Kusina

It was just coincidental that I was able to get to Kusina‘s Monday Madness AND Boodle feast in the same week but I was one happy well fed girl!

Monday Madness~

All you can eat served with unlimited papaya salad, rice and soft drink ($24.00 pp) every Monday

I would definitely recommend booking; I booked for a table for four and we were seated on the last available table. When we ordered we said that two of us wanted the ‘fry up platter’ and the others would have the ‘grill platter’, which meant that we could try a bit of everything. Some of the pork pieces were really fatty but the grilled meats were marinated really well so that was our pick of the platters. The first platters were served with banana leaves underneath and were well presented, while the subsequent ‘refills’ were just meat on a plate. They were happy to give you more of anything when you had finished which minimises food wastage.

Fry up platter crispy chicken wings + crispy pork bellyGrill platter grilled pork belly marinated with sweet BBQ sauce + grilled chicken marinated in lemongrass, garlic, soy



Boodle Feast~

($36.00 pp – minimum of 4 people?) last Sunday of every month.Again I would definitely recommend booking, this feast only happens once a month and man, the restaurant was packed when we arrived. I didn’t know what to expect and no one really explained anything to us, I just knew that there wasn’t going to be any cutlery which meant I had to tie my hair up, clean my hands and wear something with lots of patterns so you couldn’t tell how much food I dropped on myself.

I told a waitress that we were ready to eat when all the guests had arrived and moments later, an impressive sized board was placed on our table. I didn’t catch all the names but the gist was (starting from the top left) potato salad, corn cobs, beef, grilled chicken wings, pork belly, fish balls, prawns and rice in the middle. Everything was really good, there was a vast difference in texture, flavours and meat. My pick of the platter would have to be the grilled chicken wings (regular readers would not be surprised) and the prawns (oh that sauce!). It was easy for me to get ‘handsy’ with most of the food but I really struggled to eat the rice without a spoon or chopsticks, especially since it wouldn’t clump in a ball for me as hard as I tried. I ended up with a lot of grains of rice in my hair (at the end of my plait, I didn’t just tip rice on my head) and down my dress, but it is a different way to experience food and I’d be happy to it eat again.

We didn’t understand if anymore was coming so we requested more chicken wings and rice, which we were happy to extra pay for. They came back with more rice and only two chicken wings but we weren’t charged more.

Leche flan ($9.80). A little thicker than I thought it would be, it had the texture more like New York cheesecake rather than an egg custard but it still tasted very nice.

All You Can Eat

When you mention ‘all you can eat’, most people would think of the the dodgy looking Family Food Court upstairs in Dickson (which is now closed) or the Star Buffet down in Kambah, but there is more that Canberra can offer.

See below for more all you can eat options.

Kusina 

Monday Madness 5pm – 9pm ( $24.00 pp). Choose one of the platters or better still go with someone else to get a chance to eat a bit of everything, just finish your platter before ordering more. Monday Madness is served with unlimited papaya salad, rice and soft drink.

Grilled platter grilled pork belly marinated with sweet BBQ sauce + grilled chicken marinated lemongrass, ginger, garlic, soy

or

Fry up platter crispy chicken wings + crispy pork bellyUntitled.png


Park Hyatt Canberra Afternoon Tea ($59.00pp)

Enjoy the famous afternoon tea buffet during Friday (2:30pm to 5:00pm), Saturday and Sunday (11:00am to 1:30pm and 2:30pm to 5:00pm) at the Park Hyatt. They have an array of savouries, finger sandwiches, freshly baked scones, a selection of tempting cakes and slices and includes a glass of Lerida Estate Zenzi sparkling wine.


The Promenade Cafe

This is one I’ve haven’t tried yet but they have a breakfast buffet, seafood buffet and a BBQ and roast buffet! This is the information I found on their website.

Breakfast
Daily Full Buffet ($39.00pp)

Lunch
Saturday Full Seafood Buffet with antipasto, hot and grand desserts ($75.00pp)

Sunday BBQ and Roast Buffet with bountiful seafood, soup of the day with fresh bread, live cooking stations, gourmet salads and selections of antipasto, hot buffet dishes, farmhouse cheeses and decadent desserts ($85.00pp for cuisine only or $115.00pp inclusive of unlimited beverages for 2 hours that includes Australian sparkling, white and red wine, draught beer & soft drink).

Dinner
Wednesday – Sunday  Full Seafood Buffet with antipasto, hot and grand dessert ($75.00pp)


Up 2 U ($25.00pp)

During the cold winter nights, you can warm up with a personal steam boat with your friends at Up 2 U in Belconnen. There is a large range of meat, noodles, vegetables, seafood options and condiments.

If ‘all you can eat’ hot pot isn’t for you, you can also order their delicious claypot rice or BBQed skewers.


Eightysix ($86.00pp)

That’s right, you can get all you can eat at a fancy pants trendy restaurant. Apparently no disclaimers, just let them know you’re ordering the all you can eat menu, order until your heart/stomach’s content and try and be out before the next seating (usually two hours). We greedily ordered all their desserts because we could!

