Meatball Monday – IKEA Canberra

Recently road signs have warned of major delays in the Majura area for at least a week starting this Monday 16th November. Why? If you somehow have not heard, the IKEA Canberra store is opening and everyone wants to be there. According to the Facebook event, over 13,000 people want to be there during their opening celebrations starting from around 6:30am and the store will open at 9:30am.One of my friends who has never been to an IKEA store before asked me ‘what is the big deal about IKEA?’; this made me ponder and I didn’t know where to start. I wanted to tell her that when it opens in Canberra on Monday it will be the most sustainable store in Australia using LED lighting, they have just under 2000 solar panels, they source sustainable salmon as well as becoming the first major retailer to source 100% of its cotton from more sustainable sources, just to name a few things. I also wanted to mention their charity initiatives supporting educational project run by Save the Children and UNICEF. Instead, I explained that most people want to improve their home and their personal spaces and IKEA helps people to do that regardless of socioeconomic backgrounds. Despite people saying that everyone’s houses will look the same, there is so much choice and room for personalising, I don’t think that would be the case.

I was lucky enough to have a sneak peek of  Canberra’s IKEA store on Friday and I wanted to tell you all what you’re in store for starting Monday.

Unlike other IKEA stores, Canberra’s store is single level and will be the first in Australia to have a ‘IKEA Cafe’ with coffees, cakes and some savoury options available. The IKEA restaurant itself has a 380 seat capacity and I would consider the whole menu to be a bargain and that’s not just comparing it to Canberra prices!The Market Hall is one of my favourite places to browse, even if my kitchen is full. IKEA plans to run workshops so customers see first hand how to use the products and produce. On top of all this, the IKEA Canberra store will have a free child minding for the children aged 3 – 10 that are toilet trained. Småland (pronounced small land for those who don’t speak Swedish) is available to parents to are on site (in store or in the car park) for maximum 1 hour a day, they have a capacity for up to 45 kids at a time with activities including colouring in, stadium seating for the ‘cloud’ tv and a ball pit which is 80cm deep. Be aware that this is a really popular facility and long wait times might apply. See the additional information below taken from their website:

We like to make visiting IKEA both fun for kids and easier for grown-ups. Småland is our free supervised play area, located next to our store greeter. So kids, come on in… We look forward to seeing you soon!

Småland is licensed under the Department of Education, so all children must be enrolled before coming in to play. This paperwork is only needed once a year. There is a limit on the number of children allowed in Småland to ensure their safety at all times. As a result, you may experience longer waiting times during busier periods.

IKEA launched ‘LATTJO’ their play collection that inspires everyone to play more together – everyday. I am tempted to everyone a snail hat this Christmas.With kids and their parents set as a first priority, IKEA have awesome parent rooms, the restaurant area has microwaves for warming milk, kids cutlery and even a small children’s play area so the parents get some peace while they’re eating Swedish meatballs.

There is so much cutesy things to buy for kids and the young at heartI love IKEA’s store concept where they create fully furnished areas, making it much easier to visualise the end product or lend creative inspiration especially storage in small spaces. If you’re like me and get your cardio work out from shopping, you’ll get over 1km walk if you don’t take short cuts.

Do you need some room inspiration? It took the IKEA staff 5 weeks to set up the whole store! Come and see their amazing space.

They have over 700 car parks available on opening day, with staff parking off site and taking a shuttle bus to the store; being a sustainably minded store they encourage everyone to carpool or take public transportation (extra buses will run from platform #9 Civic interchange).

Are you excited for IKEA Canberra?

Venue: IKEA Canberra

Address: 1030 Majura Road, Majura, ACT 2609

Phone: (02) 8020 6641

Extended trading hours
from 16 – 22 November

Monday: 9:30am – 9:00pm
Tues-Friday: 10:00am – 9:00pm
Saturday: 9:00am – 9:00pm
Sunday: 10:00am – 9:00pm

Regular trading hours
from 23 November onwards

Mon-Thur: 10:00am – 7:00pm
Friday: 10:00am – 9:00pm
Saturday: 9:00am – 7:00pm
Sunday: 10:00am – 6:00pm

Regular Restaurant trading hours
Mon-Thur: 9:30am – 6:30pm
Friday: 9:30am – 8:30pm
Saturday: 8:30am – 6:30pm
Sunday: 9:30am – 5:30pm

Advertisements

Lolo and Lola coming soon

Yes, Canberra’s favourite Filopino bakery, Waterhouse Bakers will have a more permanent home at the Westside Acton Park! They are joining the shipping container village in December not only bringing their delicious bakery goods but also an eatery! I really hope they have adobo for those who don’t have a Filopino family to make it for them.

I will definitely be keen to see their menu!

Thanks TimmyC for the photo and my delicious sans rival!

Italiano Vero sneak peek

I spy with my friend’s eye, something beginning with yum!

