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

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

Mövenpick

After a delicious and fast (we ordered online, but ate really quickly) dinner at Brodburger, we wandered down the busy Kingston foreshore to go have dessert from the newly opened Mövenpick.

It was pretty busy on the Saturday night but there were plenty of seats as everyone was getting ice cream scoops to go (single scoop of ice cream is $5.50, double $7.50, triple $9.50).

Hot drink tasting plate your choice of piccolo hot drink served with three tasting scoops of Mövenpick ice cream ($12.95). There were recommendations with either a chocolate, coffee or nut ice cream flavours but TimmyC had his trio of ice creams picked out already. He chose: white chocolate (his favourite) with shard of white chocolate through the ice cream, panna cotta and creme brulee. A nice combination if you wanted a small hot beverage with your ice cream.Chocolate waffles freshly baked crunchy chocolate waffles served with Mövenpick Swiss chocolate and Stracciatella ice creams, drizzled with decadent chocolate sauce and sprinkled with white chocolate shavings (no ice cream choice $16.95). They were made fresh and in-house, double points! Not the greatest waffles but still decent.Shortbread ice cream stack ($9.95). My friend who was able to choose his flavours said that the ice cream was nice but the shortbread made it hard to eat and it wasn’t worth getting over scoops of ice cream by itself.Macaron selection subtly flavoured, crisp, light macaroon [sic] shells sandwiched with complimenting flavours of Mövenpick ice-cream, great a unique and delectable taste sensation like no other (no ice cream choice $12.95). To tell you the truth, I really got this for an Instagram photo and to see if their macaron shells were any good. Since there were no choices of ice cream I asked what the flavours were going to be; they were: chocolate, salted caramel and pistachio. I really liked the texture of the shells, they melded with the ice cream really well and they weren’t stale. I really enjoyed the chocolate and salted caramel as they were exactly how you would imagine they would taste but I took two nibbles of the pistachio macaraon ice cream sandwich and left the rest on my plate. It tasted like I ate a mouthful of bad mazipan. Did not like! It was really more novelty than anything else, next time I’ll just stick to scoops of ice cream.

It is nice to have such a big Mövenpick outlet in Canberra. I have been dragged around to plenty around Australia because of TimmyC’s love of their white chocolate ice cream and there aren’t many around. It’s good to have a choice of plated desserts with so many varieties, but I’m just a simple girl and might just stick with regular good ol’ ice cream in a cup.

 

Venue: Mövenpick

Address: Unit 154, The Promenade, Kingston, ACT 2601

Opening times:

Sunday – Thursday 11am–10pm

Friday – Saturday 11am–11pm

Progressive walking dinner – Kingston foreshore

It is always wonderful to meet up with like minded people, so when fellow foodies and I met for dinner at Kingston foreshore and we weren’t sure what to eat, we strategically planned for a progressive walking dinner to get the most of our meal.

To start we made good use of C dine‘s ‘Buck a Shuck’ Friday’s in summer and we had a dozen oysters each for our entree.Venue:C dine bar

Address:17/19 East Lake Parade, Kingston Foreshore, Canberra

Phone: (02) 6239 5299
C Dine Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


7 by the Lake has only opened recently so we were excited to check it out. As we walked in, I was confused by the decor, it was supposed to be an Indian restaurant but it had African-eqsue statues around the room.

We ordered three curries: Goanese prawns ($29.90), murgh makhani (aka butter chicken $23.90) and palak paneer ($23.90). I really enjoyed their butter chicken, it isn’t your typical creamy and sweet version. I felt that the prawns and the paneer tasted slightly watery and didn’t absorb the flavours of the curry, maybe because it was added in later from a stock sauce.

