Pialligo Estate sneak peek 

I just had the most amazing lunch at @pialligoestate thanks to @goodfoodmonth I won their #jointhefeast competition and took TimmyC with me to compensate all the times I’ve made him wait for his meal to take a photo. 

#husbandsofinstagram #cbr #visitcanberra #nofilter  

 

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Noma Australia re-run

This title might seem a little odd as Noma Australia isn’t a place you usually get into once during their ten week pop up at Barangaroo, let alone twice (see my first post here).

I had said to TimmyC during my wedding speech that I didn’t know how he was going to top taking me to the Fat Duck when it was in Melbourne, but I hoped that he would try and here I am. I know I am a very lucky girl when there were supposedly 27,000 people on a wait list.

The menu was mainly unchanged since our last visit, although they had incorporated the avocado as another course into the degustation and there wasn’t any foraged blackberries this time. Overall, the consistency between visits was pretty high.

This time we went for lunch, I was hoping to get better photos with the natural light.

An overall glance at the entire 13 course degustation menu ($493 per person including credit card costs).Unripe macadamia and spanner crab the juice of a spanner crab, green macadamia nuts with rose oil.Wild seasonal berries flavoured with gubinge bowl of berries (lilli pilli, native lime etc) with seaweed oil dusted with kakadu native plum powder.Porridge of golden and desert oak wattleseed with saltbush wattle porridge topped with salt bush and finger lime.Seafood platter and crocodile fat starting from the bottom right hand corner pipi, blue mussel, strawberry clam, cockle and oyster all prepared with tomato juice and crocodile fat.

This time I remembered to take a photo!W.A. deep sea snow crab with cured egg yolk lightly steamed snow crab in a fermented kangaroo meat sauce (we are pretty sure that is what they said).PIE: dried scallops and nasturium flowers kelp tart with scallop fudge and a celery reduction served with foraged flowers.BBQed milk ‘dumpling’ with marron and magpie goose marron brushed with magpie goose ragout wrapped in a burnt milk skin.Mushroom paste and tomato dried with pepperberries semi dried tomatoes from the Blue Mountains with mushroom paste. This was the alternative dish to sea urchin.Truffle and avocado kelp, avocado and truffle.Abalone schnitzel and bush condiments finger lime, beach floral bouquet, succulent, kakadu native plum, Neptune’s necklace, glass beads, seaside fennel served with an abalone schnitzel and celery yeast water.It takes great skill to cook abalone well.The table was divided between choosing their favourite course between the snow crab, marron and the schnitzel; they were all still my favourite and I enjoyed them even more the second time around.

Marinated fresh fruit mango ice cream sandwich with green ants, compressed watermelon with black currant wood oil and pineapple sprayed in whisky and sprinkled with some salt.A close up of the mango gelato sandwich with green ants.Mirrabelle plum, lime and pepperberry twigs.Rum lamington lamington with milk crumb and native tamarind sauce.Peanut milk and freekah “Baytime”.Native lime.Noma have auctioned off their last dinner service (2nd April) in Australia, with profits going to OzHarvest and MAD. They have also given back to the community by allowing hospitality students an opportunity to dine at Noma free of charge, a tour of the kitchen and time to meet members of the Noma team. They also offered a vocational program for aspiring chefs and waiters as well as baking bread for the homeless.

I think it was fantastic having the Noma team in Australia, they have inspired chefs, they have pushed boundaries and showed off Australia’s unique native ingredients.

 

Let’s do lunch! Bicicletta 

It is still March (only just!), which means that it is still Good Food Month in Canberra. I had completely forgotten that Bicicletta was doing a Let’s Do Lunch special, so I was pleasantly surprised when we were given another menu.

A great-priced set lunch with a matched drink from $38.00 per person. Two courses from the uniquely Italian inspired menu with a glass of Yalumba wine or Coopers pale ale beer.Entree~

Arancini roasted tomato and pecorino cheese risotto balls with garlic aioli. These were really crunchy and gooey inside. I really liked the how the cheese was all stringy when you cut them in half.Scottata marinated seared beef tenderloin thinly sliced with mixed Italian herbs served with rucola, parmigiano and olive oil. I found the beef full on little holes which gave it a weird texture, the rucola was limp and the flavours were not very strong. I enjoyed the arancini much more than this entrée.Mains~

Spaghetti al frutti mare fresh pipis, King prawns, scallops and baby squid , sauteed with chilli, garlic, cherry tomato and bisque. My friend’s pasta had more sauce than mine, so I found my pasta to be a bit dry. Even though  I would have preferred more chilli taste, I really enjoyed the seafood and the perfectly al dente pasta.Dessert~ It was only a two course lunch but we couldn’t help but order a dessert to share between us.

Tiramisu traditional cake with coffee infused savoiardi biscuits, mascarpone, eggs, cream and cacao ($12.00). I found the bottom layer of biscuits had soaked up a lot of coffee which made my eyes instantly widen. I stuck to the less intense biscuit layers with the cream and mascarpone and thoroughly enjoyed myself.Coffee and tea are included in the menu but we didn’t have any.

The Grounds of Alexandria – The Grounds Cafe

Welcome to the The Grounds of Alexandria, the most Instagrammable place on the planet. You could tell my level of excitement as I wasn’t even phased when they told us it would be a 45 – 1 hour wait for a table at The Grounds Cafe on a Sunday for brunch. We took a buzzer and went off exploring.Where to start? Pastries of course!
We went past the cute vintage carts selling nuts, freshly made doughnuts, cakes and slices, complete with an old school lemonade stand.How cute is this place?!img_3214
Doughnuts filled with Nutella and Raspberry jam. The area is rather quite big and very popular. There is a beautiful area called ‘The Garden bar’ where it appears to be more casual with no table service but an amazing outdoor area with lots of sun light shining through.TimmyC couldn’t wait 1 hour before having coffee, so he ordered one from The Garden Bar.
There is also a beautiful outdoor florist on-site as well as a local watering hole called ‘The Potting Shed’, I loved how all the venues have a common garden theme which ties them all together.
Even the menu is cute, this place is ridiculous!I could live here.
There is also the famous resident on site, Kevin Bacon and his little farm animal friends.
After what seemed like forever because I was getting hungry and was almost tempted to buy a cheeseburger from the Garden bar, our buzzer went off. We hurriedly moved our way through the crowds and waved our buzzer around like we had just won a game of bingo only to meet another line where there were other lucky ‘winners’ also with alarming buzzers, but we were all quickly seated and given a menu.
 
I was surprised to find the inside of the cafe so dark, especially when the outside was such a beautiful day. It made it a little harder to take photos (that might just be an Instagrammer problem).
Char-grilled steak sandwich pasture fed sirloin steak, cheddar cheese, tomato, grilled Spanish onion, horseradish aioli and rocket on a toasted vienna bread ($18.00). My jaw almost dropped when I saw the size of my plate in comparison to everyone else’s. The burgers were served with a side of chips but the length of their tray was the size of my sandwich. I really enjoyed how they had cut up the steak into pieces and covered the entire sandwich, it made it easier to eat and there is nothing more sad that a sandwich with uneven filling. I wish it came with a side of chips but my friends were nice enough to share with me.
Deconstructed iced coffee house blend coffee shot, cold brewed coffee ice, sugar syrup with milk ($8.00). Who likes a diluted warm iced coffee? Not really anyone, so the clever people at the Grounds have made their ice cubes for the iced coffee out of coffee. Not only that, but they also give you milk on the side so you can adjust the milkiness to your liking as well as provide you with a novelty syringe filled with sugar syrup.
I love how the bottle that has the coffee reads ‘poison’.     Super chocolate and hazelnut shake ($8.50).
Freshly squeezed juice pineapple, watermelon and passionfruit ($8.00).
Chicken schnitzel burger crispy free range chicken breast, slaw, vine ripened tomato, rocket and mustard aioli in a pretzel bun with crunchy beer battered chips ($21.00).
The ‘Ground’ burger Grounded beef brisket, cheese, lettuce, dill, cornichon and mayo on a toasted brioche bun, served with crunchy beer battered chips ($19.00).
Poached eggs on toast class poached eggs served on The Grounds signature sourdough ($12.00). TimmyC wanted a vegetarian option and so he chose this simple dish. He said it was nice but they sort of burnt the toast.
I was like an excited kid who couldn’t sit still. If we were waiting for the food or the bill, I’d be up taking photos of their gorgeous cake cabinet or waiting for my Instagram photos to print on their automatic printer.
I think I need one of these for home!
I really enjoyed that The Grounds have a really fantastic atmosphere and while they are extremely busy, the food still comes out at a fast pace and all the prices aren’t ridiculous. No real downside other than the wait times to get a table but there are many things on site to keep your eyes occupied.
Venue: The Grounds of Alexandria – The Grounds Cafe
Address: 7A, 2 Huntley St, Alexandria NSW 2015

Opening times:

Monday to Friday           7am to 4pm (kitchen closes at 3pm)

Saturday and Sunday    7:30am to 4pm (kitchen closes at 3:30pm)

The Grounds of Alexandria Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

Easter long weekend – Canberra

I can’t remember the last time I was in Canberra over Easter, but I’m glad to see that the whole city doesn’t shut down completely. Here are a few places open over the long weekend (I’ll keep adding to the list as I find more places).

Happy Easter!

p.s. double demerits 24th – 28th

p.p.s. there will probably be public holiday surcharges at most of the dine in places

Friday 25th Saturday 26th Sunday 27th Monday 28th
  Lolo and Lola

10 am – 4 pm

Lolo and Lola

10 am – 4 pm

 
Daana

11 am – 9 pm

Daana

11 am – 9 pm

Daana

11 am – 6 pm

 
  Ricardo’s

7:30 am – 4 pm

Ricardo’s

7:30 am – 4 pm

Ricardo’s

7:30 am – 4 pm

The Fish Shack

11 am – 9 pm

The Fish Shack

11 am – 9 pm

   
  Eighty/twenty food

7 am – 1pm

Eighty/twenty food

7 am – 1pm

Eighty/twenty food

7 am – 1pm

  Ona coffee house (Fyshwick)

8 am – 3 pm

Ona coffee house (Fyshwick)

8 am – 3 pm

Ona coffee house (Fyshwick)

8 am – 3 pm

Snapper on the Lake

8 am – 8 pm

Fish&chips from 11 am

Snapper on the Lake

8 am – 8 pm

Fish&chips from 11 am

Snapper on the Lake

8 am – 8 pm

Fish&chips from 11 am

Snapper on the Lake

8 am – 8 pm

Fish&chips from 11 am

  Fox and Bow café

From 8 am

  Fox and Bow café

From 8 am

  Mocan and Green Grout

7 am – 9 pm

Mocan and Green Grout

8 am – 4 pm

Mocan and Green Grout

8 am – 4 pm

    Old Bus Depot Markets (Portobello Road)

10 am – 4 pm (get your Dream Cuisine hot cross buns!)

 
  Dream Cuisine

8 am – 2 pm

   
Elk and Pea

8 am – 3 pm

6 pm – late

Elk and Pea

8 am – 3 pm

6 pm – late

Elk and Pea

8 am – 3 pm

6 pm – late

Elk and Pea

8 am – 3 pm

 

  Frugii

12 pm – 11 pm

Frugii

12 pm – 11 pm

 
Common Grounds

7:30 am – 4 pm

     
Double Shot

6:30 am – 4 pm

Double Shot

6:30 am – 4 pm

Double Shot

6:30 am – 4 pm

Double Shot

6:30 am – 4 pm

  Dobinsons

8 am – 5 pm

Dobinsons

8 am – 5 pm

Dobinsons

8 am – 5 pm

Bicicletta

Breakfast

7am – 11am

Lunch 

12noon – 3pm

Dinner

5pm – 10pm

Bicicletta

Breakfast

7am – 11am

Lunch 

12noon – 3pm

Dinner

5pm – 10pm

Bicicletta

Breakfast

7am – 11am

Lunch 

12noon – 3pm

Dinner

5pm – 10pm

Bicicletta

Breakfast

7am – 11am

Lunch 

12noon – 3pm

Dinner

5pm – 10pm

Four Winds Vineyard

10 am – 5 pm

Four Winds Vineyard

10 am – 5 pm

Four Winds Vineyard

10 am – 5 pm

Four Winds Vineyard

10 am – 5 pm

  A.Baker

8 am – 10 pm

A.Baker

8 am – 4 pm

A.Baker

 

  Mr Papa

12 pm – 9 pm

Mr Papa

6 pm – 9 pm

 
  Stripey Sundae

10 am – 5 pm

Stripey Sundae

10 am – 5 pm

Stripey Sundae

10 am – 5 pm

Barrio Collective Coffee

8am – 12 pm

Barrio Collective Coffee

8am – 1 pm

Barrio Collective Coffee

8am – 1 pm

Barrio Collective Coffee

8am – 1 pm

Penny University

From 7:30 am

Penny University

From 7:30 am

Penny University

From 7:30 am

Penny University

From 7:30 am

  Clonakilla Wines

10 am – 5 pm

Clonakilla Wines

10 am – 5 pm

Clonakilla Wines

10 am – 5 pm

  Robyn Rowe chocolates

10 am – 5 pm

  Robyn Rowe chocolates

10 am – 5 pm

Flint in the Vines

12 pm – 3 pm

(5 course seafood lunch)

Flint in the Vines

12 pm – 3 pm

6 pm – 8:30 pm

 

Flint in the Vines

12 pm – 3 pm

 

 

 

Pod Food redemption

Not long after my some what disappointing degustation at Pod Food, I found myself back there for the a la carte menu for a friend’s birthday. I noticed some familiar menu items from the degustation and decided to steer clear from those to avoid disappointment.
 
Snacks~
Sour dough bread with fennel seed butter (4 pieces $6.00). After wildly enjoying the bread and the butter previously, I lavishly order two serves for the table. I realised it is a different bread to my previous experience but I still enjoyed the seedy crusty exterior of the bread (does sour dough come with grains throughout the bread?). I found the cut of the bread really thick and you would think who would complain about getting more bread, but it made it really hard to chew and threw the butter to bread ratio way off. We definitely did not need two serves especially when they were cut so thick.That is one thick slice of bread!
Kimchi pork hock toasty (2 pieces $10.00). Yes more bread, we didn’t really think this through. Nothing really special, the toasty didn’t have a melty ‘glue’ to really hold everything together which made it a little floppy to eat. The kimchi wasn’t over whelming and went really nice with the pork hock.
Salmon croquettes, sesame mayonnaise (4 pieces $10.00). Not an overly fishy centre and extremely crunchy without being oily. These were thoroughly enjoyed.
3 courses $70.00 per person
 
Entrees~
Soft egg, poached chicken, soba noodles, pickled cucumber, wild rice. Without telling my friends that I had something similar during the degustation and I didn’t like it, they ordered this dish and it looked very different to when we had it. Alas, all three of them left a nearly full bowl as they found the dish very bland and unappealing.
Hiramasa kingfish tartare, nectarine, radish, rice crisp. TimmyC really enjoyed this from the degustation and happily ordered it again. It didn’t look as pretty as the first time we had had it but TimmyC thought it tasted even better than before.
Java pepper beef carpaccio, parmesan, caramelised onion, portobello mushroom. The beef was paired perfectly with the saltiness of the parmesan, sweetness of the onion and the earthiness of the mushroom. Great flavour pairings made for a delicious start to the meal.
Mains~
Chargrilled pork neck, pumpkin, Pialligo smokehouse bacon, baby gem lettuce.This wasn’t my main but I liked the succulent pork neck and the crispy bacon. I think the idea of serving pumpkin is long ribbons is visually stunning and provides a different texture.
Duck breast, sweet potato gallette, fennel, plum, mustard. I really enjoyed my duck breast as the fat was cooked nicely giving a great juicy skin but I found the gallette a little dry and didn’t finish it.
Smoked ricotta and potato “canneloni”, pepitas, peas, parmesan.
Dessert~
Lemongrass panna cotta, grape, burnt butter crumb, verjus jelly. There might have been mosquitoes in my dessert, but I didn’t get bitten nearly as badly as last time because we were seated inside. The panna cotta had a beautiful wobble to it and a nice subtle lemongrass flavour. I thought the skinless grapes added an extra sweetness to the dish while also providing another dimension of texture.
Coconut parfait, caramel popcorn, gingerbread, banana. A nice light refreshing dessert.
Pistachio brownie, local berries, puffed spelt, yoghurt .
The service was attentive as usual and I found my experience with the food to be a little inconsistent but overall much better than the degustation. Phew, it might have just been a bad night during my previous visit.

Pod Food Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

When your friend has made you fresh homemade ricotta, you rush over there with an Italian loaf in hand and an antipasti takeaway that also caught your eye. Fancy friends who make their own stuff are the best! 

#homemade #canberra #cheese 

 

Steak nights at Ducks Nuts

Tuesday nights are steak nights at the new Ducks Nuts bar and grill in Dickson, $15 bucks will get you a butler steak with green leaf salad and your choice of gravy (chips are $5.00 extra).I asked mine to be medium rare and that’s what I got.  It’s not an overly big piece of steak but it was still delicious and succulent piece of meat.A useful condiment caddy with all the favourites.For those who want something else other than steak will find many options on their menu. Fried buttermilk chicken burger with house slaw and chipotle mayo served with shoe string fries ($19.00).My friend really enjoyed his burger.

Ducks Nuts specials calendar

Sunday Roast all day with all the trimmings ($20.00).

Monday SchnitzelHaus ($15.00).

Tuesday Steak night ($15.00).

Wednesday Burger night with craft beer ($15.00).

 

 

Venue: Ducks Nuts

Address: 30 Woolley St, Dickson ACT 2602 (where O’Neill’s Irish Pub used to be)

Phone(02) 6230 7675

Websitehttp://ducksnuts.net.au/

Opening hours: 7 days a week 11:00am – late