Little E is currently obsessed with his trike, so much so that he wants to go on it at every waking hour. So one weekend, we (and a couple of our friends) took him to ride by the Lake BG then an early lunch at the Westside Acton Park. Westside Acton Park is basically a big open area filled with shipping containers selling all sorts of food. By that, I am not talking about meh! fast cheap food, I am talking about fancy gourmet food. The area reminds of the shipping container shopping village in Christchurch 🙂
I believe there are about 10 or so different shops, ranging from fish and chips kind of food, to Filipino home-cooked meals and Vietnamese pho. There is also a drive-thru coffee shop, a gelato shop as well as a bar at the top level. I like how there is a big open area for the children to run around, as well as plenty of seating both under the sun and the shade. There is a soccer net as well as a basketball hoop (along with a basketball), which I assumed is sponsored by University of Canberra. Little E had great fun riding his trike while we wait for our meals.
There is apparently a market every Sunday there, but when we went, there was only one lonely market stall selling second hand books. It would be so great if they had some kind of farmers’ market there, as well as handmade market stalls. Little E and that little girl on the picture became friends and had great fun riding with each other.
Now onto the food!
I have heard and seen lots of photos of these mantao buns – I was so disappointed that I momentarily forgotten (sidetracked?) about these and ordered something else first. I was pretty much full when I remembered, but was too greedy not to get one to try. This was the soft-shell crab and it was pretty good! I am not sure if the buns were meant to be cold though, so that threw me a bit. Next time, I will ask first to see if they can at least warm it up a bit for me.
This was the dessert mantao bun – deep fried with pandan flavoured condensed milk. It tastes almost like donuts, but crispier. I quite like it, though I am not sure if it is worth the calories nor money for me to get another one 🙂
This was Mr E’s choice for lunch from LOLO & LOLA Filipino food. I think because I am giving up sweets for Lent, he is making it up for me lol I believe this is sticky rice with jackfruit and brown sugar syrup? From the speed it was consumed, I think Mr E and Little E liked it.
Another one of his lunch choice – some sort of sweet bun with cream covered with cheese. I quite like this one, Mr E not so much. He isn’t too keen on the Asian sweet/savoury dishes, whereas I absolutely love them. We have something similar in Indonesia that I grew up with, so it brought back a bit of happy memory when I tried some 🙂 I am not sure if this is something special in the Philippines, but there were people were buying boxes of them!
My first lunch – roast pork with Lechon sauce over rice. I quite enjoyed this, the pork had loads of fatty bits, which I had to pick out, but the skin was nice and crispy and the meat was tender. We don’t really eat white rice normally at home, so when I do get to eat them, I find it hard not to inhale the whole thing in one go! I shared this with the kids, and they both enjoyed it too 🙂
I wasn’t fast enough to take a photo of Little E’s rainbow gelato, he ate the whole thing while I waited for my mantao buns. He must have enjoyed them! I also didn’t get to take a photo of my friend’s chicken burger, but it looked really yummy. The chips also sounded so crunchy and freshly made! The only downside of my experience there was that we had to wait for a loooong time for our coffee orders, the girls looked like they were disorganised and were finding a hard time to keep up with the orders. Also, when the babycinno finally arrived, it was scorchingly HOT! I am so glad that I tried it first before I gave it to Little E (which I normally do!). They also forgotten Mr E and our friend’s orders. Sad!
That aside though, I had a lot of fun at the place, and I think it will become one of our favourite food joints to go to. There were also heaps of families with their children enjoying the place with us 🙂 It is definitely an awesome place to bring children to enjoy good food, without having to worry about making too much mess or restraining energetic kids 😉