Wild Duck re-run

I’ve never been disappointed when I go to Wild Duck, but it is always hard to choose what to order so we always go for a banquet option. My friends weren’t big on fish so we changed the snapper to the lemongrass chicken.

Chef’s Signature banquet – $69.00 pp. For 4 or more people, this is the ultimate fine food journey in authentic Asian cuisine designed by our Executive Chef.

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Shanghai wonton soup – A clear refreshing consume that was well seasoned with a perfectly cooked bok choy.

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Scallops with XO conpoy chilli – a juicy seared scallop with just the right amount of XO sauce. 

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Lotus root and pork parcels – I wasn’t particularly fond of this as the root was slightly crunchy.

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Sichuan Wagyu beef salad – Amazing tender beef with a good meat to salad ratio. 

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Lamb shank in golden sands – I’ve never had anything like this, a great textured crispy but yet still tender lamb all wrapped in a lettuce leaf.

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Changed Coral Cut Snapper for Lemongrass chicken – Absolutely delicious and full of flavour. This was one of my favourite dishes from my previous banquet.

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Fried Mantou ($3.00 per serve) not included in the banquet. Crispy outer layer encasing a soft sweet bread that is worth coming for on its own (p.s. how cute is the mini steamer!?)image

Asian Vegetable stir fry – a very simple and clean dish that satisfied the obligatory vegetables for the evening.image

Crispy Xiang Su duck – not overly greasy but the duck was transformed almost beyond recognition, not my favourite dish of the evening.

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Massaman beef cheek – I thought the chunks of beef would be bigger but it was a very rich curry nonetheless. 

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It’s fine dining meets Chinese food with excellent service. I definitely recommend you come here.

China plate

——-18/01/2013——-

I found myself in Kingston again just after leaving Bodega de Pintxos a little over 24 hours ago. This time I was headed to China Plate. I know I’ve eaten at China Plate before when it was in civic (where Soju girl is now) and I remember liking the personalised chopsticks and cover, but I don’t recall much about the food.

New location, new slate I say. Let’s eat!

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Asian bites~

Shanghai and shantung dumplings ($6.00, 3 pcs). Oh dumplings how I love thee. Both steamed and fried were really great, I would have ordered more if they weren’t so expensive!

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Beijing duck pancakes ($9.00, 2 pcs). They use a thicker cut of juicy duck which made these pancakes so good.

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Mains~

Beef ribs in honey pepperstir fried ribs with a touch of honey and pepper ($22.00). A lovely balance between sweet and pepper on succulent meat but it had a lot of bones though.

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When we couldn’t decide on a second dish, the manager was very helpful on suggestions. I’m not sure what this dish was called, she just asked if we like prawns and how hot do we like our food. It wasn’t too spicy and the prawns were big and juicy.

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Undeniably delicious food but I thought it was a bit pricey for the small portions (it turned out to be $40 pp food plus sodas). As delicious as the dumplings were not even the world’s best dumplings (unmistakably Din Tai Fung) are that expensive. I would love to come back and try more dishes, but don’t come here expecting a cheap Chinese meal.

Venue: China Plate

Address: 11 Kennedy St, Kingston, ACT 2604

Phone: (02) 6260 7555

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Nigel no friends’ paradise

——-17/01/2013——-

At Bodega de Pintxos, parties with 8 or more people are forced to choose between a “paella party” @$45 pp or “tapas party” @ $39 pp and I happen to go to dinner with 7 other people. Oh bother, the magical number had been breached. I didn’t want to fill up on lots of rice so we opted for the tapas party with Chef’s selection of tapas and pan casero.

True, I do usually ask the opinion of the staff to help me decide between 2 (or 5) dishes but giving up on my choice entirely was a completely different matter. Let the surprises begin!

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Drinks~ not included in the ‘tapas party’

Mojito ($15.00), Fruit punch mocktail ($9.00) and Sangria ($26.00 for the jug).

The mojito tasted very very minty, I don’t know much about alcoholic beverages but I know they shouldn’t taste like you just brushed your teeth, although some people might call it refreshing, I just wouldn’t call it a mojito. The fruit punch tasted rather sour and disappointing.

No one told us that this was the Spanish version of Russian roulette. You’re supposed to say a rhyme in Spanish and everyone one shots a pepper, it could be mild or it could be very hot, there’s no way to know until you take a bite (a waitress told us this after we had a hot one). The first few we had were nice, salty, like slightly addictive green capsicums, it wasn’t until one of us got a really hot one that we all became more suspicious and wary of which pepper to take and to have a small sample before we committed to the whole thing.

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Pan casero~

Pan de ajo house bread with garlic butter pil pil. This tasted like garlic bread but better, oh so buttery and addictive.

Pan tumaca house bread with spread fresh tomato and extra virgin olive oil with a side of garlic sauce. This one by comparison wasn’t as good, it tasted like a mushy bruschetta and the garlic sauce didn’t really add to the flavour.

I couldn’t really find our food on the menu except for chorizo, but here is a break down of what we ate.

Prawns – Kudos to them for serving their food very hot (it was still bubbling!) despite being busy. They were a bit salty though.

Chorizogrilled house made spicy chorizo, red wine jus and roasted garlic sauce. It tasted like a chunky version of Chinese dried pork, if you have eaten it you’ll know what I’m talking about. I don’t know if I’ve ever eaten an authentic chorizo but I know I haven’t tasted one like that before.

Slow roasted pork – the smaller pieces were more tender and soaked up the sauce really well. The chunky pieces were tough and too thick to enjoy.

Cold chicken sandwiches – a nice cold dish to cool off the tongue after those peppers. A little bit crumbly to eat because of the hard bread.

Mushrooms – I can’t really describe the taste, I didn’t know if I liked them at first but the taste grew on me.

Despite not having any say in choosing the food, they gave us ample amounts (we didn’t finish the pork or the peppers) but still left just enough space to sample some desserts (and don’t we all have a separate stomach for desserts anyway? image).

Desserts~ not included in the tapas party

Tarta al chocolate traditional chocolate cake served warm with gelato ($8.00). As promised in the description, a warm chocolate cake, nothing unique but it hit the sweet spot.

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Crema Catalana cooked cream served with burnt sugar ($8.00). From the description I knew I was ordering a creme brulee like substance. The custard had a citrus hint to it but I couldn’t get over the gritty-ness of the texture. For the first time had to leave most of my dessert in protest over the the poor texture. I should have tried the Natilla (sweet custard served with house made biscuits).

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Churros con chocolate traditional pastries served with chocolate ($8.00). Covered in a bit too much sugar for me, but it was served nice and hot with just the right amount chocolate (debatable for some, didn’t one of us try and lick the bowl clean?  image).

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Try as we might, we never did finish off those peppers, there were still so many left even after a decent effort from each of us.

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The staff were friendly although we had to consistently ask for more water and they forgot one of our desserts. I think you should ditch your friends (or go with less than 7 of them) and choose your own food. I heard their range of ‘pintxos from the kitchen’ is definitely worth a try. I didn’t absolutely love this meal but I’m keen to come back and try different things.

Venue: Bodega de Pintxos Taperia Espanola

Address: 27 Kennedy St, Kingston, ACT 2604

Phone: (02) 6295 0777

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Me and Mrs. Jones

——-09/12/12——-

Me and Mrs. Jones had only been open for 3 weeks but the word must have spread as Sunday had a bustling brunch service, luckily I booked!

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Tropical sunrise  strawberries, banana, mango nectar and passionfruit blended with ice ($8.00). I think the price is a bit steep for a beverage but it was very fruity and refreshing.

Motown mochachocolate pieces, double shot espresso, milk blended with ice and crushed flake ($8.00). Whoa! This was a hit in the face of coffee and chocolate flavours. A bit too strong for my liking.

The food took a while to arrive with a full dining area but they did apologise for the delay.

Buttermilk pancakes, fresh seasonal berries, sour cream gelati and vanilla bean syrup ($16.00). Great pancakes, Timmy ate this faster than he ordered it! I couldn’t tell that it was supposed to be sour cream gelati.

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Smashing Persiansmashed avocado, Persian feta, soy linseed toast and poached egg ($17.00). It was very unlike me to choose an option without bacon but there was something really appealing about this dish. I thought it should have had another piece of toast or something to make it more filling but I had a day of eating ahead of me so I didn’t mind.

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The interior decor has a very industrial feel. People were having lunch as I was leaving and they used really cute small fryer baskets to hold the chips with burgers.

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I hope they continue their attentive friendly service. I’ve heard the burgers are really good but I really want to come back for more breakfast options like ‘parfait‘ – frozen yoghurt parfait, fresh stone fruit salad and pistachio crumble ($15.00) or ‘cassoulet‘ – white bean cassoulet, speck lardons, eshallots, poached egg and toasted sourdough.

