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.

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Fun filled weekend – The Forage

After hours of eating at the AAA BBQ festival, my friend and I decided to go up the car park at the Little National Hotel located in Barton and check out Hustle and Scout before eating again at The Forage. She had been to The Forage previously when it was last held at the Kingston Old Bus Depot and said that The Forage this time was much bigger and had much more variety of food stalls. It looked like they upped their food game.

We had to be careful how much we ate because I still had my heart set on dinner somewhere specific even after the days events. Please note that more friends joined us so we didn’t eat all this between just the two of us.

Starting from the top left (clockwise):

Miss Van’s fried chicken wings garlic and sriracha marinade  ($8.00). This was a fabulous way to start the event. The chicken wings didn’t take long to be served and they were hot and crispy with lots of flavour. I hope they eventually add this permanently to their Westside menu.

Yang’s Malaysian food truck chicken wings with mamee noodles and slaw ($8.00?). The chicken didn’t taste as good as Miss Van’s but we all really enjoyed the slaw and loved the addition of the mamee noodles.

Yang’s Malaysian food truck Roti canai with chicken curry. I loved the flaky buttery texture of the roti and the delicious curry didn’t make it soggy even when you’re a slow eater.

B St. Bakery white chocolate mudcake with raspberries, white chocolate ganache and vanilla buttercream. TimmyC ran off somewhere and came back with this slice cake, I thought it would be too rich but I could have easily eaten the whole piece of cake myself. Everything was just sweet enough and it had a great dense texture while looking beautiful.

54 Benjamin’s house made peach and lime soda ($5.00). Eating and shopping can be hard work, so a refreshing drink was a must and this was perfect!

Dream cuisine short bread ($3.00 a piece). I had a ‘sample piece’ knowing it was going to be delicious and it was! The crumbly short bread texture had a great buttery taste with a subtle salt finish leaving you wanting more. Unfortunately TimmyC ate most of my short bread, dammit I should have bought more!The new location was nice and spacious but not knowing the Barton area well, it was harder to find parking. Everyone looked like they really enjoyed themselves and the weather had cooled to a nice temperature by the time we got there. I wonder if they will keep the event here?This had to be the saddest thing about the event, when Get Lucky sold out of ice cream sandwiches before I got there. 😦I always thought the timing of the event was odd but now they have changed the time to 3pm – 8pm which at least covers a meal time (previously it was 2pm -7pm). I really enjoy the Forage and Hustle and Scout as it pairs two of my favourite things: food and shopping. I hope they only get bigger and better from here.

Eat Local markets

I had hours of late night shopping a head of me but that didn’t stop me from ducking over to the Botanic Gardens to check out their inaugural Eat Local market, where they encourage people to buy local and eat local by offering chemical and GMO free produce from the Riverina, Tumut and the Canberra region. As I drove through the front gates, I was directed to the car park on the left hand side which was a short stroll to the markets. I parked and figured I didn’t have to pay for parking because it was sort of after hours (after 5pm) and I could only stay for a short while.I was there just in time to see Costa Georgiadis officially cut the ‘ribbon’ to the inaugural Eat Local market with help from some children.I was limited to what I could purchase because I wasn’t really home over the weekend and I only had a small cooler bag as I was heading to the mall afterwards but I still went to every stall to see what they had to offer. I have been to a lot of food markets in my time and I could only recognise two market stalls which means that it’s not the same vendors that you see at the rest of the Canberra markets. This market also had the advantage of being on a weekday for all those who want to do their food shopping early, keeping their weekends free.

The markets were on the small side but they had a vast variety of stall holders from apples, flowers, seafood, fresh vegetables, frozen blueberries, honey, eggs, pies, cheese and sauces; really everything you would need to make a lovely home-made meal.  I would definitely go back and try things from different vendors and stay a while longer. I really wanted to try the locally made halloumi but they had sold out before I got there. 😦The only hot food available at the market was the Floresco cafe and Cooper’s handmade pies which made a huge variety of flavours; I chose cold items to heat and eat later.

