During a recent drive through the middle of Canberra, I passed a mob of about 50 grazing kangaroos. After many visits, it still surprises me that the Big C, the epicentre of Australian politics, maintains such a country town feel. Local friends even talk of tumbleweeds blowing through the city centre. Perhaps it’s only fitting that Smoque was established here last year.
As its name implies, Smoque specialises in Deep South-style American barbecue food; Texas brisket, Buffalo wings, Mexican street corn, Carolina pulled pork, pork ribs and so on. This laid back, cacti dotted, modern saloon is always filled to capacity on Saturday nights. Alas, they do not accept reservations for group under six but it’s a relatively short wait, with plenty of bars nearby.
I’m not the most delicate eater, so the fact that cutlery is not automatically supplied is a bonus. Serviettes, however, are plentiful and are particularly useful for the Buffalo wings. These delicious nibbles are offered in regular, hot and suicidal which turn out to be fairly accurate descriptions. I also love the sweet, sticky Texas brisket.
View: www.smoque.com.au; Visit: Baileys Arcade, Shop 2, 131 London Circuit, Canberra, ACT, 2600; Call: +61 2 6162 3350; Open: 7 days, lunch from 12noon, dinner from 5pm.by