Yat Bun Tong re-run

I recently met up with a few fellow food bloggers (check out some of their awesome blogs here and here) for dinner at Yat Bun Tong (see my first post here). It is so nice to meet up with such like minded people and laugh about the same things we go through like- forever questioning ourselves of who is actually really ever reading our blog other than our number one fan (thanks for your support YummyLummy).

Serina from MsFrugralEars with her awesome mandarin skills took charge with ordering and conversing with the staff. It was refreshing not having to look at the menu or having the responsibility on deciding the whole table’s meal, which is the default mode that my friends usually put me in.

Shanghai steamed bun (10 pieces $13.80). It is still no Din Tai Fung, but I guess it is unfair to compare. The dumpling wrapper is the Goldilocks of thickness, not too thin and not too thick, it was just right. I’m still not completely sold on the soup interior but am still happy to have it there. They don’t always remember to give you a spoon but please do request one for easier eating.   Shallot pancake ($7.80). The pancake was crispy and flaky which reminded me of roti with flecks of shallot. I really enjoyed the texture but I think I would have liked more shallots and more salt throughout the pancake.Hot and sour soup ($5.80 per serve). My eyes widened when they lowered this bowl on the table. It was enormous! I asked Serina ‘I thought you only ordered two serves?’, she responded with ‘I did’. The waitress explained that the chef wanted to give us more but would only charge for two serves. I loved that the soup was full of lots of ingredients and most of us easily had two bowls. If it was a tad (chilli) hotter and you added a few drops of chinese vinegar like you’re supposed to, it would have been perfect.I took a photo of the serving bowl next to my bowl so you could see how big it was.Shanghai pan fried pork buns (10 pieces $14.80). This was the one dish I was determined to order after seeing photos from Michelle’s instagram who in turn saw it from Wita (#contagiousfood). The buns were light and fluffy with a good meat filling and a little bit of soup inside. It reminded me very much of Sydney food, which says a lot. I would happily return just to eat these.The filling inside the buns.BBQ duck spring rolls (2 pieces $6.80). We were told that this was a popular menu item and I can see why. A crispy hot spring roll filled exclusively with delicious duck meat complimented by the hoisin dipping sauce. These would make a good starter, maybe I’ll order these next time before I sit down and even look at the menu.Fried handmade noodles with black pepper beef ($15.80). People were starting to get full but insearchofgoldenpudding and I wanted to try their handmade noodles. I really like black pepper beef but usually with rice, it felt odd eating them with noodles especially when I’m used to eating my noodles with pork and vegetables. Some people might not like the fact that it came with no vegetables.

I really liked their handmade noodles, it wasn’t overly oily although it was a tad softer than I would usually have it.  I really like black pepper but even I  thought it was borderline overwhelming, next time I might try their handmade noodle with seafood in X.O sauce.I had a much better experience at Yat Bun Tong this time around because of the selection of food. I will definitely be back to eat more pork buns and eat more noodles.
Yat Bun Tong Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Yummy Chinese BBQ re-run

I haven’t been back to Yummy Chinese BBQ since it just opened but with the cooler weather setting in, my friends and I wanted to warm ourselves with hot food over some hot coals. See my first post here.

Things have changed slightly since my last visit; there is no more steam boat, the small hot plates that sat in the charcoal chamber have been replaced with big gas hot plates which means more room to cook chicken wings and there is no more confusing iPad to order things from.

Yummy Chinese BBQ offers you ‘all you can eat’ from a range of skewers and raw meat that you cook yourselves and a buffet of hot Chinese food for those who can’t wait for the food to be cooked.

$36.00 per person all you can eat and $3.00 for unlimited orange juice and Coca Cola.
Skewers on offer include prawns, smoky lamb, beef and caramelised pork. We were not constrained with a time limit which was good because the coals took a while to arrive and we didn’t mind sitting outside because it meant it was less smoky. The food choice might seem a little odd to some because it is more ‘traditional’ Chinese food (that night’s buffet selection included pipis, fish in a chilli sauce, chicken feet and sesame balls filled with red bean) but it is a fun and different way to dine with friends.

