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The Mandalay Bus
Cnr of Lonsdale and Girraween St
Opening times: Wednesday to Saturday 6pm – midnight (sometimes to 1am?)
Please check their Facebook page here to confirm opening hours or give them a ring on 0405 551 782
Note: Cash Only
The Austrian Australian Club
Ph: 02 6286 5793
I first went to the restaurant with my Mothers’ Group mums for our first dinner get-together sans kids. It was such an awesome night and I thoroughly enjoyed the occasion. I wasn’t sure whether the food was good because I had loads of fun or because the food really was good. I did remember that the chips were amazing though.
Anyway, hearty German/Austrian food is definitely up to Mr E’s alley so I had to take him there and reconfirmed its awesomeness And I did, a fortnight after 😉 with Little E in tow, hungry and ready at the door at 6pm (their opening time).
I had the chicken schnitzel with chips, bread dumpling and pepper sauce on the first visit. On my second one, I ordered the pork schnitzel, again with the amazing chips and mixed vegies (had to order this because Little E was there and I wanted him to have vegies). Oh, and a side of gravy.
A little side note, am I the only mum who ordered healthier food when the little one is around, just so that he eats better too? That just by having him around is actually good for me? Heh.
I digress. Mr E ordered the lamb schnitzel with red cabbage, sauerkraut and an extra side of spetzels (which is noodley pasta thingies). The serving size is very generous, with us three sharing the two orders and we had more than enough. Little E would have eaten almost the entire serve of red cabbage, preferring it on top of everything else, so weird!
Just as I remembered from the first visit, the chips were amazing. I would just go back again and again for it. I didn’t like the pepper sauce nor the gravy, but I thought the schnitzels were really yummy. As per the order of prices, the lamb was the best, with the pork coming last.
Though we were really full already, I couldn’t resist not getting dessert as I didn’t get any the first time I was there. We shared a black forrest cake with ice cream, Little E eating and scooping faster than I’ve seen him done before. We think he liked it lol
It took a little longer for our meals to arrive the first time I went, but I would imagine it was because there were 7 orders on our table. The second time around, our meals didn’t take long at all to arrive. I had the same waitress on both occasions and she was really friendly. She was patient with Little E, waiting for his response when she asked him if she could take his plate away. Which he didn’t give for almost a whole minute, out of shyness. When he finally did, she just laughed and didn’t seem to be rushed at all.
We were the first people there, but the place did fill up as the night progressed, mostly with families. The mum friend who suggested the place did tell us that we should book as they get pretty busy. I would recommend the same, most especially if you need a highchair as I could only see one available. Mr E said to me as we left that we’re definitely going back there for their other meals and I have to agree with him 🙂
Woo hoo! A long weekend! For my non-Aussie readers, we celebrate the Australia Day on Monday, making this weekend a 3-day weekend. Hooray!
Anyway, with some time on my hands, I thought I’d post about a restaurant we tried recently. One of the things I looked forward to the most about moving houses was the excuse of trying the “locals”. Be it a restaurant, a cafe, or a playground/park.
We chose Baitong as it is a Thai (and Laos) restaurant, and Thai is one of my inlaws’ favourite cuisine. I was a little worried when we first entered the place as it was rather empty. Being 6.30pm on a Saturday, I had expected a few more people. An empty restaurant on a Saturday night? Uh oh.
As soon as our waitress saw we had Little E, she gave us a booster seat and a pile of kids dining set. What a nice touch 🙂 After a whole day of painting (on Mr E and my inlaws’ part), we were starving, so we almost over-ordered.
I would have to say that we liked every.single.dish we ordered. Oh, except for the weird steamed bamboo dish which was our attempt at having “vegetables”. My dad inlaw liked the restaurant so much, he said repeatedly that we definitely have to go back to try them again “just to be sure” 😉 My favourite was the Crying Tiger beef. While, Little E’s was definitely the duck red curry with lychee. A few reviews suggested that portion size was on the smaller side, perhaps they were when the review was written but we definitely had enough. However, we did order a dish each plus some entree.
