Monster Kitchen & Bar

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4.2
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488 Reviews
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$40 and under
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Modern Australian
Top tags:
  • Creative Cuisine
  • Good for a Date
  • Special Occasions
Monster Kitchen and Bar wanders through the ground floor of Ovolo Nishi, preoccupied with local and seasonal produce prepared for sharing.

The kitchen and bar team guide her through her multiple personalities as she shifts from lucidity to debauchery between 6.30am and 11:00pm Monday - Sunday.

Breakfast is served from 6.30am until 11am, Lunch from 11:30am until 3:00pm, and Dinner from 5:30pm until 10pm. The Bar menu is served from 3:00 until 10pm, seasonal drinks and wines are served until 11pm Monday - Sunday.
What 488 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.2based on recent ratings
4.3
Food
4.1
Service
4.2
Ambience
3.7
Value
Noise · Moderate
86% of people would recommend it to a friend
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AG
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Our dinner at Monster was amazing. Cannot fault anything at all and very keen to return - for breakfast, lunch or dinner. The staff provided amazing customer service - friendly, knowledgeable about the menu, and attentive. The food itself was exceptional! And very moderatly priced. The ambience was great - a circular gas firepit just near our table; seated near the windows without a hint of cold air; and gentle music. Thanks so much Monster :)

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SD
1 review
Dined on 17 June 2019
Overall 4Food 5Service 3Ambience 4

Surprisingly good food given other reviews. We had the Salmon and Lamb for entree and both were delicious and well priced. Fish of the day was Red Snapper and very tasty, as were the Mussels. The Prime Rib was cooked well but rather pricy. Service was friendly and helpful though a little slow - especially drinks in the bar which took 15 minutes to arrive. Interesting and comfortable decor gave the eyes plenty to look at and talk about. The Monster Kitchen & Bar is a good choice for a special night out especially if you want a bit of romance around the fire pit.

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A
1 review
Dined on 9 June 2019
Overall 2Food 3Service 1Ambience 3

unpleasant Dinner on Sunday
Unprofessional Manager, we asked at what time the restaurant would have open and he replied, i am sorry we are fully booked, did not bother to ask if we had a reservation!!
Dinner was OK nothing exceptional and I don’t think they deserve an hat in the good food guide.

We choose the degustation menu, (which it is a chef choice)
1st course Marinated Olives, quite disappointing not even a good quality.
2nd course Jamón ibérico was respectable but literally nothing else on the plate , you would expect at least some croutons or else to eat it with.
3th course Buffalo Mozzarella, embarrassing and sad, Mozzarella wasn't nice and juicy as you presume it was dry and the bread served with was burned (Chefs when you are grilling the bread ensure there is no flame otherwise the bread will gain the burn flavour) and at least offer some EV olive oil to go with.
4th Course Beetroot the star of the night, well balanced nice texture.
5th Course Chicken Supreme was Ok a bit dry and the overall dish missing of texture.
6th Course Artichokes was a decent dish. Nicely seasoned and rich in flavor.
7th Course Dessert, the chocolate terrine was average and the salted ice cream served with was burned .

Even if they did mention they were fully booked, from 6PM till 8.30PM, out of the 70 seats only 35 people were dining.
Service did not clear our table during the duration our evening until the dessert, you would think that at least when they were bringing a new course they would have, but it didn't happen.
Overall Overpriced for what you get, not recommended

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C
1 review
Dined on 8 June 2019
Overall 3Food 2Service 4Ambience 4

Lunch menu was not variety. Not impressed with the food either. I will not recommend and will not come back here for food. Having said that, service was excellent, very attentive and polite.

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LM
1 review
Dined on 7 June 2019
Overall 4Food 5Service 4Ambience 5

A good place to wind down after work on Friday night, especially in winter.

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SJ
1 review
Dined on 6 June 2019
Overall 3Food 3Service 4Ambience 4

Front of house seemed a little disorganised. Our wait staff were lovely, but awkward. The food wasn't as good as I recall it being prior to the new setting. The comte croquettes were not as exciting as I had anticipated.
Breakfast the next day was particularly disappointing. Trying to get water was a task, coffees were slow to arrive and the food menu was a let down compared to my previous experience.

