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Global Cafe (Ethiopian)

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You wouldn’t know it from the relatively drab exterior on the Northbourne Avenue, between the late night Pharmacy and the interstate Bus Exchange, but this place hides an Ethiopian gastronomic adventure.

Global cafe facade

My friend and I had rice, veg, 2 traditional Ethiopian curries (I had beef & lentil and my friend had beef, chicken, chick pea curries) all for $10 each including a can of drink and some traditional Ethiopian bread. The curries were mild. This exotic food was very tasty and we will both happily return for more. 3 #Canberra Beanies.

global cafe ethiopian

Global cafe and bar on Urbanspoon

Belconnen Labor Club Chandler Cafe Chicken Curry

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The small bistro-style café (Chandler café) at the Belconnen Labor Club is one of the North’s hidden gems, particularly for big blokes that enjoy a flaming hot curry.

Was passing  through #Belco recently so I wandered into the #Canberra Labor Club to try a hot meal at either Superwok or the Chandler Café. The lunchtime queue at Superwok was long (because it’s reasonably priced tasty food in an air-conditioned club with relatively cheap beer).

A word of warning about the curry though. I loved it as I like my curries hot. But I watched a young woman struggle to eat half it. She wanted more but couldn’t handle the heat so asked the kind lady for a take-away container to finish it off at home (no doubt with a large tub of yoghurt to dull the pain 🙂

Belco chicken curry

This massive & HOT green chicken curry only cost $10.90. It was big enough to feed two hungry peeps & make them cry. The beer was very cold too, which really hit the spot on a warm day when you’re eating curry. Loved it. Highly recommended. 3 #Canberra Beanies

Touch of India

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This will be short and sweet. I did not need dinner after a lunch at Touch f India in the Canberra Centre Lower food court recently. The 3 curry 14.90 meal deal was huge! As well as three curries the platter included side salad, too much rice, yoghurt side & an Indian sweet. A friend helped me by eating the large Naan bread. They said the beg vindaloo would be hot but I found it quite mild. The lamb rogan josh was delicious and the chicken curry was great. 2 #Canberra Beanies.

taste of india canberra centre

Fusion Cafe

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The Specials Board of the Fusion Café (Sydney, Building Civic) was far too tempting. Have often passed this café without venturing in and was curious about who ran it. Our friendly owner hails from the sub-continent and is keen for new custom, so expect (as was received) good and fast service.

fusion cafe specials board

Having recently tossed aside any health-related New year’s resolutions, the Cajun burger with chips looked tempting. I wasn’t disappointed. It was a large burger and a large side of chips. Well worth the $10.

fusion cajun burger

The $3.50 coffee was good as well. This place is not amazing (yet) but if the owner’s enthusiasm is any guide it will be one worth watching. 2 #Canberra Beanies.

Whilst there we witnessed a photographer friend of the owner taking photos of a sumptuous banquet platter for their new website. So I’ll definitely be back to sample that at some point. It’s around $22 but looked amazing.

Pappa Rich Nasi Lemak

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Soon after PappaRich opened we popped in to try their Nasi Lemak , a signature Malay dish.  The picture in the menu looked great. The joint was packed. The price was right!

nasi lemak catalogue shot

The real thing looked surprisingly similar to the catalogue shot (which means the chefs are good and the photos in the menu are realistic). It tasted great. While eating lunch we observed some amazing-looking food being delivered to other tables. I think PappaRich is the kind of fast-serving restaurant that it would be very difficult to get bored with because of the variety of dishes served. Although not the cheapest Asian lunch in Civic this place is still highly recommended. 2 #Canberra Beanies.

papparich nasi goreng

If you’d like to know more about PappaRich theer are a few Canberra Foodies checking it out on a regular basis. @rachiperera blogged her first visit here: “Lots of food consumed, lots of photos taken and I declare the Nasi Lemak a must!” http://le-bonvivant.blogspot.com.au/2013/12/papparich-canberra.html?m=1  …

Focaccia at Tossilinis

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While most of menu at Tossilinis is well beyond our ( < $15 a meal) range, it has, arguably, amongst the best coffee in town.

The location also makes it a prime target for meetings throughout the day from the nearby offices, departments and Legislative Assembly. Tossers (as it is affectionately known by regulars) has lots of competition for cheap food, but if you’re here early or late for a meeting and want a quick bite to eat then you will find the $12.50 bacon focaccia can hit the spot. Not the best place in town for affordable meals but the service and freshness of the food is amongst the best in the cafe and restaurant business in Canberra, so we’ve awarded it 2 #Canberra Beanies.

tossers bacon focaccia

CBR Dumpling House

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This place is very new and hard to find for the uninitiated. It’s located just behind PappaRich (also fairly new) in the part of the Canberra Centre that people usually only pass if they happen to use the outside open-air carpark at the north-eastern end of the centre.

That said, it’s definitely worth a try. Although my colleague and I did blow our usual ($15 per main) budget, it wasn’t by much, and it was only because we got a bit greedy. You can easily keep yourself to a small budget at this place and enjoy fresh dumplings. They also serve water at the tables so you don’t need to buy a soft drink like we did.

dumpling house menu cover  dumpling house bill

For entrée we decided to grab some spring rolls, which looked very unusual but were very tasty. They are coated with angle-hair pastry, instead of the usual sheet pastry and this makes a novel difference.

dumpling house spring rolls

We also highly recommend the “combination dumpling” & “mixture dumpling” dishes. They are exactly what their names suggest and the supply was more than enough to share between 2!

dumpling house main

Overall, we were very impressed. If you feel like you need some education and entertainment either before or after your meal, there were a few people standing at the very large street-side window that allows you to watch the dumpling masters in the kitchen. It’s better than reality television, which everyone knows, is not really much like reality after all.

Dumpling House gets 3 #Canberra Beanies.

Indo Cafe

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Anyone who has worked around London Circuit in Civic would have noticed the usual long queue for weekday lunch specials at the Indo Café (located in the old Waldorf building). The café is run by a lovely family who have also recently opened an outlet in the lower food court of the Canberra Centre, also called Indo Café).

indo bag

The curries run at a very reasonable $8, so a meal with a drink will set you back $10. That’s much cheaper than a flight to Jakarta. Goes without saying that the food is authentic Indonesian cuisine and its very tasty.

Also, if you have worked late and missed your usual lunch break it’s worth popping into the Canberra Centre Food court after 2.30pm to see if they have any boxed-up left-overs from lunchtime. You can occasionally do yourself a post-lunch-rush favour & grab $5 box &/or $5 entree pack from Indo Café. This joint is always satisfying and deserves 3 #Canberra Beanies.

indo cafe noms

Indo Cafe Canberra on Urbanspoon

Burmese Curry Place

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That Burmese Curry Place on Alinga Street has been famous for many years for affordable and authentic Burmese cuisine. For only $8 you can eat-in and enjoy a two-curry and rice super value meal. Recently I enjoyed a tasty chicken-prawn & chicken-bean curry with rice. There are also generous helpings of spicey condiments if the curries aren’t hot enough for you. They wisely keep most of the curries to a very moderate heat. This Canberra institution gets a well-deserved 3 #Canberra Beanies.

curry place

Burmese Curry Place on Urbanspoon

Canberra’s AWESOME 2014 National Multicultural Festival

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nmc2014header

This year was the 18th year that Canberrans enjoyed the biggest and best multicultural festival in Australia (maybe the world?). Over 260,000 people attended over three days from February 7-9. With each subsequent festival twitter has become a better source of advice about which stalls are worth seeing and what ford and drink is worth tasting. It’s an unsurpassed opportunity to try lots of different foods and beers and other drinks (kava, etc.) from around the world as well as enjoy several days worth of free entertainment from some amazingly talented people both in Canberra and from around Australia.

If you want to see (and hear) what happened then my best advice is to search for #NMF2014 in twitter and scroll through the amazing pictures, videos and posts from those attended, enjoyed and recorded the weekend. You can also follow the official twitter account @NatMultiFest and scroll through the many posts and reposts from the weekend. Enjoy!

Here are some random highlights (If anyone can teach me how to cleverly embed links I will buy you lunch):

chris-bourke-tweet-nasi-goreng

fringe-erin

tuffin-chile-singer

jumping-martin

peru-icey

bingo

bingo-thom

sri-lankan-noms

Well-known Canberra camera whiz Greg (@gcnelson) posted this short video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dODSVOsdge8&fb_action_ids=10152315693952577&fb_action_types=yt-fb-app%3Aupload_ne&fb_source=other_multiline&action_object_map=%5B253060494855091%5D&action_type_map=%5B%22yt-fb-app%3Aupload_ne%22%5D&action_ref_map=%5B%5D

trying again with a different link:

/code<blockquote%20lang=en><p>A%20look%20back%20at%20the%20party%20that%20was%20<a%20href=a%20href=https://twitter.com/NatMultiFest">@NatMultiFest</ahttps://twitter.com/NatMultiFest>@NatMultiFest</a/a>%20<a%20href=a%20href=https://twitter.com/search?q=%23NMF2014&src=hash">#NMF2014</ahttps://twitter.com/search?q=%23NMF2014&src=hash>#NMF2014</a/a>%20by%20the%20talented%20<a%20href=a%20href=https://twitter.com/gcnelson">@gcnelson</ahttps://twitter.com/gcnelson>@gcnelson</a/a>%20<a%20href=a%20href=https://twitter.com/search?q=%23Canberra&src=hash">#Canberra</ahttps://twitter.com/search?q=%23Canberra&src=hash>#Canberra</a/a>%20<a%20href=a%20href=http://t.co/uZMHrs6u3P">http://t.co/uZMHrs6u3P</a></p>&mdashhttp://t.co/uZMHrs6u3P>http://t.co/uZMHrs6u3P</a></p>&mdash/a;%20Siobhan%20Heanue%20(@siobhanheanue)%20<a%20href=a%20href=https://twitter.com/siobhanheanue/statuses/432659375828652032">Februaryhttps://twitter.com/siobhanheanue/statuses/432659375828652032>February/a%209,%202014</a></blockquote><script%20async%20src=//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js%20charset=utf-8></script>%20code