Maestral- long time no see

It had been years since I had been to Maestral in Weston and a revisit was long overdue. When I stepped into the dining room, I had forgotten how tiny their space was, but it always filled with happy patrons and today was no different.

Platter potatoes, calamari, pan-fried fish, prawns and oysters to your liking ($36.00). Everything on the plate was finished. I loved the potatoes, the calamari was tender without being oily, the prawns were plump and the fish was cooked perfectly. Unfortunately, the Kilpatrick oysters weren’t as grilled as I would have liked but the oysters themselves were fat and meaty.Hand made pasta with chilli, capers and crab meat ($30.00). I loved the texture of the pasta and it was cooked perfectly. The sauce had lots of flavour and a nice dose of chilli kick; I would happily eat either of these dishes.Garden salad ($5.00). A simple light salad that was well dressed and stifled our guilty conscious of eating something green in our meal.The service was attentive and food came out in a timely manner. I must go back again soon, I really do miss seafood.

 

Maestral Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Kusina

It was just coincidental that I was able to get to Kusina‘s Monday Madness AND Boodle feast in the same week but I was one happy well fed girl!

Monday Madness~

All you can eat served with unlimited papaya salad, rice and soft drink ($24.00 pp) every Monday

I would definitely recommend booking; I booked for a table for four and we were seated on the last available table. When we ordered we said that two of us wanted the ‘fry up platter’ and the others would have the ‘grill platter’, which meant that we could try a bit of everything. Some of the pork pieces were really fatty but the grilled meats were marinated really well so that was our pick of the platters. The first platters were served with banana leaves underneath and were well presented, while the subsequent ‘refills’ were just meat on a plate. They were happy to give you more of anything when you had finished which minimises food wastage.

Fry up platter crispy chicken wings + crispy pork bellyGrill platter grilled pork belly marinated with sweet BBQ sauce + grilled chicken marinated in lemongrass, garlic, soy



Boodle Feast~

($36.00 pp – minimum of 4 people?) last Sunday of every month.Again I would definitely recommend booking, this feast only happens once a month and man, the restaurant was packed when we arrived. I didn’t know what to expect and no one really explained anything to us, I just knew that there wasn’t going to be any cutlery which meant I had to tie my hair up, clean my hands and wear something with lots of patterns so you couldn’t tell how much food I dropped on myself.

I told a waitress that we were ready to eat when all the guests had arrived and moments later, an impressive sized board was placed on our table. I didn’t catch all the names but the gist was (starting from the top left) potato salad, corn cobs, beef, grilled chicken wings, pork belly, fish balls, prawns and rice in the middle. Everything was really good, there was a vast difference in texture, flavours and meat. My pick of the platter would have to be the grilled chicken wings (regular readers would not be surprised) and the prawns (oh that sauce!). It was easy for me to get ‘handsy’ with most of the food but I really struggled to eat the rice without a spoon or chopsticks, especially since it wouldn’t clump in a ball for me as hard as I tried. I ended up with a lot of grains of rice in my hair (at the end of my plait, I didn’t just tip rice on my head) and down my dress, but it is a different way to experience food and I’d be happy to it eat again.

We didn’t understand if anymore was coming so we requested more chicken wings and rice, which we were happy to extra pay for. They came back with more rice and only two chicken wings but we weren’t charged more.

Leche flan ($9.80). A little thicker than I thought it would be, it had the texture more like New York cheesecake rather than an egg custard but it still tasted very nice.

All You Can Eat

When you mention ‘all you can eat’, most people would think of the the dodgy looking Family Food Court upstairs in Dickson (which is now closed) or the Star Buffet down in Kambah, but there is more that Canberra can offer.

See below for more all you can eat options.

Kusina 

Monday Madness 5pm – 9pm ( $24.00 pp). Choose one of the platters or better still go with someone else to get a chance to eat a bit of everything, just finish your platter before ordering more. Monday Madness is served with unlimited papaya salad, rice and soft drink.

