Exploring South Indian dining in Canberra – First stop Binny’s Kathitto

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Hankering for some much missed Kerala cuisine, I was delighted when Elissa from Five Beans Food suggested Binny’s Kathitto for dinner where Majeesh from Kottayam is cooking appams, puttu, idyappam, Kerala parotta, moilee, aviyal, pollichathu and so much more!

It’s been lovely watching Binny take his specialty Indian street food from the Hamlet pop-up to his bricks and mortar home on Lonsdale Street.

The decor echoes Binny’s warm welcome backed up by the rest of the team, Rose and Khush.

Elissa’s been experimenting with Marsala Dosa…

…so we needed to try that for entree..

Masala Dosa $16 – a crepe wrapped around a savory filling of mashed potatoes, onions, crackled mustard seeds, and tempered spices with sambar and coconut and tomato chutneys.

As there were four of us we shared another three dishes with breads, all of which were very delicious!

Erachi Puttu with Chicken Curry $19 – a steamed rice cake layered with meat masala, along with pappadum and served with a gravy (perhaps my favourite as I loved the puttu)

Kanava Roast $23 – squid cooked in traditional Kerala spice with ginger, fried chilles, onions, tomato and squeeze of lemon with a Kerala Parotta – puffed softbread made from flour $4. Loved the tender squid and it went well with the parotta (thanks for the tip Khush).

Tharavu Curry $23 – duck cooked in coconut milk, green chilli, ginger and spices flavoured with curry leaves with an appam – a Kerala style hopper pancake made of fine ground raw rice and grated coconut $3. This was a very generous serve of, fall off the bone, well flavoured duck meat.

Good news for Canberra Entertainment Book holders, Binny’s now offers a 25% discount up to $30.

Binny’s is licensed and also offers BYO wine at $10 corkage a bottle.

This wasn’t my first visit to Binny’s Kathitto but this time I had a much greater appreciation and understanding of what I’d ordered.

So looking forward to trying some more dishes!

Binny's Kathitto Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Canberra’s best breakfast – Pod Food Pialligo! 

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I’ve enjoyed the hospitality of Pod Food a couple of lovely times lately, but now, after trying their breakfast, I’m a total fan! It must be the very best spot for breakfast in Canberra!

Even in this chilly weather, the garden setting is gorgeous and beautiful from the cosy verandah.

It was just perfect on a winter Canberra weekend.
To be honest, I’d only ever heard about the $40 four course breakfast degustation which I’d flagged as a special occasion event. But now I know that there’s a whole other a la carte menu with average Canberra prices, but way beyond average dishes……in such a lovely setting, served by Sam’s top class team, I wouldn’t ever want to go anywhere else!
Hard as it was to choose just one dish (hence the allure of the degustation) I was very pleased with my Field mushroom bruschetta with miso, smoked ricotta (so good), baby spinach and sourdough $19.


Every mouthful was a joy!

But the Srambled eggs with Jamon, fennel and herb salad and Three Mills seeded sourdough $19 also looked very good.


Those who chose the Potato and bacon wrapped egg with salt baked potato, pecorino and capsicum relish were delighted, $20.


And for those times that you just want something light, the $12 Three Mills seeded sourdough toast with Pialligo honey, preservatives and whipped butter was perfect.


Even though we were just coming for breakfast, Sam called to check special diet needs and confirm the booking. There’s nothing ordinary about breakfast at Pod!

And, you won’t believe this, if you have the Canberra Entertainment Book, there’s even a 25% discount!
This is fine dining standard at mid range prices!

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

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

Briscola Pizzeria, Canberra City – still as good as ever

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It was great to see how popular Briscola Pizzeria has become with Canberra locals.

Even mid-week it was hard to get a table. Well deserving of its fans, Briscola has positioned itself well as a mid-range Italian eatery offering warm hospitality and good food.

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Gianni was as helpful as ever as we created a shared menu for seven of us. He was right, the salads are huge, the Pulcinella is still a fabulous pizza choice, and his mum’s ravioli is indeed very good.

We went for maximum variety within our $25 per person budget and chose:

To start:

Antipasto di salumi affettati -antipasto & charcuterie board w/ salami, prosciutto, mortadella, pickled

giardiniera, fresh buffalo mozzarella, stone baked focaccia $25


..with an extra stone baked focaccia with herb + sea salt – $12  for this size

1 x Pulcinella pizza – mascarpone + gorgonzola + pancetta + fresh pear $30 (large)


For mains we ordered:

Casareccia pasta – chicken, pancetta, shallots, brandy cream, macchiato sugo $22

Egg pappardelle, three meat ragu, chianti, basil, grana padano $24

Mum’s roast pumpkin & ricotta ravioli, burnt sage butter, amaretti $26 for five and $5 each for extras

Buffalo mozzarella caprese, tomato, basil, virgin oil, aged balsamic $15

Shaved fennel, baby leaves, blood orange, mint, citronette $16 size


Rocket, grana padano, caramelised walnuts, fresh pear, aged balsamic $16

The real standouts for me were the Pulcinella pizza, Casareccia pasta, Buffalo mozzarella caprese and the soft baked focaccia that came with the antipasto.

Gianni was right, we didn’t need so much salad and next time we would skip the Shaved fennel salad – most of which was still left when we’d finished.

The Linguine, banana prawns, mussels, rock lobster meat, tomato, chilli, white wine $29 looks excellent on the way past too as did the take-away gelato outside.


To help with budgeting Briscola offers a 25% discount for Canberra Entertainment Book holders and BYO – Corkage $4.5per person, Cakeage $2 per person

Briscola Pizzeria Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Boathouse by the Lake, Canberra – excelling at private functions!

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The Boathouse by the Lake may well be Canberra’s best spot for function dining. This is where they really excel. Food and wine is elegant, delicious and well priced. Staff and service is delightful. The setting is perfect. But most of all, they offer a real sense of generosity.

A well set out Private Dining Function Brochure explains the options well.

Choose from three rooms, East End looking more towards Kingston Foreshore…

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…Walters, looking more towards Kings Avenue Bridge and Russell…

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…or West End, looking straight across the lake and more towards Kings Avenue Bridge.

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All have access to lovely decks, although East End and West End are larger.

The minimum spend, particularly at lunch time, is very reasonable – $1,100 for lunch January and April to October, $2,500 in peak times of Nov-Dec and Feb-Mar.

Menu Options start at $77 per person for 3 courses. The beverages packages are particularly good starting at $31 per person for three hours for lovely Canberra wines, draught beer, juice and soft drinks.

Also good value is the Corporate Two Course Luncheon with 2 hours of beverages for $90 per person.

We were there for a Christmas Party dinner for 23 people and after much consideration we chose:

6 savouries $21 per person (3 is $12) to allow for plenty of time to mix and mingle on the deck…

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… before being seated at the round tables.

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3 courses with alternate entrée and a choice of three options for main and dessert – $87 per person

3 hour silver drinks package – $31 per person

Dan and Lauren took great care of us with drinks and savouries and this set the scene for a wonderful evening.

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Savouries

Pea and Haloumi Fritters

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Persian Fetta Mousse and Tomato Puffs

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Avocado and Cherviche Tarts

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Roast Pumpkin, Leek and Cheddar Quiche

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Popcorn Prawns with Sriracha Mayo

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Marlin Rice Cracker (the highlight)

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For entrée we chose two alternates:

Spiced pork belly with avocado, white balsamic, togarashi

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Seared prawns, butter milk, chlorophyll juice, charred baby gem

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Mains were a choice of three:

Chicken breast, pea puree, baby potatoes, roast, chicken jus

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Black angus striploin, burnt onion, asparagus, potato mash

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Slow cooked pork, cauliflower puree, currant & fried cauliflower salad, coriander

The brioche bread buns and cured butter was excellent too!

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For dessert guests could choose from:

Banana parfait, dark chocolate, peanut brittle, Chantilly cream

Malt ice cream, caramel ganache, honeycomb, dehydrated milk

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Mango mousse, coconut sorbet, caramelised white chocolate, passionfruit

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Everyone was very impressed with their choices and the evening was a great success.

I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the Boathouse by the Lake for all the ingredients of a successful event.

Boathouse By the Lake Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Two Sisters Lao Thai Cuisine, Canberra City – an excellent pre-theatre dinner choice

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Two Sisters has moved their Kambah restaurant to the old home of Zen Yai and given the decor a nice refresh.

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In their new London Circuit location, Two Sisters has some excellent dishes on the menu.

The Lao Sausages $17.90 were so good we had to order another plate.

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They make the perfect entree to share.

Second place went to the delicious Roast Duck Red Curry $21.90

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My next pick was the Chicken Larb full of fresh herbs $16.90

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Other dishes we tried were the tempura vegetables $8.90…

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Hor Mok $20.90 – steamed fish fillets favoured with curry paste, coconut milk and herbs and spices

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Ginger stir fry vegetables $15.90

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Rice is $3 per person and serves are not large so do order one per person.

Rice for 4

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Service is warm and excellent, and corkage is reasonable.

Canberra Entertainment Book holders can enjoy a 25% discount making a visit to Two Sisters even better value!

A great pre-theatre dinner idea!

Two Sisters Lao Thai Cuisine Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Ethiopia Down Under,  Pearce – lovely and family run

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Ethiopia Down Under is another gorgeous family run suburban restaurant – welcoming, casual and committed to bringing this lesser known cuisine to Canberrans.

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There’s a variety of combination meals available or put together your own meal that may include:
Samosas (2 for $6.90)
ETHIOPIAN BEEF SAMOSAS – spicy beef samosas

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ETHIOPIAN CHEESE SAMOSAS – fetta cheese samosas

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Mains 
ALIT’CHA DORO $19.90 ( my favourite dish)

Strips of chicken breast pieces cooked with carrot, green chilli & onion

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ASAR TIBBS $20.90

Nile Perch fish fillet pan-fried fresh with burbere spices, capsicum, onion & tomato

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ALIT’CHA “YAYESH” WAT $17.90

Chef’s special beef and coconut cream in mild Ethiopian spices

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DUBOU WAT $15.90

Spiced pumpkin cooked in a berbere sauce

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RICE/INJERA – served with mains

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HOMEMADE ICE CREAMS, GELATO & SORBETS ( thanks to an Italian colonial heritage)

$8.90 No mixed servings available

Ginger, Toasted Coconut & Chocolate Shards

( my favourite although, I do generally like my icecream sweeter and creamier)

Turkish Delight

Ethiopian Sidamo Coffee & Roasted Hazelnut

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It’s also great value as there’s a 25% discount for Canberra Entertainment Book holders and….

Free corkage!
Open for dinner every night except Mondays, you’ll find Ethiopia Down Under at the Pearce Shops.

It is in good company with Rama’s and the Pearce Vietnamese nearby, all facing into a courtyard that’s lovely on summer and evenings and great for kids.

Ethiopia Down Under Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato