A revisit of: Grill’d

Grill’d
The Woden branch
Grill'd on Urbanspoon

The good people behind Grill’d invited me back to try out their new menu items: sliders and sides. As an obliging person that I am, I rushed straight to the restaurant today, bringing along my two loves.

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We ordered three of their sliders, a large sweet potato chips, hot chilli mayo and Asian slaw to share. As I have mentioned in my last review, I am not much of a massive fan of their herbed chips (too rosemary-ey) but these sweet potato chips? I absolutely love! Both my boys agreed, most of all, Little E. He had both hands and mouth busy during the entire meal.

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I liked the Asian slaw, and surprisingly, so did Mr E. If I have to be picky, I would prefer that they mix through the dressing instead of drizzling it over. As it is now, you can’t mix it through without spilling and wasting precious cabbage, then when you get down the bottom, you ran out of dressing.

I was most excited to try the pomegranate and mild wasabi beef slider. Unfortunately, though delicious, I couldn’t taste pomegranate in the burger. However, the wasabi taste came through nicely without being too strong. Mr E said that perhaps the pomegranate might be more noticeable with the chicken?

Mr E and I both felt that the grilled chicken and Asian slaw lacked a little flavour – a problem that none of the other Grill’d burgers have. When Mr E put some of the hot chilli mayo on it, he created magic 😉 It was flavoursome, and full of crunchy delicious texture. Yum!

Going in, I was least enthusiastic about the beef, cheese, mustard and pickle slider. However, it was the one I enjoyed the most! Such a classic taste done extremely well 🙂 Good job, Grill’d!

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As per usual, the service was quick and friendly. The place clean, there were highchairs provided (also clean) and for every purchase, you’re helping out a charity group 🙂

Thanks again, Grill’d, for the delicious lunch. We certainly will be back soon! In case any Grill’d staff reads this review, please note that Chicken and Asian slaw slider + hot chilli mayo = awesome. Just sayin’.

For my last review, please click here.

Child Friendly Restaurant: Cholo’s Peruvian Restaurant

Cholo’s Peruvian Restaurant
Ph: 02 6248 8648
Shop 68 12 Challis St
Dickson
Cholo's Peruvian Restaurant on Urbanspoon

So on the day that Little E decided to have one of his worst tantrumy day, we went out to lunch with one of our dear friend. She suggested the place and I was excited to try it out. Correct me if I’m wrong, Canberran, but it seems that there has been a recent explosion of Peruvian food here. I first saw it at the Multicultural Festivals, then at the different festivals since, and now, there’s an actual restaurant! How exciting!

Anyway, the dining experience didn’t start all too well. Little E refused to sit in his highchair, then he continued to wahwahwah so loudly for the longest time. The other diners kept looking back at us, including a couple with a young baby. I really want to say to them “just you wait, dudes, just you WAIT!!!”. But I didn’t. The restaurant owner who served us was trying so hard to help me, she even offered for me to go out the back to see if I want to check his nappy. It was embarrassing.

So, I ignored him. At least, I tried to. I let him vent his frustration, while I tried to hold an adult conversation with my friend. Before I knew it, our orders arrived to the table and would you know it, as soon as I gave Little E a bit of my burger bun, he quietened right down. Heh.

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For him, I ordered some kind of crumbed cassava ball with mince and egg inside (it’s not in their online menu?). The ball came with a delicious quinoa salad and green capsicum (?) sauce. Little E really enjoyed this dish. He was messy as always, which is a sign of his approval 🙂 I ordered the Cholo’s Adobo Burger, a burger with slow cooked moist pork adobo with lettuce and sarsa criolla. It was good, though I would have loved some sort of sides, even only a little, to have it with. The buns were light and fluffy, Little E liked it too, and the pork was nice and tender. Unfortunately for them, though, I actually liked the burger I had from the Peruvian food stand at the airport open day more. Our friend ordered the 1/4 chicken, served with chips and salad. To me, it looked good, I love grilled chicken. My friend said that her dish was alright, but not spectacular.

In the end, the meal turned out quite well. Little E ate his lunch, I ate my burger in peace, and I can have full catch-up conversation with my friend. Little E must have gotten a good vibe from the owner as when we’re about to leave, he actually gave her a hug! lol I didn’t know that he’s the sort to dish out affections to strangers like that 😉 She did tell us that she is a mother of two young kids though, so I guess he could tell from her warmth towards him. The owner told us that she has plans to create a creche area for parents to leave their kids to play. I think it is such a brilliant idea, pretty sure, she’ll be the first in Canberra to do that. I will definitely go back there, even just for that!