Grilled platter grilled pork belly marinated with sweet BBQ sauce + grilled chicken marinated lemongrass, ginger, garlic, soy

or

Fry up platter crispy chicken wings + crispy pork bellyUntitled.png


Park Hyatt Canberra Afternoon Tea ($59.00pp)

Enjoy the famous afternoon tea buffet during Friday (2:30pm to 5:00pm), Saturday and Sunday (11:00am to 1:30pm and 2:30pm to 5:00pm) at the Park Hyatt. They have an array of savouries, finger sandwiches, freshly baked scones, a selection of tempting cakes and slices and includes a glass of Lerida Estate Zenzi sparkling wine.


The Promenade Cafe

This is one I’ve haven’t tried yet but they have a breakfast buffet, seafood buffet and a BBQ and roast buffet! This is the information I found on their website.

Breakfast
Daily Full Buffet ($39.00pp)

Lunch
Saturday Full Seafood Buffet with antipasto, hot and grand desserts ($75.00pp)

Sunday BBQ and Roast Buffet with bountiful seafood, soup of the day with fresh bread, live cooking stations, gourmet salads and selections of antipasto, hot buffet dishes, farmhouse cheeses and decadent desserts ($85.00pp for cuisine only or $115.00pp inclusive of unlimited beverages for 2 hours that includes Australian sparkling, white and red wine, draught beer & soft drink).

Dinner
Wednesday – Sunday  Full Seafood Buffet with antipasto, hot and grand dessert ($75.00pp)


Up 2 U ($25.00pp)

During the cold winter nights, you can warm up with a personal steam boat with your friends at Up 2 U in Belconnen. There is a large range of meat, noodles, vegetables, seafood options and condiments.

If ‘all you can eat’ hot pot isn’t for you, you can also order their delicious claypot rice or BBQed skewers.


Eightysix ($86.00pp)

That’s right, you can get all you can eat at a fancy pants trendy restaurant. Apparently no disclaimers, just let them know you’re ordering the all you can eat menu, order until your heart/stomach’s content and try and be out before the next seating (usually two hours). We greedily ordered all their desserts because we could!

Their pasta range is A-MA-ZING! Read my latest visit here.

 

There is a huge variety in the ‘all you can eat’ sector from sweets to Asian to modern Australian, all with a varying price tag. Which one will you be trying?

 

 

 

Orient Kitchen 

The lovely Canberra foodie and I caught up at her local shops to explore the new eatery that was Orient Kitchen. Weston Creek is already a hive of different eateries but it was handy to have a ‘Chinese roast meats’ place closer to home.Homemade pan fried dumplings chicken and garlic chive dumplings (12 pieces $13.80). These were pretty tasty although I prefer my dumplings a little more cooked to have that crunchy exterior. I like how they served this with Chinese vinegar and ginger.Mixed BBQ platter (2 choices) roast pork and roast duck ($18.80). I thought the pork had an extremely crunchy crackling and slightly over salted but I did preferred it over the roast duck. I found the roast duck pieces to be too thick (breast pieces) and the meat felt a little gritty and dry; the bony pieces that had a good meat to skin ratio were fabulous though.Shantang chicken boneless crispy chicken in spicy tangy vinegar sauce ($16.80). I really enjoyed this dish as there was plenty of chicken with crispy skin, lots of sauce and it wasn’t too salty. I think if there was more cucumber it would be more refreshing on the palette.They were a bit busy but food and service were very prompt. It felt like more of a take-away or quick meal atmosphere as Canberra foodie and I quickly found ourselves to be the only people left in the restaurant and we felt obliged to leave when they were packing up around us.

There are many menu items that sound tasty at a reasonable price, I’d be keen to go again.

Venue: Orient Kitchen

Address: 19 Brierly Street, Weston, ACT

Phone: (02) 6288 3330
Orient Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Chris’ patisserie and bakehouse

I like a bit of variety in my shopping so when I went to Weston Creek and drove out of the car park, I had a double take on a shop front when I had a glimpse of ‘patisserie’ in the name. I started messaging locals to see if they had been to Chris’s patisserie and bakehouse which had apparently opened three months ago. My friend who was intrigued went there and bought a large tart ($29.00) to take to a dinner party and she said it was really tasty which prompted me to take TimmyC at the first chance we got.It was a busy morning but we were greeted with smiling faces at the counter. When I asked who ‘Chris’ was, a young polite handsome man smiled and put up his hand, it appears to be a family business where they assured me that all the bread, pastries, tarts, cakes etc were all made in-house.

A large selection of cakes, tarts, slices and biscuits to choose from.They also have pastries and muffins.And a selection of quiches and croissants with fillings.I was a bit hazy with the prices, not everything was labelled and I was too busy choosing something to eat but the thick shake, pie, croissant and large coffee came to $17.00.

Vanilla thick shake. I sat there waiting like patient bear as multiple coffees, table water and toasted sandwiches were served to other customers. All our food had been served and half eaten while my thick shake was no where in sight; just as I was about to enquire about my missing beverage it appears and I stir it around with the straw, it didn’t feel very thick. I had a sip and it tasted like a milkshake and nothing more. It was served at the same time as a child’s milkshake, maybe they had gotten the order wrong and I just got what that kid got. When we were served a vanilla creme brulee which we ordered later, we asked if the drink was really a thick shake, when the answer was yes and I said it felt very runny, the owner quickly ran to the kitchen and returned with a replacement thick shake moments later. The second one was much thicker (still not crazy thick) and had a lovely subtle sweet vanilla flavour.Cheese and bacon pie ($5.00). A meaty pie with a little bit more bacon than your average cheese and bacon pie, but nothing particularly exciting.

Croissant. It has a lovely pastry network inside but it wasn’t buttery and flaky. It felt more like a squishy bread roll.

Large flat white. TimmyC said it was mediocre coffee.Vanilla creme brulee ($5.90). I felt that I didn’t try enough of their menu so I told TimmyC to go choose another sweet from the cabinet, he got the creme brulee which I thought was odd to have in a bakery (it is served in a ramekin so I presume you can only have it when dining in?). They pre-prepare the base and store it in the cabinet and sugar is caramelized on top before serving. The toffee ‘hat’ broke beautifully under the knock of my spoon which revealed a velvety smooth custard. I didn’t understand that since there was a toffee layer, how there were still some granules underneath the sugar top that didn’t caramelize, it didn’t do anything to the taste it just took away from the smooth custard texture.I didn’t have an overall amazing bakery/patisserie experience here but I’m not convinced it is a bad bakery, maybe I just didn’t choose their specialty items, which the website suggests is their cakes and bread. I don’t know how much their bread costs but I thought the large tarts and cakes had a hefty price tag (tarts $29.00 cakes $50.00) but I’m determined to try one soon, maybe not this week though.Venue: Chris’s patisserie and bakehouse

Address: Unit 1, 27 Brierly Street, Weston ACT 2611

Phone: (02) 62880587

Websitehttp://www.chrispatisserie.com.au/

Opening hours: Monday – Friday 7:00am | 4:00pm

Saturday – Sunday 8:00 | 3:00pm
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All about that base

After coming home from Sydney once again, we found ourselves in a predicament of not even having the basic staples of milk and bread in the house while suffering a major case of ‘so not bothered right now’. So we instinctively order Pizza Hut on our way home and time it perfectly with our arrival to the front of the shop.

As we place our usual order of deep pan cheese pizza and whatever else takes our fancy on the day, we were informed by the Weston store that they no longer do a deep pan base… Errr come again? Since when did this happen? I mean I know they have released some crazy things to stick out from the crowd like Doritos crust and Vegemite stuffed crust, heck I can even get a Hershey’s cookie the size of my face at the moment, but don’t mess with the basics like bases!

The deep pan pizza base provided the best cheese topping to pizza base ratio and before you start wondering why I order just a plain cheese pizza, it has come after watching a very loved movie of mine Home Alone. We settled for a Perfecto base, but it wasn’t the same. I wonder if it is all stores across ACT that aren’t doing the deep pan pizza anymore or if it is just the Weston store?

Baitong re-run

Yes my friend and I have been here many times (see my previous blog post here) but after a few months eating else where, we were craving different dishes but the same restaurant – Baitong Lao & Thai Cuisine.

