Chocolate fondant deal at Movenpick Kingston foreshore
Venue: Mövenpick Kingston Foreshore
Address: Element, Kingston Foreshore, 154/43 Eastlake parade, Kingston ACT 2601
Phone: (02) 6112 8725
Opening times: 11:00am–10:00pm 7 day a week
A food blog – eating out and about while enjoying life in Canberra // Instagram: @tales_of_a_confectionist
Chocolate fondant deal at Movenpick Kingston foreshore
Venue: Mövenpick Kingston Foreshore
Address: Element, Kingston Foreshore, 154/43 Eastlake parade, Kingston ACT 2601
Phone: (02) 6112 8725
Opening times: 11:00am–10:00pm 7 day a week
It had been years since my last visit to Centennial Vineyards and yet I vividly remember the beautiful surrounds, the amazing food presentation and the lovely company I was with. I wanted to share this experience with TimmyC and some very close friends, so when we found ourselves booking a weekend away in Bowral, it was definitely one of the first places that I booked.
The menu had many crowd pleasers and that made it difficult to decide what to order, but TimmyC chose all three of his courses within two minutes of looking at the menu. I adjusted my order knowing that TimmyC was a light weight and I would get to try his meals as well.
Curried parsnip soup. A nice way to start the meal. It reminded me of the curry pasta from Continental range, but it was very smooth and silky.Grazing~
Pulled lamb shoulder, flat bread, yoghurt and mint jelly (2 pieces $15.00).Entree~
The Centennial tasting slate salmon, pork terrine, goats cheese tart, cauliflower soup, rockmelon wrapped with proscuitto, chicken pate with a crouton ($24.00). An option for the indecisive, so I obviously chose it as my entree as it had a nice range of things to taste. I can sense that my taste buds are changing and now I’m more open to pate and the like but still my favourite was the tart or the terrine, while my friend really enjoyed the rockmelon wrapped with proscuitto.
Seared scallops, bacon relish, apple and radish salad ($24.00). A perfect combination of juicy scallops and bacon with a little bit of sweetness from the apple. Definitely my pick of entrees if I didn’t want to try a bit of everything.Pasta~
Rotolo pasta of braised lamb, feta, olives and eggplant, romesco sauce ($29.00). I have never seen a pasta served like this and from afar it almost looked like lamb served with a big bone in. My friend enjoyed his pasta but the serve was on the smaller side.Main~
Cider braised pork belly, caramelised applies, sage and onion puree, smoked ham hock crouqette, crispy crackling ($38.00). The crackling was super crispy as promised and it provided a good contrasting texture to the ridiculously tender fall apart pork. This was definitely a winter warmer dish with all the rich components and very filling portion.Butchers weekly choice cut (Sirloin) cooked to your liking served with watercress, cafe de Paris butter and onion rings ($40.00). I would have much rather a lightly dressed salad if they insisted on greenery but instead they chose watercress and a lot of it. I really enjoyed the onion rings, they were well crumbed and crunchy without being overly oily. The steak was okay, I didn’t think it was well seasoned but that’s where handfuls of chips between each bite came in handy. I think I had food envy from the people who ordered the pork belly.Slow cooked duck leg, Centennial Pinot Noir sauce, crumbed beetroot gnocchi, Tuscan cabbage and bacon ($37.00). Sides~
Cauliflower and cheese gratin ($9.00). A nice cheesy cauliflower gratin, what’s there not to like?
Fries with Dijon mustard mayonnaise ($9.00). Came out hot and fresh from the kitchen and definitely went well with my steak.Desserts~
Banoffee ice cream sundae ($16.00). This was a delicious dessert with generous portions but I would not have called it a banoffee anything. With all the different ice creams and caramel sauce, it really just reminded us of a sundae.Trio of chocolate mousse ($16.00). I felt that the milk chocolate mousse was so light and silky, it quickly became my favourite amongst the trio, although the dessert as a whole was visually stunning. It isn’t a large dessert for the price but my friend and I still had to share since the entree and main sizes were ample.Everyone really enjoyed all of their courses but for me it didn’t live up to what I remembered it a few years ago. I don’t know if they have changed chefs, but the food wasn’t as good even though it still stands for a stunning backdrop for a wedding (the main dining area is always set up for a wedding as it is a popular choice for a venue). The service was very attentive and friendly. Though they made several mistakes on the bill, they were more than happy to adjust it.
I was lucky enough to be invited to the Food Blogger Pepper Lunch launch thanks to a lovely friend Fran (go check out her awesome blog here) and the generous owners of Pepper Lunch Canberra. They offered each blogger and their guest a main, a side, a drink and a dessert, although our meals were complimentary all opinions are our own.Pepper Lunch is bringing Japanese DIY Teppan to Canberra! Meals come out on a 260C hot plate and you cook the meat to your liking. Here is their ‘how to guide’:When we received our meal, the polite staff apologised for the wait when in fact we barely waited at all. I hope it is always this fast!
Classic beef pepper rice (a la carte $9.90). I couldn’t go to Pepper Lunch and not try their signature dish. The beef cooked really fast and was tasty but I felt the rice needed more sauce. Luckily there are two sauces on the table which included a sweet sauce and a garlic sauce (shake before use) that I added to my liking.Edit Curry chicken pepper rice (a la carte $11.20). I really loved the curry sauce and I’ve decided that the next time I go, I’m getting something with that sauce!Shimofuri ‘porterhouse’ pepper steak (a la carte $16.90). The Food Marshall said that it was seasoned to perfection but it had a bit of gristle through it. She found TimmyC’s dish had better marbling.Giant rib eye steak (a la carte $24.90). This steak was noticeably bigger than the porterhouse but it was in the ‘giant’ section of the menu. I found this steak really delicious and ‘melt in your mouth’. It is on the more expensive end when compared with other menu items especially if you make it into a meal. You can make any a la carte menu item into a meal which includes one regular drink and one regular side for $4.90.
Regular sides: rice/chips/miso soup/shake shake salad.
Premium sides: onion rings/sweet potato wedges.All the sundaes have the same ice cream base but they are covered in different toppings. There are four flavours: chocolate nut crush, caramel swirl, green tea delight and black seasame; they currently don’t have the black sesame flavour yet but they ensure me it is coming. I really enjoyed the caramel swirl and I really wanted to love the green tea delight but the flavour was so subtle, it was almost non existent. I hoping they adjust it and it will be better in the future.It was getting toasty warm inside the restaurant between all the people and 260C plates, so I imagine the restaurant will be a popular place to be this winter.
They have a loyalty card, the more you eat the better the reward!They are really trying to ensure that things run smoothly with the restaurant having a soft opening for the next few days to train staff and slowly ease their way in before trading normal hours (see below).
Venue:Pepper Lunch (Canberra)
Address: Shop 3 (next to Oliver Brown) 88-96, Bunda Street, Opposite Canberra Centre, Civic, ACT
Phone: (02) 6152 0565
Opening hours: The next few days Pepper Lunch will have a soft opening, so hours will vary but they will roughly be lunch 12pm – 3pm dinner 6pm – 9pm
Sunday – Thursday 11:30am – 9:30pm
Friday – Saturday 11:30am – 10:30pm
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.
Address: Unit 154, The Promenade, Kingston, ACT 2601
Sunday – Thursday 11am–10pm
Friday – Saturday 11am–11pm
After back to back eating sessions, I probably wasn’t feeling the hungriest when we stepped into Fancy Nance for high tea but FOMO got the best of me and I could not pass up the ‘I’m so Fancy’ option while my more sensible eating companions opted for the smaller ‘Pink Flamingo’ high tea.
When Michelle from HerCanberra told me that she had heard there was an all you can eat buffet in Kambah out of all places, we were keen to go ASAP. The Star Buffet is a new addition to the Burns Club which seats around 650 patrons, I didn’t believe it until I saw it, but the area is massive!
