot sichuan broth; BBQ lamb ribs with baby bell peppers; chocolate charcoal with yoghurt cream, pistachio and mandarin crumb. I'm not 100% sure we actually got all these options. The food was certainly excellent quality and well prepared and presented. The quantities could have been a bit larger though - many were still a bit peckish after the meal was over - I certainly was.
Sage - Canberra CBD: At here with a group recently and had a very nice meal. It was a limited three course menu where you choose from several options for each course. The food quality was great and well presented as well. The decor is pleasant - with an indoor/outdoor feel to it. It can get a bit warm inside though on a hot day if its crowded. This is a nice place to go for a good meal.
Playground Martini and Tapas Bar - Canberra CBD (on the mall): I joined a few friends for a drink here. They have an extensive cocktail list with some interesting options. Most cocktails are $16. They aren't huge but they do taste great. The decor is quirky here and its now spread out even further into the mall giving it a nice indoor/outdoor feel. The food has been praised by friends that have eaten here. I'll find out for myself soon though!
Turkish Pide House - Canberra CBD: Went with two friends and had the $31 banquet. Some banquets require four people but this one didn't. Wow - so much food! We couldn't eat it all. It just kept coming. Great dips, lovely pide (as you'd hope for based on their name) and tender meats. They do it in style here and yet seem to go unnoticed a bit. Quite surprising really considering the great quantities and quality of their food.
Smoque - Canberra CBD: Visited Smoque with a group of six as the place had been recommended. We were lucky enough to get a booking as it's a popular place. They have sittings from 6:00pm to 7:30pm then 7:30pm till 9:00pm then 9pm onwards. We were dining early so the 6pm time slot fitted well. Smoque is a meat place. If you like slow cooked tender meat that falls off the bone then this is for you. They also have share plates - big ones! Three of us shared a large meal - called the Hi-Five Platter. It consisted of pulled pork, pork ribs, brisket, half a chicken, beef rib and two sides of our choice. It was a meatfest that we couldn't finish - for $79.00. It does say on the menu that it serves one to four people. It would have to be a VERY hungry one person! Some in our group liked it more than others - but I think this sums the place up.