Chicken wings deep fried chicken wings coated in a special batter, served with sweet chilli sauce. I love pairing fried chicken wings with sticky rice (I forgot to take a photo but you can see my previous post). It is so delicious and a hands on food experience.IMG_6016.JPGThe lao sausage is full of difference herbs and it also pairs well with sticky rice.IMG_6025.JPGSom Tum Laospicy papaya salad with fermented fish. I came with my Laotian friend and this is what she was craving. She claims this is the best paw paw salad in Canberra and she has eaten everywhere so I believe her! You can order this to be very hot, I just hope you can handle it if you do.IMG_6020.JPGCrispy Barramundi with thai salad sauce ($26.50). The fish is fried but not oily and is crunchy with all the fresh herbs and cashew nuts topped with crispy green mango.IMG_6027.JPG

IMG_6026.JPGI’m getting hungry as I write this post! I never really get around to eating much from the Thai side of the menu as you don’t find too many authentic Laotian restaurants in Canberra. I think if you venture out and try something different, you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Kusina re-run

This was an unplanned dinner but I figured since we were in the area after an appointment, we would find something easy and good to eat at Cooleman Court. TimmyC’s eyes lit up when I mentioned Kusina. Kusina it is then!

Filipino favourites~

Four seasons juice pineapple, orange, guava, mango ($3.50). The juice was really nice but I couldn’t distinguish the mango/tropical flavours, it just tasted like a really well made bottled juice.IMG_5855.JPGSomething small~

Lumpiang shanghai (5pcs) fried spring rolls, pork prawn, sweet chilli sauce ($9.00). The spring rolls are unlike anything I’ve tasted that looks like a spring roll. It had a lot of pepper with a few shreds of onion but the main flavour is an unusual pork taste. I wasn’t particularly a fan.IMG_5856.JPGFrom the grill~

Inihaw na baka beef scotch fillet, assorted condiments: lemon onions, tofu salad, garlic mayonnaise ($25.50). The steak was well seasoned, well cooked and the fat was rendered nicely. All in all, a fabulous steak, i just didn’t think it was a very exciting dish or that the condiments added much to the meal.IMG_5861.JPGIMG_5863.JPGA beautiful piece of meat cooked so well, I didn’t think it needed all the condiments, rice or the garlic mayo.IMG_5862.JPGSomething to share~

Sizzling sisig (Kusina’s best seller). Thrice cooked pork, chilli, lime, mayonnaise, egg ($22.00). This dish is a combination of pieces of pork, soft pork skin and crispy pork crackle. It is very creamy (from the mayo)/meaty and the egg really brought the flavours of dish together as well as literally bind them together after being stirred in with the hot ingredients. I also loved the addition of lime wedges. I can see how this is a popular dish, it is truly delicious and goes very well with rice. We ordered plain rice to not take anything away from the dishes itself.IMG_5860.JPGNot the most prettiest dish but I would definitely recommend this!IMG_5858.JPGMy friends and I have talked about doing this, maybe I should remind them and we could try it next month.IMG_5852.JPGWe came in late without a booking which was fine, but when they turned off the kitchen heat lamp, our already dim corner seemed like someone turned off the lights and it was time for bed.

The staff was very friendly and attentive. I really enjoyed the food that we ordered (well the mains at least). I would love to come back and try more of the menu or maybe even their breakfast!

Don’t forget to use your Entertainment book voucher!

That Gelato Place re-run

It’s always hard to explain where I went for dessert and I answer with ‘that gelato place‘, it makes me sound obnoxious and vague but that is really what it’s called. Now with different opening hours during Winter, my friend and I were able to squeeze in before they closed after dinner at Ming’s.

They stock a large range of award-winning Pure Gelato gelato. I tasted a few flavours that I thought I would like but upon tasting them I didn’t like their interpretation. I ended up choosing white chocolate and hazelnut while my friend couldn’t help herself but get the waffles with tiramisu gelato.

See my previous post two years ago (wow, that was ages ago!) here.

Waffle with a scoop of tiramisu gelato and chocolate topping. The smell of freshly made waffle started to fill the store and seduced other patrons into getting one also. The waffle wasn’t cooked long enough and it was more like a pancake molded into a shape rather than a crispy waffle.
20140712-202853-73733503.jpg1 scoop of white chocolate and hazelnut gelato. I had tried several flavours and I started to feel bad for trying so many but there wasn’t one where I was like ‘wow I must have more’ so I just chose the one that I liked the most from my samples.20140712-202855-73735004.jpgThese are the new Winter hours.20140712-202852-73732064.jpgIt’s nice to have something like this on the south side.