Restaurant Guide

Pilot: Restaurant review

This Canberra restaurant is soaring: confident, playful and polished.

Pilot chef Malcolm Hanslow and owners Ross McQuinn and Dash Rumble.


GT 2022 ACT Restaurant of the Year
The challenges of the past 18 months have no doubt tested Pilot, which was just over a year old when Covid first rained chaos down upon us all. But where others find themselves navigating the new landscape unsteadily, Pilot is soaring; confident, playful and polished. A move to a blind, 10-course dégustation menu has only sharpened the focus of chef Malcolm Hanslow and his team, as they prepare each Goldilocks-sized portion with precision. The kitchen and floor staff work in harmony to deliver a perfectly paced experience that never feels rushed – but will have you promptly out the door in two hours flat, even with relaxed banter between courses. The winter menu starts, unexpectedly, with a cup of tea; preparing both your mind and palate for what's to come, combining oolong with toasted notes of puffed rice and wattleseed. Flavours of Asia – from kimchi to massaman curry – sit alongside European classics, such as taramasalata and beurre blanc, with dishes dancing between sweet and sour as pickles and ferments make welcome cameos on nearly every plate. The balance is always playful and precise, much like the service and natty wine list. In short? Top Gun.


Shop 5/6, 1 Wakefield Gardens, Ainslie, ACT
(02) 6257 4334
Chef Malcolm Hanslow
Price guide $$$
Bookings Essential
Wheelchair access Yes
This review was made independently for the Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Guide. The guide's reviewers visit unannounced and pay their way.