Lolo and Lola November pop up dinner series

It was pointed out that Lolo and Lola have only done four pop up dinners since their humble beginnings and it dawned on me that I had been to three of them. I would stop hogging but it is so good; I am not willing to give up my seat!You really need to get yourselves to one of these events if you’re lucky and fast enough, December is already sold out and the next one is in February (now that is sold out also!) . Each month has a different theme and November’s dinner focused on one of the main islands of the Philippines- Luzon.Lolo and Lola November pop up dinner ($65.00pp).

It was hard to choose a favourite from the menu (apparently not so hard for some, TimmyC loved the crepes), everything was so different but at the same time everything was so delicious.
This is more of a food porn post as I have not seen any of the dishes repeated in subsequent dinners.
Tinapay ensaymada bun served with liver spread.Check out how fluffy that bun is and how beautifully whipped that butter turned out.
Lumpiang sariwa savoury crepe of sauteed vegetables served with soy-caramel peanut sauce.
Kinilaw Filipino ceviche: melange of seafood in spiced calamansi dressing.
Half time drinks: the taste reminded me of banana lollies.
Habhab “Lucban” noodle dish with chicken, vegetables and spiced vinegar. We were encouraged to eat this with our fingers, needless to say it got messy really fast.
Bicol Express tender pork belly and butterflied prawn in chilli-coconut sauce.
Caldereta grilled beef sirloin and vegetables served with rich “caldereta” sauce.
Ice scramble streetside ice blended treat topped with powdered milk and chocolate sauce.
Sapin-sapin purple yam frozen parfait, jackfruit leche flan, pandan sponge, toasted coconut and coconut “latik” caramel sauce.
Jay and Kim have always been wonderful hosts and they take great pride in their cooking. It has been so amazing to be exposed to the delicious flavours from their origins.
Good luck trying to get into their next dinner. I might see you there.
😉

 

The Cheesecake Factory cheesecake

While casually shopping in Costco, I walked past the freezer section that I don’t often venture past only to find myself slowly reversing and pressing my face up to the glass. Do my eyes deceive me? Was that really what I thought it was?

Yes ladies and gentlemen. Costco Canberra (for now) is selling The Cheesecake Factory original cheesecake ($21.89), complete with graham cracker crust and the smooth cheesecake filling that we all know and love. Upside: it is all pre-cut and equally portioned for your convenience with a paper dividers; it’s the original cheesecake so you can dress it up however you like it (I had mine with berries, passionfruit, my friend added Nutella) and it tasted like I never left Hawaii.

Downside: the serving suggestion was to thaw it in the fridge for 8-12 hours (ain’t no body got time for that, I just left it on the counter until I was ready to eat it); our pineapple isn’t as sweet so I can’t replicate my favourite flavour.I take no responsibility with what you do with this information.

Upcoming events in Canberra

It’s finally getting warmer in Canberra and with it comes all the social activities involving food! Get excited Canberra!

5th November ~ Beer Day Out

For all the beer drinkers out there, Beer Day Out is happening again!

Beer Day Out is going back to Thoroughbred Park in 2016. Saturday Nov 5 will see some of the best breweries Australia and New Zealand have to offer along side some of Canberra’s top eateries.This year we are introducing The Festival Bar which will pour a special beer supplied by each brewery attending. We are also introducing the BDO beer paddle; so you can try even more delicious brews. The BeerDiva is back running her acclaimed beer masterclasses alongside all round TV personality Paul Mercurio who will hosting cooking with beer masterclasses. DJ’s, beer games, trivia and roving entertaimant will round an awesome day of hops and happiness!


 

12th November ~ The Forage

Its the last one for the year folks, better get yourselves down there. There will be a live dessert demo by Ali King from Zumbo’s Just Desserts

Our next event will be held on Saturday the 12th of November at The Little National Hotel in Barton. Come and join us for the last Forage of the year starting at 2pm until 7pm. Come by for some of THE BEST Street Food, Beverages & Live Music Canberra has to offer.