Their pasta range is A-MA-ZING! Read my latest visit here.

 

There is a huge variety in the ‘all you can eat’ sector from sweets to Asian to modern Australian, all with a varying price tag. Which one will you be trying?

 

 

 

Fun filled weekend- Pasko sa Canberra 

Pasko sa Canberra must be the best kept secret amongst the Filopino community. It is an event proudly hosted by the Filopino community of the ACT in cooperation with the Philippine embassy, to allow people to experience Philippine Christmas in Canberra. This was the first year I’ve heard about it and I grabbed a friend to come with me even though we did not know what really to expect.

There was lechon (roasted suckling pig), halo halo and banana cue as far as the eye could see. My friend and I were wondering where this festival had been all our lives! The first stop had to be for lechon and some rice ($13.00?). I found the closest stall and ordered a ‘large box’, after being left behind and ignored for a bit after paying, I finally got some suckling pig with a little bit of rice; the meat was rather fatty with lots of bones but I still liked it. What we enjoyed the most was the small dabble of sauce from the braised pork dish, maybe I should have ordered that with rice instead. Next year we’ll have a better understanding of what to get.Sriracha chicken wings with rice ($8.00) from Kusina. We really should have stopped eating rice with everything but we couldn’t help ourselves. These chicken wings were more sweet that chilli hot and we really enjoyed this.Adobo and longanisa with yes… More rice ($15.00?). We were done snacking, if I was going to eat anything from a Filopino festival, it would have to be adobo and I finally found it in the far back corner of the festival. If you didn’t bite down on a peppercorn, it has a lovely salty garlicky sauce with succulent chicken pieces. I really want to do make this before the end of the year. My friend chose the longanisa sausage which reminded me of a sweeter version of Chinese sausage. Both were really tasty and I’m glad that we found such unique dishes that were so tasty amongst so many choices.Marinated pork shoulder skewer our sweet BBQ sauce of banana ketchup, soy sauce, vinegar and other secret stuff cooked over coals on our custom BBQ ($4.00) plus garlic rice ($1.00) and paw paw salad ($1.00) from Gee and Jem. We only ate the top third of the skewer as the rest of the meat was too fatty and chewy, which was a shame because the parts that we could eat were awesome! Yes, when I saw the option of garlic rice I couldn’t say no, it had a fabulous aroma and a beautiful crunchy texture.

I leave my friend alone for 5 minutes and she comes back with a banana cue and some sort of dough stick covered in sugar. We didn’t really like the banana cue (I thought it needed condensed milk, but I think everything could do with a little condensed milk) and the dough stick reminded me of a sweet version of Chinese youtiao.

Classic sans rival ($10.00) from Lolo and Lola. I was really disappointed that they had sold out of the mango sans rival (actually they had almost sold out of everything) but I happily bought the classic version which is layers of buttercream, meringue and chopped cashews. I cannot wait for their shipping container to be opened at Westside pop up village!
My friend and I had lots of fun and we are super keen to return to future events. I really enjoy Filopino food but I feel I need to take someone who knows more about it than I do otherwise I’ll keep eating just adobo and rice.

Kusina re-run

This was an unplanned dinner but I figured since we were in the area after an appointment, we would find something easy and good to eat at Cooleman Court. TimmyC’s eyes lit up when I mentioned Kusina. Kusina it is then!

Filipino favourites~

Four seasons juice pineapple, orange, guava, mango ($3.50). The juice was really nice but I couldn’t distinguish the mango/tropical flavours, it just tasted like a really well made bottled juice.IMG_5855.JPGSomething small~

Lumpiang shanghai (5pcs) fried spring rolls, pork prawn, sweet chilli sauce ($9.00). The spring rolls are unlike anything I’ve tasted that looks like a spring roll. It had a lot of pepper with a few shreds of onion but the main flavour is an unusual pork taste. I wasn’t particularly a fan.IMG_5856.JPGFrom the grill~

Inihaw na baka beef scotch fillet, assorted condiments: lemon onions, tofu salad, garlic mayonnaise ($25.50). The steak was well seasoned, well cooked and the fat was rendered nicely. All in all, a fabulous steak, i just didn’t think it was a very exciting dish or that the condiments added much to the meal.IMG_5861.JPGIMG_5863.JPGA beautiful piece of meat cooked so well, I didn’t think it needed all the condiments, rice or the garlic mayo.IMG_5862.JPGSomething to share~

Sizzling sisig (Kusina’s best seller). Thrice cooked pork, chilli, lime, mayonnaise, egg ($22.00). This dish is a combination of pieces of pork, soft pork skin and crispy pork crackle. It is very creamy (from the mayo)/meaty and the egg really brought the flavours of dish together as well as literally bind them together after being stirred in with the hot ingredients. I also loved the addition of lime wedges. I can see how this is a popular dish, it is truly delicious and goes very well with rice. We ordered plain rice to not take anything away from the dishes itself.IMG_5860.JPGNot the most prettiest dish but I would definitely recommend this!IMG_5858.JPGMy friends and I have talked about doing this, maybe I should remind them and we could try it next month.IMG_5852.JPGWe came in late without a booking which was fine, but when they turned off the kitchen heat lamp, our already dim corner seemed like someone turned off the lights and it was time for bed.

