Monster Kitchen & Bar

4.2
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523 reviews
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$40 and under
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Modern Australian
Top tags:
  • Good for a Date
  • Special Occasions
  • Creative Cuisine
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 523 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
4.3
Ambience
3.8
Value
Noise · Moderate
84% of people would recommend it to a friend
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DL
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 3Food 5Service 3Ambience 4

the food was great; the service, say so; I had my steak after the other 3 had their tapas...i would give them another chance...

NG
1 review
Dined on 13 September 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

A quality restaurant and bar with excellent food and a great wine and cocktail list. The food is really interesting, very tasty and great ingredients. I'd definitely go back for more..

DD
1 review
Dined on 11 September 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 3Ambience 5

The lamb ribs I ordered never arrived, but as we were full and they did not appear on the bill, we chose not to mention this. Otherwise, a lovely experience.

BC
Canberra / ACT
3 reviews
Dined on 10 September 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

As usual, wonderful food and brilliant service by Nathan the Architect!

M
1 review
Dined on 7 September 2019
Overall 1Food 1Service 1Ambience 2

Booked a table for two for my husband's birthday, hoping there will be great food like it used to. But, the menu has very limited options this time. We ordered pasta which was okay, but bit too bland for my taste.

NS
Canberra / ACT
1 review
Dined on 2 September 2019
Overall 3Food 4Service 2Ambience 3

We had prompt and efficient service when making a specific dietary request prior to our dinner however during the evening the service was a little disappointing. The food was very enjoyable.

P
1 review
Dined on 1 September 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Great food, fanatic food attendant. The knowledge of the menu was 11/10

D
1 review
Dined on 1 September 2019
Overall 2Food 4Service 1Ambience 3

It was a combined birthday and Father's day celebration. Ordered degustation menu, food was tasty with an interesting twist. However, we were given 2 plates of food to share between the 6 of us for 5 courses. We were sharing 4 pieces of duck breast between 3 people and looking across a table of 2, the plate of food looked the same size as ours. Also, service was disappointing, I have to request our plates get changed after eating greasy ribs. Not going to recommend this place to anyone.

SM
1 review
Dined on 31 August 2019
Overall 4Food 5Service 4Ambience 5

Fabulous restaurant, menu, food and wine. Service was great up until the end of the evening when it became difficult to get a waiter and our bill.

JM
1 review
Dined on 27 August 2019
Overall 4Food 2Service 5Ambience 5

Lovely food, nice atmosphere. It would have been good to have more vegetarian choices but I would happy go back for a meal after a movie.

DC
1 review
Dined on 27 August 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 4Ambience 3

Food back up to Monster standard after disappointing period. Staff welcoming, helpful and knowledgeable. Move to new dining room is OK, but tables can be rather remote from front of house.

CH
1 review
Dined on 26 August 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 4Ambience 5

Very nice evening in a lovely space. The fire in the middle of the restaurant was very nice.

A
1 review
Dined on 19 August 2019
Overall 3Food 5Service 1Ambience 3

Food was great, found the wait staff to be uninterested. One waiter gave us a description of Jerusalem artichokes which was completely misinformed.

d
1 review
Dined on 18 August 2019
Overall 3Food 4Service 2Ambience 3

Nice food. Staff were a bit snooty though. It was our first wedding anniversary & it made us feels bit uncomfortable.

AT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 17 August 2019
Overall 3Food 4Service 2Ambience 4

We enjoyed our meals at Monster - the dishes were creative and delicious. The high quality of the food was not matched by high quality service unfortunately. Our wine order was not taken until after our first dishes had been served, despite a friendly and courteous reminder to our waiter. The various share plates were served a bit haphazardly too meaning that at times the table was overly (and dangerously) crowded with plates.

MP
1 review
Dined on 17 August 2019
Overall 3Food 2Service 3Ambience 3

Great for cocktails with friends in the lounge area but the dining section has really lost is ambience and the food is no longer as good. The presentation is beautiful but the flavours aren't great.

LJ
Canberra / ACT
1 review
Dined on 16 August 2019
Overall 3Food 2Service 2Ambience 4

To be honest, I was a little underwhelmed. I had high expectations going in as I had researched the perfect restaurant for my partner's birthday. The food in the set menu, although good quality, was small portioned and mostly vegetables or cold dishes.... Being winter we were expecting more meat and warmer dishes. The only meat included was oysters, cold salmon and a tiny tiny duck breast. We had to order a steak on top to make the night worthwhile. Service was average with not many smiles and when we asked questions the girl would go off to find the answer and never come back with it... The dishes were also maybe spread to much apart. The beetroot would've been nice if served with the duck instead of ages before. I mean, a table next to us were receiving the dishes earlier and together even though they sat later than us. Only good thing was the ambience, quality of food and the cocktails. We were also disappointed in breakfast the next morning, as hotel guests we had a complimentary breakfast but never have I ever had to peel my own boiled eggs at a hotel or even a hostel hahahahaha. A 5 star hotel restaurant can surely do a better spread than that.

o
1 review
Dined on 14 August 2019
Overall 5Food 4Service 5Ambience 5

5 of us went, we had Reuben sandwich, lamb ribs, cheese balls and 2 udon noodles with tofu and chili paste. We had to order salad and 2 servings of chips as portions are not big.
The food was lovely, chips hand cut - the best we had in ages.
Service great, not too much in your face.
It was nice to have a meeting over lunch in a great environment
Great experience.

AF
1 review
Dined on 10 August 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

My husband and I just had the most magical dinner at Monster for our Babymoon. We had a beautiful table by the fire and the low lighting was calming and romantic. Our waitress was lovely and attentive without interrupting. We loved and appreciated the personal touches of a complimentary ‘Congratulations’ dessert platter. The food, which is all designed to be shared, was absolutely tasty. We highly recommend the restaurant and will definitely be back.

