What to choose? A little from column A and a little from column B. Maximize choices and deliciousness. #cherry #cherrypicking #visityoung #food #foodie #foodporn #instafood #sofranksocial #yummy #cherryseason #foodblogger 

Fun filled weekend – Monster

Since I was basically at capacity after our dinner at Močan and Green Grout, I had no input in what to do about dessert (yes, some of us could still fit it in). Nothing in particular sparked TimmyC’s interest on their dessert menu so he suggested to go to Monster which was just a short stroll away.
We seated ourselves in the new section near the fancy fireplace, which was thankfully off. Friends chose their desserts quickly and when I was probed about not having a dessert by the friendly waitress, TimmyC quickly chose a dessert for me but really a second one for himself.
Hot chocolate ($4.00).
Flat white coffee ($4.00).Creme Catalan, pear, Pedro Ximinez ($17.00). When we were receiving our cutlery, our waitress informed us that we ordered the last two Creme catalans and that we were very lucky. I knew how big the catalan was because another friend had ordered it recently but it caught everyone else by surprise. It is a really smooth custard with chunks of soft pear every so often, topped with a sprinkle of sweet syrup. The perfect dessert for those who are looking for something not too sweet, rich or heavy.
Mango, coconut, lime, sesame ice cream, lychee sherbet ($17.00). When I took a photo of this dish, I didn’t even know what angle to take it from (clearly) and I was even more puzzled about where to start when I was tasting it. I just dabbed my spoon in a bit of everything and the dominant tastes in my mouth were mango and coconut. We went back to review the menu to see what was on the plate and we couldn’t taste lychee at all but it was a very light and fruity dessert.
Soft chocolate, poached figs, almond, fig leaf ice-cream ($19.00). Although this was the sweetest dessert at the table it still wasn’t too rich or heavy. I found the texture of the soft chocolate (hidden somewhere underneath) to be somewhere between dense mousse and a soft jube, it was thick but had an unusual natural spring to it. I didn’t get to each too much of this dessert because TimmyC eats so quickly but he at least left me the figs, which I loved. I don’t think that the figs really paired well with everything else and I don’t think it was worth the steep price tag.
We were served by a lovely waitress who we also found very amusing. When we received the bill it turns out that we spent just as much on dessert as we did on dinner at Močan and Green Grout. Prices have always been more expensive at Monster but we didn’t mind paying more as not many places are open that late and we really liked the atmosphere.

Monster Kitchen and Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Fun filled weekend – Močan and Green Grout 

Despite having eaten half of Canberra, I dragged my friends away from The Forage to go have dinner at Močan and Green Grout with me. I had recently started talking to one of the chefs, Jose Blanco who has been very encouraging of my blogging and I said I would pop by to try out his handy work.

I haven’t been to Močan and Green Grout in years (see my first post here) but TimmyC and I remember vividly that the food was delicious even though we found the bill total was a bit steep.Organic cola ($4.50). My friend said I described it perfectly when I said that it tasted like a melted cola frozen slushie.The waitress explained that each dish would come out one at a time to allow for maximum enjoyment of each dish. I much prefer it this way, otherwise I’m left (of my own accord) taking photos one dish after another and always eating one plate behind. This way I could enjoy each dish as they come, hot and fresh and discuss the one dish with my dining companions.

Marinated kingfish, wild fennel and orange ($23.00). The flavours of this dish were very clean. The marinated kingfish taste wasn’t very overwhelming or ‘fishy’ and when paired with the crunchy fennel and orange, it really refreshed the palette. Even my friend who doesn’t like fish ate it; it was  nice way to start the meal.There were 8 pieces of kingfish in total.Boxgum Grazing pork belly, butifarra negra and smoked koblrabi ($24.00). I didn’t really understand half the ingredients but when I saw ‘Boxgum Grazing pork’, I knew I wanted this dish. This dish came with four pieces of delicious pork belly that had the right amount of fat to melt into your mouth. Only some of the skin was crispy but it was seasoned perfectly. We had taken bites out of the ‘crisps’ looking things which we guessed was possibly koblrabi after some googling, it was crispy and juicy but had  bitter aftertaste like a radish. It didn’t really add much to the dish but if it was also made into the base puree, it was wonderful. I’m not a huge fan of blood sausages but the butifarra negra had a nice taste, although it did have a slightly chewy odd texture.

Lamb shoulder, smoked yoghurt, pomegranate and kale chips ($26.00). We all agreed that this was the favourite dish of the night. The lamb was so tender that it was almost effortless to divvy it up into four portions. True, all the elements helped make this dish fabulous but the meat itself was the star of the night.The service was always prompt, friendly and attentive while the dinner atmosphere was very relaxed; it was a perfect night to sit outside and catch up with friends (BYO for all those wondering). The waitress suggested order to 1.5 dishes per person but we ordered a lot less after the end of a very busy eating day for me. The menu is very limited but is currently changing with the seasons and produce available. I’ve always enjoyed the food here, just keep in mind it is Canberra hipster prices and portions.
Mocan & Green Grout Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Fun filled weekend – The Forage

After hours of eating at the AAA BBQ festival, my friend and I decided to go up the car park at the Little National Hotel located in Barton and check out Hustle and Scout before eating again at The Forage. She had been to The Forage previously when it was last held at the Kingston Old Bus Depot and said that The Forage this time was much bigger and had much more variety of food stalls. It looked like they upped their food game.