 

18th November  ~ The Forage will have food on Friday night at the Undercurrent Design Market

The market kicks off 5pm Friday 18 November with live music and a night feast with food from The Forage. The market runs on Saturday 19th November 10am – 5pm and Sunday 20th November 10am – 3pm


 

18th – 19th November ~ Food and Wine in the Laneway

If you love wine, you better buy your tickets ASAP!

The Canberra District’s wineries are coming to the heart of the city so that over two evenings you can enjoy the region’s best wine and food without leaving the city limits. The event will be lit with festoon lights, local musicians will provide the soundtrack to the evenings and the great street art in Tocumwal Lane will provide the backdrop. This 18-19 November head to the city to enjoy all the region has to offer.


 

9th – 18th December ~ The Commons Street Feast is coming!

And boy, the line up looks spectacular! Did you see their butler option? Oh my!

Indulge your senses at The Commons Street Feast in Commonwealth Park this summer. From the 9-18 of December you’ll be able to feast your way through The Commons with some of Australia’s best food trucks, artisan chefs, craft brewers and more.

Canberra will be The Commons national debut feast, opening for dinner each night across the ten days plus lunch on weekends from 12pm.

The Commons is a free event and is open to all ages, with licensed 18+ bar areas on site.

Explore the very best food, wines and craft beer at The Commons this December.14733445_349727825381649_3096635299741040640_n1


 

16th – 17th December~ Burgers, BBQ & Beer Markets

I like two out of three of those things! Count me in!

Calling all Burgers, BBQ and Beer lovers, mark Friday 16 December and Saturday 17 December in your diaries!In the City Canberra will be turning Civic Square into a foodies dream – something you won’t want to miss! This will be the first food theme of our new series of food festivals that are being held as part of this year’s Christmas In The City.The Burgers, BBQ and Beer Markets will be under a canopy of Christmas Lights that will be replacing the Lights Tunnel that ran along City Walk in 2015, and will raise vital funds for Red Nose and their important contribution to our community


I also have heard multiple whispers of Goodberry’s opening in Gungahlin(??). It’s all happening in the capital!

Teddy Picker’s

It had not been 12 hours since we arrived home when TimmyC asked me if I wanted to eat breakfast at home or out. After 13+ years together, you’d think he would know the answer to that question. I had the exact place in mind of where I wanted brunch as soon as I was back in Canberra; the newly opened Teddy Picker’s in Campbell.

As we drove past roads lined with parked cars, it was reminding me of the almost impossible car parking situation in Braddon but we eventually found a spot a short stroll away. We were met with a relatively short line and we were told it was going to be a 10-15 minute wait until a table for two was available. With that, TimmyC ordered what appeared to be a very tiny small coffee ($4.00) and a Dream Cuisine croissant ($5.00) for whilst we waited outside.I love the funky interior setting of the cafe, the natural light through the windows makes it the perfect place to take food photos.Brunch is ready!Large flat white ($4.50). TimmyC said it was a nice smooth coffee but not the nicest one he has ever had.

The coffee had beautiful latte art before TimmyC dumped all the sugar on top.Vermont Chai infused tea recommended with soy ($5.50). I didn’t think the taste of chai was very strong but it was very milky and frothy.Pressed French toast blueberry custard, lemon yoghurt, macadamia ($17.50). There is an ever so slightly crunchy exterior of the French toast before you hit the squishy soft almost pudding-like centre. I like the subtle sweetness on the surface of the toast but I felt that the blueberry custard didn’t add anything except for visual effect. We really enjoyed the yoghurt + fresh blueberries + toasted macadamia combo.How soft and squishy does that French toast centre look!Eggs Benedict Christmas ham, smoked hollandaise, rye muffin, poached eggs ($16.90) + Teddy’s hash brown ($4.50). I think the Teddy’s hash brown makes everything better; add it to your benny, whopper, heck even your oats! I love how it was crunchy on the outside and soft and potatoey on the inside. TimmyC substituted the Christmas ham for Pialligo Estate bacon which accentuated the smokiness of the hollandaise. The rye muffin was a little tough to cut through but I really enjoyed this breakfast.

