Easey’s – Melbourne series

When TimmyC’s trendy cousin was telling me about a place that we were going for breakfast which was in train carriage on top of a building, I thought to myself ‘only in Melbourne’. Surprisingly, these trains carriages were up on the building before the burger joint Easey’s moved in and they only occupy one of the carriages; I think an Entertainment lawyer is next door.We can spot the joint a mile away!There is some seats outside if you don’t want to dine in the train carriage.BLT streaky bacon, egg, ketchup and double cheese ($6.00).Sausage and egg sanga sausage patty, egg, ketchup and double cheese ($6.00). I love cheese so the double cheese was great for me but I wasn’t too big on the texture of the sausage patty (think sausage meat shaped into a patty), which was somewhat springy. Still, it was only 6 bucks.Just in case you wondered what it looked like under all that cheese.Chicken tenders three southern fried chicken pieces with perinnaise ($5.50). I really enjoyed this over my breakfast burger. The chicken was super crispy but the flavour hit definitely came from the sauce.When we ordered water for the table, we were very grateful that all the glasses came with lots of ice. It can get hot up there, even with the air con on!  I took the stairs going up to see the cool graffiti art but the lift going downIt might be the world’s slowest lift, but it will take you to the 4th floor when your legs cannot.The view from the window.Inside the train carriage is pretty cute.
Neighbouring graffiti, I love the detail in the eye.
Our breakfast bill came to the grand whopping total of $23.50 albeit no drinks but still a bargain! I probably wouldn’t come for breakfast again, but their burgers looked awesome and worth coming back for, especially if they have double cheese on them too.

 

Venue: Easey’s

Address: 48 Easey street, Collingwood, VIC 3066

Phone: OFFICE: (03) 90795942 TAKE AWAY: (03) 90795940

Websitehttp://easeys.com.au/

Easey's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Baan Latsamy Thai Restaurant

A group of my friends have come here several times without me. They just assumed I had eaten at Baan Latsamy before and they accused me of always being busy eating with other friends, so this particular Friday I made sure I was available and off we headed to eat Thai in Manuka.

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Entrees~

Spring rolls deep fried spring rolls containing minced chicken, vermicelli noodles and vegetables served with chilli sauce ($8.90). Nothing particularly special although I was disappointed that the sauce was just a sweet chilli sauce.

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Rice paper rolls fresh rice paper rolls with chicken and prawns, lettuce, cucumber, carrot and mint served with special dipping sauce ($9.90). The fresh paper rolls could have done with a bit more herbs but it was moist and packed with lots of ingredients.

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Mains~

Massaman curry with potato and roast peanuts, cooked in a thick curry, coconut milk sauce ($19.90). I usually use pad thai as my measuring stick between Thai restaurants but because we were getting rice accompaniments, I thought getting the beef massaman would go better.

The curry had big chunks of tender beef, just the way I like it but the sauce itself, even though it was very mild as expected, was extremely nutty. It was nice enough but I didn’t drown my rice in it as I usually would with less nutty sauces.20140112-162356.jpgVery tender pieces of beef

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Hot wok stir fry Thai basil with capsicum, onions, beans, bamboo shoots, fresh chilli and basil leaves in the chef’s special sauce ($22.90).The prawns had a slight hint of chilli although the overwhelming flavour to this dish was bamboo. I’m not the biggest fan of bamboo so I just ate the prawns and a bit of the vegetables but I didn’t go out of my way to get the bamboo or the sauce.

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We didn’t order anything that my friends had tried before. My friends were more disappointed than I was with the overall food. Everything that they had ordered previously like other stir fries and laksa had been so great that they had big cravings and that’s why they came back with me so quickly since their previous visit. I wouldn’t completely write* this place off, I’ll come back and try what they had previously ordered and definitely a pad thai too.
** Thomas reads my blog!!

Venue: Baan Latsamy Thai Restaurant

Address: Flinders Way, Manuka, ACT 2603

Phone: (02) 6295 0426

Entertainment book: yes don’t forget to use your card!

Baan Latsamy Thai Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Jamie’s Italian re-run

—– 23rd Dec 2013 —–
Another day, another early bird special without a booking, this time with the more ambitious number of 6 patrons. I was browsing dresses when I get the following text message from a friend: “you have 5 minutes to get here before they give away our table”. I put the dresses on hold and run down stairs to the outside area of Jamie’s Italian. It is a bit of a squeeze but all of us managed to fit around the table.

Drinks~

‘Refresher’ mocktail – fresh lemon, elderflower cordial & cranberry juice, topped with lemonade ($6.50). This had a lot of lemon juice which made it crazy sour which is not what it tasted like when I ordered it during my previous visit. I think that these mocktails are very inconsistent and the bar staff need to taste them before sending them out.20131226-181736.jpg

Entrees~

Italian bread selection homemade rosemary foccacia, Italian grissini, crispy ‘music bread’ & ciabatta from our bakery. All served with Rylstone extra virgin olive oil & aged balsamic. $1 from every bread tin we serve is donated to Jamie’s Ministry of Food Australia ($1.50). Since there was 6 of us we just ordered three serves for the table, it wasn’t enough to satisfy our want for also getting entrees, so this was just a starter while we were browsing the menus.

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Baked mushrooms swiss browns with crispy “music bread” and smoked buffalo mozzarella ($14.50). As the waiter places down my entree and I danced about take photos of everyone else’s food, he mentions he loves this dish even though he doesn’t like mushrooms. That’s the thing about Jamie’s Italian, all the waiters and waitresses all have their favourites and are not afraid to tell you.

It was a great medley of mushrooms and herbs, although I’m not quite sure about the thin base. When there is no mushrooms on it, it comes brittle and hard (around the edges of the dish) but when it is the base with mushrooms, it becomes really soggy and hard to eat. The cheese is really subtle and I wish there was more salt to this.20140114-230655.jpg

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Crispy squid fried quid garlicky may and lemon ($12.50). Due to an ordering error from the waitress, only one of these were served so we cancelled the one that was never put through to the kitchen and we were given more bread complimentary (we still had to pay for the previous bread, they just gave us an extra box for free). These had a nice light batter that went really well with the sauce, unfortunately the portion size was really small.

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Crispy tomato and mozzarella arancini stuffed rice balls with pickled red chillies, spicy arrabbiata sauce and parmesan ($10.50).20131226-181657.jpg

Tagliatelle bolognese ragù of beef, pork, herbs, Chianti & parmesan with crunchy, herby breadcrumbs (entree size $13.00, I didn’t take a photo of the main size but it was much bigger than the previous main serve that we ordered). Tim took another risk and re-ordered the same thing that disappointed us so much last time we were here. This time it was much much better! The crumb was crunchy, pasta was perfect and the bolognese sauce itself was fantastic as always. 20131226-181726.jpg

Simple baked lasagne slow-cooked beef & pork with roasted squash, herbs & wine, baked in an oozy white sauce with tomatoes, mozzarella & Parmesan ($21.00). I steered clear of previous menu items hoping to try something new that night. The lasagna didn’t have the same sauce as the bolognese otherwise this would have been spectacular. I didn’t understand the constant addition of rocket to all the pastas; I just tossed it aside. There was nothing special about this dish; it wasn’t particularly cheesy, the red sauce was mediocre and I didn’t feel that there was much white sauce. I got more enjoyment from eating from TimmyC’s plate.

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Italian farm sausage grilled pork sausage flavoured with red wine & spices, served with sweet & sour capsicums, capers, chilli & garlic ($23.00). My friend liked this as much as I ‘liked’ my lasagna. It tasted a bit ‘herby’ but it was missing something, a chutney or sauce perhaps? My friend didn’t even eat half of this, I think he got bored with the meal or he was completely underwhelmed.

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The Jamie’s Italian burger Aussie Black Angus steak with smoked mozzarella, pancetta, sticky balsamic onions, tomato, pickles and chillies ($19.50). My friend really enjoyed her burger but I still think by looking at it, that the bun to meat ratio is all wrong.

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The back of the burger looks less appetizing.

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Spaghetti alla norma a classic Sicilian pasta dish of eggplant, oregano, chilli & basil, all in a rich tomato sauce.

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Sides~

Our famous polenta chips crispy fried with rosemary and parmesan ($8.50). The polenta chips were rather nice, exactly the same to the Sydney store; they were crispy, salty and you wouldn’t think that they were made from polenta.

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The staff were nice and friendly as always, the food came out promptly, the only thing that was disappointing were some of the dishes, there were more ‘misses’ than ‘hits’. I’m not completely sold on this place yet.

