Of course it did

Of course it did…As soon as I left Canberra, all these exciting things open/happen.

1. Orexi– the new Greek restaurant inside the Hellenic club in Woden had a soft opening recently, so the restaurant shouldn’t be too far off from opening (or has? I can’t seem to see anything on their instagram account)

2. Eat Canberra is launching ‘Eat Canberra Food Tours’. This sounds pretty awesome and I can’t wait to see where the guides take people to showcase the best of Canberra’s dining scene

3. The Hungry Buddha is opening their Belconnen restaurant! They have a soft opening on the 20th but they have a great deal for all those who are interested in trying their new Belconnen venture at a discounted rate: enjoy dinner for two for $50 until 30 June 2017 (save $56!). To participate, purchase an opening special voucher here before the 31st October 2016: www.deals.thehungrybuddha.com.au

4. The Duxton is hoping to re-open its doors later this month to show off their newly renovated bar which will include a roof top terrace!

5. The Forage– 22nd October 2-7pm I’m missing out on the last one of the year ūüė¶ **update- due to bad weather The Forage has been postponed until 12th Nov 2016!

6. Molto down in Kingston foreshore are finally doing wood fired pizza again!

7. Another bar across the border has also recently seen renovations. The Tourist Hotel in Queanbeyan offer a number of specials across the week but they have ALL YOU CAN EAT bourbon rubbed chicken wings EVERY DAY for $15!!! This has my name written all over it and I left to go on holidays. ūüė¶ I will have to go ASAP when I get back

I’m home in time for- Lolo and Lola‘s next pop up dinner 16th Nov
I’m still waiting for- Oscy’s burger and charcoal and Le Bon Melange to open

I know I’m probably not going to get any sympathy for missing out but I hope you all enjoy what is on offer in Canberra while I’m away.

Eightysix

I know this is a big call to make because we aren’t even close to the end of the year but my meal at Eightysix¬†last week was definitely in the top 3¬†best meals I’ve had in Canberra this year. What was even better was that it was only $86pp and I say ‘only’ because for this price, it was all we could eat… And so we did.

Duck bun with hoisin and hot sauce. This was a nice soft bun that had a nice meaty filling but I think the pickles overpowered everything. Whoever was running this station was very efficient as every time we ordered them they came out super fast. Gnocco fritto. This is like a deep-fried pastry topped with prosciutto but I found the pastry a bit too oily for me.Heirloom carrot, hummus, mint and almonds. Who knew I could enjoy carrots so much? This was a perfect pairing of flavours and with all the pasta and meat, it was good to have a salad somewhere in there. I love the sweetness from the cranberries, apples and carrots.Four cheese risotto with radicchio and balsamic. Man I love a cheesy good risotto, it was a shame I had to share.

Don’t be fooled by the camera angle, this was a really small serve. Order three!Pappardelle with parmesan and¬†local black truffle. I felt that the truffle didn’t¬†have as much of an effect because it wasn’t infused in anything. It was a nice simple pasta and the perfectly cooked egg yolk bursts to make a rich sauce.Pumpkin and¬†mascarpone tortellini with hazelnuts. This ladies and gentleman, was exquisite. I really do love things that involve a pumpkin parcel pasta with burnt butter sage combo and this has to be the BEST rendition I’ve ever had. Hands down! Before they change the menu you HAVE¬†to try this. The filling is silky smooth, the pasta thickness is perfect and the sage is super crispy.Rag pasta with lamb and rosemary ragu. I loved the sauce, the pasta, the whole thing. This was a very close second pasta choice for the table.¬†Ghetto beef with rocket and salsa verde. I had tried this before where the beef was really dry and the rocket leaves were limp, I couldn’t tell if this time was much better or I was just really hungry. Be aware that the beef is rather quite pink, one of my friends didn’t eat it which meant more for us!Whole lamb shoulder with sides. Wow! This was incredible! A wonderful lamb roast served with¬†chimichurri sauce¬†and a really smooth mash potato and jus. This was apparently a 1kg roast and we almost finished the whole thing.One of the downsides of being in a busy restaurant is the wait. Sometimes there was a 15-20 minute wait between dishes, which left us a little frustrated and hungry and in turn we ordered more food hoping that something would come to the table soon. Despite ordering so many things, we had very little wastage. I knew we were testing the time constraints of our sitting (2 hours) but we asked if we could have dessert with a hopeful look in our eye. The waiter checked to see if there was someone waiting for our table but he came back happy to report we could squeeze in our dessert first.

There was a little pause in the conversation when the waiter asked us what we wanted for dessert and¬†without hesitation while¬†not joking I replied ‘all of them’.Strawberry cheesecake. I loved the soft creamy textures with strawberries. I didn’t realise that there was granola at the bottom for the ‘base’ until I dug a little deeper but there was a strong saltiness to it that¬†I didn’t enjoy.

It might not look like much but I promise you there is a lot going on under that snow.Choc mint fudge sundae. If you love the choc mint combo then this is definitely for you, it was like an after dinner mint on the palette. There was a really good brownie somewhere in all that.Caramel popcorn sundae. I felt that the signature dish of the restaurant was¬†superseded by the other desserts. It is a nice combination but this wasn’t our favourite this time.Banoffee pie. That caramel wasn’t too sweet which meant that this wasn’t OTT. A great way to finish¬†the meal.Frozen margarita. The description didn’t give¬†much away but this tasted like lemon meringue. It was very delicate and was the pick of the desserts. You have to try this!Even though there was a wait from the kitchen, the front of house service was fantastic, efficient and attentive. I keep telling everyone about my experience and it excited me so much I pushed it up my backlog of posts to write about because I wanted you all to know about it too.

Venue: Eightysix

Address: Elouera St, Mode 3 Building, Braddon,ACT

Phone: (02) 6161 8686
Eightysix Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Yat Bun Tong re-run

I recently met up with a few fellow food bloggers (check out some of their awesome blogs here and here) for dinner at Yat Bun Tong (see my first post here). It is so nice to meet up with such like minded people and laugh about the same things we go through like- forever questioning ourselves of who is actually really ever reading our blog other than our number one fan (thanks for your support YummyLummy).