We were done eating just under two hours and I basically just ate my weight in chicken wings.
Yummy Chinese BBQ Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Space re-run

TimmyC and I are not morning people, but everyone has a price so when TimmyC suggested that we wake up early and go to Space to have breakfast, I agreed although our early morning progress would be negated by said breakfast and we would just arrive to work at the time as we would normally.Polenta waffles lemon thyme sautéed mushrooms, goats cheese, poached eggs, corn puree, salsa verde and truffle oil ($18.90). I thought the addition of dry ice and truffle oil to create a ‘truffle cloud’ upon serving was more for showmanship rather than for taste, but it gives Space a more theatrics side of things setting them apart from their sister cafe Ricardo’s. The waffles themselves were rather crunchy with a soft centre and I loved it paired with the mushrooms and sweet corn puree but I found the goats cheese flavour too strong. I would easily order this again if I wanted a unique vegetarian option.The truffle cloud presentation.Space benedict pulled pork croquette with poached eggs, beetroot hollandaise, pork crackling brioche crumble and pea puree ($18.90). I loved the interesting presentation of this dish and I can’t resist a croquette. The crunchy croquette coating which encased the tender pulled pork was brilliant although I wasn’t a fan of the pea puree. I was surprised to see that I found the slightly sour beetroot hollandaise really addictive and kept dipping my fork into it. Definitely a breakfast classic with a twist that is worth trying.Served with beautiful violets and perfectly cooked eggs.
The dynamics and atmosphere of Space is really different to Ricardo’s, you can see that this cafe is more ‘mature’ and invites a different clientèle in that would be suited to the surrounding office buildings. I love the addition of this funky cafe to the south side and I would definitely recommend this to anyone for a great breakfast and lunch, although I am not sold on their cakes yet. I can’t wait to go back and try more of their menu.

Read the blog post that my awesome guest blogger wrote here.

Ricardo’s re-run

I was having a complete brain fart moment over the weekend.

I guess you could categorize me as a foodie and after my experience of being one of the 101 humans, you’d think I would know how to show off Canberra but I felt the pressure build when my Mum informed me that she was coming down to visit with some family friends for a day trip and I should choose somewhere for lunch.

Her specifications were not too fancy, not Brodburger (my sister and I always drag her there) and it had to be in a convenient location as we drove around taking them to Canberra’s landmarks and iconic buildings. I also didn’t want to take them to an Asian restaurant, after all they are from Hong Kong and Sydney, I don’t think Canberra could ever compare on price and quality. My brain froze, it just couldn’t cope with choosing somewhere and I delayed making a decision until the morning of their arrival, a dangerous move considering I wanted no waiting time or a reservation. That morning, my sister and her cute little family decided to also tag along which meant adding a pram into consideration, then a light bulb went off and I knew exactly where to go.

Not only does Ricardo’s in Jamison cook up fabulous lunch options and breakfast (I’m not the keenest on their cakes though *gasp* shock horror) but prams and children almost seem mandatory. They are ridiculously family friendly and when I rang that morning to book a table for 7 adults and a pram, they were happy to oblige.

Clockwise starting from top left.
Specials board~ Cauliflower, parmesan and potato soup ($15.90). A warming soup with all my favourite things. I’m not the biggest fan of focaccia and wasn’t going to eat the bread but it was reeeeeally nice all smothered in butter.
Fish and chips ($19.90). I rolled my eyes when TimmyC told me he was going to order this but then a waitress went past with a plate in her hand, we both then agreed he was to order fish and chips.
Hotcakes with passionfruit curd and maple syrup ($16.90).
Mushroom Bruschetta Harrisa spiced roast field mushroom with creamed fetta, beetroot, rouqette and za’atar on grilled focaccia ($16.90). I’ve never seen my Mum eat beetroot before so I was surprised she ordered this. She really enjoyed it and in true Asian Mum fashion gave half her meal away to everyone and they also agreed it was really nice.
We all chose different things because the menu was diverse and something suited all of us. Everyone had a lovely time, the food was fantastic and my guests were really surprised how busy the place was, even after 2:30pm people were still streaming in.
I look forward to Ricardo De Marco expanding to Woden later on this year, it is going to be quite different I hear.

