Temporada re-run

With so many new restaurants coming out and so many good existing ones, I rarely would go out of my way to go back to a place where I found it mediocre but I’m always up for second chances. I didn’t love Temporada like everyone else did when it first opened but it has been a few years so maybe things have changed. TimmyC was keen to go back because we had such fond memories of their beef rib sliders.

We were seated at the bar which meant lots of table space but the seats were uncomfortable and towards the end of the meal, TimmyC and I ended up standing up while finishing our meal. 

 

To start~
House-made sourdough and cultured butter ($2.50).Their bread was delicious but the butter was definitely the best part. Order this when you sit down, then it will be perfectly timed to arrive when you have just finished ordering the rest of the meal.
Wood grilled pippies, saffron and chorizo ($20.00). I found the sauce to be most addictive to eat and I resorted to dipping my bread in it to get every last drop. Unfortunately the sauce and really salty chorizo probably drowned out the natural taste of the pippies.
BBQ King prawn, bourride ($9.00 each). TimmyC’s prawn came out of its shell rather easy but I found mine was stuck to the shell which made it really difficult to eat. I got a lot of ‘burnt’ taste in my mouth from the charred legs as I resorted to pulling the prawn meat off with my teeth. The prawn meat itself was sort of sweet but I didn’t enjoy this dish.
Zucchini flower, spanner crab, lemon ($9.00 each). These don’t look like much but they came out piping hot without being oily and they were delicious. Definitely my top pick of the smalls plates that we tried.
Filled with crabby goodness.
Wood grilled dry aged 500g T-bone, smoked potato, pink peppercorn, leeks ($45.00). TimmyC always jokes that T-bones are a ‘private steak’ for me because I like to pick up the bone and get every last bit of meat, but this was served pre-cut which meant for easy eating and sharing. The steak itself wasn’t anything special and I was hoping for more butter and smooth texture from the potato.
The steak wasn’t amazing but it was cooked perfectly.
We still weren’t overly impressed with the food but more importantly our bums were super sore from the seats, so we decided to pay the bill and head somewhere else for dessert. My friend who was also there having dinner that night was coincidentally sitting at the bar next to us, eventually she got a sore bum too but her party of two really enjoyed their duck main and would happily come back again. I guess it depends on experiences and the food that you order, but I won’t be in a hurry to come back again, maybe if they get beef ribs sliders back on the menu.
We sat near the kitchen entrance so it was easy to flag down staff when we wanted a water refill etc, the food wait time was very minimal and it was fairly busy by the time we had left.
See my previous post about Temporada here.

Temporada Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Mister Zee’s

Mister Zee’s has only been opened for three days but I have been waiting months for this restaurant to open. We went last night for dinner and even though there was four of us, I proceeded to order almost half the menu.Chocolate baklava shake ($8.00). I must say this was one of the first things that caught my eye when I read the menu; I thought it was an odd combination but I definitely wanted to try it. It was a delicious chocolate milkshake and at first you couldn’t really sense any baklava but towards the last third you start to notice the filo pastry that has been blended through. I don’t know how well a milk shake goes with the amount of food we ordered, maybe this would be better if you were looking for something sweet after one menu item as opposed to half of the menu like we had ordered.Charcoal chicken served with Lebanese bread, toum (garlic dip), pickles (half $13.00). When the plate we put in front of us we were really underwhelmed as the chicken looked cold and dry but I was surprised to find it slightly warm. I ate a bit of the breast which was on the drier side but even when I ate around the thighs it was also dry. There was a nice flavour through the meat but all the deliciousness was in the skin. The salty charcoal flavours were delicious and the way it was cooked left the skin nice and crispy. I really wished the Lebanese bread would have been slightly warmed, it would have made a fabulous difference. The pickles were really strong, eye widening type of pickles but the flavours became refreshing as we were eating it between other dishes.

