Taste of Bangladesh, Manuka – budget perfect for large groups


Whether you’d like to dine in or posh up some take-away, Taste of Bangladesh is perfect for large groups.

Shafique is great! He will work with you to get exactly what you need.


A $1 per head party charge covers cakeage and corkage for any drink – alcoholic or soft – if you are dining in.

Up to 75 can fit comfortably, and while that will inevitably be quite noisy, the carpet and soft furnishings all help.


A good $18 pp menu for a large group on a tight budget is:

Entree: Pappadoms & Onion Bhaji (Crispy onion fritter with tamarind and mint yogurt) (one per person)


Mains: Chicken Dum Murgh, Fish Bengali, Palak Paneer (one of each per four people)

Spinach and Cheese Naan, Plain Naan, Basmati Rice (one of each per two people)


Dessert: BYO  or order Gulab Jaman (one per person)


If you’d like to order in for lunch, just want the onion bhaji, curries and breads delivered and plan to use your own rice cooker..





…and desserts…


….talk to Shafique about the $71 Take-away Family dinner pack for 4 with a few ‘swap arounds’.

One pack is enough for 8 people if you ask for the two entrees to both be onion bhaji.

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

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!




Avenue C Wine Co. Campbell- How good is this!


If I was to design the perfect spot for a drink – it would be walking distance, have cozy indoor and sunset outdoor seating, a relaxed but stylish ambiance, good small share plate and I could buy a bottle of wine at a wholesale price to open – it would be Avenue C Wine Co!

Rachel and Peter are proud of their wines, it’s their passion and they want their guests to enjoy them too.


So that’s why they offer wine by the glass …..


….or by the bottle, with wholesale prices clearly marked and starting at around $23….


…and often by the tasting too…


This week Jane from Clonakilla was sharing their lovely Semillon Savignon Blanc, Viognier Nouveau, and my favourites… a 2015 Hilltops Shiraz and O’Riada Shiraz.


Sign up to the Avenue C Wine Co. newsletter to find out what’s on when.

To accompany the wine, City News’ Wendy Johnston recommends Avenue C’s Grilled Haloumi with honey, lemon and oregano $14, Chicken liver parfait with toasted brioche $18 and the Rabbit terrine with toasted sourdough $19. On my wishlist!

Open from 10am till 11pm 7 days a week.

Avenue C Wine Co. Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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.



A wonderful Bangladeshi Cuisine Cooking Circle Canberra at Taste of Bangladesh, Manuka


Last Saturday Shafique and Farhana hosted Cooking Circles Canberra to an amazing introduction to Bangladeshi cuisine at their Manuka restaurant, Taste of Bangladesh.

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They lead thirty of us through the delicate flavours of Chicken Dum Biriyani, fragrant with spices of Cumin, Star Anise, Chilli, Cinnamon, Cardamom, Clove and Mace…


…along with ginger and garlic, ghee, fried  onions.


The spices were ground and mixed with yogurt to marinate the chicken which was then cooked..


…before being layed with the separately cooked rice for the final cooking, that allows the flavours to penetrate layers.


While the Dum Biriyani was cooking, Shafique showed us how to prepare the wonderfully delicious classic – Gulab Jaman.


His shortcut method is to mix a dough using milk powder and baker’s flour (softened with cream) which is rolled into balls…

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….and cooked in oil before being added to a sugar (and cinnamon stick) syrup.


Farhana told us about the traditional (lengthy) method used in Bangladesh to prepare this dessert, using paneer. When a new baby is born into a family, the new parents send this special sweet to friends and neighbours.


While we were waiting for the Dum Biriyani, Shafique also showed us an Eggplant Pakora (Beguni) entree.


He first thinly sliced the eggplant…


…then mixed it with spices – chilli, mace and garam marsala…


…and then chickpea flour and water to coat it in batter before frying it.


We were all so eager to enjoy this delicacy that no-one captured any photos whatsoever!

As the meal deliciously came together we chatted and enjoyed mango lassis and glasses of wine…


…but when the Dum Biriyani was served, perfectly matched with yogurt raita, the flavours were wonderful to savour!


And the Gulab Jaman was a perfect end to a excellent meal, with fine company and much pleasure for all the senses, discovering another lesser known world cuisine!


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

Red Belly Citrus Blood Oranges – transforms the ordinary into something special!


Recently I was lucky enough to be sent beautiful blood oranges from Red Belly Citrus.


Bizzy Lizzy mentioned the gorgeous blood  orange and hazelnut cake recipe in Gourmet Traveller  that gives great instructions for an upside down cake garnished with candied orange slices.

Blood oranges have such a vibrant colour, they make anything special – cakes or salads.

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I decided to try my favourite rich chocolate cake with this innovative highlight.


I added some cinnamon and liquer to the mix and it was fantastic, served warm with thick whipped cream.


I planned to use some of my blood oranges for a salad, but the cake was such a hit that they all ended up in cakes!

Sharing a love of cooking, great food and an amazing venue @PialligoEstate


As I’ve mentioned before Pialligo Estate  might be Canberra’s very best dining venue.


The Garden Pavillions are perfect for a winter’s day casual meal.

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It was the perfect spot for the Canberra Food Bloggers to catch up over cookbooks on a cold Canbera Saturday. As the sleet and hail rolled in we were toasty warm enjoying Pialligo Estate’s fine wine, sampling the lunch menu and sharing our lives, joys and passions through cookbooks.

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The idea is simple, yet brilliant. Bring along some cookbooks/foodbooks that you love and any that you have loved but are ready to share to a new home.


I’m always amazed at the many ways food can connect us with people and cultures, but I’d not yet come across a cookbook chat and swap.

As I looked through the cookbooks I’d collected over many years, to bring along, I wondered why some had survived many ruthless cullings.


I realised that it’s not that they are particularly good, but rather that they represent a part of my life. I’ve moved from handwritten family recipes that started me off as a child, through a spartan low fat eating era, to discovering the world of creating events around food. I will always be thankful for that commercial cookery training that dietitians once did. And I could see that now I collect cookbooks to remind me of places where I’ve travelled.

But it was fasciating to hear everyone else tell of their lives and loves through their favourite cookbooks. We only scratched the surface…there are more conversations planned!


Together with this wonderful cookbook inspired sharing, we enjoyed a Pialligo Estate Smokehouse Platter with Peppered rump, chicken roulade & cos lettuce, jamon, washed rind cheese from the Adelaide Hills and house made dukkah, served with Pepe Saya butter and crusty bread.


Followed by Southern Spiced Pork and Pickled Melon….


and Ham Bell & Garden Salad with red wine mignonette…


..and finished with a dessert of…

..and Spanish Herbed Sheep’s Cheese with rosemary (very delicious), pears & baguette


..Persimmon Crumble with lime mascarpone (wonderful flavours)


and Chocolate Delice & coffee biscuit..


All beautifully accompanied by Pialligo Estate Riesling and Shiraz.


Pialligo Estate generously subsidised our costs by the Platters are usually $42 per person (minimum tow guests) or the set menu is $48 pp for two courses or $60 for three.

Wine by the glass is around $12.

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And we left with bags of Blood Oranges courtesy of RedBelly Citrus….to start new culinary adventures!

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