Now that I’ve visited Canberra for the sixth time, I can finally say I found good food and coffee. Where? At The Cupping Room, regarded as one of the top cafes in the country by many. Disclaimer upfront: I know the owner. But you know I would say so if I didn’t like it.
Even though the cafe is big, we had to wait to be seated. It is a very popular brunch spot, but fortunately service is not rushed or rude.
They use Ona beans and are very serious about coffee. They won’t do what’s trendy just because. I’m partial to the brand because it has a smoothness that fits my palate.
I really enjoyed both long black and the cold brew that I had that day.
Long black ($3.5)
Cold brew ($4)
On the non-caffeinated front, the fresh squeezed juices were a good choice on that particularly hot summer day. I tried a sip of the refreshing pear, cucumber, mint & lime.
Pear, cucumber, mint, lime ($7)
The food menu can be classified as “modern Australian”, which really means “unclassifiable”. One of the gluten-free options (the ham hock fritters) were sold out, so we shared the other two meat-containing gluten-free items: Asian honey glazed pork ribs with purple slaw & lime and the lamb salad, lamb rump tossed through grapefruit, lychee, bean shoots, mint & cress with a sweet dressing.
The ribs were massive in size and spectacular in flavour. Ribs + coleslaw = not rocket science, but very well executed.
The lamb salad was good, too, but less impressive. I would have liked it better with no bean shoots, they taste like dirt to me.
Lamb salad ($20)
Other popular menu items are the sandwiches. They serve a chicken chivito that is not really a chivito, but kudos for introducing more Latin American vocabulary in Australian menus. It is a “forofa [sic] crumbed chicken breast, avocado, bacon, swiss cheese, mixed leaves & aioli in a brioche roll, served with fries”. See? No chivito. The person who ordered it enjoyed it despite me being anal about words.
Chicken chivito ($19)
The Cupping Room
1/13 University Avenue
Canberra ACT 2601
(02) 6257 6412