Breakfast at Siren bar and restaurant

After being dragged away from my comfortable bed at an ungodly hour (weekends are meant for sleeping in), I demanded retribution and got TimmyC to buy me breakfast for driving him to the other side of town so early in the morning. I had recently heard the radio ads for Siren bar and restaurant that they do breakfast, lunch and dinner and it has been a few years since I’ve last been there (see my previous post here). The only thing I really remembered from my previous visit was that the kitchen was closed by the time we wanted to order our desserts and I left disappointed, but this time we were there bright and early and ready for breakfast.

20140112-161805.jpgA big open space with lots of natural sunlight; this place is family friendly by day and turns into a drinking hotspot by night. There was still a residue of alcohol, beer and sticky floor smell lingering in the morning.20140112-161946.jpgFreshly squeezed juice(orange, pineapple and ginger $7.50) and a deluxe iced chocolate($6.50). My juice was nice with a good hint of ginger, just the way I like it. I was a bit disappointed with the size of the glass though considering it costs $7.50. My friend said that his iced chocolate looked much better than it tasted, it was almost watery and not very strong.20140112-161818.jpgFlat white in a mug ($4.30). This came out a lot later than the juices which was odd as it is usually the other way around. TimmyC said it tasted quite bitter.20140112-161847.jpgWaffles homemade vanilla bean waffles with ice-cream, berry compote and maple syrup ($14.00). I was happy to find that this was a stack of two waffles, most places would just give you one. I thought they were really nice but it only had a hint of crispiness, if it had more of a crunch to it this would have been awesome. The berry compote was made from frozen berries so it tasted really watery so we just pushed that aside.20140112-161828.jpgSiren extreme brekky eggs done your way (poached) with crispy bacon, chorizo sausages, eye fillet steak, roasted cherry tomatoes, potato rosti, saute mushrooms and baked beans served on sour dough ($22.00). Extreme indeed; this was just protein on a plate. Maybe this was meant for all the hardcore riders that cycle from southside to come here for brunch?

The eggs were cooked well, the bacon was crispy and not overly oily, the chorizo was extremely good and was rather spicy, the eye fillet steak just needed a speckle of salt and the cherry tomatoes just popped straight in your mouth. The sautéed mushrooms could have done with some seasoning and garlic, the baked beans were from a can and the potato rosti (which I was most excited to try) was rather tasteless and limp. Not the best looking plate but a lot of good things on there, maybe some spinach would have broken up all the meaty hearty flavours.20140112-161919.jpgNot the most crispy or flavoursome rosti that I’ve had.20140112-161927.jpgBrekky wrap bacon, scrambled egg and potato rosti wrapped in a fresh tortilla with tomato or BBQ sauce ($12.50). I was torn between two menu items and this was the other; it has all my favourite things wrapped conveniently in a tortilla but this was nothing special. It was okay, just lacking more BBQ sauce which the staff were happy to help with.20140112-161838.jpgLots of families with kids strolled in and had brunch together and by the time we were finished the young brunch crowd was just coming through. It is nice to have a place like this out in Gungahlin because there isn’t many brunch places choose from.

You have to order and pay for your meal at the bar and while we were there, it didn’t seem like you really needed to book a head for  a table.

Don’t forget to use your Entertainment card!

Persian Mawlana Restaurant

When we sat down in the unlit room with nothing but the bright afternoon sun filtering in through the front window, I didn’t know if I had made a huge mistake in coming to Persian Mawlana restaurant in Dickson, which had only been open for a few months where Firestone used to be. My two plates in front of me had multiple stains on it, as soon as I sat down my shoe slipped on a wedge of tomato that was under the table and the drinking glasses were a bit dirty and not matching. I’d hate to be ‘that annoying customer’ but I had a lot of things changed and taken away before all the other guests arrived.

After things had been replaced and they eventually turned on the light, I decided not to let that affect the meal that we were about to try. We didn’t know what to expect as none of us had eaten Persian food before.

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I really liked their cutlery, very unusual.

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The menu was in a weird format, it starts off (if you read from left to right) with mains and then hot starters underneath followed by cold starters. We ordered a couple of entrees and main meals to share between the 5 of us. I wanted to try their yoghurt drink too as I wanted to try as much as possible and not many cultures have their own unique drink.

Doogh yoghurt drink ($7.00 jug or $3.00 for a glass). The sour yoghurt drink was not for everyone. I dislike sparkling water and it tastes like someone added sparkling water to some sour yoghurt/milk and added some dry herbs. We ordered a jug because it was more economical but we really could have all shared one glass.

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Main meals~ “All our main meals are served on NAN bread and dips. All served with Saffron Rice, Grilled Tomato and salad.”

NAN bread and dips. This must be their version of NAN bread, but I was surprised it came out so early. It was a bit curious when we asked what the dip flavours were, the waiter had no idea nor did he try to ask anyone. It turns out one was a chickpea which was very garlicky and the other was carrot. The bread was a bit hard but we made do. They took the bread away before we were finished and before the actual main meals but I thought the bread was supposed to accompany the main meal?

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Entrees~

Potato skin grilled potato with skin, cheese and topping of onion and capsicum ($7.00). I don’t know why but I somehow thought ordering a baked potato with its skin on with melted cheese would be an interesting tasting dish with a Persian twist to it. Nope this was just a potato with its skin on with a mild cheese melted on top with a bit of capsicum that wasn’t salty enough and we added more table salt ourselves. Do not waste your time with this underwhelming dish.

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Must-o-khiar creamy yoghurt with chopped cucumber and mint ($5.00). A lot like raita, we wanted something cooling to take the edge off what was a very hot day. The bread that was taken away would have been very handy right about now…

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Kashk-o-bademjan pan fried eggplant mixed with garlic,mint, onion and kashk ($6.00). I wasn’t expecting a ‘minced away beyond recognition’ eggplant so I was quite surprised when they put this down. This has a very short sharp eggplant taste finished off with an overpowering garlic aftertaste. The yoghurt looking topping tasted like a potent blue vein cheese. All these strong flavours were a bit too much for me, so I often went back to the cucumber dip.20131226-180850.jpg

Actual mains~

Mahie Polaw marinated and grilled snapper fish, served with saffron rice and BBQ tomato ($20.00). The whole fish was surprisingly really nice and not too many bones. The salad was very fresh and well dressed. It was a promising start to the mains.

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Jujeh marinated chicken in saffron, lemon juice on skewer served with saffron rice and BBQ tomato ($18.00). It made it easier to share that the meat was not attached to a skewer, the meat was very tender and moist.

20131226-180912.jpgLamb tikka marinated lamb fillet capsicum, onion on skewer served with saffron rice and BBQ tomato ($19.00). Not as tender as the chicken but a lovely lamb taste. Sharing these mains were more than sufficient because they all come with so much rice and salad. We were a bit confused as to why there was butter on every plate, were we supposed to add it to the meat or the rice? We just left it on the plate.

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Qabuli palaw lamb pieces topped with basmati rice, raisins and carrots served with two (koftah) mead (?) balls in a tomato based sauce ($19.00). I wasn’t particularly fond of the rice I chose, but I was keen to try this as I ate something similar at Koochi restaurant and really enjoyed it. The meatballs didn’t really add much to the dish, the rice was rather dry and it just didn’t really have the same vibrant colour as I was used to.

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Two koftah balls in a tomato based sauce to accompany the  qabuli palaw.

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So it turns out that Persian food has very similar elements to Afghan food but I felt that Koochi in Gungahlin did their rice dish much better and their skewered meat was much more moist and flavoursome.

It was nice that they honoured both our entertainment cards considering a lot of businesses get confused when you give them more than one card. Our dinner was heavily discounted but still I don’t think I would be coming here again.

Venue: Persian Mawlana Restaurant

Address: 14 Woolley St, Dickson, ACT

Phone: 02 6247 4447

Persian Mawlana on Urbanspoon

Singapore Series- chocolate buffet

This is more of a food porn post. Nothing much to say but yum! They had such gorgeous presentation at this all you can eat chocolate buffet, with a personal chef to make hot chocolate doughnuts on order included! Needless to say that towards the end, the chocolate became overwhelming and the fruit was a refreshing change.

Venue: The Club at Marina Bay Sands (top floor overlooking their infinity pool and the city)

Price: $38 pp (SGD)

Operating hours: daily 8pm – 12am

 

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Bowral get away- Onesta Cucina

——-24/11/2012——-

I have been wanting to try Onesta Cucina every time I come to Bowral but this time we finally got it (and it was open!). We were having a little celebration so I was hoping that the food was delicious and memorable.

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Complimentary bread- very delicious olive oil.

