It’s finally here! Brodburger- opening night

——-27/03/2012——-

It has been a long wait since my last (first and only) delicious burger at the Brodburger caravan as it has been closed since last December. The iconic red caravan now sits at the front by road which serves as a reminder of the humble beginnings of the cafe and will be there while the cafe is being established.

Arriving at 6:30pm, I wasn’t shocked that the line was out the door and then some, but it meant that I had to wait that extra bit longer before my craving was satisfied. One of the owners, Ms Bou-Jaoude, was very grateful for the loyal support and extended her thanks down the line up which I thought was very sweet.

The line is deceiving, you don’t think there are that many people in front of you until you find that people are forever spotting ‘friends’ and jumping the queue. If you’re clever and there is a lot of you, it is best that someone gets there super early. Or in my case, find a friend who lives close by (preferably within the 2km range that the new buzzers have) and hang out at their place while waiting or even get them to order for you- yeah Tomo? 

I saw happy customers leaving, I couldn’t tell if it was a ‘ha! I’ve eaten and you’re still waiting’ look or a genuinely happy customer as they did look like they had a smirk, or was this just hungry paranoia setting in? 

We get passed a menu and my eyes dart everywhere, I’ve waited this long, now what to get? 

40 minutes later: finally through the door! A whole lot less windy and looking behind me, I was definitely in the ‘front half of the line. We amuse ourselves by staring in the entrance way wallpapered in articles, reviews and the signed petition by loyal customers. We’re close now, I could smell it, the downside being inside the actual restaurant meant seeing all the food go past with the smell wafting behind.

Their tip jar was very cute! Embracing their new location, this glass hamburger tip jar was made by Annette Blair and Mel George.

Finally! After an hour of waiting in the queue, we order our food (@7:30pm all the vegie burgers were sold out):

1). Brodchicken with briesucculent butterflied chicken breast, flame grilled. Topped with bacon, avocado, fresh lettuce tomatoes & Spanish onions. Includes homelade chili aoili & tomato relish ($13.50)

2). Brodsteak medium rare – 250g rib eye off the bone, fresh lettuce, tomatoes, Spanish onions, smokey bbq aioli and relish ($15.00)

3). A serve of chips ($4.00)

4). Baby brodburger with cheddar1/2 pound beef patty, flamed grilled. Fresh lettuce, tomatoes & Spanish onions. Includes homemade aioli and tomato relish ($8.00) 

As I reach in my bag to pay, I realise my wallet was not in there (it fell out in my car which was currently at home), luckily Tim was there otherwise I’d be so angry I waited in line for an hour for nothing! They tear me a receipt number ‘69’ which made me giggle like a school girl and I head to find a space for two in the urban jungle that was the inside seating while Tim ventured home to get my wallet for the movies.

It’s a ‘sit down where you can’ situation if there is less than four of you and it can get really noisy in there (almost worth just getting take away to avoid the chatter). I don’t mind sitting with randoms but it does have it’s downside- they receive their orders first and I tried not to awkwardly stare and drool.

40 minutes after ordering- the food arrives. Tim isn’t back yet so I sit there alone with two and a half burgers and an order of fries looking like a pig but I didn’t care. He did say start without him! 

I started with a bite from my baby brodburger. OMG, it was soo good! Maybe even better (or maybe I was hungrier?)

In between my happy clap and wiping my fingers, I proceed to take a bit from my brodsteak– it was no where near as good *sad face* and I found the sauce too overpowering. When I decided to abandon my bun 2/3s of the way in to make space for the baby brodburger, the steak was much nicer on it’s own.

Tim loooooved the brodchicken and although he isn’t a big fan of cheese (particularly soft cheeses), he loved the creamy combination of the cheese, sauces and avocado. The chicken thickness was perfect and the bread was crispy and soft.

I was wondering how their breakfast menu would be considering they hadn’t been open for breakfast previously. Some items made me excited- roschti, sweet and savoury crepes and freshly baked scones! My friends were lucky enough to eat from the breakfast menu today!

Tomo and Sophie were previously munching on: Brodbreakfast burgerbacon, two eggs, roschti with your choice of cheese ($12.50)

They thoroughly enjoyed it which made me envious as I looked at the photos while eating a yoghurt at my desk.  Thanks Tomo and Sophie for the photos (p.s. your mug is heaps cute!).

Hate lining up? Well don’t bother, your annoyed mood will just tarnish the taste. If you have a bit of patience (I’m sure the timing of ordering etc will improve) or if your time it well, it is well worth it!

Venue: Brodburger- Flame grilled burgers

Address: 11 Wentworth Avenue  Kingston ACT 2604

Opening hours: Tuesday and Wednesday from 7am to 10pm

                                     Thursday to Saturday from 7am to midnight

                                      Sunday from 7am to 4pm.


Brodburger - Flame Grilled Burgers - Food Caravan on Urbanspoon

Roll me out like a sushi roll after a dinner at Kagawa

——-15/01/2012——-

Apparently Sunday is a day of rest for most Japanese restaurants but not Kagawa Japanese Cuisine. An interstate friend had a craving for Japanese food but since my first two options weren’t opened, I remember I have had enjoyable meals before at Kagawa out in Dickson, so off we went!

I thought we’d start off with some nibbles for the table because I was contemplating a long wait for my sushi.


Green soybeans fresh green soya beans ($4.00) salty and addictive, pop the beans in your mouth and toss the outer casing away, potato moti potato and cheese patty (5.90) potato and cheese- it sounded like a winning combination but I didn’t find it salty enough and a bit lacking of taste, pork gyoza Japanese pan-fried dumplings 5pcs ($5.90) delicious and hot.


Sushi Nigiri (each) yellowtail ($2.00), salmon ($2.00), tuna ($2.50), eel ($2.00), Avocado roll (med- $7.00)-Delicious sushi but my favourite one would have to be the eel, you have to try it! I’ve been here several times and every time (both lunch and dinner) the sushi comes so late you wonder if they have forgotten it but tonight the sushi came promptly and it caught me by surprise. Our table filled up quickly and there wasn’t enough space without doing a bit of tetris work. 


Steak teppanyaki sizzling steak with vegetables and rice ($22.00)- Very hot and filling, nothing scream ‘Japanese’ about it though.


Kagawa ramen pork, fish cake, egg and vegetables ($8.50)- this doesn’t do the  name ‘ramen’ any justice. The pork was not the traditional roast pork and was cut too thick, the broth wasn’t anything special and the bamboo and vegetables were a bit chewy. All in all, not worth getting, just buy a plane ticket to Japan and get the real thing.

I do like their lunch ‘sets’ and I think they are good value. If it’s not enough you could get a few extra sushi rolls (and pray it doesn’t take long to come).

Venue: Kagawa Japanese Cuisine

Address: 55 Woolley St, Dickson, ACT, 2602

Phone: (02) 62572225

Kagawa Japanese Cuisine on Urbanspoon

La cantina re-run

——-13/01/2012——-

Early January seems to be a time when most bakeries and restaurants haven’t come back from their Summer break, but there is always somewhere to eat in Canberra. So when I foolishly went to The Artisan without checking if it was opened, I wasn’t that disappointed as I started to make my way to La Cantina instead, like it was always part of my plan to begin with. 

I had such an amazing meal before, I was hoping that it wasn’t just a fluke!

Entree~

Since we had tried their impeccable pasta before we thought we would give their  ’Carne main course’ a go but we couldn’t come here and not order the duck ravioli!

Ravioli di Anatra e Funghi Duck and mushroom ravioli with confit organic garlic, burnt sage butter and pecorino cheese (entree size $20.80) Awesome, better than before if that’s possible.

Polpette– house made meatball family recipe in a chilli, tomato basil sauce topped with parmesan cheese ($19.00) This was recommended by a friend who doesn’t really eat that much meat so I was surprised that she ordered this. This was tasty and surprisingly did not have an overly ‘meaty taste’.

