The Fat Duck flies south for (Summer, Autumn and) Winter

I had heard all the secret whispers that Heston Blumenthal was going to open his first international restaurant last week and it was most likely going to be in Melbourne, but it wasn’t until today that he has announced that all the rumours are true and then some!

Heston is flying his whole team from The Fat Duck to Crown in Melbourne. After they close The Fat Duck in Bray for Christmas, the building will go undergo renovations while Heston and all his staff are in Melbourne for the next six months.

The Melbourne restaurant will be called The Fat Duck while Heston and his whole original team are here, but when they all go home it will be then known as “Dinner by Heston Blumenthal”.

I wonder when they will start taking bookings, that phone will be ringing off the hook no doubt.

Soul food re-run re-run

It has been a while since I’ve last come to Soul food, I have been craving their ribs and their delicious BBQ sauce. I’ve noticed on their website that they now do breakfast (started around a month ago), some of the breakfast menu items that caught my eye include:

  • Miss Selena’s Homemade Pancakes served with bacon & Maple Syrup with an optional Southern Fried Chicken
  • Miss Selena’s Southern Fried Chicken & Rice
  • Fried Green Tomatoes sliced green tomatoes fried to a golden brown and served with our homemade remoulade sauce (seasonal)
  • Eggs Theodore scrambled eggs served with a banana sautéed in butter, cinnamon and brown sugar

Anyway, back to dinner!
I went with a few friends who also had the same rib cravings, it is pretty much the same menu now with the addition of ‘burgers’ and kool aid.

Something old~

We of course started with buffalo wings ($16.00) to share.20140324-214516.jpgBest of both worlds ‘ribs and chicken combo ($38.00).20140324-215935.jpgNot messing around with extras, some of us just came for the delicious BBQ finger licking good pork ribs ($32.00).20140324-214539.jpg

20140324-214612.jpgThe Po’ boy sandwiches with pulled pork ($16.00). I’ve never been overly impressed with these.20140324-214718.jpgThere was one point during the evening that we had to ask that the TV be turned down, when it flicked onto the next video the volume was tremendously loud and almost unbearable. I’m surprised we had to alert them to turn it down and they didn’t do it instinctively.

Something new~

Soul man burger Brace yourself! This thick, meaty lunch-time burger is layered with sautéed onions, mushrooms and cheddar cheese is bursting with smoky flavour. The sauce combines the sweetness of real molasses with a sharp, spicy aftertaste your taste buds won’t soon forgot! ($16.00). The burger was insanely tall. I had to take its ‘hat’ off so I could fit it in my mouth. When I took my first bite, it was extremely extremely salty, I pin pointed it down to the sautéed mushrooms. Once I took them off, the burger was a decadent meaty beef patty with smoky flavours that was perfectly mixed with a melted cheddar cheese slice.20140324-214844.jpgI’m getting hungry just looking at the photos again.20140324-214645.jpgKool Aid ($4.00 a glass). I don’t know how people could drink this, it tastes very medicinal with a strong syrup flavour.20140324-223715.jpgIt might seem on the pricey side, but if you want one of the best pork ribs in Canberra and delicious comfort food, Soul food is the place to go. I am super keen to come try their breakfast menu!

Soul food will be celebrating their first birthday at the end of this month!!  

Read about my first and second visits.

Sushi Bay

While hanging out with friends that had particular food allergies but loved eating seafood, Sushi Bay seemed like the logical place to quickly grab a bite to eat before the movies and it is a much easier way to split the bill.

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If you’re like my friend and haven’t been to a sushi train before, the concept is simple: plates whiz by on a conveyor belt and you grab what you want and whatever else is on the menu that you can’t find on the sushi train can be made especially for you. Each plate is colour coded so you know how much it is worth and at the end, someone takes your plate total and it gets tallied at the front counter.

It is probably easier to grab what you want to eat rather than base your decision on the plate colour/price.20140316-123424.jpgWe grabbed a whole selection of dishes.