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Vegan pastawith garlic, chilli and olive oil. Not overly oily and my friend enjoyed her meal.

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House made potato gnocchi with braised duck ragu ($29.00). Such wonderful light parcels of gnocchi (oh what a difference a good gnocchi makes!). The meat was really tender but I couldn’t tell straight away that it was duck.

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Crumbed pork loin with proscuitto, asiago and peperonata ($33.00). We had forgotten that the pork was stuffed so it was a pleasant surprise. Thick pork usually dry but this was really moist and flavoursome.

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Sides~

Rosemary and garlic potatoes with sea salt ($9.50). Delicious potato morsels, it seems like an easy concept but they were so addictive.

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We were so impressed with our meals we thought that their desserts would just be a good.

Dessert~

Selection of ice-creams blood orange and raspberry sorbet ($13.50). I found a bit of plastic from a container in my sorbet, but even if I didn’t I wasn’t overly impressed by the flavours.

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Individual Banoffee pie with salted caramel, banana and vanilla bean cream ($13.50). After this afternoon’s dessert at Centennial Vineyards this was definitely average by comparison. I found it too overwhelmingly sweet and I couldn’t finish it.

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I really loved their pasta and mains and wished that I had tried their entrees, next time if I do get a dessert it won’t be a repeat of the ones above. The staff were attentive and meals came out promptly, it was a lovely place for dinner.

Venue: Onesta Cucina

Address: 5 Boolwey St, Bowral, NSW

Phone: (02) 4861 6620

Onesta Cucina on Urbanspoon

China plate

——-18/01/2013——-

I found myself in Kingston again just after leaving Bodega de Pintxos a little over 24 hours ago. This time I was headed to China Plate. I know I’ve eaten at China Plate before when it was in civic (where Soju girl is now) and I remember liking the personalised chopsticks and cover, but I don’t recall much about the food.

New location, new slate I say. Let’s eat!

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Asian bites~

Shanghai and shantung dumplings ($6.00, 3 pcs). Oh dumplings how I love thee. Both steamed and fried were really great, I would have ordered more if they weren’t so expensive!

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Beijing duck pancakes ($9.00, 2 pcs). They use a thicker cut of juicy duck which made these pancakes so good.

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Mains~

Beef ribs in honey pepperstir fried ribs with a touch of honey and pepper ($22.00). A lovely balance between sweet and pepper on succulent meat but it had a lot of bones though.

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When we couldn’t decide on a second dish, the manager was very helpful on suggestions. I’m not sure what this dish was called, she just asked if we like prawns and how hot do we like our food. It wasn’t too spicy and the prawns were big and juicy.

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Undeniably delicious food but I thought it was a bit pricey for the small portions (it turned out to be $40 pp food plus sodas). As delicious as the dumplings were not even the world’s best dumplings (unmistakably Din Tai Fung) are that expensive. I would love to come back and try more dishes, but don’t come here expecting a cheap Chinese meal.

Venue: China Plate

Address: 11 Kennedy St, Kingston, ACT 2604

Phone: (02) 6260 7555

China Plate @ Kingston on Urbanspoon

Nigel no friends’ paradise

——-17/01/2013——-

At Bodega de Pintxos, parties with 8 or more people are forced to choose between a “paella party” @$45 pp or “tapas party” @ $39 pp and I happen to go to dinner with 7 other people. Oh bother, the magical number had been breached. I didn’t want to fill up on lots of rice so we opted for the tapas party with Chef’s selection of tapas and pan casero.

True, I do usually ask the opinion of the staff to help me decide between 2 (or 5) dishes but giving up on my choice entirely was a completely different matter. Let the surprises begin!

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Drinks~ not included in the ‘tapas party’

Mojito ($15.00), Fruit punch mocktail ($9.00) and Sangria ($26.00 for the jug).

The mojito tasted very very minty, I don’t know much about alcoholic beverages but I know they shouldn’t taste like you just brushed your teeth, although some people might call it refreshing, I just wouldn’t call it a mojito. The fruit punch tasted rather sour and disappointing.

No one told us that this was the Spanish version of Russian roulette. You’re supposed to say a rhyme in Spanish and everyone one shots a pepper, it could be mild or it could be very hot, there’s no way to know until you take a bite (a waitress told us this after we had a hot one). The first few we had were nice, salty, like slightly addictive green capsicums, it wasn’t until one of us got a really hot one that we all became more suspicious and wary of which pepper to take and to have a small sample before we committed to the whole thing.

