Sage taste test

I hadn’t been very enthusiastic about publishing (or writing) this blog post but since Sage has finally completed their 5 week taste testing and are launching their new menu, I thought I’d better get around to it. image

I received a sms (ages ago), it read that Sage was having a 5 course degustation tasting menu for $60.00 per person. I was super excited to trial their taste test and grabbed three friends and headed there for a late night Thursday dinner.

They gave us each a stamped score card on the butcher’s paper table cloth, I thought it was super cute idea and also found it very handy to keep notes but this also meant that I got to find out what everyone else thought of the same dish.

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Complimentary bread and butter.

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Course #1artichoke soup served with an artichoke crisp. So airy and light in texture yet there was so much flavour. This was a really good start to the night, I couldn’t wait to see what was coming next!

score: 9/10

J: 8/10

T: 9/10

T: 8.5/10

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There was a bit of a wait between these courses, I was starting to think that they forgot about us and there weren’t that many people left when we were having dinner (with an 8:30pm start).

Course #2Braised oxtail, olive snow, artichoke, rosemary with a parsley blob. The braised oxtail was very tender but when eaten by itself I found it a little dry and it needed the vegetables or the olive snow. I’m not the biggest fan of strong salty olives so I found the tapenade a bit too much.

score: 7/10

J: 7/10

T: 7.5/10

T: 6.5/10

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Course #3Non seafood option: pumpkin ravioli with sage. The classic pairing of pumpkin and sage, you can’t go wrong.

J: 9/10

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Murray cod, leek, asparagus, kipfler potatoes. I thought the kipfler potatoes were cooked to perfection, crispy yet tender in the centre but all it lacked was seasoning, I was surprised it didn’t have any salt on it. I didn’t mind the fish but if you’re going to pan fry it, I prefer the skin to be (at a minimum) little crispy.

score: 6/10

T: 6/10

T: 5/10

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Course #4 – Roasted duck breast with foie gras, Heirloom carrots, celeric and green apple salad with hazelnuts. With the right person, this dish would probably be perfect, but for me, I’m not a fan of foie gras and I’m very picky with my duck.

The duck skin was not crisp at all and was almost rubbery to cut. I did enjoy the salad though as I found all the crisp and sweet textures refreshing to the disappointing duck and I’m always a fan of Sage’s superb purees. I gave this a score of 4 not because I don’t like foie gras, but I felt that this dish didn’t hold it’s own when I omitted one element and that major component of the dish were not executed well.

score: 4/10

J: 5/10

T: 6/10

T: 7.5/10

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Course #5 – Yoghurt bavois, oat biscuit, ginger ale jelly, rhubarb compote, pepper honey and almond ice creamThis was so disappointing and that was represented by the score. Where to start? The almond ice-cream wasn’t to my liking and it tasted very much like a strong marzipan. The rhubarb compote was overwhelming so I could not taste the ginger ale jelly or the bavois unless I ate it on its own (and even then the jelly flavours were very faint).

My favourite aspect of the dessert was the oat biscuit and that can’t be good.

score: 4/10

J: 8/10

T: 7.5/10

T: 5.25/10

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Numbers were dwindling as I went down the score card. It will be interesting to see what made the cut and what didn’t when Sage releases it’s Spring menu this Thursday. I hope the soup made it on there!

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Love the blog! Are you going to the Malaysian High Commission this Sunday for their food and cultural festival? :)

Aww thanks! 😀

I’ve been trying to make it to most of the ‘Windows to the World‘ that has been happening, unfortunately I didn’t make it for pancakes with Canadian maple syrup or the Haangi with the New Zealanders but I did go to the Thai (along with everyone else in Canberra) and also checked out Saudi Arabia with their dates, vegetarian pizza and exotic Arabic coffee.

I have plans this weekend so I probably won’t be able to go to the Belgium one (10am – 4pm) tomorrow which will show off their waffles, beer and mussels, but I hope to make it to Malaysian one (9:30am – 5pm) on the Sunday! If you go, I would love to see photos! 

Om nom noming at Nominom

I’m not surprised that frozen yoghurt is taking over Canberra, when I walked one block in Sydney CBD I could see four froyo stores but I was surprised that I had never seen a Nominom franchise before and out of everywhere in Canberra, it was out in the G.

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Grab a cup and let’s start.

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There are 10 flavours to choose from: green tea, choco, plain, orange, coffee, blueberry, strawberry, (the peach and melon was out of action that night) and mango. Green tea wasn’t very potent and I’m glad I only got a sample size. Choco and blueberry probably were my favourite. It’s not crazy sweet like Costco froyo (which seems more like a sundae) as these flavours had an after taste of a slight sourness that yoghurt has.

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There is a buffet of extras but I don’t think frozen yoghurt needs anything.

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I got a free taste test of green tea, I thought they were just going to fill a spoon but they gave me this super cute teeny cup.

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What the taste tester looks like against $6 ish worth of frozen yoghurt

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At only one month old, Nominom is hoping to open at UC early next year and biding for a location at ANU. During summer with thirsty hot students, I’m sure Nominom will make a killing.

Your typical weigh and pay system, don’t be fooled into filling the cup, just put in what you would eat.

