Le Bon Melange

If I have been waiting over a year for Le Bon Melange to open, I can’t imagine how long Natalie the owner and pastry chef has been waiting for. I first noticed Natalie’s work on Instagram and since then she has made numerous birthday cakes for my friends and I.

Le Bon Melange had their first day of trading yesterday and I beelined straight there when I had the opportunity. It is a little out of the way of the town centre, but I parked near neighbouring shops and walked over.

It is a very cute shop. I loved the European look of the chairs and tables, so much sunlight spills in from the large windows and the glass cabinets are filled with a variety of delicious goods.I’ll have one of everything, please.Enjoy the lovely sunshine with their outdoor seating.The service was still finding their feet but forgivable since it was their first day. Everyone was very friendly and helpful as I inquired about half of their products.

My intention was to only grab two things and head out the door, but that cabinet made everything look so inviting. So I decided to buy 4 items, then one more… Then another. I was almost out the door when the chocolate coated macarons were added and I found myself lining up again.

Top left (clockwise): Lemon curd meringue jar ($6.50), sausage roll ($5.50), croissant ($4.50) and salted caramel eclair ($5.50).Top left (clockwise): Apple turnover, White chocolate and raspberry macaron coated in chocolate ($4.00), custard filled baked doughnut and cross section.TimmyC and I agreed that our favourites were the lemon curd meringue jar and the apple turnover but I would really love to see the selection expand and grow over the next couple of weeks. I was pleasantly surprised with their opening hours as they are opened 7 days a week, 6:30am – 4:30pm.

Venue: Le Bon Melange

Address: corner of Gungahlin Pl & Bruning St, Gungahlin ACT 2912

Phone: 0423748063

Opening hours: 7 days a week, 6:30am – 4:30pm

 

Guillaume sneak peek

Two things about this dish. This was the first time when I said we were sharing the entree that they served it up equally in two equal portions. My friend didn’t have to wait for me to take photos before she could start (but she did anyway, I think out of habit). And two, that cauliflower purée is out of this world and is possibly the lightest smoothest thing I’ve ever eaten. The meal just got better from there 😍😍😍


#letsnotthinkabouttheamountofcream #french #guillaumebistro #sydneyeats 

#winning 

The tale of my Friday night went something like this…

Hooray – my friends finally decide on going to the Harmonie German club for dinner, I’ve been wanting to go there for years!

Boo – I’m running late because I ran through IKEA and couldn’t decide between 5 different types of white photo frames. 

Hooray – I got a park right at the front and I’m perfectly on time. 

Boo – all my friends are late. Reminder to self: get new friends. 

Hooray – I join the club at a bargain price and sign my first friend in who arrives a minute later. 

Boo – the club is super busy, especially the restaurant. 

Hooray – we found a vacant table!!!

Boo – we are warned by a waitress that the wait for food might take a while because it’s so busy

Hooray – there are many things I want to try on the menu. I better join the line and order entrees while waiting for friends. First friend is reserving the table. 

Boo – my second friend has just arrived, I have to leave the line and go down stairs to sign her in. 

Hooray – I’m back in the line with second friend not too far from where I left

Boo – third and fourth friend have just arrived. I have to sign them in 

Hooray – I leave second friend in line to order entrees 

Boo – line is now out the door. I join the back of the line thinking by the time everyone figures out what they want, I’ll be near the front. 

Hooray – friends decide quickly and join me in the line. 

Boo – I have just read that you need to reserve a pork knuckle but ask and you might be lucky. Urgh I better look for a plan B. 

Hooray – I squeal with excitement as the cashier tells me that I can order a pork knuckle. I am smiling uncontrollably like I’ve just won the lotto. 

Boo – order a dish of spaetzle ($10) and not a side ($4)… probably should have read the back of the menu 

Hooray – food arrives in a timely manner and I don’t have to eat one of my friends!

Boo – I ordered a soft drink which usually fills me up and my huge pork knuckle is coming. 

Hooray – friends help eat some of the pork knuckle. 

Boo – they keep asking if my board is finished as I slowly complete the pork knuckle. It’s not lady, please leave me alone. 

