Something new at Taste of Bangladesh, Manuka

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There’s no doubt that the Fish Bengali and Chicken Dum Murgh with Onion Bhaji or Samosas for entree and Cheese and Spinach Naan are top picks at Taste of Bangladesh.

But sometimes it’s good to explore the other dishes…

The Palak Papdi Chaat $9 is just as good as the Bhaji or Samosa with a tasty tamarind sauce highlighting crisp spinach fritters on a potato salad. It’s a cold entree perfect for summer and great for sharing.


The Boona Beef is tender and has great flavour, a very good pick for a greater variety of dishes.


The Coconut Fish Curry is a sweeter creamer, but very moorish dish. Well worth ordering.

The Malai Kofta is a good vegetarian choice, but not as good as the Palak Paneer or Yellow Dahl.

The Tandoori Paratha is quite good, but not nearly as soft and tasty as the Cheese and Spinach Naan.

So the Fish Bengali, Chicken Dum Murgh, Samosa, Bhaji and Cheese and Spinach Naan are still great choices, but perhaps the Palak Papdi Chaat, Boona Beef and Coconut Fish Curry are worth adding to the list of favourites.
The mango lassi is great too!

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Taste of Bangladesh Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Custom Pizzeria – a good choice for a Monday

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Mondays can be tricky for dinner, as many good BYO eateries are closed.

However, Custom Pizzeria is one of the few spots in the Hamlet that is open.
  

On Mondays, the Hamlet is quiet and it’s easy to pick a nice table in the open air where you can also enjoy BYO drinks with no corkage charge (though you do need to remember to take your own glasses).


This makes it a very easy and inexpensive night as one of the pizzas from Custom Pizzeria for around $12-20 is enough for two people to share.


Pizzas are tasty and not too heavy, perfect with a drink.
The menu includes a very good Capriccio for $17 with lean leg ham, olives, and anchovies…
  

10" Custom Pizzeria Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Cafe Arirang, Canberra City – road testing a group menu

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Cafe Arirang must be one of Canberra’s best value spots with great food. This makes it an excellent choice for a group on a budget.


Serve sizes are generous and can be shared easily between 4-5 people. ( Even more can share the seafood and green onion pancake).

The restaurant happily applies a 25% discount for Canberra Entertainment Book Holders, and corkage is $4 per bottle.

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Rice is included with most meals at not extra cost.

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Kim chi is also a complimentary side dish.

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If sharing and using the discount, the bill may well only be $10 per person including the corkage.
Order two meals for every 4-5 people and the seafood and green onion pancake $16, can be shared between up to 8 people.
While it’s tempting to try the BBQ Beef and Squid in special sauce….

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….or the Bimbimbob…….

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….the best dishes are still the BBQ beef in soy sauce ( Beef Bulgogi $17)…

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….the seafood pancake $16…

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…and the Chicken Katchu Set $17

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( or Pork Katchu Set if the chicken is not available).

Cafe Arirang Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Exploring some of Canberra’s best foodie haunts Part 2- At Westside with Eat Drink Blog 2015

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Following in the footsteps of the Hamlet is Westside at the Acton end of Commonwealth Bridge.

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Offering different cuisines to the Hamlet, but in a similar style, Westside is also a great summer spot to head with a group, your wine, glasses and a few dollars. Set up some folding in a nice position overlooking the lake and pick up a range of interesting foods from the friendly street food stalls, to split and share.

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Or if you haven’t come prepared, just grab a table and a glass of wine from the Aviary bar on the top level.

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Habibiz offers Mediterranean food and Limey’s…Gelato.

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The One has some good looking soft Thai pork and beef tacos $12…..

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The Fish Can‘s menu includes tempura prawns and sweet potato chips $13…

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….some delicious Bao like prawn, fish, and soft shelled crab $13.50 in a surf pack….

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….and perhaps even better chicken and pork belly Bao for around $4.30-$4.50 each…

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….also they offer a Mars Bar Bao and Tempura Tofu Bao…

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The sweet Bao Fries $3.50 with condensed milk glaze and black sesame are very morish.

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Miss Van’s has an excellent Ginger Chicken, Vermicelli noodles and fresh herbs Vietnamese salad $12 in a generous size, and it is also famous for it’s Banh Mi.

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Daana is serving up some great South Indian Street foods like the, hard to find idli, Vada, dosa and Uttapam according to Jude and Travel and Beyond.
A great place for families with younger children as parking is easy and free there’s plenty of space to run around nearby.

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Exploring some of Canberra’s best foodie haunts Part 1 – At The Hamlet with Eat Drink Blog 2015

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The recent, brilliantly organised and executed, national food bloggers conference, was an excellent opportunity to meet and fall in love with some of Canberra’s best food experiences.

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Launching at the Hamlet on Lonsdale Street, Braddon, generous and gracious hosts showcased much that this friendly, relaxed collection of street food stalls has to offer.

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Broddogs offered a selection of their smaller sized Brodpups…..

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…..Mr Papa Peruvian Street Food their delicious pork belly sandwich…..

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…..Spit Shack treated bloggers to their 2 foot King Roll  and smaller samples of their yummy pork and lamb rolls….

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…Fillos were generous with their souvlaki…

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…Custom Pizza prepared a selection of their wood fired favourites….

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…Mr Morris had some gorgeously decorated donuts…

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….Little Dreams wonderful macaroons…

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….Thomas from the Brathaus was full of fun and encouraged bloggers to enjoy his meats and sausages…

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( Thomas and his family also turned up to serve breakfast all weekend, a true host!)…

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….Pie Day teamed their melt in the mouth pastry with mushy peas….

