Stand By Me, Canberra

Our restaurant critics' picks of the latest and best eats around the country right now: Stand By Me, Canberra.

What better time to make the most of Stand By Me's charms than late winter in Canberra when the skies are clear but frost still rimes the lawn? It's the sort of weather that calls for a breakfast that's exciting enough to get a body out of the house and sustaining enough to keep it out. Which means one thing in Woden Valley: Stand By Me's chicken and egg congee with chilli. There's also decent coffee, the French toast specials, the mushrooms, eggs and toast soldiers spiked with spicy yuzu kosho, and the epic baked beans with braised sausage, but faced with a congee garnished with pickled ginger and a good XO chilli sauce, a dish so substantial that it's served with a knife and fork as well as a spoon, the decision is all too easy. The café's shelves hold copies of  Bonjour Tristesse, Love in a Cold Climate and  Vile Bodies in Penguin paperback alongside a healthy collection of  Gourmet Traveller back-issues, the very friendly staff spin Bowie, Talking Heads, Lynyrd Skynyrd and The Clash on the turntable, and breakfast runs all day on weekends. Rise and shine, mes amis. 

Stand By Me, Lyons Shopping Village, Lyons, ACT, (02) 6282 2741.

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