Human Brochure – Tea time at A. Baker

While trying to explore the most out of our surrounds, my friends and I opted to go next door to A. baker for some sweet treats after our lunch at the Parlour Room.

Everyone knew their drink orders well, but what to choose from the cake cabinet?IMG_6416.JPGThe boy of the group suggested we only needed three sweets between the four of us, but unfortunately majority rules and he was out voted by the other three women.IMG_6417.JPGCake cabinet~ All sweets were about $5.00 – 6.00 from memory.

Salted caramel Definitely one of the sweeter treats of the day but I did expect a lot sweeter based on the thickness of the caramel. It would have went nicely with a beverage but I prefer variety over having just one thing. Bring friends along so you can share and try more!IMG_6423.JPGChoc orange ricotta I know this combination isn’t for everyone but all the flavours work perfectly together.IMG_6425.JPGPumpkin and maple Ever since my American friend introduced me to pumpkin pies, I must say I’m a big fan! This might have contributed to the fact that this was my pick of the bunch!IMG_6418.JPGLemon meringue a humble classic! The lemon component could have been more tart but still executed well.IMG_6420.JPGYes we almost ordered one of everything…IMG_6427.JPGIt was a lovely way to end a wonderful long lunch, it was just a shame that some of us needed to return to work.

Human brochure – Parlour Wine Room

My first food experience leading into the weekend was without my interstate guests (they were not arriving until later that evening), but I’ve taken my role as a 101 local human to guide not only interstate guests but local ones as well to good eateries with a great atmosphere.

I grabbed a bunch of lunching friends and took them to the Parlour Wine Room to try more of their lunch time special (see my other post here). Now by default because I’m the ‘foodie’, most people just give the ordering responsibilities to me despite my constant plea of ‘I haven’t eaten here/from this menu before’. It’s nice to know that they have so much trust in me.

That day, I did insist that everyone choose a dish and we will dabble in a bit of each, plus if it was up to me I’d just order four serves of popcorn squid legs.

I’ve always loved the decor and feel of the Parlour RoomIMG_7440.JPGComplimentary bread and dipping oil~ (the bread is of course from their neighbour A. baker)IMG_6379.JPGLunch menu special ~ Something from the lunch menu and a drink -glass of wine, beer or soft drink ($16.00).IMG_6373.JPG

Rodriguez chorizo, ham hock, puy lentils, piquin chilli, 62C egg. I felt that this dish was a little watery and it was hard to grab a little bit of each element when sharing with friends, but it had a beautiful chorizo sausage. I must say that this was my least favourite dish of the day.IMG_6392.JPG

IMG_6391.JPGFree range 62C egg, piquillo peppers, jamon, smoked paprika. This was almost like a stir fry topped with eggs. What really stood out the most for me was the jamon, it went well with the sweetness of the onions and there were plenty of onions, unfortunately not enough jamon. IMG_6398.JPGBraised spinach, chickpeas, garlic, cumin, golden raisins, yoghurt. I was pleasantly surprised by this dish. I didn’t think I would like it but the juicy raisins went beautifully with the chickpeas, spinach, tomato based sauce and the yoghurt gave it a Middle Eastern feel.IMG_6393.JPGPopcorn squid legs, ancient grains, aioli, pickled cucumber. This was my favourite dish. The squid was crispy and salty, it had delicious aioli to dip with and the fried textures were balanced out by the ‘ancient grains’. I would order this again in a heart beat but unfortunately I don’t think it would fill me on its own. IMG_6408.JPGIMG_6407.JPGCroque Monsieur toasted sandwich of serrano jamon, maffra cheddar (Vic), smoked potato foam ($9.00). Okay, so I threw in a few extra things because I was intrigued by them. The element that made me curious was the smoke potato foam, plus I love a good Croque Monsieur. Again I feel that they were a bit heavy handed with the smoked paprika  (someone in the kitchen must love this stuff), there wasn’t anything too special about this exotic sandwich which sounded good on paper, I was a bit disappointed. The bread was also really hard to chew.IMG_6411.JPGTwice cooked crispy pork belly, px glaze, fried onion, hazelnut ($18.00). I’m finding myself ordering pork belly whenever I can, it is just so delicious when cooked properly and this is one of those times. The skin was super crispy and the glaze gave just enough sweetness to compliment the meat and hazelnut flavours. Pork and hazelnut go well together, who knew! I also loved the unique plate that it came on.IMG_6388.JPGIMG_6385.JPGI was surprised that there wasn’t more patrons at the Parlour Room that day but that made it easier to talk and catch up with friends and the timing from the kitchen and wait staff was perfect.IMG_6405.JPG

Breakfast at A.Baker

With nothing much enticing me from the dinner menu, I took a friend and we headed to New Acton A. baker at an unprecedented (for me at least) time for a breakfast instead.

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At 8:30am Saturday, it was easy to get a table but was it worth it? I hope so!

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A very industrial feel inside and I don’t know how I feel about exposed pastries and tarts. image

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I liked that they asked for coffee orders once we sat down because I can imagine a lot of caffeine addicts want coffee ASAP but between two non coffee drinkers, we chose alternative hot beverages.

Hot chocolate ($3.50).

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Loose leaf chai ($3.50). Not overly sweet but it was nice and milky and smooth.

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3 Snow on the mountains cookies ($3.00). I didn’t get to try these but I get spoilt by my MIL all the time with these and they are simple to make.

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Pain au chocolat ($4.00). A pretty good croissant but I wish it was more buttery and flaky.

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Toasted sour dough with butter and house made preserves ($7.00). Today’s house made preserve was burnt mandarin jam. I’m a big fan of sour dough but it takes forever for me to chew through the crust. The jam was not overly sweet  and was so great that I even ate all the chunky rind by itself afterwards.

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Poached eggs, crusty bread, spinach, herb and egg dressing ($14.00) with a side of house cured maple bacon ($3.50). I couldn’t taste the maple flavour but I love the smokiness in the bacon. The thicker cuts made it a little dry but the thinner slices crisped up very nicely.

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63° egg, Yass mushroom, soft polenta, pangrattato,  Grandvewe pecorino ($16.00). When they put it down, all I could smell was the fragrant perfume of cheese and olive oil. The delicious mound of mushrooms covered a perfectly cooked egg. This had lots of different textures between the softness of the egg and polenta, squishiness of the mushrooms to the crispy pangrattato and chewy sour dough bread. A very enjoyable breakfast.

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Great service, amazing unique breakfast choices but it is not easy or cheap to find parking in the area and with no bookings taken, it is a gamble to get a seat straight away. I am tempted to come back for dinner, maybe I’ll just choose things that don’t have gizzards or liver.

***The Parlour room is set to open October 2013 next door, that will be exciting***

Venue: A.Baker

Address: Unit 2, 15 Edinburgh Avenue, Canberra, ACT 2601

Phone: (02) 6287 6150

 

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