Complimentary palate cleanser~

Raspberry sorbet I was surprised that they had palate cleansers as they did not have them during our previous dining experience. This was absolutely fabulous! 

Mains~

Duo di Anatra- Roasted Muscovy duck breast and confit leg cannoli and sage pan jus ($35.80) I’m going to put it out there and say it’s the nicest duck I’ve ever eaten in a non-Asian restaurant and I’ve eaten a lot of duck! I know it is a big call but the cannoli confit duck leg was absolutely incredible and this wasn’t even my meal! The breast was slightly pink but cooked well with a crispy flavoursome skin.

Pancia di Maiale– slow roasted berkshire pork belly with baby potatoes, green beans and mustard fruit compote ($34.00) I was warned that this would be a small serving but I was surprised to find that I got two rather big portions of pork where the skin wasn’t just crispy, it had been cooked to perfection and turned into actual crackling. The citrus marmalade had a kick to it which I enjoyed but it’s not for everyone.

Dessert~ ($14.80)

Tiramisu made with house roasted Celestino coffee and Marsala- I have a soft spot for tiramisu (which might account for all my soft spots ) and this one did not disappoint, it had a really strong alcohol taste to it. My friend and I weren’t too sure what was in the shot or how to have it with our dessert but it was really strong so we just moved it a side.

Panna cotta vanilla and honey panna cotta with warm rhubarb and berry crumble I really enjoyed this panna cotta as you could taste the sweetness of the honey which was balanced by the tartness of the rhubarb crumble.

The service was once again attentive and friendly, I love the ambiance of this restaurant and the continually fabulous food they serve. This is truly one of my favourite Canberra restaurants.

Venue: La Cantina

Address: 4 Iluka St, Narrabundah 2604

Phone: (02) 6239 5556

La Cantina on Urbanspoon

a Welcome home by the lake

——-07/01/2012——-
As a welcome home surprise Timmy took me out to dinner and after his first two choices weren’t open yet for the new year, he took me to his third choice- Waters Edge restaurant by the lake.
It wasn’t a great start when they misplaced our table booking but luckily enough they were still able to find us a table during a fully booked out night. I have been to Waters Edge many times but the atmosphere had changed since I had last been, it has gone from a quiet romantic setting to much more bustling conversations with a vast age diversity amongst the patrons.
 

Ready to eat! 

Complimentary canape~

Beetroot bruschetta- this was delicious!

Complimentary breadroll~

Entree~ ($21.00)

Blue swimmer crab tortellini served with squash puree, Avruga caviar and shellfish bisque foam– I found the foam a bit weird, it had a subtle taste but I very much enjoyed the delicious fresh blue swimmer crab tortellini.

Entree special~

Salted crusted Yellowfin tuna with black squid ink saucethis tasted like a delicious pepper encrusted tender beef steak

 

Main~ ($38.00)

Lamb back-strap, prune braised neck crepinette, carrot and ginger puree, heirloom carrot, water cress and fennel salad, lamb jus- the lamb was lovely and tender.

 

Duck breast and pressed leg confit served with potato and rosemary gratin dauphinois, sauteed sweet cabbage and lardons, cafe au lait foam- the duck was nice and crispy but I found the gratin a bit lacking.

Sides~ ($8.00)

Paris mash- When I first had this at Courgette, I was absolutely amazed and religiously ever since I order it every time, but today I found this mash too salty and it had lost it’s lustrous charm. 

Palette cleanser~

Pear sorbet- refreshing and not to sweet with a subtle pear taste- wonderful!

Dessert~ ($16.00)

I felt so bad, due to my slow eating habits the ‘caramelized apple and cinnamon souffle, calvados butterscotch sauce and cardamom ice cream‘ was sold out. Sorry Timmy 

Rose water creme caramel, ruby grapefruit mousse, ruby grapefruit tea cake and pomegranate sorbet- the tea cake was so moist and was my favourite element to the plate, with the pomegranate and finely chopped strawberries coming a close second. The rosewater creme caramel had a very distinct rose water taste, which I found hard to comprehend because my brain still expected a ‘creme caramel’ taste from the look of it.

 

Chocolate and macadamia nut semi freddo, chocolate soil, pot roasted blue berries, blueberries sorbet- a lovely chocolate dessert that wasn’t too sweet, I particularly enjoyed the blueberries sorbet.

 

Grinder coffee and petit fours ($5.00) Maybe they should have written ‘petit four’ on the menu. We had to prompt for this and in the end it was just served on a napkin. We were eager to order this as we enjoy them so much at Courgette, which usually serves multiple chocolates on either a mini platter or tier. This by comparison was very disappointing.

There was a lot more staff than previously and we were served by multiple people, I didn’t think the staff were very efficient (or polite) even if there were so many more of them. Not my favourite place for fine dining due to the staff and ambiance but the food was still impeccable.

Venue: Waters Edge Restaurant

Address: 40 Parkes Place, Parkes, ACT 2600

Phone: (02) 6273 5066

Entertainment book: Yes! It’s a tear out voucher so don’t forget to bring it

Waters Edge Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Hunter Valley Series- Absolute Thai

——-06/01/2012——-

Zoot alors, I have missed one! Sacre bleu, what is this?” 

I almost missed one! I had such an amazing time catching up with friends that I completely forgot that we ate! Hahahahaha! We especially chose Absolute Thai because of their elaborate  birthday   celebrations where the restaurant lights would dim, the staff come out with  flashy banners  that say ‘happy birthday’, the whole restaurant sings ‘happy birthday’ and the kitchen ends the song with massive flames from the wok! This is for EVERY birthday that night, so you may hear the song up to 4-5 times during one sitting. It wasn’t anyone’s birthday but two of my scheming friends thought it would be fun if we pretended it was one of our other friend’s birthday. SURPRISE! 

Now, back to the food!


Entree~

Thai fish cakes, spring rolls, curry puffs, fried calamari and moneybags- Despite being a large table and the restaurant completely booked out, our entrees still came out in a timely manner and nothing was disappointing.

Mains~

Chicken cashew nut & chili jam cashew nut, chili jam, capsicum, onion, shallot, baby corn and carrot

Good ol’ Chicken Pad Thai thin rice noodle, tamarind sauce, egg, bean sprout, garlic chive and ground peanut – I always use pad thai as the bench mark for Thai restaurants, it wasn’t fabulous and a little dry but it wasn’t the worst pad thai I’ve eaten either.

Steamed Curry Seafood in Young Coconut king prawn, fish fillet, calamari, mussel, red curry paste, coconut milk, Chinese cabbage, egg, kaffir lime leaves, basil leaves and long red chili

Homemade Curry freshly blended curry pastes on the premises 

Green Curry green bean, bamboo shoot, basil leaves, apple eggplant, zucchini and coconut milk – a slight zing to it but not overly hot.

Panang Curry capsicum, green bean, ground peanut and coconut milk 

Jungle Curry (Hot & Spicy)- green bean, bamboo shoot, mushroom, apple eggplant, basil leaves, green peppercorn, long red chili and lesser galangal – I was not brave enough to try this, especially when the green curry was hot enough for me, but my friend seem to enjoy it.

Massaman Curry Beef potato, onion, peanut, bay leaves and coconut milk – delicious tender beef and a nice sauce to mix in with rice.

No need for dessert, especially when everyone (else) knew about the cake.

Happy Birthday Aaron! 

Although we were a table of 9 we weren’t forced into a banquet and were free to order whatever we liked which I thought was really good. The service has definitely improved since it first opened in 2010 but it’s still rather quite noisy with so many people and live music inside.

It’s not the most authentic and delicious Thai I’ve eaten but it’s in a nice convenient location, decent priced food and a fun place to celebrate a birthday. But let’s face it, when you’re with good company, it doesn’t really matter where you are. 

