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Sunday, 28 October 2012

Bon Bon Fine Chocolate Cafe @ The Strand, George/Pitt St

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Everytime I go shopping on Pitt St, I always walk past Bon Bon Fine Chocolate and want to try the cafe but never got around to it, until now. On a lovely Sunday afternoon with great friends, we were heading to the ballet. But, before going to the ballet we headed down to the Bon Bon Cafe. The cafe is located below the fine chocolate store. It is dark and intimate with a décor of suit cases, mirrors and chocolate facts. They offer a high tea option, and normal dining. The dark lighting made it difficult to take photos, so apologies for the bad quality.
Poached chicken and avocado sandwich

A combination that is loved by my friends and seems to never go wrong. A generous amount of avocado with chicken and rocket to balance out the entire sandwich.

Smoked salmon, avocado and rocket on toast

Anything with smoked salmon is delicious (in my opinion). The toast looks burnt, but it was  a rye bread. There was little bits of dill which provided a kick.


Poached eggs with halloumi cheese, avocado, cherry tomato and rocket

I love poached eggs, I could eat it at any meal. The avocado wasn't as good as the ones that were with the salmon. The halloumi cheese adds a different light to normal cheese on bread, tasty dish!

Banana split

It was called banana split on the menu, but it was more of an ice-cream sundae. The best part of the dessert was the home-made honeycomb that was nestled under the cream. The honeycomb added a sweet caramel crunch along with the macadamia nuts. I didn't  finish it but my friend did, the perks of eating with friends to finish off dishes.


Sticky date pudding


Ice-cream filled profiterole

The sticky date pudding and profiterole were my friends dishes. The sticky date pudding was with a caramel sauce. I am not big on sticky date pudding, therefore I found it mediocre. The profiterole was very different. instead of custard there was ice-cream. It was a bit strange for me, traditional profiteroles are the way they should be.

After the dining experience they provided each of us with an empty box. The waitress told us to go upstairs and pick out a chocolate from the Bon Bon Fine Chocolate store, only rule was that the piece of chocolate had to fit in the box. A lovely surprise to be able to pick out a free chocolate.

Bon Bon Fine Chocolate Cafe is well priced, where you can get lunch and dessert for less than $30 per person. The staff are friendly and the cafe has a lovely brunch feel.

Good food, good times!

Sunday, 21 October 2012

The Everest Kitchen @ Marrickville

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Marrickville provides an array of restaurants and cafes and is slowly moving up as a top foodie destination. The Everest Kitchen (TEK) is a Nepalese restaurant situated in Marrickville surrounded by other restaurants. I went to TEK with a friend who has been to Nepal before, and they said '..this really reminds me of Nepal'. TEK is decorated with photographs of Nepal and colourful square banners that you see in a lot of the photos.



The shared entrée contained: vegetarian mo:mo (dumplings), lentil dumpling, soy bean salad, flat beaten rice, potato salad, mint sauce, potato cake and Nepalese salad. Everything on this entrée was delicious. The mo:mo's were dressed with a chilli sauce which gave it a nice punch. We weren't quite sure on how to eat the beaten rice, so we just ate it with random things on the plate. Either way, all so tasty!



The mains were: potato & pea curry and chicken curry with pappadums and tomato salsa with a side of rice. I thought the curries would taste similar to an Indian styled curry, but it was different, not as spicy or creamy. It did remind me of Govinda's though (if anyone has tried Govinda's). I found it to be filling which is always a good sign.



Dessert: rice pudding with Laal Mohan. This was strange, in a good and bad way. The good was the rice pudding which had shredded coconut and chocolate sauce. Now to the bad, Laal Mohan is a dough that is made of ghee, flour, some spices and milk. I had one bite, and not any more. It is supposed to be a traditional dessert, but I personally didn't like it. I am not sure on how to describe it, but if you are game enough to try it, go for it!

Even though I didn't like the Laal Mohan, the entire dining experience was delightful. The staff are friendly and cater for your needs. It has an intimate, yet casual atmosphere.

Good food, good times!

BRODBURGER @ Kingston, ACT

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After a morning of bi-polar weather and flowers, we were hungry and headed to BRODBURGER. BRODBURGER started out as a food van/truck, but due to overwhelming demand they opened up a restaurant, and continue to be popular.


