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?”

 

 

 

 

Meatball Monday – IKEA Canberra

Recently road signs have warned of major delays in the Majura area for at least a week starting this Monday 16th November. Why? If you somehow have not heard, the IKEA Canberra store is opening and everyone wants to be there. According to the Facebook event, over 13,000 people want to be there during their opening celebrations starting from around 6:30am and the store will open at 9:30am.One of my friends who has never been to an IKEA store before asked me ‘what is the big deal about IKEA?’; this made me ponder and I didn’t know where to start. I wanted to tell her that when it opens in Canberra on Monday it will be the most sustainable store in Australia using LED lighting, they have just under 2000 solar panels, they source sustainable salmon as well as becoming the first major retailer to source 100% of its cotton from more sustainable sources, just to name a few things. I also wanted to mention their charity initiatives supporting educational project run by Save the Children and UNICEF. Instead, I explained that most people want to improve their home and their personal spaces and IKEA helps people to do that regardless of socioeconomic backgrounds. Despite people saying that everyone’s houses will look the same, there is so much choice and room for personalising, I don’t think that would be the case.

I was lucky enough to have a sneak peek of  Canberra’s IKEA store on Friday and I wanted to tell you all what you’re in store for starting Monday.

Unlike other IKEA stores, Canberra’s store is single level and will be the first in Australia to have a ‘IKEA Cafe’ with coffees, cakes and some savoury options available. The IKEA restaurant itself has a 380 seat capacity and I would consider the whole menu to be a bargain and that’s not just comparing it to Canberra prices!The Market Hall is one of my favourite places to browse, even if my kitchen is full. IKEA plans to run workshops so customers see first hand how to use the products and produce. On top of all this, the IKEA Canberra store will have a free child minding for the children aged 3 – 10 that are toilet trained. Småland (pronounced small land for those who don’t speak Swedish) is available to parents to are on site (in store or in the car park) for maximum 1 hour a day, they have a capacity for up to 45 kids at a time with activities including colouring in, stadium seating for the ‘cloud’ tv and a ball pit which is 80cm deep. Be aware that this is a really popular facility and long wait times might apply. See the additional information below taken from their website:

We like to make visiting IKEA both fun for kids and easier for grown-ups. Småland is our free supervised play area, located next to our store greeter. So kids, come on in… We look forward to seeing you soon!

Småland is licensed under the Department of Education, so all children must be enrolled before coming in to play. This paperwork is only needed once a year. There is a limit on the number of children allowed in Småland to ensure their safety at all times. As a result, you may experience longer waiting times during busier periods.

IKEA launched ‘LATTJO’ their play collection that inspires everyone to play more together – everyday. I am tempted to everyone a snail hat this Christmas.With kids and their parents set as a first priority, IKEA have awesome parent rooms, the restaurant area has microwaves for warming milk, kids cutlery and even a small children’s play area so the parents get some peace while they’re eating Swedish meatballs.

There is so much cutesy things to buy for kids and the young at heartI love IKEA’s store concept where they create fully furnished areas, making it much easier to visualise the end product or lend creative inspiration especially storage in small spaces. If you’re like me and get your cardio work out from shopping, you’ll get over 1km walk if you don’t take short cuts.

Do you need some room inspiration? It took the IKEA staff 5 weeks to set up the whole store! Come and see their amazing space.

They have over 700 car parks available on opening day, with staff parking off site and taking a shuttle bus to the store; being a sustainably minded store they encourage everyone to carpool or take public transportation (extra buses will run from platform #9 Civic interchange).

Are you excited for IKEA Canberra?

Venue: IKEA Canberra

Address: 1030 Majura Road, Majura, ACT 2609

Phone: (02) 8020 6641

Extended trading hours
from 16 – 22 November

Monday: 9:30am – 9:00pm
Tues-Friday: 10:00am – 9:00pm
Saturday: 9:00am – 9:00pm
Sunday: 10:00am – 9:00pm

Regular trading hours
from 23 November onwards

Mon-Thur: 10:00am – 7:00pm
Friday: 10:00am – 9:00pm
Saturday: 9:00am – 7:00pm
Sunday: 10:00am – 6:00pm

Regular Restaurant trading hours
Mon-Thur: 9:30am – 6:30pm
Friday: 9:30am – 8:30pm
Saturday: 8:30am – 6:30pm
Sunday: 9:30am – 5:30pm

Grill & Sizzle Fusion

When I wrote that there was a new restaurant that had opened in Dickson recently, I couldn’t remember for the life of me what the owner(?) said the type of cuisine was, all I remembered was that they said Japanese style of food with charcoal skewers and… PASTA! That was the eureka moment I had while I browsed through Grill & Sizzle Fusion‘s menu the day after I had discovered that this place had even existed. That’s a weird combination I thought (the same type of reaction I had when I went first went to Digress). Needless to say, I wasn’t going to order pasta from a heavily Asian influenced menu.

Inside the restaurant was a spacious setting, you could tell that they had spent a lot of time and money refitting the restaurant that was once the run down Jimmy’s Place but I thought the decor didn’t really suit the restaurant. They had elaborate lighting, gold seats and an uncomfortable looking couch that bordered one side of the restaurant, it was almost like walking into a flash nightclub during the day.

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20140209-221851.jpgThe first thing I thought about the menu was ‘whoa, this place is expensive’, considering I convinced my friend to come here with me even though our first choice was a <$13.00 meal from across the road, but we were open to trying somewhere new so we sat down and browsed through the menu more thoroughly.

We each received a complimentary salad and seaweed.20140209-203811.jpgJapanese crumbed curry chicken served with + bowl of rice ($17.80). My friend’s chicken curry set also came with a bowl of rice and three pieces of small sushi. The chicken was nice and crispy; it was an Asian version of a chicken schnitzel but with panko crumbs which was what I expected, but what was very underwhelming and disappointing was the curry sauce it self. It had a heavy taste of onion and gravy-ish/curry sauce with a strong aftertaste of pepper, I would have usually complained that the sauce portion was so small but this time it might have been a good thing.20140209-203842.jpgMy friend’s curry set came with a serve of three petite sushi pieces (she was too quick with her chopsticks before I took a photo).20140209-205045.jpgDiced Wagyu with seasonal vegetable fried rice ($17.80). When they say diced, they mean it; the Wagyu pieces were not much bigger than a pea. Overall there wasn’t much taste to the fried rice (although the garnish of seaweed paper was strong), the only saving grace was that it was served nice and hot. Between my bowl of rice and pieces of sushi (more rice), I was too full to finish my fried rice but for the price I paid for it, I took the rest with me.20140209-221741.jpgPrawn tempura roll (6 pieces $14.80 but they gave us 8 pieces?).The greedy girl inside of me wanted to see if their sushi was any good, plus it was probably a good thing considering I don’t think my friend was going to get full from that chicken curry set and I got bored just eating fried rice pretty quick. The prawn tempura was still slightly warm but the coating was nice and crunchy, giving each mouthful different textures. The caviar was juicy and burst in your mouth with every bite. This dish came out last and I have to say, it was the best part of our meal hands down.20140209-221753.jpgPrawn tempura, avocado, tamagoyaki and a crab stick all neatly packaged in a sushi roll covered in juicy caviar.20140209-221811.jpg

I understand trying to fuse food from different cuisines together to make something new but I think Grill & Sizzle Fusion seem to have been confused in the process, it is really just a mish mash of different types of food thrown together on a menu with Chinese translations.

I think if they want to stay competitive in the foodie area that is Dickson, they will have to come up with some decently priced lunch specials and have a more clear view of what kind of food they want to serve or create some cleverly fused unique foods. If anyone is brave enough to order pasta in a Japanese influenced restaurant run by Chinese people, let me know how it goes.

Venue: Grill & Sizzle Fusion

Address: 13 Woolley St, Dickson ACT 2602

Phone: (02) 6262 6669

Grill & Sizzle Fusion on Urbanspoon

New kid on the block

Dickson is forever changing. I’m only just getting used to the fact that Jimmy’s has moved down the road. Today I go there to grab lunch and find that Fire Stone has closed down, when did that happen?!

But that wasn’t the biggest shock.

As my friend drove past what used to be Four Rivers, my head turns exorcist style and I stop mid conversation as my eyes catch a glimpse of the sign for the new Peruvian restaurant Cholo’s which had apparently opened since late July.

Has anyone eaten here yet? I’m keen to go! Let me know what I must order and what to steer clear from.

Out with the Italian, in with the Brazilian

After a longer than I would have liked bus ride into Canberra last night, Timmy whisked me off to have one of my comfort foods as my welcome back into the cold rainy city.

As I sat at Jimmy’s waiting for my 1kg+ mud crab with ginger and shallots to arrive, I remembered that a little birdy from work told me that Zeffers in Dickson was closing down (still open in Belconnen) making way for a new Brazilian BBQ place. When I was done clearing the whole plate of crab and noodles, I had to walk past and check for any signage/promise to see if this rumour was true.

Brazilian style BBQ had been a trend in Sydney and Wollongong a few years ago, glad to see Canberra is catching up with the times. image

The Copa Brazilian Churrasco brings the mouth-watering BBQ style cooking techniques of Brazil to Canberra. Experience the excitement and theatre of food cooked over an open fire as freshly barbequed sword-length skewers are carved straight onto your plate. There is no need for menus, you simply take your seat, relax and our servers will take care of the rest”.

So what are you all doing on the 8th of May? image

Copa on Urbanspoon

Soulfood Kitchen

I sit here with my dress belt undone after a satisfying meal at the very new restaurant Soulfood Kitchen. Not only was I excited that an authentic Southern American restaurant was opening but it was located SOUTHSIDE!

Located at Erindale shops (around the the side near Pizza Capers), Soulfood Kitchen had very recently opened its doors to provide comfort food and flavours from New Orleans.

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Currently BYOB while they are obtaining their license, this laid back atmosphere dining has only limited seating so I would suggest you book. You order and pay at the counter and because we went early-ish and it wasn’t too busy (yet), the food came out rather quickly.

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Going with a true Louisianian, she knew to order extra BBQ and hot sauce and a whoooole lotta napkins!

Soul Food Sampler get the platter loaded with goodies- smokin’ ribs, crab cakes, buffalo wings, bourbon street oysters ($42.00) – My eyes lit up and I didn’t know where to begin on the plate! They say this platter is ideally for two people and allows you to try a range of snacks.

Crab cakes – golden crispy crab cakes with a simple salsa went very well with the accompanying sauce.

Buffalo wings – Yum! Very addictive and slightly spicy, they made me do my happy clap.

Bourbon street oysters – You couldn’t tell that these were oysters, I guess the batter took away most of the texture and natural taste. Even if you don’t usually eat oysters, I’d give these a go!

Smokin’ ribs – These impressed everyone without fail, maybe I’ll order just a plate of these next time. *licks lips*image

A close up of the very tender, succulent and delicious BBQ smoked ribs that fell off the bone and their spicy hot wings.

Barbecue Pork Po’Boy made with fresh French bread, dressed with lettuce, tomato, homemade garlic mayo and Louisiana hot sauce ($16.00). I really enjoyed the pulled pork with the BBQ sauce and the coleslaw but I felt the bread was too thick and slightly stale, but nothing that ditching the bun didn’t fix.

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Gumbo (shrimp, chicken and sausage)the most famous dish in Louisiana is Gumbo, meaning “all together”. Hearty and full of flavour served with a stack of rice ($21.00). I had just a spoon of this but I could taste the great smokey flavour in the sausage and the gumbo. image

Southern extras~

Macaroni and cheese ($8.00) – I couldn’t help but spontaneously order a side when I got to the counter, it wasn’t the best mac and cheese I’ve had but it would have been better if it was served piping hot rather than luke warm.

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Desserts~

I thought the prices for a slice of cake/pie was a bit high but I was willing to pay because you can’t get authentic Southern American sweets anywhere else in Canberra.


Key lime cheese cake ($10.00) – I’ve always heard about key limes but had never tasted one. Even though it says cheesecake, this cake had a delicate, very smooth mousse texture and was very light and refreshing with the zest of the limes.

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Pecan Pie ($10.00) – I thought this was going to be super sweet and I’m not the biggest ‘nut fan’ but this was delicious and I would definitely order this again. Convince someone else to have dessert and get one of everything!

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Victor the owner (and USA celebrity chef who recently featured on SBS Food safari) came out of the kitchen several times during the night to have some fun and chat with his customers. They have live Blues music the first Friday of every month, Victor wanted his restaurant to be just like in New Orleans where there was music, laughing customers and kids running around. He was very grateful to his kitchen staff, front of house, the band and the patrons and even showed off his musical talents.

Despite being only opened for the fourth night and encountering internet problems, phone problems and power outages, Soulfood Kitchen showed us nothing but a good time and authentic comfort food made with love and soul and hopefully can only get better when it is well established.

They have dine in and take away which is really dangerous, like I need a restaurant close by serving delicious ribs that I can take away . image

Apparently they only do takeaways between 3-6pm

Venue: Soulfood Kitchen

Address: Shop 8, 38 Gartside street, Wanniassa, ACT 2903

Phone: (02) 6231 2568

Website: www.soulfoodkitchen.com.au

Soulfood Kitchen on Urbanspoon

I went to check out Ricetta on the weekend hoping to cure a cannoli craving I’ve been having but alas they didn’t make any on the day I went. When I’m not full from brunch I would like to come back and try out their pizza range and bread selection.

Venue: Ricetta

Address: Shop 13-14 M Centre, Palmerston Lane, Manuka ACT 2603

Phone: (02) 6295 2778

Website: http://www.ricetta.com.au

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/

I spy with my little eye…

——-16/12/2012——-

Something new in Braddon! I’ve been in and out of Braddon recently to check out the Lonsdale St. traders and today I pop by and see there is a new eatery in town. The Elk and Pea Eating House caught my eye with their cute decor, outdoor seating and busy diners. Maybe next time when I’m not so full, I can stop by and check out their menu.

Situated down the end near Lonsdale street roasters, Pizza Gusto and the Hive (I love that store), Braddon is shaping up to be the ‘new place to hang’.

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The Elk & Pea on Urbanspoon