Oh me oh my!

I’ve been spoilt this weekend with food choices.
First I started off with a sneak peek at the night noodle markets and today I’ve been off celebrating birthdays. We had long lunch at Grazing and then dinner not long afterwards at Pistachio. Now to sit in my pjs and pat my belly.IMG_0365

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Boat noodles from @morksrestaurant
Soupy or dry, I’d have them both!
#noodlemarkets

#cbr #canberrafood #canberraeats #food #foodie #foodblog #visitcanberra #localscan #enlightencanberrra #enlighten

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Enlighten Festival – Night Noodle Markets

I was lucky enough to get a sneak peek of the Night Noodle Markets before the hoards of people came in at 5:30pm on the dot last night. The grounds were eerily still as everyone was preparing food inside the stalls but the peace and quiet did not last as waves of people continued to flock the area until they ran out of food/shut for the night (just after 10pm).

The highlights for me (although I do have a lot of places I want to go back and try) were:

Morks boat noodles – As an Asian I find so much comfort in noodle soups, although both ‘soupy’ and ‘dry’ were delicious and there is so much flavour in the beef brisket. I love beef balls and they are paired it with a really good noodle that keeps its integrity and doesn’t get too soft.

Hoy Pinoy – the skewers just had so much charcoal smokey flavour topped with a sticky glaze, I started to develop a glaze moustache towards the end.

N2 gelato – I really liked both flavours; ‘ferrero revealnutella gelato with crushed hazelnuts, a crunchy rice bubble choc top and a warm chocolate ganache syringe and ‘brokeback momentvanilla gelato with layers of honeycomb bites, a honeycomb choc top and a warm caramel syringe (both $8.00 each). My suggestion is, after waiting so long in the line, you may as order both and enjoy everything they have to offer.

Daniel San – I love the Japanese style of flavour they have to these skewers, I am a huge chicken yakitori fan all the way. Plus I love all their witty names!

So hopefully we have shown that Canberra’s love of food is strong and that we have proved this to our interstate vendors to take Canberra seriously as a foodie area and encourage them to come back next year, maybe even have this market expand and grow for years to come.

p.s. The National Portrait Gallery has my favourite light projections this year.

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So after two hours of eating with foodies, I met up with friends and they lined up for ONE HOUR to get these treats including- Ribeana and longan drinks, mantou (they ran out of condensed milk), chicken lollipops, sweet potato balls, chicken crisps (skin) and soft shell crab. I have sweet and patient friends
#noodlemarkets #cbr #localscan #canberra #visitcanberra #thiscanberranlife @thiscanberranlife #canberrafood #canberraeats

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BurraBerkshires @ The Hamlet

Pulled pork free range pork slow cooked with a light BBQ sauce with a blob of sour cream ($8.00 small). This would probably surprise a lot of people that I chose this dish but when you’re at the Hamlet, you want to try as much as possible so a no/low carb option would pair nicely with let’s say… A huge hot dog from Brod Dogs and maybe also a papa from Mr. Papa. 🙂 (Yes YummyLummy, we also went to Frugii afterwards).

This is how much I nibbled until TimmyC finally came back with more food.IMG_9616At first I couldn’t decide what I wanted between the pulled pork and the pulled lamb but the lovely ladies from BurraBerkshires told me that the pulled pork is better in their opinion which took the guess work out of deciding. There were a lot of sides and I thought we had to choose one to go with the meal but no, you get ALL of them! That’s right; you get rice, citrus cous cous, chick peas with grilled zucchini and feta, spinach and rocket salad and a summer salad. They were all really good, I didn’t get bored because there was so much variety in one meal and yes that pork was very delicious and went well with all that sauce.

I, like everyone else didn’t read the sign properly. You get ALL of the sides which is good because they all sound fabulous and delicious. This is the menu, what would you have chosen?IMG_9612

IMG_9613A close up of the pulled pork. It was very tender, juicy and it just paired so well with sour cream.IMG_9615I was slightly embarrassed that while I was instamming (yes I have a problem), one of the ladies from inside the grass carpeted van came out and hand delivered my meal as I sat right outside at the closest table. I thought that was just a lovely touch and they seemed so friendly.

After looking around, I realised that BurraBerkshires was the only one not selling things in a roll/bun/doughy pizza base/wrap. So if you’re looking for good food with variety or just something light and flavoursome to go with something else, I would definitely recommend coming here.