We didn’t know what this was but found out very quickly that it was garlic dip. It went really well with the chicken.The pickles were almost as intense as their colour!Lebanese nachos choice of chicken, lamb or falafel served with fried Lebanese bread, tomato, onion, parsley, cheese, hummus, labneh ($15.00). We chose chicken for the meat and we really enjoyed this. The fried Lebanese bread wasn’t oily and sickly but rather addictive and super crunchy, I was surprised it didn’t get soggy towards the end and it kept its crispness. I would easily order this again.Lamb kofte with spicy tomato sauce served with rice pilaf ($18.00). This was really nice at first but as the dish got colder, the meat got tighter and tougher; I would definitely recommend eating this while it is hot. I didn’t find the tomato sauce spicy at all and while we really enjoyed this dish when we first tried it, I found myself preferring the other menu items after all our order arrived.Hummus ($6.00). We didn’t really read the additions to every dish but I wish the server at the register pointed out that many of our dishes already came with hummus and we really didn’t need to order any more additionally. I was hoping for more of a garlic hit but it was rather mild and smooth.Babaganoush ($7.00). I don’t know if they had given this to us complimentary because we ordered so much but it was a lovely gesture. Babaganoush isn’t my first preference of dip as I find some versions have too strong of a burnt eggplant taste but I surprisingly enjoyed this dip.Shish choice of chicken, lamb or adana (minced lamb meat) served with salad, Turkish flatbread, hummus (triple $26.50). We had all started dipping our Lebanese bread from the charcoal chicken plate in dips but as soon as the warm Turkish flatbread hit our table we all happily swapped breads almost instantly. To have more choice we naturally ordered one of each type of shish and I was really surprised to find that chicken was my favourite with its delicious flavours while remaining succulent. The lamb pieces was a close second but the adana, just like the lamb kofte was nice while it was hot but it as it got colder, it too got tougher. I would love to eat a kebab made up of the chicken pieces wrapped in flatbread which was smeared in hummus. Mmmmmm…

While we were happily stuffing our faces, someone who we presumed to be the manager asked us what we thought of the meal. After our compliments on certain dishes, he was really interested to find out what we  didn’t enjoy as much. We went through things such as the dry charcoal chicken, cold Lebanese bread and the texture of the adana to which he all seemed to be aware and said he was working on getting the perfect balance of a succulent moist chicken while getting that crispy salty skin, the problems of heating Lebanese bread and still working on getting the perfect cooking time of the adana. I was really impressed about how he had taken the feed back on board and that he really wanted to better his product. I then quizzed him about his dessert menu and in particular why there was no Lebanese doughnuts available, he proceeded to then tell me how they are made fresh every day but the batter is only good for so long but they hope to make a batter (which takes 2-3 hours) ready for opening time and by the time it reached late afternoon, they would make another batch for night time.Something sweet~

My friend and I were still eating dinner when the waitress came over and gave us complimentary dessert, I presumed it was because we had given feedback in addition to my enthusiasm for their desserts. I thought it was so nice of them.Baklava ice cream sandwich ($6.00). Before we even ordered, I was asking the girl at the front counter many questions which included: what is adana? Is everything on the menu available? Do you have baklava ice cream sandwiches? She then explained that the ice cream sandwich was a literally a piece of baklava cut in half with ice cream wedged in the middle. It isn’t as sweet and overwhelming as it sounds because the baklava isn’t that sweet and flavours and crispy texture went really well with the ice cream. I would eat this again, but it is definitely not a first date food as it gets messy very quickly.Knafeh ($6.00). We were told that this was made by a local couple and I was super excited to try this ever since I had it late last year when we had that pop up shop. It had a delicious subtle sweet flavours of rosewater and pistachios with a beautiful smooth texture. I would have loved this if it was served warm. *drool*I was surprised for a place that would do a lot of take- aways had such nice spacious seating, good heavy cutlery and crockery. It is nice to have something different to eat when there are so many cafe and Asian options in the area. I will definitely be back to try more and eat more of what I’ve already tried. Waiting times didn’t take long, the prices are reasonable and the staff were very friendly and efficient.

We spent just under $100 between the four of us ordering dinner and we were really full even before the desserts arrived but everyone knows that you have a separate stomach for dessert. I think you could easily be content with a single shish ($14.50) and leave enough room for something sweet.

Venue: Mister Zee’s

Address: 122 Bunda Street, Canberra, Civic, ACT

Phone: (02) 6152 0306

Opening hours:

11:00am – 9:00pm Sunday – Thursday

11:00am – 10/10:30pm Friday and Saturday
Mister Zee's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Mezze

It isn’t that often that TimmyC will hear about a new restaurant before I do but that was the case this time when he took me to Mezze in Manuka, which is located next to the cinema where Camellia used to be.
I don’t usually like having Turkish with one other person because it really limits you to what you can order, but we tried to be smart with our ordering, so we avoided eating a lot of bread and more delicious grilled meats.
We were going to order two grilled meats plates but after doing some quick calculations we realised it was much more economical getting the platter for two which encompassed what we wanted to order and many more delicious things. After we ordered the waitress asked us if we knew that the price was $40 per person and we said we were aware. There must have been awkward situations before that have led to clarification of the price before ordering.

 

Kebab platter minimum two people sis tavuk, sis kebab, kofte, pirzola with rice, salad, garlic bread and zucchini balls ($40.00 per person).
Zucchini balls. They were hot, crispy and fluffy but nothing special.
Garlic bread. I know I said we weren’t going to go bread heavy but there was a bit of bread in the banquet. I thought it was unusual that they were serving garlic bread at a Turkish restaurant but the twist is that they serve it on Turkish bread. I know this dish sounds simple but the bread was flatter than usual, it was really hot and crispy and it had a strong garlic flavour. We ate this so fast with no regrets! I’m craving some more as I write this.
 
The platter. I was surprised to see that one of the chefs came out to present us with our platter. Everything was super freshly cooked and very hot. Even though we had gorged ourselves on popcorn before, we ate everything on the platter but only left a bit of rice and salad. We were getting full but we couldn’t help ourselves.
The chicken kebabs and kofte were so moist and succulent, the lamb skewers were a little chewy (definitely eat them while they are hot) but the lamb chops albeit were overcooked, were still very delicious. It was refreshing to have the fresh salad, char grilled vegetables and rice on the side as the platter was rather meat heavy. I think my favourite thing on the plate were the kofte with spoonfuls of hot rice.
This is not a ‘buy a banquet for two which really serves four’ type of place, the servings are still on the larger size but it is about quality over quantity. Service was fantastic even though there was only one waitress, she was friendly and efficient and I also liked how the chef presented his food with pride. I would be curious to see what they serve for ‘Turkish breakfast’ on weekends.

Venue: Mezze
Address: Shop 8 Capitol Theatre BLDG, 17 Franklin St, Canberra ACT 2603
Opening hours:
Monday – Friday 11:00am – 11:00pm
Saturday – Sunday 8:00am – 11:00pm

New Year’s Resolutions

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

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

1) a bread like object

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

2) a curry

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

3) pancakes

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

4) tarts

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

5) ice cream/sorbet

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

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

 

Bread Nerds re-run

——-22/08/2012——-

A few of us from work headed over to Bread Nerds for lunch. I felt bad for sneaking there earlier to try their breakfast but lunch is a whole new ball park.

Piri piri chicken, roast capsicum, mayonnaise and mixed salad leaves ($8.00)

The rolls are HUGE! I don’t know how much I would enjoy the bread to filling ratio but my friends really enjoyed it.

A lot more hot food to choose from! Yay, but now to decide… Hmmmm

Pizza

Butter chicken pie– tasted more like a chicken curry with vegetables but I really liked it

Breakfast pie with bacon and egg– this was sadly disappointing, it was really dry and had the texture of a really dried out quiche.

Despite the out of the way location (for me), there are still so many pie flavours I want to try and pastries that I want to eat.

Embreaded in my memory

Pork barrel is now a bakery as well as eatery, supplying baked goods including breads, brioches and scrolls (oh my!) to the South Side Farmer’s Market. I did my usual casual walk by and when it registers in my brain that it’s maybe worth a try, I did a slow backwards walk and I’m glad I did!

Blueberry and chocolate brioche ($2.50) I didn’t warm it enough that the chocolate melted (I didn’t even know that there would be chocolate inside, I just thought it was blueberry). I would have liked a little more filling but it was still very nice.

Savoury ham, cheese and mustard scroll (120gm- $2.50). The hint of mustard was the real clincher for me and I thought it was magical! When I got home, I warmed the scroll just enough to return life back to the cheese which was once yummy and molten. Mmmmmmm 

Go and try their stuff today! Southside Farmer’s market is open every Sunday til 11:30am @ the Woden CIT campus!

Pork Barrel Cafe on Urbanspoon

Pappa Roti

My sister was nice enough to get me some Pappa Roti before I left Sydney and with easy heat up instructions, I was able to experience hot fluffy roti back in Canberra. While I was heating it up in the oven, my whole kitchen smelt like a delicious coffee cream Swiss roll. Crispy on the outside with a warm fluffy centre makes it a sweet treat without being too heavy.

Sorry Canberrans, they only have store in  NSW, Vic and QLD.

Venue: Pappa Roti

Address: 291 Anzac Parade, Kingsford, NSW

Phone: (02) 9663 4965 

Trading hours:

Mon – Thurs, Sun 7:30am – 10:30pm

Fri – Sat 7:30am – 11pm

Pappa Roti on Urbanspoon

Bread Nerds- complete with map!

——-25/07/2012——-

If you build it, they will come.

Even if it’s off the beaten track. Well actually it is a new road out in Hume so new it isn’t even on the google maps yet, so you could understand the frustration of how to find it. That bagel place sell bagels at the Kingston markets and my friend sent me a flyer that they had opened a cafe called Bread nerds. Once you hear about somewhere new, it seems to pop up everywhere! Later that week I read the Canberra times article and saw yummy pictures from Corridor Kitchen’s blog.

Fancy looking coffee machine but Timmy said it was just average coffee.

A cute small space with so many different options of bread, bagels and baked goods.

Also a variety of hot food.

‘Everything is made on premises’ I was assured after asking where their sausage rolls were from. Despite a long list of pie and sausage roll flavours, including butter chicken, chicken mornay, beef and chilli and pork and fennel, they only had “plain” of each that morning.

I asked the assistant which was better, the sausage roll or the pie and she told me that she was a vegetarian for 6 years and the sausage rolls changed that. It was really nice meaty sausage roll ($4.00) and you could tell it was home made with hidden vegetables inside the mixture. I didn’t even need sauce!

Cinnamon and sultana bagel and cheese bagel- the bagel had a nice crunch to the outside whilst still be soft and fluffy in the middle. I haven’t had many encounters with bagels but my friend said that she could make better.

It was around 9am when we ordered the strawberry and rhubarb danish ($3.90) and when I took my first bite, the custard was still slightly warm, the pastry was soooooo good being really crunchy and flaky. One of the best pastries I’ve had in a while- amazing!

Coffee eclair– a strong coffee cream flavour, despite the messy imperfect glaze, the choux pastry was very fresh and tasty.

Past the food van in a big red building, Unit #4. I hope you find it!

Despite the odd location and hours, I look forward to many more visits out to Bread nerds to try all their interesting pie flavours and delicious baked goods.

Venue: Bread Nerds Artisan Bakers

Address: 4/92 Sawmill cct, Hume, ACT 2620

Phone: (02) 62602062

Opening Times: Monday – Friday 7:00 – 15:00

Bread Nerds on Urbanspoon

$10 Lunch specials @ Blu Ginger

——-24/07/2012——-

Don’t underestimate the power of advertisement. I had been hearing that Blu Ginger was doing $10 lunch specials in the radio to celebrate their 12th Anniversary. One day (even though I had a packed lunch) something snapped and I suddenly had an irrational need for naan, so I grabbed a friend and off we went.

