New food court- roll’d

I had a very late lunch so I would miss the hordes and masses of people pouring into the Canberra centre to check out the new food court which opened today, but the problem with doing that in a food court was most things have been sitting around for a while (I was eating around 4pm). To avoid getting any curries with a ‘skin’ on it or sushi that has been sitting around for a while, I opted to get a freshly made banh mi roll from roll’d– Vietnamese street food.20131031-164840.jpg Mr. Bun mee roll– with roast pork and crackling ($8.40 or free with the $10 Canberra voucher). A fresh and warm bun made to order with a delicious taste of coriander, pork, hint of sriracha (by request) and has the perfect loud crunch of crackle every now and then. Not exactly an authentic or traditional filling but I didn’t mind because it was YUUUUUUUM. photo (19) 20131031-171529.jpg There were also a lot of different choices of fresh paper rolls with unique fillings including barramundi, soft shell crab, tofu and BBQ chicken. Definitely one of the more exciting additions to the food court. Venue: Roll’d – Vietnamese street food Address: Canberra Centre food court, near the City Walk entrance , Shop CL13, Canberra Centre/ Bunda St, Canberra Phone: (02) 6247 5611

Roll'd on Urbanspoon

Lunch at Ellacure

I really love Ellacure and for a special friend’s birthday who never usually celebrates her birthday, I wanted to take her somewhere very nice. Parking is very easy during the weekday for lunch and we were greeted by friendly service as usual.

Entrees~ Zucchini flowers stuffed with three types of cheese in a light tempura batter (entree special $18.00). Despite being covered in batter and being flash fried, it wasn’t oily at all and you could really taste all the different cheeses. image

Prosciutto wrapped scallops, sauce vierge, balsamic ($18.00). The refreshing vierge balanced out the saltiness of the scallop and pruscuitto. A perfect little mouthful. image

Mains~ Braised lamb presse, green lentils, parsnip puree, gremolata ($30.00). The lamb was so incredibly tender and there were so many lovely spices and wonderful flavours in this dish. image

Lemon ricotta gnocchi, asparagus, peas, grana padano ($25.00). I’ve never had pan seared gnocchi and all the lemony flavours were so refreshing.

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Chicken, pancetta, sage, mushroom and lemon risotto ($24.00). Al beit well executed, it was the least exciting dish on the table.

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Veal fillet, prosciutto, lemon gorgonzola mash, sage, garlic jus ($32.00). The veal took a back seat to the amazing gorgonzola mash and the garlic jus. YUM!

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This was the first time I’ve had lunch here, it is much more relaxed than the hustle and bustle of the dinner service but I would love to come back for breakfast. You wouldn’t have thought that such a special gem would be hidden in Bruce, if you haven’t been, I’d suggest you go.

The Artisan – Surprise party

I’ve always been a fan of The Artisan in Narrabundah so this is more of a food porn post. I recently attended a surprise 30th birthday party all cleverly organised by the wife, she organised that there be a set menu for three courses with three options for each course. I tried to surround myself with fabulous company and of course ‘encouraged’ everyone to order different things to make my photos/post more interesting. 

Three course $65.00. Let the munching and the catch ups begin!

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Entrees~

Pan seared scallops with black pudding crumble, corn puree and frisee. I was going to order this although the idea of the black pudding crumble put me off, people who were brave enough to try it couldn’t really taste the black pudding aspect and really enjoyed it.

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Gnocchi Artisan crafted jerusalem artichoke gnocchi with butternut pumpkin filled zucchini flower and balsamic. I’ve never seen gnocchi prepared like this, looked amazing but not filling. 

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Pork belly chipotle braised pork belly with avocado mousse, apple slaw and crackling. Who could resist order pork belly? The crackle was perfect, the pork had layers of fat through it and the mousse was rather interesting.

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Mains~

Beef pure black eye fillet with smoked potato souffle, roast garlic puree, port jus and horseradish mustard. I am a big big fan of steak but I mainly ordered this for the smoked potato souffle and boy it didn’t disappoint! You could really taste the smokey flavour despite the delicate nature of the souffle. The steak was cooked perfectly and I was intrigued by the garlic puree.

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Spatchcock Harissa spiced breast and crisp leg with cucumber yoghurt, pomegranate, quinoa and baby coriander.

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Duck seared Grimaud duck breast with celeriac ribbons, raisins, watercress and cep jus.

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Dessert~

Wagon wheel layers of biscuit, marshmallow, raspberry jam and peanut praline with dark chocolate ganache.

Not complete without being covered in chocolate.

Panna cotta Elderflower panna cotta with honeycomb, yoghurt sortbet and popping candy.

Tarte tatin  banoffee tarte tatin with caramelised banana and dulce de leche ice cream. Everyone else ordered the other desserts so I sucked it up and ordered this even though I don’t usually eat bananas. I gave away my caramelised bananas but closely guarded my tarte tatin- flaky buttery tasty pastry mmmm, I wish the ice-cream wasn’t pooled on the top though.

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Having great company with marvelous food really makes a meal more enjoyable. Wonderful choice Cheryl!

Jimmy’s Saigon Vietnamese restaurant

We needed a quick bite before our show at the Canberra theatre and there were a lot of places I wanted to try in Civic, one of them was Jimmy’s Saigon Vietnamese restaurant situated where Sammy’s used to be. We didn’t need a booking but the place was filling up as we were seated.

Vietnamese pork spring rolls (2 rolls $5.00). Served nice and hot, a promising start to the meal.
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Fresh Vietnamese rice paper rolls with shredded pork (2 rolls $6.00). Shredded pork is so much better than prawns, you guys should try it!

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Flaming beef with hoisin sauce ($16.00). Good theatrics with the flames around bowl, too bad they used a black bean sauce instead of hoisin which was really overwhelming and the beef was a little tough.

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Lemon grass and chilli pork ($16.00). The pork wasn’t very tender, I could barely taste the lemon grass and it was intensely salty.  

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Steamed fish fillets with spicy ginger and vermicelli ($20.00). My favourite dish of the night by comparison. The fish fillet was light and tender with a nice amount of ginger on it and was better when you scraped away the black beans.

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Ordering proved a little difficult with one of the waiters when he was struggling with the names of the dishes while we were ordering even when we tried to give him the dish number. They didn’t have our first preference of ‘crispy whole flounder fish with ginger and fish sauce’ so they suggested a close alternative which was nice.

Overall I found all the main dishes waaaay too salty and usually I can eat a lot of salt, so I won’t be coming back to eat their main dishes although I might try their pho or steam boats eventually.

Venue: Jimmy’s Saigon Vietnamese restaurant

Address: Ground Floor, Garema Centre, Bunda St, Canberra ACT 2601

Phone: (02) 6162 0033

Jimmy's Saigon on Urbanspoon

5 Senses Gourmet bar

A lot of people ask me where I like to eat south side Canberra, truth be told, I don’t usually eat much past Woden and I know I should really change that, so I was super proud of myself when I headed to the HyerD and tried 5 Senses Gourmet bar for their all day breakfast. It is one of the busier cafes in Tuggeranong which seemed promising, there is a lot of natural light coming through and the place is nice and open.

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Pancakesbanana, fresh strawberries and your choice of maple syrup or chocolate sauce ($12.90). TimmyC saw pancakes and decided straight away that was what he wanted when the waitress asked for coffee orders, I still had barely finished looking at the menu and said I would need 2 minutes to decide. Apparently that meant his order of pancakes went through and he got his straight after I ordered. I eat so slow that TimmyC really didn’t need a head start. What probably made his order so fast also was because that the pancakes were pre-made and they were microwaved, no one makes pancakes that fast and to add to all that, it was maple flavoured syrup and not the real thing.

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Scrambled eggs on sourdough toast with home made baked beans and ricotta ($15.90) and a side of bacon ($3.50). Tell me you didn’t look at the bacon and thought it was the weirdest colour in the world. It has the colour of corned beef, no flavour, hard to stab my fork through it and it was hard to cut. Worst “bacon” ever! The ricotta, sourdough and eggs on the other hand was okay just needed some seasoning.

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The promise of ‘home made’ baked beans was the deal breaker of why I chose this dish and when I put the first bite in my mouth, I could tell it was Heinz baked beans instantly, after that I didn’t bother eating any more of it. IMG_5588

The coffee was apparently mediocre according to TimmyC.

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It has a nice location, family friendly and afforable but the food was lacklustre and sub par. There were so many ‘lies’ on the menu, I don’t think I would come back, I would rather drive to Pialligo for brunch.

Venue: 5 Senses Gourmet Cafe Bar

Address: Tuggeranong Hyperdome, 150 Anketell St, Tuggeranong ACT 2600

Phone: (02) 6293 4550

5 Senses Gourmet bar on Urbanspoon

Seasalt dining

I had first heard of Seasalt dining when was first added to the Entertainment book (2013/2014) and I was super excited because it was supposed to specialise in steak and seafood-  these are a few of my favourite things .

Since then, I had been to Seasalt dining once before and I thought that maybe because I chose a pasta was why I was disappointed. I was told by other people that the seafood platter was good, so I remained optimistic and took a friend out to Bruce to try Seasalt dining’s seafood platter for two.

Garlic bread ($4.20) not included in the platter.

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Seasalt Seafood platter for two Chef’s selection of grilled fish, Thai fish cakes, Cajun calamari, Kilpatrick oysters, seared scallops and prawns served with salad and chips ($59.80).

Kilpatrick oysters – the oyster’s natural flavours were overwhelmed by the Worcestershire sauce and I think it would have been better if they were left under the grill a little longer.

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They chips were served hot and one of the best things of the night and that can’t be good.

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Seared scallops and Cajun calamari– The scallops were rather nice with a good sear served with a bit of sweet jam (?) but too bad that they were served barely luke warm, actually nothing was particularly hot. How long was the food sitting around before it was served to us when there was next to no one in the restaurant? The Cajun calamari was one of the most disgusting calamari that I’ve ever eaten, the batter had a weird taste to it and the texture itself was chewy and hard to bite.

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Grilled fish – I was surprised that there was only one fillet to share between two people. The fish wasn’t too bad, just barely seasoned but very light and not oily.

Thai fish cakes – the most blandest, pale ‘supposed Thai fish cakes’ that I’ve ever eaten.

Prawns – drenched in overwhelming garlic creamy sauce.

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Home-made sticky date pudding with vanilla ice cream ($11.80). The best thing of the night, a warm well made pudding with a very rich butterscotch sauce. I’m glad that the night ended on a good note.

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Despite the service’s attentive friendly nature, the food was sub par and some parts were completely inedible. I’ve been here twice to try a variety of things and I would not come back or recommend this restaurant.

Venue: Seasalt Dining

Address: 85/15 Braybrooke St Bruce ACT 2617

Phone: (02) 6162 1617

Entertainment book: Yes, it’s in the book!

Seasalt Dining on Urbanspoon

Barbeque Nation

I’m always up for trying new places, even if one of my favourite Indian restaurants was across the road, I was ready to give BBQ Nation in Erindale a chance. I was surprised to see it was run by the people who used to run a small Indian takeaway in Kambah village, ‘Treats of India‘.

I was disappointed that with a name like ‘barbeque nation’ that it was just a typical Indian restaurant with no extra ‘BBQed’ menu items.

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A clean set up with easy access parking.

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Mango lassi ($5.00). A lovely smooth lassi that wasn’t overly sweet. 

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Patti samosa (2pcs mild) tasty deep fried triangular pastries filled with spiced lamb served with tamarind sauce ($7.00). A moist filling with a crispy pastry that went really well with the tamarind sauce.

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Chicken lollipops (med/hot) spicy chicken wings ($9.90). These weren’t spicy at all but I don’t know if that is because we asked for all the curries to be mild/medium. They tasted like tandoori chicken, nothing too special here even if I love chicken wings.

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Butter chicken (mild) boneless chicken pieces simmered in a makhani sauce ($16.50). A creamy butter chicken sauce but it is no where near as good as Punjabi Hut.

Aloo gobhi (med/hot) cauliflower and potatoes stir fry with cumin seeds, ginger and garlic paste. Season with selected north Indian spices ($15.50). I was quite surprised with this dish. Even  though it is more of a stir fry than a curry with sauce, it was one of my favourite dishes.

Palak paneer (mild) home made cheese with fresh English spinach ($15.50). I couldn’t really taste the paneer in this dish so it felt very bland.

Beef Korma a mild preparation of ground roasted cashew nuts, hint of spices and fresh cream ($16.90). Not the best korma that I’ve had, it wasn’t particularly flavoursome.

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Naan – cheese ($4.00) and garlic ($3.50). Served nice and hot, they weren’t stingy with the cheese or garlic which was nice.

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Although the service was attentive and the food was served fast, overall the food was very mediocre and I don’t think I would come back here.

Venue: BBQ Nation

Address: 4/33, Gartside Street, Erindale, Wanniassa, ACT 2903

Phone: (02) 6296 6608

Websitehttp://www.barbequenation.com.au/

Opening hours: Dinner only

Monday – Sunday: 5pm – 10pm

Barbeque Nation Indian Grill on Urbanspoon

Ai ya!

TimmyC just alerted to me the fact that I fly out next weekend to go to  Hong Kong. Eeeep! I better start planning my eating adventures and pump out the posts that I haven’t gotten around to writing from Canberra and the surrounding areas.

Does anyone have any suggestions of where I should go to in Hong Kong to eat?

New Food Court Opening

Canberra Centre VIPs are being given a voucher for a free meal for up to $10 (<< click on the link and print out your voucher) at their new Food Court and talking up the opening to their new fancy food court. I wonder where CBD dumplings will be?

From the Canberra Centre newsletter:

Join us on Thursday 31 October at 8.30am as we open the new food court near the City Walk entrance. Be one of the first to relax in the spacious and contemporary new surroundings and enjoy the stylish seating options, new restrooms, a new parents room and free Wi-Fi. It’s the ideal place to meet friends or for a quick bite. Click the image above to find out more on the choice of new taste sensations on offer.

Joining all your favourites including Ali Baba, McDonald’s, Subway and Sumo Salad are;

Hanaichi – Canberra’s first Hanaichi store, offering a menu of tasty Japanese food including tempura, teriyaki don and soups.

Hokka Hokka  brings the very best Malaysian, Singaporean and Thai styles of cuisine including fresh, healthy and tasty made to order and ready-to-eat dishes satisfying a diverse range of tastes.

Pure & Natural – The ideal choice for ‘fast food’ for people who are health conscious.  The menu is focused on providing foods with a reduced, low or no fat content.

Touch of India – North Indian Cuisine including  specialty curries, Naan breads and flavours from the Tandoor. Not to mention their refreshing lime drink.

Burger Edge – Burger Edge is about honest food, friendly service and value for money where their customers are their purpose. Burger Edge use only premium quality ingredients for maximum  freshness, taste and presentation.

Hero Sushi – Offering an array of sushi, bento boxes and gourmet sushi.   Hero Sushi offers fresh, healthy and tasty Japanese food ensuring their position at the forefront of modern Japanese dining.

Indo – With a range of traditional Indonesian cuisine including Sambal Goreng, Laksas and Satays, Indo will fast become a favourite when visiting the new food court.

Mad Mex – Mad Mex serves authentic Mexican cuisine, with a Baja Californian-inspired menu of delicious and nutritious burritos, nachos, quesadillas and more, all prepared with only the freshest ingredients and served in a fast casual format that can be prepared for dine in or takeaway. The made-to-order system of preparation allows diners to customise their meals to their exact taste and preference.

Roll’d – Roll’d are a Vietnamese street food concept out of Melbourne.  Serving authentic rice paper rolls, Banh Mi, Vermicelli and Pho at reasonable prices, which will be sure to satisfy your taste buds.

Xpresso Bar – Be prepared for a sensational coffee experience.  Professional baristas will brew your favourite taste and then you choose from sweet or savoury accompaniments.

Crossing over

I’ve been using Tumblr for the past two years developing my food blog, besides yelling at it to share to my Facebook page better and having no real way to reply to comments and questions, it has been a good run. Thank you to all my Tumblr fans out there.

I’m looking forward to using WordPress, although it’s a completely new look both at the user and writer’s end. I hope it will be easier to navigate between all my food adventures and recipes. Looking forward to going on foodie adventures with you all.

Breakfast at A.Baker

With nothing much enticing me from the dinner menu, I took a friend and we headed to New Acton A. baker at an unprecedented (for me at least) time for a breakfast instead.

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At 8:30am Saturday, it was easy to get a table but was it worth it? I hope so!

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A very industrial feel inside and I don’t know how I feel about exposed pastries and tarts. image

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I liked that they asked for coffee orders once we sat down because I can imagine a lot of caffeine addicts want coffee ASAP but between two non coffee drinkers, we chose alternative hot beverages.

Hot chocolate ($3.50).

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Loose leaf chai ($3.50). Not overly sweet but it was nice and milky and smooth.

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3 Snow on the mountains cookies ($3.00). I didn’t get to try these but I get spoilt by my MIL all the time with these and they are simple to make.

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Pain au chocolat ($4.00). A pretty good croissant but I wish it was more buttery and flaky.

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Toasted sour dough with butter and house made preserves ($7.00). Today’s house made preserve was burnt mandarin jam. I’m a big fan of sour dough but it takes forever for me to chew through the crust. The jam was not overly sweet  and was so great that I even ate all the chunky rind by itself afterwards.

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Poached eggs, crusty bread, spinach, herb and egg dressing ($14.00) with a side of house cured maple bacon ($3.50). I couldn’t taste the maple flavour but I love the smokiness in the bacon. The thicker cuts made it a little dry but the thinner slices crisped up very nicely.

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63° egg, Yass mushroom, soft polenta, pangrattato,  Grandvewe pecorino ($16.00). When they put it down, all I could smell was the fragrant perfume of cheese and olive oil. The delicious mound of mushrooms covered a perfectly cooked egg. This had lots of different textures between the softness of the egg and polenta, squishiness of the mushrooms to the crispy pangrattato and chewy sour dough bread. A very enjoyable breakfast.

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Great service, amazing unique breakfast choices but it is not easy or cheap to find parking in the area and with no bookings taken, it is a gamble to get a seat straight away. I am tempted to come back for dinner, maybe I’ll just choose things that don’t have gizzards or liver.

***The Parlour room is set to open October 2013 next door, that will be exciting***

Venue: A.Baker

Address: Unit 2, 15 Edinburgh Avenue, Canberra, ACT 2601

Phone: (02) 6287 6150

 

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