There's a new place in town, and I was keen to try out, as my friend said it serves Deep Fried Golden Gaytime. You read that right, the ice cream, Golden Gaytime, deep fried... well, crumbed then deep friend!
Reading up their menu, I had such hard time choosing just 1 meal. A lot of them sounded so delicious, and I wish I had no shame (and bottomless pit of a stomach and a Speedy Gonzalez metabolism) so that I could order ALL of them. In the end, I ordered their Crab Taco, served with avocado, corn and chilli. I had imagined the crab as bits of crab flesh, however, it came out as soft-shelled crab, nicely battered and fried. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm........... They were so light and easy to eat, that I polished all three in no time at all. My friend ordered their BBQ pulled pork burger, which was served with cringle cut chips and aoli (I think).
Luckily for me, my friend couldn't finish her meal, so I was able to also polish her left-over. The pork was divine! Not really "pulled" as they were more like tiny strips, but nicely marinated and absolutely covered in thick sweet tasty sauce. I couldn't really taste the creamy dressing that normally comes with coleslaw but it went really well with the pulled pork. I didn't try the bread, but it looked quite sugary and buttery. The chips were freshly fried, all crispy and salty. Yum-o!
The Pièce de résistance, which what got me to go to the place so soon, is this yummy goodness. Unfortunately, the Gaytime was a little too melty already as it arrived, however, it was definitely tasty. At $11 a piece, it was expensive, and as my friend put it, "a novelty". But what a novelty it was indeed! I didn't care much for the caramel sauce and crumbs of honeycomb, but the batter and the fact that it was a Golden Gaytime still on the stick, it was so good! :)
The service was impeccible, they were all so friendly and nice. The meals came in no time at all, and our dishes were cleared quite quickly too. I also loved how you order at the bar, instead of a table service because then you can split bills :) The person I made my order with told me that next week, they will have special deals on every Monday to Wednesday. With it you get a specific meal cheaper, as well as a free soft drink - he was so friendly and nice, that he did the deal for me today! Score! :P
I would definitely go back and try their other food, most especially because E loves Golden Gaytime, and I reckon he would like it :) I am also keen on trying their ribs in plum sauce and kimchi!
For my birthday this year, E organised a surprise dinner at Pistachio. I have a love/hate relationship with suprises, mainly because I am such a control freak and have the neeeeed to make sure that things are as and what they should be in accordance to my standard. For that reason, I had tried my hardest for almost a week to pry the name out of E, to no avail. I was so keen on finding out where we were going that I almost got cranky at him for not telling.......... yeah!
Anyways, I guessed where we were going as we were driving to the place. E told me that I had emailed him about the restaurant aaaages ago, telling him that I wanted to go. Pistachio is located in the mini shopping area of a suburb called Torrens. It is a funny little area, shaped like a crescent, it is the only "good" restaurant there. For that reason alone, you kind of have to live in the area or hear it through words of mouth - as I have never seen it advertised anywhere lately. I only remembered the place because I went to a Mum and Bub Yoga session earlier in the year, and it was located a few doors down from the restaurant.
Upon entering the restaurant, you get the feeling that it is one of those "Fancy" places, with dimmed lights and quiet murmurs of the other patrons. I was so nervous walking in with my gigantuan pram and a not-yet-sleeping baby, because sure enough, 5 minutes of us being seated and ordered, little E wailed as it was his bedtime. Luckily little E was good at going to sleep now, it only took E a few minutes of walking around outside to get him all nice and asleep.
This was our amuse bouche, artichoke soup with the best ever piece of bread I have ever had in my life! I would so go back to this place alone just for the bread, which is unfortunately, not in the menu (it was freeeeeeeeeeeee :P)
One of the things that I like about this restaurant is that they offer testing plates of entrees and dessert. It is such an awesome idea for someone like me who never can just settle on one dish. This is my testing plate of entrees - Assiette of pork, terrine, sausage and rillettes with charred sourdough and dijon mustard; House made goats cheese ravioli with baby peas, sage butter and white truffle oil; and Sautéed sea scallops with shredded Peking duck, sesame oil and crispy shallots. I loved the ravioli best!
Lamb shank tortellini with slow cooked scotch fillet, eggplant puree and ratatouille - E chose this one, and I loved it! The whole dish almost had an Indian taste to it, I'm guessing it was mainly because of the eggplant puree. I would have this again.
Roasted pork tenderloin with baby golden beetroot, puree and beetroot dressing - this was my choice. I liked the combination of flavours of this dish, the beetroot was tart to cut through the fattiness of the pork. I also liked the golden beetroot, which I never had before. It tasted less strong than the normal beetroot.
My testing plate of dessert - Warm toffee pudding with caramelised white chocolate, cider poached pears and caramel gel; Cheesecake cream with strawberries, shortbread crumble, honeycomb and vanilla ice cream; Vanilla brûlée tart with raspberry compote and rose liquor sorbet; and Hazelnut mousse with chocolate parfait, chocolate crunch and frangelico jelly. I reckon more and more places need to do testing plates like this, as you get to try out everything in the menu in a nice little bite portions. I loved the tart as well as the cheesecake, though it was the mousse that stole the limelight! Super smooth and super chocolatey - YUM!
All in all, I enjoyed my meals at Pistachio. Sure the main meals were a little more oily than I like, but again, it was one of the best eating experience, mainly because of the testing sample. On the night, I was able to have 10 different dishes (including the amuse bouche) and really test what the chef has to offer. I was told that they change their menu seasonally, so I would definitely try to go back again. One of the menu items that intrigued me was that they serve lamb brain - I would love to try a sample of this and wished it was included in the testing plate. I wasn't brave enough to try a whole dish, in case I don't like it.
For the location, Pistachio is slightly pricey, but you will have no problems finding park and it is situated quite close to where I live. According to their website, they won several awards last year, and I can definitely see why. It was a Happy Birthday to me, indeed :) Thank you, E, for organising!
Ph: 02 6286 2966
3A Torrens Place
Yes, I did go back to Kusina just to have their cakes. This is the best thing about being on Mat Leave :) I couldn't decide on the Pandan Coconut cake or the Purple Yam cake, so I ordered both and took half of each home "for E". I also ordered a decaf cap, which was soooo much better than the decaf flat white I ordered last time I was there.
I absolutely loved the Pandan Coconut cake!!! I think there's some coconut meat in between the layers, it was such a nice touch. I am not normally an icing person (I normally just don't eat them, weird, I know!), but I loved their icing! I would definitely go back there again for it. I am not that keen on the Yam cake though, the flavour isn't strong enough so it tasted like a normal vanilla sponge cake.
I am already planning on going there next Tuesday for lunch, so I sure will blog about it next week :P
I bought another Living Social voucher to go and try out B-One. Korean is one of my favorite cuisine and so I was keen to go, most especially since a friend who's also a Korean fan raves about the place.Entering the place, I was greeted by a lovely waitress. She was friendly and so so polite. The place was clean and bright, though a little empty. Being a Friday at noon, I expected a lot more people. The friend I was with told me that the place is almost always quiet whenever she went. Not a good sign!The deal I bought was 2 mains, 2 rice and 2 drinks for $28. My friend ordered the Bip Bim Bab and I ordered their spicy pork and calamari dish. We both also ordered the house specialty drink, which had barley in it. It was interesting, but nothing special.
I think for the price that we paid, it was alright but I most probably wouldn't go there again. I still think Seoul Palace is best :)
I thought my meal was nice, though it wasn't outstanding. One of the things that I enjoy most about Korean is the side dishes that you get. Unfortunately for B-One, their side dishes weren't good. Even their kim chi wasn't as good as everywhere else I have been.
I was so excited to try Kusina after seeing DeluxeDuck's post on them. I have never had Filipino food before and there's nothing I love more than trying new cuisines. We've had the chance to finally go this morning to meet up with a friend. I would have loved to go for lunch or dinner instead, as their brekky menu is quite limited, but we had things planned already. Never mind though because I sure will go back to try their other dishes.
Elliott's beef, on the other hand, was spectacular! I could have eaten all of his as well as mine had their kitchen didn't close by the time I wanted more food ;) the beef pieces were tender and beautifully marinated. E normally prefers dishes that are quite saucy, however he also loved this one as it delicious and not dry at all. The taste reminded me of an Indonesian beef dish, though I cannot pinpoint what it is. I love love this dish!
My friend and I chose the pork dish while I nicely convinced E to have the beef. This is so that I get to try both dishes as I couldn't really decide on 1. I did enjoy my meal but it wasn't as good as I imagined it to be. It tasted quite similar to Chinese sweet and sour pork, which I am not too keen on. I think it would have been better if the pork pieces were crunchy, instead of still having the rind "soggy". However, when eaten with the garlic rice, the pickled vegies, the broken egg yolk, it was pretty nice.
The place itself is clean, airy and welcoming. There are plenty of parking and easy to find. I was sad that they didn't have any of the Pandan and Coconut cake, nor the Purple Yam cake. We were also impressed at the serving size of their pancakes. The little girl next to us didn't even finish 1 of them, let alone all 3! I would have loved to try some pancakes, but I think if we do go back for brekky, it'll be so hard to not go for the beef or try the other Filipino dishes (instead of the western ones like eggs benedict etc).
I am planning to go back there for lunch soon, hopefully then, they'll have the cakes available.Kusina
Ph: 02 6288 8461
A friend and I went on another lunch date a couple of weeks ago, this time to Kingsley's Steak and Crabhouse. A few times I went in the past, I didn't enjoy the experience. It was expensive and the steak wasn't all that good. The service wasn't all that flash either. However, I am keen to try as many "Lunch Specials" as I can, and so when my friend suggested Kingsley's I couldn't say no. It was $24.95 for a set 2-course lunch with a drink - that's the kind of price that would take me back there.
Entree was coconut crumbed prawns with lemon aoli. This came within minutes of us being seated, it actually came before our drinks. This dish brought good memories for me, as it was one of the hors d'oevres we had at our wedding <3 I loved this dish, the prawns were juicy and the crumbs crunchy. The aoli could need a bit stronger taste, but all in all, it was yum.
I opted for steak (instead of salmon) and my steak was SO good! I now can understand why people rave about the restaurant. One colleague actually said that it is his FAVOURITE restaurant in Canberra! I really don't know what happened the last few times I went there, but this time, my steak was juicy, tender and cooked to perfection. And it wasn't even a good cut! The hand-cut chips were also really good, crunchy but fluffy. The bernaise sauce that came with the steak brought it all together nicely, though I had to eat the rest of my friend's sauce as I didn't think a small mini bowl was enough. But then, I love my sauce.
I most probably still won't go back for their full service, but I will definitely go back for their "Lunch Special"!
Here's yet another "Lunch Specials" meal I had recently, this time at Iori Coo. The place had different offerings, ranging from ramen to bento boxes. I chose another chicken teriyaki bento box as it was only $10.00! I still cannot believe how awesomely priced these "Lunch specials" are.
Along with the teriyaki, I got chicken karaage, gyoza, fried salmon fillet, salmon sashimi, seaweed salad as well as the usual salad and miso soup. I loved their teriyaki, it was definitely closer to the teriyaki we had in Japan. The sashimi pieces were also deliciously fresh and the gyoza was pretty good. I didn't like the karaage, they were dry and lacking flavour. When I asked for some mayo or sauce to go with it, I was told that I had to pay, so I didn't. How ridiculous! How much would a small squirt of mayo cost? I understand that $10 is a good deal for the amount of food I got, but a squirt of mayo!
A friend ordered their Oyakidon, and we really didn't like it. The chicken were pretty bland, my friend actually commented that it tasted like "horse" lol No idea if she actually have had horse before, or were just making it up, but it really didn't taste too good.
If I was to go for another Japanese "Lunch Specials" again (and I certainly will), I would prefer to go back to Oishi instead. Sure the teriyaki is better at Coo and it is $5 more, but the rest of the meal were a lot better. I am still salivating over the tempura I had last!
Coo Japanese Izakaya (Sister Restaurant of Iori Japanese Restaraunt)
p 02 6257 2233
41 E Row
For yet another lunch, I went to try out Urban Pantry with a couple of my girlfriends (1 of whom I haven't seen in almost 3 years!). I believe Urban Pantry first opened their doors early last year, it had the feel of a casual fine dining. It was such a hot day when we went, so I asked to be seated indoor, thinking that they'll have aircon on. They don't. Nevertheless, I liked the feel of the place, and though it took them ages to give us our menus, their service was pretty friendly and prompt.
For some weird reason, I have been craving caesar salad lately. I really liked the sound of their beef burger, but the caesar salad really called my name. Despite it being the most fattening salad ever, I will still ge some f my daily veg intake and so I could have a side of chips, guilt-free :P
A bowl of fresh tasty chips with garlic ioli for a hefty price of $10 (!!!!)
I really liked my caesar salad, the cheese/croutons/dressing ratio was done really well. I didn't think paying $2 extra for 3 tiny pieces of chicken was worth it though, as they did give me loads of the proscuitto. They forgot to include the egg, but was promptly served when I asked for it - gotta have my egg! lol
I also loved their poached (?) chicken mango salad that my friend ordered. It was light and fresh and had a nice bite to it, as it has a lime/chilli dressing. My friend commented that they needed to include more mango, which I agree with, since there were only 3-4 bits of mango, and you can't call it a mango salad with only that much of mango per serve.
I thoroughly enjoyed that lunch, it is always good catching up friends and spending the time laughing while talking about random stuff. I have to say though that Urban Pantry i pricey. Both salad were $20 each (!!!) and as mentioned above, the side of chips was $10. Mind you, it is located in upscale area of Manuka. I would go back there and try their other offerings, especially their cakes etc, since the salads were pretty tasty :)
02 6162 3556
5 Bougainneville St
One of the good things about being on Mat Leave is that I get to have cheap "Lunch specials" that most restaurant have to offer.
Last Tuesday, after our meeting with the Reverend regarding little E's christening, we met up with a friend to check out Oishi - a new Japanese/Korean restaurant in Civic. Looking at the menu, and listening to the waitresses, it is more of a Korean restaurant than Japanese, but with the lack of good cheap Japanese place Canberra has to offer, I was super keen.
We actually went there for lunch a week before, but we went at about 3pm, which is exactly the start of their "break" - d'oh! I liked the look of the decor, all nice and clean, as well as their offerings. The lunch special was pretty good, at $15.50 you get a Bento set of your choice. I can't remember exactly what the choices are but I know that there were chicken teriyaki and tempura (my choice), chicken katsu (E's choice), beef teriyaki, chicken teriyaki, and mix tempura. Other than the chicken teriyaki and tempura bento set, you get to choose between sashimi, sushi or sushi rolls to go with your bento. As well as miso soup, salad and rice. So really, for $15.50, it is a hell lot of food.
I was super famished when we arrived, and knowing that I probably had about 30 minutes before little E needed to feed, I quickly ordered some hagedashi tofu - even before our friend came.
I really liked what I had that day. The hagedashi tofu were nice and silky, with a nice combo of sweet and salty sauce. I ate E's sashimi, and they were super fresh tasting, which is so awesome, considering where Canberra is located. I liked my chicken teriyaki, it wasn't too sweet at all, which I found most other places tend to be. I also loved loved loved my tempura - the bento set even came with 2 prawn tempura, it was such a good deal. I liked the tempura and chicken teriyaki so much that I ate my friend's leftovers lol
E wasn't so impressed with his chicken katsu though, as they were more crumbs than chicken. When he did get bits of chicken, there were gristle. I didn't mind it myself, but my standard on chicken isn't as high as E's. He only eats chicken breast, and chicken breast only. No gristle no skin.
I would definitely go back to Oishi and try their other offerings. I didn't actually pay much attention to their other menu and their prices, so it might be a little pricey, being in Civic. I will check them out next time, I am hoping sometimes next week! :)
02 6162 2624
We were there at 5pm on the dot, which is when they're open. We were shown to a mini table for us three, with 2 of us having to squeeze on the sofa. As a heavily pregnant person, there is no way I could squeeze into a tight spot, so I requested that we get 2 tables (which is to fir 4 people) and the girl reluctantly obliged. This was not a good start. However, I was too excited to care, and we promptly perused the menu, made our choices and ordered. We were told that their serving time was super quick, and they weren't lying. I believe it only took them 10-15 minutes.
My friend and I were supposed to try 6 of their buffalo wings. I wanted to try the "suicidal" and she wanted to try the "hot". So we asked if we could order 3 of each, but we were told that they can't do that. Which is weird, because surely it is super easy to just sauce the individual wings with the different sauces. So my friend ordered the "suicidal" only, which ended up too hot for her, so I got to eat all of them.
The atmosphere of the place was good, it was super casual, more like a fast food joint than a restaurant, which I like on a Friday night after a long day at work. In no time at all, the place was nicely filled with patrons, all happily nomming on their orders. Canberrans must really be excited about the place, as much as I did :) :) :)
The food was really really good. I absolutely enjoyed my beef brisket "sandwich", the creme cheese, the jalapenos and the smoked capsicum went really well against the meaty sweetness of the brisket. They were tender and not as stringy as normal brisket. The buffalo wings were tasty too. I believe they were battered then fried, then have the sauce smothered on them. And when they say "suicidal", they really meant it. That sauce was HOT! I would probably go for "hot" next time, so that I don't embarrassed myself again by having red puffy lips afterwards, but man, they were good!
My friend ordered the pulled pork sandwich, which came with coleslaw in them. She thought that the pork was not as "pulled" as the ones she had while in America, but I think she liked it still. I didn't mind, but I preferred my brisket better. She had a side of chips with her order, and while they were nice, they were a little on the salty side for me and definitely a little too fried.
E's order of pulled pork was quite comical. It came in a large tray with 2 minuscule bites of corn bread and a small bowl of the pork. Luckily for him, I didn't want the top bun of my sandwich, so he got to eat that. For the price of what we paid, his order was definitely the least worthy. I think my sandwich was good sized, it definitely filled me up. But then I did have 5 wings with them, and my stomach is most probably squeezed into a third of its normal size at the moment.
I would go back to Smoque to try their other food, however, I wouldn't go in a hurry. They're a little pricey for the serving size and the service needs a little improvement.
Ph: 02 6162 3350
131 London Cct
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