Restaurant Guide

XO: Restaurant review

A punchy pan-Asian party in sunny Scandi-esque surrounds, with a Savage Garden soundtrack.


Bite into the rice noodle skin of your pho dumpling, the sweetly spiced ball of minced tenderloin inside flooding with holy basil oil-dotted beef broth, and you'll have the measure of Canberra's XO. It's a punchy pan-Asian party in sunny Scandi-esque surrounds, delivered to a soundtrack of Savage Garden, all landing on the right side of joyful versus gimmicky. The set menu shifts monthly, but expect a procession of Oz-ified dishes inspired by the co-owners' Vietnamese and Malaysian backgrounds, with a few dabs of Japanese colour – like the char siu chicken-spiked Indomie goreng topped with a glistening onsen egg, an umami-bomb that takes the humble packet of instant noodle to saucy new heights. Throw in a few playful cocktails (the Japerol Spritz adds sake to the summer favourite) and a solid wine and sake offering, and you're assured the kind of kiss and hug dining experience the venue's name teases.


16 Iluka St, Narrabundah, ACT
(02) 6295 9696
Chef Anand Kumar Ramakrishna
Price guide $$
Bookings Recommended
Wheelchair access Yes
This review was made independently for the Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Guide. The guide's reviewers visit unannounced and pay their way.