I will say, the awkward experience at breakfast was reminiscent of another Ovolo hotel, Ovolo Incholm.

I have been raving about the "Eggs Cilbir" dish at Monster but it is no longer on the menu. A pity the new menu is something I will not rave about to my colleagues. I would be hesitate to recommend Monster in the future given there are so many other options in Canberra. Hopefully things improve for my next visit.

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A
Canberra / ACT
1 review
Dined on 2 June 2019
Overall 2Food 3Service 2Ambience 1

I regularly meet friends for breakfast at Monster but was unimpressed with my recent visit for the following reasons:
1. The location of the breakfast service has moved to the dining area but there are no signs so we waited at the top of the stairs as per all previous visits. Finally after being ignored by multiple staff walking past, we spoke to the barista who motioned us to the dining area.
2. My booking was not recorded anywhere or expected. The waitress was only aware of people’s room numbers.
3. The dining area is now a buffet space so it was uncomfortable having a giant table of food next to our table. We were given only 3 menus for 4 guests and service was slow. While we waited to order, multiple guests had to physically stop a waiter to order coffee and we overheard more than one follow up for food. Tables that ordered after us were served first.
4. I ordered the crumpets which were delicious, but I had to pick sesame seeds off the top of them. As someone with food allergies, this is not reassuring as to the state of the kitchen given that sesame seeds are not an ingredient for crumpets.

I hope this feedback is taken into account as Monster is such a breakfast staple!

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SP
1 review
Dined on 31 May 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Was a fantastic night until my boyfriend broke up with me.

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OT
1 review
Dined on 31 May 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 5Ambience 3

It was nice.
The menu and ambience didn’t wow us, the service and food were great.

We didn’t like the openness to the hotel lobby, and found it hard to be in the right mood on the space.

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JK
1 review
Dined on 31 May 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Morven was great but I didn’t like the uniform. It didn’t match the surroundings.

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CR
1 review
Dined on 25 May 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 5Ambience 4

This place is great as a special event and not an everyday place due to the expense. The staff were amazing and the food is delicious but you don’t get much, I know some of my guests got some takeaway on the way home. The menu is a little confusing so get them to explain it to you before you order. Keep an eye on the wine list too, we thought we were ordering a bottle of wine and it was actually a carafe so we ended up with double the cost. The place itself was busy yet cosy and we had a great girls night overall. I’m a little confused as to why the toilets are so dark though!?

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LL
1 review
Dined on 18 May 2019
Overall 4Food 5Service 4Ambience 4

Great vegetarian food, friendly and helpful staff and cosy ambience. Only issue I have on this and other occasions is the noise level. The music is usually too load, especially with all the hard surfaces echoing the music and other noise, so that it is often really hard to hear the conversation.

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A
1 review
Dined on 17 May 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

We loved the place, good atmosphere, very friendly staff and amazing food!

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MM
1 review
Dined on 12 May 2019
Overall 3Food 2Service 4Ambience 3

Used to be our fav place to eat in canberra but the food has changed.

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K
1 review
Dined on 12 May 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Would recommend to anyone!! Great food great service and unbeatable price for the quality of the food

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GL
1 review
Dined on 12 May 2019
Overall 3Food 4Service 1Ambience 4

Very disappointing service for Mother’s Day breakfast...staff were running around but not paying attention to guests and got our order wrong. Also forgot to place our drink order then didn’t follow it up once it was placed...waited 40 minutes for a Momosa.

Great setting and food was good...let down by sub-par service!

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L
Sydney / NSW
1 review
Dined on 10 May 2019
Overall 1Food 2Service 1Ambience 5

Slow terrible service. Waited over 2 hours for our meal and they forgot 2 dishes. Drinks to 45 mins tonarrive at table. Won’t return.

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FJ
Canberra / ACT
1 review
Dined on 24 April 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Great to have some share plates adapted to vegan and be so tasty.