The staff was very friendly and attentive. I really enjoyed the food that we ordered (well the mains at least). I would love to come back and try more of the menu or maybe even their breakfast!

Don’t forget to use your Entertainment book voucher!

Kusina banquet

Organising a ‘kids dinner’ where we were all food enthusiasts was challenging when we are all so busy, live in different areas and we wanted to go somewhere we haven’t been before. I had narrowed it down to a few options but Kusina won because a) I promised I’d go with Dan the first time that I went (the second time is close enough right?) b) it is an interesting cuisine c) it has an easy location to find parking and get to for all of us.

When I called to book they insisted we pre-ordered a banquet due to the size of the group and to give the kitchen a heads up. Considering we had to choose one banquet that pleased everyone before meeting up in less than 48hrs proved to be difficult, thank goodness for email/sms/smartphones these days where everyone was able to get back to me ASAP.

Sharing menu two $38.00 per person (good for 8 people and above). They gave us two of every dish and one of every entrée to try between the 10 of us which was nice and meant that we really got to try everything that they had to offer.

Entrees~

Pritong Manok crispy chicken wings, banana ketchup mayonnaise. I’ve had these before, they sounds better than they taste because it’s just a chicken wing with not so special dipping sauce.

image

Garlic rice/steamed rice- I couldn’t tell this had any garlic in it at all which is a shame because it is one of the few reasons why I chose this banquet. Yes, rice is a big factor to me.

Lumpiang Sariwa fresh spring roll, crepe wrapper, stir fried vegetables. A simple vegetable stir fry to break up the loads of meat yet to come but the crepe wrapper tore easily and made it hard to eat.

Inihaw na baboy/manok pork or chicken skewers, garlic, chilli, palm vinegar.Lovely marinated meat.

Mango milkshake (not included in the banquet). Tasted like a very smooth blended mango lassi.

Bulalo beef broth, osso bucco, bok choy, spring onion – I didn’t realise that this was an entrée because it came out very late in the meal. Being an Asian I enjoy a consume soup with lots of ingredients but the actual broth itself was so salty and almost unbearable. The osso bucco was very tender and if you drained it away from the soup it was rather pleasant to eat.

image

Mains~

Pansit Canton egg noodles, pork and vegetables – A favourite with the table as it had lots of crispy pork, which had fatty layer that would get stuck in your teeth. It didn’t have many noodles though.

image

Adobong Manok marinated chicken, vinegar, soy, quail eggs. This had a salty marinade with tender succulent chicken but I’m not the biggest fan of quail eggs though.

image

Inihaw na Baka beef sirloin, caramelised onions, lemon – I thought I would enjoy this as I love sirloin but the sauce that was on it was crazily vinegary and I could only eat a small piece with a LOT of rice. Suffice to say that I didn’t go back for seconds.

image

Bicol Express braised pork, spicy coconut cream – A wonderful semi spicy fragrant curry with tender pork. Definitely one of my favourite dishes of the night.

image

Ginisang Gulay stir fried cabbage, cauliflower, snow peas, red peppers – a simple refreshing break away from all the meat dishes. 

image

And just when I thought that no more food could come out… 

Cameron Rebusado fried shrimp with garlic chilli sauce – I didn’t think it was particularly special and it could have been slightly more crisp.

image

Inihaw na Isda baby snapper, spicy mango salsa – Ok, confession time. I didn’t fully read the banquet menu before I ordered, after seeing garlic rice, sirloin and pork I was convinced, so I was slightly surprised that a) more food came out and b) that they would serve a whole fish. The salsa was delicious and had a bit of a kick with what seemed like fresh mango (where did they get mango from during this time of year?). The fish itself was rather dry and very boney (where are the adult Asians when you need them?), this was one of the least touched dishes but I don’t know if that because we were all so full or because most people wouldn’t know how to eat fish with bones.

image

Dessert~

Leche flan creme caramel, lemon ice cream. No individual serves (three flans between 5 people), but after all that food it was probably for the best. A not overly sweet creme caramel that tasted like it was made from evaporated milk (which I love), contrasted to the refreshing cool lemon sorbet.

image

I was astounded by the pace of the meal, not long after nibbling on the chicken wings, the skewers came out, then the vegetarian pancakes, before I even finished the entrees the mains came rolling out- pork, beef, chicken, noodles, soup and just when you didn’t think any more food come out, then came the vegetables, prawns and a whole fish. Not a banquet for the faint hearted, it had stacks of food with a nice variety to please all palettes, obviously people will like some dishes more than others.