Flatheads

I remember going to Flatheads back in the day at least once a week. They delivered on giving me a delicious cheeseburger and I always ordered a potato scallop that I would slide in under my bun lid. For it me it was always quick and reliable.So you could imagine my delight when I saw that The Food Avenue posted the return of the awesome fish and chip shop but other than being in the same location, everything else has changed. The menu is different, their look is a thousand times more modern and it really is just an extension from Duxton’s bistro as they share the same kitchen. There are a lot of ‘on the go’ products even for those with a sweet tooth.Check out their menu!Fisherman basket calamari, oysters, panko crumbed prawns, fish, chips, lemon and tartar sauce ($20.00). I wanted to eat fish and chips and as much variety as I could, so this was the logical choice for me. Unfortunately by the end of it I was having deep fried sweats and I couldn’t eat anymore, leaving behind some calamari, some prawns and a lot of chips. I didn’t love my oysters as it looked like someone had gouged them while shucking the shell. I wouldn’t order this again unless I shared it with someone and ordered something else non deep fried but I would like to go back and try with cheeseburger (no potato scallops on the menu, boooooo!) or their pizzas.BBQ King prawns and salad chilli, garlic ($20.00). After indulging in a big breakfast, my friend wanted a lighter lunch option but she was surprised to see a big portion and that her meal also came with chips. I was amazed to see 6 prawns in the box but my friend said that she was little disappointed with the lack of freshness because they were hard to peel. It got really messy real quick- not a first date meal.Fish and chips barramundi, lemon, tartar sauce ($16.00). My other friend really enjoyed his lunch but he couldn’t finish it. You can get your fish either battered or grilled.The service was friendly, I think they have incredible opening hours and it is handy to have a take away shop in the area. I wonder if you could just grab a big bottle of water from the pub otherwise you’ll be left paying $4 bucks for Mount Franklin water like I did.

Venue: Flatheads

Address: cnr Bluebell street and Macpherson street, O’Connor

Phone: (02) 62477330

Opening hours: 6am – late, 7 days

Da Bronx

The smell was so intoxicating from Da Bronx as we left Frankies at Forde, that all company involved didn’t mind skipping out on a fancy restaurant to stay in for a delicious pizza gorge session at home.

Finding the menu took a bit of googling and Facebook stalking but we were surprised to see that there was no garlic bread/pizza option. When I rang on a Saturday night, I was asked if I wanted fish and chips or pizza and after confirming I was ordering pizza, I was warned that ordering more than one pizza was going to take 1 hour. We were willing to wait.

Taken from their Facebook Page.All 18 inch jumbo pizza ($19.90)~ I didn’t know how big 18 inches really was (#gometric) but when TimmyC brought the pizzas into the house, the pizza boxes barely cleared the doorways.

A hand posing as a size reference.Roast vegetable supreme roasted peppers, zucchini, chargrilled eggplant, fresh tomatoes, mozzarella. I didn’t think I would enjoy this because I usually want something greasy, meaty and cheesy on my pizza. So I was surprised when I enjoyed the refreshing flavours of the vegetables, in particular the zucchini.Tomato and basil fresh tomatoes, basil, mozzarella. This is usually my pick of topping, it is a great combination of flavours and when done well, it is perfection. Unfortunately I thought the basil was over cooked and lost all its strong flavour. I think this would have been brilliant with buffalo mozzarella.The Bronx special mild pepperoni, cabanossi, beef sausage, shredded beef, mozzarella. Not only did I want to try their signature pizza (that they named after themselves), it also had everything I like on a pizza. As expected, I enjoyed this pizza but nothing really wowed me.BBQ Chicken oven roasted chicken breast, onion, mozzarella with BBQ sauce. I’m not usually a fan of chicken on pizza, but the chicken pieces were shredded small enough that they weren’t dry. For some reason I was really drawn to this pizza between all the different toppings.In no way is this authentic Italian pizza, this is Australianised take away thin crust pizza done really well and I think there is a novelty to the enormous size. It’s a shame it is so far away from my house.