We had to be careful how much we ate because I still had my heart set on dinner somewhere specific even after the days events. Please note that more friends joined us so we didn’t eat all this between just the two of us.

Starting from the top left (clockwise):

Miss Van’s fried chicken wings garlic and sriracha marinade  ($8.00). This was a fabulous way to start the event. The chicken wings didn’t take long to be served and they were hot and crispy with lots of flavour. I hope they eventually add this permanently to their Westside menu.

Yang’s Malaysian food truck chicken wings with mamee noodles and slaw ($8.00?). The chicken didn’t taste as good as Miss Van’s but we all really enjoyed the slaw and loved the addition of the mamee noodles.

Yang’s Malaysian food truck Roti canai with chicken curry. I loved the flaky buttery texture of the roti and the delicious curry didn’t make it soggy even when you’re a slow eater.

B St. Bakery white chocolate mudcake with raspberries, white chocolate ganache and vanilla buttercream. TimmyC ran off somewhere and came back with this slice cake, I thought it would be too rich but I could have easily eaten the whole piece of cake myself. Everything was just sweet enough and it had a great dense texture while looking beautiful.

54 Benjamin’s house made peach and lime soda ($5.00). Eating and shopping can be hard work, so a refreshing drink was a must and this was perfect!

Dream cuisine short bread ($3.00 a piece). I had a ‘sample piece’ knowing it was going to be delicious and it was! The crumbly short bread texture had a great buttery taste with a subtle salt finish leaving you wanting more. Unfortunately TimmyC ate most of my short bread, dammit I should have bought more!The new location was nice and spacious but not knowing the Barton area well, it was harder to find parking. Everyone looked like they really enjoyed themselves and the weather had cooled to a nice temperature by the time we got there. I wonder if they will keep the event here?This had to be the saddest thing about the event, when Get Lucky sold out of ice cream sandwiches before I got there. 😦I always thought the timing of the event was odd but now they have changed the time to 3pm – 8pm which at least covers a meal time (previously it was 2pm -7pm). I really enjoy the Forage and Hustle and Scout as it pairs two of my favourite things: food and shopping. I hope they only get bigger and better from here.

Fun filled weekend – The Big Smoque AAA BBQ festival

The Big Smoque AAA BBQ festival seemed like one of the most controversial Canberra events of the year. Even if you didn’t go, you would have heard by now the overwhelming bad reviews that drowned out the people who enjoyed themselves.

I didn’t experience a lot of the negativity that these people were angry about as I went to the earlier session but I think a lot of the anger stemmed from a multitude of things ranging from: 1) high expectations of the event because it was ticketed (i.e. “what does $12 get me?”) 2) the wait times for ordering and pickup 3) the limited amount of stalls that were selling food 4) prices 5) running out of food 6) and I also heard some complaints about the food.FNL-BBQ-logoI wonder how many times a year they bring out this giant cowboy boot.There wasn’t much clarity with how this event was going to run, I didn’t know if they were going to kick me out right on 3pm but they informed me I couldn’t leave the premises after 3pm without buying another time session to come back in, fair enough. I knew that there were going to be 12 competitors vying for ‘Grand Champion’ of the AAA BBQ festival but I didn’t know if they were going to be able to sell food while competing. It turns out that all the competitors were busy perfecting their BBQ before being judged by a panel and as a ticket holder I could only buy food from what looked like commercial vendors. I was a little saddened when I realised there were only 8 food stalls, 3 drinks stands and 1 selling hot sauce, but I only needed one good food stand to satisfy me.

I was excited to see so many tents until I realised less than half of them were selling food to ticket holders *sad face*We were given a wristbands and a bib and we were ready to eat.I grabbed my friend and we headed somewhere for ‘snacks’ straight away before we looked at all the stalls properly. First stop: Smoque stall, it was surprisingly the only stall selling chicken wings. Buffalo wings with blue cheese aioli (3 pieces for $5.00) and pountine ($10.00), not very ‘American BBQ’ but we were happy to try something new. I’ve always liked Smoque’s chicken wings and my friend who has never had them before also enjoyed them. I’m not the biggest fan of blue cheese but the sauce was a nice balance. The poutine was new to us both and we thought it was odd that there was no cutlery available to eat this, it isn’t a first date food but I liked how their left the potato skins on. It was messy to eat but pretty tasty for those who enjoy their chips drowned in gravy. After whetting our appetite and being able to think more clearly without becoming hangry, we decided a platter was the next thing we would purchase. My friend chose the $30.00 share platter from the Smoking Gun BBQ and we were disappointed to see the tiny portions with the most expensive menu item on site. It had bad potato salad, a bland slaw with some brisket, a sausage and a tiny helping of pulled pork but at least it had a tasty sweet pickle. After eating so much meat the crunchy slaw became a welcome palette cleanser and despite the small size the brisket and pulled pork was very moist and tasty. I still don’t understand what made this small portioned box so expensive.The heat was getting unbearable even though we had found a lovely spot under and umbrella so the next stop had to be a refreshing juice from Krave. Small juices were $5, my friend chose strawberry lemonade and I had pineapple lemonade, it was exactly what I needed and I couldn’t scull mine quick enough.We decided to eat one last thing before we headed to another food festival and I chose the Argentinian porky bites from Parrilla Argenchino, signs didn’t indicate how much they were but they ended up being $14.50 for a small portion. There was a line when we were first looking around but this time there was no one and we were served our food pretty much straight away. I liked how there were bones, fat and BBQed crispy edges, we had chosen a chimichurri sauce but it didn’t need anything because it was delicious on its own while it was hot. Definitely the favourite of the event for us.

No lines meant ordering straight away and being served straight away. You can judge from this photo how much pork was in one serve.I think the one thing I was disappointed with above all else was the lack of BBQed ribs, Rangers Texas BBQ might have had them but before 3pm they had sold out of everything with only pulled pork available after 6pm. Do not give me a rib bib if there are no ribs to eat people!

An overview of all the food vendors at the event, they had a mix of Argentinian, Vietnamese, Greek and Indian as well as those who specialise in American BBQ.There are many things they could learn from their inaugural event although I understand that it was their first year so I wasn’t too unhappy with the event overall but if I had come later with long wait times and more vendors running out of food, I would probably be singing a different tune. It did get expensive fast when between the both of us eating, drinking and buying some sauces we spent around $100.00!

 

Fun filled weekend – Stand By Me

I had ulterior motives when I told TimmyC that I would take him out to Stand by Me in Lyons for breakfast, what he didn’t know was that it was conveniently located close to my friend’s house who I wanted to drop by and quickly see, but to TimmyC he just thought we were going for a lovely breakfast before I went on my foodie adventure.

It was very busy as we stepped into the cafe but we were still greeted by a friendly face who seated us pretty quickly. Water and menus were promptly brought to the table and they were very efficient in getting our drink orders. The wait for food wasn’t very long and it was a fairly quick breakfast without being rushed, which was probably a good thing as when we woke up we were already running late.Breakfast~ 7:00 – 11:00 am weekdays/ all day weekends

Vanilla and honeycomb milkshake ($7.00). Even though it wasn’t a thickshake, I couldn’t help but order one of a few interesting milkshake flavours at Stand by Me. I liked the flavour of the milkshake, it was sweet enough for me that I could easily drink it without feeling like I was going to get sugar sweats or really full. Unfortunately TimmyC also really like the milkshake and I only got to drink half. And yes, I do realise the price attached is a little steep for a milkshake.Large flat white ($4.50). The coffee came pretty quickly, TimmyC said he really enjoyed it but he didn’t order another one as he was too busy drinking my beverage.Eggs your way  two free range eggs on toast (10.00) with a side of bacon ($4.00). TimmyC just wanted something simple for breakfast and that is exactly what he got. I was just grateful he gave me some of his bacon. 🙂Samurai mushrooms mixed mushrooms sautéed in ponzu and yuzu kosho – topped with two sous vide eggs, fried chilli and garlic and some loyal soldiers ($17.50). I thought that the eggs were cooked perfectly to my liking but when I went to try to eat the mushrooms by themselves I found them really salty and very overwhelming, it needed the bread and eggs mixed through it. It was so salty that I found that my bacon started to not taste like bacon when I went back to it. I think there was too much ponzu and I pushed all my breakfast away from the small puddle that started to develop in the middle of the bowl. I enjoyed the breakfast when eaten together and I like how the soldiers were lightly toasted.*swim away!* The ponzu was too intense for this girl so I tried to push everything away from it.Lots of people come and go in the cafe, they must have a high turn over of covers without rushing the patrons.I really liked their throw pillows and cute little flowers that they had on every table.The staff at Stand By Me were lovely and I could overhear some conversations of them welcoming back loyal customers and remembering their drink orders. They obviously have a good following for their interesting menu, awesome atmosphere and friendly service. I look forward to coming back again and trying more of their menu.

Venue: Stand By Me

Address: 1 Lyons Pl, Lyons, ACT

Phone: 0458 962 716

Opening hours:

Monday – Friday 7:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Saturday – Sunday 8:00 AM to 2:00 PM

Stand By Me Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato