Agostini’s

I had such high hopes for Agostini’s, the latest Italian restaurant to open in the Canberra dining scene. The lure of their pink sign and the promise of handmade pasta and authentic pizza easily convinced me to have one of my birthday celebrations there with some close friends.When I had booked two weeks ahead for a Monday night, I thought I was being super organised. It caught me by surprise when I saw that we were expected to leave after two hours for the next booking. I assumed they were super busy and I would endeavour to eat as fast as I could. It turns out that we weren’t rushed at all, there must be a two hour allocated seating time for bookings through Dimmi.

I liked the spacious dining area, it allows for larger groups and even as a table of four, I didn’t feel that we were sitting on top of each other.Entrees~

Calamari fritti lightly fried calamari served with an aioli of grilled lemon & mint ($15.00). Not chewy but nothing special and a tad too salty for my liking.Frico a typical dish from the Friuli region of Italy. Paper thin layers of Montasio cheese & potato, oven roasted to form a heavenly, crunchy, chewy morsel ($10.00). We were all curious to see what this would look like and was surprised to see it so flat despite the description. I think the reason why I enjoyed it so much is that it reminds me of the crunchy part of a lasagna- think a thicker parmesan wafer.Margherita bufala pizza bufala mozzarella, Agostinis’ spice & basil ($22.00). Their pizza bases are really good with good quality toppings. We really enjoyed this.Mains~

Napolitana pizza anchovies, olives, capers, Fior di Latte mozzarella & basil ($22.00) with a request to top it off with rocket ($2.00). My friend really enjoyed his pizza, I think the rocket helped balance all the salty components.Lasagne al ragu classic Italian lasagne with slow cooked wagyu beef, sandwiched between handmade pasta sheets & topped with grated Reggiano Parmigiano ($25.00). I was very disappointed with my lasagne, it had no flavour. Frankly, I’ve had better lasagne from my supermarket.Fusilli funghi corkscrew shaped pasta with mushroom ragù with scamorza cheese & thyme ($22.00). The most flavoursome out of all the pasta dishes on the table but I thought it needed a lot more sauce and ingredients to cover the pasta as some mouthfuls seemed like I was eating plain pasta.Spaghetti alla marinara vongole, prawns, fish, vino bianco, cherry tomatoes, chilli, garlic & parsley ($28.00). This seriously lacked flavour. No salt, no chilli, no garlic; it was just bland and disappointing. The spaghetti felt a tad too thick and it was over cooked therefore it almost had the consistency of tinned spaghetti. Shame, I had high hopes for this dish.Desserts~

Affogato House-made vanilla gelato served with an espresso & your choice of digestivo: Cafe Patron XO Tequila, Frangelico or Grappa ($15.00). My friend requested to omit the digestive and we were still charged the full amount. That is one expensive coffee shot!Gelati choice of 3 flavours – vanilla, coffee liquor, chocolate peanut butter ($10.00). They had some strange choices (cherry salted caramel?) but we opted for these flavours, which were very nice. It is probably best to clarify the flavour choices as we thought there was a cherry flavour and a salted caramel flavour, not one flavour with cherry and salted caramel combined.Agostinis’ tiramisu made to order… savoiardi biscuits, freshly brewed coffee, mascarpone & chocolate mousse ($12.00). This definitely made your eyes widen as your hit that base that started to pool with coffee. Being made to order meant that there were some crunchy parts of the tiramisu which I thought was a bit odd. My friend and I ordered one each and if you add the part that I had eaten with the part that she had eaten, we wouldn’t have even finished one portion. It was too strong, too much mascarpone and too OTT.

I found the service really terrible. No one was rude or unpleasant but they needed constantly prompting. Can we have more water? Can we get cheese for the pasta? Can we get more wine? On top of that, we found ourselves needing to ask more than once because no one came back for almost 20 minutes. For a restaurant that wasn’t terribly busy, I felt that we were forgotten about A LOT.

I won’t be rushing back here in a hurry, but I would come back for their pizza and hope that their pasta and service improves.

