Aussie bush camping 

This was my reality for the past 48 hours, waiting for the billycan to boil over a camp fire. I went camping for the first time in my life and I survived! No reception, no technology, just fire cooking and lots of wombats (not combined).
#aussiebushcamping #canberrablogger #australia #camping #billycan  

 

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Auf Wiedersehen

Good bye civilization and fine dining. This weekend I’m doing something different and I hope to survive to tell the tale. If only all nights involved lamb sands san choy bao at #wildduck 
#cbr #localcan #instafood #food #foodie #foodblogger #canberrafood #canberrablogger #kingston #chinese #foodporn  

 

Fancy Nance – Melbourne series

After back to back eating sessions, I probably wasn’t feeling the hungriest when we stepped into Fancy Nance for high tea but FOMO got the best of me and I could not pass up the ‘I’m so Fancy’ option while my more sensible eating companions opted for the smaller ‘Pink Flamingo’ high tea.

Follow the signs for Fancy Nance.
A very mad hatter’s tea party feeling as you walk in.
I love the tea pot and tea cups lights.I’m so Fancy ($65.00)~

 

Despite the order written on the menu, things came a bit out of order but you did receive sweet things first and then ended on savoury which is usually how I eat things anyway. They must be going off the premise that life is short, eat dessert first.

 

‘Not so late’ carrot cake. I could not stop smiling while eating this. In short this was a deconstructed carrot cake but it was so tasty. The soft torn cake pieces delicately sat on top of the whipped cream cheese was genius but my favourite part was the candied nuts and different coloured carrots. This made me very excited for what was still to come.
Complete with a carrot top!
I felt a bit rushed when this board was placed in front of me with four different things on it. I didn’t eat fast enough and some of the ice creams started to melt and drip everywhere.
Bubbles, marzipan, rum fruits and roast cinnamon ice cream. This was more complex than what meets the eye, just below the bubble surface was many complex layers of different textures and flavours.
Cocoa nib creme brulee, pineapple and pina colada ice cream. This might have tasted sweeter if I had started off with this before the other desserts but by the time I got to this, the ice cream had melted into a puddle of mess and flavours weren’t as prominent because of the sweeter flavours from the other desserts.
Chai panna cotta, pear cremeux, ginger and honey. You had to dig down to get all the layers but the chai panna cotta flavour was the most prominent aftertaste. The texture of the panna cotta was incredibly smooth.
Macaron I couldn’t tell what flavour it was, after eating the entire board the sweet flavours started to meld into one.
Scones with 2 jams – roast capsicum jam and some other jam that I didn’t really try. As full as I was, I could not stop eating these scones with roast capsicum jam and cream cheese, it was sweet yet felt savoury at the same time. This might not be for everyone but I certainly enjoyed it.
Pastries de jour. I started to slow right down after the scones because by this point, things arrived one after another and I could barely keep up. I slow nibbled at this but I didn’t find either one particularly extraordinary. 
Tapioca cracker, tomato and ricotta. There was a nice break before the savouries started to arrive and like most people who have a separate dessert stomach, I have a separate one for savouries. This was a nice transitioning course from sweet to savoury as it was definitely salty but it wasn’t heavy or overwhelming.
Taco de Nance tuna, strawberries, avocado, tomato sorbet. This might sound like a strange combination but it really works well together, although I did find the corn taco shell getting a bit soggy and hard to eat as the sorbet melted. With the fish and fruit combined, it was refreshing on the palette.
Chinese chicken balls. These came out extremely hot and not as I expected, I assumed it would be more like a meat ball rather than a doughy interior with a meat centre but it did soak up the delicious sauce very well.
Beef cheeks with vanilla and purple carrots. This was really tender and the sweetness of the vanilla and carrots balanced out the heaviness of the meat. It wasn’t as good as the beef from MoVida, but it was definitely memorable.
Tea, coffee or hot chocolate. We ordered our beverages first and since we had so much sweet on the way, I opted for green tea. 
Someone TimmyC managed to squeeze in an iced coffee with everything else ($5.50).

Pink Flamingo ($45.00)~
 
Bubbles, marzipan, rum fruits and roast cinnamon ice cream.
Chocolate and cherry long john. This was the pick of the Pink Flamingo high tea, so it was a shame that it was one of the first things to come out. It was like a cronut with many flaky layers with the perfect amount of cream and sweet toppings.Creamsticle. I thought these were adorable. Not much particular flavour to them but they are so teeny tiny.
Scone with 2 jams
Tapioca cracker, tomato and ricotta
Taco de Nance tuna, strawberries, avocado, tomato sorbet
Chinese chicken balls
Tea, coffee or hot chocolate
 
For a high tea with so many courses of sweet and savoury and also the obligatory high tea scones, it was definitely value for money compared to the high teas we get here in Canberra. What I thought was disappointing was for someone who specialises in sweets, I was hoping that Zumbo would push the envelope with his desserts and give me something new and exciting. I really enjoyed the carrot cake but from there, the dishes didn’t really compare; there were just lots of soft textured layered desserts. I thought the savouries had more variety and were more daring in flavour combinations and textures than the sweets. Still worth checking out though, it beats stake cake and tarts and crustless sandwiches any day.

 

Venue: Fancy Nance
Address: 21 Daly St, South Yarra VIC 3141
Phone: (03) 9826 0312

Fancy Nance Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

MoVida – Melbourne series

Okay, most people plan their interstate trips to do multiple things but TimmyC and I came to Melbourne (this time) to specifically eat at MoVida. TimmyC’s trendy cousin was generous enough to buy me a voucher to the MoVida group but because the other restaurants were not open yet since the New Year holidays, we booked a table for 3 at the original MoVida.Complimentary~

Warmed bread with olive oil. Always a happy surprise when a restaurant gives you delicious warmed bread for free!I loved their personalised wine glasses.
Tapa~ I love the thought that these morsels were made so well, individually portioned and reasonably priced; it didn’t matter if no one wanted to share with me, I could just order one for myself.
Yabbie special ($9.00 each). I thought this was a refreshing morsel but nothing really specifically unique. It was good to have at the beginning of the meal before the heavier, deep fried tapas arrived.
Queso quince paste cigar with whipped goats milk cheese ($4.00 each). I’m not particularly fond of goats milk products but that didn’t stop me from ordering this just to see how it would taste. I liked it so much I convinced the rest of the table to order another just to taste it. The outer quince paste cigar was surprisingly crispy and provided a nice contrasting texture to the whipped filling. The goats milk cheese wasn’t too strong but it was perfectly balanced out by the sweetness of the quince. You definitely have to try this; there were so many surprises in one mouthful.
It looks so simple and small but there was a lot of flavour in this tapa.
Flamenquin crumbed pork with jamon, thyme and mahon ($5.50 each). These were perfectly crispy and jam packed with pork. I was very tempted to order more of these, but I got too full in the end.
A delicious peek into the crispy croquette.
Fish croquette special ($4.50 each). These were very ‘fishy’ which I loved, it was a nicely seasoned filling with a crunchy non oily exterior. 
Raciones~
Carrillera De Buey slowly braised beef cheek in Perdo Ximenez on Cauliflower puree ($28.50). Oh where to begin while describing this fabulous dish. The beef was amazingly tender and pulled away effortlessly as you put a spoon through it. It had a beautiful sweet stick glaze all over which worked perfectly with the cauliflower. Don’t even get me started on that puree, it was so smooth, it was like a thick soup (and I could have easily drunk it like soup). I would order this again in a heartbeat.
This photo doesn’t do it any justice.
Patatas Bravas fried potatoes with spicy tomato and mayonnaise ($16.00). The smaller pieces were fine but I thought some of the potatoes were too big and therefore the ratio between crispy exterior to starchy fluffy filling to be way off. It definitely wasn’t what I was expecting and since the rest of the meal had been so spectacular, these potatoes couldn’t compare.  Barramundi special ($27.00). The fish was soft and moist while the asparagus was cooked perfectly allowing the fresh flavours to really shine through. It was nice to have a lighter main among all the deep fried tapas and heavy meals.
Desserts~
Churros Spanish doughnuts with rich drinking chocolate ($12.50). The doughnuts were really crunchy on the outside with a fluffy texture in the centre and it was paired with what was truthfully named a ‘rich drinking chocolate’.
Flan crème caramel with pestinos ($15.00). This was so smooth and creamy, making it very easy to eat.
Pan con chocolate chocolate, bread and olive oil ice cream ($14.50). I wasn’t convinced by the description on the black board that this was the dessert for me. It wasn’t until I asked our waiter which the best dessert was; he then smirked and asked me if I was asking for the best dessert in his opinion or the most popular dessert ordered (which we rightly guessed was churros). I obviously wanted the best dessert and for something interesting against the ‘norm’, he then suggested this dessert and to ignore the very poor description on the board. What came out was fabulous. A warm soft chocolate cake encased in a crispy bread sandwich, which gave it a wonderful contrasting texture while the olive oil ice cream helped balance out the sweetness of the chocolate. As we were leaving, I told our waiter that they should really change the description because it didn’t really do the dessert justice.
I love how they have presented the ‘sandwich’ standing up on its side, it gives you a clear view of the crispy bread encasing a warm moist chocolate cake.
Check out the sexy chocolate cake sandwiched inside.
Even though we were eating on a dead line (6pm- 8pm booking) we never felt rushed and despite the restaurant was completely packed, the service and food was very prompt and the staff were very friendly and helpful. I would love to come back to try more of the menu or even the other restaurants. I loved the small tapas for individual portions at a reasonable price (take note Canberra restaurants) and that there were good variety of mains available.
The famous graffiti on Hosiser Lane which is opposite the lane way to the MoVida restaurant.
Venue: Movida
Address: 1 Hosier Lane, (off Flinders St), Melbourne, VIC 3000
Phone: (03) 9663 3038

