Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Doubleshot - Deakin, Canberra

Double Shot is a great cafe addition to the Deakin shops. It's a fairly large space, with ample indoor and outdoor dining areas, and it's quite busy on a Friday morning. Doubleshot has been on my Canberra hit list for a while, so I take the opportunity to try it out during my last day of a week long work trip. 

Most people are here for their morning takeaway coffee fix, though the seats also start filling up pretty quickly as the morning progresses.

Service is friendly but on the slow side, not sure if they were understaffed on this particular morning.

I'm dining with my mum and we opt to share two dishes - one savoury and one sweet. For the savoury option, I choose a healthy hot smoked salmon with quinoa, greens and a poached egg. It feels good to get an intake of vegetables during breakfast, plus it's pretty hearty thanks to the quinoa and salmon.

My eyes lit up when I saw the french toast special on the blackboard; coconut crusted french toast with strawberry mascarpone, ripple yoghurt, vanilla cream, meringue and strawberry curd. It's fruity and light, with just the right balance of sweetness. 

Enticed by the display of sweets, I get this nice cream to go. It's a vegan 'ice-cream' filled with chocolate mousse and is the perfect snack for the plane ride home.

Double Shot Deakin Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Monday, 9 January 2017

The Cupping Room - Civic, Canberra

The Cupping Room is a firm brunch favourite when I go back to Canberra. Judging by the lines on any given weekend, I'd say it's also pretty damn popular with the locals.


I've probably mentioned this before, but the coffee at The Cupping Room is either ordered with milk or black, no choice different varieties eg. latte, piccolo etc

Soul shake

This is honestly the best shake I've ever had. The vegan soul shake consisted of a fruity and refreshing blend of watermelon, lychee, coconut and chia. Usually I have a few sips of a shake and start feeling full, but this was so bloody good I had to refrain from finishing it in two seconds - fingers crossed this shake is a regular feature on their menu.

Salmon tartare

Crumbled haloumi burger

The salmon tartare comes with beetroot puree, a poached egg, creme fraiche with salmon roe and thin slices of crispbread. The haloumi burger comes with a batch of hot chips - can't go wrong with chips. I would've preferred the slice of haloumi to be less thick or pan fried instead.

The food is always consistently good and it's never too much of a wait for a table, despite the occasional long line.

The Cupping Room Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Road trip to Orange

Happy New Year! It's been a while, hasn't it? 2016 has honestly flew past in the blink of an eye.

Now, to a post that has been on my to-do-list for a while. It's been somewhat of a new annual tradition to head to Orange every April for the Orange FOOD week to attend the array of amazing events that are held for the regional food festival.

Last year, we stayed at a cute AirBnB in Millthorpe and ate our way around the Orange Region.

In the heart of Orange is Byng Street Local Store. It's a charming cafe, open 7 days a week for breakfast and lunch. It's our first stop after a long drive from Sydney, so we decide to have brunch and a wine here.

The food here is simple, with menu items such as sandwiches and wraps. There's a focus on using local produce from the Central West region. We order the zucchini fritters and a vegetarian toasted sandwich, filled with zucchini, roasted pumpkin, baby spinach and pesto.

Zucchini fritters

Vegetarian toasted sandwich

Byng Street Local Store Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Next stop was some wine tasting at Philip Shaw wines. The cellar door is open everyday from 11am to 5pm, and there's a lovely outdoor area to sit and enjoy the scenery (and a wine or two!) The wine tastings are $10 and reedemable against any wine purchase.

The Idiot Shiraz

I've previously tried The Idiot Shiraz so knew it would be a great choice. Also, most of the wines at Philip Shaw have the most adorable artwork on the labels, which you can see the originals of at the cellar door.

We grab a seat outside and enjoy a substantial cheese platter, which came with a very generous serving of bread and lavosh.

Strawberry tart

We also stop past Racine Bakery so I can have a stickybeak at the delicious pastries on offer. I end up getting this strawberry tart for later.

Racine Bakery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

After much researching for a more casual dinner option, we decide on Percy's Bar & Kitchen, a small bar that aims to showcase the best of the Orange region.

Thick cut chips

The chips look a tad pale, but are actually nice and crisp. The chips are seasoned with an oregano salt and served with aioli on the side.

Haloumi and BBQ sweet corn salad

Surprisingly, there are several great vegetarian friendly options, including this asian flavoured haloumi and BBQ sweet corn salad with island slaw and lime vinaigrette. I enjoy the addition of fresh herbs. 

We forego the traditional desserts in favour of something more liquid...

Espresso martini

Freshly brewed espresso, shaken with vodka, Kahlua, Cafe Patron XO. This cocktail is not for the faint hearted and packs quite an alcoholic punch.

Sailor Jerry affogato

This is a DIY affogato, served on a wooden platter with an espresso shot, housemade chilli chocolate ice cream, and a very generous of portion of rum. I wasn't a massive fan of the chilli chocolate ice cream combined with the other elements, it would have worked so much better with plain old vanilla.

Percy’s Bar & Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I didn't end up booking any FOOD week events in time, so the only Orange FOOD week related thing we actually did was the Sunday producers markets held in Cook Park. It also started drizzling, so it was perfect timing to grab a few things (including the above delicious slab of cake) and make our way back to Sydney.

I will definitely be more organised next time and book in FORAGE (the signature Orange event where you walk through the vineyards and sample food and wine along the way). It always seems to be immensely popular and sells out straight away!

Check out my previous blog post on Orange FOOD week here: