2 #Canberra Beanies
I’m back to this blog from a short work/family-focussed hiatus. I recently changed jobs and now work in Barton most days (as opposed to the centre of Canberra City, commonly referred to as Civic). This move means that I’m more likely to have lunch around the parliamentary triangle, but after focussing on Civic for most of last year that’s probably a good thing!
Although within walking distance of Kingston and Manuka, the many office blocks in and around Barton have historically relied on a smaller variety of lunchtime food options than workplaces in larger centres such as Civic, Belconnen, Woden and Tuggeranong, with their shopping centres and numerous community clubs.
That seems to have all changed recently with the invasion of hipper eateries like Brodburger and Double Drummer, which, along with new contractors and chefs in many of the local pubs, clubs and cafes, have re-energised the local food scene.
Even old and reliable food outlets like the famous Lachlan Café have been, through this newer competition, preparing and selling tastier, healthier and better value food. Food competition has been good for the workers in Barton.
My two most recent excursions to Lachlan Café have left me impressed and changed my previously created impression that this was more like a bistro diner than a café in a cosmopolitan urban centre.
A few weeks ago I enjoyed a very healthy baked fish with roasted vegetables. $11.80 for the fish and vegetables and $3.80 for a large 500ml can of drink was good value.
Earlier this week I went back and liked the look of the chicken stir fry. For some reason I felt like having some veggies with it instead of rice – no problem! I also bought a diet ginger beer and the delicious and reasonably healthy lunch below set me back $14.
Lachlan Café is located on Brisbane Avenue near the corner of National Circuit and is a good option if your looking for fast and affordable food in the parliamentary triangle. Two #Canberra Beanies.
Nice post by Michele Walton on the hard-to-find upstairs restaurant Rice Tapas in Garema Place. Rice Tapas Bar – Garema Place, Canberra City.
Yesterday I enjoyed a brief lunchtime escape to the City Hellenic Club. Prompted by the recent news that Helena and Vicky from My Kitchen Rules are about to descend on Canberra and turn us all into Tzatziki connoisseurs for a day I thought I should catch up on some Greek cuisine at one of my local community clubs.
I’m a member of the Hellenic Club (actually I’m a member of half a dozen Canberra Community Clubs because I think they’re mostly awesome and we’re lucky to have them in Canberra) so I strolled in without much fanfare. The first striking impression is that there doesn’t seem to be much Greek food on the menu at this club.
You can find the menu online here and I’ve reproduced it below:
Certainly no tzatziki! I’ve had some great Greek-style meals at the Hellenic Club in Woden and I’m guessing the menu here just reflects the demand from the city-based (mainly Anglo-Australian) clientele. I’ll be visiting the club in Woden next week so I might ask the management about this if I get a chance. Yes, I love Greek food enough to be that annoying. In fact there isn’t a Mediterranean cuisine I don’t devour if given the opportunity, probably because mum was such a versatile cook who taught us to appreciate good food from the whole region.
OK, what did grab my eye (and stomach) was the lunch specials! Only $10 for grilled barramundi, served with salad and chips! (and if you look closely at the menu you can see this delicious meal is usually almost twice as expensive.
Both my colleague chose the dish and we both enjoyed it. The service took a little bit longer than we expected but it was lunchtime and the bistro area got crowded pretty quickly. It was certainly good value and I would highly recommend it. I’m sure I’ll go back and try more lunch specials here. Two Canberra Beanies!
I’ve been to Smoque a few times with friends and colleagues and although the food usually tastes great I have found it a bit pricey in the past. That said their lunch specials are always pretty good value and worth a try.
Today I enjoyed the Vegie Burger, which looks and tastes great. For $12.90 it is a great mushroom-based burger that includes plenty of rocket, pumpkin, zucchini and Halloumi cheese (one of my favourites). It comes in a tasty bun with a pickle on the side and I highly recommend it as a healthy variation for burger enthusiasts in civic.
