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.

 

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Vanilla slice from Erindale Cakery Bakery 

We were hungry and looking for a sweet snack when we found ourselves at the Erindale shops and I remembered that a few months ago when RiotACT were looking for the ‘best vanilla slice in Canberra’, Erindale Cakery Bakery was mentioned. I looked at their cabinets and they were filled with old school ‘Australian’ bakery treats; everything from meringues to caramel tarts to lamingtons (oh how I miss lamingtons!) and of course vanilla slices. I loved the variety of sweets and treats they had and a bonus was that everything was reasonably priced.

Now back to the real reason why I was there: vanilla slice! There were two types, one with good ol’ passionfruit icing and the other was the ‘French’ version which is the one that I bought ($4.40??). I really liked how the pastry was easy to cut through with a fork and kept its integrity as I slow it ate it, bite by bite. I didn’t think it was overly sweet which was nice and I really liked the pastry. The custard could have tasted a little better but it was still okay and it had a great creamy thick texture.

I will sure to be back and buy more old school treats which takes me back to my primary school days.When was the last time you had a bite of a vanilla slice where it didn’t crumble/break/squirt out the sides? Never? Same here but check out my first forkful of the French vanilla slice from Erindale Cakery Bakery.When was the last time you had a delicious bakery treat and where was it from?

Venue: Erindale Cakery Bakery

Address: Erindale Shopping Centre, 68 Comrie St, Wanniassa ACT 2093

Phone: (02) 6231 2510

Opening hours:

Monday -Friday 7:00am – 20:00pm

Saturday – Sunday 7:00am – 18:00pm

Shanghai Dumpling King

I was excited when Shanghai Dumpling King was setting up shop because that meant there was another place south side to eat dumplings until I learnt that they are a sister restaurant of Shanghai Dumpling Cafe in Civic, but an opportunity arose where I was there more for the company rather than the food so fellow foodie Food Porn Journal and I went together.

It was lucky that we had similar tastes so ordering wasn’t an issue; we wanted to try the xiao long bao, pan fried dumplings and some noodles, and that is exactly what we got! Oh and we also squeezed in a dessert (or two).

Steamed mini pork buns also known as Xiao Long Bao, a specialty from Shanghai. Buns are filled with broth so be careful when eating it (8 pieces $11.50). I was pleasantly surprised that the wrapper didn’t break as I picked it up gently and placed it on my spoon. Each dumpling did have a ‘soup’ inside as promised and although it wasn’t terrible; the wrapper was too thick and threw out all the proportions. Not the worst that I’ve had (the bad ones bubble out a thick brown liquid, have not much of a soup inside and the wrappers break easily) but it wasn’t particularly good either.IMG_0948[1]I could see that the wrapper was too thick when they put down the bamboo steamer but I was still willing to give them a go.IMG_0949[1]Seafood pan fried dumplings (15 pieces $13.00). The filling reminded me of a fish paste which I didn’t mind so much (Asian taste buds!) and each of them had a crispy side.IMG_0954[1]Shanghai fried noodles traditional Shanghai style fried noodles stir fried with pak choy and sliced chicken in a soya sauce flavour ($12.50). I love a good noodle and this was by far the best dish of the night. The chicken was moist, the pak choy was fresh and everything was coated in a soy sauce without being overly salty.IMG_0952[1]Dessert~

Pancake filled with red bean paste ($9.50). I was really surprised to see this on the menu as it is not very common (you can also get them at Dumpling Inn). I thought the crispy outer layer in addition with the red bean filling made the pancake overall very dry. I’m used to a more deep fried and oily pancake.IMG_0955[1]A cross section of the red bean pancake. It might appear to be a thin filling but you don’t need that much red bean for the taste.IMG_0956[1]We were deep in conversation so I don’t remember what the wait time was like but it wasn’t particularly long. We didn’t have any waitressing issues or long waiting times like a lot of people seem to be experiencing, but we did go on a Monday night which meant it wasn’t too busy. I wouldn’t go out of my way to say that this place is a ‘dumpling king’ but I would come back and order noodles and maybe try their other main dishes.

See other blogger reviews from Mouthless Mutters and Food Porn Journal.

Venue: Shanghai Dumpling King

Address: 1/33 Gartside Street, Wanniassa, ACT

Phone: (02) 62313456
Shanghai Dumpling King on Urbanspoon

 

Disappointment and lies

I had heard whispers that there was going to be another dumpling restaurant opening in the south side area and they were confirmed when Mouthless Mutters went to Schnitzel Haus next door.

I went there two Saturdays ago to check the area out myself but all I could see was a big red sign which said that Shanghai Dumpling King were going to be open by mid January even though there was no sign of opening yet.

