Ricardo’s re-run

I was having a complete brain fart moment over the weekend.

I guess you could categorize me as a foodie and after my experience of being one of the 101 humans, you’d think I would know how to show off Canberra but I felt the pressure build when my Mum informed me that she was coming down to visit with some family friends for a day trip and I should choose somewhere for lunch.

Her specifications were not too fancy, not Brodburger (my sister and I always drag her there) and it had to be in a convenient location as we drove around taking them to Canberra’s landmarks and iconic buildings. I also didn’t want to take them to an Asian restaurant, after all they are from Hong Kong and Sydney, I don’t think Canberra could ever compare on price and quality. My brain froze, it just couldn’t cope with choosing somewhere and I delayed making a decision until the morning of their arrival, a dangerous move considering I wanted no waiting time or a reservation. That morning, my sister and her cute little family decided to also tag along which meant adding a pram into consideration, then a light bulb went off and I knew exactly where to go.

Not only does Ricardo’s in Jamison cook up fabulous lunch options and breakfast (I’m not the keenest on their cakes though *gasp* shock horror) but prams and children almost seem mandatory. They are ridiculously family friendly and when I rang that morning to book a table for 7 adults and a pram, they were happy to oblige.

Clockwise starting from top left.
Specials board~ Cauliflower, parmesan and potato soup ($15.90). A warming soup with all my favourite things. I’m not the biggest fan of focaccia and wasn’t going to eat the bread but it was reeeeeally nice all smothered in butter.
Fish and chips ($19.90). I rolled my eyes when TimmyC told me he was going to order this but then a waitress went past with a plate in her hand, we both then agreed he was to order fish and chips.
Hotcakes with passionfruit curd and maple syrup ($16.90).
Mushroom Bruschetta Harrisa spiced roast field mushroom with creamed fetta, beetroot, rouqette and za’atar on grilled focaccia ($16.90). I’ve never seen my Mum eat beetroot before so I was surprised she ordered this. She really enjoyed it and in true Asian Mum fashion gave half her meal away to everyone and they also agreed it was really nice.
We all chose different things because the menu was diverse and something suited all of us. Everyone had a lovely time, the food was fantastic and my guests were really surprised how busy the place was, even after 2:30pm people were still streaming in.
I look forward to Ricardo De Marco expanding to Woden later on this year, it is going to be quite different I hear.

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Welcome back, I’ve missed you

Whenever I’m in the Jamison area, I always check on the status of Dumpling Inn and when I checked this week I was pleasantly surprised to find the roller shutters up and they were open again for business. They have been opened since the 10th February and everyone must have missed them because they have been very busy ever since.

Welcome back Dumpling Inn, I’ve missed you.

Getting our usual ‘peking shredded beef’, ‘four season beans with minced pork’ and ‘tasty chopping meats in seasame rolls’.IMG_9639

Ricardo’s Cafe

I knew the Jamison shops way before it was ever refurbished, before they had an Aldi or FSW and even before the Commonwealth bank closed (I’m now awaiting for the Asian grocery store to open). It figures that after I move away from Aranda, Jamison now becomes a bustling hot spot for the locals wanting a coffee, something from the supermarket or a delicious breakfast/lunch from Ricardo’s cafe. I had been here before but I wasn’t to overly impressed with their sweets, they look a lot prettier than they taste.

I was here during a lunch birthday celebration for a dear friend of mine and I wasn’t planning on blogging but when we all started ordering fabulous (looking) desserts and dishes, my camera instinctively came out. image

It was a struggle and a half try to get to our table that we had already booked in advance, there were people EVERYWHERE. People young and old, hipsters and pensioners, all gathered to eat where apparently prams and strollers are mandatory. Needless to say, it was very busy.

Portuguese tart ($5.00?). Seeing how busy it was, I thought I’d start by getting something I could eat straight away without waiting. It was okay but TimmyC thought it was the bee’s knees.

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Red skin macaron ($2.50). Despite looking all wonky shaped, the taste was pretty accurate.

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Choux pastry swan – very clever design and execution, I had bought one of these before but wasn’t too overly impressed.

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Pancakes souffle pancakes, bananas, bacon infused maple syrup and vanilla bean mascarpone cheese ($14.90). When I go out for breakfast/brunch I’m always on the look out for unique items on the menu, don’t get me wrong, I love my bacon and eggs/pancakes/banana bread/granola but I’m looking for something that plays on the creative side from the kitchen on a good ol’ breakfast classic and this is it (although this is not my dish, I made sure I had access to it). I avoided the bananas and couldn’t really taste the ‘bacon’ element in the syrup but that didn’t matter because the souffle pancakes topped with vanilla bean mascarpone cheese was soooo good!

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OMG! It’s so fluffy!

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Smoked salmon fritters corn and zucchini fritters stacked with smoked salmon and avocado, cherry tomatoes and sour cream ($17.90). These were fantastic, I always have a fear that fritters would be dry and limp but they were well made and topped perfectly with salmon and sour cream.