Venue: Agostini’s

Address: East Hotel, 6/69 Canberra Ave, Griffith ACT 2603

Phone: (02) 6178 0048

Agostini's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Blink and you’ll miss it

For months I was looking forward to a Greek restaurant finally opening inside the Hellenic Club in Woden. My email subscription to the club was a constant weekly reminder for me to go to Orexi, the highly anticipated new Greek eatery bringing with it a promise of upmarket food by an international Greek chef- Yiannis Baxevanis.

To my surprise, during my weekly brief scroll down the club’s email, something caught my eye which made me scroll back up and re-read the text. Something was different and it took me a brief moment to realise that Orexi’s banner was replaced with Fillo’s Taverna and bar, which started trading last night.

I started typing in Orexi’s website, the page could not be found. I searched the club’s site; no trace of Orexi. It would almost be like they never existed, except for the mixed reviews online as recent as last week.

I wonder what happened?

Looking at Fillo’s menu, there are plenty of things I want to try as it has a lot more range than when they were at The Hamlet. I might have to try it sooner rather than later, just in case they get replaced.

Lokma Turkish cuisine

I asked my friend if we could grab take away from her local shops at Casey Market town, which seemed to be forever expanding. Lokma is one of Casey’s newest eateries and when we arrived Friday afternoon to grab take away, we saw ten staff members zooming around so we were not the only ones with the same idea.

I couldn’t fit all staff members in one shot as they kept running around because it was so busy, it was impressive to watch!Banquet (minimum 2 people $22.00 pp) dips, zucchini fritters, borek, pide, chicken skewers, kofte, rice, salad, bread and baklava (not pictured). I was really surprised that we were able to choose any three small dips with our banquet for three people; we chose hummus, beetroot and carrot. Sweet chilli chicken pide marinated chicken with mixed vegetables and sweet chilli sauce ($4.00 extra). We paid a little extra for our pide as it was one of the more expensive ones but we didn’t realise this until we went to pay. I’ve never had a pide with sweet chilli sauce so I thought it was unusual, I think I’ll order a more traditional filling next time. The pide was massive! We weren’t even close to finishing all the food but it was expected as no one I know has ever left hungry from a Turkish banquet. I thought the grilled meats were better at Sultan’s in Gungahlin but I was astounded and impressed with the value for money for the vast variety of food you get, which can be enjoyed in the comfort of your own home (or a friend’s!).

It was so busy that night that our order took over 30 minutes to prepare but we just strolled around to check out the other stores. Despite looking like chaos, our order had everything packed and ready to go when our name was called. I would like to go back to try their kebabs and snack packs as they were very generous with their fillings and toppings.

 

Venue: Lokma Turkish Cuisine

Address: Casey Market Town, Shop 2A, 15 Kingsland Parade

Phone: (02) 62595267

Opening times:

Monday – Thursday and Sunday 9am – 9pm

Friday – Saturday 9am – 10pm

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?

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.

 

On Flinders

I saw on Canberra food geek’s instagram that On Flinders does a mighty fine pizza, so when I found myself looking for dinner before an early movie, I knew where I wanted to go. I don’t go to Manuka very often but On Flinders’ name is pretty indicative of its location and it is right next to Public.
Pizza~ Monday – Saturday 12pm – 9pm  Sunday/Public holidays 12pm – 3pm
Flinders mozzarella, bocconcini, prosciutto and basil ($20.00). Finally, someone that understands that every slice should have all the ingredients and you don’t need to fight to the death for a slice that has a tiny bit of meat on it. This was a really good pizza, not the absolute best that I’ve had but man, double points for the generous toppings. It makes me smile that almost every bite I took had delicious prosciutto.
Basil and prosciutto on every slice and all topped off with lots of cheese. YUM!

The service was polite and efficient; just be mindful that they only make pizzas during certain times. I’m definitely going to be back to try more of their vast menu.

Venue: On Flinders
Address: 5 Flinders Way, Griffith ACT 2603
 On Flinders Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

OTIS Dining Hall

It seemed like a particularly long week at work, so I convinced my friend that we should deservedly go to have lunch at OTIS to celebrate surviving the first week back.

We had the 3 course deal for $64.00 pp but I’ve listed the à la carte prices.