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Pan casero~

Pan de ajo house bread with garlic butter pil pil. This tasted like garlic bread but better, oh so buttery and addictive.

Pan tumaca house bread with spread fresh tomato and extra virgin olive oil with a side of garlic sauce. This one by comparison wasn’t as good, it tasted like a mushy bruschetta and the garlic sauce didn’t really add to the flavour.

I couldn’t really find our food on the menu except for chorizo, but here is a break down of what we ate.

Prawns – Kudos to them for serving their food very hot (it was still bubbling!) despite being busy. They were a bit salty though.

Chorizogrilled house made spicy chorizo, red wine jus and roasted garlic sauce. It tasted like a chunky version of Chinese dried pork, if you have eaten it you’ll know what I’m talking about. I don’t know if I’ve ever eaten an authentic chorizo but I know I haven’t tasted one like that before.

Slow roasted pork – the smaller pieces were more tender and soaked up the sauce really well. The chunky pieces were tough and too thick to enjoy.

Cold chicken sandwiches – a nice cold dish to cool off the tongue after those peppers. A little bit crumbly to eat because of the hard bread.

Mushrooms – I can’t really describe the taste, I didn’t know if I liked them at first but the taste grew on me.

Despite not having any say in choosing the food, they gave us ample amounts (we didn’t finish the pork or the peppers) but still left just enough space to sample some desserts (and don’t we all have a separate stomach for desserts anyway? image).

Desserts~ not included in the tapas party

Tarta al chocolate traditional chocolate cake served warm with gelato ($8.00). As promised in the description, a warm chocolate cake, nothing unique but it hit the sweet spot.

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Crema Catalana cooked cream served with burnt sugar ($8.00). From the description I knew I was ordering a creme brulee like substance. The custard had a citrus hint to it but I couldn’t get over the gritty-ness of the texture. For the first time had to leave most of my dessert in protest over the the poor texture. I should have tried the Natilla (sweet custard served with house made biscuits).

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Churros con chocolate traditional pastries served with chocolate ($8.00). Covered in a bit too much sugar for me, but it was served nice and hot with just the right amount chocolate (debatable for some, didn’t one of us try and lick the bowl clean?  image).

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Try as we might, we never did finish off those peppers, there were still so many left even after a decent effort from each of us.

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The staff were friendly although we had to consistently ask for more water and they forgot one of our desserts. I think you should ditch your friends (or go with less than 7 of them) and choose your own food. I heard their range of ‘pintxos from the kitchen’ is definitely worth a try. I didn’t absolutely love this meal but I’m keen to come back and try different things.

Venue: Bodega de Pintxos Taperia Espanola

Address: 27 Kennedy St, Kingston, ACT 2604

Phone: (02) 6295 0777

Bodega de Pintxos Taperia Espanola on Urbanspoon

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

Bowral get away- Centennial Vineyards

——-24/11/2012——-

Since I ate so slowly, (although I don’t think I was the slowest Lissy!) we only had less than an hour to browse the cellar door. They had wine tasting available, a variety of jams, chutneys and oils as well as 3 ranges of wine- Bong Bong, Woodside and the Reserve collection. Were they any good? I have no idea, I don’t drink wine, but no group left empty handed. The people behind the counter are friendly and definitely know their product so I’m sure they’ll find you something you would like. Definitely worth a look anyway.

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Bowral get away- Centennial Vineyards Restaurant

——-24/11/2012——-

For a quaint area like Bowral, it’s surprising how many awesome places there are to eat. You can’t get through all the places in one go though otherwise you would never leave, so every time I come back I like to try some place new. Centennial Vineyards restaurant came highly recommended for fabulous food so I quickly put it on my ‘definitely must visit’ list. 

My friends chose two courses each from the a la carte menu while I chose the Chef’s 3 course special for $80.00.

What a cute little welcome.

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What a glorious day to be out and about in Bowral.

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Complimentary bread served with stunning olive oil.

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Amuse bouche~

Vegan option: root vegetables.

Duck with hoisin sauce.

Entree~

Vegan Spring salad with white and green asparagus, spring vegetables and petite leaves ($19.50). The fancy green ribbons turned out to be celery, as nice as this plate looked, I wouldn’t want this as my side let alone my entree.