There were a variety of $10.00 specials, some banquets and a little bit more expensive express lunches. 

We both chose the same, a ‘Just for me curry expresswith desi chicken as the chicken curry of the day (I was under the impression you could choose the chicken curry otherwise I would have had butter chicken) served with a fresh salad, rice, papadums, garlic naan and complimentary sweet corn pumpkin soup ($10.00).

Turns out the complimentary soup was really tomato soup, it was still very tasty served nice and hot with really crispy croutons.

Don’t be fooled by the photo, the bowl was only this big (using cutlery for scale).

The desi chicken is a home style chicken curry made with chef’s own recipe. It was a lovely curry with a nice spicy chilli kick to it, I could eat it with lots of rice and naan and my chilli tolerance is pretty low.

Four pieces of nice hot garlic naan each.

With the promise of being served within 10minutes of seating, we were in and out just under an hour which is pretty good considering that includes my slow eating habits. Every time I go, the staff have always been really friendly.

Hurry this $10.00 lunch special is only on for the month of July.

Venue: Blu Ginger

Address: 5 Genge St, Civic, Canberra 

Phone: (02) 62472228

Websitehttp://www.bluginger.com.au/

Blu Ginger on Urbanspoon

Global cafe and bar

——-30/05/2012——-

I have some work friends who are also keen foodies and we wanted to go out for lunch. We decided against Asian as we had it the last few times and we wanted to try something different, but when you take out Asian it really cuts down on your options.

Ethiopian- we’ve all eaten it and probably have eaten at the same two restaurants: Fekerte’s and Ethiopian Down under. So when I mentioned that I had seen a new (well new to me) Ethiopian restaurant near the Jolimont centre, we quickly google street mapped to stalked down Global cafe and bar.

From the website:

Most traditional Ethiopian curries are mild, so they can be enjoyed by people who like the flavours of exotic spices without the heat. However, extra chilli paste is available on request to those who prefer hot curries.”

We didn’t realise they had a lunch special, it was just a happy coincidence!

A selection of meat curries, lentils and vegetables. You get a choice of rice or Injera an Ethiopian bread. We decided to get rice for the table and everyone gets their own bread.

Vegetarian/Vegan~

Alicha Watsplit yellow peas with garlic, ginger and tumeric.

Vegie tosspan fried cabbage, carrot and green beans.

Duba Wat spiced pumpkin stewed with tomato and burbere sauce.

Kik Watred lentils slowly simmered in a spicy sauce.

Meat/chicken~

Doro Watchicken slowly simmered with tomato, paprika and hard boiled egg.

Key Watbeef hotpot slowly simmered with tomato, paprika and traditional flavours.

Like every other meal, I found it very hard to choose which 3 curries I wanted so the lady who was serving us kindly let us try four.

All the different combinations the table had:

Pumpkin, yellow lentils, beef and chicken curry.

Red lentils, vegie toss, chicken and beef curry.

Chicken, beef, pumpkin and red lentils.

Red and yellow lentils with a chicken and beef curry.

A chilli paste that I was not daring enough to try.

Some Iced tea to wash it all down.

Service was very casual and friendly and with everything already cooked you can have a cheap fast lunch here with little effort. The curries were somewhat flavoursome and it was great to see such a variety in flavours but not working in the city and having to find a car park,  I don’t think it was that fantastic that I would come out of my way to eat here again, even if it is $8.00 for the lunch special.

Venue: Global cafe and bar

Address: 63 Northbourne Avenue, Canberra City

Phone: (02) 6247 4104

Opening hours:

Lunch Monday to Friday: 11am – 3pm

Dinner Monday to Friday: 5pm – 8pm

Delicious vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options also available

Global cafe and bar on Urbanspoon

Bakery bonanza! @Chifley

——-03/03/2012——-

I love discussing food and after talking to some work colleagues about pastries, one of them mentioned delicious croissants and pastries at Chifley shops. I had no choice but to head out first thing Saturday morning to Chifley!