Starters~

Spaghetti no. 5, pecorino, pepper and truffle ($18.00). This is definitely a dish best eaten hot. I couldn’t really taste any truffle because it was so pepper dominant, but I love pepper and cheese so this worked really well for me. The serve was small so the taste didn’t become monotonous.Mains~

Baked ocean trout, hollandaise, spring vegetables ($32.00). My friend really enjoyed her main. I tried the hollandaise sauce and it had a wonderful zesty kick to it.OTIS pepper steak, silk-wood brandy jus, side of frites ($42.00). If you know me, you know I love my steak and now you know I love my pepper, so you mathematically I would love this dish (and I did!) but what made me take my breath away was the jus. It is so rich that not long after pouring it onto my plate, it started to form a skin. Not only did it give a great flavour enhancement to the beef, it made for the best dipping sauce for my fries.Desserts~

Magnum and meringue, lemon curd, shortbread ($16.00). A great combination. The perfect amount of sweetness with the perfect amount of zest, served within an array of textures.Crème caramel, whisky, smoked sea salt ($16.00). This was so smooth and rich and while I did really enjoy it, I found myself having to flick back and forth between the lemon curd of the other dessert to break up the intense sweetness.The staff were very friendly and attentive. We had long lunch to enjoy to the whole experience and we left feeling full and very satisfied. My friend was so impressed that she already decided when she was going back (without me too!).

Such comfy comfy seats!Venue: OTIS Dining Hall

Address: 29 Jardine St, Kingston ACT 2604

Phone:  (02) 6260 6066

Flatheads

I remember going to Flatheads back in the day at least once a week. They delivered on giving me a delicious cheeseburger and I always ordered a potato scallop that I would slide in under my bun lid. For it me it was always quick and reliable.So you could imagine my delight when I saw that The Food Avenue posted the return of the awesome fish and chip shop but other than being in the same location, everything else has changed. The menu is different, their look is a thousand times more modern and it really is just an extension from Duxton’s bistro as they share the same kitchen. There are a lot of ‘on the go’ products even for those with a sweet tooth.Check out their menu!Fisherman basket calamari, oysters, panko crumbed prawns, fish, chips, lemon and tartar sauce ($20.00). I wanted to eat fish and chips and as much variety as I could, so this was the logical choice for me. Unfortunately by the end of it I was having deep fried sweats and I couldn’t eat anymore, leaving behind some calamari, some prawns and a lot of chips. I didn’t love my oysters as it looked like someone had gouged them while shucking the shell. I wouldn’t order this again unless I shared it with someone and ordered something else non deep fried but I would like to go back and try with cheeseburger (no potato scallops on the menu, boooooo!) or their pizzas.BBQ King prawns and salad chilli, garlic ($20.00). After indulging in a big breakfast, my friend wanted a lighter lunch option but she was surprised to see a big portion and that her meal also came with chips. I was amazed to see 6 prawns in the box but my friend said that she was little disappointed with the lack of freshness because they were hard to peel. It got really messy real quick- not a first date meal.Fish and chips barramundi, lemon, tartar sauce ($16.00). My other friend really enjoyed his lunch but he couldn’t finish it. You can get your fish either battered or grilled.The service was friendly, I think they have incredible opening hours and it is handy to have a take away shop in the area. I wonder if you could just grab a big bottle of water from the pub otherwise you’ll be left paying $4 bucks for Mount Franklin water like I did.

Venue: Flatheads

Address: cnr Bluebell street and Macpherson street, O’Connor

Phone: (02) 62477330

Opening hours: 6am – late, 7 days

The Commons Street Feast

Friday night was the opening night of The Commons Street Feast and where were you Canberra? Perhaps you were busy with Christmas parties or perhaps the other half of you was oblivious to the fact that these awesome food trucks have set up a home in Canberra for the next 7 days. Either way, I was taken by surprise about how quiet the event was, especially on opening night.

We arrived 30 minutes before our butler service started so we could scout the area, checking out all the food vendors. This is essential to see what’s on offer and knowing what to promise your stomach later on. I was surprised to see the set up was so spread out. A lot of the vendors had barricades to zig zag a long line in anticipation of large crowds, there is a large funky pyramid in the middle (with different artworks on each side) pumping out music to the crowd and lots of picnic tables set up all over.