They were a bit funny about us taking photos so I only took a few (before we were confronted) and then the rest of the photos were of our plates at the table. I don’t know if this includes the frozen Coke machine that they have but it is pretty good value if you drink soft drinks. The selection of sushi isn’t so great but I was amused that they had a sushi train here. I’m not saying that all the food here is fabulous, because it would be hard to deliver this amount of variety and for everything to be good, but there is an extensive amount of things to choose from and we were quite surprised with some of the food quality.
The selection includes roast meats (the pork has really crunchy crackling!), roast vegetables, different types of gravy, grilled meats (steaks were nice when they were just cooked), Asian BBQ, Asian stir fries, the cutest bamboo steamers with dim sims and BBQ pork buns, cold seafood and salads, sushi train, lamb shanks (which were surprisingly decent), fish, American pork ribs, the usual deep-fried foods, deep friend BBQ pork bun (yes you heard me right), pastas, pizza, waffles from a waffle iron, a cheese platter, chocolate fountain, fresh fruit, a large cake selection, creme brulees (yum!), panna cotta (I wouldn’t bother), tarts, profiteroles, Portuguese tarts (they were good), jelly, pudding and last but not least a soft serve machine.
I think the good thing about this buffet is the casual environment, the all you can eat aspect if your friends and family can really eat and the crazy amount of variety they have, I’ve never seen anything like it.The tables were getting cleared pretty consistently throughout our meal, they did close promptly at the end of the lunch sitting though so just keep that in mind if you come in for a late seating. The food was being replenished so variety of choice was always there, but I think if lots of people went you would have the added advantage of high turn over and more freshly cooked food.
You might have heard of Star Buffet because they are in a lot of clubs across NSW.
Venue: Star Buffet
Address: 8 Kett Street, Kambah ACT 2902
Phone: (02) 6296 3045
Opening times and prices:
When it comes to eating Asian food in Sydney CBD, I foolishly thought I knew it all.
I keep tabs on whenever a new ramen place opens up, I keep an eye out for new dessert crazes and I’m all over dumplings like ants on a toffee apple. So when my friend wanted to take me to a place for bao, I was sceptical about this random bar but remained hopeful because I love a good bao. Goodgod is an underground bar located just past World Square towards China town and I would have walked past a million times without realising it and you may have too. Belly baos is the food side of things and they have a line which is separate from the Goodgod bar, which will mean you need to divide and conquer between you and your friends.
The Goodgod drinks menu.Cherry Melon Pop freshly juiced watermelon and green apple popped sweet with Fee Brothers Cherry Bitters ($9.00). Goodgod have an interesting list of alcoholic mixed drinks in jugs with funny quirky names but the non-drinkers don’t miss out because they also do several non-alcoholic quenchers both in jug and single cup sizes. This tasted like watermelon juice with a cherry aftertaste that was borderline medicinal.We get there insanely early but we are headed for Russell Peters later on at Olympic Park so we wanted somewhere close and fast. The place was quiet but that meant no lines and fast service. I looked at the menu and realised that I could easily eat everything if I didn’t squeeze in that delicious fried chicken snack, so I conservatively order only four baos to share between TimmyC and myself.
Belly Bao’s bao menu, what would you have chosen?Mmmm baos!Soft Shell crab watercress, chilli aioli and lemon vinaigrette ($7.50). We started off with the soft shell crab and in hindsight it was probably for the best as it was my least favourite. The flavours were nice but there was just a sad small piece of crab off to one side of the bun and I just didn’t think the filling to bun ratio was right.Panko crumbed chicken breast lettuce, pickled radish, secret sauce, coriander and chilli aioli ($6.50). I had a bite of my friend’s panko chicken and it was temperature hot, crispy and the chilli aioli gives in a nice chilli kick; definitely worth ordering!Slow braised pork belly pickled mustard greens, coriander, crushed peanut and kewpie mayo ($6.50). I had food envy while a friend was eating his bao; he enjoyed it so much that he ordered another and after he finished eating it, he had food regrets and probably didn’t need that extra bao.
Crackling roast pork belly crackling, pickled radish, coriander and kewpie mayo ($6.50). They have placed the crackling well so that almost every bite had some crackling, yum! I might be biased because I love pork, crackling, coriander and kewpie mayo but I really liked this bao!Slow braised beef short rib kimchi, spring onion and sesame mayo ($6.50). It would be hard for me to choose a favourite between the crackling roast pork and the beef short rib, so I won’t. The meat in this one was probably had more flavour on its own and didn’t rely on the sauces and condiments. It was so tender and tasty *licks lips*.I like how they have re-purposed old oyster sauce cans.Dessert bao (yes you read that right)~
Strawbelly bao golden fried bao with vanilla ice cream, fresh strawberry slices, drizzled with condensed milk ($6.50). How cute is the name? I was so caught up with the fact that there was dessert bao that I didn’t notice until friends pointed it out. This sounded good in theory but it was hard to eat without cutlery or a million wet wipes. TimmyC enjoyed the strawberries and ice-cream more while the Asian part of me really enjoyed the bao and condensed milk because it reminded me of fried mantou. There wasn’t that many strawberries and we probably should have gone with the ‘baonana split’ (golden fried bao with vanilla ice cream, fresh banana slices, salted peanuts, drizzled with Nutella) for a more decadent dessert.
The baos here might seem expensive by Sydney standards but for these Canberrans they were a steal (our bao prices are $9 each). The baos themselves were all soft, smooth and pat-a-licious (Michelle and Eileen know what I’m talking about).
Because we went while it was still quiet, we didn’t have any waiting troubles, issues with staff or seating limitations. In fact getting there before everyone else meant that we had clean bathrooms, fast food and we could hear ourselves think. I like the funky layout of the place and they also run interesting trivia nights; if I lived in the area, I would definitely come here more often.Venue: Goodgod bar (Belly Bao food)
Address: 53-55 Liverpool Street Sydney, NSW
Phone: 02 9267 3787
Wednesday – Friday 5pm til late (Belly Bao is open until 10pm)
Saturday 6pm til late (Belly Bao is open until 10pm)
Today was a foodie’s dream as the highly anticipated Frugii Dessert Laboratory had finally opened their doors. I had watched throughout the day as my news feed and Instagram account was covered in photos of a gorgeous cake cabinet filled with interesting looking desserts and I day dreamed about what I would get when I got there.I had arranged with my friends to meet at the Hamlet at 6:30pm, we did the adult thing and got dinner first which was our first mistake. After eating my dinner at a record-breaking pace of 30 minutes (which is a huge deal for me) we whisked off to Frugii after hearing rumours that cakes were quickly disappearing.
The more experienced foodies such as Michelle from HerCanberra had dessert first and then later on went to the Hamlet for dinner. She’s a smart girl, but even just after 6pm when she went there were only two types of cakes left.
Rumours were true but one cake is definitely better than zero. There we were at the back of the line which then quickly turned into the middle of the line as other people joined the queue. I looked at the cake cabinet and there were only three slices left of one type of cake, I felt a little nervous as there was several people in front of us including another fellow food blogger ‘In the Taratory‘. Another cake was taken, now with two people in front of me I held my breath praying that they wanted ice-cream and not cake… Phew! They bee lined straight towards the ice cream.
We’re getting closer to the counter!I greeted John with a very big smile, ‘one piece of cake please’ I said proudly when I realise the people in front didn’t want cake. Despite being busy John didn’t mind chatting to us while we were being served and he was making us coffee on his gorgeous machine, he and Ed are always so friendly and I’m glad to see they were still like that even after a long busy day which was not over yet.
The very lovely couple John and Ed hard at work keeping up with the demand of their delectable product. I love your new hairstyle btw John!A strong latte ($3.00 based on mathematics). This was deliberately made strong by request which meant the coffee was slightly bitter but it was very smooth TimmyC described.Frugii cake pumpkin and olive oil sponge with a strawberry and raspberry jelly, champagne mousse topped off with a white chocolate glaze ($6.00). I couldn’ taste all the complexity of the cake in one mouthful. When broken up in its separate components I could taste the flavours (although I wouldn’t have been able to pick pumpkin and olive oil) but altogether the dominant flavours were the jelly and mousse with a subtle white chocolate after taste. I wish the jelly wasn’t so stiff as it made the cake a little harder to cut downwards with a spoon.
