Whilst hamburgers and ribs are becoming more and more commonplace on many Canberra menus by the day, Smoque has been at the forefront of the current infatuation with casual American style eating since it opened in late 2012. Located at the Petrie Plaza end of Bailey’s Arcade, this somewhat cavernous eatery is making an art out of quick service and no fuss dining, while delivering big smoky flavours expected of this cuisine. If you are looking to linger over an intimate dinner, this is perhaps not the place; but if you want a little bustle with a slightly hip edge, you may have found your home. Be sure however, this is ultra casual dining: Order at the bar, take a number and head to your table. In a surprisingly short time, your food will arrive on trays, and in a combination of plastic baskets and cardboard containers. Expect to find Memphis pork ribs, Carolina pulled pork or Texas brisket, all faithful to the traditions of America’s South. A list of ‘sandwiches’ include a ‘Sloppy Joe’ with brisket or pork chili and cheese, or a ‘Smoque Signature’ with brisket, cream cheese, jalapenos and smoked capsicum. Cutlery is optional, and may be found at a couple of stations positioned around the restaurant, but in all honesty, one can happily munch through many of the items on the menu using their hands. Chef and owner Grant Kells, is, ironically, an Englishman with lofty credentials—he trained at London’s esteemed Connaught before embarking on a number of high profile posts such as executive chef at Singapore’s renowned Raffles, before settling in Australia. That said, his great love of all things American is expressed to its fullest here. Expect to see lads watching American football on the big screens while downing a Millers Draft, or the odd homesick diplomat chowing down on Buffalo wings with a tear in their eye.
Bailey’s Arcade 2/131 London Cct, Canberra City
02 6162 3350
LUNCH Mon–Sat 12–3pm
DINNER Mon–Sat 5–10pm
TAKE AWAY and DELIVERY available