Hooray – I’ve finished the whole thing! The bone is very clean

Boo – I didn’t finished the spaetzle

Hooray – I enquiry at the bar why there are some random European goods in the glass cabinet, including some delicious looking Milka flavour I have not tried (chips Ahoy! Cookies 🍪). 

Boo – guy behind the bar is wondering what I’m talking about and what the hell Milka is. 

Hooray – you can purchase these items!!!!!!

Boo – the guy has to check if there are more Milka bars down stairs, he is unsure if they have any left. 

Hooray – I shake my friend’s arm violently as he said there are plenty and asks how many I want. OMG!!!

Boo – I cannot see what the second flavour is as the bars are overlapping and I can only see the non-English writing. 

Hooray – a kind lady opens up the cabinet so I can see the second flavour. It’s hazelnut. Yes I think I’ll get that one also. 

Boo – no one knows a price of the Milka chocolate 🍫. 

Hooray – the lady who saw my excitement about food tells me about German market days. The whole club is filled with German meats and goods. She said I would love it! And yes I would!

Boo – they have just had one and the next one won’t be for a while 

Hooray – the Milka bars are at a bargain price. I am ready to live in this German club!

Hooray – I have ripped both packets opened and the chocolate is delicious. 

Hooray – I have found out the next market is on the  Sunday 10th Sep.  
Hooray – I’m feeling like the luckiest girl in the club!

Hooray – I’m looking forward to my next club visit, it will hopefully be before market day. 

Hannara Korean BBQ – All you can eat

Stop the press! Run, don’t walk. Hannara Korean BBQ cuisine is now doing ‘all you can eat’ Korean BBQ.

I had dragged my friend to Hannara at the beginning of the year when they had just opened but nothing really stood out from other Korean restaurants. We tried a variety of dishes including japchae, fried chicken and bulgogi but what made me have food regrets was smelling other people’s Korean BBQ sizzling away. So when I read that Hannara was now doing an ‘all you can eat’, it was the perfect excuse to go back.

There are three buffets to choose from: ‘Premium Wagyu and seafood buffet($69.00pp), the ‘Wagyu BBQ buffet($59.00pp) and the ‘standard BBQ buffet($49.00pp). The whole table ordered the Wagyu BBQ buffet which included Wagyu meat, some deep fried seafood and bibimbap as well as everything from the standard BBQ buffet.

There are some terms and conditions attached: The menu you request can be sold out. Age under 10 is $20 pp. There is a penalty fee for leftovers. ALL food’s quality is the same as the single menu. Take out not available. Limited to 90 minutes from the first serving.

Ordering the Wagyu BBQ buffet meant that we could have delicious Wagyu meat as well as all the Korean fried chicken, japchae and corn cheese that we wanted!And so it began, our ‘all you can eat’ adventure included some very delicious Wagyu meat, crunchy fried chicken, some judgment from the neighbouring tables and ended in a lot of belts being undone.It might not look very pretty, but the meat was delicious.Korean BBQ is the perfect winter warmer and a fun delicious way to catch up with friends. I’m a huge beef fan so the Wagyu beef was my favourite, the Korean fried chicken was nice because the sauce came on the side and came with the perfect pickled vegetables. I thought the bibimbap was a little sad looking and disappointing but I would definitely come back again! I had lots of fun and didn’t leave smelling like charcoal (their extraction fans work quite well).

The service was prompt as there is a bell on each table, the meat didn’t take long to cook and 90 minutes is ample time to order, cook, stuff your face and repeat as many times as needed.

Venue: Hannara Korean BBQ cuisine

Address Shop 1,2&3 – 16 Moore street, Canberra ACT 2601

Phone(02) 6193 3016

Internal struggles

Optimistic me- oh I’ll make sausage rolls for the farewell morning tea. They are easy to throw together 
Realistic me- hmmm they ran out of chicken mince

Optimistic me- it’s okay, buy some chicken and we’ll use the mincer attachment on the kitchenaid

Realistic me- *reads instructions to use mincer attachment* and the whole process takes a lot longer than expected

Optimistic me- let’s start a slice since the oven is on 

Realistic me- 😑😓


#seemedlikeagoodideaatthetime #sausagerolls #homemade #morningtea #homecooking 

KOR BQ

It was months ago when I had walked past the old site of Smoque in Civic to discover a new Korean BBQ coming to Canberra. KOR BQ didn’t have much on their upcoming website when I went to research them in March but by the time I returned from my honeymoon, they were in full swing. I had heard good things and I was excited to try their menu.