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…April’s Caravan served wonderful milkshakes and waffles….

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…But perhaps the very best of all were the Katti Rolls from Binny’s Kathitto, traditional Indian street food…

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The Hamlet is the perfect place to grab a table, BYO ( glasses too), and collect and gather a selection of good value, wide ranging options to share ( just bring a sharp knife) and enjoy as a group.

But do leave space for icecream from The Frugii Dessert Factory, the very best in Canberra. John lovingly creates new flavour experiences like Passionfruit Pavlova, Cardamom and Lemon Myrtle, to delight customers.

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His passion for great icecream is infectious. Great value at $5 for a small serve with two flavours.

Read more about Eat Drink Blog Fun with Gary, Rose, Serina, Serena and Erin.

Cafe Arirang, Hobart Place, City – great value delicious Korean 

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Cafe Arirang,  hidden away in Hobart Place Canberra City is one of Canberra’s little known, best value gems.

Serving delicious Korean food at great value prices in generous portions it’s one of the very best spots for cheap and cheerful.

Not upmarket, but friendly and popular, the setting is fairly plain.

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But it’s BYO with cheap corkage ($4 per bottle) and offers a 25% discount to Canberra Entertainment Book holders.  As three dishes is plenty for four people, it’s a true bargain at around $10.50 per person including the corkage.

Three great dishes to try that offer a range of textures and flavours are the….

Chicken or Pork Katchu Set $17 that comes with great Kimchi and rice.

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The seafood pancake $16 is fantastic too and stuffed full of seafood with a nice dipping sauce.

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The Beef Bulgogi (BBQ beef in marinated in soy sauce) $17 is also excellent and includes rice. ( number 19. BBQ pork and squid in special sauce $17, is also very popular).

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If there are six in a group ordering one seafood pancake and 2 chicken/pork Katchu ( or one of each ) and one Beef Bulgogi, and one BBQ  pork and squid in special sauce would be perfect!

Open weekdays for lunch and six nights ( closed Sunday) for dinner, parking. At night is easy on London Circuit near the Supreme Court.

A definite must try!

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Cafe Arirang Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Wheat & Oats Café, Phillip – still a great pick for lunch near Woden.

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Wheat & Oats Café Phillip is still an excellent place for lunch if you need to stay near Woden. It’s a short 10-15 minute walk from Woden office buildings and service is very quick.

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There’s even a good range of ready to options if time is especially short.

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Daily specials change but always include some interesting gourmet sandwiches for $7 like…
…pumpkin and fetta…

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…chicken, avocado and baby spinach on rye sourdough bread…

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And a BLT and vegetarian roasted vegetable sandwiches.

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These are great value and particularly nice toasted.
The hot specials are always delicious and good value too like…

Vegetable Korma with rice and pappadam $10.

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There’s inside and outside seating, very friendly and helpful service, a lovely casual atmosphere and a discount of 25% for Canberra Entertainment Book holders.

It’s hard to find a better value spot with such a nice atmosphere, so close to Woden.

Wheat & Oats Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Spud Bar, Garema Place, City

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The Spud Spot in Garema Place City, has plenty of potential for a quick casual lunch or dinner in the warmer weather when it’s nice to sit outside.

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Offering large, very sharable serves of either white or sweet potato (or half and half) with a range of fresh and tasty toppings for $10-$13, it’s great value.

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Choose between a suggested combination on the menu, or design your own from the hot and cold toppings available.

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If you are wanting a lighter touch to your meal, choose more fresh ingredients and skip the hot options.

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The vegetarian options also look very inviting.

Pulled Pork $12.90 – tender pulled pork with baby spinach, shredded cabbage, corn, peas and spring onions with light sour cream.

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Half serves are also available ( at around $6.50 for one of the basic three options, with additional toppings for $1-$3) but these are limited and it’s better to share one with a friend if you can,  or ask for a box and take some with you.

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Closed Sundays, it also closes early, Monday to Wednesday.

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Also good inspiration for easy quick meals at home….

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Whisk Bakery & Patisserie, Phillip – good for a hot pie for lunch

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Whisk has delicious flans and cakes, but equally good are their pies for around $5 each.

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The pastry is delicate and flaky and the filling full of meat and flavour. A definite winner on a cold day with a coffee.

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Whisk also serves a large bowl of hot soup and one of their rolls for $7. On the wishlist for next time.

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Saigon Restaurant, Pearce

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The Saigon Restaurant at the Pearce shops has long been a favourite with southside Canberra families. Along with Rama’s and Ethiopia Down Under, it’s one of the restaurants that spill out tables and diners onto an open paved area that’s lovely for casual dining in the warm evening weather.

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Saigon is excellent value with corkage only 50 cents per person, four spring rolls for $4 that are delicious for entrée, rice for $2 per serve, desserts for $5 and a large range of dishes for $14.50 (vegetarian dishes start at $13).

The lemongrass and chilli options are very good as are the caramelised dishes. Chicken, pork and beef are all good options.

The ginger dishes and the curries with coconut cream and potatoes are worth considering too.

Up to six people can share one dish and about 2 dishes per three people with one rice per person is a good amount to order (along with a spring roll each).

If including one dessert per couple, the total bill including corkage is around $15 per person. (The mung bean cake with icecream /coconut cream looks inviting.)

Décor is basic but the atmosphere is pleasant (especially when filled with fellow happy diners) and service is friendly and efficient.

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Vietnamese spring rolls (4 for $4) full of taste.

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Chicken with lemongrass and chilli $14.50

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Caramelised pork and prawns $18

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Beef stirfry with fresh Vietnamese Mint and Peanuts $14.50 (not as good as the other two choices).

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