Monster Kitchen & Bar

4.1
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538 reviews
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$40 and under
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Modern Australian
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 538 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.1based on recent ratings
4.2
Food
4.1
Service
4.3
Ambience
3.7
Value
Noise · Moderate
84% of people would recommend it to a friend
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RS
Canberra / ACT
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 2Food 4Service 1Ambience 1

Very disappointed with lunch today. When booking for 3 adults I was asked what was the occasion and I said a birthday lunch. Nothing happened.
We asked for sparkling water and got still twice. We asked for Asahi beer but it hadn't been chilled. We asked could we have the gnocchi without hazelnuts and were told yes, it came with hazelnuts. Individual servings came irregularly so we didn't eat starters and main together at the same time.
At the table next to us the people were asked if they were ready to order and they replied that they didn't have menus.
Food was okay.

LH
Canberra / ACT
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Fantastic food and wine list. Great space, wonderful, attentive staff. Excellent through and through.

LH
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 4Food 4Service 5Ambience 5

The location and atmosphere was great and most of the seating arrangements are set up so you’re not sitting right on top of other guests which I liked.

However for a $90 steak, I would have preferred it be much more tender and not be full of gristle.
Though, the other plates we ordered were great, though very small portioned.

I will attended again so I can sample more of the menu.

KH
Canberra / ACT
1 review
Dined on 10 October 2019
Overall 4Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

It was a good experience with lovely food but quite expensive.

M
1 review
Dined on 9 October 2019
Overall 2Food 2Service 4Ambience 4

We stayed in the hotel and dined at Monster for dinner on our first night, the service was good and restaurant decor and ambiance was excellent. Unfortunately my husband and I were let down by the food. It was explained to us that the dishes were to be shared and we were happy with this as we really enjoy this style of dining. We ordered 1/2 dozen Shane's oysters, kingfish sashimi, stuffed zucchini flowers and the steak frites of wagyu rump cap, we asked if this was enough food for the two of us and were told that it should be. No complaints about the oyster's, they were good and of standard size. The kingfish was also lovely but portion wise we found it odd that we were served 5 pieces between the 2 of us - nothing about portion size is noted on the menu - I think this is something they should consider adding to the menu or at least advise when ordering, or make the portions even, I would think it's more common to have an average amount of even diners than uneven. The zucchini flowers (which we were told were quite "heavy and filing") had a really nice flavour but again we were served 3 between the 2 of us and they were tiny. Stuffed zucchini flowers are one of our favourite things to order in most restaurants and they usually come out quite plump from a decent amount of filling. The one's we received at Monster were very skinny and contained hardly any filling. The steak - I unfortunately don't have anything positive to say about this dish, the steak was under seasoned, over cooked and very grisly. Portion wise it was enough for a main meal for one person definitely not enough for 2 people to share as the "grand finale" dish. The chips that came with it were overcooked and again a super small portion, especially for sharing. We left hungry.
I did order lunch the following day to eat on my own in the hotel lobby, I ordered the duck liver parfait and the grilled broccolini - both were an acceptable portion size for 1 and were really lovely flavour wise.

ST
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on 5 October 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 2Ambience 5

Beautiful setting for very nice food. Service was on the slow side and wine by the glass somewhat stingy.

JS
1 review
Dined on 5 October 2019
Overall 3Food 2Service 3Ambience 3

I have attended Monster in the past and wanted to return as I previously had a good experience. I was disappointed in the small serves and quality. Wine was expensive and ordinary. Cheese plate was more enjoyable than dinner. Menu prices did not reflect the bill.

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

Great food and wine and friendly staff but quite pricey and we paid for zucchini flowers that never arrived.

JS
1 review
Dined on 2 October 2019
Overall 3Food 4Service 2Ambience 2

Food and wine were excellent. Service was patchy and we were not fans of the fireplace close to us.

ME
1 review
Dined on 28 September 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Amazing food, wonderful service - our dinner at Monster was the highlight of our trip to Canberra! Thank you!

CF
Brisbane / QLD
3 reviews
Dined on 26 September 2019
Overall 3Food 4Service 2Ambience 4

We thought the food was really nice. We (3 people) had the tasting menu and were a bit disappointed with the service though in the following ways:
- Had to wait half an hour for wait staff to ask us what we wanted to drink (other than water, that is)
- When we finally got our bottle of wine and wanted another drink after we finished it, we had to wait a long time again (surely keeping the patrons buying drinks is how a restaurant makes a large part of its profit, so it is a bit hard to fathom)
- The individual plates we were eating off were not changed throughout the whole 7 courses
- Tasting menu items were combined on one plate and shared, which whilst not a problem for us as a family may worry others if you don't know the other person/s

Not sure if the staff were too busy to give us better service or just not trained well enough. Hopefully this review may help.

N
1 review
Dined on 26 September 2019
Overall 2Food 3Service 1Ambience 4

The food tasted nice, but this did not make up for the poor service attention. I was waiting for a friend to arrive for over ten minutes, and in this time not a single server came to ask if I wanted to order a drink. None of the servers noticed when I tried to get their attention to order a drink. Very disappointing. The food also is far too expensive.

EF
Canberra / ACT
1 review
Dined on 25 September 2019
Overall 3Food 3Service 3Ambience 3

Quality has dropped over time. The tables are really close together. Food is good, but had to send back steak that was over-done. Drinks took way too long to come to us (already done with entree and martini was warm) and our order was missing an item. Disappointed.

JB
1 review
Dined on 21 September 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Monster was perfect for a meal with good friends. We enjoyed the wine, food and service.

TG
1 review
Dined on 20 September 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 5Ambience 5

A great setting and good service, good to have Canberra wines.

DL
1 review
Dined on 14 September 2019
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
Vancouver
2 reviews
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.

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