The big plate makes it look like something is missing from the breakfast.The eggs were cooked perfectly.This hash brown is what you need in your life right now!Double points to Teddy Picker’s for an awesome extensive tea menu and their collaboration with local businesses such as Tea Garden Co and Red Brick Espresso.

Once we were seated, the wait staff were very attentive, friendly and efficient. There wasn’t a long wait time for our food after ordering and our water bottle was never empty. I cannot wait to go back and try more of their menu.

Venue: Teddy Picker’s

Address: 53/65 Constitution Ave, Campbell ACT 2612

Phone: no phone number- don’t bother booking, they only take walk ins

Facebook//www.facebook.com/teddypickersest2016/

Teddy Picker's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - ZomatoThey even have a cute ‘dog bar’ area for your furry companions.

Costco- Hawaiian series

After coming home from a holiday, one of the first things you have to do (besides mountains of laundry) is re-stock the fridge. For this and nearing the end of my toilet paper supply, I found myself at Costco- the little slice of America we have here.

While we were at Kauai island, it was suggested to me to visit the Costco store to see all the items that we wouldn’t see in our stores back in Oz. Here are just some of the random things I saw as we made our way through the store.BBQ beef brisket sandwich USDA choice beef brisket, BBQ sauce, coleslaw ($4.99). I ordered a beef brisket sandwich and it came out really oily, the bun was way too sweet for my liking and I didn’t finish it. The sausage in the hot dog was nicer and bigger than ours but the cheese pizza tasted exactly the same as back home.

It looked nice on one side and dripping with oil on the other.I swear the Home Alone movie has made me addicted to cheese pizza.Our Australian membership got us into the store.We get chocolate pandas and they get ‘chocorooms’.Nothing really weird about this product, I just found the name amusing.‘Stranger things’ fans can squeal like I did.Croissant or sausage and egg for breakfast? Why not have both?This made me stop in my tracks… A whole roasting pig. What the?!Different versions of poke salad.They sell massive chicken pot pies! I want this is Australia.What I found very useful as a tourist in the store were their deals on Mauna Loa macadamia nuts and Hawaiian Host chocolate, both recommended to me by my Mum when she went earlier this year. They were cheaper than buying them at other stores and made for a convenient souvenir for family.Despite the food area being outside, the layout of the Costco store in Hawaii is very similar to ours. At times it didn’t feel like we were in another country, until we came across some of these unusual items.

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 😦 **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. 😦 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.

Seriously, when did that happen?

A follow on from my previous post “What? When did that happen?“,  I am still finding myself uttering these words as my grip of the Canberra dining scene seems to slowly be slipping through my fingers.

1. Buttermilk and bourbon fried chicken with waffles is coming to Woden. “Seriously, when did that happen?”

Okay that was just a menu item, their actual name is No. 10 restaurant and bar. According to their Instagram account, the first week of October is when they plan to open. There are plenty of things on the menu that have caught my eye, check them out here.

2. Turkish Pide House City has now closed. “Seriously, when did that happen?”

Apparently for ages! I drive past it all the time and always assumed it was there but now something new is taking its space. Hopefully not long to go.

3. Damian Brabender is finally opening his restaurant Otis . “Seriously, when did that happen?”

Technically this hasn’t happened yet for the public, but my friend was lucky enough to attend a soft launch and I cannot wait to eat one of everything from the menu. See a sneak peek from Michelle here.

4. Shannon’s BBQ is now closed. “Seriously, when did that happen?”

Or not paying their phone bill, I can’t tell since their phone line is disconnected. This was also on my ‘to eat list’ but I never got around to eating there and now it looks like I never will. Does anyone know what happened to this place?

5. Rockin’ Ribs has now closed. “Seriously, when did that happen?”

I never made it to Rockin’ Ribs after Victor died but now the whole place is completely empty and available for lease. All the BBQ places seemed to have closed up shop in Canberra.

6. Fried Korean Chicken is coming to Dickson. “Seriously, when did that happen?”

I recently walked past and saw signs for Rogane Chimac opening next to Kingsland. I don’t know when it will open (or if it has already),  but it didn’t look like it was far off. They have more than fried chicken, but does it really matter?

7. Gus’ is now closed. “Seriously, when did that happen?”

Now this is starting to show how little I venture into Civic and I’m probably the last one to know about this, but Gus’ cafe has been closed since around June(?!?). Gus’ has been around for so long, I was shocked to hear that it closed.

8. Mills and Grills is providing ribs and pizza to Canberra. “Seriously, when did that happen?”

According to my friends Mills and Grills have been open for ‘a long time’, which really means I need new friends or a better radar. They are loving their pizza but I want to try out their ribs. Check out the menu at here.

9. There is a restaurant out near the airport. “Seriously, when did that happen?”

It is called Helix bar and dining and located inside the Vibe hotel and a lot of reviews say it is over priced and the service is sub par. It doesn’t sound like a place that I want to rush out and try.

 

Has there been anything happening around the Canberra dining scene that has got you asking “seriously, when did that happen?”

 

 

 

 

Keep Calm and Curry On

Get your diary and cross out whatever you thought you were doing this weekend and write ‘CURRY FESTIVAL’ all in caps.
 
The World Curry Festival will kick off this Friday 8th from 5:00PM with free entry. There will be curries (obviously) from around the world, curried beer and spiced cider, entertainment and of course you will have to check out what unusual ice cream flavours Frugii has concocted for this event.
Inline image 1
 
VenueWorld Curry Festival
Address: City Walk, Civic
Dates and times
8th July 5:00PM – 8:00PM
9th July 11:00AM – 8:00PM
10th July 11:00AM – 6:00PM
 
In the case of bad weather the event may be postponed, please click attending on the Facebook event for all the latest event updates.

Polo – The Polish White Eagle Club

It has been a few years since I had last been to The Polish White Eagle Club in Turner. Back then, the restaurant was called Kopernik and it was run by an older European couple. Fast forward a few years and the restaurant inside The Polish club is now Polo, the menu is more extensive and the dining room is much busier.

Eating with foodie friends means ordering half the menu- tee hee!Pierogi – Polish dumplings in bacon and caramelised cabbage ($13.00). We chose ‘pork and chicken’ and ‘cheese and potato’ dumplings. I loved the added touch bacon and the caramelised cabbage but a dollop of sour cream would have been awesome. I preferred the pork and chicken between the two dumplings flavours.Crunchy kale new season kale crisps with slivered beetroot, crumbled goat cheese and plum dressing ($13.00). Technically it was described as ‘crispy kale’and crispy it was but it was cooked beyond being edible. As soon as I saw this, I knew the kale was over done and would be terrible and I suggested that my friend take it back but he just ate some of the goats cheese and avoided the kale leaves.Blintz and mushrooms mushroom ragout with re-fried potato blintz and sour cream ($13.00). I found the blintz a bit bland by itself and it definitely needed the sour cream and the delicious mushrooms. It was nice to share this with others but I wouldn’t order just this for my main.Veal schnitzel Polish style pan-fried, crumbed in sourdough rye, served with mashed potato and beetroot salad ($17.00). I didn’t mind the schnitzel but in comparison to other dishes, I probably wouldn’t order this again.Pork knuckle mash, baked apple, caramelised cabbage and salad ($24.00). Don’t be put off by its size, it is mainly bone; most people should be able to finish it easily. I liked the tender meat and the baked apple was a nice pairing. It is definitely a hearty meal during the colder months.Ricotta fritters cinnamon tossed ricotta dumplings with chocolate soil and mulberry sauce. yum ($10.00). We all decided that we had enough room to squeeze in one dumpling each (conveniently there were 5 doughnuts and there were 5 of us). I was really surprised how light and fluffy they were and probably could have had the whole plate to myself. It wasn’t until after we finished eating the dumplings did we notice that there wasn’t any chocolate soil but it didn’t need it. These were definitely worth ordering!Served hot and fresh, I think you could convince anyone to stay for dessert with you.The next time I come back, I would order the pierogi, pork knuckle and ricotta fritters.

Don’t forget that Polo does Pierogi and Polish pint deal on Wednesdays. Full menu available Thursday to SaturdayVenue: Polo Restaurant

Address: 38 David Street, Turner, ACT 2612

Phone: 0422 898 617

Opening times (from the website): The Polish White Eagle Club (Polo Restaurant and Polish Club bar) is now open Wednesday –  Saturday evenings from 18.00. We’re also open every second Saturday for lunch from 11.00 on Continental Deli days or by appointment.

 

Molto Italian 

I was lucky enough to dine as guest at a food blogger ‘Lunch by the lake’ at Molto Italian thanks to a lovely friend Serina (go check out her awesome blog here) and the very generous owners of Molto Italian. They offered us an Italian feast and although our meals were complimentary, all opinions are my own.

If anyone was a sceptic of Molto Italian, it would be me. My friends and I went to Tosolini’s many times and if it wasn’t the mediocre food, it was the very poor service which lead us to leave and eat dessert elsewhere . I was not a fan. So to hear that Carlo Tosolini had a new venture and it was another Italian restaurant, I was torn between my love of Italian food and being burned so badly before. Anyway, fast forward to present day- it is a new restaurant, new venture, new chefs and new beginnings; I was willing to give Molto Italian a chance. First came the ‘stuzzichini’ or finger food and then the food never stopped coming. It was truly an Italian feast.Stuzzichini

Mixed olives marinated in thyme, orange zest, garlic and extra virgin olive oil ($8.00). Delicious olives but the green ones were my favourite. Assortment of bread rosemary or garlic Tuscan flatbread sea salt schiacciatina with Sicilian extra virgin olive oil ($9.00). This was beautiful bread served warm. There was enough flavour on the bread already but I really enjoyed dipping my pieces into the EVOO.Zucchini flower stuffed with buffalo ricotta and served on a pea puree ($6.00). The zucchini flower was cooked perfectly leaving a crisp delicate batter over the flower encased with a well seasoned ricotta filling, all without bring oily.Suppli stuffed with asparagus and tallegio cheese ($16.00). During my first bite, I thought the filling was a bit bland and I wished it came with more sauce but the second bite- BAM! I got hit with a strong taste of cheese. Tallegio is a stronger cheese than I’m used to with a sharp taste and I’m not sure everyone would like it.Beef carpaccio truffle oil, testun barolo cheese and micro herbs($19.00). I love a good beef carpaccio; it is a fine line to balance the flavours of the beef, oil and cheese. There was a lovely flavour from the oil but it almost over powered the beef and the cheese.Swordfish carpaccio with pomegranate and fennel. The first thing I could taste was the delicious oil and then it had a subtle dish aftertaste. I liked that it was paired with the sweetness of pomegranate but I found all the flavours were too subtle for me and I preferred the beef.Pizza ~ are currently only available on weekendsSan daniele tomato, fior di latte, proscuitto crudo, rocket, shaved parmesan, and cherry tomato ($26.00). This was the first pizza that I tried and I fell in love. I really liked the base, the way it was cooked and the mozzarella was perfecto.Capriciossa tomato, fior di latte, ham, artichoke, olive and mushroom ($25.00). I loved the flavour combination but I think I preferred the saltier notes in the San daniele with the proscuitto and parmesan.Regina margherita tomato, buffalo mozzarella, parmesan and basil ($20.00). Just when I thought the San danielle was the best, I then tried the classic marghertia; the most simple pizza and this was my absolute favourite hands down. Every ingredient had to be at its premium because there wasn’t much to hide behind. I would have loved a little more even basil placement though.Pasta