Venue: BurraBerkshires @ The Hamlet

Address: 16 Lonsdale Street, Braddon

Opening hours:

Tuesday – Sunday 12 – 2pm

Thursday – Saturday 6 – 8:30pm

BurraBerkshires on Urbanspoon

Bistro Nguyen’s

My friend and I have made a tradition out of meeting up for Friday lunches, usually we eat Asian food because it is cheaper, generally faster and sometimes we just crave noodles and rice. So when I heard a new Vietnamese restaurant had opened up in the city, we had to go immediately. Bistro Nguyen’s is located on the corner of the Melbourne building near Nourthbourne Avenue and Alinga street. The decor is a mixture of different chairs matched with different tables, I didn’t trust the durability of the plastic stools at our table so I swapped them out for a metal ones.IMG_9915It was very busy during the Friday lunch rush, it was completely full inside so we took a table outside.IMG_9917I don’t know how I feel having all the mouth side parts of the utensil facing up, but what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger right?IMG_9921It is an ‘order and pay at the counter’ situation but not only that, the food is only delivered to the table whenever it is ready and not in any particular order, which meant that we received our the pho first and the grilled pork rolls and drinks last with a pretty decent waiting gap in between.

Grilled pork rolls Nguyen’s special grilled pork rice paper rolls with herbs and special dipping sauce (3 pieces $7.50). These were very disappointing rice paper rolls. There was no taste of herbs, you could barely taste the pork and the dipping sauce didn’t help either. The pork looked like processed brown meat that did not look grilled. I will not be ordering this again.IMG_9949IMG_9948Rare beef pho traditional  beef noodle soup slow cooked with the heart and soul of Nguyen’s secret family recipe. A quintessential Vietnamese dish! ($12.50). I tasted my friend’s pho, it is sweeter than all the other broths that I’ve tried but still very flavoursome. At first my ‘very picky broth taster’ friend liked it, but towards the end she said that she could taste a lot of MSG and that she would not be ordering it again. I rather enjoyed the spoonful I had (being a less picky broth taster) and I would consider trying it next time.IMG_9933Pho served with all the garnishes.IMG_9938Saigon pork roll made fresh daily by our master baker. Saigon roll filled with pork belly, Vietnamese ham, home-made pate, mayo, pickled carrot, cucumber, coriander and a dash of soy sauce ($7.50). I would have usually gone straight for the pho but it was crazy hot out so I grabbed something more temperature appropriate. I’m surprised they let me order this considering I asked for the home-made pate to be omitted *gasp!* but even then they asked to clarify that I wanted to take the most ‘essential’ ingredient. All the meat looked processed and there was barely any in the roll, I liked the taste of the pickled carrot which was good because that was the only thing I could taste besides the crusty bread roll. I don’t know if they forgot the mayo because the whole thing felt pretty dry in my mouth, although I don’t know if this would have been any better if I had left the pate inside.IMG_9943I did consider picking out the chillis but they had no taste to them what so ever. Can you squint and see the meat inside the roll?IMG_9947Vietnamese black iced coffee ($4.00). It was definitely needed on this hot day. They didn’t have any smoothies available so I just stuck with water.IMG_9942We had a pretty cheap lunch but it wasn’t completely impressive. I don’t want to judge this place yet because I’ve eaten such a limited portion of what they offer. I would come back and have their pho and I’d also be interested to see how their stir fried/rice dishes are. Their menu covers a large range of Vietnamese dishes including pho, vermicelli, rice dishes, Saigon rolls and stir fries.

Venue: Bistro Nguyen’s

Address78-80 Alinga St Canberra, ACT

Phone: 02 6262 6888

Bistro Nguyen's on Urbanspoon

Red Lantern on Riley

I knew after eating at Quay, the next meal would be really hard to top but Red Lantern in Surry Hills was very memorable and left me feeling excited for the next sequential dish when I thought I wasn’t that hungry.2015/01/img_9138.jpgA modern Asian feel inside. I loved the big centre table that we sat at.2015/01/img_9139.jpgMuc Rang Muoi lightly battered chilli salted squid with fresh lemon and white pepper dipping sauce ($24.50). I didn’t really bother with the dipping sauce as it was rather sour and I thought it was better without it. A very easy to eat dish, I didn’t think I was that hungry but after a bit of pecking, it was all gone.2015/01/img_9151.jpgCuon Thit Nuong soft rice paper rolls of char grilled honey pork neck and Vietnamese herbs ($30.00 for 5 rolls). These were rather quite small and they were filled with more noodles and less herbs than I’m used to. You could still taste the subtle flavours of the pork despite the noodle to everything else ratio. These are pricey when you usually see them at other restaurants at $2-4 a pop instead of $6.2015/01/img_9150.jpgBanh Xeo crisp rice flour crepe filled with master stock pork belly and tiger prawn, served with fresh herbs and lettuce to wrap ($29.50). I’ve eaten my fair share of Vietnamese pancakes but this by far was one of my favourites! The crepe was exceptionally crispy, the pork and prawns were nice but the herbs made the real impact. Despite constant dipping in the sauce, the crepe stayed crispy and added to the crunch along with the lettuce and bean sprouts. Next time I won’t share!2015/01/img_9155.jpg