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A
Sydney / NSW
1 review
Dined on 23 April 2019
Overall 3Food 5Service 1Ambience 4

Food was awesome. Pity the service left a lot to be desired. Staff couldn’t explain the specials or the dishes off the menu clearly. Waiter brought cold bottle of wine under his arm and brought a glass with a beer but didn’t even open the beer. Small plates came really quickly but as the restaurant got busy to took ages for the large plates to come and to get the attention of wait staff to order dessert.

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MM
1 review
Dined on 21 April 2019
Overall 3Food 3Service 2Ambience 3

Couldn’t split bill, service was average, food nothing special, no value for money. Average experience. Online booking allowed me to book a time that was outside normal food service.

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ES
1 review
Dined on 20 April 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

We visited by recommendation and were so glad we did tasty food in a beautiful setting. The staff were beyond helpful and accommodating of my son who has intolerances. I’d definitely recommend booking we saw a fair few walk ins turned away as they were full.

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SC
1 review
Dined on 19 April 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

All the staff were consistently fantastic. The guy with the mullet carried it off with aplomb. We loved him. Such great food and vibe. So nice when you feel like people care.

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PS
1 review
Dined on 13 April 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

The compete experience, dining at Monster Bar, was excellent. Myself and my friends were taken by the comfortable environment and the exceptional service delivered by staff who knew their menu well.

The menu was unique and inspired, that facilitates sharing amongst those you are dining with. Wine selection was also excellent.

A great addition to Canberra’s culinary scene.

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ML
1 review
Dined on 12 April 2019
Overall 3Food 3Service 4Ambience 4

We were a table of four people and none of us could find anything on the dessert menu that we would eat...this was disappointing to us as we have been to Monster several times and the desserts were always special. The food we did have was outstanding though....loved every mouthful....please bring back the beautiful desserts!!

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LB
1 review
Dined on 10 April 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

Interesting, unusual and tasty food, well presented. The service was excellent with attentive waiters who explained the menu and showed interest in what they were doing.

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H
1 review
Dined on 9 April 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 5Ambience 5

My partner and I went on a Tuesday night so it was really quiet. We sat next to the open fire which made the environment that little bit more special, and the waitress took very good care of us. Our food came out promptly - we ordered two share platters with some oysters to start and everything tasted exceptional. It happened to be my partners birthday so we were only there for a quick bite before catching a show, but a nice surprise was a small box of complimentary desserts given to us on our way out as we didn't have time to order and stay. Was a lovely gesture. We will be returning and I would recommend.

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KJ
1 review
Dined on 8 April 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 5Ambience 5

Love love love Monster! Mostly, I love the staff and the decor, but the food is great too. The only reason I didn’t give the food five stars is because the lamb shoulder was siiiiiickly sweet - the meat was amazingly cooked but the complete coverage in an almost inedible sweet sauce was disappointing. Apart from that everything was amazing! :)

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SS
Melbourne / VIC
4 reviews
Dined on 5 April 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 4Ambience 5

Enjoyed the stunning view of staircase on arrival
Maître de friendly and welcoming
Excellent table near fire
Wait staff helpful and efficient
Only reservation as we are vegetarian the options are limited
Enough choices for one visit but wouldn’t return whilst visiting Canberra as like to try different dishes

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RS
1 review
Dined on 5 April 2019
Overall 4Food 5Service 4Ambience 4

Food was delicious. I appreciated the plate sharing. Drinks were good from large selection. Our table person Emma was helpful and engaging. Bar staff were okay but seemed to get distracted with other people while taking or delivering my order.

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LN
1 review
Dined on 5 April 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Loved the interior design, especially the staircase entrance and the use of recycled timber planks.

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M
1 review
Dined on 3 April 2019
Overall 4Food 5Service 4Ambience 4

Great way to try some unusual combinations of ingredients. Loved the eggplant dish - perfect begone of smokey and salty. Good wine, friendly service but just a tiny bit slower than expected considering the prices.

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c
London
10 reviews
Dined on 2 April 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 5Ambience 4

Another great night at Monster, enjoyed by five of us. It was good to be able to add another share dish, 6 for the five of us. Last time we had five for four from the large share plates. We added the beef, not quite so good as the lamb according to the meat eaters. The fish was some of the nicest I've had, crisp skin with a succulent inside. Last time we were not sure about which of the dessertsxseboreferred... Nashi oearcwon this time. I am planning to book again.