The Butlers

TimmyC is not a fan of lining up (in fact, who is?) and it is hard to time food well when you have dispersed to take on different lines. So I had preemptively booked a butler for my party of three in anticipation of the usual large crowds that flock to foodie events like this.We met our friendly butler Ben who was to look after us for the next two hours. The butler service had reserved tables under the shade of trees just right of the entrance but I explained to Ben that that would be no good for photos, especially with the sun setting soon. We found ourselves on a table next to the pyramid, in the centre of all that is happening and Ben asked if we wanted to walk around and browse the area and he could recommend things, but we explained that we had scouted the area and we knew what we wanted already, so let’s begin.

We had ordered dishes from three different vendors on his tablet (if it was a little busier it would have been quicker to order from one vendor at a time), we tapped our card and paid right there on the spot on his device and off he went. While we casually sat there and took in the atmosphere, Ben raced back with dishes from one vendor at a time in quick succession. For people who just wanted to sit, eat and take photos, this butler service was really working out for us!

Handy little contraption took our orders, printed receipts and allowed us to pay there at our table.

Our butler was super friendly and enthusiastic the entire time and when I asked him questions about vendors that only a food blogger would, he would race off and find the answer for me. At first I thought maybe 1 hour of the butler service would have been enough, but I’m a slow eater so I was definitely not rushed with 2 hours. Ben mentioned a lot of tables who have booked one hour didn’t get to try as much as they wanted.

Bao Stop

The first thing I wanted to eat was the Peking Duck fries that I wanted to pair eventually with TimmyC’s Mary’s burger. With the butler service this was able to happen, if two people were to line up in each line, you might have ended up with cold fries and a hot burger.

Peking Duck fries ($15.00). This was loaded with sauce and duck on top of crispy shoe string fries. I really enjoyed the pairing of the hoisin sauce to the chips and even when all the duck was eaten, I still liked eating the chips with shallots (maybe it’s the Asian in me).

Thai in a Box

Chicken pad thai ($13.00). This was definitely not my choice but my Mum said she wanted noodles that this was the only choice on site. She found it too sweet and didn’t finish it although it was served very hot and fast.

Mary’s

This was an exciting highlight for me when I read the vendors who were coming. Not knowing what to try first, we just chose the classic cheeseburger.Mary’s cheeseburger ($14.00). Mary’s had the longest lines but our butler came back pretty quickly with our order. I really enjoyed their soft buns, delicious beef patty and cheese but TimmyC found their patty a little small and that they were a little heavy handed with their sauces. I agreed but I still really liked it. TimmyC also mentioned that it reminded him of Grease Monkey. I wonder what their fried chicken tastes like…

Smokin’ Grill

After being intoxicated by the smell from their smokers, I sent Ben off to get me beef short ribs with slaw and corn chips ($20.00). He came with a with a blackened, pepper encrusted tender beef rib served with undressed slaw that cut through the pepper and meatiness of the rib. The meat was really nice but I thought that it was a little steep for the tiny serve that we got.

The Grace caravan

Mumsy was freezing by this point when the sun had set and it was unusually cold for this time of year. I sent Ben off on a mission to find her some hot tea, even if it was just to hold and gather some warmth. He found an assortment of teas from Grace caravan and Mumsy chose a lemongrass and ginger tea ($4.00) and while he was there he may as well grab that caramel slice that she had been eyeing off for $5.

Happy as Larry

I was starting to wonder if our butler was judging the amount of food that we were eating but that didn’t really stop us from ordering more. I was impressed with Happy as Larry’s split level set up carrying one massing looking wood fired oven and had to try one.Margherita San Marzano tomatoes, basil, fior di latte, extra virgin olive oil ($16.00). The pizza smelt really good but this was so hard to eat because everything other than the crust had no stable structural integrity. As soon as you went to pick up a slice, the topping would slide right off. Definitely not a first date food. I really enjoyed their ingredients, maybe if they had slightly thicker bases it wouldn’t be so sloppy.

De Wafel

De Traditional speculoos + whipped cream ($9.50). TimmyC could not help himself and had to order waffles while we were there. They had an ever so slight crunch to the exterior while being fairly soft and pancakey in the centre. I really liked the combination of toppings and will definitely be trying  crumbled speculoos at home.

Messina

Now this was the big reason why TimmyC wanted to go to The Commons. Messina has cleverly done a novelty take on an International Soup Kitchen with cute homage to Campbell’s canned soup packing to match. What was also very smart of them was everything was pre-made and frozen. All the server had to do was pop the lid and give you a spoon. I imagine lines for this place to be long in the coming days but it should be a quick run through as you’re given your can and spoon.Faux Pho salted coconut sorbet, kaffir lime marshmallow, lychee meringue, chilli cashew crunch ($9.00). At first I was confused if they had forgotten to add anything other than the coconut sorbet in my can as that was all I could taste, but if you delve deep in the depths of the can, on the very bottom was all the other goodies. I loved the heat from the crunch which was off set by the cooling coconut and I loved the kaffir lime mixed through it all. I chose this because I loved all these flavours (again perhaps it is the Asian from within) but I don’t know if I came across any lychee meringue in my spoonfuls.

American chow down peanut butter gelato, cream cheese gelato, oreo cookie crumbs, pretzel crunch ($9.00). TimmyC’s stronger affinity to sweetness meant he enjoyed this tin a lot more than I did, I found it a little OTT. They definitely had American flavours in there, it tasted very peanut buttery and chocolatey with crunchy textures.

Other stalls

It may come as a surprise to you that I didn’t get around to eating from all the vendors, but here are some photos of the other places. You might have also noticed that there are stalls missing (Fritto + co, Urban pasta etc) but apparently there will be around  7 food trucks that will be swapping over from around Wednesday. Ribbies barbecue weren’t able to open on the first night but were hoping to be ready for the weekend.

Yalla Yalla!

Vutu

Pact beer – Canberra represent!

Capital Brewing co. – Canberra represent!Pialligo Estate – Canberra represent!Sakura on wheelz

MeetThe One – Canberra represent!

Rolling schnitzel

Kransky Brothers – Canberra represent!

A special mention to these guys, they let me try some of their kransky it is sooooooooo good and reasonably priced. I’m going to get this next time.

Mantooth’s place

Keep your eye out on their events calendar, there are plenty of things to do like random karaoke, table tennis and Christmas carols. Also check out my previous post to see the opening hours and what you need to know.

The Commons Street Feast- what you need to know

The Commons Street Feast is finally here in Canberra and there are a few things you need to know

Information and photo are taken from their website.

  • The Commons Street Feast is located in Commonwealth Park from 9th-18th December
  • It is a free event and is open to all ages, with licensed 18+ bar areas on site
  • Seating – they have a range of seating options, including a ton of picnic tables for you to use. There is also seating available in the pop up bars and restaurants, plus an open grass area for those who wish to bring along a picnic blanket. You can also hire a selection of deck chairs to use as well
  • The Commons Street Feast is a completely cashless event. You will need to bring along cards (eftpos or credit) to pay for your food and drinks
  • Butlers ($50/hr) are sold out Friday (9th) and Saturday (10th) already, so book ahead to avoid disappointment
  • Opening hours

    • Friday 9 December 4pm – 11pm
    • Saturday 10 December 12pm – 11pm
    • Sunday 11 December 12pm – 9pm
    • Monday 12 December 5pm – 9pm
    • Tuesday 13 December 5pm – 9pm
    • Wednesday 14 December 5pm – 9pm
    • Thursday 15 December 5pm – 10pm
    • Friday 16 December 4pm – 11pm
    • Saturday 17 December 12pm – 11pm
    • Sunday 18 December 12pm – 9pm

You’ll know what my Instagram feed will be filled with for the next week and a bit. I hope to dabble in Mary’s, Messina’s international soup kitchen range, Bao stop, Ribbies, Bites on Wheels, Kranksy Brothers, Fritto & Co and Meet. I think it will require a few trips to get through my list.

