Restaurant Guide

Bar Rochford

Nowhere else captures Canberra's special blend of the parochial and the worldly like Rochford.
Bar RochfordLean Timms
Level 1, 65 London Circuit Canberra, ACT

Armed only with some old furniture and a grand vision for an upstairs alcove in the stately Melbourne Building, rookie publican Nick Smith started a bar in Canberra made for a fine time. His next big move was a calculated risk, putting Louis Couttoupes – an enthusiastic, but untrained, walk-in – behind the stove. Fast forward and Gourmet Traveller’s 2018 Bar of the Year continues to show what fun is possible in Canberra. With Couttoupes on sabbatical, Josh Lundy (Eightysix, Pulp Kitchen, Sepia) has inherited the bar’s signature potato galette where alternating crisp and soft textures are lifted by a dusting of smoky dehydrated bush tomato. Gruyère gougères are stunningly light, while plum sauce cuts the richness of charred sourdough wrapped in warm, lightly rendered lardo. Larger share plates include pan-fried barramundi with Jerusalem artichoke, and inspired vegetarian options that draw on local organic and heirloom produce. Smith’s service is exemplary, as are his wine choices, which gravitate to things biodynamic, orange and funky. With the crackle of an open fire and warm tones emanating from an encyclopedic vinyl collection, Rochford embodies authenticity and unpretentiousness. Fun, fine times indeed.


(02) 6230 6222



Bookings recommended


  • Licensed

  • Bar

  • Impressive wine list

Accepted card types:

  • American Express

  • Eftpos

  • MasterCard

  • Visa


Josh Lundy

This review was made independently for the Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Guide. The guide’s reviewers visit unannounced and pay their way.

Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Guide

Gourmet Traveller’s restaurant guide gives a yearly snapshot at the best restaurants to eat at right now. The best-rated restaurants, as judged by the reviewers’ first-hand experience, form our national Top 50. The wine star-ratings, which range from zero to three stars are made by wine editor Max Allen on the strength of the quality of the restaurant’s wine list. View our rating key here.

Bar Rochford
Level 1, 65 London Circuit Canberra, ACT
Josh Lundy
Bookings recommended
Opening Hours
Tue-Thu 5pm-midnight, Fri 3pm-1am, Sat 5pm-1am

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