Venue: Absolute Thai

Address: (across from Max Brenner) Shop L1, 1034 Charlestown Square shopping centre. 30 Pearson St, Charlestown NSW 2290

Phone: (02) 49437710

Opening hours: Lunch-11.30am. to 3.30pm. Mon to Sun.

                                    Dinner- 5pm. to 10pm. Mon to Sun.

Absolute Thai on Urbanspoon

Happy Canberra Day!

——-12/03/2012——-
There’s no better day to make a ‘Canberra cake’ than on Canberra day! I love how all the ingredients they used were sourced locally, I haven’t made it myself yet but it’s on my very long ‘to do’ list. I hope you’re all having a safe long weekend.

Planning is under way for a year of memorable celebrations to mark this special anniversary not only for Canberrans but for all Australians. The Centenary of Canberra will create lasting legacies in many forms, to take our city confidently into the next century.

Canberra Cake

Friday, 12 March, 2010

Birthdays and cake go hand in hand and with two years to go until Canberra’s 100th anniversary the Centenary of Canberra is delighted to share the delicious Canberra Cake recipe with Canberrans. 

Released on the 12 March 2010, the brilliant, healthy recipe was designed by Ms Janet Jeffs of Ginger Catering according to the 100 mile principle – that is, all ingredients are sourced from within a 100 mile radius of Canberra.

Some of the local ingredients the Canberra Cake features includes carrots from Cowra, Pialligo apples, Murrumbateman honey and baker’s flour from Gunnedah.

Canberra Cake
(Walnut, apple, carrot and honey cake)
 A healthy soft cake made with ingredients sourced from our food region

Makes 1x 1.5kg cake 20cm

Ingredients
 250g Sassafras walnuts
250g Pialligo apples peeled, cored and diced
3 Kitanodai carrots from Cowra
300g Demeter biodymanic bakers flour from Gunnedah
250g Murrumbateman honey
4 Harmony Hills free range eggs
200ml Homeleigh Grove extra virgin olive oil
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
¼ tsp ground cardamom
¼ tsp ground ginger
2 tsp bicarbonate soda

Recipe
Sift flour with spice and bicarb
Mix liquids into all dry ingredients
Bake at 130°C for 1 hour
Test with a skewer

Cream cheese lemon icing
125g light cream cheese
2 tbs icing sugar
1 tsp lemon rind
Cream together and ice top of the cake when cool

Canberra Cake produced by Janet Jeffs of Ginger Catering at Old Parliament House

Hunter Valley Series- Euro patisserie

——-28/01/2012——-

Yet another late lunch (holidays are for sleeping in right?), my sister was treating me to some sweets and lunch @ Euro patisserie where I have eaten a lot of their delicious cakes before but have never actually been there.

The Euro has taken the cake for the second time winning NSW patisserie of the year for 2010/2011. When I walked in, I was like a kid in a candy store, everything caught my eye and I wanted to order one of everything!

First: lunch. We all chose a selection of pies (starting from the top left going clock-wise): beef and mushroom pieItalian bolognese with cheese, chicken and leek and Italian bolognese again cut open. 

Beef and mushroom pie– nothing particularly special. Italian bolognese with cheese– I liked the pie but if I had to judge it based on it’s name, I would have thought it would have been a more tomato based sauce and would have been disappointed. Chicken and leek- could have used a little pepper and the leek was very subtle, my sister usually goes for the delicious vegetable mornay pie but it had sold out.

 

Even though we had arrived after 2pm, business was booming and we were lucky enough to get a table. People were coming in and out and there were take-aways on top of that but lucky they had sufficient staff that you never waited long before being served.

With all the hustle and bustle we decided to take our cake home, it was cheaper (it costs $1 more/per cake to eat there) and I never eat my tarts with much finesse anyway. Mummy chose a fruit flan and I chose a strawberry cheese tart. Mum always has a knack for choosing the better cake, the fruit flan had a delicious custard while I found the strawberry tart base a bit too thick and the cheese filling wasn’t as nice as the custard.

