Gumnut patisserie is a must!

I will stop and talk to anyone who will listen to rave about Gumnut Patisserie. The last three things I’ve eaten from there was phenomenal. Sorry about the price uncertainty, I was too excited about my baked goods to notice.

The award winning vanilla slice ($6.00?) was fabulous, ticking all the boxes by having great pastry, a rich custard topped with a sweet marbled icing.Caramel and macadamia tart ($30.00?). My great friends took a stab in the dark when choosing my birthday cake but little did they realise that this is my favourite tart from the patisserie. The whole tart is generously studded with macadamias, embedded in a not too sweet caramel which leaves you wanting more.Sticky date pudding with butterscotch sauce ($32.00?). I asked how to serve it and they said to microwave each individual slice and just to spoon on a helping of sauce and it just melted perfectly. The pudding wasn’t dense and overly sweet like you would  get in a Sara Lee version, it was more of a tall fluffy cake studded with dates.Catch them at their various locations in Bowral, Berrima and Mittagong.
Gumnut Patisserie Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Yum cha at Ginseng

I blame all my friends who have been talking about yum cha of late and giving me dim sum cravings. Ever since Noble Palace closed their doors, I’ve been wanting another south side option to open up (when driving all the way to Dickson would seem like I may as well drive to Sydney). Everyone had been heading to Ginseng inside the Hellenic club and I was hoping to give it a go myself. Now I didn’t technically make it inside, but I definitely ate there.

A huge demand at Ginseng allowed them to expand by putting tables outside the opening door frame-work. This was where we were seated after arriving later in the lunch time rush and without a booking. I felt that we were more neglected than the people who were physically inside the restaurant and hearing my neighbouring table’s frustrations, I knew I wasn’t the only one who felt that way. Well I guess I should arrive earlier or book next time.

So close yet so far away.IMG_4814.JPGWe had to ask several times for chilli sauce and tea, which is usually the first thing that a server should bring to you as your sit down. Asking for things and requesting food items in the hectic environment were often ignored or forgotten. Trolleys eventually wheeled past, but I was after specific items which left me waiting as they were replenishing their stocks after a busy lunch period.

The lobster dumplings and the chicken wings must have been fresh because they were crazy hot! The dumplings and yum cha dishes were made pretty well for Canberra standards and I was pleasantly surprised. I really liked the texture of their egg tarts, it would have been perfect if they were fresh out of oven or even slightly warm.IMG_4855.JPGAfter a huge manhunt which saw every waiter and waitress that walked past look for my steamed pork rib, I finally succeeded! I was so excited I forgot to take a photo. It was steamed well arriving very hot, but they forgot to put it with chilli and black bean so it lacked some flavour, luckily I had also requested chilli sauce and chilli in soy sauce.

TimmyC ordered a mango pudding early, but I wanted mine towards the end when I had eaten everything else. I personally prefer it with evaporated milk, it makes it so much better *licks lips*.

TimmyC’s mango pudding.IMG_4819.JPGvs. my mango pudding,IMG_4822.JPGAfter several puddings, jellies, steamed dumplings etc (I didn’t take a photo of everything), our bill came to $70ish dollars for two and a bit people (my friends were barely nibbling because they had already eaten). I think the trick is to arrive early, get a seat inside the restaurant and be persistent with your requests.

 

Venue: Ginseng

Address: Upstairs inside the Hellenic club in Woden

Phone: (02) 6282 9866

Yum cha: I don’t know when it starts but it finishes at 3pm on Sundays

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas (in July!)

——-20/07/2012——-

My friend was nice enough to organise a Christmas in July with a Turducken and all the trimmings at his house this year. We don’t get cold Christmases in Canberra, but logically July is the best time to eat lots of hearty food, a big roast and be merry with friends and alcohol. He offered my help in the kitchen before hand (how nice of him ), but lucky for him I wanted before and after pictures of the beast that is the Turducken

Proving that Christmas decorations are useful more than once a year.

The supplier recommended that an average 4.5kg turducken will feed 17-22 people, we weren’t going to believe that for a second, even for 12 people I was iffy if it a 4kg sized Turducken was going to fill all of us. 

Let the 4.5hours of cooking begin! A 4kg Turducken with apricot and hazelnut stuffing ($100).

Going from snacks to getting ready for dinner.

A cross-section photo of the layered roast. I could tell what was duck meat but wasn’t quite sure where the turkey ended and the chicken began. The stuffing was really nice but I was surprised we didn’t choose the apple and bacon rasher stuffing albeit we didn’t really need to throw another animal in the mix. The 4kg roast fed all of us (admittedly not everyone there was keen on trying it-here’s looking at you Mrs. Gordo) with a little bit to spare.

A lovely variety of sides, vegetables and salads- a delicious golden brown potato and sweet potato bake with bacon(!), pan roasted vegetables, roast potato with garlic, lemon and thyme, roast pumpkin, fetta, pumpkin and almond salad and a rocket and parmesan salad.

I had to try one of everything and hoped it all fit on one plate (eventually everything was drizzled with gravy). Everything was really nice and I ate it all but when I got home I thought to myself, did I eat any duck? I might not have tried all the layers of the Turducken, proving once again that great company comes before good food. We were all having such a fabulous time that I forgot about eating all of the most important guest of the evening.

Desserts~

Sticky date pudding- The perfect cold weather dessert, drizzled in a delectable caramel sauce. If I didn’t eat so much pastry and chips before hand I would have had a bigger slice!

Blueberry cheesecake – I was so impressed by the non cracked, high walled biscuit crumb baked cheesecake using fresh blueberries that I began salivating over it before dinner. Made more impressive by that fact that a guy made it all by himself. Sorry ladies, he is taken.  The cheesecake was very very smooth with the perfect amount of base. I am torn whether to ask for a recipe or just get him to make it over and over again. 

Vanilla slice- presentation wise, this didn’t compare to the other desserts, but it was full of vanilla beans and who doesn’t enjoy velvety smooth warm custard with pastry.

I was impressed that we were able to oven rotate between so many things- the turducken, bread rolls, pastries, nibbles, vegetables and potato bake and that everything came out on time.

Our turducken was already made and prepared with a variety of stuffings available from Jordo’s Chop Shop. Ordering was made very simple by the fact that if you spend over $75 delivery is free! I want to try the POLAMBEF next!

Turducken supplierhttp://www.jordoschopshop.com/

From their website:

Jordo’s Chop Shop is the official home of the turducken in Canberra!

What All Is This Nonsense? A turducken is a mystical Christmas turkey (available year round) that is stuffed with a duck, the duck is then stuffed with a chicken and the chicken is stuffed with your choice of either our most popular apple and bacon rasher stuffing, our apricot and hazelnut stuffing or our new gluten-free traditional sage and onion stuffing. 

Note: We only use free-range birds to make our turduckens. The whole turducken is boneless with the exception of the turkey’s legs and wings that remain bone-in for aesthetic purposes. Available all year round (not just Christmas week).

Now also available: POLAMBEF! pork, lamb and beef roll, the new frontier in roasting madness.