Dining reviewer WENDY JOHNSON reveals her list of Canberra’s top five restaurants for 2017.
Photos by ANDREW FINCH
THE massive, black, floating shelves at Teddy Picker’s, one of Campbell’s newest eateries, are loaded with books, jars full of legumes, pickles, chutneys and jams, as well as knick-knacks placed here and there. Eccentric, but by design.
The shelf construction is a main feature of the fit out. I liked the spacious feel that is Teddy Picker’s and the range of seating options, with some common tables and also single, square, white tables that can easily be configured to accommodate large groups. The massive windows at the front let the indoors in and the minimalist colour palette is soothing. The outdoor dining area is spacious and not at all crowded.
The menu is “minimalist”, too, meaning the all-day breakfast and lunch options are compact and fit neatly on to one page.
Kickstart your day with just toast ($7) and coffee or a brekky roll ($15 and perked up with pickled jalapenos). Or choose from options such as avocado with assorted sprouts, citrus, salt and two slices of rye ($13.90). Chances are, if you order the avo, you’ll want to spice it up by selecting some sides, such as $1.50 for butter (a must if you don’t like dry toast), an egg ($2 each), Christmas ham ($4), Pialligo bacon ($5) or smoked fish ($6). If creating your own dish makes you happy, then you’ll be happy at Teddy Picker’s. I wasn’t fussed ‘cause I was there for lunch.
I settled in, hauled out my computer to get some work done and was immediately greeted by a wait staff asking if I wanted the password for the free wifi. Nice one.
For lunch you can chow down on tacos ($17.90), a burger with two beef patties ($18.50), roast eggplant and fetta ($17.50) or pulled pork salad ($17.50), which is what I settled on.
The salad arrived in a large bowl and looked like it had literally been thrown together. Heaps of pork (subtly spiced), heaps of grated cabbage and carrots, a lonely few slices of preserved stone fruit, loads of peanuts and soy maple dressing. It was a generous portion, but I struggled to work out the combo of tastes. It didn’t pack a punch in any way and I quickly tired of it. Instead, I concentrated on my Red Brick Espresso coffee, which was beautifully presented, just the right temperature and super smooth. Go, Teddy…
Vegetarians, vegans and those wanting gluten-free dishes are well taken care of. And Teddy Picker’s also has options for kids from $4.
Teddy Picker’s doesn’t take reservations. It isn’t licensed (BYO only). It charges 10 per cent surcharge on Sundays and 15 per cent on public holidays, with the promise that the moola goes to the “awesome staff”.