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Pork belly salad part of the specials board. Oh I wish I saw the specials board before I ordered, but someone on the table did. YUM!

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Wagyu truffle sliders white truffle Wagyu beef, red wine, caramelised onions, truffle aioli, gruyere cheese and parmesan truffle fries ($18.90). The bun seemed a bit brioche-y but that didn’t matter when everything tasted so good. By the time I got to the third slider, because of my slow eating habits and talking to everyone, was very cold but if you’re not a slow eater, this won’t be a problem for you. I was really surprised that the fries actually tasted like parmesan truffle fries! Two thumbs up for this!

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Macarons – not exactly uniform in size but across the board the flavours were very good (not the best in Canberra but pretty good for ‘made in house’ at a cafe).

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I can see why Ricardo’s is so busy –  lots of good menu options; there is some method to their chaotic madness and the wait for food wasn’t too long and nothing was crazily over priced (well maybe that Portuguese tart). I would come here again but I would like to try more of their menu despite having found multiple things that I would love to eat again.

Venue: Ricardo’s cafe

Address: Jamison Plaza Bowman Street Macquarie, ACT 2614

Phone: (02) 6251 2666

Websitehttp://ricardoscafe.com/

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Dumpling Inn re-run

I don’t post every time I eat at Dumpling Inn, otherwise you would know how much I come here. So let’s pretend this is only the second time I’ve come here recently  

My friends and I have now become slightly addicted to this, we would even drive past and get a takeaway order of just shallot cakes even if we were already running late to somewhere. Luckily now there is a shopfront of ready to go shallot cakes @ the Belconnen Westfield upper foodcourt, but it’s nicer when it’s fresh.

Shallot cakes- hot delicious pastry encasing a salty shallot goodness. Quality varies from day to day but usually it’s delicious.

Four Season beans (this time without minced pork)- I told you I order this no matter who I dine with! Delicious and counts as a serve of greens! Win win!

Sizzling bean curd– Even the biggest of meat eaters love this dish where tofu puffs are left sizzling away in a thick sweet-ish sauce. Watch out, it often retains it’s heat even after a few minutes and I always burn my tongue. 

Peking shredded beef aka rusty nails in some other restaurants. Crunchy, sweet and sticky with thin sweet potato chips

Scallops with garlic

What’s a ‘dumpling inn’ without some dumplings? My favourite is the pan fried pork dumplings with chinese vinegar- YUM! Plates of 10 so you have to find someone to share it with or you won’t be able to fit much more in.

Shan tung chicken– Not the best in Canberra but it still  has the crispy skin and often finished quickly.

Hot rock salt bean curd– crispy outer shell encasing soft tofu in the middle and who doesn’t love anything in hot rock salt anyway?

There are few people who get to dessert after eating at Dumpling Inn (usually waaaay to full to get anything else) but there are a few things you must try!

Toffee banana– comes out in a hot sticky toffee then dipped into iced water at your table (and this was when bananas were expensive!). I have also tried toffee apple and strawberries, all very nice.

Egg custard pancake- there is also a red bean version which I love. SOOOOOOOOO delicious. Comes deep fried and hot to your table with a crispy coating with an amazing egg custard centre.

They also now have ‘live mud crab‘ (from another sitting). Mud crab with ginger and shallots with a noodle base (different noodles to what I’m used to but still very nice).

This still remains as a good ol’ favourite restaurant between my friends and I. Although we’ve had some ‘miss’ dishes, we’ve been enough to know what we want now and we even get cravings for specific things!

Can get very busy for dinner, so try and book to avoid disappointment!

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Dumpling Inn

——-12/08/2011——-

I don’t really consider myself as a regular anywhere but I guess if a restaurant knows you by name and can guess what you’re going to order, then I must go there quite frequently. You’ll probably see multiple posts about this restaurant but this one particular time I tried to order different from the norm (there was only two of us so I didn’t order as much as I’d like *sad face*).

Tasty chopped meats in sesame roll- The filling is nice (the same filling as they put in the sang choy bao) and the sesame rolls are nice and hot. I forgot that they come with some many pockets! Got full on these quickly as there was only two of us.

Four season beans with minced pork- very delicious and addictive!
This dish is always ordered no matter who I come with!

Eggplant with pork hot pot- Very gingery, nice but nothing special

Lunch during weekdays can be a tad slow due to minimal wait staff. Dinner every night of the week seems busy especially Friday nights so book a table when you can. Yum cha on the weekends seems very limited, oily and slow in comparison to other venues so it’s not one of my ‘go to places’ when I’m craving an egg tart.

They also don’t have the most organised staff so people do get annoyed with the waiting times etc. but because of the delicious food (if you know what to order) and easy parking, Dumpling Inn will always a good reliable favourite Chinese restaurant that my friends and I go to.

Next time I hope to show you my favourite dishes along with Chinese desserts you don’t usually get in other restaurants.

Venue:  Dumpling Inn Restaurant

Address: 1/1 Lawry Place, Macquarie ACT 2614

 Phone: (02) 6253 2268 


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