Lolo and Lola coming soon

Yes, Canberra’s favourite Filopino bakery, Waterhouse Bakers will have a more permanent home at the Westside Acton Park! They are joining the shipping container village in December not only bringing their delicious bakery goods but also an eatery! I really hope they have adobo for those who don’t have a Filopino family to make it for them.

I will definitely be keen to see their menu!

Thanks TimmyC for the photo and my delicious sans rival!

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The Fish Can re-post

* I just saw a more recent photo of their menu board and prices went up a little but all individual baos are still under $5.00

I’m re-writing this post with a bit more detail after I rushed to blog the original post within the hour that The Fish Can finally opened their doors.
The Fish Can has only been opened for two weeks but have had many positive reviews from people in Canberra who have been craving a good bao at a decent price. The first thing you need to know is the menu so here it is:I love how there are a combination of things including sweet and savoury and everything is under 5 bucks! They had another menu on the other side which is more of a ‘fish and chip’ side but today I’m concentrating on the more important issue: BAOS! But here it is just in case you were curious.  *photo from a friend who doesn’t want to be named.

The thing you need to know before you start to wonder why I only tried three baos is that this is what I saw when I got to Westside that day (see photo below). My heart sank and I headed to Miss Van’s to drown my sorrows in a bowl of pho (and I also may or may not have had a banh mi). While I was slurping away, I looked up from my bowl and noticed that The Fish Can had just opened their doors (so to speak) and I almost immediately dropped my chop sticks. So this was my second lunch and yes I am now a Hobbit.
Porkster braised free-range Murray Valley gilt belly, served with crushed Szechuan peanuts, house relish and cilantro (left $4.10). I was a bit disappointed at the size of the filling to bun ratio but I’m hoping that it was because it one of the first few baos served and they improve with some feed back. The pork itself was tender but it needs some sort of sauce so it isn’t just some dry ingredients in a bun. I would love to see a sliced pork belly with kewpie mayo and some lettuce (like Ippudo).

Not so Crab tempura soft-shell crab, lemon, cabbage slaw, Szechuan aioli and crushed peanuts (right $4.60). More filling, more exciting and more colourful. This was definitely my preference out of the two, the crab was crispy and so was the slaw, there was a nice aioli in there and there was flavour in every bite.
A close up of the ‘porkster’: delicious layers of fat and meat but I didn’t like the pickle so I picked it off. The thick short cut means that you don’t get some meat with every bite and there isn’t much else in the bun, it needs a little extra something…Lots of contrasting crunchy textures with the soft bao.Mars bao handmade bao with Mars bar core ($2.90). I didn’t expect a closed bao but if you think about it, a melted chocolate bar had to stay contained somehow. It might not look appetising but it definitely hit the sweet spot. You could taste the caramel, chocolate and nougat despite it being all melted, I just wish the bao itself had a tad bit more sweetness to it. My first preference was the sweet bao fries but they weren’t available that day, they will definitely be popular with the Asian crowd having been served with condensed milk.My friend tried the Chican bao all natural fried chicken breast, Szechuan aioli, crushed peanuts and cilantro ($4.10). He really really enjoyed it and went back a few days after and ordered more. The chicken looked really moist and the fillings were more generous, I wish I ordered this one too. Next time! Look at that juicy chicken patty. *drool*The savoury baos themselves were soft but could have been served a little warmer than they were, but then again it could have been a ‘we just opened and sorting out the kinks’ situation. In any case I am still super keen to head back, eventually try one of everything and get my hands on some sweet bao fries! The people serving inside were super friendly and the wait wasn’t long at all.

Are you ready to get your bao on?

Venue: The Fish Can (Next to The One)

Address: Westside Acton Park, 3 Barrine Drive, Acton, ACT 2601

Opening hours: **updated apparently they are not opened Thursday any more?**

Friday – Saturday 11:30am- 9:00pm

Sunday 11:30am – 4:00pm
The Fish Can Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Eat Local markets