Spaghetti cacio e pepe (made at the table ($28.00). I felt sorry for Carlos as he served all 11 of us at the table really slowly so we could take photos; it looked like a huge wheel that would have been heavy to hold. After eating more pizza than expected (damn that was good), I had to have smaller amounts of pasta so I could taste all three, while also saving room for dessert.Now I love cheese more than the next person but man this was intense. I’m glad that I only had a small portion because the cheese flavour almost became monotonous and I am most surprised that I’m saying that (TimmyC would be shocked). I think I would have loved it if it had pieces of speck or some cured meat to go with it. These wheels of cheese are replaced every 3-7 days.House made ravioli with spinach and buffalo milk ricotta in burnt butter and sage ($28.00). I am usually sold on anything in a burnt butter sauce with sage and I would easily order this next time I’m here.I wish there was a tad more sauce to this pasta but I loved the crispy sage leaves.Squid ink seafood pasta. The chef had been working on new dishes for the upcoming winter menu (to be released soon) and this was one of them. After all the heavy rich cheese dishes, this had a refreshing chilli bite and I really enjoyed the crunchy texture on the top. They import what they think is the best squid ink pasta from Italy but I think the star of the dish was the accompanying seafood.Dolci

Nonna’s tiramisu ($15.00). I can never say no to a tiramisu and it is sad to say I’ve had more disappointments than good ones. This was nice but not the best I’ve had, it tasted more like whipped cream rather than a rich mascarpone mixture.The two ‘gripes’ that I’ve heard from others about Molto Italian were about the prices and about the noise. I know that Canberra’s dining scene can seem more expensive on an international scale as well as interstate, but all along the Kingston foreshore it seems to be next level. I had written my impression of each dish before including the prices from the menu in my blog, but I felt that the prices were fair considering their import the best produce in their opinion to ensure quality authentic ingredients. We were lucky enough to have an early start before a busy lunch period but I didn’t notice a noise problem. This might be at night when the foreshore gets crazy busy.I would not have enjoyed as many dishes if I was coming with friends unless I invited 5+ people. Through this invitation, we were able to taste a large variety of the menu as well as preview some upcoming dishes from the winter menu and I am able to say that I enjoyed almost all the food that we were lucky enough to experience. I am excited to go back and try their upcoming winter menu.

Venue: Molto Italian

Address: Element Building, Eastlake Parade, Kingston Foreshore

Phone: (02) 6140 7039
Molto Italian  Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

 

 

A bite to eat re-run

TimmyC asked me where I would like to go for brunch on a lazy Sunday morning, I rattled off half a dozen south side options and he narrowed it down to three; it was my turn to pick. I chose A Bite to Eat because I didn’t eat as much as I wanted to last time (see my previous post here) and I had a craving for a thickshake.

We walked to the counter and asked if there was a table for two available, the waitress said that the whole top area was reserved but there was a cute table by the window available. We were given two menus and headed over to our table.

We grabbed a table by the window and cute cushions.Flat white (I don’t remember the price) and Caramel thickshake ($6.60). I didn’t have the greatest thickshake experience the first time, especially when it came highly recommended by a close friend but I was willing to give it another shot. It came in a tall old school metal cup which kept it cold throughout our meal. Smooth, thick and sweet just like a good thickshake should be. Even though we were both full, TimmyC and I drank every last drop because we didn’t want to waste it. YUM! When I get thickshake cravings, I know where I’m going to go!Breakfast served all day~Sriracha should be at every cafe.Pig pocket tortilla pocket filled with scrambled eggs, mozzarella cheese and a bacon ($8.40). I know small things amuse small minds but I loved the fact that the house made baked beans version of this dish was called a bean bag. SQUEEEEEEE! So cute. This might not seem very complex or interesting, but it was exactly what I felt like eating. There are a combination of sauces on the table to help make it to your liking.Standard two free range eggs (scrambled, poached or fried) with bacon on sourdough toast *with butter on request ($14.00). It is funny  that this is called ‘standard’ because this is one of TimmyC’s standards for breakfast at a cafe. He asked for fried eggs and also requested butter.

TimmyC should just point to his shirt when he orders breakfast. I love the decor here, everything is laid back and very relaxed. I thought their prices were also very reasonable. Despite being busy, the service was friendly and attentive; I was actually surprised about how fast the food came out.

