Queanbeyan Carnivale – Multicultural Festival 2017

Are you having cultural food withdrawals since the National Multicultural Festival that happened a few weeks ago? Or did you miss out on some delicious Hungarian fried Lángos bread that your blogger friend keeps raving about? Then I have some good news, Queanbeyan Multicultural Festival is happening this Sunday 5th March!

Here are some photos that were taken from the National Multicultural Festival this year, they might not all be at Queanbeyan this Sunday but the Lángos man told me he certainly will be!

Top left to right – Portuguese tart, Hungarian Lángos bread, Greek loukoumades

Middle left to right – Lithuanian dumplings, Spanish pork ribs and octopus, Greek salt and feta balls

Bottom left to right – Filipino Pork BBQ, German currywurst, German Bratwurst

Below is information that was taken from their websitewebsite.

“Vibrant, diverse and energetic” wonderfully describe the Queanbeyan Multicultural Festival, which has grown to become one of the most loved events on the local calendar.

The festival delivers a culturally packed program featuring live performances, community activities and informational stalls. Delivered in partnership between the Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council and Queanbeyan Multilingual Centre the event attracts between 4000-6000 people from NSW and interstate.

Now in its 10th year, in recent years some of the highlights have included high energy African dancers, traditional Maori shows, the very energetic Macedonian Dance Troupe, the majestic Egyptian Folkloric Dancers, the colour and movement of Mexico Lindo, and stunning Belly Dancers.

The event attracts international performers to wow crowds and delight new audiences, while the street food brings pleasure to any foodie and quells any rumbling tummies. In short, people come for the performances but stay for the food and free family activities, the dancing and all round warm feeling that is this multicultural community!

Set amongst the iconic, lush green trees of Queanbeyan Park, the event is a relaxed day out for all the family. As the culture in Australia has changed, the delivery of this event has continued to evolve. A proud moment in 2016 was the announcement of Queanbeyan as a Refugee Welcome Zone. This zone means that Queanbeyan is committed to welcoming refugees into their community.This year the Queanbeyan Multicultural Festival is going to party like never before as we celebrate 10 years of ‘culture, food, and harmony’ on 5 March 2017 – ALL WELCOME.

I hope the rain stays away. I want to eat some Lángos! Will I see you there?

Location: Queanbeyan Park, Lowe Street, Queanbeyan, NSW, Australia

Date: 5th March 2017

Time: 10 AM – 4 PM

Sorrows end in snot (block)

I hadn’t been to Aldi for a while but I was shocked to see that their fresh bread cabinet had completely disappeared. When I enquired at the checkout, the attendant informed me that they were no longer doing fresh baked products across all Australian stores. 😦

I was really sad as their $1.99 tiger loaf was absolutely delicious at a bargain price. So I went to drown my sorrows in a packet of small frozen vanilla slices (also known as ‘snot blocks’ in Australia). It seemed easy enough, just defrost the portions for 20 minutes at room temperature and then they are ready to go.

Not exactly like the real thing from your local bakery as the custard is very light, but still, a tasty tiny morsel that is ready in a matter of minutes. Tee hee, so cute and teeny tiny.

Maestral- long time no see

It had been years since I had been to Maestral in Weston and a revisit was long overdue. When I stepped into the dining room, I had forgotten how tiny their space was, but it always filled with happy patrons and today was no different.

Platter potatoes, calamari, pan-fried fish, prawns and oysters to your liking ($36.00). Everything on the plate was finished. I loved the potatoes, the calamari was tender without being oily, the prawns were plump and the fish was cooked perfectly. Unfortunately, the Kilpatrick oysters weren’t as grilled as I would have liked but the oysters themselves were fat and meaty.Hand made pasta with chilli, capers and crab meat ($30.00). I loved the texture of the pasta and it was cooked perfectly. The sauce had lots of flavour and a nice dose of chilli kick; I would happily eat either of these dishes.Garden salad ($5.00). A simple light salad that was well dressed and stifled our guilty conscious of eating something green in our meal.The service was attentive and food came out in a timely manner. I must go back again soon, I really do miss seafood.

 

Maestral Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Multicultural festival 2017

I have found that there is usually a dominant stall during the Multicultural festival (17-19th Feb), previous years it has been Thai satay skewers, gozleme, Himalayan momos and Peruvian food. This year when I strolled around for 5 hours during the festival’s first night, I found that if you put a skewer on it… They will come.

Unfortunately I didn’t find too many stalls selling meat on a stick (although there are Peruvians selling beef heart on a stick down near Myer), but there are multiple stores of chips on a stick with varying names, corn on a stick, waffles on a stick, chorizo and halloumi on a stick and doughnuts on a stick.

If skewered items aren’t your thing, I have a little summary of other items that might take your interest.


The most refreshing non-alcoholic beverage: Otai, although there are slight variations between stalls. Most of the Polynesian island stalls are in front of the Canberra theatre.

Old favourite: Dutch Poffertjes ($10.00) stall is in front of Nespresso this year. There are other Dutch pancakes around but this one is the best. Our topping suggestion would be maple syrup and ice cream.I’ll be hunting down: Taiwanese gua bao. I hope they have them today!

New and exciting: Colombian – I don’t know if they were around previous years but last night we ate multiple chicken chorizo arepas ($10.00). We didn’t love the bread it was served on as we found it a bit hard but we loved the sausage and salsa!Best value: Iranian stall (right near the fountain), they have delicious chicken pieces, tender beef with rice and bottled water for $10 bucks.The Iranians cook huge skewers.Festival essentials: The Hungarians (Saturday only), they do a fantastic sausage and an amazing bread called lángos. If you find them, let me know.

My photo of delicious langos from previous years.20140208-135500.jpgInteresting suggestion: One of my favourite food bloggers The Food Avenue suggested that I try the Ecuadorian octopus ceviche (near the carousel), I might check that out today.

 

More stalls come out on Saturday, so I’m excited to hit up the festival again today. Will I see you there?

Recipe: 白切雞 – White Cut Chicken with Ginger and Shallot Sauce

I really want to eat this now. Can I just eat the one that you made Garry?

The Fat Diner

When I ate at XOwith Tales of a Confectionist, The Food Avenueand The Food and Wine Marshallfor the Chinese New Year feast, one of the most discussed dish was the white cut chicken with ginger and shallot salsa. This is a quick and homey dish which nearly everyone can make at home. So I’m going to leave the recipe here for everyone to see and hopefully give it a go at making it.

View original post 656 more words

Koi Dessert Bar

This was the last stop of the day during our epic progressive foodie tour across Sydney CBD. We had booked Koi Dessert bar several weeks beforehand and we tried to keep enough stomach space to enjoy their famous delightful desserts.Complimentary bread and butter~

Set dinner ($77.oo pp)

first course

Eggplant

steamed eggplant, trout roe, eschalots and smoked eggplant broth

This arrived so quickly and the portion was so small, I had initially mistaken it for an amuse bouche. I loved the clean presentation but I found the broth’s harsh eggplant burnt taste too much like baba ganoush, which I’m not really a fan of.

second course

Quack

duck breast, micro green, cherries and cherry reduction

I loved how they cut the cherries in tiny little precise wedges; they made for gorgeous adorning presentation and provided just that little bit of sweetness to the duck. There was a good meat to fat to skin ratio, it was just a shame that it was all over in a matter of a few bites.

third course

Angus

Angus beef with wagyu bresaola, burnt onion and mushroom puree (cooked medium rare)

After my first bite, I thought I really enjoyed this course until I realised what I really like was the mushroom puree. We were all a bit disappointed as the duck course had set the bar high and the beef was hard to cut and a little chewy.

fourth course

Vanilla Cherry

vanilla mousse, frozen raspberry, blackberry gel, cherry slices and long pepper

Oh wow, I loved the way they presented the cherries. The mousse was super delicate and carried well to sweeten the flavours from all the fruit. Despite the presence of long pepper, there was only a subtle amount of heat. This was delicious.

fifth course

Typical chocolate

summer berries, chocolate, citrus and caramel. We were advised to start with berries and ending with caramel

It was no surprise that chocolate paired well with berries but I made a disgusted face when I bit into the burnt citrus; it was a very harsh flavour and I did not enjoy it. The caramel was a beautiful way to finish off the dessert though, I could just sit and eat that all day.

optional sixth course ($20.00) 

We were all super full from the day’s events but we weren’t one to miss out on a course even if it was optional. It was nice that they let us order one to share between the four of us.

Moss

pistachio mousse, caramel gel, white chocolate matcha dulce cremeux, pistachio sponge, matcha moss, apple blossom jelly, nitro lime and yoghurt and green apple

Many different components to this dish and I can’t say that I could taste them all even though I was careful to get a bit of everything on my spoon. The strong flavours to me came from the nitro lime, yoghurt, white chocolate and apple. I liked how the sour and sweet notes were subsided with the yoghurt and white chocolate.

seventh course

Cheesecake

lime cheesecake mousse, brown butter and shiso.

I loved who they made a well out of the cream cheese in this deconstructed cheesecake, I might use that idea if I ever try to recreate something similar. Like all of the previous desserts, this was not a heavy dessert that was OTT; they really understand the balance of flavours and textures.We felt a little up and down about the mains but when the desserts came out, it felt like I was eating at another restaurant. It was seriously next level! And although we had eaten four desserts, I never did feel like something was too sweet or heavy that I couldn’t finish it. I will definitely have to bring TimmyC with me next time I come.

Venue: Koi Dessert Bar

Address: 46 Kensington St, Chippendale NSW 2008

Phone(02) 9212 1230

KOI Dessert Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

What goes up, must close down

Not in all cases, but it was inevitable that Canberra’s crazy eatery boom would slow down and now I’ve noticed a big surge of places either closing, changing names or changing owners. Here are some examples:

Old >> Schnitzel Haus (Braddon)

New>> Tipsy Bull (coming soon)

The original restaurant in Erindale is still open but the Braddon venue will now be transformed into a new restaurant.


Old >> Vitis Eatery (Braddon)

New >> Lazy Su (coming soon)

Unfortunately, it won’t be the delicious Vietnamese food that we have come to love from Miss Van’s but it will be interesting to see how their new venture goes offering Japanese and Korean flavours.


Old >> Turkish Pide house (Civic)

New >> Hannara Korean BBQ

My post about my recent visit to Hannara will be on the blog soon.


Old >> Shanghai Dumpling King (Erindale)

New >> Mr. Asian Chef

No more dumplings, just your typical westernised Chinese menu.


Old >> Breeze Sports Bar & Restaurant (Civic)

New >> The Alley Bar and Grill

Located in the Pacific Suites on Northbourne Avenue. I don’t know much about this place except that it popped up as one of my new Entertainment book deals.


Old >> Petra Palace (Phillip)

New >> Yummy Yalla

I don’t know if these are new owners or a rename, it went from a Lebanese restaurant to… Another Lebanese restaurant.


Moved >> Lahori gate restaurant

They moved from a small restaurant underneath apartments in Phillip to a much more spacious fit out in Weetangera apparently sometime around mid-2016. I’m yet to go but I found this awesome review from Travel and Beyond.


Changing owners 

Old >> Adore Tea (Gold Creek) you can still catch Adore tea products from their warehouse in Mitchell.

New >> The Tea House Gold Creek

I’m excited to see what direction the new owner takes on this tea house, I am trying their food out this weekend!


Old >> Mood Food  >> The Black Sheep (Braddon)

New >> Kith and Nosh (coming soon)

I didn’t even get around to trying The Black Sheep before they closed up. Hopefully, the new establishment stays around a little longer.


Closed >> Autolyse

Closed >> The Yarralumla bakery

Closed >> The Lobby / Pork Barrel


Changing owners >> Pulp kitchen- finishing up on Valentine’s day, it will be bittersweet to see the old owners go but exciting to see what the new owners can do with the place.


