Sunday, August 31, 2014

Chit chat

It went from Bluebird (one word) to Blue Ivy, to the science of magpies. Did you know they prefer to swoop redheads and people riding bikes? Then to Doodlemans (or is that Doodlemen?), Panda-anus and possums on poles. Mix in some analysis of Beyonc√© and her relationship with Jay Z, throw in a potential conspiracy theory and there you have tonights dinner party conversation. 

Oh. And the Spice Girls documentary is great - not just interesting, but educational too.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Blood orange season

Sure, blood orange season is longer than it used to be with imported oranges and all that - but true blood orange season just lasts a few weeks. That magical time where blood oranges are everywhere! And they are cheap, and fresh and full of dark, ruby red juice.

What better way to celebrate than a negroni with a hint of fresh blood orange? (apparently this way ...but let's just move on to 2014's better way, though probably sub par because that beautiful dog is missing)

Equal parts campari, gin and vermouth - stir over ice, add juice of half a blood orange. 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Remedy - Lonsdale Street Roasters takes Belcompton

Unbelievable. Brod dogs was one thing, but Lonsdale Street Roasters in Belcompton? The world as we know it is a - changin'.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Tumbleweed - vale Jay Curley

I was sad to read that Jay Curley from Tumbleweed had passed away suddenly. A lot of misspent youth was spent seeing Tumbleweed play in the fantastic array of venues that used to be in Sydney town. Tumbleweed were one of the category of bands that I would make the trip to Waterfront records especially to pick up a limited edition EP with bonus tshirt. I'd wear what was usually an oversized tshirt, with cut off denim shorts and opaque tights. Alternating between converse allstars and doc martins... 

My dress sense hasn't really changed that much when you think about it, and while my music taste has a little, I still have a soft spot for Tumbleweed. So tonight I'm listening to this song and remembering times gone by and thinking good thought for Jay's family and friends tonight.

Tumbleweed  - Stoned

Blue bird

Monday, August 25, 2014

Local Press Kingston Pt 2

Canberra has so many great cafes and to expand on my succinct comments on this cafe, here are some reasons why I won't be going back to Local Press.

1. Disorganised seating arrangements

The cafe was heaving, there was no way of knowing how to get a table. 

You need to talk to Ollie, I was told by several staff. Once I found Ollie he took my name for a table for two. Problem was, the rest of the people arriving didn't understand that they had to talk to Ollie so just sat at the tables as they became available. 

When I tried to point this out to staff, I was told I had to talk to Ollie...I ended up as the unpaid hostess, explaining to puzzling newcomers that they needed to put their names on the list and I introduced them to the busy Ollie.

2. Ridiculous locally sourced sourced, seasonal schtick (mixed with faux shabby chic vibe)

I'm not going to go on about this even though there was a whole section in their menu about the importance of seasonal. To me, a cafe who is serious about seasonal also sources local (or at the very least, boutique producers).

With that in mind, a cafe that is going for a certain look to match the seasonal fresh theme should probably not use giant plastic Lemnos tubs to store their cutlery...just saying.

3. The use of cheap mass produced feta on the food

Speaking of food...macerated avocado is not a pleasant description. Balsamic glaze should only ever be used for flavour and not to make a savoury pancake look like an early Jackson Pollack. Plus that feta was dry and cheap.

4. Bad coffee

It didn't help that they got the order wrong and mixed the soy flat white with the skim latte. And while it was great to take the flat white away because it was wrong, maybe, just maybe, also take the other wrong coffee away? Or not!

Either way, the corrected coffee by all reports was sub par. 

5. Paying the bill

We didn't even bother to ask for the bill, and went straight to counter to pay. Again chaos. No space for the long line of people desperately trying to hand over money, staff trying to navigate the line to get to the waiting coffees....and a long long wait. 

Good stuff: The cold press juices are great. The jars are pretty. We pointed out the bad coffee and they were taken off the bill. The company was great. It was sunny. I never need to go back there again.

Little corners

There are little corners of the yellow house that remind me of folk that are near and far. Little corners of my mind are occupied with those people too. 

This corner contains an accidental mix of people and I've been thinking of one in particular the last 24 hours who will be reaching the end of a daunting journey, and I guess, the beginning of something life changing. Much love to you from this little yellow house and to everyone else who appears in this corner.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

James Turrell - triangle

It is impossible not to go back to this installation and see things differently. For the first time today I saw a triangle. Like magic.

Local Press Kingston

The best thing about this cafe was leaving to get a coffee from Remedy by Lonsdale Street Roasters. 

Monster - 2nd time round

Believe the hype - Canberra is all grown up and come into its own. 

The New Acton precinct is not trying to be something it isn'. It isn't trying to be like Melbourne. It isn't trying to be like Sydney. It is just being like the Canberra of now. Which, if I may say so, is flipping awesome.

Monster, at Hotel Hotel, rounds it all out. Interesting menu, great buzz and service. Background music? Amazing. Siouxsie and the Banshees, Dinosaur Jr, REM. 

And the food. There is a certain style that others have tried to replicate in Canberra, but Sean McConnell is all over it. His technique, imagination and execution is streets ahead of others in the game. Interesting plates of food for sharing. Some lean towards the middle east, some inspired by the Japanese. 

Stand out? The eggplant and miso, pickled vegetables and the salted caramel ice-cream. Oh, and the yabbie jaffle (but I didn't want to state the obvious). 

Go! And invite me.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Did someone say Spring?

Saturday morning sounds

A few weeks ago I skipped out of town on a Saturday with some friends and my favourite beagle. The day before as I was driving to work, the sun was shining on Canberra town and this song came on the radio and it made me smile big smiles. And so I play it today. Because it is Saturday.

A Roller Skating Jam Named Saturday - De La Soul

Friday, August 22, 2014

Shaking it off

Well I'm glad to see an end to that week. I finally shook things off with a well made negroni. Thank god for the medicinal charm of sloe gin. A wonderful dinner and company also helped, with background music that was just like music on my playlist (it isn't everyday you get to tap your feet to Dinosaur Junior at a fancy restaurant, let alone sing out loud to Siouxsie and the Banshee's Hong Kong Garden while using the bathroom).

But if I were honest - the real turning point was driving home a bit too quickly over a beautifully lit bridge, with all the lights reflecting on the lake. Playing this really really loudly.

Deacon Blue - Real Gone Kid*

* I refuse to be ashamed

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Hotel Hotel - Monster

Monster made the Gourmet Traveller top 100 restaurants list which is pretty bloody good. I've only eaten there once, but will be going again tomorrow night, so I'm glad I booked nice and early.  The space fills the lobby of Hotel Hotel and was buzzing on the Wednesday night I was there. Yes Wednesday night and heaving. Packed. No free tables. People, this is Canberra and not that common, so clearly everyone was already firmly on this bandwagon. After this list business it's going to be impossible!

But good news for Sean McConnell, who's also runs Mocan and Green Grout, and way back yonder worked at Silo too. Turns out his bother runs Cumulus Inc in Melbourne and his other brother runs one of my favourite food destinations in Melbourne town - Bar Lourinh√£. I'd like to be invited to their family Christmas please.

So back to the Wednesday night of a few weeks ago. 

Even without a proper table the seating was great (by the fire on a lounge). Good cocktails, great menu of shared snacks and just interesting. Oh and the yabbie jaffle. Would it be wrong to eat one every day of the week? Don't answer that and I'll let you know how it goes tomorrow night.