Restaurant Guide

Pilot: Restaurant review

At Canberra's Pilot, there's boatloads of ambition at every turn.

The Hawaiian tart at Pilot


Consider the "Hawaiian tart" – a two-bite snack that winks at the divisive pizza by layering 'nduja cream, fermented pineapple, tomatoes and crisp salami in a peppery pastry shell. Or the wittiness of a dessert called "tirami-choux", which reconfigures the Italian mainstay in profiterole-like form. They're strong indicators of just how much playfulness Pilot weaves into its seven-course dégustation, but it's juxtaposed with an impressive command of the fundamentals, too. It's there in the perfect pan-searing of a hapuka fillet lolling in bonito foam, and the skilful roasting of a cured and smoked duck breast with butter-smooth eschallot purée and shaved chestnuts. Beyond the plate, there's boatloads of ambition at every turn, from collaborations with local artists and designers to cerebral house-made non-alcoholic drinks including a mystifyingly complex blend of blueberries and kombu. Little wonder this suburban pearl is widely considered the linchpin of the bush capital's flourishing restaurant scene.


1 Wakefield Gardens, Ainslie
Chef Malcolm Hanslow
Price guide $$
Bookings Essential
Hours Dinner Tue-Sat
Wheelchair access No
This review was written independently for the Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Guide. The guide's reviewers visit unannounced and pay their way. To learn more about the process, head over here.