Hershey kisses while waiting in line


Fries with garlic aioli


BRODVEG
Assorted flame grilled vegetables (mushroom, eggplant, zucchini, capsicum).
 
Topped with fried halloumi cheese. Includes homemade aioli & tomato relish


BRODCHICKEN
Succulent flame grilled chicken breast. Topped with bacon, avocado, fresh lettuce, tomatoes & spanish onions. Includes homemade aioli & tomato relish.




BRODBURGER
½ pound flame grilled beef patty. Fresh lettuce, tomatoes & Spanish onions. 
Includes homemade aioli & tomato relish.


All the burgers at BRODBURGER are deliciously simple. They are big and filling, and cater for vegetarians (which is rare for a burger joint). For anyone going to Canberra, I strongly suggest going to BRODBURGER and trying the food. It was definitely one of the best burgers I have eaten.

Good food, good times!

Pancake Parlour @ City Centre, ACT

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The Pancake Parlour is a Melbourne based family restaurant, that has now expanded to Canberra. The Pancake Parlour has been around for decades. The restaurant sells a powder form of there buttermilk pancake (like a pancake shaker) at some Woolworths stores, but I have yet to try it and compare it to the actual parlour. The great part about this restaurant was that a majority of the seating was arranged in booths. I love restaurants with booths!


Cappuccino

Chocolate Strawberry Jubilee
Chocolate pancake with fresh strawberries, ice cream, whipped cream, chocolate flakes and chocolate sauce. This is any chocolate lovers delight.


Buttermilk pancakes with strawberries
Two pancakes, vanilla ice cream, fresh strawberries and strawberry sauce. A simple start to a great day.This is an ideal sweet breakfast, basic and can easily satisfy.


Potato pancake with salad
A potato based pancake topped with cheese, and some butter. This was an interesting dish. It didn't tickle my fancy, but my friend liked it. I did like the celery in the salad, but the salad was cut into very small pieces which made it difficult to eat.

The Pancake Parlour is very similar to Pancake on the Rocks. Personally, I find Pancakes on the Rocks to be nicer and more worth for the money. For example, Pancakes on the Rocks provides 2 chocolate pancakes instead of one, and it's cheaper. 

Good food, good times!

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Fekerte's @ Dickson, ACT

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As a part of the long weekend, I went away to Canberra for 2 days to see Floriade and do some random exploring with friends. Unfortunately, on the Friday we arrived there was a lot of rain (resulting in going to Questacon), and chance of a storm so the night fest was cancelled, but we were able to experience Ethiopian Food.


Fekerte's (pronounced Fur-ket-tars) is located in the main shopping area of Dickson, which apparently to some locals is known as a miniature 'China Town'. The name Fekerte comes from the name of the Chef, where she provides traditional Ethiopian flavours and spices that can be appreciated locally. Furthermore, the restaurant provides an array of vegetarian options. Ethiopian food itself has a few key characteristics:
Enjera: A thin flat bread made from a grain called Teff (which is only grown in Ethiopia) - alternatively made from sorghum and wheat flour. It is used to scoop up stews.
Wat: A stew that uses berbere (an Ethiopian season composed of red pepper and other spices), and can be mild or hot.
Alicha: A stew that is delicately seasoned dishes that doesn't use berbere, therefore using more subtle spices and milder.
Entree:
We decided to start with 2 entrees, just to get our appetite going, considering we were all super hungry.
Kita and yeshimbra

Kita is an Ethiopian pan bread that is brushed with olive oil and spices, different to the ordinary bread entrees you can order. Yeshimbra are chickpea patties, they were coated in a spicy sauce which was counteracted by the yoghurt. Both the entrées were filled with lovely spice, and provided an insight to Ethiopian Cuisine.


Salad:

Keysir Salata - Beetroot Salad


Azifa Salata - Lentil Salad

The salads were basic and provided a refreshing side to the main dishes. I preferred the the beetroot salad over the lentil salad. The beetroot salad had a great bite, and was extra tasty with the juicy tomatoes.

Main:

Enjera

As mentioned earlier, Enjera is an Ethiopian styled flat bread. It has a unique taste, where it's sour, more than your average sour dough bread and has a spongy texture. When it's dipped in stew, that strange taste disappears and feels as if you are dipping naan bread in a curry (excluding textural differences).



Key Wat - Spicy Beef

This was spicy but not as spicy as the chicken, and great for the cold gloomy weather of Canberra. The beef was perfectly stewed, where it easily fell apart. The spices was nothing like I have ever tasted, unable to be compared to stews by other cuisines. The down part were the huge pieces of onions in the stew.



Atkilt Alicha - Vegetable Curry

Potato, carrot and beans! The potatoes were soft and delicate but not crumbly. It was a great simple vegetarian stew. One of the nicest stews of the night, a 'winter warmer'.



Doro Wat - Chicken in red pepper sauce and
Duba Wat - Pumpkin Curry

I thought the restaurant would use the same base stew flavourings for the 'wat' dishes, but I was pleasantly surprised. The chicken stew was spicier than the beef, however with the side of yoghurt it helped create a middle point.

I thought the pumpkin in the stew would be softer, but required a bit of a bite. Despite the texture, the pumpkin stew was the first stew of its kind I have ever tried.

Our banquet, served with rice

Ethiopian tea and coffee


We ended the night with some warm drinks, everyone chose the coffee, but I went for the tea. The aroma of the tea was soothing, and had a scent of a variety of spices. I tried a bit of the coffee, and it was very similar to Turkish coffee, but stronger. Sugar was absolutely necessary for the coffee. 

This was a very unique dining experience, where I had no idea what to expect. The portions look small, but don't be fooled, it is definitely filling. The best part was the  experience was the traditional nature of the restaurant, including the food, music and some of the staff. 


Good food, good times!

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Zumbaron Day 2012 @ Adriano Patisserie, The Star

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 Haul of macarons by myself and 3 of my closest girlfriends.


That time of year had come again when Adriano Zumbo invited Sydney siders to all of his patisseries to try different flavoured macarons, specially made for the purpose of a Zumbaron Day - 6/10/2012  (it used to be on his birthday). This year the list was composed of 62 flavours, comprising of whacky flavours, and flavours that he has made throughout the years. Some of the whacky flavours that I did not purchase included duck pancake, pork belly and hamburger. 



My friend and I decided to get 24 macarons, and split them so we were able to try as many flavours as possible without having a massive macaron overload (if that is possible). From the list of 62 flavours we chose:


Box 1 (left to right):

Blue cheese, beer, blueberry & lavender, beetroot & raspberry, carrot cake, caramelised hommus, cola, fig with burnt honey & red wine, gin & tonic, lychee, milo


Box 2 (left to right):
Olive oil & salted truffle, passionfruit & basil, PB & J, peach ice tea, mojito, pineapple &ginger, redskin, salted gianduja caramel, wasabi & ginger, palm sugar & coconut, pear + pistachio & fennel


Of the above macarons, my favourites were olive oil & salted truffle, blueberry & lavender, carrot cake, red skin, passionfruit & basil and pear + pistachio & fennel.

I didn't like the macarons that had alcohol in it, or taste of alcohol. Furthermore, the blue cheese macaron was memorable (not in a good way). I am not a fan of blue cheese, and since this macaron had the EXACT taste of blue cheese, I took a small bite and ran for water straight away. However, if you are a fan of blue cheese, go for it, you will love it (as my friend did)! 

Along with the normal macarons, we decided to buy a few fried ones which included fried doughnut, fried chicken and custard fritter. There was also a special chocolate marshmallow pop macaron (the one on the stick). The fried doughnut macaron contained a raspberry macaron inside, so it tasted like a raspberry jam filled doughnut covered with cinnamon sugar ABSOLUTELY TASTY! The fried chicken tasted exactly as a fried chicken crumb, we waited to get back to my house to eat the macarons, and the fried chicken was still extremely crispy. The custard fritter macaron had a subtle taste which was slightly disappointing, but was still nice. I would definitely get all the fried macarons again.


Special macarons and cross section of fried chicken macaron
  
Fried doughnut cross section


Looking forward to next year, and more whacky and interesting flavours that Adriano Zumbo comes up with.

Good food, good times!