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AD
1 review
Dined on 31 March 2019
Overall 1Food 1Service 3Ambience 1

Possibly. But despite accepting our reservation online, it turned out that the meal we wanted was not actually available. The staff were apologetic and offered us a drink while we decided on what to do. We were not interested in High Tea instead of lunch at 1pm. Our visitor from Europe was very disappointed as she had been at Monster for an evening meal earlier in the week.

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SH
1 review
Dined on 29 March 2019
Overall 4Food 5Service 4Ambience 4

Excellent food, comfortable surrounds and generally a welcoming and professional experience. We had good customer service and enjoyed everything we ordered, from the crispy spatchcock starter to the succulent slow-cooked lamb and duck breast with figs. There is a diverse drinks menu which we loved trying, especially the ironically tropical but delicious 'Russian forager' cocktail, and the local Clonakilla Shiraz was perfect for a stormy night. I would give 5 stars if it weren't for the fact that our first 'small dish' arrived quickly (good, we were hungry!) quite a bit before our first drinks (not so good, timing a little out, probably thanks to the popular bar!), and also because the tables for two were extremely close together, so pretty much the whole time we couldn't help but listen to our rather loud neighbours' conversation, and felt like we lacked the intimacy suited to a couple's night out . Although it was really quite refreshing to not feel pushed into consuming multiple drinks, a glass of sparkling in my hand would have complemented the first dishes perfectly.

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OT
1 review
Dined on 28 March 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 3Ambience 5

Fantastic food and location that was let down by the slow drink service.

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NO
1 review
Dined on 28 March 2019
Overall 1Food 1Service 1Ambience 1

Incorrect email address registered this booking wasn't me! I'm in the London, UK. Please cancel/correct this account, thanks.

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LM
Melbourne / VIC
1 review
Dined on 23 March 2019
Overall 4Food 5Service 4Ambience 4

visiting from Melbourne to have dinner with my son studying in Canberra

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SY
1 review
Dined on 23 March 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

We were in Canberra for the weekend and Monster Kitchen was recommended to us. It was worth the trip to Canberra alone just to dine here! Friendly service, fabulous Bar area for pre-dinner drinks, and absolutely wonderful food! Entering the building and walking up the stairs to this vast space was like walking into another world. Very clever design ideas everywhere you looked.
We had the chef's selection set menu and every course was delicious. We can't wait to visit again next time we are in Canberra!

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DA
1 review
Dined on 22 March 2019
Overall 3Food 3Service 3Ambience 3

Food too rich and 1 texture throughout. Heard great things but didn't quite live up to the hype unfortunately

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c
London
11 reviews
Dined on 21 March 2019
Overall 4Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

We thoroughly enjoyed our second experience at Monster Kitchen and Bar. Nathan, our waitperson, featured high on our satisfaction with the evening. His pleasant service and, most importantly, wonderful detailed descriptions of the desserts, was appreciated. I am about to book again, and will be hoping he is working that night too.

We chose 5 meals : the stand outs for me were the aubergine, and pumpkin. But nothing could be faulted, and we are looking forward to going with more members in the group so we can try more of the options. Dishes come out in groups, rather than all together, so if your group includes people who cannot eat a particular item it could be wise to clarify this. The availability of gluten free for nearly all of the main courses certainly makes ordering (and eating) easy. For example, the lamb with brick pastry came with the pastry separate - great for me, as I don't eat lamb, but could enjoy the pastry and my GF daughter relished the lamb.

And those desserts! After they were described we had to have four of them. We were given the option to share, with side plates provided. Each dessert was delicious, we left discussing which was the best and hadn't come to a conclusion by the time we arrived at our cars.

I think that there needs to be a little tweaking to the reception of diners. The person on the front desk had several groups to deal with, but a greeting and promise to be with us soon would enhance this part of the evening.

This restaurant is becoming one of my favourites, and I look forward to the next time we eat there.

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