Lokma Turkish cuisine

I asked my friend if we could grab take away from her local shops at Casey Market town, which seemed to be forever expanding. Lokma is one of Casey’s newest eateries and when we arrived Friday afternoon to grab take away, we saw ten staff members zooming around so we were not the only ones with the same idea.

I couldn’t fit all staff members in one shot as they kept running around because it was so busy, it was impressive to watch!Banquet (minimum 2 people $22.00 pp) dips, zucchini fritters, borek, pide, chicken skewers, kofte, rice, salad, bread and baklava (not pictured). I was really surprised that we were able to choose any three small dips with our banquet for three people; we chose hummus, beetroot and carrot. Sweet chilli chicken pide marinated chicken with mixed vegetables and sweet chilli sauce ($4.00 extra). We paid a little extra for our pide as it was one of the more expensive ones but we didn’t realise this until we went to pay. I’ve never had a pide with sweet chilli sauce so I thought it was unusual, I think I’ll order a more traditional filling next time. The pide was massive! We weren’t even close to finishing all the food but it was expected as no one I know has ever left hungry from a Turkish banquet. I thought the grilled meats were better at Sultan’s in Gungahlin but I was astounded and impressed with the value for money for the vast variety of food you get, which can be enjoyed in the comfort of your own home (or a friend’s!).

It was so busy that night that our order took over 30 minutes to prepare but we just strolled around to check out the other stores. Despite looking like chaos, our order had everything packed and ready to go when our name was called. I would like to go back to try their kebabs and snack packs as they were very generous with their fillings and toppings.

 

Venue: Lokma Turkish Cuisine

Address: Casey Market Town, Shop 2A, 15 Kingsland Parade

Phone: (02) 62595267

Opening times:

Monday – Thursday and Sunday 9am – 9pm

Friday – Saturday 9am – 10pm

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2 Yummy BBQ noodle house

Four foodies met up a month ago to have dinner; Michelle the foodie from HerCanberra, The Food Avenue, Food Porn Journal and myself. Where others would talk about world events, pointless gossip and the weather, it was no surprise that we just talked about food. Even after we ate dinner where we ordered so much that all the dishes took up every inch of the table and everyone but me said they were super full, we were still talking about food, especially what we were going to eat next.
Michelle had been to 2 Yummy twice before to do a suckling pig banquet. Yes you read that right, a suckling pig made into 6 courses that can have to share with at least 9 other friends. That was definitely the next place we were going to go. Fast forward a month, lots of messages and keen friends later, we had booked a table for 14 people, one suckling pig pre-ordered with a $50 deposit paid and a karaoke room booked next door to continue the fun all night long.

This is the menu of all the dishes that one suckling pig turns into.  Some of us made a face of doubt when we were presented with the suckling pig, how will this small pig feed all fourteen of us?First up were suckling pig pancakes. This is usually served with duck but the crispiness of the skin provided a perfect candidate for substitution. I would have preferred more meat underneath the skin but I assumed it was being used in another dish.

There were two servings on either side of the table and there were enough for two pancakes per person. Yum!Start with a pancake, smear on some hoisin sauce, choose a nice piece of meat and a slice of cucumber and you’re ready to roll.Next up was suckling pig with jelly fish. This is how Chinese people usually have suckling pig so my eyes lit up. For those who haven’t eaten jelly fish before, it is cold, chewy with a texture unlike anything else; it usually also has a bit of spice to it. Add a bit more of hoisin sauce and you’ve got an awesome mouthful between the chilli of the jelly fish, the crunch and fat from the pig and some sweetness from the sauce. There’s a bit of meat under the skin and this would have been ideal for the pancakes.   Deep fried suckling pig meat with lemon grass flavour. The courses had been staggered until now, once the two ‘entree’ portions were served, the rest of the banquet just flowed out from the kitchen and I found it very hard to keep up because I am a slow eater/was taking photos. This was deep fried but not oily, the lettuce served underneath it paired perfectly well to give a refreshing watery crunchy with the deep fried meat. It reminded me of peking steak with subtle hints of lemongrass.Stir fried suckling pig meat with house special sauce. The odd thing about this dish was the broccoli was stone cold and obviously pre-prepared around the plate while the meat was extremely hot (in both senses). I didn’t expect that the dish would be so chilli hot and it took me by surprise when I ate some and then I shoveled a lot more rice into my mouth. It was still tasty I just wish I had some warning.Suckling pig meat cooked with bean curd in a hot pot. It didn’t exactly come out in a hot pot but everything retained its heat really well still. Despite being a huge meat eater, I really enjoy bean curd and I found this particularly delicious because it soaked up all the sauce from this dish. I ate more of this than the suckling pig meat (but I guess I am also having pig in every other dish). Stir fried suckling pig with handmade noodle in OX sauce. This was one of the dishes that I was looking forward to the most. I love handmade noodles and I love suckling pig so this was a winning combination, but I found it one of the most oddest dishes I have ever eaten. The texture and the taste of the noodles reminded me more of pasta than noodles. OX sauce has a strong and distinctive taste that I didn’t feel that this dish had. Overall it was more bland in comparison to other dishes, so I ended up piling other dishes and sauces on top and mixed it through to help it a little.With 14 people at the table, I was the last one eating. I wasn’t crazy full like everyone else when I  stopped eating, I just got bored eating the few dishes were left. So basically if you’re anyone else you’ll leave being very satisfied and regretting your last two mouth fulls because it pushed you over the edge.

Despite having four more people that we needed for the banquet minimum, there was plenty of food to go around and it was all delicious and diverse. I would easily grab another 9 people and do it all over again very soon.

Venue: 2 Yummy BBQ noodle house

Address: 3/114 Emu bank, Belconnen ACT 2617

Suckling pig banquet: $40.00 pp, you need to order a head and pay a $50 deposit and a minimum of 10 people to participate

Phone: 0262516622

Kusina banquet

Organising a ‘kids dinner’ where we were all food enthusiasts was challenging when we are all so busy, live in different areas and we wanted to go somewhere we haven’t been before. I had narrowed it down to a few options but Kusina won because a) I promised I’d go with Dan the first time that I went (the second time is close enough right?) b) it is an interesting cuisine c) it has an easy location to find parking and get to for all of us.

When I called to book they insisted we pre-ordered a banquet due to the size of the group and to give the kitchen a heads up. Considering we had to choose one banquet that pleased everyone before meeting up in less than 48hrs proved to be difficult, thank goodness for email/sms/smartphones these days where everyone was able to get back to me ASAP.

Sharing menu two $38.00 per person (good for 8 people and above). They gave us two of every dish and one of every entrée to try between the 10 of us which was nice and meant that we really got to try everything that they had to offer.

Entrees~

Pritong Manok crispy chicken wings, banana ketchup mayonnaise. I’ve had these before, they sounds better than they taste because it’s just a chicken wing with not so special dipping sauce.

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Garlic rice/steamed rice- I couldn’t tell this had any garlic in it at all which is a shame because it is one of the few reasons why I chose this banquet. Yes, rice is a big factor to me.

Lumpiang Sariwa fresh spring roll, crepe wrapper, stir fried vegetables. A simple vegetable stir fry to break up the loads of meat yet to come but the crepe wrapper tore easily and made it hard to eat.

Inihaw na baboy/manok pork or chicken skewers, garlic, chilli, palm vinegar.Lovely marinated meat.

Mango milkshake (not included in the banquet). Tasted like a very smooth blended mango lassi.

Bulalo beef broth, osso bucco, bok choy, spring onion – I didn’t realise that this was an entrée because it came out very late in the meal. Being an Asian I enjoy a consume soup with lots of ingredients but the actual broth itself was so salty and almost unbearable. The osso bucco was very tender and if you drained it away from the soup it was rather pleasant to eat.

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Mains~

Pansit Canton egg noodles, pork and vegetables – A favourite with the table as it had lots of crispy pork, which had fatty layer that would get stuck in your teeth. It didn’t have many noodles though.

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Adobong Manok marinated chicken, vinegar, soy, quail eggs. This had a salty marinade with tender succulent chicken but I’m not the biggest fan of quail eggs though.

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Inihaw na Baka beef sirloin, caramelised onions, lemon – I thought I would enjoy this as I love sirloin but the sauce that was on it was crazily vinegary and I could only eat a small piece with a LOT of rice. Suffice to say that I didn’t go back for seconds.

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Bicol Express braised pork, spicy coconut cream – A wonderful semi spicy fragrant curry with tender pork. Definitely one of my favourite dishes of the night.

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Ginisang Gulay stir fried cabbage, cauliflower, snow peas, red peppers – a simple refreshing break away from all the meat dishes. 

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And just when I thought that no more food could come out… 

Cameron Rebusado fried shrimp with garlic chilli sauce – I didn’t think it was particularly special and it could have been slightly more crisp.

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Inihaw na Isda baby snapper, spicy mango salsa – Ok, confession time. I didn’t fully read the banquet menu before I ordered, after seeing garlic rice, sirloin and pork I was convinced, so I was slightly surprised that a) more food came out and b) that they would serve a whole fish. The salsa was delicious and had a bit of a kick with what seemed like fresh mango (where did they get mango from during this time of year?). The fish itself was rather dry and very boney (where are the adult Asians when you need them?), this was one of the least touched dishes but I don’t know if that because we were all so full or because most people wouldn’t know how to eat fish with bones.

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Dessert~

Leche flan creme caramel, lemon ice cream. No individual serves (three flans between 5 people), but after all that food it was probably for the best. A not overly sweet creme caramel that tasted like it was made from evaporated milk (which I love), contrasted to the refreshing cool lemon sorbet.

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I was astounded by the pace of the meal, not long after nibbling on the chicken wings, the skewers came out, then the vegetarian pancakes, before I even finished the entrees the mains came rolling out- pork, beef, chicken, noodles, soup and just when you didn’t think any more food come out, then came the vegetables, prawns and a whole fish. Not a banquet for the faint hearted, it had stacks of food with a nice variety to please all palettes, obviously people will like some dishes more than others.