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Broad bean and sour cream pastry tartBroad bean tart, red pepper coulis, petit spring vegetables and local zucchini flower. I surprised myself when I ordered a vegetarian entree but this intrigued me the most. The zucchini flower was perfectly fried coming out hot but not overly oily. It was a little hard trying to combine all the elements of the plate together in every bite but overall the flavours were lovely and the presentation was beautiful.

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Mains~

Vegan Spring risotto. Wow, this was beautiful to look at. I almost didn’t want my friend to touch it and ruin the contrasting colours but after that salad that she was given, I’m sure she was hungry. The flowers added more for the colour rather than taste. My friend said she really enjoyed the flavours and said it was a really nice risotto.

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Free Range Bannock burn chickenpan seared chicken breast, sautéed red cabbage and pancetta, fondant potato and sauce veloute. When I tried this from my friend’s plate, the potato fondant was a bit soggy from the sauce and the chicken skin wasn’t really crispy but my friend assured me it’s because I took it from a bad side and that the dish was wonderful with crispy skin but succulent chicken meat.

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“Tova Platinum” Beef FilletSouthern Highlands grass fed beef fillet, gingerbread crust, braised Wagyu intercostals, shallots, garlic and smoked pork belly, celery puree and caper Bearnaise. One of the best pieces of beef I have had in a long time with little to no effort in cutting. The flavours of the crust were intense but not enough to over power the steak completely despite also having a puree and a Bearnaise sauce.

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I had to zoom into this little gem, it was so tasty, it was like eating a well honey seasoned Christmas ham. Magic in my mouth.

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Sides~

Fries with aioli ($7.50). We didn’t know how full we would be from the mains, especially after the initial skimpy vegan salad, so we ordered a side of fries. They came out hot and crispy and the aioli was really light and whipped.

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Desserts~

Strawberry and lemon soufflé – strawberry free form souffle with lemon, mint and textures of strawberry ($17.00). A very lemon-y tasting souffle which overshadowed the strawberries a little. A very delicate dessert with light refreshing flavours.

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Banana and butterscotch gateaubanana mousse layered with caramelised banana and cinnamon cake with butterscotch sauce ($17.00). I surprised myself again by ordering a banana dessert, I’m not the biggest fan usually. The bottom of the gateau was like a dense banana cake topped with chopped banana, banana cream and white chocolate, although I think the star of the dessert was the smooth rich butterscotch sauce.

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Despite the crazily high prices, everything was splendid- the food, the staff, the presentation and the flavours all added to the wonderful dining experience. I’m surprised it has such a low Urbanspoon rating. During the lunch sitting that day, everyone was seated in the enclosed patio which allowed beautiful natural light to come through as they were setting up for a wedding reception inside.

Venue: Centennial Vineyards Restaurant

Address: 252 Centennial Road, Bowral, NSW

Phone: (02) 4861 8722 

Website: http://www.centennial.net.au/

ACT Entertainment book: Yes! On the gold card and it definitely makes a difference!

Centennial Vineyards Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Bowral get away- Elephant boy cafe

——-24/11/2012——-

Elephant boy is a gorgeous little cafe along the main street with cozy decor. We stopped by for a coffee before heading off to lunch.

It is almost like being in a well read explorer’s living room having a sip of tea.

Green tea ($4.00)

French bowl skinny cappucinio ($4.00)

French bowl soy latte ($4.00)

My friends said that they had amazing coffee and I do like their fancy French bowl option.

Venue: Elephant boy cafe

Address: 329 Bong Bong St, Bowral 

Phone: (02) 4861 1393

Elephant Boy Cafe on Urbanspoon

The Pork Barrel

——-23/11/2012——-

A popular place for lunch for everyone in the area, there were very little seats available with most large tables being reserved. They have a large selection of baked goods and sandwiches from their ‘embreaded‘ range, but I chose my lunch from their blackboard specials.

Red velvet cake – moist but it is more pretty than it tastes.

Paw paw salad (from the blackboard). A light small portion with no chilli although it did have fresh herbs.

Guinness pie with salad and mash potato ($17.90 from the blackboard). I don’t know why I chose a Winter warmer meal when it was hot and sunny. The beef was delicious and tender but the mash was lumpy and cold.

 A lovely sunny day to be sitting amongst the roses.

Venue: The Pork Barrel

Address: King George Terrace, Parkes, ACT 2600

Phone: (02) 6273 1455