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

Yummy Chinese BBQ re-run

I haven’t been back to Yummy Chinese BBQ since it just opened but with the cooler weather setting in, my friends and I wanted to warm ourselves with hot food over some hot coals. See my first post here.

Things have changed slightly since my last visit; there is no more steam boat, the small hot plates that sat in the charcoal chamber have been replaced with big gas hot plates which means more room to cook chicken wings and there is no more confusing iPad to order things from.

Yummy Chinese BBQ offers you ‘all you can eat’ from a range of skewers and raw meat that you cook yourselves and a buffet of hot Chinese food for those who can’t wait for the food to be cooked.

$36.00 per person all you can eat and $3.00 for unlimited orange juice and Coca Cola.
Skewers on offer include prawns, smoky lamb, beef and caramelised pork. We were not constrained with a time limit which was good because the coals took a while to arrive and we didn’t mind sitting outside because it meant it was less smoky. The food choice might seem a little odd to some because it is more ‘traditional’ Chinese food (that night’s buffet selection included pipis, fish in a chilli sauce, chicken feet and sesame balls filled with red bean) but it is a fun and different way to dine with friends.

We were done eating just under two hours and I basically just ate my weight in chicken wings.
Yummy Chinese BBQ Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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

Lonsdale Street Eatery

My friends wanted to eat something meaty and this was one of the first places that I thought of. I’ve been meaning to go to Lonsdale Street Eatery and try their real American wood smoked BBQ, their menu states: “our meat and fish is slow cooked using white oak in our Old Hickory Pit, custom made in Missouri, USA”.

Here is their menu, there are so many things to try. What would you have chosen?2015/01/img_7894.jpgNo one ordered a salad but at least there was the option.2015/01/img_7893.jpgIt is a ‘order and pay at the counter’ type of situation which is convenient for the establishment but my friend who ordered a ‘platter for two’ two people ahead of me, received her food while I was still ordering at the counter! Sure everything has been slow cooked for hours and ready to serve, but that serving time is ridiculous!

Their table numbers are hard to miss2015/01/img_7902.jpgPlatter for two brisket, pulled pork, 2 ribs, slaw, fries and dill pickles ($39.00). I cannot believe how fast this came out! The reason why I didn’t want to share in this platter was because I’m constantly being disappointed with brisket and pulled pork and I’d rather eat other things.2015/01/img_7906.jpgLots of condiments, some on the table and more at the counter. Be carefull one of them is vinegar!2015/01/img_7907.jpgI might have gotten a bit crazy, all this food was just for me.2015/01/img_7915.jpgI have a confession, I got greedy and I didn’t want to share; I ordered a lot of food that was very filling. I didn’t finish everything but I made a fair dent.2015/01/img_7920.jpgRoyal with cheese, 150g hand ground beef patty served in our custom made buns ($14.00). I must say that this was a really good burger despite having pickles, which I did eat for two bites before discarding. It tastes more like an American Burger with the type of cheese, sauce and pickles. The bun was really nice but I discarded the top, if I had to give myself a chance to eat other things like mac ‘n’ cheese, chips and ribs, something had to give. The patty was really juicy and delicious.2015/01/img_7917.jpgMac ‘n’ Cheese ($4.50). This wasn’t what I was expecting. It tasted more like the pasta was mixed through with a bechamel sauce rather than a strong cheesy taste. I was slightly disappointed and I probably wouldn’t order this again.2015/01/img_7916.jpg5 hour smoked pork ribs (3 pieces $15.00). Ribs are always expensive but upon reflection this was rather more pricey than your average smoked meats eatery. The ribs were cooked very well, they were super tender and had a great smokey taste.2015/01/img_7913.jpg“Lonsdale Fried Chicken” chicken tenders, chilli mayo ($8.00). I did share one dish with a friend, I probably didn’t need it but I wanted to taste it. They were nice and crispy but I wish there was more lime for a tangy flavour.2015/01/img_7910.jpgI love the cute little terrarium and the variety of different seating around the place.2015/01/img_7895.jpgMy advice would be to not listen to your greedy inner self. I really wanted to try dessert but there was no way I was going to fit that in. It was a risk ordering a burger when they specialize in American BBQ but it paid off, I get hungry every time I look at that burger. I look forward to coming here again, the atmosphere is laid back and it is also family friendly. It is BYO pretty good if you have a particular beer or cider that you want to wash all this meaty goodness down.

Casual relaxed atmosphere, if it wasn’t so cold that night, we would have sat out here.2015/01/img_7898.jpg

Venue: Lonsdale Street Eatery

Address: 23 Lonsdale Street, Braddon

Phone: (02) 6247 9882

Opening hours:

Monday – Wednesday 6am – 4pm

Thursday – Saturday 6am – 9.30pm

Sunday 7am – 7pm

Websitehttp://lonsdalestreetroasters.com/eatery/
Lonsdale Street Roasters 23 on Urbanspoon

Chinese Kitchen Dumpling House

It is very rare that I get a chance to meet up with TimmyC for lunch during the work week but we made a date and I suggested dumplings (outside of a Tuesday!), I used this opportunity to meet him at the Chinese Kitchen Dumpling House as we have not been since their renovation.

I was running a little late as every man and his dog decided to also go to Woden Westfield and circulate around the car park during Friday lunch time. TimmyC chose a table on the outside which I preferred for photo lighting reasons, the inside decor looked very ‘old world Chinese’ but a little dark, crowded and noisy.IMG_6704.JPGThe wait for service didn’t take long (it probably took longer to decide what to order) and after we ordered, drinks promptly followed. The first serving timing was super fast! Our rice with two BBQed meats was the first to arrive. It would have been annoying if two people who weren’t sharing the meal received their meals with such a time difference (we had almost finished the rice before the first set of dumplings came out), but we did request that whatever food was ready for it to come out ASAP. IMG_6703.JPGTwo mixed BBQ plate with rice (Roast Pork and BBQ duck). I like this combination as it allows you to pick your favourite two BBQed meats accompanied with rice and some vegetables. I love eating the rice with the sweet soy sauce that usually comes with BBQed meats. I really liked their BBQed duck, after all Chinese Kitchen has been doing this for years so I knew they had their skills down pat, it was just a bit disappointing that the roast pork pieces are chopped so small, I don’t know if it is to give the illusion to make it look like more.IMG_6709.JPGPan fried pork and chives dumplings (15 pieces $13.80). I knew the dumplings would be small so I had no qualms that we couldn’t finish it between the both of us. They came out super hot which was not great for my over enthusiastic mouth. I really liked their crispy pan-fried bottoms but I think I prefer my dumplings to be bigger.IMG_6714.JPGShang Hai steamed pork bun (10 pieces $14.80). The steamed pork buns were not perfect but definitely in the top few that I’ve had in Canberra. It also came out very hot but because there is a little ‘soup’ that develops inside it, it probably burns you even more. The meat filling tasted okay although I think you could never go wrong with pork. I had to ask for soy sauce and vinegar which confused me a little as it is essential to dumpling eating, although I was disappointed when the vinegar had the colour of Apple cider vinegar when it should look red, so I stuck with the soy sauce for my dipping. I also would have preferred a Chinese spoon to eat these properly.IMG_6712.JPGThe trick is to nibble an air hole to allow the dumpling to cool a little before consumption but all without losing the essential ‘soup’ inside, hence why a Chinese spoon would have been handy.IMG_6715.JPGI didn’t get to try much from the menu but I tried the essentials: bbqed meats which was always their specialty before the refurbishment and also their dumplings which is something new to them and they have concentrated more on after finding the demand was high in Canberra. I thought the service was fast and attentive before we received all our food, but if you wanted anything else after that (like sauce or spoons), you really had to wave your arm off before someone would come and attend to you.

Venue: Chinese Kitchen Dumpling House

Address: Corinna St Woden, ACT

Phone: 02 6260 4888

Chinese Kitchen Dumpling House on Urbanspoon

Out with the Italian, in with the Brazilian

After a longer than I would have liked bus ride into Canberra last night, Timmy whisked me off to have one of my comfort foods as my welcome back into the cold rainy city.

As I sat at Jimmy’s waiting for my 1kg+ mud crab with ginger and shallots to arrive, I remembered that a little birdy from work told me that Zeffers in Dickson was closing down (still open in Belconnen) making way for a new Brazilian BBQ place. When I was done clearing the whole plate of crab and noodles, I had to walk past and check for any signage/promise to see if this rumour was true.

Brazilian style BBQ had been a trend in Sydney and Wollongong a few years ago, glad to see Canberra is catching up with the times. image

The Copa Brazilian Churrasco brings the mouth-watering BBQ style cooking techniques of Brazil to Canberra. Experience the excitement and theatre of food cooked over an open fire as freshly barbequed sword-length skewers are carved straight onto your plate. There is no need for menus, you simply take your seat, relax and our servers will take care of the rest”.

So what are you all doing on the 8th of May? image

Copa on Urbanspoon

Soulfood Kitchen

I sit here with my dress belt undone after a satisfying meal at the very new restaurant Soulfood Kitchen. Not only was I excited that an authentic Southern American restaurant was opening but it was located SOUTHSIDE!

Located at Erindale shops (around the the side near Pizza Capers), Soulfood Kitchen had very recently opened its doors to provide comfort food and flavours from New Orleans.

