Salotto, Kingston – good for a group on a budget

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I’ve enjoyed Santa Lucia Salotto‘s great lunch special (now $13.90) but this week I road tested the main menu for a  group dinner on a budget.

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We were fourteen girlfriends with a $25 per head limit on food.  So we choose a range of dishes to share – which all turned out to be perfect picks – with plenty to eat and some left over.

It was all served together which gave it a tapas/shared plate feel and while everything was delicious – the salads were the real standout for me! (And there was no salad at all left by anyone!)

For 14 of us we ordered:

Antipasto

4 x ANTIPASTO PLATTER  with san daniele prosciutto, cappacollo, mortadella and wagyu bresola accompanied with grilled vegetables, warm olives, giaidinera and pickled artichoke $25 each (bread is $6 for six slices so we got two serves and a couple of extras thrown in!).

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Salads

3 x INSALATA CON FUNGHI with grilled mushrooms with mixed lettuce, garlic, chilli, spanish onion & sun-dried tomatoes $14 each

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3 x INSALATA CAPRESE with a soothing fresh tomato, basil and buffalo mozzarella salad dressed in an olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette $14.50 each

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Pizza (cut into 8 slices)

2 x PROSCIUTTO fiori di latte, san danielle prosciutto, fresh roquette and shaved parmesan $21 each

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2 x AMANTI DELLA CARNE fiori di latte, 3 meat ragu, salami and barbecue sauce $23 each

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2 x FUNGHI fiori di latte, 3 mushrooms with a drizzle of truffle oil $20 each

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BYO wine corkage is $9 per bottle and there’s seating inside and out!

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Salotto Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Local Press Cafe, Kingston Foreshore – trying the famous Green Pea Pancake

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Local Press Cafe is famous for it’s Green Pea Pancake so it’s been on my wishlist.

Luckily, the Brunch Menu is available all day so this week I tried it out for lunch…

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Green Pea Pancake with poached eggs, avocado, corn salsa, feta, chilli jam and mint $21

It’s good to try, but I think next time I’d go for the Wild Mushrooms sauteed in garlic, thyme and sage oil with pine nuts, almonds, meredith chevre, greens and poached egg on souorcough bread $19…

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…or customise a meal with things like smoked trout $4.50, kale and almonds $3.50 and tomato and basil $3.50 that all comes with sourdough toast.

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A lovely spot along the lake on a sunny day, it’s open six days for breakfast and lunch, but closed Mondays.

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The current menu also varies from that on line.

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Local Press Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

 

 

The new ‘7 Experience’ on Kingston Foreshore @7BytheLake

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Sushant and Tina at 7 By the Lake have a mission to introduce Canberra to some of the lesser known dishes of regional India.


This week they invited the Canberra Food Bloggers back to preview some new dishes that will feature on a new menu to be launched in September.

We also sampled the brand new ‘7 Experience’ a $49.50 per person four course banquet with accompaniments, breads and rice, full of specialities that many of us has never tried before.


We started with a Masala Papad – a crispy papad topped with onion, tomato, coriander and that great chaat masala spice.


(I still have the chaat masala I bought in Rajasthan to make these great starters back at home).
Then came a Solkadhior Kairi Panha, a coconut milk based savoury drink from the Konkan coast of Maharashtra.


The kokum fruit gives it the tang and the roasted cumin and chilli and garlic, the spice! It is a little like an Amuse Bouche.
Next there’s an entrée of your choice. But the Paneer Tikka (delicious with soft, melt in your mouth, house-made paneer) is hard to beat. It’s $16.90 if ordered separately to the ‘7 Experience’ but well worth considering.


Marinated in yogurt and spices, it’s cooked in the tandoor oven.
Diners can then chose a main, and we tried the Fish Rawa Fry from Goa.


This was just what I remembered, fried with a lovely crunchy chickpea and semolina coating. Sushant uses a beautiful firm Spanish Mackarel which is perfect for this dish. The fresh coriander gives a gorgeous green tinge and delicate flavour.(It’s $29.90 if ordered a la carte, a choice I’d definitely recommend.)
Other dishes I tried for the first time and loved were the Lamb Kalimirch (fabulous chunks of lamb in black pepper with a delicious gravy) ($25.90 a la carte)…


.. and the Veg Makkhnwala (like a veg version of butter chicken) a creamy textured curry made from vegetables simmered in butter, tomato and cashew based gravy, finished with cream (usually $22.90).


