Heading to Floriade? – Don’t miss Mudgeeraba Spices


One of my favourites experiences at Floriade is heading to the Mudgeeraba Spices tent.

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Year after year, they have been delighting visitors to Floriade with their generous free samples of curries and chutneys.

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I just love the way the chutney and thick yogurt goes so well on the corn chip.


Mudgeeraba Spices has a great story to tell about how the business has grown from very humble beginnings.

The family based origins are reflected in the friendly hospitality of the staff at Floriade, setting it apart from other stalls.


Don’t miss it. This year they have a high profile spot in the main area.

And their website is full of great recipes!




Festival of India in Oz, Canberra


Last Saturday, the Canberra Theatre Forecourt was host to Gilles Chuyen, Bollywood dance teacher, as he lead a crowd of enthusiastic Canberrans, eager to learn a few fun dances.


The free Bollywood Workshop was part of the Festival of India in Australia.

Indian street food vendors like Shareb, Lavina and Preem, from Chilli Grill Chai in the Hamlet, Braddon…

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….offered hungry dancers classic delicacies like a wonderful Butter Chicken…


…and their Samosa Chat $10 (also available at the Hamlet).


I was very pleased to learn that Chilli Grill Chai has a permanent home on Lonsdale Street as they have such great food. I have a return visit on my wishlist!


And do look out for the other free Festival of India Canberra event on the afternoons of 2nd and 3rd October – the Pung Cholom in Commonwealth Park.



Sunset Drinks @pialligoestate and a foretaste of Taste of Two Regions @stantonkilleen @WinesofKV


Last night Pialligo hosted their Sunset Drinks, the third event in their ‘The Butcher, The Baker and the Merrymaker’ festive winter events series.



It was an exclusive opportunity to meet winemakers of the King Valley and Rutherglen regions and have a taste of the upcoming August Taste of Two Regions events in Canberra.


In a masterclass for readers of Her Canberra, Wendy Killeen and her daughter Natasha (the seventh generation of Stanton & Killeen wine makers) treated us to their  wonderful range of Muscats one of the only true Australian style wines.



Starting with the Rutherglen Muscat aged 2-4 years, then the Classic, aged an average of 12 years, and finally the Grand and the Rare aged 20-25+ years, we moved to richer and more viscous and luscious wines. We learnt that only the exceptional vintage grapes are used for the Grand and Rare muscats.


We noticed the raisins and rose petals characteristics and the developing complexity and silkiness. And along the way we shared in a little family history – how Norm Killeen married into the Stanton family wines started by Jack Stanton. How Norm was frugal and bought second hand barrels that turned out to have been used for rum, creating a new rum flavoured wine still requested today.

Tanya from Brown Brothers Wines introduced us to their King Valley Prosecco (a region in northern Italy but also the name of the wine as the cuttings have been brought from Italy).


Brown Brothers are market leaders in Prosecco, a wine with a fruitness – apple and pear on the nose, soft and round on the palette and an ‘approachable wine’ that matches well to seafood, fish, sushi and a soft Brie. Available in both vintage and non-vintage varieties, a few of us prefered the sweeter non-vintage.

In Canberra, this Brown Brothers Prosecco is easily available at Palace Cinema.

A wonderful and fascinating insight into the delicous world of wines! If you missed Sunet Drinks you might like to catch the Taste of Two Regions next month!

Fine Eating was a guest of the generosity of Pialligo Estate.

Pialligo Estate Farmhouse Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Chefs of Canberra Truffle Dinner @TruffleFest @ VisitCanberra


Last week some of Canberra’s best chefs created an amazing truffle gala dinner  at the Arboretum’s Conservatory Restaurant  –  a highlight of the 2016 Canberra Region Truffle Festival featuring truffle themed dishes and Canberra wines.

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The evening commenced with canapes of truffled Belvedere shooters and truffled popcorn from Chef Janet Jeffs and the Ginger Catering Team. This was served with 2012 Mount Majura ‘The Silurian’ Sparkling Chardonnay Pinot Noir and Kosciusko Pale Ale.


First Course was created by Chef David Revel from Rydges, Capital Hill – a beautiful looking 65 degrees egg with foie gras emulsion, pain d’epices, bronze fennel, red vein sorrel, target beetroot and shaved truffle. The accompanying wine was my favourite of the night – 2013 Lark Hill Byodinamic ‘Mr.V’ Marsanne/Rousanne/Voignier.

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Second Course came from Chef Alex O’Brien who cooks at the Boathouse. Truffle Savoy cabbage, raclette, bone marrow and herb truffle brioche with shaved truffle. Unexpectedly, it was my favourite course. This was teamed with 2014 Lerida Estate ‘Cullerin Pinot Noir’.


The next course was Chef Sean McConnell and Daniel Flatt’s, from Monster at Hotel Hotel – Wagyu rump with truffle, lardo and turnips – teamed with 2012 Freeman Secco Rondinella Corvina.


Dessert was a creation of Chef Frankie J Bodel and the Ginger Team – choux truffles, truffle custard, green peppercorns and white chocolate – along with Surveyor’s Hill Sweet Touriga.


Amanda Whitley, of HerCanberra, convened a panel of local producers who entertained us with their inspiring stories and passion for their products….

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….Jayson Mesman from the Truffle Farm Canberra, Chef David Revel of Rydges and Anne Caine from Lerida Estate.


A very lovely event and a very fun night out with tables of ten.

Well worth the $112.50pp, all inclusive cost.

Well done Canberra!





Canberra’s Beer Day Out – Not just about the beer!


Canberra’s annual Beer Week come to a climax this weekend at the Beer Day Out in the Old Bus Depot Markets, Kingston.


Full of beer lovers and friends just out for a fun time Friday night, there were plenty of local and international beers to try ($4-5 each)…


…like Canberra’s own….



….the very friendly Christoph at Zierholtz….

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…and PACT….


….and from further afield Young Henry’s…

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…nice spots to  sit….



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…and some great friendly food vans selling the perfect food to go with beer…

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…like Akiba’s Japanese fried chicken buns $6…

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…Mr Papa’s Chanchito $13…

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…East Street’s original pork Banh Mi $9, Spring Roll $3, steamed mini pork bun $3….

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…and Lemongrass BBQ Chicken Banh Mi $12…


..the very happy ‘Happy as Larry’ feeling some great looking pizza $15-$17…


…and equally friendly Mexican Movil…both coming all the way from Sydney.


The perfect end to the evening was some of Frugii’s Beer Ice-cream or Cider or Gin and Tonic Sorbet $6.

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A great end to the week, especially with a bunch of friends, that got started again on Saturday afternoon.

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Like the Hamlet and Westside its fun to head with a group, take a sharp knife and grab a selection of foods to share and try.

The only thing  is that it’s easy to forget how your wallet is going…and when you add on the price of the ticket..it can get quite costly if you need to watch your budget.

Beer Day Out – Canberra’s Festival of Beer, this weekend!


If the word ‘beer’ conjures up stubby holders and cans of VB or Fosters, from your youth, then you are in for a treat this weekend.

Beer has entered the world of fine drinking and like wine, there is much pleasure to be had in beer tasting that showcases the subtleties and complexities of boutique beers created with much love by passionate and dedicated brewers (even for non-beer fans).


And it is true what they say some beers can be the perfect drink to have with food especially in the summer as many Asia travellers have discovered.
To know more about this new world of drinking joy or to indulge a long term beer love, join Anthony and Steve from Plonk who are the power behind Beer Day Out.




It’s Canberra’s own festival of beer that’s happening at the Old Bus Depot Markets in Kingston this Friday evening and Saturday.
Hosting more than 30 local and international craft brewers…

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….the line up includes the work of both well established local Brewers like Christoph Zierholz….


and Bentspoke as well as gypsy Brewers (those up and comers who borrow the facilities of others until they get their own space) like Kevin from PACT.

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There’s also live entertainment, information sessions and a wonderful array of foods on offer including Frugii’s unique beer ice-cream, offering form Akiba and a cider sorbet.


4pm to 9pm – Friday 6th of November, 2015

12pm to 6pm – Saturday 7th of November, 2015

Former Transport Depot,Wentworth Avenue, Kingston ACT
Tickets purchased via Moshtix will be $28 (plus booking fee) or $47 including $20 worth of vouchers.

Pre-sale ticket purchases will also entitle the holder to early event entry on Saturday 7th (midday).

Additional vouchers can be purchased on the day.
Tickets will be available on the day for $40, with entry from 4pm Friday and 1pm Saturday .
Vouchers can be purchased from designated stands inside the event. Vouchers will be sold in $20 bundles.


Canberra’s Vaisakhi Mela, Commonwealth Park – another Indian community festival with great food


One of the great things about living in Canberra are all the different community festivals offering tastes from around the world that are celebrated on our doorstep.


Last Sunday the local Punjabi community came together for their first Vaisakhi Mela at Stage 88 in Commonwealth Park for music, dancing and great food ….

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…..like Samosas $5…


..Rasmalai $5….


…Jalebi $5…


And lovely hot Marsala Chai $2



A number of food outlets catered for the event including the Café Tandoor from Scullin that offered some delicious dishes like Choley and Bhaturey $5….


and Butter Paneer (with Rice $8)..


Definitely worth trying out more of Café Tandoor’s dishes in at their home in Scullin. They are also starting catering services and offering some great options at very reasonable prices.

Cafe Tandoor on Urbanspoon

Holi celebrations in Canberra


Sharing in the recent Indian Australia Association of Canberra hosted Holi celebrations at Stage 88 in Commonwealth Park was a great opportunity to support the local Indian community, enjoy some colourful dress, dance, and dry colour ‘play’, henna painting and wonderful Indian foods.

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Particularly good were the goat and chicken biryani $8, palak paneer $8, samosa $2.50 and rashgulla and gulab jaman $2 from Taste of Bangladesh in Style Arcade Manuka.

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Aso for sale were choley kulcha $5, pani puri $6 and papdi chaat $6

Enlighten Noodle Markets 2015


Canberra’s newest food festival, the Enlighten Night Noodle Markets are a very welcome addition to the annual Canberra Enlighten.

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Running for the ten nights before Canberra Day on March 9 (in 2015) they are well worth including in a visit to the ‘must see’ Enlighten projections on some of Canberra’s significant buildings along the lakefront near Old Parliament House.

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Don’t be discouraged by the reports of long lines, crowds and parking issues. Like other Canberra festivals with food, it just needs a few good strategies to overcome the challenges:

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  1. Go with a group
  2. Park away from the main area and walk down to the lake.
  3. Grab a table and chairs close to the noodle markets (there are nice ones in front of Questacon from where you can also see some of the projections as it gets darkTake your own wine and glasses (not allowed into the actual noodle market stall area) as well as a few extra paper plates for sharing dishes. While one person minds the table and ‘tableware’, others in the group can head to the stalls, each bringing back a dish to share.
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  5. Lines move fairly quickly, even the long ones, but look for some that are shorter.
  6. Some excellent options (e.g. Thirst, Mork’s) have very short lines. (It’s also great to support these local Canberra eateries).

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7. Try to avoid the very busiest times.

8. Time your dining to coincide with the projections starting on dusk, because they are an essential finale to any noodle market visit.

BBQ Pork buns from Let’s Do Yum Cha (5 for $10)


Vegetarian Dumplings from Let’s Do Yum Cha (5 for $10) (Good*)


Fried Pork and glass noodle salad with tamarind jam dressing from Thirst $12 (Good*)


Yellow Curry with Chicken,Potato and Rice Noodles also from Thirst ($12)


Boat noodle soup (dry version without the broth) from Morks $10


Pad Thai (probably from Spanthai for about $12)


Mango Chicken (also probably from Spanthai for about $12) (also Good)


 Enlighten projections

National Library



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National Portrait Gallery (perhaps the very best)

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National Art Gallery

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Old Parliament House

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Canberra’s Multicultural Festival


The annual February multicultural festival in Canberra is wonderful. Representing the globe, families, communities and embassies come together for the weekend to share the passion and connection that they have for and with their heritage.

They showcase the foods they love….

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Spanish Paella and Moroccan Pancakes

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Sri Lankan Kothu Roti

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Philippino Halo Halo

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The ever popular Gozlemes

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Bhutanese Momos, Beef Curry, Chilli Cheese and Saffron Rice

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Tibetan Momos

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Italian Gingerbread and Nougat

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Mongolian Dumpling and Croatian Kransky roll

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Greek Loukoumathes

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Foods from the Greek Glendi

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Their dance and music….

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But it’s also a highlight to see communities working together, producing and selling signatures snacks and wishes from their country….

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…..and the global mix through those enjoying everything the festival offers….together.

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Yes, it gets busy and you might have to  wait in line, but there are still plenty of good spot sot get a view of the stage and the lines aren’t so long (especially if you go a bit early). And it’s a great opportunity to chat to those who around you either supporting the stalls and events or waiting in line too. Their pride and love for their country is inspiring.

See, taste and chat about foods and cultures from around the world without leaving home and enjoy one of the great things about living in Canberra!

(Maybe, the ultimate strategy is to go with a few friends and task everyone with collecting a national food to bring back to share along with the back story gleaned while purchasing! Maximum taste and experience.)