Upon researching past reviews I was surprised to find that no one had yet written a review of the controversial but highly successful restaurant Eightysix for WeekendNotes, and so please, allow me to do the honours!
Located in the vibrant suburb of Braddon is Eightysix, a restaurant known for being so much more than a place to eat. It has been described as the most fun dining experience in Canberra and obliterates all preconceived ideas of what constitutes a night out at a restaurant - especially a Canberra restaurant!
After hearing rave reviews about this place my husband and I decided to check it out and see whether it lived up to the hype, and it really, really does!
The restaurant itself is very stylish and upon entering we couldn't help but notice the kitchen which dominates the space and surprisingly provides much of the evening's entertainment. The waiters are friendly, knowledgeable and extremely relaxed – which seems to work well with the general vibe this place exudes. Part owner and Chef, Gus Armstrong, has been described in reviews elsewhere as being a little rough around the edges and extremely loud - and he is. But Canberra did not need another quiet and pretentious restaurant.
This place excites the senses - all of them! It and its owners are loud and the smells floating across the room from the open kitchen are incredible. After watching a number of meals being delivered to tables next to ours we were convinced that whatever we chose would be amazing!
We started with the Snapper ceviche and fig, prosciutto and peach salad which were both beautifully presented, incredibly fresh and excited the palette about what was to come. For the mains my husband ordered the black chicken with buttermilk slaw and I ordered the lemon ricotta gnocci with asparagus and chevre. Now, my gnocchi was exceptional but there are no words to describe the flavour of the black chicken; it was perfectly cooked using the sous vide method and had been covered in a sweet sauce and then charred under the grill. Superb. To finish we ordered the caramel popcorn sundae and strawberry cheesecake which were presented in a deconstructed method and were, in a word, delicious.