Avo on toast with bacon… dressed up with chunks of feta and cheery, colourful charred corn. Photo: Wendy Johnson

Food writer WENDY JOHNSON discovers a new place in Civic that’s offering a “food menu of refined classics, focusing on local produce”.

IT’S hard to miss the imposing statue of Andrew Inglis Clark at the new Constitution Place in Civic.

Wendy Johnson.

The co-author of the Australian Constitution stands proudly out front and is clearly visible from most seats at ARC, the latest food-coffee venture by Redbrick Coffee.

ARC is light, bright and modern. The interior is by Capezio Copeland and the furniture by Tom Skeehan. The gleaming white, and an oh-so-impressive, coffee machine is by La Marzocco.

The menu, says ARC, is a “food menu of refined classics, focusing on local produce”. And, of course, Redbrick’s carefully roasted, specialty coffee is available.

ARC’s menu starts with Three Mills sourdough, which can be toasted with house-made jam, peanut butter, Vegemite or honey for $8.50. Banana bread with maple syrup ($9.50), chia pudding ($14) and oven-baked granola ($16) are available all day as well.

We hopped on in for lunch on a weekend and my friend settled on the avo on toast ($18) with the creamy smashed avo piled on top of a thick slice of bread. It was dressed up with chunks of feta and cheery, colourful charred corn. On the side was creamed corn, for added interest and a different texture. It was a great combo of flavours and the dish looked delightful on the plate. 

My friend added Pialligo Estate Smokehouse bacon for $6. It was ordered crispy but didn’t arrive that way (sad face). Another option is to add a Hilltop egg for an extra $4.

I was torn between the full-of-goodness green bowl ($19), the oven-roasted pumpkin salad ($18) or the salmon rillettes ($21). The rillettes won and didn’t disappoint. This dish also looked pretty on the plate and the salmon married well with fennel and fresh herbs. The house-made pickles added zing. The dish was just the right size and the flavours beautifully balanced.

ARC also has a spiced paprika egg salad sandwich, if you’re looking for something light ($14) and a club sandwich for $17. Burger fans are also treated well ($22).

We were already “coffeed out” before arriving so instead enjoyed a Canberra District Mada Wines rose (2020) for $13 a glass ($54 a bottle). Mada is known for producing a certain style of wine. The rose is delish.

ARC’s wine list is big on other Canberra District labels and Australian wines. Beers include Capital Brewing Coast Ale. Always good to see.

Several other eateries and bars will be opening at Constitution Place, some later this month. On the line-up is Fuel, The Meat and Wine Co, Hero Sushi, Cicada Bar and Mu Omakase.

ARC is a great addition to the city’s dining scene, for those staying at the premium A by Adina Hotel, but also Canberrans and other visitors alike.

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