Serina from MsFrugralEars with her awesome mandarin skills took charge with ordering and conversing with the staff.¬†It was refreshing not having to look at the menu or having the responsibility on deciding the whole table’s meal, which is the default mode that my friends usually put me in.

Shanghai steamed bun (10 pieces $13.80). It is still no Din Tai Fung, but I guess it is unfair to compare. The dumpling wrapper is the Goldilocks of thickness, not too thin and not too thick, it was just right. I’m still not completely sold on the soup interior but am still happy to have it there. They don’t always remember to give you a spoon but please do request one for easier eating.¬†¬†¬†Shallot pancake ($7.80).¬†The pancake was crispy and flaky which reminded me of roti with flecks of shallot. I really enjoyed the texture but I think I would have liked more shallots and more salt throughout the pancake.Hot and sour soup ($5.80 per serve).¬†My eyes widened when they lowered this bowl on the table. It was enormous! I asked Serina ‘I thought you only ordered two serves?’, she responded with ‘I did’. The waitress explained that the chef wanted to give us more but would only charge for two serves. I loved that the soup was full of lots of ingredients and most of us easily had two bowls. If it was a tad (chilli) hotter and you added a few drops of chinese vinegar like you’re supposed to, it would have been perfect.I took a photo of the serving bowl next to my bowl so you could see how big it was.Shanghai pan fried pork buns (10 pieces $14.80). This was the one dish I was determined to order after seeing photos from Michelle’s instagram who in turn saw it from Wita (#contagiousfood). The buns were light and fluffy with a good meat filling and a little bit of soup inside. It reminded me very much of Sydney food, which says a lot. I would happily return just to eat these.The filling inside the buns.BBQ duck spring rolls (2 pieces $6.80). We were told that this was a popular menu item and I can see why. A crispy hot spring roll filled exclusively with delicious duck meat complimented by the hoisin dipping sauce. These would make a good starter, maybe I’ll order these next time before I sit down and even look at the menu.Fried handmade noodles with black pepper beef ($15.80). People were starting to get full but insearchofgoldenpudding and I wanted to try their handmade noodles. I really like black pepper beef but usually with rice, it felt odd eating them with noodles especially when I’m used to eating my noodles with pork and vegetables.¬†Some people might not like the fact that it came with no vegetables.

I really liked their handmade noodles, it wasn’t overly oily although it was a tad softer than I would usually have it.¬† I really like black pepper but even I ¬†thought it was borderline overwhelming, next time I might try their¬†handmade noodle with¬†seafood in X.O sauce.I had a much better experience at Yat Bun Tong this time around because of the selection of food. I will definitely be back to eat more pork buns and eat more noodles.
Yat Bun Tong Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Les Bistronomes Saturday degustations

I had seen on my Facebook feed that Les Bistronomes was doing a 5 course degustation for only $50.00 per person on Saturdays and I promised my stomach that we would go. And so we went.

Complimentary bread and butter.5 course degustation ($50.00 per person)

Escargot and¬†pork rillettes. Quintessentially French. The escargot was in an intense herb and garlic sauce, which was easy to dig out from the shell. I really enjoyed the rillettes as the pickle gave the right amount of tang with the meat and the crouton was perfectly crunchy.Escargot anyone?Beetroot and goat curd. I found this visually stunning dish simple with a great balance of flavours. The goat curd itself wasn’t really strong and I liked how they used an array of coloured beets which were subtly sweet.Alternative dish¬†mushroom delight.¬†TimmyC dislikes beetroot and goat dairy products, so he requested an alternative dish for his¬†second course.¬†This was on the saltier side but very moreish and amazing if they had to just make something on the spot.Duck breast¬†with foie gras salad. This was a very light salad with good balance of acidity and salt. The foie gras was delicately shaved and¬†was enjoyed by everyone including me who doesn’t usually eat it.

Pork with nectarine. I was expecting a big piece of meat but the slices of pork were very tender and succulent. I did find the other edges of my portion were fatty and inedible but not everyone had that. The dressing was on the sweeter side but it paired nicely with the meat.

Cr√®me br√Ľl√©e. It is always a grand theatrical conversation stopper when Les Bistronomes serve up their cr√®me br√Ľl√©e complete with flames. The custard itself is cold but very smooth and silky. It is a generous serve to say the least, especially when you’re finishing off a degustation, but I managed to squeeze it all in *pats belly*.One just for me? I wasn’t feeling full at this point but I had a feeling I was about to be after this course.Over the 5 courses, it covered an array of meats and flavours while not being was overly heavy.¬†The degustation is a steal for $50 bucks especially when the cr√®me br√Ľl√©e alone is usually $16.00.

Venue: Les Bistronomes

Degustation details: Saturdays, 5 courses for $50.00, bookings recommended

Phone: (02) 6248 8119

Dimmi: yes, you can book through the app and earn points.

Yat Bun Tong

We were driving home from Sydney when I realise there was nothing but carrots, eggs and butter in my fridge, so I made plans to meet my friends in Braddon to try out the new dumpling restaurant Yat Bun Tong for dinner.

On a Sunday night without a booking at 7pm, we were very lucky to get a table for four without a reservation. The menus are huge  (and heavy) because of the diverse range of dishes and the accompanying photos. I had to be careful not to over order and there were a few dietary restrictions within the group.I was torn between ordering the Shanghai pan fried pork bun (10 for $14.80) or the Shanghai steamed bun (10 for $13.80) but because I know the pan fried pork buns can be filling, I went with the steamed dumplings so I could order more dishes instead.

I expected them to come out in a particular order but instead they came as they were ready and the gap between waiting times wasn’t that long. It was a struggle to fit everything on the table though as the plates are rather big.