Venue: Me and Mrs. Jones

Address: Corner of Giles & Kennedy Street, Kingston, ACT 2604

Phone: (02) 6162 3355

Website: http://www.mmjones.com.au/

The Kennedy Room – bar and dining

——-03/03/2012——-

I don’t have the most fun when it comes to hens nights with always being the designated driver and seeing everything through ‘sober eyes’, but when I heard that this particular hens night was just a simple dinner at the Kennedy Room and drinks afterwards, I was rather excited to go.

It seemed easy enough, no crazy ‘to achieve’ list or hideous veil for the bride-to-be, just delicious food and one ‘no fuss $40 set menu’ to include bubbles and dinner. Apparently not so easy to book for my friend who was organising the dinner, the guy who took the booking was meticulous on the rules of no phallic objects in the restaurant, the terms and conditions for 10+ people bookings, the deposit and blah blah blah,  my friend just said that she would ring back later. The next day when she rang, she was greeted by a more casual friendly tone (and another person) to just come in and pay the deposit soon.

I have never been to the Kennedy Room but I instantly got a vibe that this was a trendy location with a pretentious feel about it, which might have been justified if there wasn’t a bucket in the middle of the room to catch the roof leaks.

Not knowing what was going to come out, I was pleasantly surprised at the variety and the sensible portions of food.

Tapas~

Mixed dips with ciabatta House made Italian bread 


Zucchini balls with harissa yoghurt – These had a bit of a chilli bite to them which I really liked, possibly the nicest zucchini balls I’ve ever eaten. 


Caramelised roast pork belly with chilli & coconut vinegar – This was so delicious, which I was really happy about- nothing worse than ruining a delicious piece of pork belly. The only bad thing was that we only got one piece each. 

Fried calamari spiced with sumac & black pepper – Slightly oily but really really good.

Pizzas~

Tropical leg ham, pineapple & mozzarella – Ok I know it’s just pizza, but there was something really delicious about it that I can’t put my finger on, but it may have been the best tropical pizza I have ever eaten (and I have eaten a fair few).

Amritsar tandoori chicken, cucumber & yoghurt – also delicious with generous portions of the ingredients.

Sides~

Mixed green salad and chips.

Regardless of the ridiculous terms and conditions for tables of 10 or more, I am very keen to try the food from the a la carte menu. Despite being very busy, this did not affect the quality of food, everything that we ate that night was really good. I wouldn’t stay too late though, the volume of the music seems to be proportional to the time.

Venue: The Kennedy Room bar and dining

Address: 25 Kennedy St, Kingston, ACT 

Phone:(02) 61622318

Websitehttp://www.thekennedyroom.com/

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It’s finally here! Brodburger- opening night

——-27/03/2012——-

It has been a long wait since my last (first and only) delicious burger at the Brodburger caravan as it has been closed since last December. The iconic red caravan now sits at the front by road which serves as a reminder of the humble beginnings of the cafe and will be there while the cafe is being established.

Arriving at 6:30pm, I wasn’t shocked that the line was out the door and then some, but it meant that I had to wait that extra bit longer before my craving was satisfied. One of the owners, Ms Bou-Jaoude, was very grateful for the loyal support and extended her thanks down the line up which I thought was very sweet.

The line is deceiving, you don’t think there are that many people in front of you until you find that people are forever spotting ‘friends’ and jumping the queue. If you’re clever and there is a lot of you, it is best that someone gets there super early. Or in my case, find a friend who lives close by (preferably within the 2km range that the new buzzers have) and hang out at their place while waiting or even get them to order for you- yeah Tomo? 

I saw happy customers leaving, I couldn’t tell if it was a ‘ha! I’ve eaten and you’re still waiting’ look or a genuinely happy customer as they did look like they had a smirk, or was this just hungry paranoia setting in? 

We get passed a menu and my eyes dart everywhere, I’ve waited this long, now what to get? 

40 minutes later: finally through the door! A whole lot less windy and looking behind me, I was definitely in the ‘front half of the line. We amuse ourselves by staring in the entrance way wallpapered in articles, reviews and the signed petition by loyal customers. We’re close now, I could smell it, the downside being inside the actual restaurant meant seeing all the food go past with the smell wafting behind.

Their tip jar was very cute! Embracing their new location, this glass hamburger tip jar was made by Annette Blair and Mel George.