 

I haven’t had a cake from here that has disappointed me, I don’t know how many pastry chefs they have at the back but I am very impressed by the huge amount of variety that they are able to have. Although I find their cake prices reasonable, we still only indulge for a special occasion, after all cake is a sometimes food

Venue: Euro Patisserie

Address: 68 Orchardtown Road, New Lambton, NSW, Australia

Phone: (02) 49 577188

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

Euro patisserie on Urbanspoon

Hunter Valley Series- Open Dorz

——-27/01/2012——-

After a lazy morning, Mummy and I headed out to New Lambton for a late lunch at Open Dorz, a cute cafe where the sweet and savoury treats are made daily and the menu caters for those who want to dine in and those who are on the go.

Hmmm, what to choose…

Latte with complimentary home made biscotti.

Chicken, avocado, sour cream and cheese quiche ($9.00). Not your typical quiche which is a nice change and the combination of the chicken, avocado, sour cream and cheese is a real winner!

Chicken schnitzel with avocado, cheese, sweet chilli, mayo and lettuce sandwich($8.50)– it might seem weird to rave about a sandwich, but I truly enjoyed every bite! The thick fluffy white bread didn’t soften and squish under the heat of the delicious hot chicken schnitzel, the lettuce remained crispy and everything was really fresh with the perfect amount of sweet chilli and mayo.

 

Even just looking at the photos, I want another sandwich! I’ll try and go back when I’m next in the area.

Venue: Open Dorz 

Address: 71 Regent St, New Lambton, NSW 2293

Phone: (02) 49528854

Opening hours: Mon – Fri: 7:00 am-5:00 pm 

Open Dorz on Urbanspoon

Hunter Valley Series- and this little piggy had some steak

——-28/12/2011——-

So you might wonder why would I blog about a franchise that usually offers mediocre steak and often runs out of their slow cooked prime rib steak (which is weird because that’s why most people go there?). Well I’ve been disappointed many times with Hog’s breath cafe at various locations, but the beautiful new franchise positioned right on the Newcastle wharf, was not only the best Hog’s breath cafe I’ve been to, it was actually a really delicious steak.

Entree~

Hog Tail Fries El Grande served with warm cheddar cheese sauce and spicy Mexicana salsa ($6.50) These were so addictive and it wasn’t because I was really that hungry (did you not see what I ate at the Vintage cafe?) but I couldn’t stop pecking at these fries! I especially loved the cheddar cheese sauce.

Cheesy Garlic & Herb Bread cheesy garlic & herb bread topped with cheddar cheese and grilled to golden brown ($7.95) Not that garlic bread needs cheese (calorie wise) but it tastes so good!

Mains~

Prime rib steak in four ways:

#1: Calamari Prime Rib Tender Prime Rib topped with salt & pepper crumbed calamari rings and honey sweet chilli sauce (Lite Cut $26.95).

2#: Hickory Smoked Prime Ribreal Tex-Mex flavour. Seared and topped with a hickory smoked BBQ sauce on the char grill ($30.95).

#3: Hickory Smoked Prime Rib a real Tex-Mex flavour. Seared and topped with a hickory smoked BBQ sauce on the char grill (Lite Cut $23.95).

#4: Garlic Prawn Prime Rib flame-grilled Prime Rib and 3 pan-fried tiger prawns finished in a garlic & white wine cream sauce ($34.95).

The staff were attentive and polite, the only downside was that between our plates, drinks and condiments there was little room left for anything else. Hopefully they keep up their quality of food and service and I’d be very happy to come back again soon.

Venue: Hog’s breath cafe

Address: shop A2 1&2 Lee wharf, 7 Honeysuckle drive, Newcastle, NSW 2300

Phone: (02) 4927 8005

Opening hours: 11:30am- late 7 days

Hog's Breath Cafe on Urbanspoon