Garlic chicken fried rice ($12.80). I wanted a more garlic flavour but it was nice enough as an accompaniment to the other dishes.Fried beef onion dumplings (15 for $12.80).¬†These weren’t¬†fabulous¬†but¬†still rather tasty and I preferred these over the steamed ones.Pan fried chive cakes (2 for $8.80). Not very flavoursome and definitely not worth ordering again.Shanghai steamed bun (10 for $13.80). There is a little soup inside each dumpling which stayed inside as the dumpling wrapper wasn’t too delicate. I didn’t love the taste of the dumpling though.Deep fried soft shell crab with spicy peppery salt ($19.80). I was surprised to see that this was a rather large serve. The batter was a tad too thick but there was plenty of delicious fried garlic, chilli and shallots.Chinese broccoli with garlic ($14.80). A simple tasty dish to break up the oily and¬†heaviness¬†from the other¬†dishes.Someone told me that¬†Yat Bun Tong have the same owners as¬†Chinese Kitchen Dumpling House in Woden.¬†It’s no Din Tai Fung but it is better than other dumpling places I have tried around town. I would like to come back and try the other dumplings like the¬†Shanghai pan fried pork bun¬†and also try their noodles which I hear is quite nice.

Venue: Yat Bun Tong

Address: 61/10-12 Lonsdale street, Braddon, ACT 2612

Phone: (02) 61520880
Yat Bun Tong Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Beef wellington at Les Bistronomes

I haven’t been back to Les Bistronomes since late last year but when our plan A of eating Mr. Papa’s new menu fell through, TimmyC was very quick to point out that I hadn’t taken him to eat beef wellington yet. So as we were eating our dessert from Peppercress, we proceeded to order our main at another restaurant on the other side of town, as true foodies do.Complimentary house bread served with ash butter. I liked the concept of a whole mini loaf served to the table but I didn’t like the execution, I crumbed EVERYWHERE. It was hard to cut with your normal table knife but a serrated knife would have just glided through this baby. The bread was delicious, the butter was incredible, and I was just messy.Apparently people don’t usually leave this much mess, I’m just special.They have gone all ‘home style’ with these plates.Entrees~

Charcuterie platter cured meats, salami and rillettes with bread ($24.00). This platter was much bigger than I remembered, I’m glad I only ordered one serve of the pork belly. I really enjoyed the mixture of cured meats served with bread and gherkins, although the hot sausage was not to everyone’s liking. For me personally it would have been nicer with fruit/cheese/more bread to break up the salty meat taste.Caramelised pork belly and warm celeriac and truffle veloute served with shaved apple and celeriac crisp ($22.00). This was much smaller than I expected for the price we paid, despite being very delicious. Luckily the platter was bigger than we expected or I would have started to get hangry before our mains were due to come out. The veloute made me almost want to lick the plate but I’m a lady so I ended up soaking up every last bit with bread instead.Mains to share ~ pre ordering is recommended

Boeuf en croute (beef wellington) mushroom duxelle and foie gras served with a side of your choice ($88.00 for two people 30 minutes cooking time). We had pre-ordered just one beef wellington when we made the reservation so that we could try other things, even though it is recommended for two people I think it suits 3-4 people so that everyone isn’t stuffed by the end of the mains and you get a bit of variety. Chips are the best thing to get as a side as it is hot, crispy and well seasoned and sometimes you just need that hit of salt between bites. I absolutely loved the jus and poured extra all over my serve.

It might not look like much but I think this baby can feed more than two people.

Look at it glisten when I add more jus.Ash crusted duck a l’orange style (whole duck) served with red cabbage, orange and pine nuts ($80.00 for two people 25 minutes cooking time). We were shown our¬†smoking ash encased duck before it was taken away to be cut in the kitchen; it was gone for a considerable amount of time before we were actually served the dish, so much so that I thought that they had given our duck away. I usually prefer ‘dark meat’ as I find breast can tend to be dry and disappointing, but because the duck was cooked whole and encased in ash, every part of it was moist and juicy. The meat had a combination of smoky duck flavours which paired perfectly with the sweet red cabbage and orange segments. It was hard to choose a favourite out of the two main dishes because both were amazing.

Excuse the blurry photo, I wanted to take one ASAP before it smoked out the whole room.When it is served, it has beautiful vibrant colours.Look at that juicy tender meat.Dessert~

Traditional apple tart tatin served with triple vanilla ice cream ($32.00 to share for 2 people allowing 40 minutes cooking time). This dessert is made from scratch and you would have to order it while ordering your meal. As delicious as the passionfruit souffl√© and the cr√®me brulee is, I’m glad that we didn’t order another dessert. It might sound expensive but it easily satisfied all four of us and shared between the four of us it came to only $8.00 a serve which is pretty decent. The apples were soft and sweet, the pastry was buttery and the caramelised sugar parts get stuck in your teeth, all in all a fabulous dessert.

I added the fork for scale, when you’ve eaten two courses already, this is enough to share between 3-4 people.It is so pretty with its shiny sticky sugar.I noticed some tables having a long wait time for their mains, but if you order an easy to share entree like the platter and you have good company, you wouldn’t generally notice the wait time. The restaurant started to get a little smoky towards the end with everyone’s ash encased mains being presented to them and the restaurant was closed up to keep the warmth in.

We left completely satisfied and happy as we had a good variety of delicious food. It did get a little salty towards the end and I had to prompt for more water as I was drinking so much, but I think I’ll have dreams about the tart tatin for months to come.¬†Don’t forget to use your Entertainment book for this one!

See you first two posts here and here.

Bowing to the Churros King

After posting about Oliver Brown and their churros, I got to talking to Lisa from blithemoments about churros in Canberra. There was one place that I have been meaning to try their churros and it is the only thing they serve so you would expect it to be good. The Churros King resides as a little cart amongst the Hamlet crew just inside the entrance way on the right. Their menu is simple: churros dipped in either chocolate or caramel sauce, 1 churro ($2.00) or 6 churros ($10.00).

I had just eaten a combination of roast pork roll with extra crackling and a souvlaki wrap and was looking for something a little sweet. It was the perfect time to try a churro (and someone was actually running the cart that night). TimmyC chose a chocolate dipped one; the only down side is that the sauce is really only on one end, fortunately the churro had a subtle sugar coating so even without the sauce it was still a little sweet. I like the star-shaped churros as opposed to the kit kat like bars from Oliver Brown for the crunchy texture. The batter is squirted straight into the deep fryer, fried until its crispy and then dipped into your choice of sauce. I like the ‘fresh and hot’ aspect but it did mean it was a tad oily. I definitely want to go back and try the caramel sauce.

Not the greatest photo in the world, but know that an impatient hungry boy was holding the churro and I was holding a pork roll in one hand and try to focus the camera with the other. 

Venue: Churros King

Address: The Hamlet, 16 Lonsdale Street, Braddon, Canberra, 2612

Hamlet opening hours:

Wednesday – Saturday 12:00pm | 9:00pm

Sunday 12:00pm | 3:00pm
Click to add a blog post for Churros King on Zomato

Marble and Grain

It was Monday night and although¬†Marble and Grain wasn’t my first/second/third or even my fourth¬†choice of places to eat, I had seen an influx of instagrammed photos recently and mainly because it was¬†open, that I asked my friends meet me there for dinner.When we walked in, I didn’t expect the premises to be so big but it expands over several shop fronts and it is a bar on one side and restaurant with a big open kitchen on the other. It is the restaurant for the 5 star Avenue Hotel and it proceeded to become quite busy over the duration we were there considering it was a Monday night.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†Complimentary bread and butter to start.Starters~

Truffle and parmesan arancini served with garlic mayo (5 for $10.00). These were delicious, the inside was cheesy (not that much truffle though), the outer coating was crispy and the sauce went really well with it.

 
Chorizo corn dogs with smokey tomato relish (4 for $9.00). I would have thought these would have been waaaay more cute if that had sticks piercing through them but I just stabbed my fork through them and dealt with it. The battered coating didn’t do much but the chorizo was full of flavour and made up for it and it definitely needed the tomato relish.
Entree~

Seared scallops cauliflower, water cress and smoked chorizo oil ($19.00). While I shared two smaller plates which were the price equivalent of this one entr√©e, the boys didn’t regret their choice at all and I barely sampled any of this dish but TimmyC did give me a bit of the scallops. It was naturally sweet, had a good sear and paired perfectly with the little pieces of chorizo that came with it.

 
Mains~

12hr braised beef short rib 500g smoked carrots, cavolo netro and herb jus ($35.00).I’ve had a really good short rib from Temporada and so I had high hopes for this dish, but I found that the sticky glaze felt like it coated the inside of my mouth and proceeded keep going down my throat. The meat itself was very tender and the puree helped to cut through that sticky feeling.¬†Despite being 500g, I found some of that dead weight to be in the big bone that was attached and I was still hungry after my main, lucky for me Timmy couldn’t finish his and I helped him out.

The Grill~ all served with paris mash, sautéed spinach, bone marrow and herb jus.

Scotch fillet grass fed 300g ($36.00). Although I have found Chifley’s has ruined me for steak at other restaurants, this was really nice and I found it to be the best tasting steak on the table; I probably ate just a little over half of TimmyC’s dish. I’m not the biggest fan of bone marrow, I find it too rich even for me, it is like eating really wobbly fat which I don’t mind on a steak if it is seared well.

Rib eye steak¬†special 500g ($40.00). My friend was really disappointed about the way his steak was cooked, although he wouldn’t let the wait staff know and just complained as he cut through pieces of his steak that was definitely cooked beyond rare as he had ordered.Sirloin steak Travale pasture fed angus 250g ($36.00). My other friend was also less than impressed with his steak, something between the taste of the meat and way it was cooked just couldn’t be compared to the steaks that we had a Chifley’s.Sides~

Roast sweet corn with bacon salt ($9.00). I know I am constantly disappointed with corn at restaurants but a juicy sweet corn goes so well¬†with so much meat. There was a slight delay with my corn and when I brought it up with my waitress, she said that she would check on it (it was probably forgotten). When she returned she said that she was sorry for the hold up and that the corn would be taken off the bill which I thought was really nice. The corn itself was sweet and was covered in a salt that I wouldn’t identify as bacon but was nice nonetheless.Desserts~

White chocolate brulee berries, basil and roasted hazelnuts ($14.00). TimmyC pushed his dessert forward and asked me and a friend to taste it, without hesitation I dug my spoon in tasted it and spat it out immediately. After confirmation that it wasn’t just TimmyC’s taste buds and that there was something definitely wrong with this dessert, I called the very polite waitress over and told her that this dessert was utterly salty. She made a puzzled face and was very apologetic, we suggested to get the chefs to taste and we all peered over from afar to see the chef’s reaction was similar to ours. They had mistakenly caramelised the top with salt rather than sugar, an easy mistake to do when comparing the ingredients but it had devastating effects in our mouths and I expected an establishment like this not to make that type of mistake. The waitress apologised a lot but we knew it wasn’t her fault personally, TimmyC was able to either wait for another brulee¬†to be made or choose another dessert and his dessert and coffee were taken off the bill.This looked like a ‘berry’ big mess, I later on found photos of other people’s brulee on Instagram it was plated out much nicer than this.

Banoffee cheesecake banana, chocolate shavings and dulce de leche ($14.00). After the debacle of his first dessert, TimmyC had tasted his friend’s dessert and decided that this would be his replacement dessert, although after it was given to him I pointed out that the first dessert had vanilla bean ice cream and his had mango which didn’t really tie in with his caramelised banana and dulce de leche. I called the waitress over again who was scared something else went wrong, I just told her about the flavours of ice cream and she said that it wouldn’t be a problem to give him vanilla bean ice cream and that it was rather delicious and he had to try it. The third plate of dessert was brought to him and TimmyC just wanted it to be good so he could just enjoy his dessert. The caramelised banana and looked beautiful and went very well with the ice cream and dulce de leche, but I found the cheesecake itself a bit bland and out-of-place. TimmyC really liked the pop rocks.