Waygu beef and beer pie local Yalandra Wagyu beef mince, with sautéed onions in a Jamieson Mountain ale gravy ($8.00). The filling was very dark, rich and delicious.

Sausage roll (recently award Silver at the Royal Melbourne Fine Food Awards) Rockgilla beef sausage mince, with locally grown onions, garlic, fresh home-grown parsley and our secret blend of herbs and spices in our flaky pastry ($6.00). The sausage roll filling was very thick and dense which stayed in a sausage shape. I really liked the flavour but I wish there was more of a fluffy texture to the filling rather than a solid roll.
I was heading to dinner so I couldn’t buy a hot pie and eat it at the market, although I was really tempted when I saw the ‘injection’ options.I had also bought some cheese from Boosey Creek cheese, their cumin gouda was unique and I loved the taste but their vintage cheddar won me over and I knew I was going to have some awesome jaffles in my near future.

I’m hoping that the warmer weather will encourage more visitors to the markets which may in turn drive more interest from other growers to attend. It was slowly getting dark just before 6pm, when I asked a stall holder about how they will see things when the sun goes down, they said they were hoping for day light savings to kick in soon to help them out with a bit more light but some stall holders were set with some lighting until then. There are ATM and bathroom facilities within the cafe.

Venue: Eat Local markets

Address: in the Botanical Garden’s top car-park and concourse, Clunies Ross street

Opening times: markets are on every Friday from 2:30pm to 7:00 pm

Bradley Street Festival – Don’t forget

All I heard was blah blah blah, Two Before Ten Jaffle Van!? 

Bradley Street Festival

  • 13 Dec 2014, 10:00am
  • Bradley Street (Hoyts side)

Event Details

Westfield with Earlybird Events presents the Bradley Street Festival, Canberra’s newest street event!

See the Veronicas perform live alongside some of the best local performances including Kulture Break, Wassa Wassa from Red Hill, the Launch of Club Lime’s Kids Born to Move Classes, and more throughout the day.

Former BMX World Champion Cam White will be performing stunts as well as signing autographs!

There’s heaps more action to get involved in as well with:

Live Cooking Demonstrations with Kate Freeman

Blender Smoothie Bikes

Facepainting

Pop up Cold Press Juice

Two Before Ten Jaffle Van

Roving characters including Paddington Bear!

There is plenty to entertain the entire family and a great way to celebrate the holiday season!

Enlighten Night Noodle Markets is heading to Canberra

I shared this to my FaceBook page, but for those who missed out on the news:

Enlighten Night Noodle Markets is heading to Canberra

Save the date now for the much anticipated Enlighten Night Noodle Markets, launching in the ACT from February 27 – March 8, 2015. Expect an exciting array of Asian-inspired dishes, themed bars, music and heaps of atmosphere, all amid the spectacle of lights that is Enlighten. Restaurants interested in participating can register here.

Bradley Street Festival

All I heard was blah blah blah, Two Before Ten Jaffle Van!?

 

Bradley Street Festival

  • 13 Dec 2014, 10:00am
  • Bradley Street (Hoyts side)

Event Details

Westfield with Earlybird Events presents the Bradley Street Festival, Canberra’s newest street event!

See the Veronicas perform live alongside some of the best local performances including Kulture Break, Wassa Wassa from Red Hill, the Launch of Club Lime’s Kids Born to Move Classes, and more throughout the day.

Former BMX World Champion Cam White will be performing stunts as well as signing autographs!

There’s heaps more action to get involved in as well with:

Live Cooking Demonstrations with Kate Freeman

Blender Smoothie Bikes

Facepainting

Pop up Cold Press Juice

Two Before Ten Jaffle Van

Roving characters including Paddington Bear!

There is plenty to entertain the entire family and a great way to celebrate the holiday season!

What’s in season

With the warmer weather approaching and everyone opting for BBQs and house parties rather than restaurants, people should be buying fresh local produce and take advantage of what is in season.