I didn’t need edible flowers all over my plate, a doughnut sitting on top of my thickshake or quinoa on every dish, I just wanted a simple breakfast with my sweetheart in a cute cafe and A Bite to Eat delivered on every level. I’m so glad that this cafe is on the south side.
A Bite To Eat, A Drink As Well Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Plaka re-run

Having dinner at Plaka in Dickson was purely impromptu. A friend lured me out as she needed to be on the other side of town and was saying we could have dinner first. I had just been in Dickson the night before eating at Pho Phu Quoc, so I was wondering what we should eat that night. ‘I haven’t been to Plaka since it opened’ (see my first post here) I thought to myself and it did not take that much convincing for my friend to come eat at the only Greek restaurant (for now) in Canberra.

My friend being as organised as she is, had already looked up the menu and decided what she had wanted but when we got there and she took a closer look at the menu, she went back to being undecided. There were so many things that we wanted to eat but there were only two of us. We decided to divide and conquer. We would share some entrees and share two mains, which would be seafood and Greek lamb (the two things you must try when you go to a Greek restaurant).

Traditional Green Pita bread unleavened pita bread grilled with olive tapenade ($6.00). This bread is spectacular! I don’t think it mattered what spread was on top. It had the perfect texture, it was served hot and the olive tapenade gave it the right amount of saltiness. Kolokithokeftedes zucchini, feta and fresh herb fritters, lightly fried, served with tzatziki (3 per serve $14.00). I found that these really lacked salt and flavour even though there were supposed to be feta in the mixture, which is a real shame considering how amazing the bread was. They were served hot but my friend had a suspicion that they were reheated rather than made fresh.BBQ seafood plate BBQ King prawns, salt and pepper calamari, oysters mornay and kilpatrick, grilled baby octopus and prawn cutlets ($35.00). I think the only down side was to try and eat everything as fast as I could to enjoy the meal while it was hot. I started off with the oysters, the mornay wasn’t that cheesy and I felt that the kilpatrick could have done with more sauce but the grilled baby octopus and calamari was delicious while it was hot.Lamb souvlaki plate two grilled lean lamb fillets skewers marinated in Greek herbs and spices served with chips, greek salad, tzatziki and Greek pita bread ($27.00). I tried the lamb while it was hot but I felt it was a little chewy and obviously the cooler it got, the tougher the meat became. The chips were really good and the salad balanced out all the meat and carbs. Even though I was very full towards the end, I couldn’t help but eat pieces of feta smeared on that awesome pita bread. I told the waitress to take the plate away before my friend would have to roll me out of the restaurant.A few things were a bit of a hit and miss but I did really enjoy parts of this meal, I hope they were just having an off night with their lamb. I love Greek food and I want to love this place but I feel that something was missing with the food. Having said that, the service was fantastic and food came out so fast, we were very impressed.

Pepper Lunch launch

I was lucky enough to be invited to the Food Blogger Pepper Lunch launch thanks to a lovely friend Fran (go check out her awesome blog here) and the generous owners of Pepper Lunch Canberra. They offered each blogger and their guest a main, a side, a drink and a dessert, although our meals were complimentary all opinions are our own.Pepper Lunch is bringing Japanese DIY Teppan to Canberra! Meals come out on a 260C hot plate and you cook the meat to your liking. Here is their ‘how to guide’:When we received our meal, the polite staff apologised for the wait when in fact we barely waited at all. I hope it is always this fast!

Classic beef pepper rice (a la carte $9.90). I couldn’t go to Pepper Lunch and not try their signature dish. The beef cooked really fast and was tasty but I felt the rice needed more sauce. Luckily there are two sauces on the table which included a sweet sauce and a garlic sauce (shake before use) that I added to my liking.Edit  Curry chicken pepper rice (a la carte $11.20). I really loved the curry sauce and I’ve decided that the next time I go, I’m getting something with that sauce!Shimofuri ‘porterhouse’ pepper steak (a la carte $16.90). The Food Marshall said that it was seasoned to perfection but it had a bit of gristle through it. She found TimmyC’s dish had better marbling.Giant rib eye steak (a la carte $24.90). This steak was noticeably bigger than the porterhouse but it was in the ‘giant’ section of the menu. I found this steak really delicious and ‘melt in your mouth’. It is on the more expensive end when compared with other menu items especially if you make it into a meal. You can make any a la carte menu item into a meal which includes one regular drink and one regular side for $4.90.