The other thing that I noticed was that their name was very similar to Shanghai Dumpling Cafe, which is one of the few establishments that have made it onto my ‘will not return’ list. I hope they are not associated with each other and I’ll be keen to see if their dumplings and food are any good.IMG_9382

Soul food re-run re-run

It has been a while since I’ve last come to Soul food, I have been craving their ribs and their delicious BBQ sauce. I’ve noticed on their website that they now do breakfast (started around a month ago), some of the breakfast menu items that caught my eye include:

  • Miss Selena’s Homemade Pancakes served with bacon & Maple Syrup with an optional Southern Fried Chicken
  • Miss Selena’s Southern Fried Chicken & Rice
  • Fried Green Tomatoes sliced green tomatoes fried to a golden brown and served with our homemade remoulade sauce (seasonal)
  • Eggs Theodore scrambled eggs served with a banana sautéed in butter, cinnamon and brown sugar

Anyway, back to dinner!
I went with a few friends who also had the same rib cravings, it is pretty much the same menu now with the addition of ‘burgers’ and kool aid.

Something old~

We of course started with buffalo wings ($16.00) to share.20140324-214516.jpgBest of both worlds ‘ribs and chicken combo ($38.00).20140324-215935.jpgNot messing around with extras, some of us just came for the delicious BBQ finger licking good pork ribs ($32.00).20140324-214539.jpg

20140324-214612.jpgThe Po’ boy sandwiches with pulled pork ($16.00). I’ve never been overly impressed with these.20140324-214718.jpgThere was one point during the evening that we had to ask that the TV be turned down, when it flicked onto the next video the volume was tremendously loud and almost unbearable. I’m surprised we had to alert them to turn it down and they didn’t do it instinctively.

Something new~

Soul man burger Brace yourself! This thick, meaty lunch-time burger is layered with sautéed onions, mushrooms and cheddar cheese is bursting with smoky flavour. The sauce combines the sweetness of real molasses with a sharp, spicy aftertaste your taste buds won’t soon forgot! ($16.00). The burger was insanely tall. I had to take its ‘hat’ off so I could fit it in my mouth. When I took my first bite, it was extremely extremely salty, I pin pointed it down to the sautéed mushrooms. Once I took them off, the burger was a decadent meaty beef patty with smoky flavours that was perfectly mixed with a melted cheddar cheese slice.20140324-214844.jpgI’m getting hungry just looking at the photos again.20140324-214645.jpgKool Aid ($4.00 a glass). I don’t know how people could drink this, it tastes very medicinal with a strong syrup flavour.20140324-223715.jpgIt might seem on the pricey side, but if you want one of the best pork ribs in Canberra and delicious comfort food, Soul food is the place to go. I am super keen to come try their breakfast menu!

Soul food will be celebrating their first birthday at the end of this month!!  

Read about my first and second visits.

Barbeque Nation

I’m always up for trying new places, even if one of my favourite Indian restaurants was across the road, I was ready to give BBQ Nation in Erindale a chance. I was surprised to see it was run by the people who used to run a small Indian takeaway in Kambah village, ‘Treats of India‘.

I was disappointed that with a name like ‘barbeque nation’ that it was just a typical Indian restaurant with no extra ‘BBQed’ menu items.

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A clean set up with easy access parking.

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Mango lassi ($5.00). A lovely smooth lassi that wasn’t overly sweet. 

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Patti samosa (2pcs mild) tasty deep fried triangular pastries filled with spiced lamb served with tamarind sauce ($7.00). A moist filling with a crispy pastry that went really well with the tamarind sauce.

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Chicken lollipops (med/hot) spicy chicken wings ($9.90). These weren’t spicy at all but I don’t know if that is because we asked for all the curries to be mild/medium. They tasted like tandoori chicken, nothing too special here even if I love chicken wings.

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Butter chicken (mild) boneless chicken pieces simmered in a makhani sauce ($16.50). A creamy butter chicken sauce but it is no where near as good as Punjabi Hut.

Aloo gobhi (med/hot) cauliflower and potatoes stir fry with cumin seeds, ginger and garlic paste. Season with selected north Indian spices ($15.50). I was quite surprised with this dish. Even  though it is more of a stir fry than a curry with sauce, it was one of my favourite dishes.

Palak paneer (mild) home made cheese with fresh English spinach ($15.50). I couldn’t really taste the paneer in this dish so it felt very bland.

Beef Korma a mild preparation of ground roasted cashew nuts, hint of spices and fresh cream ($16.90). Not the best korma that I’ve had, it wasn’t particularly flavoursome.

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Naan – cheese ($4.00) and garlic ($3.50). Served nice and hot, they weren’t stingy with the cheese or garlic which was nice.

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Although the service was attentive and the food was served fast, overall the food was very mediocre and I don’t think I would come back here.

Venue: BBQ Nation

Address: 4/33, Gartside Street, Erindale, Wanniassa, ACT 2903

Phone: (02) 6296 6608

Websitehttp://www.barbequenation.com.au/

Opening hours: Dinner only

Monday – Sunday: 5pm – 10pm

Barbeque Nation Indian Grill on Urbanspoon