2015/01/img_9156.jpgBo Luc Lac O’Connor pasture fed English breed beef, strip loin wok tossed with black pepper, garlic, oyster sauce and sesame ($38.00). Although this seemed like a simple dish, it was made very well that it impressed me a lot. What didn’t impress me was the price tag attached.2015/01/img_9158.jpgCa Ri Chay tofu, eggplant and cherry tomato vegetarian yellow curry ($29.50). Vegetarian curry was definitely not my choice but I fell in love with the amount of depth this sauce had. It definitely made me think about the type of curry I would like to develop when I get through my New Year’s resolutions.2015/01/img_9162.jpgCa Kho New Zealand King Salmon fillet in a caramel, chilli and black pepper sauce with Chinese broccoli and sesame crackers ($39.00). Fish isn’t usually my first pick either but Mumsy loves fish and chose this dish. I really liked it. The sticky sweet caramel soy sauce always goes perfectly with salmon.2015/01/img_9160.jpgChuoi Chien Banana fritters crumbed in coconut and white rice with palm sugar caramel, tapioca sauce and vanilla bean ice cream ($16.00). My sister was the only one who wanted a dessert but she let me have a spoonful. The addition of the coconut with the banana makes me think of a cross between a deep-fried ice cream and a banana split.2015/01/img_9165.jpgWe sat at the spacious big table in the centre of the dining area while the other neighbouring booths looked a little snug and the place can get quite noisy. We had to ask for new bowls when we sat down as two of them were dirty; the staff were friendly throughout the night and were attentive with things like water and taking away plates etc.2015/01/img_9147.jpgThe bill came to around $180ish (after Entertainment book discount) between 5 diners, 3 of which just had a large lunch at Quay. Not the cheapest Asian meal but if you ignore the price tag and order the right dishes, you’ll have a wonderful night. There is a snug fitting bar at the back which would be nice to hang out at while waiting for a table.

Venue: Red Lantern on Crown

Address60 Riley St Darlinghurst, NSW

Phone: 02 9698 4355

Entertainment book: Yes! It is in the Sydney one.

Red Lantern on Riley on Urbanspoon

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It not usually the case that I go back to a suburb three nights in a row for dinner, especially since it is the opposite side of town for me, but Dickson provides a hub of interesting mixture of restaurants.The dining experiences were a combination of the familiar, the unknown and something new.

 

Thursday night: Jimmy’s Place 

It was Chinese New Year and we wanted to go out for crab and noodles. Naturally Jimmy’s is our first choice as it usually has the cheapest market price for mud crab and they do my favourite ‘ginger and shallots with a yi mein noodle base’ pretty well.

Friday night: Kimchi 

This was not my first preference as I don’t love Korean food but my friend chose restaurant and it was refreshing not to be in charge of food plans. We chose a lot of stuff that I like from the Korean menu and I’ve found some new favourites.

Saturday night: Bon Kura 

My friends couldn’t understand what I was doing when I ran to take photos of a shop front and told them to go inside Kimchi first and I’d meet them in there, but I couldn’t contain my excitement that I saw two new (well new to me) restaurants and Bon Kura was one of them; they just opened two weeks ago!

 

Watch this space for upcoming blog posts!

Frugii Dessert Laboratory re-run

A chocoholic Belgian, TimmyC and a foodie walked into a bar Frugii dessert laboratory.

It sounds like the beginning of a joke but it was my reality two weekends ago as we slipped away from the Multicultural festival and took a friend of mine to Frugii Dessert Laboratory for the first time.

We were greeted and warned by the lovely owner John Marshall, not to panic as the cake cabinets were currently empty but his wonderful wife Ed was on her way with the second drop off of cakes. We sat there patiently waiting for her with an ice cream in hand of course.

We all crowded around when the goods got delivered but we let John put them on cardboard first instead of eating directly from the box 😉IMG_9729I let my Belgian friend and TimmyC decide what to order while I was instagramming at the table (yes I have a problem)What happened next shouldn’t have really surprised me but it did anyway.

Ummm sorry, did you just come back with 6 pastries AND ice cream for dessert between the three of us? IMG_9738TimmyC was “restrained” enough not to get one of each flavour as we had recently had the Earl Grey with lemon (which was delicious). We wanted to try all the other flavours that we hadn’t gotten around to yet.

Lemon meringuecaramel; dark chocolate and raspberry; rose, vanilla and raspberry ($6.00). Although they were all tasty, we all had different ‘favourites’. My favourite was the lemon meringue, while the other sweet tooths preferred the dark chocolate and raspberry or the caramel.IMG_0105We came, we saw, we ate. *photo courtesy of TimmyCIMG_0106I don’t know if this post should count as a “re-run” since I’ve been there so many times but it is my second written post about the Frugii Dessert Laboratory. See my first post about their opening night here.