Home' In The City : In the City - Spring - 2013 Contents The Canberra Times | In The City Magazine
Smith's Alternative has been in Canberra since
1976, and moved from the Sydney building to
the Melbourne Building in the mid-'80s.
"It's one of Canberra's oldest stores -- it's such
an institution," manager Jorian Gardner says.
Smith's Alternative offers Canberrans a quirky
space to gather and appreciate the eclectic range
of alternative books, erotica, plays, new works
and funny, kitschy items.
The store also stocks vinyl, with records dating
back to the '50s and an impressive collection of
Gardner says the former bookstore is also
a venue and an ideal space for artists to gather.
"It is a cafe and bar as well as a venue for comedy
and book and poetry readings," he says.
THE BLUE OLIVE
The new Blue Olive owner Sam Luu is excited
about being a part of the growing Melbourne
Luu took over the restaurant at the start of July
after 15 years of running a Thai restaurant and
has retained all of the cafe's staff under the new
The Blue Olive specialises in New York style
sandwiches made to order and exudes retro charm
in a family-friendly atmosphere.
Breakfast is served all day and the specials board
JEWEL OF INDIA
The Jewel of India in Manuka has been open for
16 years and the Melbourne Building restaurant
opened at the start of 2010.
The most popular dish is the goat kolhapuri from
the west coast of India and the laal maas from
Rajasthan. There are plenty of vegetarian options
and a wide choice of curries available for quick
lunch boxes at reasonable prices.
The Jewel of India has a vibrant atmosphere,
grand ambience and is a classy restaurant that the
family will enjoy.
Restaurant owner Ventakesh Ramachandran said
all of the chefs are recruited from India, offering
an authentic experience for diners. Most of the
chefs are from Hyderabad and the restaurant
managers are also trained in India and Australia.
"Most of them have over 20 years of industry
experience and wide experience in India and
overseas," he says.
THIRST WINE BAR
Owner Jeff Piper specialised in French cuisine
for more than 25 years before a visit to Thailand
during a backpacking trip in the early '80s altered
A visit five years later once again piqued
his interest in Thai cuisine and street food in
"I found Thai food exciting, fresh, sometimes
simple and at other times showing great
complexity. It can be challenging and often
exhilarating," he says.
He and his wife studied the Thai language and
dreamed of one day opening a Thai restaurant.
That dream was realised with Thirst Wine Bar
and Eatery and the menu reflects Piper 's passion
for Thai cuisine.
Some of the menu highlights include sweetcorn
cakes, Thai sausage, crispy fish salad, fried
pork belly and for dessert, banana pancakes
with passionfruit ice cream and pandanus (leaf)
"Thirst Bar is a place where we can explore our
passion for wine and Thai cuisine, especially its
street food. We wanted to capture the essence of
Thai street stalls and restaurants -- it's good food
in a casual relaxed atmosphere," Piper says.
On the corner of Northbourne Avenue and
London Circuit sits Inspired Collections, a
beautiful gift and home wares store designed
to cater for different tastes. The majority of the
jewellery is European-designed and some of the
beautiful giftware includes jewellery holders,
vases, handmade plates and figurines. The store
has been in the Melbourne Building for nine
years and its owners also run TrendStyle Blinds,
which sells blinds and curtains created from high
This well-known restaurant has been serving
up succulent and mouth-watering steaks since it
opened in 1962. The restaurant also specialises
in delicious seafood and its list of award-winning
wines will complement your meal.
Also in the Melbourne
Sophisticated cocktail bar
Traditional Irish pub
Lemon Grass Thai
Authentic Thai cuisine
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