Such and Such couldn’t be a more different restaurant. Pilot’s minimalist concrete floor and subdued colour scheme have been swapped for bright hues and velvet textures. A vibrant glass wall by Scott Chaseling of Canberra Glassworks greets you at the entrance, giving way to colourful terrazzo floor tiles, butter-yellow shelving and curvy banquette seating that all add a fun retro slant.
“Our architect [Mark Brook at Mymymy Architecture] termed it ‘controlled maximalism’,” says Ross McQuinn, who runs Pilot with partner Dash Rumble and chef Malcolm Hanslow. “We wanted a fit-out that felt bright and exciting and like an artwork itself.”
There’s something to appreciate everywhere you look, including a melting disco ball near the bar; cute ceramic cutlery rests in the shape of bananas and long-bellied cats; and multiple framed photographs of OTT glam girls, which Rumble likes to think poke fun at getting dressed up to go out for dinner. Everything comes from emerging Australian artists.
“Dash is always looking at graduation exhibits, which give us a good chance to find young artists at the beginning of their careers,” McQuinn says. “We wanted this to feel like a big city restaurant but actually be a local.”
Unlike 22-seat Pilot, which is usually booked out weeks in advance, Such and Such is open for walk-ins. This, and the flexible, share-friendly menu, make it suitable for any sort of occasion, from post-work drinks and snacks to a full à la carte dinner.
School prawns in 666 (devil’s) spice are a delightfully crunchy and salty snack with beer or sparkling wine. A tomato and bread salad celebrates simple flavours and top-quality produce. Ditto for the main-sized “duck on the crown”, a succulent bird brought to life by a sweet-and-sour plum sauce. And a dessert coupe of sherbet-y lemon curd and mandarin oil you’ll want to eat solo, despite the menu’s shared brief.
The drinks list is predominantly wine, with a mix of Australian and international drops. Like the art on the walls, it comes from talented emerging producers. Even if you’re relatively up to speed with new wave names like Dormilona, Brave New Wine and Ruggabellus, there’s stuff here you’ve likely never heard of. As at Pilot, there’s also an interesting selection of non-alc drinks, including a house shandy made with peach, lime, Earl Grey tea and Heaps Normal XPA. While Such and Such is different in most ways, there’s still some Pilot DNA evident here.
“Pilot feels like a first child, but it’s been so fun looking at the bookings and having the unpredictability of walk-ins,” McQuinn says. “One of the highlights is working with talented people – I’m stoked at our team and it’s such a nice feeling.”
Such and Such
8/220 London Circuit, Canberra
Mon to Sat 5pm–midnight