MoVida Bar De Tapas Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Cibo 

After a decade of trading under ‘Peppered Prawn’ in the Woden town centre, the owners have decided to do something a little different and have revamped the restaurant with a new look, new menu and a new name – Cibo.Meze/small plates~

This is why you bring friends along, you get to try more of the menu.Arancini fried risotto balls filled with porcini mushrooms with napolitana sauce, fresh basil leaves (3 for $16.00). I noticed the ‘holes’ in the arancini as soon as they  were put down in front of us. I found that the risotto mixture was too sloppy to make a perfect arancini ball without it crumbling. The interior was nice and salty with a district mushroom flavour but I was hoping for a more cheesy filling.Crispy prawns lightly battered, golden fried, served with lemon wedge and lemon mayo (4 for $16.00). Despite being favoured by the other guests that I was dining with, I was impressed with the size of the prawn but I didn’t think there was anything special about this dish.    
Burek baked handmade layered pastry filled with ricotta and feta ($10.00).I didn’t get much of the filling in my bite but I really liked the flaky pastry. Not really made for sharing, I would just eat one myself next time.Zucchini puffs with tzatziki (5 for $14.00). Not really memorable in comparison to the other dishes but they weren’t oily which I admired.Kobasice thin spicy semi smoked pork sausages simply filled with ajvar ($12.00). I really enjoyed these as I found them to have lots of flavour in the sausages, although I was not a fan of the ajvar as I could taste a light bitterness from capsicum skin. This was my favourite meze plate of the night.More substantial~

Pappardelle fresh ribbon egg pasta, traditional slow braised veal and pork bolognaise, grana padano ($22.00). I was very tempted to order this as I love pasta. I found that the sauce to lack some salt and found it overall a bit bland but the pappardelle pasta was fresh and was fantastic.
Pork skewers marinated with garlic, lemon, oregano, olive oil with spanish onion, tomato, tzatziki and pita (2 skewers $26.00). I don’t usually see pork skewers as an option on a menu, but these had a lovely char-grilled flavour whilst remaining succulent. It seemed like a complete meal because it was served with a small salad and bread.
Chevapi char grilled skinless sausage made of veal and pork, with spanish onion, feta and ajvar (300g $22.00). The chevapi was nice on its own but it was the perfect balance of flavours when you added a bit of onion and feta with every bite. Again I found the ajvar a bit bitter so I avoided dipping the meat in it. I thought as a main, it was a bit sad that this didn’t come with some bread or a simple salad to balance out the heaviness of the meat.
Sides~
Bowl of chips ($10.00). Unlike the skewers, the chevapi sausages were served on their own and it was suggested to get a side of chips or bread to balance out all the meat. I thought the price was a bit steep for chips but fortunately they were delicious because of their crispiness and seasoning.
You can’t tell from this angle, but the bowl was pretty deep.
Pita ($4.00). This bread was warmed which quickly turned cold and brittle. I think $4 is a bit steep for one pita bread, I should have just borrowed some from the skewers plate, but they said that they made it on site so I was curious to try.
Something sweet~
Gelato panna cotta, white chocolate and raspberry, salted caramel ($10.00). I really liked the salted caramel gelato over the other flavours but TimmyC really enjoyed the panna cotta, it goes to show each to their own.
Palacinke Balkan style crepe filled with Nutella served with bon bon rocher gelato ($10.00). I felt that this ‘crepe’ was too thick and since it was presented in a rolled cigar, it made it feel even thicker, heavier and too sweet in one mouthful. If it was even slightly thinner, it wouldn’t feel as doughy in one bite.
Krofne European donut filled with raspberry jam and icing sugar ($4.00 each). This reminded me of a Nanna’s frozen jam doughnut, but fresh. The sweet centre was at a good ratio to the doughnut so it wasn’t too sweet, the doughnut itself was nice and fluffy in texture. These are made in house and they are definitely tasty when they are fresh.A soft fluffy pillow encasing some delicious jam, that’s how I would describe this dessert.
We found the staff very friendly, knowledgeable and efficient. It is nice to have a restaurant concentrating on Mediterranean cuisine in the area. I would come back and try more unique dishes I couldn’t get normally in other restaurants.

