5 Bougainville Street, Manuka ACT 2603, Australia
Cuisine: Modern Australian
Contact No.: 02 6239 4422
Fuel has the lion’s share of footpath space in Manuka. Instead of being located on the busy, jam-packed Furneaux Street, this restaurant is found on the other, quieter side of the Manuka cafe block. Facing the beautiful villas of Red Hill, and languishing under the leafy boughs of oak trees, the outdoor dining space at Fuel is second-to-none in Manuka. Children play on the grassy knoll under the watchful eyes of parents, who divide their time between sipping lattes and reading the weekend paper. Couples whisper in the cosy corners of Fuel on hoary autumn nights. And behind it all, the kitchen is quickly and efficiently churning out lunches and dinners (and breakfasts on the weekend) to the hungry masses. Fuel has the “lazy weekend breakfast which becomes lunch” down to a fine art. Be warned – you won’t be in a hurry to get up and leave, and may find that your early morning stroll around the lake will have to wait until the afternoon. The modern Australian menu is heavily influenced by both the Old World and our nearest neighbours. The Balinese lamb and potato curry comes nestled on a bed of jasmine rice, and has flavours reminiscent of Massaman curry, while the lamb is so tender it has almost dissolved into the sauce. Or perhaps try the salmon and caper gnocchi, with its delicious cream and chive reduction. Fuel also delivers on the quick pit-stop with aplomb; the herby vegetarian foccacias are delicious, with zucchini, pumpkin spinach and cheese, all on toasted bread. The servings are generous and the setting is welcoming and child-friendly, just be prepared to stay awhile.