Salmon sashimi.20140316-003925.jpgI have never seen this before, it was supposedly ‘black ricewith crumbed chicken and avocado, it looked more like coloured rice mashed with red beans.20140316-004701.jpgChicken and lettuce.20140316-004714.jpgTuna salad.20140316-004640.jpgCalifornia roll.20140316-013538.jpgLion King‘ appears to be a tuna salad roll with avocado topped with cooked salmon and roe.20140316-004651.jpgPlates zooming past, there is no hesitation in sushi trains or you’re left waiting for it to do a whole loop before it comes back to you (and that is assuming someone else hasn’t taken it by then).20140316-004617.jpgTakoyaki octopus balls were barely warm and I would have liked more bonito flakes too. They were okay, next time I would request that they be made fresh.20140316-013617.jpgCrumbed Ebi tempura served with mustard, does anyone else find that weird?20140316-013600.jpgTuna salad with cucumber and avocado.20140316-013633.jpgSushi made to order~

Unagi marinated eel. This is always one of my favourite things to eat at a sushi restaurant. It is really nice here, don’t be put off by the eel, it really just tastes like a grilled fish.20140316-013717.jpgSeasoned seaweed. The seaweed has a nice chilli kick to it.20140316-013706.jpg

Inari fried bean curd pouch stuffed with sushi rice.20140316-013650.jpgThe resulting plate stacks. My total was $15.50.20140316-013732.jpg

Towards then end, my friend (who hadn’t been to a sushi train before) and I were both astonished and amused. She loved watching all the dishes whiz by and the excitement that she could pick anything off the train whenever she wanted. I sat there with my mouth opened in shock that the staff was opening up packets of cream cheese and cutting them into small blocks, my eyes frantically darted back and forth to see which sushi roll it ended up in. I feel it is really westernized sushi adapted to suit Australian palettes and the toppings that made me raise my eyebrow might be someone else’s favourite. Each to their own I say. Not the worst place I’ve eaten at in a mall but I would recommend getting fried and grilled selections made to order.

Venue: Sushi Bay

Address: Shop 328 L3 Benjamin Way, Belconnen, ACT 2617

Phone: (02) 6251 8833

Sushi Bay on Urbanspoon

The Wedding Collection

Watching my friends get married one by one has been a beautiful sight to witness; two people who love each other, declaring it to the world and starting their life as a married couple by celebrating their happiness surrounded by friends, family and of course good food. However, watching my friends one by one getting stressed out and have nervous breakdowns while planning for their big day, knowing I’m inevitably planning my wedding, made me feel like I was the next kid in line for an injection. It’s all fun and giggles until you’re next and you’re staring into the face of what could be your future.

Yeah, that kid next in line is not laughing. My mind starts to drift. I know what kind of bouquet I want, I have some table decoration ideas and I know that I want a photo booth but to TimmyC these things are superfluous until I tentatively organise three things:

  1. A guest list
  2. A date
  3. A venue

I start making an Excel spreadsheet for the guest list. How many people could I possibly know anyway? 10…20…50? Apparently around the 130 mark. I am shocked but relieved, that’s one thing ticked off the list and that wasn’t so hard.

What’s next? The date. Well we wouldn’t have cared if it was during a Canberra Winter but I doubt that our interstate guests would appreciate that, maybe during the next financial year around October and March as they have more tolerable temperatures, but really it might come down to venue availability and we are pretty flexible.

The last thing is… Venue. Well that’s where things get a little trickier.

To cut a long story short, I think I’ve narrowed it down to having here in Canberra but I did consider Sydney, Bowral (so gorgeous there), the Hunter Valley (very lovely there too) or Santorini (it’s still my plan B if A is too hard). Hmmm but where to go in Canberra?

Well this is where ‘The Wedding collection’ posts and my research has led me. Over the next few weeks I will look at various places for potential wedding venues with an emphasis on tasting their food to gauge their standard, as a lot of the catering companies that I have come across were established in Sydney or Melbourne, it was hard to get a proper review of their catering abilities in Canberra. At no point did I tell them I was a food blogger, I just emphasised that food wa a very important factor.