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

The Grounds, Alexandria – really, quite an unexpectedly full experience

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I’ve long heard about the fame of the immensely popular The Grounds, in Alexandria, but nothing has prepare me for the enormity of what is actually not just an eatery but a whole experience.

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From the helpful parking attendant on arrival….

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…. to the petting farm…..

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…. the Saturday market…

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… the Saturday food carts…

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…to magnificent Christmas baking…

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…to Santa!!

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Definitely more than I’d bargained for!

There’s clearly a sophisticated system in place that keeps hundreds of people happy, supplied by a bakery….

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…..take-away and picnic options….

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…..Garden cafe…..

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…..and coffee roasting.

Even special events are well catered for.

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We settled on tea $4….

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….and the Dried Fruit dish $14 with Chai infused winter fruit compote

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…but others were enjoying other more substantial dishes like the smashed avocado on toast, brekkie burger, home-made granola or superfood muesli.

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On a Saturday you may need to wait for a table, but even that can be highly entertaining!

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Easy to see why it’s a popular destination for families and those seeking a whole ‘outing’.

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The Grounds of Alexandria Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Chifley Bar & Grill, Barton – the new summer menu

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The Hotel Kurrajong is all decked out for Christmas and the Chifley Bar & Grill has a new summer menu.

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The starters include Pork Cheek Croquettes with green Apple Slaw $20…

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..and a Grilled Haloumi and Mint Salad with halloumi cheese, orange, mint and roasted walnut $20.

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The Chilled Gazpacho with Poached King Prawn $20 also sounds good.

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The website menu is not up to date, but here’s the latest!

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Chifley's Bar and Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Black Market Coffee Roasters – a very handy spot to know on Enmore Road!

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Black Market Coffee Roasters are new to Enmore Road and just a few minutes walk away from The Urban Hotel.

Perfect for a quick coffee or light brekkie I had flagged it for my next visit.

The crumpets with honey, marscapone, mint, summer fruits and nut butter $12 were top on my list.

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As I waited I enjoyed one of their very popular coffees and watched the locals drop by to pick up theirs.

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The crumpets arrived and were beautiful, but sadly not house-made as the prep area is tiny.

Next visit I’ve got my eye on the fig and cranberry fruit toast, a bargain at just $4.50 sourced from the Bourke Street Bakery’s Bread and Butter project – an artisan bakery and also Australia’s first social enterprise bakery with 100% of profits being reinvested into baker training and employment pathways for refugees and asylum seekers.

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I’ll be back!

Black Market Roasters Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

No. 10 – Woden’s new spot for a worker’s weekday lunch

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Number 10 is the new kid on the block in the Woden Departmental District and clearly very popular for pre-Christmas catch ups. It’s taken over from Smoque at the bottom of the Abode Hotel on Bowes Street.

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It offers three great $15 lunch specials and I particularly like the look of the salad and the steak.

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https://www.instagram.com/number10restaurantandbar/

In + Out Lunch $15

Skirt Steak – Chargrilled skirt steak with Café de Paris butter and fries

Fish + Chips- Beer battered fish and chips with No. 10 remoulade sauce and a cucumber and fennel slaw

Roast Pumpkin Salad – Salad of roast pumpkin, roast sweet potato, cos lettuce, pine nuts and fetta

However, on my first visit we were road testing the two salads listed under the small plates.

My Beet Salad was excellent! A perfect amount and full of tasty, well balanced flavored and textures. A great light lunch but some may want to order a side of bread.

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Beet Salad – Pickled beetroots with goats curd, candied and pickled walnuts, radish, celery hearts, honey vinaigrette $17 ($24 main size)

My dining partner tried the Calamari Salad – also a good choice.

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Calamari – Flashed fried squid with citrus salt, caramelised pineapple, coriander, cucumber, mint and orange syrup $18

Also, very popular for lunch is the Chicken and Waffles – Buttermilk & Bourbon fried chicken with waffles, maple aioli, cress and lemon $21.

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https://www.instagram.com/number10restaurantandbar/

But I do think I’d have to have the Beet Salad again next time I’m back, it was so very good!

Paramount Coffee Project, Surry Hills – SMH’s Good Food Guide’s 2017 Cafe of the Year

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Never missing an opportunity to try a Good Food Guide hot tip, we braced the rain to try the Paramount Coffee Project, an easy walk from Central Station, on Commonwealth Street, for breakfast.

Wanting to try some of the innovative dishes we shared the very delicious Creole Jambalaya with chorizo, smoked barramundi, charred squash smothered cabbage and caramelised lemon $19.50

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….. and the Key lime pie waffle with coconut lime and pepper slice, macerated berries, salted Nutella ganache and green apple $19.50, very moorish, but definitely best shared.

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The open spaces are very welcome and while very popular, it’s not too hard to grab a table.

The Paramount Coffee Project Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Claypot Chef – in my top 10 for Canberra!

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The Claypot Chef has been on my wishlist ever since Karen Really Likes Food did that magnificent piece on Chef Udaya.

Now that the warm weather is here, it was a perfect time to head to the Farrer Shops to sit out front with a lovely no corkage BYO wine and a bunch of friends to share some of the best Sri Lankan food I’ve ever had.

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When we arrived Udaya was busy in the kitchen preparing that Sri Lankan signature dish Kothu Roti. The sound of chopping on the hot plate brought back many fond travel memories.

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However, Udaya is the consummate host and he quickly arrived at our table with wine and water glasses and complimentary pappadoms. In fact he keep the water filled all night and returned with more pappadoms.

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Based on our past enjoyment and Karen’s recommendations – we chose for our group of six, one dish each of the Green Bean Curry $11 with spices and coconut milk…

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…Sri Lankan Black Pork Curry $17…..

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…Devilled Chicken $15….

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…one large rice $3…..

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…one roti each $2 each…

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And we doubled up on then Lamprias, that classic Dutch Burger Sri Lankan lunch box in a banana leaf oven-baked with a pork/chicken, a fish ball, deep fried egg, potato, eggplant, seeni sambol and spiced rice – delicious!

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The real stand out stars were the Pork and Green Bean curries, roti and Lamprias. Udaya also arrived with some complimentary Coconut Sambol (usually $5) which was a perfect condiment – I will get that every time!

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Nothing was too much trouble for Udaiya and to complete our meal he brought us some complimentary traditional Portuguese settler inspired Love Cakes – delicious!

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We had food left (may have only needed one Lamprais) all for less than $16 per person.

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Claypot Chef has won a firm spot on my top favourites in Canberra.

Do drop by over Summer and try it for yourself.

Closed Mondays and Christmas to 11 January for a break – Claypot Chef is usually open Tues to Thurs for dinner 4-8pm and Fri-Sun 10-8pm for lunch and dinner.

Take-away is also hugely popular.

Phone: 62868081 or 0404074440

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Claypot Chef Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato