Dining / In for a Pheast of a time

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The "Big Pheast Burger"... for sharing. Photo by Gary Schafer
The “Big Pheast Burger”… for sharing. Photo by Gary Schafer
FIRST, get the spelling correct. If you’re searching online for “Feast” you might not stumble across this new place, operating from a prime corner position in Manuka.

That’s because it’s actually called “Pheast”.

The corner of Franklin and Furneaux Streets has seen a fair few hospitality places come and go over recent years and many locals are crossing their fingers that things will settle down now that new owners have taken over.

These days Pheast is run by the same experienced folk who run the Capital Golf Club.

Food aside for a moment… Pheast focuses on small-venue live music, with a mix of DJs, local bands and karaoke. No cover charge and on occasions there are “big band” nights, including six-piece Vendetta that recently rocked the house. Love lazy Sunday afternoons in a bit of sunshine grooving to some tunes? Give the place a go.

Pheast describes itself as a restaurant and bar. On the bar note… several times the wine I’ve asked for hasn’t been available. A bit frustrating but perhaps the place is still settling in on this front.

On the food note… portions are generous. Tapas includes garlic prawns and herb skewers ($17), lemon pepper calamari ($15), nachos ($13 to $16), vegetarian spring rolls ($13) and good old chips or wedges ($9 or $13).

The list of mains is hefty and covers the usual suspects such as pizza, pasta and burgers. It was the burgers we went for on a recent visit.

They are BIG, especially the “Big Pheast Burger” ($18), which was massive enough to share between two people. This is a minced beef patty (the menu says “A grade”), with a tangy barbecue sauce, mayo, crispy bacon, tomato, beetroot, fried egg, lettuce, cheddar cheese and chips. Not exactly something your doctor would suggest is good for your health, but every once in a while we all believe we deserve “a naughty treat”.

The chargrill section of the menu tops off at the Angus Scotch fillet (300 grams and a prime cut) for $32. I’d be keen to tuck into the slow-braised pork ribs with authentic Texas flavours although the “full sized” description and the price tag of $42 makes me wonder what I’d be getting into. Perhaps this is a dish to share, too?

Pheast offers four options for kids, all a reasonable $10. Good on them. It’s a great family place.

Not too much has changed with the décor since Charlie Black was operating on the site. As I say, it’s a fab position (always fun to watch the weddings at the church on the opposite side of the street), but it needs a bit more tender loving care if the décor is to make a noticeable difference to diners.


Pheast, Manuka, open breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days. Times vary. Call 6239 7887.


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Wendy Johnson
Wendy Johnson: Food reviewer for Canberra CityNews magazine since 2004, covering stories for true foodies to digest.

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