I had hours of late night shopping a head of me but that didn’t stop me from ducking over to the Botanic Gardens to check out their inaugural Eat Local market, where they encourage people to buy local and eat local by offering chemical and GMO free produce from the Riverina, Tumut and the Canberra region. As I drove through the front gates, I was directed to the car park on the left hand side which was a short stroll to the markets. I parked and figured I didn’t have to pay for parking because it was sort of after hours (after 5pm) and I could only stay for a short while.I was there just in time to see Costa Georgiadis officially cut the ‘ribbon’ to the inaugural Eat Local market with help from some children.I was limited to what I could purchase because I wasn’t really home over the weekend and I only had a small cooler bag as I was heading to the mall afterwards but I still went to every stall to see what they had to offer. I have been to a lot of food markets in my time and I could only recognise two market stalls which means that it’s not the same vendors that you see at the rest of the Canberra markets. This market also had the advantage of being on a weekday for all those who want to do their food shopping early, keeping their weekends free.

The markets were on the small side but they had a vast variety of stall holders from apples, flowers, seafood, fresh vegetables, frozen blueberries, honey, eggs, pies, cheese and sauces; really everything you would need to make a lovely home-made meal.  I would definitely go back and try things from different vendors and stay a while longer. I really wanted to try the locally made halloumi but they had sold out before I got there. 😦The only hot food available at the market was the Floresco cafe and Cooper’s handmade pies which made a huge variety of flavours; I chose cold items to heat and eat later.

Waygu beef and beer pie local Yalandra Wagyu beef mince, with sautéed onions in a Jamieson Mountain ale gravy ($8.00). The filling was very dark, rich and delicious.

Sausage roll (recently award Silver at the Royal Melbourne Fine Food Awards) Rockgilla beef sausage mince, with locally grown onions, garlic, fresh home-grown parsley and our secret blend of herbs and spices in our flaky pastry ($6.00). The sausage roll filling was very thick and dense which stayed in a sausage shape. I really liked the flavour but I wish there was more of a fluffy texture to the filling rather than a solid roll.
I was heading to dinner so I couldn’t buy a hot pie and eat it at the market, although I was really tempted when I saw the ‘injection’ options.I had also bought some cheese from Boosey Creek cheese, their cumin gouda was unique and I loved the taste but their vintage cheddar won me over and I knew I was going to have some awesome jaffles in my near future.

I’m hoping that the warmer weather will encourage more visitors to the markets which may in turn drive more interest from other growers to attend. It was slowly getting dark just before 6pm, when I asked a stall holder about how they will see things when the sun goes down, they said they were hoping for day light savings to kick in soon to help them out with a bit more light but some stall holders were set with some lighting until then. There are ATM and bathroom facilities within the cafe.

Venue: Eat Local markets

Address: in the Botanical Garden’s top car-park and concourse, Clunies Ross street

Opening times: markets are on every Friday from 2:30pm to 7:00 pm

Westside Acton Park

Even though I went to Westside Acton Park for two things specifically (see Miss Van’s and La Crepe blog posts here), I was surprised to see so many other eateries there.

There’s O’So smoothie, Damn Fine Roasters (Canberra’s first drive thru coffee shop, you just honk your horn and someone will be with you shortly), The One (I look forward to their chicken wings!), Miss Van’s, La Crepe (which might be closed for a few weeks) and Habibz (authentic Middle Eastern BBQ). Also up the top of the shipping containers is Aviary, Canberra’s first rooftop bar, I haven’t been up there yet because the one time I tried they were closed for health and safety reasons.

If you haven’t checked out Westside Acton Park yet they have a Pop Up Market this Saturday!

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La crepe – Westside

Of course while we were waiting for our food from Miss Van’s, my friend’s and I couldn’t help but be enticed by the delicious smells coming from La Crêpe the next shipping container over. There’s nothing much more to really write than they smell amazing, Nutella was made to be on crepes and they even do ‘take aways’ so there is no excuse not to get one… Or two.

Here is their menu, crepes range from $5.00 – $9.00. Which one would you have picked?The guy noticed me taking photos and struck a pose. My friend was talking to him and he was super friendly and had helpful advise for when we head to Paris.It takes skill to get a crepe that thin. My friend made her husband wait as she went to get a second one to take away. How cute is the packaging! It looked much easier to eat than on the plate.A photo of my crepe before it got quickly devoured.Friendly service and it didn’t take that long for us to get our crepes even though we were impatiently drooling.

Venue: La Crepe

Address: Westside Acton Park, Barrine Drive, Acton 2601

Opening hours: hopefully similar times to Miss Van’s?