 

We also ordered a serve of masala kulcha fermented plain flour bread stuffed with a mix of spiced potatoes and herbs, sprinkled with onion seeds, chopped coriander and mint, cooked in a tandoor ($5.00). It smelt divine and I would easily just eat this with butter chicken and be happy.
Our waitress did three odd things while we were there 1) she didn’t really know the name of the dish when she put down our palak paneer, she just stated it was our ‘cheese dish’ 2) she interrupted our conversation when she over heard us wanting to have dessert somewhere else 3) she opened the bill folder counted the money at the table, every last cent of it.

 

I found the prices of the curries a little steep but to be fair, everything along the Kingston foreshore seems to be over priced. I really enjoyed the bread and the chicken curry but I feel that isn’t enough to have me running back for more any time soon.

 

Venue: 7 by the lake (contemporary Indian cuisine)

Address: 143/41 East Lake Parade, Kingston Foreshore, Canberra

Phone(02) 6140 7040

Websitewww.sevenbythelake.com/
7 by the lake Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


To not be disappointed any more, we opted dessert an an old favourite, Morks. I had eaten their other desserts recently so I chose the Pikachu *I choose you* mango gelato ($3.00) for dessert with a side of BBQ pork bun ($8.00). It may not be conventional but I think a BBQ pork bun and mango gelato from @morksrestaurant was a wonderful way to end the nights meal. Venue: Morks

Address: 18-19 East Lake Parade, Kingston Foreshore, Canberra

Phone(02) 6295 0112
Morks Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Dessert at Joe’s bar

When we didn’t stay for dessert at Temporada, I found it the perfect opportunity to go try the gelato sandwich at Joe’s bar that I have wanted to sample since it opened. When we arrived inside the bar, without seeing the menu we asked if they still served the gelato sandwich and when they said that they did, we had told two of the waitstaff that we wanted the gelato sandwich before we sat ourselves down on one of the lounges. After a little while, one of previous waitstaff asked if we had our order taken, it was a bit confusing as we thought we already had ordered, so we re-ordered with her and she convinced us to also order the cannoli with her description of chocolate ricotta and candied pistachios.The order took longer than expected as the large tables were also on the same course as us, but when we received our dessert I was a little underwhelmed to say the least.Gelato tramezzino ($12.00). This was two pieces of short bread sandwiching choc chip ice-cream (? we were told it would be vanilla but it had chocolate flecks through it). If you are wondering if short bread goes well with ice-cream, it doesn’t. The crumbly nature of the short bread meant that the whole dessert collapsed into a messy pile after the first bite. I was really disappointed with this.

The messy heap that was left before I gave up.
IMG_0280Cannoli pistachio ($16.00). As soon as I took the first bite, I started to wonder how we would finish all four cannolis. The shell was too thick, really brittle and borderline stale and the ricotta filling wasn’t much better. I didn’t get the sense of ‘chocolate ricotta’ or ‘candied pistachio’ that was in the description that the waitress told us about. The only reason why we took the rest of the cannolis home was because I saw how much that we paid for it.
Small flat white ($4.00). TimmyC said that his coffee tasted bitter, ashy and really bad. 
We didn’t see a single menu so we were a bit surprised at some of the prices when we got the bill. It was definitely not worth it at all. It is a shame that we didn’t enjoy any of the desserts that we ordered; maybe their savoury options are better?

 

Have you been to Joe’s bar? I would love to hear your experience.
Venue: Joe’s bar
Address: 69 Canberra Avenue, Griffith, ACT
Phone: (02) 6178 0050

 

 Joe's Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Wednesdays at Little Brooklyn 

I made it no secret that it didn’t take much to convince me not to cook dinner and head out to Little Brooklyn for their hump day specials. Last week’s flavour was teriyaki, it seems like they change it up every week.  Hump day specials at Little Brooklyn include 1kg of chicken wings and a drink for $15.00, tonight’s flavour is chicken korma with lime and cumin yoghurt. Where will you be tonight?

Penny University

Over the weekend I had brunch at Penny University, I don’t know if brunch was particularly superb because of the fine company I was with or if the food was just amazing. May a little from column A and a little from column B.

Despite the heavy rain, everyone wanted to be at Penny University.IMG_7373.JPGI was torn between two menu items (P.U. Rarebit and McPenny) as I always am, but the waitress said that the bagel was a new menu item and had been very popular.

The breakfast menu at Penny University, what would you have chosen?IMG_7361.JPGP.U Rarebit Gratined Guinnes, leek and cheddar bagel finished with sauteed spinach and a poached egg and chilli jam ($17.00) added ‘Pialligo’ bacon ($4.00). This won’t be for everyone, it is very cheesy, rich and heavy but that is the sort of breakfast that I like. I like how both halves of the bagel had melted cheese on it, which one its own was nice but add a little of the chilli jam and it transforms into a heavenly bite. The Pialligo bacon is a thicker cut but not overly salty and compliments the rest of the dish.IMG_7367.JPGIMG_7366.JPGJuice of the day Pineapple, cucumber and … I want to say mint. I asked the waitress to repeat the juice of the day combinations and I still can’t remember what the third ingredient was, I just couldn’t get over the fact that there was cucumber in this drink, but oh my, it was a perfect combination! A wonderful mix of cold juice with refreshing flavours.IMG_7359.JPGEveryone really wanted their coffee ASAP, it was a little slow to come out but it arrived before the food.  IMG_7362.JPG

Avo dish avocado on toasted dark, charred corn and quinoa tabouleh, chevre, chilli oil and a 65/65 egg ($19.00). My super fit yummy Mummy friend ordered this, I didn’t ask her how it was, but she ate everything so I assumed it was nice.IMG_7365.JPG

IMG_7364.JPGCronut Maple and thyme ($6.00). The texture was brilliant, although it made the bag transparent the actual cronut itself didn’t seem that oily. I couldn’t have really establish it was a maple and thyme flavour it was just sweet with the perfect amount of icing and sugar.IMG_7374.JPGNot as pretty when all icing smeared onto the bag.IMG_7381.JPGCheck out those sexy layers.IMG_7385.JPGI didn’t know if it took long to get a seat because I sadly arrived fashionably late but while we were seated the wait staff were very friendly and attentive, it was just a bit of a bother to split the bill at a busy counter when there was card fees and Sunday surcharges.

I enjoyed the diverse menu options, the food, the decor and the staff attentiveness; I can’t wait to go back again.

Venue: Penny University Coffee Roasters

Address15 Kennedy St Kingston, ACT

Phone: (02) 6162 1500
Penny University Coffee Roasters on Urbanspoon

Human Flyer – Canberra activities

I don’t see a problem with just eating all day but apparently not everyone can keep up with me so we had to fill in the time between meals. Here are some ideas for activities next time you have visitors.

We took our interstate guest shopping in Civic after brunch before heading out by the lake to catch a Segway tour. We were coincidentally on time to make it to the next tour time but usually you would have to book in advance and come in time for the induction and safety video. A 30 minute tour is $39.00 per person. See more details here.IMG_5773.JPGAfter some lunch, we had the intention to head out to Power Kart Raceway to do some laps but they were so busy that it was quite a wait, so we decided to do something else. We of course stayed long enough to watch some crazy speeding action around the track before we headed to our next stop. See more details about prices and the track here.IMG_5794.JPGI haven’t been to Telstra tower in years despite driving past it almost every day. We headed up to the viewing deck for $7.50 per adult. We didn’t think it would be that windy until we got up there. Somewhere between holding down my dress and trying not to cry from the wind exposure, I took some of these breath-taking shots. The view looks great up there and you can really see how Canberra has grown. See more details about the tower here.IMG_5803.JPG

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Human flyer- The Durham

After brunch, shopping and segway tours, we were left with the difficult task to find late lunch on a public holiday as well as during the dead zone (the time between lunch and dinner). We headed to Kingston Green square thinking that something would be opened. Me and Mrs. Jones was our first choice but the kitchen was closed so we just walked around. I remembered that the Durham were doing lunch deals and I thought to myself ‘I wonder if they were opened today?’.

The service was friendly, laid back and food came out pretty promptly.

PubCheese 1/2 pound char-grilled beef patty with pickles, Spanish onions and Cheddar topped with our house-made aioli and tomato relish ($10.00). This has everything that you would want on a burger with a side of crispy hot chips. It is filling and a steal at $10! If you’re thirsty, check out their ‘Special Lunchtime offer’ where you can get certain drinks for an extra $3.IMG_5786.JPGCheckout their lunch specials menu for only $10 bucks!IMG_5787.JPGWow, not only had we found somewhere that was open on a public holiday, serving food at a weird time but we got a bargain with the lunch special deal and all without paying a surcharge. Win win!

Durham Castle Arms Pub & Grill on Urbanspoon

Brunch at Me and Mrs. Jones

This was a spontaneous brunch but Me and Mrs. Jones had the perfect dishes that suited the both of us. In true Canberra fashion, everywhere that was serving brunch on a Sunday morning was packed which wasn’t a good sign for people who didn’t book but because there was only two of us, they slipped us on a table fairly quickly.

They were a little late with our beverages because there was a huge queue for take away coffee but they were very apologetic and after that they kept asking if we needed anything else.IMG_4397.JPGI love how their pyramid tea bag is condensed in this cute little cube.IMG_4398.JPGBanana bread french toast with maple glazed bacon and cinnamon mascarpone ($16.00). What I look for a in a breakfast item is something unique/has bacon/French toast or a banana bread, so you could imagine my eyes widening when I saw everything I like in a breakfast on one plate! It is pretty hard to screw up bacon, the banana bread french toast really just tasted like a  toasted banana bread, but what made it for me was the supposed cinnamon mascarpone, I thought it was just a delicious whipped butter. It was incredible and I dipped everything into it, even when I ran out of banana bread, I just started eating it by itself like a gluttonous piggy. *blush* A perfect balance of salt and sweet for me. IMG_4396.JPGEggs benedict with bacon ($16.00) and garlic mushrooms (TimmyC couldn’t remember how much extra they were). The perfect hollandaise blanketed a touch over done poached eggs, yummy bacon and the mushrooms are worth getting as an extra addition.IMG_4392.JPGI seem to have a lot of brunch here and not many dinners, I must rectify that!

Morks

I’ve been wanting to try out Morks since they’ve moved to the Kingston foreshore and with my cousin and her family visiting, I couldn’t think of a better time to go.

Entree~

Three crunch salad, eggplant and chilli jam ($12.00). I must admit, I sort of rolled my eyes when my cousin ordered this salad. I didn’t come here for salad, I came here for awesome amazing dishes, but boy was I blown away by this and it was probably one of the most delicious things we had during lunch. In my defense, no where on the menu did it mention pork crackle. If it had that in the description I would have ordered it myself. Indeed it did have three ‘crunches’ in there – pork crackle, noodles and nuts. This combined with the fresh flavours of the mixed herbs gave this dish an ‘uplifting’ feeling and it was rather addictive. I would definitely recommend this dish as well as reorder it myself.20140728-204620-74780208.jpgSoft shell crab, curried potato and leek ($16.00). Well made in terms of being crispy but not oily although it didn’t compare to the salad. 20140728-204651-74811642.jpg

20140728-204653-74813078.jpgMains~

Farmer’s Pad Thai (g) ($25.00). I was keen to order this to see how they would make it. I thought the chunky pieces of chicken would be dry but they were quite the opposite, very moist and tender. At first I thought the dish looked a little disjointed with the chicken separate from the noodles, the bean sprouts and the perfectly cooked egg off to the side but it allowed me to pick and choose how much I wanted of each element on my plate. The noodles tasted somewhat lime-y which I loved but I would hate to have ordered a $25.00 pad thai and still be hungry afterwards, as it wasn’t the biggest serve of noodles.20140728-204725-74845370.jpgA close up of the lovely moist chicken pieces.20140728-204655-74815873.jpgBeef chuck stewed mussamun style, chilli bread (g) ($28.00). Really tender chunky beef pieces in a rich nutty sauce. I thought it as unusual to serve it with bread and not rice but with the chilli kick in the bread, it sorta works.20140728-204726-74846747.jpgDessert~

Egg in Hay homemade coconut ice cream, sweetened condensed milk, roasted coconut, roti, pashmak ($15.00). The toasted coconut with the addition of the crispy roti gave the flavours and feeling of a lovely aromatic deep-fried ice-cream shell. The different textures of this dessert working really well together and I would definitely order this again.20140728-204757-74877031.jpgDefinitely not on my cheap eats list but I find that Morks defy the norm and aren’t scared to do something with your typical Asian dishes whilst using fresh ingredients and flavours that work well together.

Venue: Morks

Address: 18-19 Eastlake Parade, Canberra ACT 2615

Phone: (02) 6295 0112

Morks Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Wild duck – new menu

The good thing about a new menu is tasting new and delicious things, but the bad thing about a new menu is if you were looking forward to a particular dish, like the amazing short soup with a light clear broth for example, it might not be there any more (and it wasn’t ).

Choosing the dishes from Wild Duck‘s new menu was hard. We started off looking at the banquets, then looked at a la carte and then after seeing that most of the entrees come in serves of three, we went back to looking at banquets. I browsed the mains and the one I would like most were all clustered around was the ‘food travelers banquet’ for $59 a head. I couldn’t help myself but to also ask for a serve of Balmain bug dumplings (I asked for a serve of 4) and the essential mantou bread.

There were elements that were familiar to me- the pork and lotus root parcel, lemongrass chicken and the honey mustard fillet steak and as well made as they were, I was very much looking forward to the ones I hadn’t tried.

‘FOOD TRAVELERS’ BANQUET $59.00 per person

For 4 people or more, a great way to taste provincial street food from across Asia without ever getting on or off a plane!

 

ROAST DUCK RICE PAPER ROLL
______________
LOTUS ROOT AND PORK PARCEL
XINJIANG LAMB SKEWER
______________
SINGAPORE CHILLI PRAWNS
LEMONGRASS CHICKEN
HONEY MUSTARD FILLET STEAK

 

Steamed delicate dumplings filled with Balmain Bug meat and bamboo shoots, served with a ginger rice vinegar (4 pieces $21. ish dollars). The Balmain bug dumplings were nice enough, expensive though. For a serve of four it was the equivalent of $5 something a dumpling. I couldn’t taste much of a difference between this Balmain bug filling and prawns. It was like a generous har gow filling inside a wonton wrapper that dried out a bit around the edges.20140708-222204-80524181.jpgTaking a look at the generous portion of filling inside each dumpling.20140708-222206-80526055.jpgRoast duck rice paper rolls Chinese roast duck, cucumber, spring onion in Vietnamese style rice paper roll served with Hoi Sin sauce. I didn’t think I would like this because of how thick the cut of duck meat was but it was surprisingly really nice and moist, while the skin had a lot of roast duck flavour.20140708-222200-80520816.jpg

20140708-222202-80522395.jpgLotus root and pork parcels sliced young lotus root with lean pork mince in between, crispy fried in a light tempura batter with a vinegar ginger dipping sauce and Edamame. Upon reading this description did I notice that we didn’t get any vinegar ginger dipping sauce and Edamame. This was really crispy and not oily at all. Hard to describe the taste but everyone really enjoyed it.20140708-222411-80651544.jpgXin Jiang lamb skewers Famous street food from China, tender lamb skewers char-grilled with a sprinkle of cumin, chilli and Asian spices, served with a crunchy cucumber, onion and capsicum salsa and honey yoghurt. There was a bit of spice on the coating of the lamb which was really nice but the chilli surprise could be balanced out by the honey yoghurt as well as the salsa if you don’t like hot food. The meat was also incredibly tender, but I wouldn’t have picked this as a ‘Chinese’ dish.20140708-222339-80619477.jpgThe lamb skewer condiments, honey yoghurt and a salsa.20140708-222341-80621056.jpgHoney mustard fillet steak diced beef eye fillet stir-fried in mild chilli, honey and mustard sauce, with sugar snap peas, King Brown mushrooms, Gingko nuts and red onion. Tender as always although I think I would have preferred a black pepper sauce than the sweeter taste of honey mustard.20140708-222342-80622455.jpgLemongrass infused chicken tender free range chicken marinated overnight in lemongrass, rosemary and garlic then char-grilled and served with sautéed green beans and carrot. This was a little dryer than I’m used to although there was still a good kick of lemongrass in the dish.20140708-222416-80656190.jpgSingapore Chilli prawns King prawns in our chef’s Singapore chilli sauce, served on crispy rice noodle cake. Not much of a chilli kick to the prawns but they were cooked well and the sauce was nice to dip the mantou bread into (oops forgot to take a photo!). 20140708-222414-80654554.jpgSince the business boom on Kingston foreshore, it is now much harder to park around Wild Duck. We eventually parked on a perpendicular street which might not sound that far away, but on a cold windy Canberra night, you can definitely feel each extra step.

The service is always attentive and helpful and I really like the food here (I also love their eggplant btw!). See my other Wild duck posts here and here, although I have been many times I don’t blog about it every time, so who knows how many times I’ve actually been hehehe. Thanks!

 

Don’t forget to use the Entertainment book card!

Transformation is now complete: the European to Pomegrante

While I was happily reading through HerCanberra‘s list of new places to try, my heart skipped a beat as I read the line “European was changing hands“. Oh no! My wonderful friend had given me a voucher to go there for Christmas and I was waiting for a special occasion to use it (which goes to show that you shouldn’t wait, every day is a special day). I definitely am not a fan of wasting vouchers so I quickly rang up to see if they would still honour my voucher. They still answered as the European so I was thinking that they hadn’t changed over yet.
When we arrived, they confirmed that they had changed owners but would still take my voucher that they were still running under the name of the European because the signage was lost in transit. Phew! That was very lucky!

The “European” which is now Pomegranate has just changed their signage but when I went last week they were still operating as the European even though they menu and everything else had changed.20140615-091242-33162225.jpgEntree~

Chargrilled QLD King prawns served with avocado and mango relish ($21.00). The prawns were lovely and juicy with some spice I couldn’t pick which left hints of a Turkish influence in my mouth. The salsa was a combination of my favourite ingredients and definitely complimented the prawns. One couldn’t help but notice that for $21 we only received there scallops and three prawns, luckily we had a voucher!20140615-091243-33163572.jpgPan seared jumbo scallops with lemon mash and eggplant relish and parsley salad ($21.00). The scallops weren’t particularly ‘jumbo’ but they a good sear, freshness and natural sweetness which made up for the size. My preference was more for the prawns but TimmyC really liked the scallops. 20140615-091244-33164884.jpgMains~

Chargrilled Cowra lamb cutlet, served with crispy fried potato with herbs and coriander ($28.00).TimmyC had his eye on the lamb even before I finished taking photos of the menu and browsed through it myself. I also wanted him to order this so I could eat the potatoes! The lamb was nice albeit nothing special (again only three in the serve) but when I looked at the potatoes I couldn’t help but notice that there was lots of parsley but no coriander. I enquired with the waitress about the parsley/coriander situation and she apologized and said she will get the chef to make a new side of potatoes for us. 20140615-091247-33167564.jpgWagyu striploin with mash potato, exotic mushrooms and beef jus ($31.00). I couldn’t help but do my happy clap when I ate this. The steak was well cooked and melted in your mouth. The mashed potato was so incredibly smooth and creamy and there was a good mix of mushrooms sandwiched in the middle. I found the portion size more generous than the lamb and because of the rich potato, it would have also been more filling. My mouth is salivating as I write this. I would definitely order this again. 20140615-091246-33166217.jpg Extras~ The second time around but the coriander didn’t make up for the lack of crispy potato but eating the fine dice relish was definitely tasty. 20140615-091248-33168909.jpgPalette cleanser homemade pomegranate sorbet with crushed pistachios. We were given this and said it was compliments of the chef. We didn’t see anyone else receive one so I couldn’t tell if it was because I was taking photos or because they mixed up our potatoes. It tasted like frozen ribeana, it had a tart aftertaste but still cleansed the palette.20140615-091436-33276623.jpgThe restaurant itself looked rather funky. We took a liking to their book collection, they encouraged us to browse and they said that the books were there to be read.20140615-091250-33170349.jpg20140615-091432-33272550.jpgAs we were waiting for our desserts, TimmyC and I were browsing the elbulli book and drooling over their amazing looking creations.20140615-091435-33275169.jpg A funky lamp on the book shelf.20140615-091433-33273875.jpgDessert~ We were meant to share one dessert but that idea went out the window when TimmyC couldn’t decide between two options.

Mixed nut ice cream with cinnamon crunch and caramel sauce ($14.00). I was convinced that this was what I wanted after the waitress informed me that everything including the ice-cream was made in-house. It tasted like a decadent Christmas pudding with dried figs and a mixture of nuts. The caramel sauce was super tasty and I wanted more more more! 20140615-091454-33294925.jpgWhite chocolate panna cotta, pomegranate granita and peach ice cream with honey wafers ($14.00). I thought it was odd to pair a panna cotta with a granita as well as an ice cream but I was really impressed when the dessert came. The presentation was beautiful with the panna cotta skewed to the side of the glass and the contrast of beautiful colours. Alas I knew it wasn’t meant to be as soon as I put my spoon through the panna cotta, it was thick like a mousse pudding and when I tasted it, I could taste white chocolate but it had a gritty texture that was really disappointing. The granita was similar to the palette cleanser but had an icier texture and the ice cream just tasted like canned peaches. I told TimmyC not to bother finishing it and just help me share my mixed nut ice cream.20140615-091457-33297823.jpgThe beautiful presentation of the dessert.20140615-091456-33296354.jpgWe didn’t get very far with out panna cotta but we enjoyed the honey wafers which was the best part of the dessert.20140615-091459-33299127.jpgI found the service to be very attentive and friendly and although one of the desserts was really disappointing, overall I really enjoyed my experience here and I would order that steak again in a heart beat. The new owners of Pomegranate are the people who used to run Ottoman cuisine.

The bill came to $129 for two people, three courses and no drinks. Luckily my voucher was for $100 so we only paid $29.

Venue:Pomegranate

Address: 31 Giles street, Kingston

Phone: (02) 6295 1515

Opening hours: Lunch | Tuesday – Sunday | 12pm – 2:30pm
Dinner | Tuesday – Saturday | 6.00pm – 9:30
Brunch | Saturday – Sunday | 8.00am – 2pm

Pomegranate on Urbanspoon

Little Brooklyn

After taking a walk around the Kingston square, TimmyC and I were desperate for a quick bite so we circled back to Little Brooklyn to browse their menu. They have a casual atmosphere with sports TV, an area for a live band and wide booths while the outdoor setting had huge umbrellas with built-in heaters covering all weather conditions.

I had heard that Little Brooklyn had a New York-inspired classics menu but when I looked at the menu, there was really only a hotdog, reuben and burger which was a bit disappointing.20140223-101118.jpg

20140223-101313.jpgA nice outdoor setting.20140223-101323.jpgWe settle down on a couple of barrels.20140223-101343.jpgCroquettes barramundi and Kaffir lime with gramolata ($14.00). I found that the croquettes themselves didn’t have much of a flavour to them and without the salt and sauce it was very bland. The filling looked mostly like mashed potato and I couldn’t tell there was fish in there. For $14.00 I did expect more than just three croquettes though.20140228-065220.jpgDespite being bland, they did have a crispy coating.20140227-224230.jpgPulled lamb pocket pulled lamb, crisp greens and pomegranate yoghurt, Served in a wood fired tortilla pocket and served with chips ($20.00). I could see this as a snack meal to tie you over before you have dinner in a few hours type of thing like we did, but not as a full meal that you paid $20 bucks for. The lamb itself was very tender and delicious, the sauce that was served with the chips tasted like it had a chip seasoning mixed through an aoli it which made it addictive and a happy addition to the pocket.20140228-065043.jpg

20140228-065057.jpgThe food was ok, nothing too spectacular but was served to us by friendly staff. I just think that the food is overpriced for what it is, even for Kingston. Little Brooklyn does have a lovely location though making it a convenient place for friends to catch up over a drink and if you aren’t that hungry, even over some food.

Venue: Little Brooklyn

Address: 44 Jardine St, Kingston, ACT 2604

Phone: (02) 6260 8150

Little Brooklyn on Urbanspoon

Quick tour of Canberra

An old friend of mine came back to Canberra for a quick work trip but not without seeing her favourite foodie friend and indulging in some of her favourite eating spots. We took her on a mini tour to see ‘new’ places which have opened up since she moved away but not without satisfying some of her ‘Canberra food cravings’ from the old spots.

Our journey begins at Dumpling Inn in Jamison, ordering enough shallot cakes to calm her cravings for now as well as sizzling bean curd and four season beans with pork mince.  We talk until they start to vacuum around us and we figure at 10:40pm there aren’t many places to go to continue the conversation but Max Brenner in Belconnen over a chocolate lick.

Chocolate lick ($2.50), just enough chocolate to hit the spot.The next day after I went and did some essential shopping in Kingston, TimmyC and I took a quick walk around the block to see what was new and exciting. By the time we finished walking around the whole perimeter, Little Brooklyn looked the most interesting so we go back to grab a quick late lunch.

Shopping at Essential Ingredient.This caught my eye as we walked around, La Osteria bar and restaurant is replacing La Rustica as they have moved to the foreshore. I think they are due to open by the end of the month.20140223-163703.jpgTimmyC and I take our friend to a nice dinner at Mr Wei’s in the city followed up by some dessert at Jamie’s Italian before we do a quick walk around showing her CBD dumplings, Hero SushiPappaRich, Farmers Daughter and Dolce & Salato (wow, a lot of things have opened up around there recently).

We do the rest of the tour via car driving through Braddon looking at Chez Fredric, Mood food, where debarcle had moved to, 86 and then I told TimmyC to drive further to see the Mandalay bus parked near Haigh park, it was odd going to a food van without feeling hungry or having a craving for oily food. I had heard that this bus had opened up again and I wanted to see what it looked like for myself. They had lots of lights around, a casual lounge area to the side and loud music blaring. I can see the appeal; the menu looked intriguing too, not just your average ‘chips and gravy and a jam donut’ type of food van.20140223-163618.jpgThe Mandalay bus menu.20140223-163630.jpgSunday lunch was spent catching up over a delicious burger from Brodburger complete with 50 minute wait as everyone else seemed to have the same idea. We ended the meal on a sweet note by visiting Frugii at the OBDM and exploring all his flavours (candied orange, vanilla, chocolate, popcorn, salted caramel, toffee apple, plum sorbet and papaya sorbet). While we talk about John’s exciting dessert venture of opening a dessert store in Braddon around October this year, we over indulged in multiple cups of ice-cream.

Popcorn ice cream made me smirk when the taste was spot on.20140223-163640.jpgWhere do you take interstate guests when they come to visit Canberra?