Click to add a blog post for Ricardo's Cafe on Zomato

Happy Sage day to you!

——-24/10/2012——-

It was Timmy’s birthday so I whisked him away to Sage for lunch. Sage are currently have a lunch prix fixe menu where they try and have you in and out within the hour.

Lunch prix fixe menu – Tuesday to Saturday 3 courses ($50.00)

Complimentary bread straight from the oven.

Entree~

Cured ocean trout – horseradish meringue, fennel, leek, lemon, hazelnut. Stunning presentation but I found the horseradish a bit overwhelming and hard to fuse the different elements of the plate together.

Jerusalem artichoke soup caramelized baby onion, crème fraiche, px glaze. This was a great surprise. The soup was very light in texture but not light in flavour and it went really well with the complimentary bread.

Main~

Grilled porterhouse – pomme frittes, béarnaise, watercress. This is the biggest portion I’ve ever seen at Sage! I loved the ‘chip jenga’ stack but they could have been a little bit more crispy. It wasn’t the best piece of meat I’ve had.

Roast chicken – fondant potato, mint pea a la française. When people ask me what my least favourite food is I say ‘peas’ in a heart beat, so I was just as surprised as Tim when I finished everything on the plate. The chicken skin was really nice and crispy with juicy meat. The fondant potato was underwhelming but the combination of peas, cabbage and pork made up for the vegetables on the plate.

Dessert~

Vanilla rice pudding and strawberry compote. Not the most appealing look or texture, I much prefer the other dessert.

Fresh raspberries & crème pâtisserie. The raspberry sorbet was delicious and intense. The beautiful colours made this dessert really pop. 

Dumpling Inn re-run

I don’t post every time I eat at Dumpling Inn, otherwise you would know how much I come here. So let’s pretend this is only the second time I’ve come here recently  

My friends and I have now become slightly addicted to this, we would even drive past and get a takeaway order of just shallot cakes even if we were already running late to somewhere. Luckily now there is a shopfront of ready to go shallot cakes @ the Belconnen Westfield upper foodcourt, but it’s nicer when it’s fresh.

Shallot cakes- hot delicious pastry encasing a salty shallot goodness. Quality varies from day to day but usually it’s delicious.

Four Season beans (this time without minced pork)- I told you I order this no matter who I dine with! Delicious and counts as a serve of greens! Win win!

Sizzling bean curd– Even the biggest of meat eaters love this dish where tofu puffs are left sizzling away in a thick sweet-ish sauce. Watch out, it often retains it’s heat even after a few minutes and I always burn my tongue. 

Peking shredded beef aka rusty nails in some other restaurants. Crunchy, sweet and sticky with thin sweet potato chips

Scallops with garlic

What’s a ‘dumpling inn’ without some dumplings? My favourite is the pan fried pork dumplings with chinese vinegar- YUM! Plates of 10 so you have to find someone to share it with or you won’t be able to fit much more in.

Shan tung chicken– Not the best in Canberra but it still  has the crispy skin and often finished quickly.

Hot rock salt bean curd– crispy outer shell encasing soft tofu in the middle and who doesn’t love anything in hot rock salt anyway?

There are few people who get to dessert after eating at Dumpling Inn (usually waaaay to full to get anything else) but there are a few things you must try!

Toffee banana– comes out in a hot sticky toffee then dipped into iced water at your table (and this was when bananas were expensive!). I have also tried toffee apple and strawberries, all very nice.

Egg custard pancake- there is also a red bean version which I love. SOOOOOOOOO delicious. Comes deep fried and hot to your table with a crispy coating with an amazing egg custard centre.

They also now have ‘live mud crab‘ (from another sitting). Mud crab with ginger and shallots with a noodle base (different noodles to what I’m used to but still very nice).

This still remains as a good ol’ favourite restaurant between my friends and I. Although we’ve had some ‘miss’ dishes, we’ve been enough to know what we want now and we even get cravings for specific things!

Can get very busy for dinner, so try and book to avoid disappointment!

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