Venue: Da Bronx

Address: 21 Francis Forde Blvd, Forde ACT 2914

Phone: (02) 6162 2933

Current opening hours: 12:00pm – 8:30pm Tuesday to Sunday
Da Bronx Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

California cafe

TimmyC has had a deep love for waffles ever since he came back from his America trip, so when I heard that there was a ‘takeaway diner’ in Mawson I took him there immediately. California Cafe has joined the many other cafes that have popped in recent years which has made Mawson a hive of activity and a location full of choice. Not as many cafes are open on a Sunday but luckily the diner was. TimmyC is a bit of a snob when it comes to waffles, he dislikes pre-made rock hard ones (but who doesn’t) and would prefer them to have deep wells so all the syrup and ice cream catch in the pockets.

There were waffles and pancakes on the breakfast menu served with bacon, banana and maple syrup, so TimmyC was set; although it was early I felt like a cheeseburger from this diner. We went to order at the counter and TimmyC’s first question was “do you make the waffles in-house?”, the waitress answered no, “do you make the pancakes from batter?” which I thought was a stupid question until it was also met with a ‘no’; he opted for an eggs benedict instead.The cake cabinet should have been my first clue not to eat here, can you see the huge chunks of carrot in the carrot cake?While we were waiting for our food, the woman next to us had ordered the waffles and she was super excited when three thick store-bought waffles topped with bacon and banana was placed in front of her. I had noticed that she shared some with her Mum and even then they only finished half a waffle each which meant there was plenty still left on the plate after they left.Caramel thick shake ($7.00). We watched them make this and it had tonnes of ice-cream in it and there was just enough topping without making me feel sick. YUM!Coffee (lge ($4.00). TimmyC said it was okay coffee. They also serve a ‘jumbo’ size here.Eggs benedict eggs with bacon on a sour dough roll with hollandaise sauce ($14.90). The hollandaise was nice enough but still tasted like it was bottled sauce and I’m a bit confused as to why there were unseasoned chips on the plate. A very underwhelming breakfast when I promised TimmyC waffles from a diner. I don’t see exactly what the kitchen is cooking when the sauce is from a jar, the waffles and pancakes are store-bought and the chips are from frozen packets.The plates that they serve on are massive.Cheeseburger with fries ($8.90). I was really disappointed with my burger, it was an okay patty drowned in tomato sauce and mustard topped with a plastic (at least melted) slice of cheese. Don’t get me wrong, I love plastic cheese but I couldn’t taste much of anything other than mustard and tomato sauce. The chips were hot and seasoned with something that I couldn’t pick, it reminded me of mamee noodle snacks. The thick shake helped with washing the acidity of the sauces from my mouth.

I couldn’t taste anything other than sauce.  The diner was getting busy with lots of staff from neighbouring business coming in for takeaway so some people obviously enjoy the food here but with so much better choices in the area, I won’t be coming back.

Venue: California Cafe

Address: 4 Southlands Shopping Centre, Mawson ACT 2607

Opening hours:

Monday – Friday 7:30am – 8:00pm

Saturday – Sunday (and public holidays) 8:00am – 3:00pm
The California Diner Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Lahori Gate

Canberra has had such restaurant boom in the last few years, I cannot keep up but at least I’ve heard of most of the places even if I haven’t been yet. So when a work colleague asked me if I had been to a Pakistani restaurant in Phillip, I gave him a look of deep concentration as I scanned through my mental restaurant library and came up blank. What was he talking about, how was there a restaurant south side out of all places that I haven’t heard about!?

Lahori Gate has been open for the past 8 months and are looking to expand all without registering on the foodie radar, but it has obviously made waves in the Pakistani community. Even the ambassador went there to eat and was so impressed that Lahori Gate now caters for some embassy events. We were all curious about this restaurant so a group of us from work went later that week. When we were all seated the waiter/owner clarified with us that they are a Pakistani restaurant not an Indian restaurant, all the food is home style cooking, his wife and sister-in-law run the kitchen and do not to expect cream and sweeteners to be added to the curries. ‘Perfect’ I said smiling, ‘that’s exactly what we’re here for’.