The dessert I really wanted to try was the choux pastry with the lemon lime and bitters.Small tub of ice cream ($5.00). We had asked for chocolate and vanilla and it was serendipitous that John accidentally gave us chocolate and pistachio. Pistachio was absolutely delightful and I’m going to add it to my list of ‘favourites’. My friend also got a small tub which consisted of the very popular salted butter caramel and cookies and cream. I’m not the biggest fan of cookies and cream with its usual chunky texture with stale cookies but this had no chunks of cookies but a beautiful blended cookie flavour, yum!Big tub of ice cream ($10.00). My friend tried lemon myrtle and we all agreed it was nice. This tub could seriously fit a lot of ice cream.
My friend had eaten a fair chunk of his ice cream before I remembered to take a photo.There is limited seating but it is a very cute design and use of space.There is not distinct sign at the front of the Ori building but that didn’t matter, apparently everyone eventually found their way inside. If you don’t know where he is, you have to look for this funky black building on Lonsdale Street. I hear it is cash only at this point(?).It’s amazing, Frugii only opened their doors at midday and before 8pm they had gone from 8 types of cakes/dessert down to one and then quickly none.
I wish John and Ed the very best and they will definitely be seeing me more often!
Venue: Frugii Dessert Laboratory
Address: 30 Lonsdale St Braddon, ACT 2612
Phone: 0438 366 368
Opening hours: Wednesday – Sunday 12pm – 11pm
I wasn’t sure that Ben & Jerry’s would still be open by the time we’d get there but the kind girl behind the counter said that although she was just about to close, we could still order something. The limiting time factor didn’t help the fact that I wanted to try different flavours before committing to just one.With 21 flavours I had to narrow it down to one. Let the taste testing begin! I tried Scotchy scotch scotch, a limited edition flavour that had lots of butterscotch in it, it wasn’t the greatest flavour but that meant I could cross that off my list. Couch potato was meant to be vanilla ice cream with a salty caramel swirl and chocolatey covered potato chip clusters but I didn’t really get any chocolate covered chips in my sample so it was hard to judge but yet again, underwhelming. I also tried strawberry cheesecake and I was sort of a fan but TimmyC wanted something a little sweeter.
My other friend was at least a little more decisive, he just likes chocolate. Considering there weren’t many options, it made his choice a little easier and just for that extra bit of indulgence he got it in a cone covered in chocolate sprinkles. I was a bit skeptical about when these were made but when I tried some of the cone it wasn’t stale at all and was actually pretty good (1 scoop in a dipped cone $7.30).Cup prices: 1 scoop ($5.50), 2 scoops ($7.20) and 3 scoops ($9.20).All the ‘dipped cone’ choices.
I love the lights they have around their little designated seating area that looks like an electronic milking station.I broke my cardinal sin of ‘try before you buy’ especially when it comes to ice creams because you don’t know how the ice cream is stored/what the flavour will actually taste like (we have had too many ice creams that have had ‘hairy’ icicle textures), but after my fourth sample and not being any closer to choosing a flavour and already delaying the girl from closing up, I just chose the next flavour that caught my eye – triple caramel chunk (caramel ice cream with a swirl of caramel and chocolatey covered caramel chunks). We also ended up choosing vanilla, a simple traditional bench mark to compare ice creams between brands. Both were very good and if the caramel became too sweet, you could always go back to vanilla, it was a good combination of flavours.Ben & Jerry’s is located just to the right of Hoyts cinema in Woden. I’m guessing last scoops are around 9:30 when the final sessions go in but we were lucky enough to squeeze through just after that.Can’t get enough? Take a tub back home with you.
I would recommend getting a taste tester of your top three preferred ice creams and don’t just choose based on description alone.
Venue: Ben & Jerry’s
Address: Bradley St, Westfield Shopping Centre, Woden ACT 2606 (next to Hoyts)
Phone: (02) 62235314