Beef and Barley is a casual burger restaurant, located on the scenic Kingston Foreshore. The foreshore is a stretch of restaurants, cafes and gastro pubs with views over an inlet of Lake Burley Griffin - with Beef and Barley located at the far, southern end of the strip. As you can guess from the name, it specialises in delicious burgers and matching beers from Canberra, Australia and around the world. It opened at the beginning of 2016, however its location at the far end of the foreshore means it doesn't get as much passing traffic as some of the other eateries. If you walk a little further to the very end however, then you will find a family friendly, relaxed spot by the lake to enjoy a cold beer and a tasty, beef burger on the side. With its popularity growing, it is a burger joint that locals and visitors are discovering more and more.
With burgers matched with beers, what's not to like?
Hand-crafted burgers and local Canberra beers. Source: Beef and Barley Facebook
On our family's visit, we took advantage of an online discount deal (see here), which meant that we could have $40 dollars worth of value for $25, for two people. After such popularity of this offer, watch out for more future offers of the same.
On a windy winters day, we were happy to have an inside table so we could enjoy the views, without the fresh lake breeze. As the crowds rolled in, the tables soon filled and a happy and relaxed vibe filled the interior, as diners snuggled under heaters and caught up with friends. "Jessie's Girl" and other rock favourites played in the background, adding to the positive atmosphere. While we waited, our table got involved in a competitive game of Connect Four - which is a fun way to pass the time if you are dining with - or even without - kids.
Inside seating with board games and colouring in for kids...
Beef and Barley are open at 8am every day, so although it sounds like a lunch and dinner venue, it also has a good range of healthy breakfast items on their menu. Options include Acai Bowls, Smashed Avo, waffles, bircher muesli, eggs and breakfast burgers - all ranging between $11 and $24. See here for the menu.
Healthy breakfast options. Source: Original photos from the Beef and Barley Facebook
The lunch menu has 10 burger options to choose from with beef, chicken, pork and seafood all catered for, as well as a number of vegan and vegetarian options. Beef and Barley are also happy to alter the menu for any dietary requirements. If you have kids, there are kid's meals for $12, however on our visit many of the tables with kids were enjoying the milkshakes ($6) and Fairy Bread with Nutella dipping sauce ($5). Alternatively, our young daughter was looking forward to demolishing the chips that were going to come with my burger and a Baby Chino with marshmallows ($1). See here for the full menu.
The Burgers all come out on a metal tray with beer battered chips and coleslaw on the side. We ordered the "Hang Ten Hen - Grilled chicken, chorizo, avocado smash, spanish red onion, roquette, pineapple, honey mayo" ($19) and the "Uncle Sam - Beef patty with streaky bacon, fried onion, cheddar, house BBQ sauce, mustard mayo, pickles" ($18). When our burgers arrived, which didn't take long, we were impressed with the appearance of the burgers and range of fillings packed inside.
Hang Ten Hen, beer battered chips and coleslaw ($19)
Both burgers were equally as tasty, with the Uncle Sam beef burger perhaps slightly ahead. The Hang Ten Hen chicken burger had a good amount of avocado to blend in with the grilled chicken and the sweetness of the grilled pineapple cut through the flavours nicely. The Uncle Sam beef burger had a traditional, home-made, juicy patty with sauces and cheese that had a good hit of flavour without being too strong. With crunchy chips with a hint of herbs and surprisingly tasty coleslaw, we happily enjoyed everything in the trays. Although they aren't huge burgers, compared to other burger joints in town, they are enough to leave Beef and Barley happy, full and content. If you want an even bigger burger however, they have an offer to double your meat for $5 - which would make it huge!
This unusual venue, which is a cross between a café, bar and relaxed burger restaurant, is a handy addition to the southern end of the Kingston Foreshore. The burger scene in the Kingston area will always have to compete with the hugely popular Brodburger, however Beef and Barley is a smaller alternative, with more of an industrial vibe at the other end of the strip. If you can nab a table looking out to the water, then you could easily stay awhile and try a beer or two off the extensive menu. Old school "tinnies" seem to be making a comeback, with a wide variety from all around Australia to choose from - including our own Canberra brewers.
Which beef and barley combo will you be trying?
Add a tinnie to your meal for $7. Source: Original photos from Beef and Barley Facebook