***This place is now closed *** 😦

ANZAC Day Dawn Service Breakfast On The Lake

ANZAC day is on this Saturday and if you were going to attend any dawn service then this year’s centenary year would probably be a good place to start. It is particularly cold right now so you would have to do some planning ahead like keeping yourselves dry and warm as well as plan your early morning breakfast, which everyone seems to go out for right after the service.

This year the National Museum is open for Dawn Service breakfast; they also have an added bonus of donating money to the ANZAC Appeal as well as free entry to the Museum’s WW1 Home front Exhibition.

Plan and book ahead to avoid disappointment.

ANZAC Day Breakfast On The Lake

Saturday 25th April 2015

 

The stunning Museum Café will be open on ANZAC day right after dawn service at 6.30am.

We will also be donating 10% of sales on the day to the ANZAC appeal. There is also free entry to the Museum’s WW1 Homefront Exhibition.

Bookings essential02 6208 5179

Displaying ANZAC Day Breakfast.jpg

Yummy Chinese BBQ

So I found this sitting in my drafts folder and I can’t believe I’ve waited so long to finish this post, here it is!

I love it when friends find new places to eat, I just get to go along for the ride with very few details about the food. The new place we were headed to this time was called Yummy Chinese BBQ, based on the name I assumed we were going somewhere where ducks and bbq pork hung from the windows.
My friend sent me a message before we met to wear something that I wouldn’t mind smelling like BBQ smoke, luckily he did because I had a whole new outfit picked out, now I was going to wear any ol’ thing.

It is an ‘all you can eat’ situation with ‘cook it yourself’ elements from the BBQ and hotpot whilst also being able to choose some pre-made hot food from the buffet ($35.00 pp with a two-hour time limit).

The Uni Lodge Precinct is forever growing and is catering towards the increasing Asian student population in the area. IMG_5474.JPGIMG_5475.JPGAfter snapping photos of the surrounding area, I met my friends at the table and a look of confusion took over my face, if it’s a charcoal BBQ place, why is there a hot pot? I was further confused when I was also told there was an all you could eat buffet inside. With so much variety, where do I start?

Well the coals weren’t in the BBQ yet so that could take the back burner. My Asian friend was in charge of the tablet where you could order drinks and skewered meats for the BBQ, so I left her to deal with that as I went to venture inside to check out what was happening. At first, I didn’t know if I liked the thought of sitting outside until I went inside… Although there were exhaust fans above each grill, the feeling of smoke was irritating to the eyes.

 No coals yet, time to go to plan B.IMG_5478.JPGPlan B requires food input from the food buffet inside. Okay! Inside we go!

Broths are continually refilled by the wait staff and there is one hot pot between two people. It does take up valuable table real estate though because there isn’t much space left after a BBQ is fitted into the table.IMG_5480.JPG I’ve never seen portable hot pots like this and I thought the pattern was gorgeous!IMG_5476.JPGThe tablet luckily had some English translation or I’d be very lost. IMG_5479.JPGInside there is a cold open fridge with unlabeled marinated meats for the BBQ, an assortment of Asian salads, a limited range of sweets and fruit, a buffet of noodles, luncheon meat, greens for the hot pot and the last three trays were filled with hot ready to eat food (fish, pippies and crab).

The unidentified meat fridge is constantly being restocked. I particularly liked the chicken wings and garlic bread on the BBQ.IMG_5483.JPGA weird combination of sauce/condiments and dessert area. Not too many to choose from, just some sesame balls and fruit (not refilled yet).IMG_5484.JPGA variety of salads that I didn’t try at all, I was too busy om nom noming other things.IMG_5482.JPGNext up: an assortment of luncheon meat, vegetables and noodles for the hot pot as well as some pre-made hot food.IMG_5485.JPGI went to town on the pippies, the crab looked like it was too much effort for little return. IMG_5491.JPGI grabbed a few things for our hot pots.IMG_5503.JPGIMG_5504.JPGIMG_5500.JPGThe coals finally arrive!IMG_5497.JPGIt’s time to BBQ!IMG_5498.JPGThe BBQs are fitted with genius moving racks that have slots to connect with your skewer and constantly rotate them for even cooking.IMG_5501.JPGIt’s all starting to happen on the table, BBQ, hot pot and om nom noms. IMG_5502.JPGIt is a good way to dine as it provides some instant food as well as a fun way to eat with friends, it also allows everyone to eat what they like while still sharing an experience together.IMG_5510.JPGI must admit it was a fun way to dine with friends once you figure out all the food options and what was happening. There is a combination of ready to eat foods as well as novelty ‘cook it yourself’ options and once all the food starts cooking, you could be eating for a non stop 2 hour duration.

