Oh, we had a lot of fun eating our way around Canberra with family and friends! But here are some miscellaneous food (and drink) experiences that should definitely have attention directed their way.They didn't fit into particular lunch or dinner categories, so here they are as stand alones, because they deserve it!
Cassie at the window in her big glasses and welcome is serving up some Canberra most excellent bread and pastries made by the quiet legend Lachie Cutting who honed his bread making skills as many of us did during lockdown. Except he took his skills into the stratosphere. Get to under and order a Swedish cardamom spiced 'bulle' to nibble on while you make the agonizingly difficult decision of which loaves to take home...
1/30 Mawson Place
Not unlike a movie set, the basement of Onzieme hides a great little walk-in bar which you can easily miss if not for the shiny red door which takes you down the concrete steps. Find a narrow, dimly lit space, with the shiny red repeated on the bar at the end. Friendly welcomes, and a cosy worn leather lounge chairs to sink into make for a relaxed atmosphere for sipping drinks of all varieties. Wines by the glass, hairs on chest cocktails and lots of local brews. To munch on: cheese and charcuterie, or try classic French offerings like duck liver paté, radishes tarana or a mouth watering boquerone with smoked peppers.
One long wall is lined with simply framed art by exceptional 12 year old, Art Tui Bussenschutt. This is a unique and fun space to meet for a drink and tapas, or an aperitif before your Onzieme dinner reservation.
What's not to love about a well stocked Italian deli, with charming Italian gentlemen appearing like magic at your elbow to assist with slicing prosciutto or hunks of cheese or to make you a perfect coffee.
Stocked neatly to the rafters in a well organized and properly lit and labelled grocery aisles, find everything from fine Italian talcum powder, to mint and chocolate candies, tinned tomatoes of all varieties, and anchovies.
The almond cookie and pear tart in the glass case are made onsite, and the coffee is strong and creamy.
This is an absolute gem of a one stop shopping experience, enough to convert anyone to Italian cooking, the ingredients on offer are that tantalizing!
Al-Taher Sweet Shop :Yes, admittedly, the Mawson shops could do with a clean up and a facelift, but there is some excellent and quirky shopping to be had right here. Take for instance this Palestinian sweet shop, where the charming proprietress in her colourful hijab is welcoming, and the various sweet laden trays vie for attention.
While the sweets and biscuits were a delight to gaze at , Lorrie was soon drawn outside to where the store owner's two children and their friends were gathered, chatting and laughing- it was the school holidays.
The Tipsy Bull Has a beer garden sort of atmosphere with its extended outdoor area at the front. A full gin bar dominates one side of the indoor space, and the waiter who serves us proudly claims they have over 300 varieties on offer. To narrow down the choices quickly, we look at the ACT options of which there are quite a few. These are served on a long board attractively served with various botanicals, a tumbler of ice and the perfect tonic pairing, leaving you to mix at will for your drinking pleasure. A cute gimmick which works with a g&t, but Lorrie's martini arrives stirred and looking quite perfect in a coupe stemmed glass.
E Mart in the heart of the city is a Korean run grocery store of impressive proportions, with sections dedicated to fresh veggies and fruit, frozen fish and meat, dumplings and various quick meals. Shelves are stacked high with condiments, tinned food, spices, herbs, noodles, teas, household items, cooking utensils and toys, candy and snacks.
This eagerly anticipated event occurs on the first Saturday of every month on the grounds of the Malaysian High Commission. Comprising home cooks and hobby caterers, it is the coming together of the Malaysian community to sell delicious home cooked traditional treats to their fellow countryfolk and friends. My friends Po and Lindsay queued early to nab some delicious kueh-mueh, pandan cake slices and curry puffs for us to have when we dropped in for afternoon tea. Lucky us!
Call the embassy for details and head over next month to enjoy some authentic Malaysian snacks and treats.
Again, I'd love to thank my ever reliable Canberra girl pals for tips and advice, intel and kind and diplomatic suggestions when I veered off course with my list. That's the thing about Canberra; so much good stuff on offer, even in far flung suburban strip malls.But having reliable foodie locals who will vouch for a discovery just helps! You gals know who you are: thank you my loves!
Lorrie, my excellent travelling partner and photojournalist friend has also made a Part 2 of her Canberra blog so check it too.