Making macarons created a domino effect. Macarons = egg yolks left over = making creme patisserie = making choux pastry = having cream puffs

Phew! All done now!
#homemade #dessert #pastry #food #foodie #cbr #canberra #delicious

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The District

Who knew, tucked away in the suburbs that The District existed, but I guess that’s what the place needs since the Gungahlin area is expanding so rapidly. We couldn’t get a table til 8pm and when I went in, I realised why. Number 1: it is very popular and number 2: they have very limited seated when it is cold and no one wants to sit outside.

I made a rookie mistake and ate a very large snack to keep me going to dinner time but instead it probably limited my stomach space and therefore limited my choices on what we tried from the menu.

The District is a versatile place that welcomes friends and families in a casual environment which has a menu to suit everyone and a lot of drink specials at the bar.IMG_4355.JPGIMG_4354.JPGIMG_4353.JPGLight starters~

Creamy garlic prawns with steamed rice ($15.90). Probably not the best value considering it was almost the same price as our shared main but it was very delicious, rich and creamy which almost made TimmyC order another one, but I suggested he leave room for dessert. We drenched our whole rice into the sauce and ate every last grain *licks lips*. IMG_4363-0.JPG
A close up of the creamy garlic prawns.IMG_4366.JPGThe Pizza~ (gluten free bases available)

Funghi with mushrooms and mozzarella ($16.00). TimmyC just wanted to eat something light and simple, so when I suggested pizza, he wanted to choose a basic topping. The base was really nice and the perfect thickness (for me), despite being really cheesy with the beautiful stretch of mozzarella when you pull away, I think the cheese lacked a bit of salty flavour.IMG_4374.JPGCheck out that gorgeous cheesy stretch when you pull a slice away.IMG_4373.JPGThe District Specials~

700g Cattleman Cutlet with herb and garlic roasted kipflers topped with tiger prawns and seeded mustard hollandaise ($38.90). This was shared between two people so it wasn’t a huge monstrosity to devour. My friends really enjoyed this, they ordered it medium rare and it came out perfectly despite it’s very thick cut.IMG_4370.JPGDesserts~

Rosemary  and white chocolate panna cotta with berry compote ($13.00). It might seem like an odd combination and it was, but that wasn’t what I had a problem with as I took a liking to the subtle taste of rosemary. It was the texture. As soon as I placed a spoonful on my tongue, I could feel the gritty texture. It was odd because overall it was smooth with a fine grain grit throughout it all. A shame really because it had a lovely wobble to it.IMG_4379.JPGPeanut butter parfait ($12.00). This was like a cold ice-cream version of a picnic chocolate bar minus the wafer. A lot of different textures and it was at times a little hard to dig through with our spoons but I love me some picnic!IMG_4376.JPGButterscotch pudding ($10.00).  A lovely warming pudding for the cold weather but I would have liked more butterscotch sauce.IMG_4382.JPGIMG_4381.JPGThe District is a really lovely place that is casual and inviting. I wish that this was my local where I could pop in for a quick dinner if I didn’t feel like cooking but still wanted a large variety of things to choose from. Random fact: I really like their taps in the bathroom.

I do intend on returning to try more of their menu but next time without snacking between meals.

Venue: The District

Address:  Crace Central Shopping Centre – Cnr Abena Avenue & Hillcrest St Crace, ACT

Phone: (02) 6162 2265

District on Urbanspoon

Chocolate D’Or – Robyn Rowe’s chocolates

I didn’t expect to head to Robyn Rowe’s straight after our brunch at Poachers pantry but then again I didn’t expect to eat two breakfasts that morning either. It is literally down the road from Poachers pantry, so it would be silly not to go to Chocolate D’Or!

Robyn serving happy customers who have driven quite a long way to visit her.IMG_4313.JPGA window into their operations and behind the scenes area.IMG_4312.JPGI wonder if the staff get paid in money or chocolate… I would choose a little from column A and a little from column B!IMG_4326.JPGThey have a nice patio to sit and enjoy their hand-made chocolates.IMG_4311.JPGMore seating out in the sun, if only it came out to play.IMG_4310.JPGDespite being full, each couple ordered an assiette to share which consists of a hot chocolate (milk or dark), three chocolate truffles, a chocolate cup filled with ice cream and complete with a chocolate spoon ($18.00). It would be hard to choose only three truffles from their large range of flavours that they had but I told myself that one day I’ll get around to trying every flavour eventually.IMG_4333.JPGSea salted caramel, butterscotch schnapps truffle and a caramel raspberry. Chocolates are made weekly to ensure freshness as they don’t have a long shelf life in comparison to store bought chocolate. I found that this batch of sea salted caramel (which had always been our favourite) to be too salty and sharply drowned out the sweetness of the caramel rather than enhance it. The butterscotch schnapps didn’t impress me that much either but the raspberry caramel- wow! One of my new favourites!

