The Canberra Food Bloggers road test the new menu at Pod Food!

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Canberra has a lovely and lively community of people writing and posting about food!
The food bloggers are an especially social bunch and we love to get together for lunch every couple of months and enjoy some of Canberra’s wonderful venues.

This week Bizzy Lizzy took us to try out Pod Food’s new menu, in the conveniently close but relaxingly rural Pialligo.

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Sam Kildea, fabulous host that he is, set us up beautifully in Pod’s delightful garden…

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….but at Pod, there are just so many cute and cozy nooks to choose from.

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The most difficult decision of the day was whether to enjoy two ($50) or three ($60) courses!

Second most tricky was which of the gorgeous options to choose.
Some went with entrees: the Prawn noodle (yes, noodles made from prawns), with a soft 65 degree egg, parmesan, bacon and avruga caviar (which they raved about!)…

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….and the very decorative Pork sausage with pickled peach, mushroom cream, capsicum and chilli jam.

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Other choices on the menu were Asparagus spears, with beetroot, caramelised onion, goat’s cheese and rye cracker or Duck rillettes with pickled raspberry, crispy chicken skin and nashi pear.

We covered all the mains with the sirloin being the standout dish (along with very popular chilli and rosemary salt baked potatoes and aioli, which Sam thoughtfully threw in for us).

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Seared sirloin with fennel, dutch carrot with saffron potato foam

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Mushroom and chicken roulade with wasabi jelly, shimeji, chorizo and pea

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Pan fried market fish (swordfish this time) with potato, chermoula, wild rice and a lovely spinach soubise

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Wombok wrapped nut and lentil with pumpkin, tomato and radish

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And hugely successful were the desserts….

My Lime cheesecake with raspberry, lime get, macadamia, raspberry meringue and pineapple sorbet was a delicious balance of tart, sweet, crunchy and creamy – wonderful!

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The others loved their Pan perdu cooked in a very aromatic clarified butter with apple tarte tatin ice cream, brandy apple puree, blackberry and white chocolate!

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Also tempting was the sour cherry ice cream with coconut and oat crumble, chocolate jelly and cherry marshmallow.

As we chatted about cookbook launches, restaurant recommendations, writing opportunities and of course the wonderful food and atmosphere that Pod Food offers – the new Pod menu was declared a great success!!

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Pod Food Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Salotto, Kingston – good for a group on a budget

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I’ve enjoyed Santa Lucia Salotto‘s great lunch special (now $13.90) but this week I road tested the main menu for a  group dinner on a budget.

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We were fourteen girlfriends with a $25 per head limit on food.  So we choose a range of dishes to share – which all turned out to be perfect picks – with plenty to eat and some left over.

It was all served together which gave it a tapas/shared plate feel and while everything was delicious – the salads were the real standout for me! (And there was no salad at all left by anyone!)

For 14 of us we ordered:

Antipasto

4 x ANTIPASTO PLATTER  with san daniele prosciutto, cappacollo, mortadella and wagyu bresola accompanied with grilled vegetables, warm olives, giaidinera and pickled artichoke $25 each (bread is $6 for six slices so we got two serves and a couple of extras thrown in!).

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Salads

3 x INSALATA CON FUNGHI with grilled mushrooms with mixed lettuce, garlic, chilli, spanish onion & sun-dried tomatoes $14 each

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3 x INSALATA CAPRESE with a soothing fresh tomato, basil and buffalo mozzarella salad dressed in an olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette $14.50 each

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Pizza (cut into 8 slices)

2 x PROSCIUTTO fiori di latte, san danielle prosciutto, fresh roquette and shaved parmesan $21 each

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2 x AMANTI DELLA CARNE fiori di latte, 3 meat ragu, salami and barbecue sauce $23 each

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2 x FUNGHI fiori di latte, 3 mushrooms with a drizzle of truffle oil $20 each

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BYO wine corkage is $9 per bottle and there’s seating inside and out!

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Salotto Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

3 top tips for hosting a Brunch event at home – the perfect meal for entertaining a crowd!  

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Mid-week public holidays are a great opportunity to host an event!
There’s usually something to celebrate – hence the day off – and guests have fewer prior commitments to work around.
And brunch is the perfect meal!

It can all be done ahead.

It’s flexible enough to fit in any budget.

It’s easy to adapt to special dietary needs

It is just one course that can be set out ready, leaving plenty of time to chat to guests.

It can all be cleared up to allow for a relaxed evening before heading back to work the next day.
But these are the three top tips for success! 

  1. Set beautiful tables
  •  it sets the scene
  •   it leaves plenty of room in the kitchen to set out the brunch buffet for everyone to       help themselves
  •    it leaves the washing up on the tables and not in the kitchen getting mixed up with      the food. It also allows it to be cleared up gradually as the dishwasher capacity           allows.

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2. Do everything ahead

Prepare dishes ready to serve and organise drinks

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3. If you are accepting offers of help – ask guests to bring anything that needs to be done on the day ( eg fruit platters, fruit salad) as this keeps the day free for last minute organising.

Some menu ideas:
Drinks:

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Lemon and mint ( or other flavours) infused iced water ( freeze ice in large containers to add)

Non- alcoholic fruit punch

Peach infused white wine

Sparkling wine and rose

Mango lassi shots

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Food:

Baked French toast using croissants and other pastries in a bread and butter pudding recipe

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Bircher muesli breakfast trifle using alternate layers of Bircher muesli, Greek natural yogurt and poached fruit and berries, topped with toasted muesli crumble, dried fruit and nuts and berries

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Pancake stacks (banana pancakes are yummy) layered with Greek natural yogurt, brown sugar and sliced banana and cinnamon, topped with chopped almonds or walnuts ( assemble on the day)

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Frittata or Spanish omelette

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Corn and Chorizo muffins

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Oven baked bacon

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Banana bread

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Scones with jam and cream

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And generously offered by others:
Croque Madame

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Savouries

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Dolmeh

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Fruit platters and fruit salads

Welcome to Canberra – a Winning Team!

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Last week Canberra welcomed Winning Appliances….but very, very memorable, was how Winning Appliances welcomed Canberra! What a party! 


300 invited guests were treated to a showroom that spans the two floors of the original Kingston JB Young department store. 


Photos google and  Winning Appliances
And what better place to set up home. Both JB Young and Winning were young Australian businesses at the beginning of last century. Sadly JB Young was bought out by Grace Brothers but the Winning family business is now in its fourth generation and going from strength to strength! 


Photo from http://mildenhall.moadoph.gov.au/photo/641

Young John ‘Herman’ Winning explained his family’s journey, first supplying hardware and horse and carriage transport and then electrical Appliances. When they moved into retail, his ancestors declared it had to be done with style! However, only in Canberra has there been the space and opportunity to really create the showroom of their dreams!


And so it was, as a testimony to the family’s integrity and high standards that a stellar Canberra team was gathered to launch the new venture with great generosity, elegance and….style!
Mel from ELM by MEL did the invites and hosting. Wren and Rabbit did their magic with the styling. (You’ll remember their magic touch at Pialligo Estates Butcher, Baker, Merry Maker!). Kerrie Brewer was there with the camera!


John Leverink (head chef at the Boathouse by the Lake) and Sam Kildea from Podfood, brought their team to create local produce culinary delight with delicious wines, a blackberry gin fizz, wonderful savouries, an impressive seafood and chicken paella and gourmet smorgasbord of cheeses, meats and fish.

Steamed mussels with ponzu dressing

Pork scratching with sage and potato mousse

Pretzel tarts with chorizo crumb, Swordfish

The paella! 

Whole salmon confit fillet with wild Pialligo Fennel and Russian garlic flowers


Buratta with local olive oil, peaches and basil


Winning Blackberry Fizz with blackberries from the Pod Food garden, Canberra gin, thyme and ginger


Stilton


Comte


Smoked Trout on rye and English pork pies


Three Mills Bakery sourdough 


Eden Road wines


Kitchen envy was everywhere as everyone made sure they had multiple chances to win the $10,000 prize!

And those who didn’t win still took home a lovely ergonomic mug with organic peppermint tea and its own strainer, to enjoy while reading the latest Gourmet Traveller. 


We were just totally spoilt! 
I’m so excited to see such a beautiful store re-opening in that heritage space and making kitchen beauty so accessible to inner Canberra. Welcome to Kingston! Welcome to Canberra!

Red Chilli Sichuan – still one of Canberra’s greats

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Red Chilli Sichuan – Alinga street, City does Chinese (Sichuan) cuisine very well!

The popularity of Red Chilli Sichuan, with diners who would know, still testifies to it’s authenticity.

And the reputation is totally justified!

Suggested menu for six

Entree:

91. Stir fried shredded duck in peking sauces that comes with 8 oddly shaped pancakes $26.50, makes a great starter for up to eight people per serve.

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71. Stirfried pork in Peking Sauce and Shallots $22.50 (served with 5 pancakes, so you might need an extra)

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Main Course (one serve can give up six a taste):

86. Kung pao chicken $19.50 one of my favourites and good value

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48. Stir-fried eggplant and prawns in casserole $22

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96. Stirfried green beans with pork mince $18 (good but fairly  oily) but I think next time I’d get the popular 80. Chef special lamb slices with spicy cumin $25

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Steamed rice is generous and only $2.50 per serve.

Corkage is expensive at $10 per bottle, but this is balanced by very generous serves of rice and lots of good value dishes that are well sized.

(I’ve also been told that wine by the glass serves are very generous here.)

Five dishes is a good amount for six mixed appetities and with four rice serves.

25% discount offered with the Canberra Entertainment Book up to $30.

Total cost for food $118.50  ($20) ($88.50 with the discount ($15 per person)

(Discount also applies to corkage.)

Open 7 Days

Lunch:

11:30 am to 2:30 pm

Dinner:

5:00 to 10:00 pm
Novotel Building Shop G1,

75-89 Alinga St , Canberra Australia 2601

P: (02) 6248 6288

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 Red Chilli Sichuan Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

10 Top Canberra Summer Dinners Out for around $15 incl corkage!!

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The summer months in Canberra are perfect for making the most of the great inexpensive outdoor eateries.

Here’s the best of the best for dinners for about $15 and under inclucing the BYO corkage.

Claypot Chef (BYO no corkage)

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Taste of Bangladesh (BYO no corkage)

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Brodburger (BYO $2.50 per person)

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Snapper (BYO no corkage)

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Mandalay Bus (BYO no corkage)

Pizza Gusto (BYO no corkage)

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Broddogs ($7-11) & Frugii Dessert Factory ($7) (BYO no corkage)

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Turkish Banquet by the Lake

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Global Ethiopian Cafe (BYO no corkage)

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Pierogi special Wednesdays at the White Eagle Club

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Snapper, Yarralumla – still a good summer picnic idea!

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Snapper really comes into its own in summer, when balmy evenings are perfect for picnics by the lake.

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Snapper is open until 8pm each night and you can grab a caesar or avocado and smoked chicken salad $11 …

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…chicken schnitzel burger and chips $13.50…

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…or fish and chips $13.50..

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…take your own drinks, grab a table or put down a rug.

There’s even $4.50 sushi available now.

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Snapper Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

My wishlist for 2017!

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A work in progress…but at January 1, this is what I have on my list!

What’s on your wishlist for 2017?

Sydney

Koi Dessert Bar, Chippendale

Good Food Guide 2017 Awarded

Bistro Guillaume Sydney

Newtown/Marrickville

Continental Bar & Deli

Bovine & Swine

Queen Chow

Barzaari

Surry Hills/Paddington

The Paddington

The Dolphin

also:

Bill’s Bondi

Long Chim – Martin Place

Melbourne

Gingerboy

Supernormal (this time for dinner)

Coda

Sake

Brisbane

Gerard’s Bistro (this time with friends)

The Apo

Canberra

Rye Cafe and Bar

Morks

Akiba

The Cupping Room



Penny University’s new menu

Monster’s yabby jaffle

Temporada – those banana pecan waffles

Pomegrante’s Banquet menu $60 and Degustation menu with matched wines $100

Hobart

Frank

Franklin

My 2016 Highlights of the Year

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It’s been one great year with so many wonderful food adventures!

When I think about the highlights they would have to include….

Sydney Fun!

Cottage Point Inn

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Portenos

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Sunday at the Sydney Fish Markets

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Stanbuli

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The Glass House

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Automata

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Melbourne – Exploring the Top 100 in the CBD

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Maha

Brisbane

Made it to Gerard’s Bistro at last

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And in Canberra…

Joined Cooking Circles Canberra and loved the Country Cooking

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hosting Pelemini….

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Bangladeshi Cuisine workshop

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And…Bush Tucker at Foodish

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More Fun with the Canberra Food Bloggers

At Pialligo Estate

….Poacher’s Pantry…

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7 By the Lake

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Launches, Invites and Promos

Sunset Drinks at Pialligo Estate

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Winter Dessert Launch at Movenpick – a first date as a food bloger for Kaye!

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Butcher Baker Merrymaker at Pialligo Estate

Farmers’ Market Instameet

Foodish Experience

Amazing work opportunities..

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MyBrekkieBowl Launch

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And great dinners and weekends away with fine friends

My first Iranian Yalda dinner

A South Indian Feast

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Christmas in July

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Christmas at the Boathouse by the Lake

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Chefs of Canberra Trufflefest Dinner

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US Marine Corp Ball

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Mothers’ Day at Royal Canberra Golf Club


Photo thanks to Lydia

Girls Weekend at the Coast

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Ski lodge weekend away!

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Great summer meals at the beach

And that amazing trip of 10 friends to Kerala and Sri Lanka in Feb!

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And thanks so much to everyone who shared meals and foodie experiences with me this year, and to everyone who has enjoyed the posts.

Your company in 2016 has been precious!

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What have been your 2016 food highlights?

My 2016 Canberra Favourites!

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As 2016 draws to a close, I think it’s time to pick my favourite Canberra eateries from the year.

In no particular order they are…

The best ice-cream must go to the Frugii Dessert Factory.

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The most versatile goes to Taste of Bangladesh, for not only hosting a cooking workshop and a huge birthday party, but also supplying the goods for a magnificent Melbourne Cup Lunch.

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The best fine dining goes to Courgette

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The best event venue goes to the Boathouse

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The best cheap and cheerful goes to The Claypot Chef

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The best venue goes to Pialligo Estate

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The best all rounder goes to Monster Bar

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The best brunch spot goes to Two Before Ten

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The best Sunday lunch spot goes to Poacher’s Pantry

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The best weekday lunch goes to Penny University

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Most beautiful food goes to Space Kitchen

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