JA
Canberra / ACT
1 review
Dined on 10 August 2019
Overall 4Food 5Service 4Ambience 5

The new menu was welcome. The wine list great, the service was a bit rushed and we would have liked all the dishes for the meal to come closer together.

JR
1 review
Dined on 26 July 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Service and food were absolutely amazing! Our waiter was also very well informed us of all the food and how they work great place will be back for sure!

ME
1 review
Dined on 25 July 2019
Overall 4Food 5Service 4Ambience 5

Another great night celebrating a birthday with family and friends. The venue is a little bit special and its nice to spoil ourselves at Monster now and then. We had the 8 course degustation and it was well spaced and the presentation, quality and quantity of food was excellent. The staff also looked after us with a desert and birthday candle to make the night that extra bit special. Thankyou Monster, we'll be back again soon!
Michael

OT
1 review
Dined on 21 July 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Our waiter was exceptional as was the food he suggested.

AQ
1 review
Dined on 19 July 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Monster provided a wonerful and unique experience, with outstanding service, food and atmosphere. For finer dining, they provide ample portions of food to share among a table, and at such a reasonable price. Truly one of Canberra's best restaraunts.

c
London
11 reviews
Dined on 18 July 2019
Overall 3Food 3Service 5Ambience 3

We have enjoyed our meals at Monster on several occasions. Most importantly we loved the menu. Unfortunately, this has changed and our favourite dishes are no longer there. We enjoyed the shared dishes in the past, but on this occasion with this menu it didn't work so well. If you like an entree and main, you'll be well accommodated. Some of the dishes were good. However, I was disappointed as for me the changes were not improvements. The wait person was excellent.

ZH
1 review
Dined on 14 July 2019
Overall 3Food 4Service 2Ambience 5

Nice food, lovely atmosphere and beautifully designed space. Service was not very professional on the night we visited.

BW
1 review
Dined on 14 July 2019
Overall 1Food 1Service 3Ambience 4

Monster Bar used to be awesome, with an innovative and interesting menu. It is now just a clone of a generic hotel restuarant offering burgers. What a let down! It was previously my go-to restaurant in Canberra where I would take visitors I wanted to impress. It is now my "don't-go-to-ever restuarant". The change was so great, that on my final visit, when we were presented with the new menu, my wife and just left and went to Parlour Wine room nearby, where we had a great lunch.

EH
1 review
Dined on 13 July 2019
Overall 2Food 3Service 1Ambience 3

We did the feed me option and the portions came out with not enough for 6 people to share. When we questioned this we were told if we weren’t happy then we should just order off the main menu. It put a dampener on the whole evening unfortunately.

D
1 review
Dined on 10 July 2019
Overall 2Food 3Service 1Ambience 2

We were looking forward to a relaxed, enjoyable evening celebrating a major achievement. We had imagined 2 -3 hours over dinner, with great food, wonderful wine and lovely company. Sadly, it was an incredibly disappointing experience. We arrived at 8, and it was all over by 9:10 pm. Our initial waiter did try, but must have gone off shift soon after our arrival as after taking our order, didn't come back. We asked for water for our table and eventually (we had to ask) were given 2 small 330 ml bottles of sparkling - no explanation, and no offer to replenish at any time. Our wine came but was put over on a side cupboard, with no offer to refill when we finished our glasses. We were told 'monster' serves the food in the order it deemed right - sounded enigmatic and fun, but unfortunately meant rapid arrival of plates of which some were clearly reheated or had been sitting on a side somewhere. The lamb (so promising in the menu!) was very fatty which was congealed and tepid. One of the dishes never arrived. A waiter simply never appeared. Overall, very disappointing and I would never risk taking a friend or valued guest there.

OT
1 review
Dined on 6 July 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Excellent food, service and atmosphere

BS
1 review
Dined on 5 July 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

We had a lovely experience, the food was to die for, the service immaculate and we left with smiles on our faces

OT
Canberra / ACT
1 review
Dined on 5 July 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 4Ambience 4

Birthday dinner

G
1 review
Dined on 5 July 2019
Overall 4Food 5Service 3Ambience 5

Service was very friendly but forgetful. We were forgotten after being seated, and similarly not followed up after getting the wine list back for a second choice of wine. We felt we had to chase staff all night. However one of our group left her handbag on the table and the restaurant was very prompt in ringing us to advise just after we left. Much appreciated.

AR
1 review
Dined on 2 July 2019
Overall 2Food 1Service 4Ambience 5

We found the lunch offerings to be quite disappointing. Reuben sandwiches, with very little filling and absolutely nothing served with them - not even a sprig of green to enhance the presentation.

Three bowls of chips ordered on the side were all over cooked to the point of being burnt. When this was pointed out to the serving staff at the end of the meal, with most of the chips still on the table, they offered to bring us more. What would have been better was to have them removed from the bill, as they were almost inedible.

We also had to ask three times whether Monster participated in a discount rewards program before finally getting a response.

And with the cheapest option for a bottle of wine being $69, this wasn't a place we'd consider for future lunches.

In all, very disappointing.

JH
Canberra / ACT
4 reviews
Dined on 29 June 2019
Overall 5Food 4Service 5Ambience 4

Low lighting and dark plates made it harder to appreciate the food on the plate, and there are more tables in the dining space making it a little less relaxed than on previous visits; but we still enjoyed our dinner. Loved the bombe Alaska!

AG
1 review
Dined on 19 June 2019
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 :)

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.

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

C
Canberra / ACT
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.

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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