A close up of the goodies on the plate.IMG_4337.JPGWe chose a dark hot chocolate because it was just as tasty as the milk (and TimmyC never usually goes for dark!), you have to stir quickly in order to avoid lumps.IMG_4332.JPGI ❤ their caramel raspberry truffle.IMG_4340.JPGI had also come out here to grab a gift for a dear friend, selections for his truffle box included: lime coconut zing, French vanilla, caramel raspberry and orange créme truffle ($2.00 per truffle).IMG_4321.JPGHmmm, what to choose?IMG_4320.JPGA cute place to grab an afternoon tea as well as grab a lovely gift for someone. After trying their cocoa nibs and chocolate callets, I couldn’t help but buy a block of chocolate for home. Do I dare state that I liked it more than Haighs plain chocolate? I’m a big fan of Callebaut.

According to their website, they have chocolate flavours which include Sea Salted Caramel, Belgian Style Café Truffles, Star Anise Truffles, Orange Créme Truffle, Banana Flambé, Minty, Chilli Chocolate, Caramel Raspberry Framboise, Aramatoquie Poire, (Pear), Open Sesame, Lime Coconut Zing and Caramel Speculaas. Ooooh caramel speculaas! My next flavour to try.

 

Venue: Chocolate D’Or

Address1153 Murrumbateman Rd Nanima, NSW

Phone: (02) 6227 0550

Website: robynrowechocolates.com.au

Chocolate D'Or on Urbanspoon

Burbury Hotel high tea

My wonderful foodie friend, fellow 101localhuman and blogger (see her fabulous blogs here and here, I barely have time to write one blog, how does she write two!?) had arranged for a few of us to meet and exchange foodie news over high tea that the Burbury Hotel now hosts. I’ve always been on the hunt to try all the high teas in and around Canberra and am close to finishing the list. I was surprised to hear that the Burbury hotel now does high tea considering they have only used the Terrace area for functions and hotel breakfast but it is a good use of the space as it has gorgeous views of the city.

Taken from the website, their description is: “Perched on the rooftop of the award winning Burbury Hotel, the rooftop terrace overlooking the city, lake and leafy Barton will host Canberra’s most exclusive high tea. With a selection of finely made French cakes & tarts, delicate savouries and traditional scones, accompanied with TWG fine teas and freshly brewed coffee.”

Arriving at the 7th (top) floor, I was told my friends were already waiting. As I sat down to take in the beautiful views, the incredible amount of natural light this space has and quickly admiring other people’s sweets, I was promptly asked if I would like champagne to start to which I declined.

My friend’s bubbles.IMG_4403.JPGA very spacious area and I wasn’t surprised that it was filled with lots of girlfriends and young families catching up over some cake.IMG_4406.JPGThe tea menu was varied which meant something to suit everyone. I went with the ‘Napoleon‘ which had fragrant vanilla notes and I had it black with no added sugar (I figured I would get a huge sugar hit from the food anyway).IMG_4409.JPGMatching tea pots and tea cups. IMG_4423.JPGFinally, the main event arrives! A high tea platter for three people. I did notice that we were short a pistachio cake and I wasn’t afraid to ask for another one to which they came back with two more of the little cakes.IMG_4420.JPGA break down of each tier:

Bottom tier~ I am a huge fan of catching up over cakes, TWG teas but I mainly went to catch up with my foodie friends. I miss how we all whip out all cameras and start clicking as soon as food arrives.

A close up of our brioche buns with salmon and crustless cucumber sandwiches. I was a little disheartened to find that there were no hot savouries on the platter and there was nothing interesting about the savouries choices either but they were a necessity to balance out the inevitable sugar high I would be on later that day. I carefully rationed out my savoury bites between all the sugary sweets.IMG_4412.JPGMiddle tier~

Plain and cranberry scones with what looked like a fruit compote and cream. There was no way that those cute little pots contained enough ‘jam’ and cream for 6 sconesso I asked for more as soon as we ran out. I was hoping that the plain scone was really a cheese scone because it had a weird dark glaze to it, but alas it wasn’t. Not the most ‘fluffiest’ scones and they weren’t warmed either but the condiments did the trick of hiding all the flaws.IMG_4426.JPGTop tier~

As cute as these selection of cakes were, I was lead to believe based on their photos and promos that there would be mini eclairs, macarons and profiteroles on this tier. 😦

