Wander through the ground floor of Hotel Hotel in Canberra, and you’ll be hard pressed to find where the lobby ends and Monster Kitchen & Bar begins. The venue is spread across a vast space with an eclectic design and will leave you in awe.
As its name implies, Monster Kitchen & Bar is a restaurant and bar, serving hotel guests as well as visitors. Opposite the long bar, you’ll find tabletops with coloured patchwork. At the entrance to the Monster lounge lie bright coloured discs in clear tubes are reminiscent of a child’s play area before the space divides in half. To one side, there is casual seating around tables and on the other, plush lounges and a massive circular fireplace invites pre and post dinner cocktails.
The cocktail list has been devised for the Canberra palate to be in tune with the seasons and using flavours that complement Executive Chef Sean McConnell food offerings, Tal Thorne, Venue Manager explains. Seven classic cocktails are divided into before and after dinner. These include a spritz (from $14) with ruby grapefruit and Pimms Punch, Rhum Old Fashion with Rhum Barbancourt agricole rhum, Vieux Carré and the Monster Espresso Martini with 666 Butter Vodka. Seasonal cocktails ($18-$22) showcase the bar’s creativity such as the Lost Horizon, made with Westwinds The Sabre Gin, elderflower, fumé blanc and anise.
You’ll also find house made sodas, aperitifs, sherry and sake, a range of local and international beer and cider. An extensive wine list has a solid representation from the Canberra district.
Being a restaurant, bar food is available until 1am with tempting bites such as Claire de lune oysters and the signature Yabby Jaffles with horseradish and crème fraiche.
Monster Kitchen & Bar opens till 1 am and makes a change from the buzz of city venues at night. This is a bar that doesn’t feel like a hotel bar. Settle into one of the inviting lounges around the fireplace and order that Martini for two.
Photo Credit: Monster Kitchen & Bar, used with permission.