Lolo and Lola November pop up dinner series

It was pointed out that Lolo and Lola have only done four pop up dinners since their humble beginnings and it dawned on me that I had been to three of them. I would stop hogging but it is so good; I am not willing to give up my seat!You really need to get yourselves to one of these events if you’re lucky and fast enough, December is already sold out and the next one is in February (now that is sold out also!) . Each month has a different theme and November’s dinner focused on one of the main islands of the Philippines- Luzon.Lolo and Lola November pop up dinner ($65.00pp).

It was hard to choose a favourite from the menu (apparently not so hard for some, TimmyC loved the crepes), everything was so different but at the same time everything was so delicious.
This is more of a food porn post as I have not seen any of the dishes repeated in subsequent dinners.
Tinapay ensaymada bun served with liver spread.Check out how fluffy that bun is and how beautifully whipped that butter turned out.
Lumpiang sariwa savoury crepe of sauteed vegetables served with soy-caramel peanut sauce.
Kinilaw Filipino ceviche: melange of seafood in spiced calamansi dressing.
Half time drinks: the taste reminded me of banana lollies.
Habhab “Lucban” noodle dish with chicken, vegetables and spiced vinegar. We were encouraged to eat this with our fingers, needless to say it got messy really fast.
Bicol Express tender pork belly and butterflied prawn in chilli-coconut sauce.
Caldereta grilled beef sirloin and vegetables served with rich “caldereta” sauce.
Ice scramble streetside ice blended treat topped with powdered milk and chocolate sauce.
Sapin-sapin purple yam frozen parfait, jackfruit leche flan, pandan sponge, toasted coconut and coconut “latik” caramel sauce.
Jay and Kim have always been wonderful hosts and they take great pride in their cooking. It has been so amazing to be exposed to the delicious flavours from their origins.
Good luck trying to get into their next dinner. I might see you there.
😉

 

Brunching at Double shot

When is a friend is visiting from out of town, you make sure you take them somewhere nice to show off Canberra’s food scene in a wonderful tucked away cafe. I had a friend stay with me for a few days and I naturally took him to Double Shot in Deakin for brunch; without a booking we were seated after 10-15 minutes. I love the decor, efficient staff and range of dishes they have on their menu.

 

Bacon Benedict Benedict free range eggs, choice of bacon, with hollandaise sauce ($18.00). A good ol’ breakfast classic done really well.
Spinach Benedict Benedict free range eggs, baby spinach with hollandaise sauce ($18.00).
Chicken toastie chicken breast, avocado, smoked cheddar and aioli ($12.00). A simple toastie that has some of my favourite ingredients and I also really enjoyed the crisps that came with it.
Caramel thickshake ($8.00). This reminded me of American milkshakes that are really thick and make you work for it to suck it up the straw. It had a strong caramel topping flavour.
Iced coffee ($8.00).
Mocha frappe ($8.00).
Coincidentally, some other friends of mine were also looking for a brunch destination and I sent a photo of our drinks to coax them into coming to Double shot. They arrived shortly after. 😉
Scrambled Eggs grilled asparagus, shaved pecorino + truffle oil ($19.00). My friend found this dish over oily.
Scrambled Eggs grilled asparagus, shaved pecorino + truffle oil ($19.00) plus potato + feta rosti, field mushrooms, bacon ($5.00 each).
Just be aware that they have Sunday surcharge of 10%, they don’t split bills and they have credit card charges on all major banks.

The Cheesecake Factory cheesecake

While casually shopping in Costco, I walked past the freezer section that I don’t often venture past only to find myself slowly reversing and pressing my face up to the glass. Do my eyes deceive me? Was that really what I thought it was?

Yes ladies and gentlemen. Costco Canberra (for now) is selling The Cheesecake Factory original cheesecake ($21.89), complete with graham cracker crust and the smooth cheesecake filling that we all know and love. Upside: it is all pre-cut and equally portioned for your convenience with a paper dividers; it’s the original cheesecake so you can dress it up however you like it (I had mine with berries, passionfruit, my friend added Nutella) and it tasted like I never left Hawaii.

Downside: the serving suggestion was to thaw it in the fridge for 8-12 hours (ain’t no body got time for that, I just left it on the counter until I was ready to eat it); our pineapple isn’t as sweet so I can’t replicate my favourite flavour.I take no responsibility with what you do with this information.