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Charlie Black - Manuka, Canberra

Charlie Black on Urbanspoon
The bar where it counts - refreshingly different.

Uniquely hidden away in a corner, beside the cinema in Manuka, across the road from apparently where the main action is, lies a lifestyle pub that tries to be different. Sure, there are the wooden tables outdoors that seem to herald another common pub, but once we get inside, the walls are adorned, different types of seating are offered and then there is the bar counter. With a marble top, staffed by twenty something of age staff and decorated in a way that no one can miss, I reckon this counter is meant to be the centre of attention. Are we in South America? The side murals portray sultry dark skinned women, the lighting is low and there are a few sports screens -  was trying hard to appreciate and understand the common thread of a theme going around the various corners of the venue, some lit, others darkened.May be Charlie Black's wants to surprise - and then makes us relax in the unusual.

Lamb cutlets with cous cous and mash.

My eye caught the availability of mango flavoured cider on tap, a delightful option. Canberra is surrounded by diary and farm country and I subconsciously wanted to try some dish from the land. Oh yes, in true blue Aussie tradition, it had to be lamb.  Pub style, the buzzer whizzed loudly on the table and the food went out through a window from the kitchen.  There was laughter and sounds of merriment from the nearby tables.  It was only early evening and it was not that cold for Canberra standards. I found the cous cous well made, with a Moroccan flavour, to accompany the juicy lamb cutlets.  I am told that Charlie Black's specialise in tapas and burgers, with their sweet potato chips a hit any time of day or night.  Finally I connected the wall murals with the food - Mexican, casual and with things like peppers, calamari and pear with walnut salad.  It was easy then to move on to the several types of Margaritas served - passionfruit, pineapple or mango - or the coladas.


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