Though I didn’t rate my burger as awesome, I did like Little E’s dish, and I know that Mr E would like to try the place, so I will definitely go back to try their other dishes. With the owner so friendly and patient, the cleanliness of the place and the speed of serving times, it is still pretty much a win for me 🙂

Child-friendly Eatery: Sprout Café, National Arboretum Canberra

Sprout Cafe, National Arboretum Canberra
Tuggeranong Parkway
Weston Creek

The first time I went to the Arboretum was with the inlaws, where Little E had loads of fun playing in the playground. We didn’t get to have anything to eat there, so I was keen to go back. What got me intrigued was the fact that the place is large and open, allowing children to roam freely.

Almost surrounded with floor-to-ceiling glass windows, the Arboretum is light and airy. By these windows, there are plastic stools and benches that you can move around to suit your needs. When we were there, someone had made an enclosure for their children to play in – ingenious! 😉

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It wasn’t difficult to choose what to have for lunch. Show me “pork belly” on any menu and I almost always order it. I didn’t expect the pork to come as slices, though, and I don’t know what made the pork a “satay”. They were cooked slices of pork belly, but I can’t say if they were grilled either. Regardless, I enjoyed my salad. The cabbage was slightly more bitter than how I normally like them, but it was still nice.

Mr E ordered the beef burger, just so that Little E could have some. You know you’re a good parent, when.. 😉 and he certainly had some, half, in fact! Lucky that Mr E wasn’t too hungry, as he definitely didn’t get a full lunch. Little E approved of the beef patty, and when I gave him some of my strawberry milkshake, he cried when I took it off him.

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After lunch, we eagerly set off for the playground. Of all, my little one loved the hut with the drums. Maybe he’ll live up to my dreams and grow up to be a drummer? He also loved the swing, however, as the playground was chockablock full, he couldn’t stay long in it.

I absolutely love the playground there. It is so nicely set up, I can’t wait for Little E to be slightly bigger and appreciate the rest of the play areas. Then, I can use him as an excuse to trek up the climbing tubes 😉 Yes, I am going to be one of those mums!

Once we were hot and tire of the drums, we went to look at the Bonsai exhibition. They’re so pretty! I don’t have the patience to grow one myself, so I truly appreciate the effort that go with each one.

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If you’re looking at a place to eat, where children can be children, please do try the Arboretum. Make sure you bring a hat and a drink, as there isn’t much shade in the playground. There is a restaurant right next to the café, which I thought was weird. It could have been better separated, as it’s very obvious that the food come from the same kitchen 😉 I can’t vouch for their food, but we enjoyed ours from the café.

Child-friendly restaurants: Grill’d, Civic

Grill’d Canberra Centre
Ground Floor, Scotts Crossing Entrance
148 Bunda St
Canberra
Grill'd on Urbanspoon

I like Grill’d. Lucky, as my last ones cost a LOT. I couldn’t believe my luck when I was offered more free burgers, this time for proper review purposes.

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We went today for lunch and I ordered my usual, The Kung Fu Fighter. My burger came within 5 minutes of us ordering, even though there were a steady stream of people coming in. My beef patty was juicy, and my buns nicely toasted. I don’t know how but they know the right amount of sauce and mayo to put on. Enough to get the taste but not too much that it makes your buns soggy very quickly. I thoroughly enjoyed my burger.

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The chips we had were crunchy but nice and fluffy on the inside. I don’t normally like the rosemary herbs they put on the chips but today, they put just the right amount to not be so overpowering. I also liked that there were a lot of those little crunchy chips. Comment below if you know what I’m talking about!

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Mr E is still doing his elimination diet, so before we got there, we went to their website to suss out what he can have. I love how Grill’d has all their ingredients and nutritional table nicely laid out on their page. In the end, he had the Bird n Brie burger, with no mayo and on gluten free bread. I thought that they had put on just a little bit too much Cranberry sauce but Mr E loved it. I thought the chicken breast fillet was so moist and perfectly grilled. You would need to see it to believe it, but the chunk of brie cheese in the burger was massive! It was delicious!

I appreciate the friendly service we received today. They were attentive and looked like they’re happy to be there. It was great to see, as there’s nothing worse than having to deal with sour waitresses who appeared like they’d rather be anywhere else but there!

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The way the place was set out is great for parents with prams. There were enough room for us to park our pram and have Little E sitting in the highchair provided, and still feeling like we’re not in everyone’s way. There was even an “outside” bit with fake grass and everything! Just for something different 😉

Again, I thoroughly enjoyed my lunch at Grill’d in Civic today and I thank them for shouting us our burgers and chips 😉