Dark chocolate tart chocolate mousse, honeycomb and vanilla bean gelato ($14.00).Petit fours¬†homemade delicacies ($8.00). After having one and a half meals, I thought I would be conservative and order the petit fours while also gauging TimmyC’s dessert if it wasn’t enough. Tonight’s petit fours consisted of a¬†chocolate bonbon it was dark chocolate and therefore was really intense and left a slightly bitter cocoa aftertaste in my mouth;¬†chocolate brownie this wasn’t decadent at all regardless of its small size, which I found as a refreshing surprise;¬†Turkish¬†delight I don’t usually like Turkish delight but I found myself eating most of this morsel and a¬†raspberry in chantilly cream mini tart I saved this for my last bite because of the fresh raspberry which I adore, berries pair perfectly with cream so it was a match made in heaven.What turned out to be a complimentary flat white coffee.

Despite the sour, or should I say salty note that the meal ended on, I didn’t love Marble and Grain because there wasn’t anything that made them unique. If you were doing things that were heavily on the meaty side, I expect it to be done really well. The service was wonderful and attentive, the mains are okay but the starters and entr√©e were the star of the night which only meant the rest of the night went down hill from there. It would probably be a nice place to go for after work drinks and nibbles.

Venue: Marble and Grain

Address: Avenue Hotel 25 Mort Street, Braddon, Canberra ACT 2606

Phone: 02 6246 9555

Opening hours:¬†Monday¬†‚Äď Sunday ¬†6:00AM ‚Äď 12:00AM

Website: www.marbleandgrain.com.au/
Marble & Grain on Urbanspoon

BurraBerkshires @ The Hamlet

Pulled pork¬†free range pork slow cooked with a light BBQ sauce with a blob of sour cream ($8.00 small).¬†This would probably surprise a lot of people that I chose this dish but when you’re at the Hamlet, you want to try as much as possible so a no/low carb option would pair nicely with let’s say… A huge hot dog from Brod Dogs and maybe also a papa from Mr. Papa. ūüôā (Yes YummyLummy, we also went to Frugii afterwards).

This is how much I nibbled until TimmyC finally came back with more food.IMG_9616At first I couldn’t decide what I wanted between the pulled pork and the pulled lamb but the lovely ladies from¬†BurraBerkshires told me that the pulled pork is better in their opinion which took the guess work out of deciding. There were a lot of sides and I thought we had to choose one to go with the meal but no, you get ALL of them!¬†That’s right; you get rice, citrus cous¬†cous, chick peas with grilled zucchini and feta, spinach and rocket salad and a summer salad.¬†They were all really good, I didn’t get bored because there was so much variety in one meal and yes that pork was very delicious and went well with all that sauce.

I, like everyone else didn’t read the sign properly. You get ALL of the sides which is good because they all sound fabulous and delicious. This is the menu, what would you have chosen?IMG_9612

IMG_9613A close up of the pulled pork. It was very tender, juicy and it just paired so well with sour cream.IMG_9615I was slightly embarrassed that while I was instamming (yes I have a problem), one of the ladies from inside the grass carpeted van came out and hand delivered my meal as I sat right outside at the closest table. I thought that was just a lovely touch and they seemed so friendly.

After looking around, I realised that¬†BurraBerkshires was the only one not selling things in a roll/bun/doughy pizza base/wrap. So if you’re looking for good food with variety or just something light and flavoursome to go with something else, I would definitely recommend coming here.

Venue: BurraBerkshires @ The Hamlet

Address: 16 Lonsdale Street, Braddon

Opening hours:

Tuesday – Sunday 12 – 2pm

Thursday – Saturday 6 – 8:30pm

BurraBerkshires on Urbanspoon

April’s caravan

I’m sure you have all heard of The Hamlet, heck I’m sure most of you have eaten at there as well (but if you haven’t you must go!). What I thought was the cutest addition between all the meat-a-licious food vans was April’s caravan, serving old school milkshakes and drinks in a funky retro pink caravan.2015/01/img_8785.jpgI love polka dots!2015/01/img_8786.jpgThe menu: what flavour of milkshake would you choose?2015/01/img_8789.jpgI love this old school coffee maker!2015/01/img_8787.jpgDeluxe shake Apple pie ($8.00). I was torn about what milkshake flavour to get between caramel and lime but the lovely girl who was serving me suggested I try a deluxe flavour when I can. Oh my! I could not go past an apple pie. My eyes lit up when I saw that they used Tilba milk. The milkshake had lovely notes of cinnamon and I loved the addition of a short bread biscuit.2015/01/img_8790.jpgA close up of my deluxe ‘Apple pie’ milkshake. I probably would have preferred some ice cream blended into it but you need a good drinks/sweets van when you’re surrounded by food trucks with lots of savoury options. They also have cans of soft drink for $2.50.2015/01/img_8796.jpgVenue: April’s Caravan

Address: @ The Hamlet 16 Lonsdale St Braddon, ACT

Facebook: www.facebook.com/aprils.caravan

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Eightysix

It has come to TimmyC’s and my attention that have not been to Eightysix for a full meal, dessert yes, supper yes, but not for a three course dinner and we had to rectify that immediately.IMG_6206.JPGWe were very impressed with all the timing, the Eightysix restaurant ran like a well oiled machine. Our reservation was for 6 pm, we¬†ordered two courses by 6:08pm, received both entrees by 6:20pm with a nice break in between, mains arrived by 6:40 and we were out the door¬†easily at 7:30pm despite my slow eating and also ordering two desserts.

We booked for the seats at the bar so we could watch the kitchen but towards the end of the night my bum was getting sore.IMG_6216.JPG

IMG_6238.JPGEntree~

Duck buns ($8.00 each). I love eating buns like this. The bun itself was steamed well but it wasn’t the fluffiest bun I’ve eaten. It had a little heat to it which really brought out the flavours of the duck and the cooling effects of the cucumber.IMG_6221.JPG

IMG_6219.JPGEl Loco hot dogs ($12.00 each). So it turned out that we paid $24 for some hot dogs. They were okay, nothing spectacular but I loved how the delicately shaved cheese basically melted in your mouth like a snow flake.IMG_6226.JPG

IMG_6228.JPGMains~

Bag salmon with house pickles ($36.00). I’ve never heard of ‘bag salmon’ but it was amazing and incredibly delicate. I’m used to salmon having a distinct taste but this tasted like a ‘white flesh fish’.¬†We really enjoyed the pickled vegetables and the sweet orange segments but I am not a fan of radish.IMG_6235.JPG

IMG_6233.JPGGhetto beef with salsa verde ($48.00).¬†The texture of the sear was noticeable in my mouth but the beef was slightly dry having been cut into pieces. Rocket and parmesan always go well together but I feel that there wasn’t anything particularly special about this dish and I was a little disappointed.IMG_6241.JPGThose lemon slices were so ridiculously juicy, my mouth is watering right now.IMG_6240.JPGDrinks~

Coke ($4.50). Nothing exciting, I just liked how they added the cute straw. TimmyC always insists that coke in a glass bottle tastes better. IMG_6237.JPGDessert~

Banoffee pie ($16.00). The caramel wasn’t overly sweet and almost over powered by the banana. I didn’t particularly like this dessert, I would have preferred one from Dobinsons.IMG_6248.JPGThey probably intended for the salt to bring out the sweeter flavours but I didn’t really like the pretzels.IMG_6251.JPGIMG_6247-0.JPGCheesecake ($15.00). It is a deconstructed cheesecake and I absolutely love the use of a crunchy granola as the cheesecake ‘base’. I thought the white chocolate snow¬†was a choking hazard if you inhaled too closely. A very unique take on a common dessert.IMG_6244.JPGNothing much to look at but it was a very delicious dessert.IMG_6245.JPGWhat is¬†becoming the ‘norm’ prices in Braddon is becoming ridiculous, there was one time I came here for supper and my friend and I shared a few pieces of fried chicken which ended up being $30. Looking back at the hot dogs, I didn’t expect to be paying so much for 2 tiny hot dogs (I can’t wait for Akiba to open and what it promises to deliver).

The vibe is always cheery at Eightysix, it is amazing to watch the kitchen work and the staff were very friendly, quirky and attentive.

Venue: Eightysix

Address: Elouera St, Mode 3 BuildingBraddon, ACT

Phone: 02 6161 8686

Eightysix on Urbanspoon

Les bistronomes re-run (yes already)

You know¬†it wasn‚Äôt that long since your last visit when all the wait staff recognise¬†you. I knew we should have worn fake moustaches and spoken in a Spanish accent! Truth be told, we couldn’t wait any longer to go back to¬†Les Bistronomes¬†(see my previous post here), when you promise your stomach something, it won‚Äôt forget until you‚Äôve satisfied the craving.

We were back to try their beef wellington and cr√®me br√Ľl√©e that we weren‚Äôt able to¬†order last time. When I rang to book the table, the manager said he was completely booked out and he could only give me seating outside. My mind casted my memory back to when I peered at¬†the patrons who sat outside last time, they¬†were barely lit¬†in the dim moon light and¬†with no heating. I was desperate‚Ķ I really¬†wanted that wellington so I reluctantly said yes. The manager mentioned he was going to put fairy lights outside so it wouldn’t look so dark and dreary but he advised to bring a jacket to keep warm. I stressed to him that we really wanted a beef wellington

When we were shown to our seats, my eyes widen and¬†I didn‚Äôt question it when we were shown to a table inside. It turns out that the electrician didn’t finish the job so the fairy lights stayed in their box. Deciding that he didn‚Äôt want anyone to sit outside until it was modified, the manager arranged for our table to be inside. How very nice of him.

Complimentary cute smoked tomato butter, I just wished that the bread was warmed.IMG_6031.JPGSoft Diabolo (strawberry $6.00). Ooops, I forgot to take a photo, it was served in a really cute mason jar with a handle. I was expecting something crazy sweet when the waitress said that this was a lemonade mixed with a strawberry syrup from France, but instead got something that tasted like soda water with a hint of strawberry flavour, when the waitress asked me if it was really sweet I knew something was wrong. The manager took my drink away and replaced it with a new one, the tap had run out of syrup and the new one was sweet alright, it reminded me of raspberry lemonade. Much better!

Entrees ($17.00)~

Escargot Et Fillet De Porc En Persillade garlic snails and pork loin with parsley cream. This isn’t the first time I’ve had snails so there was no hesitation on eating these but if you’ve never tried them before, the taste and texture remind me of a beef tortellini. The garlic puree is strong and has it definitely pierces the tongue. It went well with the parsley puree and snails. The pork loin is rolled in a leek ask giving it it’s interesting colour, the meat itself was really moist.IMG_6048.JPG

Salade Nicoise Nicoise salad: tuna, potato, french beans, olive, capsicum, egg. A little hard to share this dish but I got one of everything. I found this dish really disconnected, it seemed like I was eating separate ingredients and nothing really brought it together.IMG_6042.JPGGorgeous colour and presentation, it was just a salad that wasn’t for me.IMG_6041.JPGPlat Pour Deux/Mains for two served with one side dish of your choice($88.00)~¬†We chose¬†Frites as our side.