Venue: Nominom

Address: 17A/33 Hibberson St, Gungahlin Marketplace, Gungahlin ACT

Opening hours:

Mon – Thurs 11:00am – 9:30pm  

Fri – Sat 11:00am – 10:00 pm

Sun 11:00am – 7:00pm

Nominom on Urbanspoon

You know you’ve ordered a too big of an entree when the waitress asks if you would like any dessert before you go while packing up and you have to tell her you’re still waiting for your mains 😳 #toobig? #canberra #food #foodie #foodblog #platter #Bicicletta #NewActon

Thanks Quizabel, that makes me so happy to hear that! This is at Bicicletta out in New Acton. No I’m very happy to add suburb tags, I’m usually hesitant because my friends already give me slack for how many hashtags I do- hahaha

  1.  quizabel said: Where is this dastardly amazing-looking platter from? I love your blog 🙂 Maybe you could tag the suburb in each post? But that might be a hassle for you!

Koochi

I meet up with other food enthusiasts every two months, last time was ordering from the ‘48hrs advanced notice’ menu at Malaysian Chapter, this month was Afghan food at KoochiI had never eaten Afghan food before and I didn’t know what to expect but with a quick browse of the menu I could tell that they like eating lamb.

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The whole place was colourfully decorated with tradition clothing, lanterns, beautiful material and rugs.

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I am in love with this wall. The colours, the dried clay, the lanterns. It made me forget that I was in the G.

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Kabul style fresh homemade lemonade ($5.00). I don’t usually get beverages but since I was trying out a whole new cuisine, there had to be something I had never had before on their drinks menu.

The perfect amount of lemon sourness and sweetness and it was great that it wasn’t fizzy. I thought it was odd though that we ordered two lemonades and when my friend who had arrived late ordered one, they said that they had ran out so she ordered a fresh mint tea instead.

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Fresh mint tea ($4.50).

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Our famous Koochi tasting plate for 2’: Mantu, Chablee kabab, Tikah, Shamee, Chicken served with chutney and Afghani bread ($32).

Chutney and Afghani bread – the bread was served hot and delicious; the ‘chutney’ was very runny but had lots of spice, chili and coriander goodness.

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Chickenchargrilled chicken cubes, marinated in a heirloom secret recipe, lightly powdered with sumac. Could this be the most delicious tender chicken in Canberra? *drool*

Tikahchargrilled lamb cubes, marinated in a heirloom secret recipe, lightly powdered with sumac. A bit tougher than the chicken but still very good.

Shameechargrilled lamb mince, marinated in a heirloom secret recipe, lightly powdered with sumac. Although these were all marinated the same, the flavours and textures were very unique to each dish.

Mantulamb mince, herbs and spices and onion dumplings, topped with home-made yoghurt and dried mint. It had a nice thin layer of pastry which meant that there was a good pastry to filling ratio. The filling itself was little bit dry but luckily it was topped with yoghurt.

Chablee kabablightly fried lamb mince, tomato, capsicum patties mixed in herbs and spices. A great use of spices. Very different texture to the rest of the plate, felt almost like a Thai crab cake.

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A look inside the mantu.

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Kabulee Pallowlamb cubes, marinated in traditional Afghani korma, covered with Afghani rice, topped with sliced carrots, barberries and almonds ($26.00). I was amazed by all the vibrant colour that I almost forgot that there was very tender, very flavoursome lamb hiding in the rice. The lamb was very sporadic in the dish but I didn’t mind because the rice and extras could have held on its own.

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Sides~

Potato Korma ($6.50). It was ok, nothing special, the potato was very tender but because everything else surpassed all expectations, this in comparison was very mediocre.

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Borrani bonjonpan-fried eggplant, topped with tomato puree, onions, drizzled with yoghurt and dried mint ($8.00). I’m a sucker for eggplant so when my friends asked to have something different from all the meat, I was very keen to order this. Not much in the way of texture but the salty flavours from the eggplant, tomato puree and onions was soooo good especially when it was balanced by the yoghurt on top.

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Dessert~

I had my eye on a few desserts that I haven’t seen before but coincidentally the person who makes the desserts (every Monday and Friday) hadn’t come in to make them the previous day, so we had to go with ‘plan B’. image

Chef’s selectionselection of Beklawa mix, served with Afghani tea. Serving for two ($17.90). I wasn’t going to have the Afghani tea (you can choose either black or green) but they were nice enough to give us another cup so I could try. It had a lovely taste of cardamom and it was very refreshing from the syrups and sweetness of the dessert platter.

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A lot of nuts, syrups and textures but there wasn’t much difference between them all, my favourite was the baklava.

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Friendly attentive staff that wasn’t afraid to tell me that I wouldn’t be full after the ‘platter for 2’ and that’s why I ordered everything else (and then some). Although it seemed like I had eaten lamb in 5 ways, it was all so different, tasty and interesting. It just really proves that they know how to cook lamb! Oh and that chicken… You must try the chicken.

It is sad to see that this place isn’t very busy (I had walked past it again after visiting) considering it is a lot better than most of the surrounding restaurants. Don’t be afraid to try something different, it may surprise you and you’ll be left wondering why you didn’t try it sooner.

Venue: Koochi Cafe

AddressShop 33/46 Hibberson St Gungahlin place, Gungahlin, ACT 2612

Phone: (02) 6262 2341

Opening hours:

Monday 5pm – 9pm

Tues/Wed 11am – 9pm

Thurs/Fri 11am – 9:30pm

Saturday 10am – 9:30pm

Sunday 10am – 9pm

Closed between 2 – 5pm Monday-Friday

Koochi Afghan Cafe on Urbanspoon