Finally! After an hour of waiting in the queue, we order our food (@7:30pm all the vegie burgers were sold out):

1). Brodchicken with briesucculent butterflied chicken breast, flame grilled. Topped with bacon, avocado, fresh lettuce tomatoes & Spanish onions. Includes homelade chili aoili & tomato relish ($13.50)

2). Brodsteak medium rare – 250g rib eye off the bone, fresh lettuce, tomatoes, Spanish onions, smokey bbq aioli and relish ($15.00)

3). A serve of chips ($4.00)

4). Baby brodburger with cheddar1/2 pound beef patty, flamed grilled. Fresh lettuce, tomatoes & Spanish onions. Includes homemade aioli and tomato relish ($8.00) 

As I reach in my bag to pay, I realise my wallet was not in there (it fell out in my car which was currently at home), luckily Tim was there otherwise I’d be so angry I waited in line for an hour for nothing! They tear me a receipt number ‘69’ which made me giggle like a school girl and I head to find a space for two in the urban jungle that was the inside seating while Tim ventured home to get my wallet for the movies.

It’s a ‘sit down where you can’ situation if there is less than four of you and it can get really noisy in there (almost worth just getting take away to avoid the chatter). I don’t mind sitting with randoms but it does have it’s downside- they receive their orders first and I tried not to awkwardly stare and drool.

40 minutes after ordering- the food arrives. Tim isn’t back yet so I sit there alone with two and a half burgers and an order of fries looking like a pig but I didn’t care. He did say start without him! 

I started with a bite from my baby brodburger. OMG, it was soo good! Maybe even better (or maybe I was hungrier?)

In between my happy clap and wiping my fingers, I proceed to take a bit from my brodsteak– it was no where near as good *sad face* and I found the sauce too overpowering. When I decided to abandon my bun 2/3s of the way in to make space for the baby brodburger, the steak was much nicer on it’s own.

Tim loooooved the brodchicken and although he isn’t a big fan of cheese (particularly soft cheeses), he loved the creamy combination of the cheese, sauces and avocado. The chicken thickness was perfect and the bread was crispy and soft.

I was wondering how their breakfast menu would be considering they hadn’t been open for breakfast previously. Some items made me excited- roschti, sweet and savoury crepes and freshly baked scones! My friends were lucky enough to eat from the breakfast menu today!

Tomo and Sophie were previously munching on: Brodbreakfast burgerbacon, two eggs, roschti with your choice of cheese ($12.50)

They thoroughly enjoyed it which made me envious as I looked at the photos while eating a yoghurt at my desk.  Thanks Tomo and Sophie for the photos (p.s. your mug is heaps cute!).

Hate lining up? Well don’t bother, your annoyed mood will just tarnish the taste. If you have a bit of patience (I’m sure the timing of ordering etc will improve) or if your time it well, it is well worth it!

Venue: Brodburger- Flame grilled burgers

Address: 11 Wentworth Avenue  Kingston ACT 2604

Opening hours: Tuesday and Wednesday from 7am to 10pm

                                     Thursday to Saturday from 7am to midnight

                                      Sunday from 7am to 4pm.


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The burgers are better at Brodburger

——- One Wednesday late last year——-

I thought I would have eaten here again by now, but with the wait of the relocation of the famous red caravan a few hundred metres down the Kingston foreshore to the cafe at Canberra Glassworks, my tummy is still craving seconds and all I have for now are just memories…

The plan was set- meet at the red caravan and eat delicious burgers but I some how got caught up in some shopping and was running late. “Order for me” I pleaded and even though I was 30 minutes late I still beat the burgers. Thanks for ordering for me guys! 

The lines are long, bring a chair/picnic blankets and stay awhile.

To pass away the time, my friends were drinking a funny named beers.

Yes it was getting pretty dark outside by the time we got our burgers.

Brodchicken marinated chicken breast, bacon, avocado, chilli aioli with brie ($9.00) 

Brodburger- Flame grilled A grade gourmet beef patty„ fresh lettuce, tomatoes, and Spanish onions, homemade aioli and tomato relish and swiss cheese ($9.00)

Despite being a Wednesday, it still took little over an hour from order to receiving out highly anticipated burgers but while we were all happily scoffing our burgers, I realised it was all worth the wait, just bring some cool friends to wait with.

I cannot wait for the re-launch of Brodburger @ the Glassworks cafe hopefully by mid March.

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