Unfortunate traits are: figuring out what all the unlabeled meats were (I’m pretty sure I ate tongue somewhere), some of the meats were too fatty and not worth cooking, going to trek for the toilets which were deceivingly far away and getting the smell of BBQ smoke from your hair and clothes.

Venue: Yummy Chinese BBQ

Address1 Childers St Canberra, ACT

Phone: 02 6248 9154

Opening hours:

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Yummy Chinese BBQ on Urbanspoon

Three eateries in 3.5 hours – Master Zhong

Between our sugar rush from Dessert Castle and having already eaten at two eateries that night, we decided to walk to our next venue just down the street in the Uni lodge precinct. We were happily conversing and braving the bitter winds when I spotted a food van across the road. Master Zhong brought much delight to me and my Asian friend who loves street food. TimmyC summed it up perfectly on his FaceBook:

Dinner at Monster $150
Dessert at Dessert Castle $50
The look on the girls’ faces when they discover the Master Zhong’s cheap takeaway food caravan….. priceless.

My friend Anita looking very happy that we found this food van.20140628-134734-49654571.jpgIt is a simple set up, a trailer all fitted out with a fridge, noodle cooking station, pre-made sauces and congee as well as a deep fryer. It is really aimed at the International students living on campus with having already multiple Asian restaurants in the area as well as a supermarket, Chatime and Meet fresh but we were very happy to have bumped into them while we were in the area. The owner spoke Cantonese and Mandarin (and one would presume some English) and was happy to find such excited girls to come sample his food. He told us that he usually has a different flavoured congee every night (perfect for this weather) but tonight he had burnt it as he looked away for a second so it was unfortunately not on the menu tonight.  The menu ranges from hot dogs, sandwiches and chips to laksa, red bean cake and beef brisket noodles.

Only two men are running the ‘Master Zhong’ food van which is probably a good thing considering how small the interior is.20140628-134730-49650580.jpgWhat was supposed to be a light supper or snack turned into a menu sample expedition! We ended up ordering fish balls in curry sauce, beef balls in curry sauce, chicken wings, dough sticks and a bowl of beef brisket noodles.

The owner let us know that the fish balls and beef balls were hand-made and not the frozen machine made ones that you would usually find at the supermarket. The sticks came with 5 balls for $4.00 each, once cooked they are dipped in a curry sauce and given to us in a paper bag. I found the whole thing to be rather quite salty so I threw them in the noodle soup to wash off some of that excess salt. The dough stick ($2.50) was heaven in a stick.

Left to right: beef, fish and dough stick.20140628-134833-49713057.jpgA dough stick straight from the fryer is seriously the best. Hot, crispy, chewy and comforting.20140628-134836-49716247.jpgBeef brisket noodles ($8.00). I was surprised to find that the noodles weren’t egg noodles which is usually how it is served, the soup and noodles were cooked nicely but I found the brisket to be inconsistent as some pieces were very soft and tender while others were a bit more chewy and tight. Our experience with the noodles would have probably been better if we weren’t eating it outside while the wind was blowing our hair across our faces and we could still feel our nose. 20140628-134903-49743419.jpg

20140628-134901-49741893.jpgQuite the crowd building up around Master Zhong, indeed he is very popular with the local ANU students.20140628-134904-49744919.jpgDeep fried chicken wings ($3.00 each). This should be no surprise to long-term readers that I ordered this, it was nothing particularly special but when you’re standing out in the freezing cold, a hot chicken wing sure does hit the spot.20140628-135046-49846719.jpgOur whole bag of food was less than $25. I am excited to try his congee next time and then buy a whole bunch of dough sticks to eat with it.

Is this a dodgy looking food van? Yes, but it is exactly what I’ve been waiting for to come to Canberra. While the hipster places are building a mini Melbourne with exorbitant prices, I’m looking for a little slice of Hong Kong with their street foods, cheap(er) prices and opening hours that I could get used to!

Venue: Master Zhong

Address: It is a trailer parked across the lane from Spicy Ginger Cuisine (approximately 2/25 Childers St, Canberra ACT 2601)

Wechat ID: Danny 1966168 (I don’t know what this is, it must be a young person thing)

Opening hours: 9:30pm – 1:30am Closed Sundays (and closed also Mondays during uni holidays)

Master Zhong on Urbanspoon

Three eateries in 3.5 hours – Dessert Castle

It didn’t take long to literally drive down the street to our next destination Dessert Castle but it did take us a while to find it. I was trying to quickly Instagram between meals as TimmyC drove past the ANU street theatre, past Spicy Ginger cafe and then all the way near Dominos and Chatime. I would have been no help anyway because I didn’t have my glasses on (yes I’m getting old) so we decided to park first and then find it. Turns out it was just to our left next to Shanghai dumpling cafe. There was signs on the door but with dim colour changing lights on the inside it wasn’t particular obvious and it was lacking an outdoor sign from the ceiling.20140627-072557-26757367.jpgCould you spot Dessert Castle easily from the street?20140627-072558-26758707.jpgI must admit, I had already made up my mind about this place before I even went there. I saw photos on other blogs and it just looked like a bigger selection of sub par cakes from a cafe looking awkward next to a bunch of froyo machines and some chocolate truffles, but TimmyC wanted to take me out to dinner and then dessert at Dessert Castle to make sure for ourselves. Fair enough, you can’t judge a venue without experiencing it for yourselves.

Inside was a lot smaller than I thought it would be. To your right is a wall of frozen yoghurt with lots of different flavours ranging from taro to peanut butter. At the far wall is the cake cabinet housing a large range of individual cakes, macarons and chocolate truffles while coming back around the other wall is the drinks, menu and cash register.

A big selection of macarons and chocolate truffles.20140627-072602-26762694.jpgA large glass cabinet full of individual cakes and tarts.20140627-072601-26761353.jpgA big wall of froyo with about 10 flavours.20140627-072600-26760009.jpgEverything inside was very ‘busy’ between the ceiling, the ever changing coloured lights, the froyo wall and all the cake selection, it was hard to focus on just one thing.20140627-072648-26808996.jpgTimmyC couldn’t decide what to get and his eyes darted around like a kid in a candy store. I suggested he order the crepes from the menu which he did not see and he knew then straight away what he wanted. I opted for macarons and froyo to get a wider scope of the menu.

Despite the lumpy look of the macaron shells, I decided to get two. I asked if they were made on site and I was informed that three sources make their macarons but what I couldn’t understand was if there are three different suppliers/people making them, why did they all consistently look lumpy? Also some of the fillings looked like a split cake batter which I was a bit dubious about. They also said that they have a size requirement for their cakes, so that must mean they source those as well.

Macarons – Tim tam and salted caramel flavour ($2.50). I was relieved to find that the macarons had a great texture and they weren’t stale but unfortunately, all I could taste was sweetness and I couldn’t distinguish the flavours. There was a hint of salt in the salted caramel one but other than that, they just tasted really sweet.

Lump looking macarons but I took a chance.20140627-072647-26807476.jpgIt looks like my macaron had goosebumps.20140627-072910-26950210.jpgBut at least it had a good texture.20140627-072911-26951674.jpgOreo cheesecake ($6.50?). My friends ordered this cake and it tasted surprisingly really good, it tasted like a mix of white chocolate and oreo in a smooth cheese cake that wasn’t overly sweet or heavy.20140627-072645-26805658.jpgThis is a huge container, don’t fill it all up as the price is based on weight, $2.20 per 100g.20140627-072644-26804289.jpgI tried to choose my flavours wisely at the froyo section. I started off with nutella, then peanut butter which came out a different consistency, followed by cookies and cream, chocolate, cherry and plain. My taste tester tub, which looked like 50 shades of brown came to $7.05. The cherry flavour was TimmyC’s favourite, to me it tasted like a mouthful of pink nerds candy. My favourite (if I had to choose) would have been the Nutella but because this type of frozen yoghurt like most froyo franchises isn’t creamy, all the flavours tasted watered down (fancy fillings strawberry is still my favourite). You can also add toppings but I didn’t bother with any, the amount of people I saw licking their fingers from dripping froyo to the topping counter was disconcerting.20140627-072729-26849520.jpgPancakes with maple syrup, strawberries, banana, whipped cream all topped off with chocolate sauce  ($12.00). We thought ordering off the menu meant that it was a hot menu item but sadly everything was very cold. The pancakes had no ‘bend’ to them and felt crumbly when you cut through it while all the condiments were OTT and too sweet. It might have been okay if you were under the age of 10 and you just wanted a sugar hit.20140627-072732-26852710.jpgThis is all we could finish of the pancakes before we gave up.20140627-072916-26956203.jpgCrepes served with strawberries, banana, vanilla ice-cream, whipped cream all topped off with chocolate sauce  ($12.00). Again, this was cold, underwhelming and too sweet.20140627-072735-26855868.jpg20140627-072734-26854249.jpgFlat white ($4.00). Nothing amazing about it but the slight bitter coffee taste was refreshing between all the sweet desserts.20140627-072731-26851107.jpgI wanted to like it, after all the staff were very friendly and asked us as they walked past about what we thought. It was all underwhelming but I was surprised to find that what I thought I would like the least being the best tasting dessert (the cheesecake). I guess I had high expectations of a place that had dedicated their whole store to desserts that the calibre would be much higher.

After all the sweetness and not being particularly satisfied, I asked one of my friends if they would like to go to the Golden Drum for a bit of supper. She was keen so we left Dessert Castle and started walking up the road when something magical happened….

Venue: Dessert Castle

Address35 Childers St Canberra, ACT 

Website: http://www.dessertcastle.com.au/

Dessert Castle on Urbanspoon

The Wedding Collection – National Museum of Australia

Our tasting started at 3pm and TimmyC and I had become experts at timing small portions of snacks before our late lunches. I was under the illusion that exchanging money in the city wouldn’t take too long and I would easily make it to the Museum for our appointment but I had not accounted for a frustratingly long wait behind a customer who hadn’t properly transfer funds between accounts (or something to that effect) which left me frustrated and very late to my tasting at the National Museum of Australia.

I was embarrassing late which was forgiven for I was the ‘bride-to-be’ but that didn’t ease my mind at all as I panted across the museum into the cafe to find TimmyC sitting outside on a balcony with perfect panoramic views of the lake facing the National Library. Anthony, the venue manager of Broadbean Catering was super nice and didn’t even seem annoyed when he went to inform the kitchen of my late arrival. We were offered beverages but we politely declined and stuck with chilled water. 20140410-192527.jpgA simple set up but the views made up for it.20140410-192605.jpgEach dish came on its own which kept everything hot and we both were able to eat from the same plate giving our views at the same time.

Sneak peek of our meal at the National Museum.20140410-193923.jpg

Entrees~

Spicy beef salad with shaved cucumber and roasted peanuts, lime and ginger dressingThe beef salad had the perfect amount of chilli (for me), enough for taste and not to burn your mouth. The flavours underneath the meat were rather refreshing between the strips of cucumber and mixed salad greens. The peanuts gave it an extra crunch and nutty balance between the meat, cold salad and chilli flavour. TimmyC was very happy to have this as an entree at our wedding.20140410-195521.jpgChargrilled King Prawns with avocado and mango salad drizzled with a lime aioliNext up was the prawns. Anthony explained how the process of this dish was streamlined for maximum efficiency from the kitchen which produced the uniformity across all dishes that I was looking for. I was impressed that they had thought about this and planned this well whether if it was for one or one hundred and one people. The three prawns came out hot and hugging each other in an entanglement that I didn’t understand. Underneath was a beautiful salsa which had a bit of a bite consisting of fresh mangoes and avocado. The contrast between the hot and cold aspects worked well together and would be lovely for a wedding held during the non winter months.20140410-195532.jpg

20140410-195543.jpgMains~

Confit duck leg with roasted potato and pears and verjuice glaze. The duck was crispy and looked perfectly glazed in the pear and verjuice jus, but when I looked for the distinct duck flavours in the meat and skin, I couldn’t find it. The pear glaze was sticky and delicious but it left the potatoes rather sweet which I thought would have leant itself better towards a dessert. Comparatively to the food we had been served so far, it was a bit disappointing.20140410-195611.jpg

20140410-195619.jpgPorcini mushroom risotto cakes, with peperonata and cress salad (v)Now everything sounds good on paper but Tim and I agreed that this vegetarian dish sounded particularly good. It was perfectly executed with a wickedly delicious crispy exterior encasing an amazing risotto that I think even the non-mushroom likers would happily eat. It was served with peperonata giving it an extra bit of sweetness with every bite.20140410-195633.jpgBeautiful risotto with a crispy coating.20140410-195645.jpgDesserts~ The desserts were arriving as I was still eating my main portion but I didn’t mind. I continued bites of my risotto cakes between tastings of dessert which would probably disgust most people who can’t flick back and forth. TimmyC was excited as he has probably spent most of his life waiting for dessert as I finish eating so this was the best of both worlds. I couldn’t help but wonder if the dishes would have come so fast (not too rushed though) if I had arrived on time.

Rosewater panna cotta with minted strawberries and Persian fairy floss. A part of me was excited to remember that we had chosen a panna cotta and a part of me hesitated as I remembered back to the National Portrait gallery. We were told that the Persian fairy floss could come in alternate colours if we chose this as a dessert which would look cute. The panna cotta itself had a lovely soft texture (phew) and it wasn’t particularly sweet but it wasn’t necessary as the minted strawberries gave it just enough. I must admit, I didn’t know how the strawberries would turn out, too much mint would have made for an unpleasant experience but they manage to balance the flavours wonderfully that TimmyC was happily eating more than his share of the dessert.20140410-195701.jpgWhite chocolate pudding with berry compote and macadamia brittle. The flavours of white chocolate weren’t particularly overwhelming. The first thing I tasted was a heavily egg yolk flavour which I don’t usually like but it was some what masked by the vanilla thick custard. More of a winter warmer comparitively to the panna cotta. It was okay, it was still better than a lot of other desserts that we had tried from other venues.20140410-195712.jpgBetween the two tastings (click here to see my other tasting), I have been very impressed with Broadbean catering. Amazing food, fabulous selection, fast streamlined kitchen practices that could have a room of approximately 130 people served within 10-13 minutes and reputable recommendations. This venue has rated highly on my potential wedding list and I hope the remaining venue can compete with this.

 

Potential wedding venue: National Museum of Australia

Caterer: Broadbean catering

Time of tasting: 3pm

Price of tasting: $40.00 per dish that we chose, although this would be taken off our final invoice if we chose to have our wedding here. Of course we chose three courses for two people so our total was $120.00 pp.

The Wedding collection – Canapes @ The National Museum of Australia

I wasn’t sure if Skyfire 2014 would go ahead with the looming rain clouds but sure enough, the rain kept away long enough for us to enjoy the night at the National Museum of Australia where Broadbean catering was hosting an elegant cocktail party to enjoy the fireworks with great vantage points.

I was invited to attend this event as a guest of Broadbean catering to sample a wide variety of canapés as they knew I wasn’t going to choose a wedding venue without tasting their food. I had high expectations as they were recommended to me by another blogger (Thanks Bronwyn!)20140316-104102.jpgThe party was being held in the cafe where they have balconies overlooking the lake.20140316-104113.jpgThey had unlimited drinks for the duration of the event as far as I could tell but unfortunately my guest and I stuck with orange juice and soft drink for the night.20140316-104124.jpgThe menu! There were a few things that caught my eye, the thing that made me most excited was the Momofuku pork buns! I like how they have noted the dietary requirements and the variety of food that they had on offer.20140316-104148.jpgI love this decorating idea using green lentils.20140316-104159.jpgThey have a DJ all set up inside but my friend and I headed outside for a better view. It was much cooler due to the wind chill factor but it had a great views of the lake.20140316-104218.jpgFamilies have set up their picnic rugs all around on the grassy area.20140316-104231.jpgPrime positioning meant that I almost fell off my seat when all the jets flew over us.20140316-104244.jpgElegant canapés ~

This is what I was here for! Canapés were trickling through from the kitchen after we were settled down with our drinks.