Wild Rye bakery is located within the supermarket at Chifley shops.

Croissants, breads and tarts – oh my! What to choose?

Okay, maybe I got a little over excited, but I don’t regret my choices:

(clockwise starting from top left)

cinnamon croissant – a subtle cinnamon taste inside a more ‘bready’ croissant

poppy seed croissant – oh my! When my work friend told this was her favourite, I thought it was an interesting concept: ‘poppy seeds were inside a croissant’. This was possibly my favourite bakery treat, the poppy seeds make a sweet nutty paste inside an almost hollow croissant. 

cheese and bacon croissant – I am a big fan of bacon and cheese anything, so I was surprised to find that this wasn’t my favourite bakery treat of the day. I much prefer bacon and cheese rolls.

cream cheese and sultana danish – a nice ‘not to sweet’ combination.

apple danish – this would have been more delicious if I warmed it with some ice cream!

and a custard puff  an awesome thick custard sandwiched between a delicious sugary pastry  

If you’re thinking about running to Chifley shops now to grab some croissants hold your horses, I hear the best day to go is Saturday, preferably in the morning to avoid disappointment.

You would think I would be content with all these bakery treats but I convinced Timmy to come with me on another bakery adventure as I heard there was something worth travelling to Curtain shops for.

Venue: Wild Rye bakery

Address:  Shop 20-22/ Eggleston Crs, Chifley ACT 2606

Phone: (02) 6282 9255 ‎

Wild Rye Bakery on Urbanspoon

Tasty things are baked @ 210 degrees

My mission: go to 210 degrees patisserie & bakery and pick up my mud cake that I purchased through ‘GrabOne’. It’s not like I didn’t achieve my goal, I just happened to leave with a lot more than one cake. 

7” mud moist mud cake, a bargain for $9.00 though the ‘GrabOne’ voucher.

 

There is so much to choose from- bread, foccacias, pastries, slices, tarts, savoury tarts, cupcakes, slices, cakes and daily made rolls.

  

I was looking at the semi-empty pie cabinet and since it was well before lunch time, they looked to be very popular! I asked how long it was til the next batch of pies, they said it was going to be 20 minutes, “I’ll wait!”.

While I was waiting, there was always a steady stream of people coming in, the staff were friendly and the coffee smelt amazing.

 

The smell of delicious pies wafts through the store as they were being cooked. Mmmmmmmmm finally, the shelves are re-stocked!

 

While I was deciding what pie I wanted, someone inquired what the thinner sausage roll was, ‘an italian sausage roll with wholegrain mustard’. SOLD! I want a cheese and bacon pie and one of those!

 

The sausage roll was piping hot and delicious! The cheese and bacon pie was one of the best I’ve ever had, the perfect balance of all the ingredients.

A fresh roll- delicious with a nice oregano flavour.

The tarts looked so beautiful, I couldn’t not leave without one… Or two? 

Strawberry tart– I had to get one because the last time I got one I only got one nibble  This was SOOOOO yummy! A bit hard to eat because of all the strawberries but if you’re not sharing, it’s not a problem.

 

Crème brulee tart– it had a slight toffee crunch that I could crack with a spoon that made me squeal with excitement! The tart was Ah-mazing! It was truly a crème brulee in a tart!

 

I asked them why ‘210 degrees’? and they said that it is a good temperature to bake bread at, which I thought was very cute. Everything I’ve tried was really good and I’m excited to go back and try more (and grab a few more tarts!). Go earlier to avoid disappoint of empty shelves!

Venue: 210 degrees

Address: Hughes Shopping centre, Canberra, ACT 2605

Phone: (02) 62810111

Opening hours: Monday – Friday 7am – 5:30pm

                                       Saturday 7am – 2pm

210 Degrees on Urbanspoon