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Currently BYOB while they are obtaining their license, this laid back atmosphere dining has only limited seating so I would suggest you book. You order and pay at the counter and because we went early-ish and it wasn’t too busy (yet), the food came out rather quickly.

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Going with a true Louisianian, she knew to order extra BBQ and hot sauce and a whoooole lotta napkins!

Soul Food Sampler get the platter loaded with goodies- smokin’ ribs, crab cakes, buffalo wings, bourbon street oysters ($42.00) – My eyes lit up and I didn’t know where to begin on the plate! They say this platter is ideally for two people and allows you to try a range of snacks.

Crab cakes – golden crispy crab cakes with a simple salsa went very well with the accompanying sauce.

Buffalo wings – Yum! Very addictive and slightly spicy, they made me do my happy clap.

Bourbon street oysters – You couldn’t tell that these were oysters, I guess the batter took away most of the texture and natural taste. Even if you don’t usually eat oysters, I’d give these a go!

Smokin’ ribs – These impressed everyone without fail, maybe I’ll order just a plate of these next time. *licks lips*image

A close up of the very tender, succulent and delicious BBQ smoked ribs that fell off the bone and their spicy hot wings.

Barbecue Pork Po’Boy made with fresh French bread, dressed with lettuce, tomato, homemade garlic mayo and Louisiana hot sauce ($16.00). I really enjoyed the pulled pork with the BBQ sauce and the coleslaw but I felt the bread was too thick and slightly stale, but nothing that ditching the bun didn’t fix.

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Gumbo (shrimp, chicken and sausage)the most famous dish in Louisiana is Gumbo, meaning “all together”. Hearty and full of flavour served with a stack of rice ($21.00). I had just a spoon of this but I could taste the great smokey flavour in the sausage and the gumbo. image

Southern extras~

Macaroni and cheese ($8.00) – I couldn’t help but spontaneously order a side when I got to the counter, it wasn’t the best mac and cheese I’ve had but it would have been better if it was served piping hot rather than luke warm.

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Desserts~

I thought the prices for a slice of cake/pie was a bit high but I was willing to pay because you can’t get authentic Southern American sweets anywhere else in Canberra.


Key lime cheese cake ($10.00) – I’ve always heard about key limes but had never tasted one. Even though it says cheesecake, this cake had a delicate, very smooth mousse texture and was very light and refreshing with the zest of the limes.

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Pecan Pie ($10.00) – I thought this was going to be super sweet and I’m not the biggest ‘nut fan’ but this was delicious and I would definitely order this again. Convince someone else to have dessert and get one of everything!

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Victor the owner (and USA celebrity chef who recently featured on SBS Food safari) came out of the kitchen several times during the night to have some fun and chat with his customers. They have live Blues music the first Friday of every month, Victor wanted his restaurant to be just like in New Orleans where there was music, laughing customers and kids running around. He was very grateful to his kitchen staff, front of house, the band and the patrons and even showed off his musical talents.

Despite being only opened for the fourth night and encountering internet problems, phone problems and power outages, Soulfood Kitchen showed us nothing but a good time and authentic comfort food made with love and soul and hopefully can only get better when it is well established.

They have dine in and take away which is really dangerous, like I need a restaurant close by serving delicious ribs that I can take away . image

Apparently they only do takeaways between 3-6pm

Venue: Soulfood Kitchen

Address: Shop 8, 38 Gartside street, Wanniassa, ACT 2903

Phone: (02) 6231 2568

Website: www.soulfoodkitchen.com.au

Soulfood Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Smoque ‘n hot

——-25/10/2012——-

Smoque must be a new restaurant in Canberra because it is packed and everyone wants in. There are three seating times for dinner: 5pm (who eats at 5?!), 7:30pm and 9pm. My friends and I squeezed into the 7:30pm session and the place was completely booked out.

It is a very much ‘help yourselves’ type of dining. You have to order at the counter, grab your own cutlery and napkins and order your drinks at the bar, but with such a busy restaurant and not so great staff, it is probably faster to order and get things yourself.

p.s. I love the carved pumpkin they have at the counter.

So many things to choose from, where to begin?

Ultimate Burgerbrisket, pork, cheddar, coleslaw, jalapeno & bacon ($19.90). My friend said that it was a really nice sandwich, this is what I want to try next! 

Smoque Ultimate – pulled pork, pork ribs, brisket, beef rib, ½ Chicken, 12 wings & 3 sides (options: three cheese mac n cheese, hand cut fries with house seasoning, red cabbage coleslaw, potato salad or Mexican street corn) serves 1-6 ($99.00). We ordered two of these because there were 8 of us and it fed us pretty well. They had sold out of mac and cheese so we chose a variety of the remaining sides, nothing special although I did enjoy the fries and potato salad. 

There was also corn bread and pickles on the platter, the bread was really dry and crumbly, I didn’t bother with either of them.

Pork ribs– they had a great salt rub on them and the meat was really tender.

Brisket– disappointing in comparison, a bit dry.

Pulled pork– it wasn’t overly great but it tasted better with the BBQ sauce that they had on the table but I wasn’t going to waste precious stomach space. It probably would be nice in a sandwich with some cheese.

Beef rib– these were huge! We were trying to cut the ribs into smaller portions, the meat was so tender that the bones didn’t even hold on.

½ Chicken– nice and moist.

12 Wings– I have a soft spot for wings so my delicious opinion might be slightly biased. I ordered all of the wings to be ‘regular’ because I didn’t want to risk accidentally eating a ‘suicidal’ one.

EEEP! I didn’t realise that I had forgotten to take a photo of the buffalo wings, my stomach must have acted before my photo fingers.   All I can tell you was that they were finger licking delicious. 

Not my idea but we also got two salads: 

The Woodstock – lentils, green beans, beetroot, rocket, feta cheese, green olives and coriander vinaigrette ($11.90).

Traditional Chop Salad – cos lettuce, red onion, tomato, cucumber, red capsicum, 

egg and ranch dressing ($11.90).

THEY SHIP!

The Smoque ultimate platter allows you to try a lot of the menu items so you can order your favourites next time. I’m still a little disappointed that I didn’t get mac and cheese but I also want to go back to have a ‘sandwich’. Yum Yum!   Warning: not a great first date type of meal, I had sauce all over my face. 

Venue: Smoque

Address: 2, 131 London cct, Canberra, city, ACT 2600

Phone: (02) 6162 3350

Smoque on Urbanspoon

Cook your own at Tosung Charcoal BBQ

——-20/04/2012——-

After searching for this restaurant and doing a big loop around the block before we realised Tosung Charcoal Restaurant was across the road from where we first started, we were hungry and ready to eat! I have always been a fan of Korean BBQs and don’t mind the smokey BBQ smell that lingers in your clothes and hair afterwards.

Each table is fitted with a BBQ and exhaust fan.

We are all ready to go!

It was almost like being in a foreign country when they placed complimentary sides  for us and we didn’t ask what they were and instead we just hesitantly tried them all.

Starting from top left: shallot pancake(?)- it was cold and not that great, onions in a brown sauce– it had a raw texture but it didn’t taste raw, potato salad with apple (no photo)- so delicious! Just like how my grandma used to make it; a salad with a mystery pink sauce– the sauce had a really subtle faint hint of sweetness before really quickly leaving your mouth with no taste, how odd; a variety of sauces (no photo) and of course the national dish, Kimchi (no photo) which was really spicy.

Pan fried dumplings Gun Ma Du 5 pcs ($10.00) Delicious but really expensive for what it is.

Duck salad ($17.00) the duck tasted like a cured ham and the salad was covered in a really strong sauce but I couldn’t put my finger on what the flavour was. Definitely not worth $17.00 though.

Let’s start cooking! I ordered pork ribs, marinated chicken with teriyaki sauce and thin beef skirt. I was really disappointed that they didn’t have chicken wings on the menu (not very Korean I know) but it is one of my favourite things to eat.

Pork ribs ($19.00) the nicest meat we ordered.

Marinated chicken with teriyaki sauce ($19.00) I must have been doing it really wrong if the waitress had to come up after giggling and take the blunt scissors away from me after I attempted to desperately try to cut up the fatty chicken breast. She cut the chicken into smaller portions but it was still really fatty.

and thin beef skirt ($23.00) this was really fatty which I usually wouldn’t mind but not if half of the strip is solid fat.

The meats seemed a little bland even after dousing them with the random sauces provided.

Just in case cooking ourselves didn’t really work out I ordered marinated BBQ beef (So Bul Go Gi-$14.00) and rice. I had to get the rice topped up several times otherwise my friends wouldn’t get any. 

The staff were really attentive and I do like how they have a buzzer at every table to ask for staff but their English isn’t very good and they struggled to respond when I asked them something about the dish.

My friends and I might have failed at the cooking part and not really knowing what to do with the sauces didn’t really help either, but I wouldn’t come back here even with a Korean explaining everything to me. I found the meats poor quality, not much flavour in the food and everything was crazily overpriced. It came to around $35.00 per person and I left feeling really hungry still- disappointing.

Venue: Tosung Charcoal BBQ

Address: 15 Flinders Way, Griffith ACT 2603

Phone: (02) 6295 2627

Tosung Charcoal BBQ on Urbanspoon