Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Shorty's Canberra

Location: 29 Garema Place, Canberra City
Link: www.facebook.com/pages/Shortys-Canberra/448326301906294?fref=ts
Cuisine: Pub, Modern Australian, Fusion

Recently opened, Shorty's is a welcome and refreshing addition to the cluster of restaurants in Civic. Unlike its neighbouring cafes with standard menus and the 'same old stuff', Shorty's is a trendy pub with an exciting menu, an extensive drinks list and just a general 'feel-good' vibe about it. 

I've been so impressed I've been twice in 3 days (and I usually don't visit the same restaurant more than once a week if I can help it)!

My first visit was a casual Sunday lunch. The specials board caught my eye and after a quick skim of the menu, I opted for the soft shell crab sanga. I'm pretty sure the menu didn't say it came with chips and aioli, so when the paddle board arrived with a crusty bread roll and a generous pile of crinkle cut chips with aioli, I was already impressed.

soft-shell crab sanga with crinkle cut chips and aioli
The 'sanga' was a brilliant modern take on the traditional Vietnamese banh mi. Instead of a traditional pork filling, the crusty bread roll was filled with deep fried soft-shell crab and avocado replaced the pate. And in line with tradition, the usual suspects of pickled carrots, chilli and coriander were all present. The crab was crispy and well seasoned, the avocado was smooth and creamy and offset both the fried crab and the pickled carrots beautifully. I hope this one gets added to the regular menu, because it's definitely a hit.

There's always something about crinkle cut chips that make them taste better than straight cut chips, and in this case the crinkle cut helped them hold onto 'shorty's seasoning'. I'm not quite sure what went into it, but was amazing.

Dropped in for lunch again today with some colleagues with high expectations since I had talked the place up. Shorty's didn't disappoint and the colleagues were definitely impressed. 

pulled BBQ pork burger with coleslaw & sweet mayonnaise
This time I went for the pulled BBQ pork burger. A bit of a messy eat, but definitely worth the mess. The pork was soft, tender and juicy, and smothered in a sweet and sticky BBQ sauce. The richness of the pork and the sauce was nicely balanced with a fresh crunchy coleslaw and sweet and tangy mayo.

Again, the crinkle cut chips were the perfect accompaniment. And they have James Squire apple cider on tap!

Inside can a little loud so can be difficult for conversations, but if the weather is good, opt for a table on the deck. It's a little quieter, and you can sit back and enjoy the fresh air and whatever you have chosen to entertain your taste buds with.

You don't get all that many great places in Canberra, and Shorty's is definitely a must visit for foodies and non-foodies alike (and I'll definitely be going back).

Overall Impression: 9.5/10
Shorty's on Urbanspoon


Eileen said...

Great review! Being a huge fan of banh mi, I'd be really keen to check out their soft shell crab sanga! I hope they include it on their regular menu too, it's hard to find banh mi in civic...


Hazel W said...

Great Food in this Restaurant. I visited twice and I would love to visit this Restaurant anytime....!!!