Believe the hype - Canberra is all grown up and come into its own.
The New Acton precinct is not trying to be something it isn'. It isn't trying to be like Melbourne. It isn't trying to be like Sydney. It is just being like the Canberra of now. Which, if I may say so, is flipping awesome.
Monster, at Hotel Hotel, rounds it all out. Interesting menu, great buzz and service. Background music? Amazing. Siouxsie and the Banshees, Dinosaur Jr, REM.
And the food. There is a certain style that others have tried to replicate in Canberra, but Sean McConnell is all over it. His technique, imagination and execution is streets ahead of others in the game. Interesting plates of food for sharing. Some lean towards the middle east, some inspired by the Japanese.
Stand out? The eggplant and miso, pickled vegetables and the salted caramel ice-cream. Oh, and the yabbie jaffle (but I didn't want to state the obvious).
Go! And invite me.