I am extremely pleased also that as we ate, the place started filling up. Even better, most of the patrons were Thais. At least, they spoke a language that sounded like Thai and the waitresses understood them. Yummy and authentic 🙂
Just as we left, we eagerly took one of their takeaway menus. It is almost dangerous knowing that they do free delivery to our suburb 😉
I finally got to use up the last of my Mothers’ Day present last night. A couple of my girlfriends invited me to join them to Koko Black’s annual chocolate indulgence, and so Mr E bought me a ticket as part of my Mothers’ Day presents. It was one of my very few night outings since Little E arrived and I was very excited. It felt a little weird getting myself ready to go out at 7.30pm 😉
This was placed in front of me as soon as I sat down. I am not much of a drinker and this mocha truffle cocktail was potent. It took me a while to finish it but it was delicious! I thoroughly enjoyed the mocha truffle dipped into the cocktail 🙂
First course: I really liked the chocolate mousse and the honeycomb shards, but not so much the Leatherwood Honey marshmallow. It tasted like soggy funky old piece of leather foam 😛
Second course and my second most favourite: I loved the balance of savoury and sweet of this one. The use of tahini and salted nuts and black sesame cut through the sweetness of the dish. Really enjoyed this one! Had I not worn one of my stretchy dress, I would have to undo my zip by this stage. I am still not that much of a chocolate person, so 3 chocolate dishes in one sitting, one after another, were definitely too much already.
Second beverage of the night: we got to choose a beverage and we all chose an iced coffee. It came at the right time because the coffee was still bitter so it cleansed the palate a bit, giving it a new lease in life for more chocolate to come.
Third course and my favourite! dish of the night: a sour cherry soufflé. It was tart and fluffy and light and thoroughly delicious! My kind of dessert 🙂 I thought the shortbread was unnecessary, but I ate it anyway. I also loved the little mount of milk chocolate ice cream with bits of sour cherries. Yum!
Last course and perhaps my least favourite: perhaps because I was in a total chocolate, caffeine and alcohol high. The highest I have ever been in the last 30 months of my life! It was also around 10pm by the time this arrived and I have a pretty bad head cold, though I did like the pastry and the caramelised walnut. I am not a fan of semi-freddo it turned out either. Weird.
The head chef came around to each of the tables there, having a quick chat to everyone. It was a lovely touch, he said that this year, he tried to make it less of a chocolate overload experience, learning his lessons from last year. I am glad that he did, because I struggled already as it was, I can’t imagine how sick I would be if I went last year. I thoroughly enjoyed my experience, more so because of the company and the chance to be me for a few hours 🙂
After 2.5 hours, we all waddled back to our cars with our goody bags, bellies full and chocolaty happy. I can’t wait to go again next year! If chocolates are your thing, keep an eye out for next year’s event. Details should be on Koko Black’s website 🙂
The Common Ground
4/1 Jeffries St
Another exciting found I did last week. It was so good, I went twice within a week! My friend said that her coffee was the best she has had in Canberra. I have to say that it is one of the best I’ve had 🙂
The first time I went, they didn’t have what I wanted, so I ordered their beef burger. It was SO GOOD. Juicy patty, caramelised onions and chutney all balanced up with gerkins and beetroot. Add to all that, a strong tasting swiss cheese and a brioche bun. The bun was slightly too sweet for my liking but it was delicious nevertheless. The chips were crunchy and fluffy, but not overly salted. One of the best burger I’ve had yet.
Little E shared a smoked salmon, capers and cream cheese toasted sandwich with his “twin”. Both kids were very well behaved, sitting next to each other in matching high seats. Adorable! They both seemed to like their meal, with Little E polishing his share in no time at all. He is such a boy, at least in comparison to his “twin” who has the most elegant way of eating 🙂 I love watching them together, it really does feel like I have a set of twins, without doubling the work 😉
Along with my coffee and burger, Little E and I shared the tastiest banana smoothie ever. Spiced with nutmeg and cinnamon, it was creamy and sweet. Little E would have thought that Christmas came early for him, when I kept pouring his share into his own glass. I didn’t get to eat the biscuit that came with the coffee because my son was stealthy and ate it before I knew what was happening.
The second time we went (I had to take Mr E there), we were too early for lunch (it doesn’t start until 1pm on weekends, so late!). So we had to order from the breakfast menu – not a difficult thing to do as the menu sounded really nice as well. Mr E ordered the Mediterranean Omelette, while I had the chorizo, basil, chili, and goat cheese on bread (can’t remember the name, sorry). We also ordered the French Toast for us three to share.
I looooooove the french toasts! The cinnamon mascarpone was really really good, and the flavours of all the condiments combined work really well together. (Un)fortunately, Little E didn’t like it, so Mr E and I were left to finish the dish. We both thought that the omelette and the chorizo dishes were nice, however, they weren’t spectacular. Not for the price that they charge, at least. However, the smoothie was still good and Mr E is still gushing over his (VERY) thick caramel shake.
I like Common Grounds, I will definitely go back there! The food is good (at least the lunch menu) and the service top notch. None of the waitresses gave any bad vibe over the kids’ mess or noise. The orders didn’t take long to arrive at the table (important when dining with children) and there is something for everyone in the menu. I do recommend that you don’t bring a giant pram in though, as the inside area is rather squishy. I reckon the place would be great in summer, with loads of seating outside. It isn’t the cheapest cafe around, however, you do get good quality meals, drinks and service.
Like our first visit, we finished off our lunch on the weekend with some play at the playground across the street. Another plus to the place! 🙂
I have been meaning to try Outback Jack’s for a very long time. One, because I am obsessed with ribs. Two, they have ribs.
We went in for a late lunch on the weekend, so the place wasn’t too crowded. We were served promptly, a highchair provided and our orders taken. We were impressed by the effort they took to cater for children, Little E was given his own menu which doubled up as an activity book. He was also provided with a small bucket of crayons. When we looked around the place, we saw that they also have a children’s corner! It’s amazing.
We were a quite nervous about the waiting time as there were a few tables still waiting for their meals and Little E started to act up. Understandable, as I was about two hours late giving him his lunch #mummyfail Luckily, our orders came within 20-30 minutes (which isn’t too bad).
I had their ribs and wings combo with medium and “ass burner” sauce. Mr E had a medium rare porterhouse steak with spicy Jack’s sauce. We gave Little E a bits of our meals, which he enjoyed. I think he liked the wings best, with carrots next. He also shared Mr E’s banana milkshake, served in a cool boot-shaped mug.
I liked my meal, the ribs were all tender and the wings crunchy and moist. I didn’t think that the chilli sauce was particularly hot, and weirdly, the “medium” sauce had more of a lasting heat. The serving size was too big though, with it almost defeating me. Mr E had to help me eat all of it, and towards the end, I didn’t think it was good anymore 😉 Sadly, my tummy has shrunk but my eyes haven’t followed suit.
I tried a little bit of Mr E’s steak and I liked it. It had a nice red meat taste without being too strong, though it was too rare for me. Mr E thought it was delicious and said that he had made the right order. Yay.
I like how the restaurant pays a lot of attention towards families with children. They offer “children eat free” deals on some days, and if you look at the menu on the photo above, children’s meals are $3! Amazing!
If you’re a big eater, you could attempt the 1kg challenge and have your name on the board with the other champions. Mr E said that you’d also win something with it. Or, go there every Mondays to Wednesdays for all-you-can-eat wings and ribs!
Other than it being slightly too pricey, Mr E said you are also being subjected to listening bad country music the whole time 🙂 However, the fact that they obviously cared about their younger patrons, I would go back there for special occasions where I can have Little E preoccupied while I enjoy the event.
Anyway, ater all that food, we hopped next door and had dessert. As the Japanese would say, I have a betsubara. Behold………
We then rolled our way through the mall to our car…