California cafe

TimmyC has had a deep love for waffles ever since he came back from his America trip, so when I heard that there was a ‘takeaway diner’ in Mawson I took him there immediately. California Cafe has joined the many other cafes that have popped in recent years which has made Mawson a hive of activity and a location full of choice. Not as many cafes are open on a Sunday but luckily the diner was. TimmyC is a bit of a snob when it comes to waffles, he dislikes pre-made rock hard ones (but who doesn’t) and would prefer them to have deep wells so all the syrup and ice cream catch in the pockets.

There were waffles and pancakes on the breakfast menu served with bacon, banana and maple syrup, so TimmyC was set; although it was early I felt like a cheeseburger from this diner. We went to order at the counter and TimmyC’s first question was “do you make the waffles in-house?”, the waitress answered no, “do you make the pancakes from batter?” which I thought was a stupid question until it was also met with a ‘no’; he opted for an eggs benedict instead.The cake cabinet should have been my first clue not to eat here, can you see the huge chunks of carrot in the carrot cake?While we were waiting for our food, the woman next to us had ordered the waffles and she was super excited when three thick store-bought waffles topped with bacon and banana was placed in front of her. I had noticed that she shared some with her Mum and even then they only finished half a waffle each which meant there was plenty still left on the plate after they left.Caramel thick shake ($7.00). We watched them make this and it had tonnes of ice-cream in it and there was just enough topping without making me feel sick. YUM!Coffee (lge ($4.00). TimmyC said it was okay coffee. They also serve a ‘jumbo’ size here.Eggs benedict eggs with bacon on a sour dough roll with hollandaise sauce ($14.90). The hollandaise was nice enough but still tasted like it was bottled sauce and I’m a bit confused as to why there were unseasoned chips on the plate. A very underwhelming breakfast when I promised TimmyC waffles from a diner. I don’t see exactly what the kitchen is cooking when the sauce is from a jar, the waffles and pancakes are store-bought and the chips are from frozen packets.The plates that they serve on are massive.Cheeseburger with fries ($8.90). I was really disappointed with my burger, it was an okay patty drowned in tomato sauce and mustard topped with a plastic (at least melted) slice of cheese. Don’t get me wrong, I love plastic cheese but I couldn’t taste much of anything other than mustard and tomato sauce. The chips were hot and seasoned with something that I couldn’t pick, it reminded me of mamee noodle snacks. The thick shake helped with washing the acidity of the sauces from my mouth.

I couldn’t taste anything other than sauce.  The diner was getting busy with lots of staff from neighbouring business coming in for takeaway so some people obviously enjoy the food here but with so much better choices in the area, I won’t be coming back.

Venue: California Cafe

Address: 4 Southlands Shopping Centre, Mawson ACT 2607

Opening hours:

Monday – Friday 7:30am – 8:00pm

Saturday – Sunday (and public holidays) 8:00am – 3:00pm
The California Diner Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Eden patisserie

IMG_4538.JPGStrawberry tart ($4.50) from Eden patisserie in Mawson, a sister bakery to 210 degrees in Hughes. When did the huge explosion of cafés/bakeries happen in Mawson?! #toomuchchoice #food #foodie #canberra #cbr #tart #visitcanberra #restaurantaustralia #sweets #localscanIMG_4543.JPGI like 210 degree pies so I had no hesitation ordering the cheese and bacon pie ($4.00). Cheese in every bite, yum!IMG_4544.JPG

Cronut hunt: Saigon Southland Hot Bake

Immediately upon leaving the Italian Continental bakery, I admitted to TimmyC that I lied. I didn’t just want to go to one bakery I really wanted to go to two and since we were in the area, why not? I scuttled over to Saigon Southland Hot Bake before he could protest.20140616-180319-64999917.jpgOh good, I wasn’t too late to get one, there were still plenty there and they have more flavours than I’m used to.20140616-180321-65001338.jpgThe bread rolls looked nice and fresh (at bargain prices!) while in contrast all the iced cookies and meringues in the cabinet looked like they were weeks old and they were dry and cracking. Without being too greedy this time, I stayed on course and only got what I came for. One cronut. This time we got a salted caramel flavour.

Salted caramel cronut ($3.50). The texture was more true to a cronut but the icing was like what you would normally find on a cheap vanilla slice and that ruined it for me. The caramel on top was more of a light flavouring and didn’t really meld into the cronut, I think they just treated it like an iced doughnut.20140616-180322-65002729.jpg20140616-180324-65004247.jpgMaybe slightly better than the cronut I had at the Italian Continental bakery because of the texture, but out of all the ones I’ve had in Canberra so far, the one from Ricardo’s is still the best (although there are still some others I’m yet to try).

Venue: Saigon Southland Hot Bake

Address: 1 Heard St, Mawson ACT 2607

Phone: (02) 6286 5277

Cronut hunt: Italian Continental bakery

I always knew that the Italian Continental bakery existed but I never went in for when I make the effort to bustle my way through Mawson, it was always for Bruno’s cannoli. This time I was specifically here for one thing: Italian Continental bakery’s cronuts. They had renovated since I’ve last snuck a peek and there were many people inside to get away from the cold and get their fill of Italian sweets.

I made TimmyC line up as I went to inspect the long cake cabinet. Tarts, profiteroles, eclairs, cannolis and there it was… Cronuts! They had two flavours that morning: chocolate and vanilla, we opted for vanilla although I was hoping for salted caramel, but while we were getting served we couldn’t resist also getting an eclair and baked cannoli. I didn’t really pay attention to how much everything was, all I know is that it came to $9.80 and I handed my money over like a zombie as I continued to stare into their cake display.

I was on the hunt for pastry this morning and I couldn’t make up my mind. Small eclair, baked cannoli and a vanilla cronut #italiancontinentalbakery #canberra #cbr #mawson #food #foodie #foodblog #cronut #sweets #dessert 20140615-203434-74074179.jpgI was pleasantly surprised to find that the eclair’s choux pastry wasn’t stale (you don’t know how many times I’ve bought a stale one), although we wished that the filling was more creamy rather than a thick-ish custard. The cannolo (apparently that is the singular) was really good, I much prefer the outside to be pastry rather than the heavy ‘donut like’ kind, although they do sell both kinds. The filling was creamy and vanillary. The much sort after cronut itself was a bit of a let down, the texture was more of a donut rather than a cronut (see what the layers should look like here) and the flavour could have been stronger.

I might not rush back for their cronuts but I did like their cannoli and cafe area to want to come back and explore a bit more.

Venue: Italian Continental Bakery & Cafe

AddressThe Southlands House, Mawson Pl, Mawson, ACT 

Phone: (02) 6286 1085

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