These came with a totally exceptional Date Kulcha, a sweet stuffed Naan to rival the wonderful Puranpoli we enjoyed last time.


I have a sweet tooth and just love Sushant’s sweet stuffed breads that he makes himself.
We also enjoyed Aloo Baingan from North India – Eggplant and potato cooked with onions, tomatoes and selected spices ($22.90 off the menu)…


..and Bhoona Kukha – chicken marinated in spices cooked with onion and yogurt, a dry hot and spicy dish from Rajasthan (usually $22.90).


To finish the ‘7 Experience’ diners are offered a choice of Gulab Jamun or Mango Kulfi. Either would be a perfect end to this varied and flavoursome meal, full of old favourites or new surprises – it’s up to you!
The beauty of the ‘7 Experience’ is that there is no minimum number, usually required for banquets.

(If ordering a la carte diners can use the Canberra Entertainment Card for a 25% discount, but as is usual for specials, it’s not available for the ‘7 Experience’).

BYO wine available.

7 By The Lake Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

An incredible $9.90 Lunch special – almost too good to be true! at Santa Lucia@Salatto, Kingston

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The  absolute best value lunch offer in town must be at Santa Lucia @ Salatto, newly arrived to Kennedy Street Kingston.

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$9.90 will buy you a large glass of wine (beer or soft drink), some crusty fresh bread, and a chicken salad, pasta, risotto, pizza, canneloni, veal parmigana or focaccia.

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It was so amazing I just had to see if it was true!

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The foccacia and the chicken salad were both excellent.

INSALATA DI POLLO – grilled chicken salad with orange pieces dressed with a balsamic reduction

FOCCACIA CON POLLO – chicken schnitzel, bacon, parmesan, lettuce, tomato & basil aioli

Service was quick, even though it was busy. And staff were happy to accommodate requests like dressing on the side and a take home container.

The decor is homely, stylish, but with a touch of club/pub.

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The secret is out, so it’s popular, but easy to book.

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Salotto Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

 

 

7 By the Lake – back for dinner for 12

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My first visit back to 7 By the Lake was with a group of 12 friends  – and a strict budget of $25 per person.

But as 7 By the Lake has recently joined the Canberra Entertainment Card (as bonus offer number 47) Sushant was very happy to let us use up to three cards for a 25% discount.
We started with a vegetable samosa each (2 for $9.90)….

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…ordered six naans ($4 each) which were large, fluffy and delicious and easy to share…

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….six serves of rice…

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….One serve for each group of four people of each of three dishes…

….a very excellent lamb rogan josh ($25.90)….

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….chicken tikka marsla $22.90…

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….and palak paneer $22.90.

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The food was delicious, there was plenty for everyone and the service was excellent.
Corkage was $5.50 per person.
A great night was enjoyed by all and we did stick within budget!

7 By The Lake Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Penny University, Kingston, two brilliant lunch choices @pennyuniversitycoffeeroasters

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It wasn’t easy to pick just two choices to share for lunch at Penny University, but the Chilli Scrambles $18 and the Roasted Cauliflower Salad $23 were wonderful and  memorable dishes!


The Chilli Scrambles – eggs with fresh soy beans and shitake  mushrooms  scrambled in tau ban chilli and served with a  shallot pancake and bean sprout salad was spicy and delicious!


The warm Roasted Cauliflower Salad with grains, herbs, baby spinach and crunchy roasted chick peas, preserved lemon and honey yogurt, hazelnut sukkah and pomegranate, had perfect  crunch and some gorgeous spices – cinnamon, cloves maybe allspice? It was a lovely dish too.


I love the all day menu and  that you can book for lunch.

Firmly on my favourites list!
Penny University Coffee Roasters Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

7 By The Lake, a Culinary Canberra Tour of 7 Indian regional cuisines

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As Charmaine O’Brien writes in the Penguin Food Guide to India  Indian cuisine is actully incredibly diverse, with the traditional food of each different region reflecting its history, culture, trading opportunities, climate, religion and economy.

This is exactly what Sushant wants to show Canberra and why his new restaurant  7 By The Lake at the Kingston Forshore is the stage for a feast of dishes from seven different parts of India.

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Last week Sid from Movenpick introduced the Canberra Food Bloggers to his great friend Sushant who became our culinary guide for the evening.

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Sushant is well known in Canberra for his catering business named after his mother Sarla. He is often asked to cook for Canberra’s embassies and temples and Travel & Beyond testify to Sushant’s amazing samosas that sell like hotcakes at Apna Bazaar in Belconnen.

Sushant offered us his delicious Mango Lassi $5.50
(Sweet and creamy yogurt drink made from mango pulp and flavoured with cardamom)…

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….and wine by the glass (BYO also available).

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We began our journey starting in Sushant’s hometown Mumbai, where the roads of regional tradional foods meet as people from all over India come to make it rich in the big city…

Chicken Lollypop $16.90
(Marinated chicken winglet in a lollipop appearance, deep fried and served hot with lip smacking Szechuan sauce)

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This brought back fond memories of Mumbai’s Chowpatty Beach street food.

From Calcutta came our vegetrian entree Palak Papdi Chat $12.90, the finest I’ve tasted in Canberra, with lovely crisp spinach fritters.
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(A unique and delicious ’street food’ dish made from a mix of potatoes, chaat masala, onions and roasted cumin topped with crispy and crunchy spinach fritters, fresh sweet yogurt, tangy tamarind chutney and spicy mint and coriander chutney.)

We then met Ramesh, head chef, from Hyderabad who is known for his amazing biriyanis (as is Hyderabad itself!).

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Then we continued our journey through the mains with classics like…

Lamb laalmaas $25.90
(An aromatic and flavourful lamb curry prepared in a sauce of yogurt, garlic and variety of spices with a burst of red chillies is a very famous dish that comes from Rajasthan.)

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This dish reminded me of Indique restaurant in Jodhpur.

Lal Maans is a dish developed by the Rajputs when out fighting that doesn’t need a frypan and just a few ingredients easily acquired from a nearby village.

The Goanese  Fish ( fresh ling fillets cooked in coconut based curry, tempered with mustard seeds and curry leaves) took me back to Casa Anjuna $29.90

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…and Chicken Chettinad (A classic dish from Chettinad region of south India that gets it’s unique flavour from roasted dry coconut, combination of spices including star anise and fennel seeds) and reminded me of melas from the kitchens of Visalam and The Bengala.

Chettinad cuisine has benefited greatly from the Chettiars ambitious trading relationships with south east asia, the source of distinct flavours like the star anise. $23.90

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From the North came Murgh Makhani (creamy textured curry made from smoky flavoured tandoori chicken tikka simmered in tomato and cashew based gravy, also known as Butter Chicken.) $23.90

From Maharashtra (home state to Mumbai) came Kolhapuri Chicken ( boneless chicken pieces cooked in flavourful Kolhapuri style masala) $24.90

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From Gujarat, the Indian state with the highest population of vegetarians came our vegetarian mainLasooni Palak Paneer (Cubes of fried cottage cheese cooked with spinach, green chillies, a special blend of spices and a touch of garlic which gives a unique taste and enhances the flavour of the curry) $23.90

From Bengal we had Bengali Chicken Curry (Chicken marinated in yogurt and spices cooked in mustard oil on slow fire) $23.90

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This was accompanied by…

Basmati Jeera Rice $5
(Steamed Basmati rice flavoured with cumin seeds)

Raita (Yogurt mixed with grated cucumber and flavoured with roasted cumin seeds $5.50

And some lovely breads…

Garlic Naan (Fermented plain flour bread cooked in a tandoor topped with minced garlic)…$4.50

Laccha Paratha (Crispy and layered whole meal flour bread cooked on a pan ) $5

Masala Kulcha (Fermented plain flour bread stuffed with a mix of spiced potatoes and herbs, sprinkled with onion seeds, chopped coriander and mint, cooked in a tandoor) $5

Puran Poli – 2 pcs $5.90
(Sweet bread made from plain flour stuffed with sweet mixture of gram daal and jaggery, infused with cardamom and nutmeg, a Maharashtrian delicacy)

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I’m a bit of a bread fan, but this Puran Poli that Sushant makes himself was my absolute favourite.

It was truly a very special night to be a Canberra Food Blogger and a guest of Sushant and his team.

Sushant is a great cook and storyteller and has some wonderful ideas that he has been trying out, and still plenty yet to test.

I can’t wait to see what Sushant’s new menu will look like in September.

7 By The Lake is open everyday for lunch and dinner.

It’s at the far end of the Kingston Foreshore that has lots of great newly opened eateries – well worth exploring!

7 By The Lake Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato