Fast service, a tasty, simple menu and a central location – every successful business lunch should start with these criteria. Whether it’s a business pitch, a meet and greet or client relationship management, choosing a location that’s not too noisy, not too complicated and not too busy is high on the priority list. Somewhere that’s fancy but not too fine dining so you can impress without spending too much. Forget too creative, forget chopsticks and ensure there’s a decent wine list in case the afternoon calls for it. Lunching for business is a big deal, so the venue is a bit decision.
Canberra is reputed to have more excellent restaurants per capita than any other city in Australia, so finding good food isn’t difficult. Recent trends in deconstructed dining, modern Asian and share platters however, help to narrow the options when looking for business-suitable venues. Whether you’re in town for a conference, here reporting on politics, or sealing a deal at the region’s head office, here are our pick of Canberra’s best restaurant venues for an impressive power lunch.
Modern Australian cuisine with a hint of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean, Pomegranate’s menu is simple yet interesting, making it a reliable option for a power lunch. Canberra chef Erkin Esen – previously of Ottoman Cuisine in Barton – and his wife Ziba are at the helm, crafting a menu focused on seasonal produce in a sophisticated yet pared back setting.
31 Giles Street, Kingston
This is unmistakably fine dining, yet done simply, in the heart of the Canberra CBD. With one hat and chef James Mussillon at the helm, the menu is good and the hospitality is excellent. You won’t be waving arms to get the waiter’s attention here, nor will you be perplexed by complicated dishes on the menu. On the pricier end, it’s a fixed cost with up to four courses available, making Courgette ideal if you want to impress a big client or looking for a longer lunch paired with excellent wine.
54 Marcus Clarke Street, Canberra
The National Press Club restaurant, this establishment is the place to wine and dine for businesspeople, journalists and politicians alike. Open for lunch and dinner Monday to Friday this is the ultimate business meeting venue, serving contemporary Australian cuisine. The buzzing Press Club location adds a pleasantly professional yet inspired flair to the ambience, too.
National Press Club of Australia, 16 National Circuit, Barton
Italian and Sons
Amongst the ever-lively strip of cafes, restaurants and retail on Lonsdale Street in Braddon, Italian and Sons is a more relaxed venue for a business lunch away from the office-worker venues of the CBD yet still within a stone’s throw of the office. Classic Italian fare that’s uncomplicated and recognisable paired with excellent Italian and Australian wines.
7 Lonsdale Street, Braddon
This one is slightly different to the rest on this list. Set inside the stylish East Hotel in Kingston, Muse is a restaurant, wine bar and literary salon in one. Thanks to its laid back atmosphere and smart but no-fuss menu, Muse is ideal for a simple business lunch, or a lunch-turned long afternoon session. The literary theme, with an event calendar including talks by some of Australia’s top writers, artists and politicians also provides an intellectual conversation starter.
EAST Hotel, Cnr Canberra Avenue and Giles Street, Kingston