Regular sides: rice/chips/miso soup/shake shake salad.

Premium sides: onion rings/sweet potato wedges.All the sundaes have the same ice cream base but they are covered in different toppings. There are four flavours: chocolate nut crush, caramel swirl, green tea delight and black seasame; they  currently don’t have the black sesame flavour yet but they ensure me it is coming. I really enjoyed the caramel swirl and I really wanted to love the green tea delight but the flavour was so subtle, it was almost non existent. I hoping they adjust it and it will be better in the future.It was getting toasty warm inside the restaurant between all the people and 260C plates, so I imagine the restaurant will be a popular place to be this winter.

They have a loyalty card, the more you eat the better the reward!They are really trying to ensure that things run smoothly with the restaurant having a soft opening for the next few days to train staff and slowly ease their way in before trading normal hours (see below).

Venue:Pepper Lunch (Canberra)

Address: Shop 3 (next to Oliver Brown) 88-96, Bunda Street, Opposite Canberra Centre, Civic,  ACT

Phone: (02) 6152 0565

Opening hours: The next few days Pepper Lunch will have a soft opening, so hours will vary but they will roughly be lunch 12pm – 3pm dinner 6pm – 9pm

Sunday – Thursday 11:30am – 9:30pm

Friday – Saturday 11:30am – 10:30pm

Garden Pavilions at Pialligo Estate 

We enjoyed our lunch at Pialligo Estate Farmhouse so much that before we left, we made a reservation for breakfast at the Garden Pavilions. They have gorgeous views and we thought it would be a great way to start the weekend.We were lucky to have beautiful blue skies and great weather during our visit.So picturesque, you would not think you were 10 minutes away from the city.Flat white coffee ($4.00) and a chai latte ($5.00).Breakfast set menu (2 courses $32.00 per person).

To start~I love their personalised cutlery.Selection of bakery goods with breads, rolls and croissant served with cultured butter and new season jams from the Estate’s orchard. I really enjoyed their bread and I won’t say how much butter I smeared on it but I will tell you that I moved the butter aside so I could also use it in my next course. I didn’t get much of the baked goods because I was busy eating my pancake but I thought the croissant was very flaky but not as buttery as I would have liked. This was my first choice until TimmyC decided he wanted it, I could see this as one of the more popular choices.TimmyC really enjoyed his galette while I was tempted to ask for more bread.Ricotta pancakes with a reduction of our Sangiovese grape juice, peppered peaches and whipped cream. When they wrote plural ‘pancakes’, I did expect more than one but by the time I finished this I was glad that there was only one because it was rather quite filling. I really enjoyed it because it was simple and sweetened by fruit so not OTT.To follow~ I must say, TimmyC and I were rather quite content after our first course, but I was very much looking forward to my savoury option.

Award winning Pialligo Smokehouse bacon, poached eggs,  and open-fire sour dough. A great classic breakfast made even better by the fact that they use their amazing bacon.Baked beans with our own chorizo and bacon, potatoes, poached egg and just harvested vine tomatoes. I was slightly taken back by the size of the bowl that this was served in; even if I skipped the first course I’m not sure I could have finished the whole dish. I dipped my fork in quickly to taste the baked beans and it reminded me of the filling of supreme pizza pocket with a chili hot aftertaste. Despite being full, I don’t know how much I could have eaten because I found the sauce so hot. I ended up picking out all the bacon and chorizo and ate it with buttered bread.A nice thick baked bean mixture with bacon and chorizo pieces mixed in.We really enjoyed the views and the food but I found the service that we experienced was a bit lacking. I’ve come to expect great service based on my previous visits from Pialligo Estate but I’m hoping it was a once off. Definitely worth going to visit for a casual breakfast, I just wish they had smaller breakfast options.

The view from within the pavilion.Venue: Garden Pavilions at Pialligo Estate

Address: 18 Kallaroo road, Pialligo, ACT 2609

Phone: (02) 6247 6060
Pialligo Estate Farmhouse Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato