Canberra Japanese Nara Candle Festival – a spring cultural festival with food


Canberra’s annual Japanese Nara Candle Festival is immensely popular and it’s great to join in with the enthusiasm.

The lakeside setting and high quality entertainment is ideal for an evening picnic with a Japanese flavour.

IMG_0019 IMG_0026

IMG_0035 IMG_0033

There are plenty of interesting new foods to explore with some great old favourites as well as lots of other exhibits to enjoy.

IMG_0022 IMG_0029


IMG_0024 IMG_0023

Red bean paste desserts  $6.50                                    Strawberry daifuku $6.50

It’s true that the great  support can mean some long queues for food, but here are ten useful tips to make the very best of this great opportunity.

1. Get a group together so you can work as a team to grab a great spot and gather great food to share and enjoy together.
2. Go early, before the official start time of 4:30.
3. Take your own picnic rug or chairs & table to set up in an ideal spot.
4. Drop off your group and props before parking. There’s good parking across Commonwealth Ave from the Albert Hall and you can walk under the road through the underpass).

IMG_0037 IMG_0036

5. Take a bottle of wine, glasses, platter & sharp knife for sharing and napkins.


6. Look out for the most popular foods (probably with the longest queues, as these are often the best).
The Takoyaki Octupus dumplings ($7 for 6), Yakisoda bread ($8 each), and Okonomiyaki – Savoury Pancake ($9 each),Strawberry Daifuku ($6.50 for 2) were all popular and excellent choices.




Yakisoba bread $8 (really very good)

IMG_0028 IMG_0027

Okonomiyaki – Savoury Pancake ($9 each) (bacon, onion, BBQ type sauce, Mayonnaise type sauce – delcious)


Green tea ice-cream $4 (quite strong flavour)


Assorted red bean paste desserts $6.50


Soba noodles $9

7.  But don’t overlook the old favourites like Sushi and Gyoza.


Sushi  $3.50 (very good)

8. Use the sharp knife the serve foods in hors d’oevre  size pieces so that everyone can taste and try everything.


9. Enjoy the entertainment (don’t miss the Narrabundah College dancers, they were great).
10. Have a wander around the exhibits.

IMG_0042 IMG_0043

IMG_0044 IMG_0045

IMG_0046 IMG_0041

Diwali in Canberra – another spring festival with food!



Diwali, the festival of lights held each October/November is such a special time to be in India.
Lights are strung up across streets, traditional Indian sweets are everywhere, families visit and exchange gifts, new clothes are worn and there are plenty of fireworks!!
So it’s a great annual spring opportunity to join with the local Canberra Indian community to help capture a little of the excitement.
And what better way to share celebrations across cultures and engage in warm conversations, than through food.

At the Albert Hall last Sunday there was a full program that included a cooking competition, a concert of dance, fashion, music and a quiz and some enticing food stalls.

IMG_0008 IMG_0014

Samosas                                                                                  Marsala Dosa

Cooking competition


Burfi                                                                                             Rasa malai


Carrot Halwa                                                             Vegetarian biryani

Double ka Meetha Dessert

Beautifully dressed families enjoyed the fair like atmosphere and the joy of celebrating their shared heritage together. It’s a pleasure to be included and to experience a little of India right on our door step.

Food Stalls


Living Green Festival – another Canberra Spring Festival with food



As part of last Sunday’s Living Green Festival’s  focus on sustainable living, a great range of food stalls and a lovely garden picnic area is also included.

IMG_7535 IMG_7574

You can enjoy your delicious delights while listening to the live band in the heritage Albert Hall grounds and watching Canberra families having fun.


A very pleasant way to spend a Sunday spring afternoon.


Sweet Bones Bakery

IMG_7563 IMG_7560

Funky Pies                                                                     Malaysian Chapter


Sandeep’s Curries and Candles

IMG_7542 IMG_7539

Veganarchy                                             Pupusas (Cornmeal with  cheese and fried beans)


IMG_7526 IMG_7525

Addiction food


The Forage – A Canberra Spring Foodie Festival


The Forage last weekend, in it’s new home at Fairbairn, was another wonderful spring Canberra foodie festival opportunity. Coupled with the Hustle and Scout twilight fashion market, it’s a very lovely opportunity to taste and try, admire and enjoy.

IMG_0041_2 IMG_0042_2

IMG_0056_2 IMG_0055_2

IMG_0061_2 IMG_0060_2

Pulled Pork Roll $10                                                            Smoked Goat Pita $10

IMG_0059_2  IMG_0057_2

IMG_0058_2  IMG_0054_2


Mix and match muesli                                                       B St Bakery

IMG_0062_2 IMG_0045_2

Sweet Bones Bakery                                                            Poacher’s Pantry


IMG_0053_2 IMG_0052_2



Navaratri Celebration – a Canberra Spring Festival (with great food)


Spring is a great time to be in Canberra for festivals and September-October coincides each year with the Gujarati community’s Navarati Celebrations – colourful, spectacular and great fun, featuring amazing traditional clothes, music, dances and food!

IMG_0021_2 IMG_0019_2

Organised by the Gujarati Samaj of ACT, the Festival of Dance, Raas Garba and Dandia runs for ten nights – this year from 25 September to 4 October 2014.
The Sur Vrund Group from Vadodara, Gujarat India is providing some great music that inspires some amazing dancing.

Everyone looks so beautiful, dressed in some very special outfits and there is an obvious pride and pleasure in celebrating shared traditions and experiences.
Much effort has gone in to creating some wonderful traditional Indian vegetarian food with new dishes being added to the menu each night.

IMG_0079_2 IMG_0078_2

Chocolate Baklawa                                      Methi na Gota $5

IMG_0076_2 IMG_0074_2

Ras Malai $5 & Mango & Cardamon Lassi $3                         Behl $5


Samosa Chat $5                                                                    Dabeli    $5

IMG_0023_2 IMG_0024_2

Pav Bhaji $7                                                                         Mancuria with Gravy $7


Mango Kulfi $5

And Canberra joins communities all around Australia and the world, celebrating Navarati at the same time.
Here’s a great fun Bollywood version of Garba sent by a lovely friend.

Thai Cultural Festival, Canberra – a September foodie ‘must do’ event


The annual Thai Cultural Festival, hosted by the Thai embassy, is a Canberra ‘must do’ foodie event , the second last Sunday each September.
The sense of community, fun, elegance and style is everywhere amongst those hosting cooking and dancing demonstrations, stall holders and the roaming band of musicians.

IMG_0117_2 IMG_0121_2
Many of Canberra’s finest Thai restaurants have gone to an enormous amount of trouble to bring an abundance of Thai dishes and delicacies to the beautiful embassy grounds.
Gracious cooks take great pride and interest in introducing fellow Canberrans to their much loved cuisine. A whole afternoon can be enjoyed here, picnicing in the grounds and enjoying the food and entertainment.
It is surely the next best thing to actually travelling to Thailand and a welcome reminder of all the joys of Asian foodie travel.

IMG_0124_2 IMG_0123_2 IMG_0122_2 IMG_0125_2  IMG_0119_2 IMG_0120_2
A few good tips to know include:

1. Take spare plastic takeaway containers and plastic cutlery to make sharing a few dishes easier, so that you can sample a larger range of flavours, and take some home for dinner.
2. While it’s fun to enjoy the energy at lunchtime, it’s also easier to chat with restaurant staff about their food after about 2pm when the crowds at the food stalls have dwindled (and even get some bargains to take home, if some dishes are reduced).
3. Take a good look around before making food decisions as there is so much variety, including some delicious desserts.
4. Be prepared to really enter into the community spirit and have fun.