Many Canberra connoisseurs of Turkish cuisine were delighted to see this new café open up on London Circuit in Civic recently. After decades of being spoilt by such fine establishments as Taze in Lonsdale Street, Ottoman and Mavi in Barton and Turkish Pide Houses in Jamison and Yarralumla (and other places like my favourite in Charnwood) Canberra fans of Turkish cuisine are frankly spoilt…. Not to mention the dozen or so Gozleme sellers that pop up at every national Multicultural Festival and Canberra Show!
I’ve walked past this place a few times already and noted praise from fellow Canberra foodie reviews in UrbanSpoon as well as amongst the flurry of recent cheap lunch reviews by John Griffiths in City News.
Anyway, everyone obviously LOVES their $8 Gozleme so I thought I should try something a bit different. I’m still struggling on a diet (and not progressing as well as I’d hoped, seemingly stalled after losing 4 kgs in a month and still well short of my 12 kg weightloss target). So I picked a couple of vegetarian options at the counter, paid $14 and sat down to a very impressive looking table.
While sitting I had a sticky beak at the lunch specials menu, which is quite extensive.
I decided I would park my strange diet brain and try the Gozleme Plate next time. A bit over my normal budget but perhaps a good reward for the end of a long hard week of salads and fruit snacks. Whilst in this daydream my lunch arrived and it looked good. The lentil paste/dip had just the right amount of peppers added to fire it up without making it too hot and the lentil crackers were very tasty. That said the main $8 plate left me hungry and I was happy I had also ordered the $6 side of bean salad. Both dishes tasted great and I would recommend them in a flash to any vegetarians looking of a good lunchtime meal. My problem was that they still left me a little bit hungry. I probably should have more than coffee and toast for breakfast!
Gozleme Café is great. You can find more filling options or $14 in Civic but is good, healthy and fresh food served promptly and with a smile. Two #Canberra Beanies!
This place might be hard to find for first-timers, it’s upstairs near Impact Comics and apart from the small sign above the staircase and an A-frame in Garema Place there’s not much advertising. Eat-in lunch specials are only $10 and the is an $8 per box selection of curries for take-away enthusiasts. I’ve tried a couple of curries and it is consistently good value and service is pleasant.
At my last visit I tried a (quite) spicy chicken curry and it was filling and tasty. The portions aren’t large but I’m currently on a diet so I was quite satisfied.
I’ve also ordered from other menus, which although more expensive than the lunch menu options, are also quite good and worth trying.
Rice scores two #Canberra Beanies and is highly recommended if you’re after quick affordable Thai food in the city.
My wife, five daughters and I recently joined @James_Tew and his three daughters for brunch at the Ha Ha Bar at Emu Bank in Belconnen. Although my wife had been there previously for drinks with friends this was our first meal there and we were pleasantly surprised. The small façade facing the car park opens up to a larger eating area and impressive deck overlooking Lake Ginninderra.
Although they weren’t set up for kids we had no trouble ordering them meals. I ordered an eggs benedict ($16 with extra bacon) and my wife ordered a big brekky ($18) and shared some with me and the little ones.
I immediately tested the consistency of the eggs and they were appropriately runny. I’m not an expert on eggs benedict but it tasted great and I would recommend it again.
James ordered himself a very attractive breakfast pizza – I might try that next time!
We had some delicious coffee as well and enjoyed watching all the girls devour their specially-made pancakes and enjoy their orange juice. This meal was more expensive than my normal fare however its important to occasionally take out the family for a special treat in a new environment and give the young ones a chance to make new friends and get out of their comfort zone. We had a great time and we will definitely be back. TWO #Canberra beanies.
One of the best things about the Ha Ha Bar was its proximity to one of our favourite kids’ playgrounds at John Knight memorial Park. The girls had a great time and we all got to enjoy a sunny Sunday afternoon watching the kids socialise and play.
We’re looking forward to return soon to the Ha Ha Bar and trying the rest of the menus, and if I can wrangle some baby-sitters, the cocktails as well!
…and we’ll visit the Lake Ginninderra ducks again too