Bad start to the weekend

This morning looked so bright and peaceful yet I felt like there was a dark cloud following me. 

For people who know me, I’m not a morning person. So when I had to get up at 5:30am (ok I snoozed the alarm once) to go catch a flight that never took off as they found a leak in the hydraulics and we all had to disembark the plane, I wasn’t a happy chappy, I was however hungry for something savoury. After our flights were all changed and we were now departing 3hrs later than planned (luckily was able to change interconnecting flights also). We went to hunt for some food. Two choices- Hudsons coffee or an Asian place called ‘Tuk chop’. I wasn’t in the mood for over priced sausage rolls or sandwiches so I thought I’d be adventurous and choose the Asian option. It’s never too early to eat pho and dumplings if you’re an Asian right?

Bad mistake! Dumplings were ok, I chose pork and chives which were boiled but I much prefer my dumplings pan fried. Did I mention that they were served in a small plastic bag?

Next up my $13 pho was served to me in a small plastic take away bowl. The soup wasn’t really hot so the rather quite thickish meat wasn’t going to cook in it. The soup base didn’t have much of a taste and looked like I could have made it from an instant packet noodle soup. The noodles were okay, a bit undercooked but it at least had bean sprouts in it.

$18 later I was left disappointed, hungry and yet could not bring myself to finish off the noodles. My mood brightened a bit  as Virgin blue gave us a complimentary snack and drink as I read interesting food articles in their ‘Voyeur’ magazine (I will blog about them later).

Now I’m Sydney airport and being able to choose from 13 different kiosks (just in this section), I chose a good ol’ chicken kabab and finishing off on a kk donut to sweeten my mood. There is of course an original glaze in the bag also 

p.s. We also got a snack on the Qantas flight. There was also an apple pie in the container but we had already eaten it before I took a photo. MMMM I love me some cheese and crackers!


21st b’day celebrations v2.0- Homestead Cafe

——-07/08/2011——-

You only turn 21 once! Or if you’re my friend, 2-6 times in a lifetime . We celebrated in style on the lovely veranda of the Homestead Cafe located @ Gooromon park just outside of Canberra.

Firstly the savouries came out- come to think of it, I was stuffing my face so fast that I didn’t actually note what was in the wraps or sandwiches! I’m surprised I even remembered to take a photo with all this food around!

Of course there was champagne flowing but I opted for an OJ, I just really wanted tea but they said that the tea would come out later.

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Risotto balls and caramalised onion tarts- YUM!

Note to the savoury eaters! They take away the plates and tiers (with no offerings for someone to take the last delicious morsel) just as quick as they came! Best to line your plate with some ‘extras for later’ if you want to end on a savoury note.

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Then came the sweets…

Chocolate panna cotta, lemon curd tarts, caramel slice and brownies- all very nice but the lemon curd was a little too tart for my liking.

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Scones with homemade jam served with double cream-  the scones were lovely and fresh but the jams weren’t very memorable, luckily there was cream there!

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Finally the pots of tea came out! Everyone had a different colour/patterned tea cup- very cute.

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My vegan friendly friend was given strawberries in balsamic vinegar, which she didn’t like very much but I enjoyed it! She also had crust-less sandwiches with beetroot filling (sorry didn’t get a photo).

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My vegan friendly friend was not a fan of stewed fruit but was very pleasantly surprised with her stewed pears with vanillla. Looks delicious!

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The view out there is spectacular, especially on that day when the sun had come out to play for the first time in several days. The road on the way there is a little worse for wear but if you drive carefully enough you could avoid all the pot holes (not ideal to drive during dusk/night). I’ve also been out here for breakfast and lunch, lovely presentation and delicious food (sorry no photos). They also have several private rooms available which are very cute but are catered for fewer people (4-6?). A highly recommended place for all those who want a country feel with a view but don’t want to drive too far out.

I’m going again in another week or two for another friend’s birthday (good excuse to go to Hall markets while I’m out in that direction too!). Hopefully the menu will vary a little as they change the savouries and petit fours to whatever they feel like making on the day, but I’m sure it’ll be wonderful either way.

Venue: Homestead Cafe

Address: 214 Gooromon Ponds Road – Hall – ACT 2618

Opening hours: Fri – 11am – 3pm (Lunch)
                                   Sat/Sun/Public Holidays – 9am – 4pm (Breakfast, Lunch, High Tea)

Phone: (02) 6230 2349

Website: http://www.homesteadcafe.com.au/

Just passing through

——-13/08/11——-

It was only by chance that we stopped here because my caffeine addicted friends needed a coffee before we got to Sydney, as the one that we got from Braddon Maccas was just so bad that they couldn’t drink it past the first sip (why were we even surprised?).

My eyes widen as I stepped in and saw the display stand filled with so many different cakes and slices! All the back shelves were lined with bread baked fresh that day! Mmmmm I was in bakery heaven!





The spacious seating area with clean bathrooms makes it an ideal stop for families and tourists passing through. The delicious baked goods is just a bonus! The warm fireplace adds a touch of country charm as well as creating a warm atmosphere for those to choose to sit inside, while the outside veranda allows you to sit in the sun and relax while reading a newspaper if you weren’t rushing back to the car.

For what was meant to just be a coffee stop, we sure did come out with a lot of food!
The cinnamon donut was soft, fat and squishy! Sooooo nice!

Cheese and bacon bread– not stingy with the topping at all! It was delicious but had to be eaten over several sittings.

Vanilla slice– the icing was nice and sweet which balanced out the filling which wasn’t really “custard-y” but more creamy. It was so tall I almost had to unhinge my jaw to get my mouth around it! It might even rival Braidwood bakery’s vanilla slice? 

Coffee was supposedly really nice, but I can’t really vouch for that .


Obviously I’m not the only one to think that this bakery is awesome!

Venue: Trapper’s bakery of Goulburn
Address: 
1 Sowerby Street, Goulburn, NSW 2580
Phone: (02) 4821 4477

Opening Hours: 
Monday – Thursday 5:30am – 7:00pm
                                        Friday- 5:30am – 8:00pm
                                        Saturday – 5:30am – 7:00pm
                                        Sunday – 5:30am – 8:00pm

Website: www.goulburnbakery.com.au 

Dumpling Inn

——-12/08/2011——-

I don’t really consider myself as a regular anywhere but I guess if a restaurant knows you by name and can guess what you’re going to order, then I must go there quite frequently. You’ll probably see multiple posts about this restaurant but this one particular time I tried to order different from the norm (there was only two of us so I didn’t order as much as I’d like *sad face*).

Tasty chopped meats in sesame roll- The filling is nice (the same filling as they put in the sang choy bao) and the sesame rolls are nice and hot. I forgot that they come with some many pockets! Got full on these quickly as there was only two of us.

Four season beans with minced pork- very delicious and addictive!
This dish is always ordered no matter who I come with!

Eggplant with pork hot pot- Very gingery, nice but nothing special

Lunch during weekdays can be a tad slow due to minimal wait staff. Dinner every night of the week seems busy especially Friday nights so book a table when you can. Yum cha on the weekends seems very limited, oily and slow in comparison to other venues so it’s not one of my ‘go to places’ when I’m craving an egg tart.

They also don’t have the most organised staff so people do get annoyed with the waiting times etc. but because of the delicious food (if you know what to order) and easy parking, Dumpling Inn will always a good reliable favourite Chinese restaurant that my friends and I go to.

Next time I hope to show you my favourite dishes along with Chinese desserts you don’t usually get in other restaurants.

Venue:  Dumpling Inn Restaurant

Address: 1/1 Lawry Place, Macquarie ACT 2614

 Phone: (02) 6253 2268 


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Where to start?

That’s was my first thought as I was trying to organise all my photos from the past few years with nothing but my hazy memories to guide me. Where did I eat that? What was it? Was it nice? Would I go back?

I have been encouraged to start a blog for quite some time now. I eat out a lot more than the average person, food really excites me, all the photos on my phone are of food or people holding food, I’ll travel anywhere for food and I instinctively take photos of my food like how some people instinctively give thanks before eating.

Trouble is- I don’t usually take photos of my mains just the pretty pretty desserts (that will change!), I haven’t taken photos of all the places I have been (I don’t eat dessert everywhere I go), I have been using my iPhone to take a lot of the photos due to the ease and convenience (so not always the best quality photos) and I’m not the most organised person (some photos are on this and that sim card and some are on multiple phones/computers).

Now with at least starting the blog and a new camera specifically for taking photos of food in hand- I’m ready to roll! Bare with me as I have to back date a lot of my posts from my previous photos and because I don’t have photos from all my food experiences, it means I’ll have to re-visit a lot of restaurants (what a shame ;P) and give some of them a second chance.

Hopefully some of you will find this blog helpful for when you want to eat somewhere new*, just want to see what I have been eating, or you just want to go to a happy space where pictures of food will make you hungry/smile!

At least now I’ll have an answer to when people ask me what I do with all my foody photos!

😀

Enjoy!

*Just remember all people have different tastes- I’m a savoury kind of gal but with an eye for sweets, I like meaty things and I very much so enjoy my seafood! I know not everyone will enjoy the same things but I promise I’ll try variety of different foods and blog as much as possible!

Saving (your appetite) for a rainy day

——-11/08/11——-

Some people wait until pay day to buy themselves a gorgeous new pair of heels but if you’re like me and you can’t wear (and balance) on pretty pretty heels and all the rain and cold weather we’ve been having is making you hungry, you splurge on something a little different!


Tonight I’m eating- mud crab cooked with ginger and shallots on a noodle base @ Noble Palace.

Where the current MP of mud crab is quite low, you don’t have to wait until pay day!


Mud crab cooked with ginger and shallots on a noodle base- It is so delicious and is one of those foods where if I haven’t eaten it for a while I’ll start to crave it. MMMMMMMMM! If you’re going to order this, don’t forget to ask for the noodles on the bottom!

We of course had an entree and dessert too!


Sang Choy Bao 

Deep friend ice-cream with caramel topping- a bit too coconutty for my liking

Venue: Noble Palace, Woden. It is also one of my favourite places for Yum Cha in Canberra!

Address: 28-30 Corinna St, Phillip, ACT 2606

Phone: (02) 6282 8915

Opening Hours: Lunch     Monday – Friday (11:30pm – 3:00pm)

                                                      Saturday – Sunday (11:00am – 3:00pm)                      

Dinner Sunday – Thursday (5:00pm – 11:00pm)

                 Friday – Saturday (5:00pm – 12:00am)

Yum Cha: Sat & Sun + Public Holidays: 10:30am – 3:00pm (best to book!)

Website- http://www.noblepalace.com.au/

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That’s amore!

——- 05/08/2011 ——-

It is often the unplanned meals and catch ups to be most enjoyable. This was one of those times! My friend and I were by chance were in the area and I have been wanting to go to this restaurant for quite some time.

La Cantina accepted us with open arms (metaphorically) even though they were busy, it was getting late and we had no reservation what so ever. Inside the atmosphere was warm, rustic and romantic.

Once we sat down, an Italian grandma leaned over and said “This is the BEST Italian restaurant in Canberra!”, as if I wasn’t excited enough already since I had read that all the pasta including the gnocchi was all made on premises! I had to ask what she had ordered, she said that she had the spatchcock and it was delicious! “And what did you have for dessert?” I ask. “I don’t care for dessert” she responded. I giggled and replied “I think my friend only cares about the dessert”


Garlic bread- I know what you’re thinking: why would you order garlic bread if there is pan friend scallops and secret family recipe meatballs on the menu! I was still full from lunch but still wanted to order something! When they write- “All breads served warm from a classic Italian loaf and cooked in a wood fire oven”, it doesn’t sound too shabby! Will definitely be back to try more!

Spaghetti pescatore (entree size)- For those who know me, they know that the waiter’s arm gets tired well before I’m satisfied with the amount of parmesan cheese they have given me. So when they place my dish in front of me with only the offering of cracked black pepper, I thought I’d taste it before requesting copious amounts of cheese. I took my first bite, there are so many delicious and fresh flavours my tongue doesn’t know where to begin! All I know was there was a big smile on my face (and possibly some pasta sauce) and I didn’t need a scrap of cheese.

Ravioli di Anatra e Funghi (main size)- The description read: “Duck and mushroom ravioli with confit organic garlic, burnt sage butter and pecorino cheese”- how could you possibly go wrong? MMMMMMM This was so delicious! The only bad thing I have to say about this is that there wasn’t enough 😦

Sinfonia: Grand Marnier baked custard, citrus salad, ricotta cannoli, orange sorbet- Now I know I said I wasn’t that hungry to start with but everybody has a different stomach for dessert right? The ricotta cannoli filling wasn’t sweet at all, just very cheesy. I didn’t mind the citrus salad but by far the baked custard was my favourite on the plate. Lucky I ate from right to left!

Trio di cioccolato: Chocolate torte, truffled honey semi freddo and profiterole- Just remember I said I went with a friend and I didn’t eat all these desserts by myself! 😉 Again I ate from right to left which was lucky because that was a very rich chocolate torte! Everything was pretty delicious but at the end of it all my favourite dessert memory was that baked custard.

Overall I had a an amazing experience, this restaurant has to be easily in my top ten favourite places to eat in Canberra! Not only was the food delicious but the staff was so attentive and lovely (what a difference that makes to a dining experience!).

As the last waitress left for the night, she said that we could take our time as the boys were going to be there for ages. We came late, ate late, stayed until very late and they didn’t try and hurry us out but rather gave us service with a smile til the very end. How lovely!

Venue: La Cantina

Address: 4 Iluka Street, Narrabundah 2064

Phone: (02) 62395556

Opening hours: Lunch Monday – Friday (12:00pm – 2:30pm)

                       Dinner Monday- Saturday (6:00pm – 10:30pm)

                       Closed on Sundays

Their very cute website is @: http://www.la-cantina.com.au/

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