Appetisers~

Chicken pakora deep-fried chicken fritters, cooked with light spices served with raita and tamarind sauce ($9.50). These were served to us piping hot from the fryer although they weren’t oily. I was surprised how many were in one serve (or have I just adjusted to Canberra ‘normal’ dining now?) and they were addictive to eat. I think they forgot to give us tamarind sauce but we still had lemon and raita, which wasn’t sweet but rather herby and tangy.Shami kebab beef and lentil patties served with raita and salad ($9.50). These patties had a ‘wet flaky consistency’ like tuna from a can; I couldn’t tell there were lentils in there. It tasted very meaty with herbs although it did leave a bit of a chilli aftertaste at the back of my throat. I’ve never eaten anything like this before.A closer look inside the shami kebab.The raita here is not sweet like we’re used to in Indian restaurants and conveniently pairs well with everything from entrees through to mains.Mains~

Achari chicken marinated boneless chicken cooked with pickles and special spice and herbs ($15.50). I didn’t get any pieces of pickles in my spoonfuls but that didn’t worry me. The chicken had a beautiful flavour to it, it is hard to describe when I’ve never had anything like this before but we all really enjoyed it went back for more.Bhuna Gosht tender pieces of beef (it usually comes in lamb but we got this in beef) marinated in garlic, ginger and spices cooked with tomato, onion in a thick bottom pan to seal all the natural juice ($15.00). My work colleague was disappointed with this dish because for him, it is usually ‘dry’ with not much sauce but for those who didn’t know any better (i.e. most people on the table), we mopped up all the sauce with our naan.Chicken Biryani chicken and rice cooked with aromatic spice, herbs served with raita ($15.50). Yes we ordered chicken for entree and then chicken on top of more chicken, hahaha. The rice was really nice, although the chicken pieces were so sporadic I don’t know if it made much of a difference, luckily for me, I just topped it off with more achari chicken.Sides~

Rice ($4.00 serve we had two serves between the 8 of us).

Garlic naan ($3.00 each we ordered 4 between 8 of us). My first piece was pretty burnt on one half but luckily for the table (unlucky for me), it was pretty much the only burnt one that was served. These had herbs as well as garlic on them which was a nice touch, but they were very handy to have at the table to mop up every bit of the sauces from the curries.Desserts~
Rice pudding
(Kheer $8.00). I’m a sucker for rice pudding so while everyone choosing ras malai, I was shouting out for rice pudding, in the end we got two of everything so there was enough for everyone to sample a bit of everything. This was subtle sweet but was mixed with nice spices.Ras malai ($8.00). I have eaten my fair share of ras malai (although I still wouldn’t be an expert) and this would have been one of the nicer ones I’ve had. My work colleague was not as impressed and said that they can make it better at home, unfortunately not all of us are that lucky.

Carrot pudding ($8.00). This was not on the menu but the waiter/husband/brother-in-law was saying that he made this dish himself and if we would like to try some, so we ordered this as well. It looked very unusual but it tasted very balanced between the sweetness, spices and the natural sweetness of the carrots.The dining area is very small and might not fit more than 40-50 people comfortably and although patrons were sporadic during our meal I would still suggest to book to avoid disappointment.

I quickly took a photo before the restaurant became fairly busy.I really enjoyed the food here, it offers a menu unlike any other I’ve seen in Canberra. It is nestled away in the apartment blocks near Woden CIT and I wouldn’t have known that this place existed if my work colleague hadn’t seen a flyer in a grocery store.

Apparently they have ‘brunch’ buffet once a month on a Sunday, it is not on a set day every month so check out their Facebook page for upcoming events and brunch dates. For $18.50(?) you have a choice between 8 varieties of curries and it is very popular that the line is always out the door.

Venue: Lahori Gate

Address: 2 Antis St, Phillip, ACT

Phone(02) 6101 5896

Opening hours:

Mon Closed

Tuesday – Friday 11:00 AM to 10:00 PM
Saturday – Sunday 4:00 PM to 10:00 PM
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