It is so lovely me that my friends think of me when they see a new eatery and they send me photos, it’s like the foodie version of Gossip Girl (xoxo). Haha!

Spotted: A new Italian eatery in Civic making big calls about being the “ONLY Italian in Canberra”, I hope Italiano Vero lives up to the expectations it is creating. Have you eaten here yet dear reader? The menu seems extensive and everything seems reasonably priced.
Thanks for the photos and heads up Thomas!

Westside Acton Park

Even though I went to Westside Acton Park for two things specifically (see Miss Van’s and La Crepe blog posts here), I was surprised to see so many other eateries there.

There’s O’So smoothie, Damn Fine Roasters (Canberra’s first drive thru coffee shop, you just honk your horn and someone will be with you shortly), The One (I look forward to their chicken wings!), Miss Van’s, La Crepe (which might be closed for a few weeks) and Habibz (authentic Middle Eastern BBQ). Also up the top of the shipping containers is Aviary, Canberra’s first rooftop bar, I haven’t been up there yet because the one time I tried they were closed for health and safety reasons.

If you haven’t checked out Westside Acton Park yet they have a Pop Up Market this Saturday!

Print

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?

A toast to toasting

Unless you have warm fresh bread, it is better to toast it, I mean who doesn’t love a good jaffle or humble toast with melted butter. So why can’ t the same be said for other items?

I love a good kitchen hack which is simple but has maximum effect for very little effort. I have found toasting sesame seeds and flaked almonds not only smells great but the taste completely changes and intensifies.

Toasted flaked almonds or sesame seeds

Ingredients/equipment:

  • Stove top
  • Pan or wok
  • Sesame seeds or flaked almonds

Method:

  1. Place your ingredient in the cold pan and turn on the stove
  2. Constantly shake the pan once it starts to become hot to brown everything evenly
  3. Once the ingredient has turned into a golden brown colour, turn off the stove and remove pan from heat

Serving suggestion and tips:

I generally throw the sesame seeds into a stir fry or noodles and flaked almonds go beautifully on top of yoghurt. I store unused toasted items in a jar or air tight container.

 

The colour contrast between toasted and untoasted.

Do you have other items that you like to toast or other simple kitchen hacks that you would like to share?

2602

It not usually the case that I go back to a suburb three nights in a row for dinner, especially since it is the opposite side of town for me, but Dickson provides a hub of interesting mixture of restaurants.The dining experiences were a combination of the familiar, the unknown and something new.

 

Thursday night: Jimmy’s Place 

It was Chinese New Year and we wanted to go out for crab and noodles. Naturally Jimmy’s is our first choice as it usually has the cheapest market price for mud crab and they do my favourite ‘ginger and shallots with a yi mein noodle base’ pretty well.

Friday night: Kimchi 

This was not my first preference as I don’t love Korean food but my friend chose restaurant and it was refreshing not to be in charge of food plans. We chose a lot of stuff that I like from the Korean menu and I’ve found some new favourites.

Saturday night: Bon Kura 

My friends couldn’t understand what I was doing when I ran to take photos of a shop front and told them to go inside Kimchi first and I’d meet them in there, but I couldn’t contain my excitement that I saw two new (well new to me) restaurants and Bon Kura was one of them; they just opened two weeks ago!

 

Watch this space for upcoming blog posts!

Queanbeyan Carnivale – Multicultural Festival

 

I had to stop and clarify with a friend when she started to describe what sounded like a smaller Multicultural festival just across the border. Could it be? A festival in Queanbeyan that involves food which may have happening for years that I have never heard about?

The Queanbeyan Carnivale is on this Sunday and I am getting excited! One of my friends is performing and I’m hoping to make it out there to support her with a meat skewer in hand.

This is what I saw from the Visit Queanbeyan website but I’ve highlighted in bold what I actually read.

Queanbeyan’s Multicultural Spectacular

Queanbeyan celebrates it’s cultural diversity annually by holding the Multicultural Festival at Queanbeyan Park.  The festival features a stunning line-up of performances every year on the centre stage and sports plenty of great activities for the family, as well as dozens of food stalls.  The Carnivale theme was chosen to reflect on the energetic dance and music performances that abound from many different multicultural groups and the events lend the entire event a vibrant theme from the performances down to the food options which range from BBQs to sweet cakes to Asian delicacies.

Each year the park comes alive with all community groups working together to produce and offer the best in dance, food, and song to attendees. The result is quite diverse as Queanbeyan is home to many people including those from India, Macedonia, Serbia, Croatia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Greece, Italy, the UK, and more, with each group offering their own song and dance performances.

The Queanbeyan City Council supports the festival along with the Queanbeyan Multilingual Centre, and everyone is encouraged to head out to take part in the festivities.”

Has anyone actually been to this? Please let me know what to expect.

Venue: Queanbeyan Carnivale – Multicultural Festival

Event date: Sunday 22nd February 2015

Address: Queanbeyan Park Lowe Street, Queanbeyan 2620 NSW

Opening times: 10am-4pm

Phone: 02 6285 6170

Website: www.qcc.nsw.gov.au

Use your noodle!

I have always been disappointed with the food choices when the beautiful Enlighten festival comes to Canberra. It always reminds me of the over priced, mediocre food that you would find at Floriade, but one event at a time.

This year, the Night Noodle Markets presented by Citi will coincide with the Enlighten Festival, bringing with it a whole lot of yummy food from interstate as well as some Canberra locals including Morks and Thirst Thai. I have finally found the list of vendors who will have a stall at Canberra’s first Night Noodle Market.

You’re welcome 😉

Restaurants at Enlighten Night Noodle Markets

 

Business Name

Cuisine Style

Spanthai Thai
Zagyoza Japanese
Teppanyaki Noodles Japanese
Shallot Thai Thai
Bao Stop Bao
Let’s Do Yum Cha Dumplings
Let’s Do Yum Cha – Trailer Dumplings
Hoy Pinoy Filipino
Daniel San Japanese
Thainabox – Food Truck Thai
Roti Road Malaysian
Thirst Thai Thai
N2 Extreme Gelato Liquid Nitrogen Gelato
Mini Pancakes Dessert
Morks Thai
Song Laos Cuisine South-east Asian cuisine
Kiyamachi Tei Okonomiyaki

 

 

Get excited Canberra!

Venue: Enlighten Night Noodle Markets

Address: Reconciliation Place, Canberra

Opening times: February 27 to March 8

Mon – Wed 5pm-9pm

Thurs – Fri 5pm-10pm

Sat 4pm-10pm

Sun 4pm-9pm

New Year’s Resolutions

So by now, most people who had made a fleeting fitness New Year’s resolution would have given up (if you haven’t good for you!). I on the other hand, have made another type of resolution that I’m sharing with you all in hopes to keep me honest and get me through to fulfilling them before the end of the year.

I want to cook several things this year, wait let me rephrase that, I want to cook several things really well this year. I may or may not have made them before and it might seem like simple humble items but they make a good basis for a classic cooking repertoire.

1) a bread like object

There are so many different types of bread, I’m not going to limit myself just to one. I’ve never worked with yeast before, but I love the smell of fresh bread (who doesn’t) and tasting warm bread with real butter is absolutely divine. If you have any recipes or tips that would be great!

2) a curry

I love a good chicken curry but if I can, I want to make a flavoursome tender red meat curry that basically falls apart as you put a spoon through it.

3) pancakes

it might seem weird but I’ve never made a successful pancake outside of the pre-mixed shaker containers. It has always been my dirty little secret as a foodie, but with Shrove Tuesday coming up, there is no time like present.

4) tarts

After my love of making cupcakes and my failure of making macarons (which TimmyC has definitely made up for), my next big love was going to be making tarts. I have made some but haven’t gotten around to getting to the perfect recipe. I think tarts are gorgeous, delicious and very instagramable.

5) ice cream/sorbet

My lovely sister gave me the ice cream Kitchenaid attachment possibly two/three years ago now and I’ve never done anything with it. In my defense, that was roughly when I met Mr Frugii and my need for ice cream was taken care of. I should really throw that thing in the freezer so when the feeling arises I can make ice cream straight away without delay.

 
There are probably other things that I also want to make but these 5 resolutions are a good start. If you have any ‘fool proof’ recipes that you would like to share, that would be super handy. Have you made any resolutions this year?

 

Choose your own adventure

It is insane how much stuff is coming up in the Nation’s capital! The Pop Up Village opening on Canberra Day which will have businesses including a pop-up cafe, rooftop bar, Vietnamese restaurant, BMX bike shop, French creperie, and gym; Enlighten festival which will have the highly anticipated Night Noodle Markets for the first time (insert crazy excited squeals here); and Canberra Good Food Month which has a fabulous restaurant line up.

First things first though: this weekend.

I don’t know if it was coincidental that so many things are happening this weekend, I would have liked to have had these events spaced a part to give me a chance to get to all of them but I guess there’s always next time.

Lifeline EPIC Book fair Budawang Building, Exhibition Park

Friday 13 February 2015 • 9am – 6pm
Saturday 14 February 2015 • 9am – 5pm (Family Day)
Sunday 15 February 2015 • 10am – 4pm

 

Pialligo Estate Pialligo Estate, 18 Kallaroo Rd, Pialligo ACT 2609

Opening 13th February for dinner

National Multicultural Festival Canberra City

Friday 13 February – Sunday 15 February

 

Ben and Jerry’s Openair Cinema Patrick White Lawns, Parkes

Sunday 18th January – Sunday 22 February 2015

 

Night Market Canberra Realm Park, Burbury Close, Barton

Friday 13 February 2015 from 4pm – 9pm

 
Let’s just hope the rain stays away long enough for me to get a Hungarian deep-fried bread.