 

Venue: Cibo
Address: Sky Plaza Apartments, 98 Corinna Street, Woden Town Centre, ACT 2606
Phone: (02) 6162 0122

Websitewww.cibokitchen.com.au/ << they have a handy online booking system

So apparently everyone that works at #locale on Sunday, also works on the Monday. Should have worn my trench coat and a fake moustache tonight.
Celebrations and delicious pizza with fabulous company.
#localcan #pizza #foodie #food #instafood #cbr #canberrafood #canberrablogger #foodblogger

Guild

We were taking a big “Risk” (tee hee, I love that game) when we headed down to Guild on a Friday night without a booking, but we were lucky enough to squeeze on a table for two between the three of us, but the tables are big enough that we weren’t squished at all.

Handy wipes on each table to protect sticky fingers from the games and to have clean hands to eatHappy friends all concentrating on defeating each other, only in the game of course.Mocktails~

Peach, ginger and cinnamon virgin spritz roasted peaches infused with ginger and cinnamon, combined with lemonade and a hint of mint ($9.00). My friend really enjoyed this, she said it was sweet and very refreshing.

Strawberry virgin mojito fresh strawberries, mint and lime muddled and topped with soda, perfect on a hot day ($9.50). I didn’t really read the description so I was a little surprised when this wasn’t sweet, it would be nice if you wanted something cold, bubbly but not sweet.To share~

Pumpkin and feta fritters served with minted yoghurt dipping sauce ($14.00). These fritters had a dry interior and really needed the dipping sauce, there wasn’t enough and we had to ask for more.Pizza~ 9″ small meal or 11″ regular meal

I loved the names of pizza, they have nerdy witty humour. My friend can’t eat pork so there was very limited choices for her, maybe they could eventually bring in beef mince pizzas?

Connect 4 marinated feta, imported gorgonzola, buffalo mozzarella, provolone and cracked pepper on an oil base (11″ size $17.00). I didn’t get to try this pizza but my friends were sadden that there wasn’t even coverage over the entire pizza.Zombicide spicy chorizo, pepperoni, smoked ham, herbed lemon chicken breast, smoked bacon and homemade BBQ sauce (11″ size $18.00). A very delicious, meat-a-licious pizza, with a more even coverage of topping. I think if the base was a little fluffier or thinner, the slightly burnt edges wouldn’t be so hard.The pepperoni pieces are a little thicker than I’m used to but that meant they didn’t burn as much.There was a wait on food because it was so busy and the nature of wood-fired pizza but we didn’t notice as we were having so much fun playing Love Letter (Batman edition).

A fun and easy to learn game while waiting for dinner.After dinner, we switched over to playing Dixit by a recommendation from the Game Master (I have no idea what his name was so that’s what I’ll call him), which led us almost to closing time. When we went to pay the bill, I was surprised to see a gamage surcharge of $3.00 per person which we would have happily paid, but we didn’t see any signs nor were we told about it.

Lots of games to choose from all around the restaurant.There are still a few teething issues with timing and service but they have only just opened over a week ago. We really enjoyed our time here, there are many games and options and the friendly staff are only more than eager to help; if you have zero idea they will also run through the game with you. It is very refreshing to have a something in civic that is fun and doesn’t revolve around drinking, although there are plenty of options for that too if that’s what you’re into. My friends and I would be very keen to come back and try out more of the menu and play more of their games.

Venue: Guild

Address: (Where APK used to be) LG, Bailey’s Arcade, 150 London Cct, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 2601

Phone: (02) 62572727

Opening timesMon-Sun 11:00 – 00:00

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/guildhouse.canberra/