I never remember what is in season, but I avoid buying fresh produce from overseas. I came across a handy guide from The Food Co-op that I thought I’d share with everyone so we get the best of our local fresh produce.

Heng Hing Roast Inn

We were braving the Belconnen markets on Christmas eve eve with everyone scrambling to get their fresh seafood, fruit and groceries done before the big day by going there to eat lunch but I wanted to try something different/had a chance of opening.

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Lots of large photos and choices so you know what you’re getting.20131224-065145.jpg

Duck noodle soup with rice noodles ($13.50). Not an overly salty broth with the duck juices and skin lending itself for a bit of flavour while the soup made the duck not too salty. A great balance.

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Beef brisket with noodles ($13.50). In the typical Chinese braised sauce. I was rather impressed that this fatty tender cut of meat was cooked authentically.

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Combination chow mein ($16.50). Ever since Hidden dragon shut down I have been forever hunting down a good chow mein that has crispy egg noodle, not the tiny shards of fried stuff that is constantly being served everywhere and I think I have found one! A thick rich gravy covering a crispy egg noodle nest which was slowly absorbing the sauce.

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Roast pork and roast duck rice plate ($13.50). This is my ‘go to’ dish with a whole meal including vegetables is on one plate with my favourite two roast meats. The roast pork pieces are cut smaller than I’m used to and I found the meat had dried out a bit (they are supposed to cut the meat just before serving) but the succulent roast duck made up for the disappointment. I know what I’m getting next time!

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A very casual place to get some great authentic Chinese food and in the convenient spot where all the fresh produce is held. I wonder how good their laksa is… Hmmmm.

Venue: Heng Hing Roast Inn

Address: Shop 12A, Belconnen Fresh Food Markets, Belconnen

Phone: (02) 6253 4888

Opening hours: 8:00am – 6:00pm Wednesday – Sunday

Currently snacking on…

I had to do a loop of the whole Food and Fashion Handmade markets despite being there for one purpose. At first it seemed like the same set of stalls- jams, chocolate, cupcakes and more cupcakes, but then a new macaron stall caught my eye. Lu’mon macarons had a nice simple clean set up but what made me smirk and come back and get something even though I was running crazily late for my lunch date was there unique flavours.

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They had a variety of flavours but I was going to skip out on the ‘boring’ flavours and just grab those which were unique to this store and of course a salted butter caramel as a measuring stick.

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Macarons honeycomb, iced vovo, salted butter caramel, snickers, red skins and bubblegum (not shown) 6 for $15.00.

Snickers: EXACTLY like the chocolate bar, you wouldn’t even have to tell me what the flavour was.

Honeycomb: this had a honeycomb centre which was a pleasant surprise.

Salted butter caramel: Not THE best but definitely up there.

Red skins: wow, I was amazed how this flavour to be so dead on but have such a different texture to the candy.

Bubblegum: more for Timmy than me but I could appreciate the taste and the likeness.

Iced vovo: since all the other flavours were so great, I was looking foward to this one the most and left it til last. Sadly the raspberry component tasted medicinal and it was the worst flavour out of the 6.

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Wonderful textures and flavours, does anyone know where I can find these macarons outside of random market days?

Thanks for the heads up Learnian! Ill check them out 😀

A friendly reminder from our market friends

Reminder: No Market on show weekend

The Royal Canberra Show

It’s that time of year again — time for showbags, sideshow alley, animal displays and cake decorating competitions.  That’s right; the ActewAGL Royal Canberra Show will be held at Exhibition Park in Canberra (EPIC) on the weekend of22-24 February 2013.  

As a result, there will be NO Capital Region Farmers Market on that weekend and we’ll also be finishing up a bit early this Saturday 16 February (11.00am) to allow for set-up for the show.  However, it will be business as usual the following weekend (Saturday 2 March 2013), so make sure you roll-up, roll-up on 2 March to get your Farmers Market fix!

PS: We’ll also be closed on Easter Saturday (Saturday 30 March 2013) for the National Folk Festival, but we’ll remind you again closer to the date.