Changing names >> Paleo cafe to Tallow and Thyme (Braddon)


Changing names >> CIBO kitchen to Deli and Kafe (Woden)

Same family, just expanding their wares to cover European supermarket goods and deli meats/cheeses


Expanding >> Milk Crate cafe is not just a for the exclusive neighbouring buildings anymore, they have a much roomier space in their second set up down on Marcus Clarke street. They have a different chef and staff and I hear it isn’t as good as the original place.

 

Mr. Wong

I had culled a lot of my backlog drafts but this was one I was desperate to tell you about.
I had to been to Mr. Wong once before but without TimmyC which he constantly reminds me about, so when we had some free time between visiting family, we decided to go there for dinner. They don’t take bookings for less than 6 people for dinner, so we had no choice but to wing it. Knowing we had a public holiday on the Monday in Canberra, TimmyC and I figured ‘how busy could a restaurant be on a Sunday night, especially when there was only 3 of us?’, the answer is VERY. We arrived just before 7 pm and the next available table for 3 pax was just after 8:30 pm. We were there, TimmyC could almost taste the duck, so we put our name down on the list and took a stroll to get some cheesecake from Uncle Tetsu’s while we waited.
When we came back more eager than before, the table was still not available yet but they encouraged us to get a drink at the bar. Just after browsing the cocktail list, we were approached by the wait staff again and shown to a table downstairs. All my photos are pretty dark because of the poor lighting inside.

Coconut martini mocktail I didn’t get a photo of the description, all I remember is there was kiffir lime ($10.00). I’ve had a lot of mocktails in my time and most of them just end up tasting like a tropical fruit juice or a sweet fizzy soda, but I simply adored this. There was so much complexity in the flavours and it morphed as my tongue picked up different flavours, all this within a sip. I can’t wait to go back and go through the rest of the list.
Starters~
Dim sum platters steamed dim sum platter (8 pieces) a selection of today’s specialties ($32.00). The different dumplings were a combination of lobster, duck, scallops and the like. All of them were very delicate, perfect and oh so delicious. I would highly recommend ordering this despite the price tag.
Peking duck pancakes (half serve 8 pancakes $45.00). You cannot come to Mr. Wong and not order their duck. It is amazing. I love the duck pieces as it has a good skin to meat ratio, the meat is tender and the skin is impeccable.
Mains~
Prawns, scallops and calamari wok fried with ginger and spring onions ($36.00). To have prawns, scallops and calamari cooked perfectly until it was all tender was fantastic, I just wish there was more of a ‘sear’ to them from the wok.
Sweet and sticky pork ribs ($34.00). They did not lie, these ribs were sweet and sticky! Perhaps a little too sweet for my taste, but the meat was very tender.
Stir fried snow peas, sugar snap peas and broccoli with garlic and rice wine ($19.00). It was easy to get your fill of vegetables when they tasted this good.
King crab fried rice “typhoon shelter style” with garlic and chili (small $24.00). A fried rice is best eaten hot and that is what I told myself as I scoffed mouthfuls of rice like I had not eaten in days. The taste of crab was subtle but I really liked the oomph that the garlic and chili added.
Dessert~
Mango pudding with coconut tapioca, lychee granita and mango pearls ($16.00). TimmyC said he was starting to get full already after the starters but he then proceeded to eat the mains, by this stage, he was convinced he had enough and was so full that he could not order the deep fried ice cream that he had his eye on since we sat down. The waitress then came past to see if we wanted any dessert and just as TimmyC finished his ‘no dessert’ declaration to the table, he ordered the mango pudding almost in the same breath. There were no regrets. The mango pudding was silky smooth and we loved the flavour combination with the coconut and lychees.
I still dream about those mango pearls. Instead of just being flat one noted gelatinous balls, they actually burst in your mouth releasing sweet and juicy mango flavour, it reminded me of the dessert version of fish roe. Incredible!
Even though I was impressed by everything from the ambiance, to the efficient staff to the amazing food we had, I think I preferred our starters to the mains. It might have been our menu choices but those starters were seriously next level. I guess we will just have to come back and try more of the menu to know.

Venue: Mr. Wong

Address: 3 Bridge St, Sydney NSW 2000

Phone(02) 9240 3000

 

Mr. Wong Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato