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  • Writer's pictureLila Greyling

Taking date night from ordinary to extraordinary in Canberra

Close to home and just down the street, there are some hidden gems worth visiting in Canberra to glam up a special night with your special someone.

Canberra might be a small city, but with loads of choice, from casual dining to more formal options, there is definitely something to suit everyone.

Photo by Amelia Vu on Unsplash

A special night for two can easily be stepped up to a classy, extravagant evening, from drinks to dessert. My trusty assistant and I ventured out and discovered three hidden gems for a Canberra date night with the one you love.

1. The Pearl

The Pearl, Genge Street Canberra

The Pearl, formerly known as Kokomos, has been redressed and is now open as the place for a cocktail and the perfect place to start any night out.

The entry to The Pearl

Elegance meets you as you walk through the front door with the impressive entry and their list of Asian-inspired cocktails. The Osaka Old Fashioned and Lychee Dragonfruit Margarita can inspire the senses and take you on a journey to enjoy life.

The Pearl offer a bar menu from their sister restaurant Wilma which uses Australian ingredients and primitive cooking methods to create a crowd-pleasing menu full of Asian-Australian favourites.

The friendly bar staff are eager to help and can easily whip up a drink to get you started.

From something smooth like the Pink Puzzle to something more serious to give you a proper kick like the That’s My Jam they can cater for the perfect start (or end) to your night.

2. Meat & Wine Co

The Meat & Wine Co, Constitution Avenue Canberra

After a few drinks, we made our way to the Meat & Wine Co on Constitution Avenue to feed the hangry.

Established in 2000 and opening in Canberra in April 2021 The Meat & Wine Co is a premium restaurant offering an extensive, African inspired modern menu. They pride themselves with equal dedication to their distinctive Australian surroundings and their African heritage.

Their wine list spreads over 12 different categories and types, also including some rare South African wines that pair themselves well with any meal on their menu.

Well renowned for their impressive meat menu, each plate has its own characteristics.

Beautiful red wine poured from a carafe

They offer an aged steak experience where dry ageing has been applied to an already exquisite steak to take it to the next level. The steak is plated up very primitive on a beautiful cutting board made from dark wood acacia with only the accompanying sauce and side of chips.

Other sides can be ordered separately, like the beautiful Broccolini with Garlic butter and toasted almonds or the deliciously creamy Four cheese Mac & Cheese with Parmesan, Gruyère, cheddar and mozzarella cheese.

Enjoying a night out at The Meat & Wine Co is too good to be true, their melt in your mouth steak and bottle of red provides one with the opportunity to experience the high life for a night.

3. Via Dolce

Via Dolce, Bunda Street Canberra, photo by Lila Greyling

Filled to the brim we thought about calling it a night, but opted for one more stop to end the night with dessert.

Making our way back to Bunda Street we visited the family-owned Via Dolce which offers a spectacular range of authentic Italian specialties inspired by a culture of pride and satisfaction in their products.

You can sit down and enjoy a slice of heaven or a scoop of ice cream that melts in your mouth and satisfies your taste buds. Or if you think their delights would be best suited on your couch as you sit cuddled up with a blanket to end your night, the to go box filled with all sorts of goodies is for you.

Our night in Canberra took our date night to the next level. We ended the night with full bellies and satisfied taste buds. It was a night to remember and we can’t wait to head out again to try more of Canberra’s date restaurants that take date night from ordinary to extraordinary!

Photos by Lila Greyling


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