The restaurant wasn’t empty, but we were also just EXTREMELY early.My friends and I ordered the honey lemon citron tea ($4.00) and honey lemon ginger tea ($4.00). The description of ‘nice taste, won’t be wrong’ and ‘great for winter’ did amuse us thoroughly but they were precise as they did have a nice taste and it was the perfect beverage for winter. I enjoyed that they had unusual non-alcoholic beverage choices outside of soft drinks.Japchae beef brisket, vegetables and julienned egg served with mung bean noodles in a homemade soy sauce ($16.00). Half way through eating our noodles, I remembered that there was supposed to be beef brisket with the noodles (although they still tasted delicious without it) and when we enquired they were very apologetic that there was a misunderstanding in the kitchen. We didn’t worry, we were just checking if there was supposed to be meat and moments later they came out with a small bowl of beef brisket and apologised again. A must for any Korean meal and a tasty dish to snack on while you wait for your BBQed meats to cook.The beef that didn’t make it into the noodles the first time.Cheesy kernels sweet corn kernels, carrot and cabbage in an indulgent cheese mayonnaise hot plate ($6.00). I must admit, I found this very unusual. I love anything cheesy and I love corn but this was like a cheesy corn mixture on top of a coleslaw mixture. Really weird but it strangely works.KOR BQ Creamy fried chicken friend chicken served with our homemade white sauce ($24.00). You would think that this creamy sauce would belong on a pasta dish rather than Korean fried chicken but it was so moreish. Having sauce on top was the perfect balance of having the crunch of the chicken as well as only a bit of sauce. I find original fried chicken too bland and sauce coated chicken too OTT, but this was juuuust right.Korean BBQ – OMG yes, over a decade living in Canberra, why did I not make Korean BBQ my preferred choice of dining during winter?! It provides instant heat and entertainment with a delicious ending. The exhaust fan worked really well and I didn’t walk away with charcoal smelling hair.

Our charcoal came and we were ready to go!Sizzle time!Bacon enoki mushrooms (3 sticks $12.00). We were really surprised about how delicious and succulent this skewer was. Definitely worth ordering.Even with our poor BBQ skills (we were too busy talking), all the meat came out really tender and flavoursome with the right dipping sauces. You could tell that they use high quality meat. The only downside was when we finished cooking, they took the coals away and our wonderful heat source was gone. 😦

Pork shoulder (200g $16.00).Beef rib eye (100g $15.00).We really enjoyed our visit; the service was attentive, the food was delicious and they have a spacious casual environment. I think the only thing they were lacking was a good dessert menu but since our visit, they have expanded their dessert range.

Don’t forget, the fried chicken and Korean BBQ is not available at lunch time so I think the best time to visit is for dinner so you have the full selection available, although I hear their soups are pretty tasty too.

Venue: KOR BQ

Address: 13 Petrie Plaza, Canberra ACT 2601

Phone0451 101 633

Website: www.korbqcanberra.com

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

When the table next to you starts judging your table because the food barely fits, you ignore them and try and stand on your tippy toes to get it all in the frame. #judgement #fridaycatchup #flatlaystyle 

Spotted… in Braddon

For years, Canberrans have been yearning, nay DEMANDING that we get one decent ramen place in Canberra. We aren’t greedy, we just want one. 

Hopefully our prayers have been answered with Ramentic opening its doors at lunch time this Friday with the promise of tonkotsu and other types of ramen (I tuned out after hearing tonkotsu, it’s the only one I eat). It may look like the tiniest little restaurant but I don’t care. 

I really hope this place is good; Ramentic don’t let me down!

Thanks for the heads up Owen!

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