Fresh fig with goat curd wrapped in jamon. I’m not usually a fan of goat or sheep dairy products but the flavours were rather subtle and didn’t have that ‘dirty’ after taste. Cured meat pairs very well with a sweet fruit, you can ask anyone who has ever eaten sweet rock melon with prosciutto. A great choice for this time of year as figs are delicious!20140316-104258.jpgHomemade chorizo sausage roll with a lime aioli. Photo complete with me snatching one off the tray. Once I took a bite, I vowed to only eat homemade sausage rolls especially those which contain chorizo.20140316-104319.jpgAs delicious as it was, the lime aioli  really made it for me.20140316-104335.jpgRoasted cherry tomato, basil and taleggio tartlets. I couldn’t believe that there was so much deliciousness in one tiny morsel. I was encouraged to take two so one wouldn’t be left oh so lonely on the tray.20140316-104346.jpgHaloumi, chilli and mint cigars with a lemon tahini yoghurt. The flavours of these ingredients work so well together and I was super impressed as they were encased in a perfectly crisp spring roll wrapper. These vegetarian options are just as good, if not better than their meat counterparts.20140316-104356.jpg

20140316-104410.jpgHot and sour prawn skewers with a coriander mayo. I could see how this is one of their more popular canapés. Great flavours on the prawns and even better with the coriander mayo. I had to stop myself from sliding half the tray onto my napkin.20140316-104419.jpg

20140316-104427.jpgPalette cleanser~

Broad bean gelato shot. I was excited yet disappointed at the same time when I received this. Excited because this is an unusual but obvious witty choice of flavour but disappointed because if I’m receiving my palette cleanser that means we were moving onto the substantial canapés without me having tried all the elegant canapés.

I don’t know how many broad beans I have eaten in my life, but apparently not enough to pin point the flavour. There wasn’t an overwhelming ‘bean taste’, it had subtle flavours that would leave you wondering what it was if you hadn’t seen the menu.

Sorry for the poor photo, another downside of sitting outside in the cold.20140316-104520.jpg

Substantial canapes~

Momofuku steamed pork buns. I stared at the waiter from afar, some how trying to wield him to come in my direction using telepathy. He eventually comes over and before he tells me what it was, I excitedly ask for one. The bun is super soft with the right amount of sweetness, the pork is layered with fat sandwiching the tender meat which melts in your mouth. There is a bit of chilli flavour in there with cucumber where I would usually expect kewpie mayonnaise and ice berg lettuce, but it comes as a pleasant surprise.20140316-104442.jpgI must admit while everyone was admiring the fireworks and taking lots of photos, I was in the back leaning towards the interior light to get a better shot of my bourguignonne. As good as the fireworks were, my main reason for being there was for the food.20140316-104541.jpgWaygu beef bourguignonne on a creamy mash. The beef was exceptionally tender and it was the perfect Winter warmer food. Comparatively to the rest of the menu of the night, there was nothing special about this dish albeit it was executed very well.20140316-104449.jpgCrumbed fish, tomato and chipotle salsa taco cup with bajar sauce. I didn’t want to miss out on another dish having seen the people seated inside with multiple mains and I could see dessert was being served, so I asked one of the friendly staff to see if there were any still available. He was able to grab the last one for my friend and I to share. The salsa was really good and the fish was crumbed very well giving it a really good crispy coating. This was a bit hard to eat in a taco shell, when I went to break it in halves, bits went flying in all directions.20140316-104555.jpgSomething sweet~

Eton “mess” of passionfruit curd, forrest berries and macadamia praline. Not overly sweet, natural fruit flavours and a variety of textures, everything I look for in a dessert. I particularly liked the praline.20140316-104603.jpg

20140316-104615.jpg I was super impressed with the canapés that we were able to sample. It was a shame that we weren’t able to sample everything based on where we sat for the evening but everything we did taste, we thoroughly enjoyed.

I thought it was going to be hard to compare other venues to Broadbean considering we weren’t comparing ‘apples with apples’ and Timmy C wasn’t able to join me for the event so we later arranged a proper tasting at the National Museum so it was easier to compare (blog post soon to follow).

Potential wedding venue: The National Museum of Australia

Caterer: Broadbean catering

Price of tasting: I was invited as a guest of Broadbean catering to attend their Skyfire event at the National Museum of Australia as a bride-to-be and not as a food blogger. They did not know I was a blogger at the time of this event, they just thought I was a very big foodie. Tickets for this event was $85.00 pp.