The top of the lemon tart (which was crazy tart btw) was like a weird marshmallow, the opera cake packed a big coffee punch, the chocolate tart was really sweet but I did love the popcorn and the mini friands were moist and okay.IMG_4419.JPGGluten free option~

It looked like a last minute creation when the two halves of a macaron was split into two and decorated with chocolate filling and berries on top.IMG_4424.JPGAn odd shaped gluten free roll served with ‘jam’ and cream.IMG_4425.JPGI don’t know if you’ve ever had untoasted gluten free thick sliced bread, but it’s not good.IMG_4427.JPGIt was a cloudy wet day, but I could imagine on a gorgeous clear sunny day, this place would have beautiful views.IMG_4435.JPGOne of the last tables to leave as well as leaving all our mess.IMG_4436.JPGA mediore high tea at best but the views and the natural lighting is amazing. I would come again more for the atmosphere rather than the food, I do hope it improves though.

Venue: Hotel Burbury  (7th floor)

Address: 1 Burbury Close, Barton ACT 2600

Phone:  (02) 6173 2700

High tea: Friday – Sunday 1pm to 4pm

Traditional $39.00 per person $20.00 per person (kids under 12)

Champagne $49.00 per person

Brunch at Poachers Pantry

I was very keen to head out to Hall and make a return visit to Poachers Pantry not long after my two 101 local human experiences. Brunch is served from 10am – 11:30am and it was very easy to book a table on the website for 10:30am and it was noted that we would have to vacate our table at 11:45am in time for the lunch time service. Instantly I receive a text and an email confirming my booking, I couldn’t help but feel that Poachers Pantry had been burned before as they also then sent me another text which I had to confirm my table the day before but it gave me peace of mind that I had a table after I drove to the other side of town.IMG_4275.JPGIt was filling up fast inside for the brunch service.IMG_4280.JPGSides~

Parmesan and chive hash brown ($5.00). After being housebound for a few weeks, I might have been a wee bit over excited and ordered two breakfast choices as well as a side but this sounded really interesting. It wasn’t exactly what I expected, I don’t know what they made the hash brown out of but it looked very orange. I think it needed more salt despite supposedly having parmesan cheese in the mix.IMG_4293-0.JPGIMG_4304.JPGBaked farmhouse eggs served with bacon, roast vine tomatoes and potato roesti ($21.00). TimmyC didn’t really go out of his way to share his dish, but I guess I was busy with my two plates of food. He really enjoyed the eggs which had a herby creamy sauce that he could spread over the bread and went very well with everything else on the plate.IMG_4283.JPGA close up of the baked eggs.IMG_4286.JPGButter croissant with Poachers ham and Swiss cheese ($9.00)IMG_4289.JPGHuevos rancheros with smoked lamb, fried egg and an avocado chipotle sauce ($22.00).IMG_4290.JPG

IMG_4291.JPGPumpkin and ricotta hotcakes with maple bacon and cinnamon sugar ($21.00). I thought the pumpkin would be pureed and used to create a moist dense hotcake but there were actual chunks of pumpkin giving sweet pockets within every few bites. Not the most ‘normal’ sounding breakfast but the sweet and salty flavours went really well together despite the fact that it looked like someone went a bit crazy with the cinnamon sugar. IMG_4295-1.JPG

Injectable doughnuts with salted dulce de leche ($17.00). My failed attempt of injecting the doughnuts left TimmyC commenting that my filling only went ‘pimple deep’ :/ The filling was more liquid-y than I thought it would be, so it really just soaked into the doughnut rather than being a thick sweet paste. I think it would  have worked better if the doughnuts were slightly smaller and there was more filling.IMG_4298.JPG

IMG_4302.JPGWe weren’t rushed out after our meal even though my slow eating caused us to go a little over the time limit. People were very happy with their brunch choices and I left feeling overly full and greedy, maybe next time I’ll stick to just one menu item.

It doesn’t really feel that you’re in Canberra any more when you drive out to where the air feels cleaner but conveniently it isn’t that far away from the city as long as you don’t drive past the turn off.

Eden patisserie

IMG_4538.JPGStrawberry tart ($4.50) from Eden patisserie in Mawson, a sister bakery to 210 degrees in Hughes. When did the huge explosion of cafés/bakeries happen in Mawson?! #toomuchchoice #food #foodie #canberra #cbr #tart #visitcanberra #restaurantaustralia #sweets #localscanIMG_4543.JPGI like 210 degree pies so I had no hesitation ordering the cheese and bacon pie ($4.00). Cheese in every bite, yum!IMG_4544.JPG