Filet De Boeuf En Croute Au Foie Gras Et Duxelle De Champignon¬†Beef Wellington, mushroom Duxelle, foie gras and red wine jus ‚ÄúPre-order only‚ÄĚ. It‚Äôs not French but I don‚Äôt care. This gorgeous golden brown parcel was brought to the table, photographed to death before being whisked away and cut into three pieces (usually shared between two people they were nice enough to cut it into thirds for us). My friends offered me the centre slice as I am a very big meat eater which meant I got less pastry but I didn‚Äôt mind. I tried the pastry which was golden, buttery and flakey. Next I tried the beef which was ridiculously moist and tender. I wanted to try elements of the dish before I poured over the gravy but oh my!! It was tasty before but with the red wine jus, it was perfection. We loved it so much that we asked for more to lather it onto our portions as well as dip our chips into it.¬†I‚Äôm not¬†usually a fan of foie gras but I couldn‚Äôt even tell it was in there with all the buttery, meaty goodness. My mouth is watering as I write this.IMG_6051.JPG

IMG_6052.JPGSorry, I got a bit carried away with the photography.IMG_6055.JPG

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IMG_6060.JPGOf course the light was fading when we were served the star of the meal, so my lovely friends helped with their phone flashlight.IMG_6062.JPG

IMG_6065.JPGGarnitures (side dishes $9.00)~ we chose the same sides as before

Petit Pois A La Francaise (French peas). The sweetness of the onions and the saltiness of the chunky bacon bits really compliment each other well.IMG_6056.JPGDesserts ($14.00)~

Cr√®me br√Ľl√©e A La Vanille¬†vanilla cr√®me br√Ľl√©e.¬†It is a big call but this is one of the best cr√®me br√Ľl√©es I‚Äôve ever had¬†even though it doesn‚Äôt the essential toffee hat that I like to¬†crack with my spoon. After all the dramatic flames subsided, we all took a spoonful. Utterly flawless with its varying contrasting textures between the chunky sugar crystals and the absolutely smooth cr√®me br√Ľl√©e. It wasn‚Äôt overly sweet or eggy, it was just ‚Äď perfect‚Ķ

Our dessert up in flames!IMG_6068.JPGGoing…IMG_6069.JPGGoing…IMG_6070.JPGAlmost going…IMG_6071.JPGGone!IMG_6073.JPGA perfect mouthful of dessert.IMG_6082.JPGCharlotte A La Fraise and Surea¬†strawberry and elder flower Charlotte. I really liked the combination of finely diced cucumber with strawberries, it has a really nice cooling effect. The flavours of this dessert are really light and refreshing. I love the variation of textures on this plate.IMG_6074.JPG

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IMG_6078.JPGWe got talking with the owner¬†Abel Bariller, formerly¬†the sommelier for Sage restaurant, he was very charming and informative. After the first few weeks of opening,¬†he said he has learnt a lot about running a business and it is a lot busier than he envisaged as he didn’t know the Braddon area well, he also added that¬†they are always learning and adjusting things as they are brought to their attention, which is nice. I hope they are here to stay because¬†I cannot wait to taste their Winter menu.

From my first visit, I wasn’t quite convinced that this was a spectacular restaurant with food that was worth returning for as the menu is quite limited but after tonight’s dinner I’m looking for people to go with to make another return trip even if it is just for brunch.

 

Les bistronomes

In a nutshell, Les bistronomes really disappointed us. Not with the food that we received, that was rather nice, it was because of what was not available from the menu that day.

It was my friend’s birthday and all she wanted¬†was the ‘beef Wellington for two’, she wouldn’t even have cared if she had to eat it all by herself, but between the delay of the convection oven and the huge prep behind the dish, beef Wellington won’t be available til next week. Also by the time we got to dessert, we were informed that they ran out of the creme brulee which had been catching our eye as they went past us all night. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO… ¬†>____<

Canberra’s behaviour is so predictable, new restaurants are always busy to see what all the fuss is about. I hope it is good!IMG_5887.JPGThere wasn’t much difference between the interior of Les Bistronomes and the previous Delissio Brasserie but there were a few subtle hints that reminded you of France.IMG_5888.JPGTo start we were served with some fresh bread (cold) with a smoked tomato butter. The butter was whipped well but the flavours of the tomato and salt were subtle.IMG_5886.JPGIMG_5889.JPGWe don’t usually drink but we were here to celebrate so a couple of us got a cocktail¬†that consisted of sparkling wine and grapefruit ($13.00).IMG_5898.JPGLes Amuses Gueules (pre-entrees to share)~

Huitres naturelles sauce mignonette (natural oysters $4.00 each). I haven’t had oysters in a long time and oh how I’ve missed them. The mignonette was interesting and vinegary but the lovely sea salty taste had the last say in my¬†mouth.IMG_5903.JPGIMG_5902.JPGEntrees ($17.00)~

Tartare De Boeuf (beef tartare). My Belgian friend was looking forward to this (despite it being her second choice) but when she tasted it she said it wasn’t how she prefers it. I tried a little and my first bite was over powered by parsley. My second bite had a¬†strong bite of hot mustard but lacked¬†the natural flavours of raw meat. We ate it with the hot fries and it gave it a good ‘chaser shot’ of salt. The top crunchy bits are beef tendon crisps.IMG_5907.JPGIMG_5908.JPGA close up of the beef tartare chopped up into little pieces.IMG_5921.JPGLes Plats (mains $36.00)~

Canard A L’Orange (orange duck, carrot and licorice, pickled red cabbage and pistachio). I loved the duck flavours from the meat but especially from the skin. I wasn’t expecting the terrine but it did add to dish and helped to fill me a little more.¬†The pickled cabbage was crazy sweet but it was addictive and went very well with the duck meat. The orange sauce wasn’t anywhere near as strong as the pickled red cabbage, but the orange segments were a happy surprise.¬†There was only a line of licorice so if you don’t like the flavour, don’t let it stop you from ordering this dish, but I really enjoyed it.IMG_5913.JPG

IMG_5917.JPGMmmm check out that duck skin.IMG_5916.JPGLe Poisson Du Jour (fish of the day) Salmon confit with broccoli, mussel and shrimp bisque. I loved the flavours of the bisque, the flavour was strong yet the texture was very light. Inside the Brussels sprout leaf enclosed something eggy (?) and tasted very lemony and very good. The salmon was really delicate and I was impressed at the size of it.IMG_5904.JPGGarnitures (side dishes $9.00)~

Frites (chips- just checked the bill, we were only charged $8). We had to ask several times for this¬†but when they finally arrived they were super hot and well salted. Seems really weird to pay this much for a bowl of chips but at least it was a decent size.IMG_5920.JPGPetit Pois A La Francaise (French peas). I really loved the soft onion with thick chunks of bacon. I am not a fan of peas but I think that night I ate more peas than all of my 29 years put together. It was recommended that this was a good side for my duck main dish.IMG_5912.JPGWe got talking with a waiter to suss out why beef Wellington weren’t available, why they were on the menu and more importantly, when would they be available! He explained that the chef had previously worked with Gordon Ramsay which inspired him to put it on the menu and that the beef Wellington will be available next week.¬†He found out that¬†it was a big¬†reason why we came and that it was my friend’s birthday. He was very generous and came back later to give us all very large¬†serves of a gorgeous dessert wine complimentary to make up for our disappointment.IMG_5924.JPGDesserts ($14.00)~

Mousse Au Chocolat Et Avocat (chocolate mousse and avocado).The textures varied between the light mousse, the delicate crispy cigar casing, avocado gel and the honeycomb chunks.¬†Avocado and chocolate might seem like an odd mix, but it isn’t too rich and after eating the chocolate, the avocado seems to take on a subtle green apple flavour.IMG_5932.JPGIMG_5929.JPGSouffle Au Fruit De La Passion (passionfruit souffle). The souffle was served in half a passionfruit shell, which to me was super cute but meant it was rather small. The souffle came with torn pieces of a soft bready sponge, a beautiful coconut cream¬†gelato¬†and a white chocolate sphere. Inside the white chocolate sphere was a spicy passionfruit surprise that proved to be very addictive between the three of us and we poured it all over.IMG_5928.JPGIMG_5940.JPGWhat’s a French restaurant without some fromage, unfortunately we had to go but I would like to try it next time we are here.IMG_5900.JPGThe staff were attentive, lovely to listen to (what a lovely accent) but from time to time it did get hard to decipher what they were saying, especially if they were speaking fast.

It is fair to say that we will be back to eat everything we couldn’t order from our first trip. It is a little on the expensive for small portions but maybe that’s why French Women Don’t Get Fat.

Venue: Les Bistronomes

Address: 36 Mort St Braddon, ACT

Phone: (02) 6248 8119 was written on the white board but I rang (02) 6298 1504 to make my reservation

Opening hours:

          Monday closed
¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Tuesday – Friday lunch 12:00pm – 2:30pm dinner 6:00pm – 9:30pm (We left around 10:40pm after just having finished dessert¬†and we weren’t the last to leave, so maybe you just have to be seated before 9:30pm?)
          Saturday brunch 9:00am Р2:30pm dinner 6:00pm Р9:30pm
          Sunday brunch 9:00am Р2:30pm

Les Bistronomes on Urbanspoon

Quick tour of Canberra

An old friend of mine came back to Canberra for a quick work trip but not without seeing her favourite foodie friend and indulging in some of her favourite eating spots. We took her on a mini tour to see ‘new’ places which have opened up since she moved away but not without satisfying some of her ‘Canberra food cravings’ from the old spots.

Our journey begins at Dumpling Inn in Jamison, ordering enough shallot cakes to calm her cravings for now as well as sizzling bean curd and four season beans with pork mince. ¬†We talk until they start to vacuum around us and we figure at 10:40pm there aren’t many places to go to continue the conversation but Max Brenner in Belconnen over a chocolate lick.

Chocolate lick ($2.50), just enough chocolate to hit the spot.The next day after I went and did some essential shopping in Kingston, TimmyC and I took a quick walk around the block to see what was new and exciting. By the time we finished walking around the whole perimeter, Little Brooklyn looked the most interesting so we go back to grab a quick late lunch.

Shopping at Essential Ingredient.This caught my eye as we walked around, La Osteria bar and restaurant is replacing La Rustica as they have moved to the foreshore. I think they are due to open by the end of the month.20140223-163703.jpgTimmyC and I take our friend to a nice dinner at Mr Wei’s in the city¬†followed up by some dessert at Jamie’s Italian¬†before we do a quick walk around showing her CBD dumplings, Hero Sushi,¬†PappaRich, Farmers Daughter and Dolce & Salato (wow, a lot of things have opened up around there recently).

We do the rest of the tour via car driving through Braddon looking at¬†Chez Fredric, Mood food, where debarcle had moved to, 86 and then I told TimmyC to drive further to see the¬†Mandalay bus parked near Haigh park,¬†it was odd going to a food van without feeling hungry or having a craving for oily food. I had heard that this bus had opened up again and I wanted to see what it looked like for myself. They had lots of lights around, a casual lounge area to the side and loud music blaring. I can see the appeal; the menu looked intriguing too, not just your average ‘chips and gravy and a jam donut’ type of food van.20140223-163618.jpgThe Mandalay bus menu.20140223-163630.jpgSunday lunch was spent catching up over a delicious burger from Brodburger complete with 50 minute wait as everyone else seemed to have the same idea. We ended the meal on a sweet note by visiting Frugii¬†at the OBDM and exploring all his flavours (candied orange, vanilla, chocolate, popcorn, salted caramel, toffee apple, plum sorbet and papaya sorbet). While we talk about John’s exciting dessert venture of opening a dessert store in Braddon around October this year, we over indulged in multiple cups of ice-cream.

Popcorn ice cream made me smirk when the taste was spot on.20140223-163640.jpgWhere do you take interstate guests when they come to visit Canberra?

Same people, must be just supplying to other cafes. I had a cupcake from the Sweet Bones store previously too, I didn’t like it. Maybe they are getting better? Or I just got lucky with the flavour this time.

  1. ¬†quizabel¬†said:¬†Cupcakes at Sweet Bones on Lonsdale St are the same (high) price, but not too impressive! These ones sound better ūüėÄ