canberra

Kinn Thai | Civic, Canberra

Kinn Thai | Civic, Canberra

For those of you who've been in Canberra for a while now, you'll remember that when the Canberra Centre's 'North Quarter' opened up in the early 2000s, it breathed a huge amount of life into Bunda Street and the surrounding area. With the new part of the shopping centre came modern-looking cafes and restaurants with alfresco dining, and a lively atmosphere from the increased foot traffic. 

Read More

Sweet Bones Bakery Cafe | Braddon, Canberra

Sweet Bones Bakery Cafe | Braddon, Canberra

"It's amazing what you can do with tofu!", says Emily from Sweet Bones, as we shovel another bite of her vegan chocolate and peanut butter cupcake into our mouths. It's about 12 months ago, we're sitting down with her to choose a flavour for our wedding cake, and Emily's responding to our near-disbelief at how good the cupcakes taste and how creamy and buttery the peanut butter frosting is (trust me, you wouldn't even know there was tofu in it).

Read More

Elemental | Braddon, Canberra

Elemental | Braddon, Canberra

Every couple of years, whether we’re ready for them or not, a new wave of food trends gradually descends upon us. They range from being a whole genre of food (Vietnamese street food, Japanese izakaya, American BBQ), standalone menu items (ramen, cronuts, burgers) specific flavours or ingredients (miso, offal, soft shell crab, sriracha, matcha, salted caramel), or techniques and methods (sous vide, fermenting, raw).

(P.S. If you want to see which food trends have dominated the last 30-40 years, check out the New York Times’ ‘Fried Calamari’ index!)

Recent years have increasingly seen food trends based around health and nutrition, convincing us that a certain type of diet or lifestyle will help us live to 140, shed a few spare tyres, or just feel more energised and ready to take on the world. One of the more popular of these diets, billed as the ‘healthiest way you can eat’, is of course, the paleo diet.

Read More

Barrio Collective Coffee | Braddon, Canberra

Barrio Collective Coffee | Braddon, Canberra

At school, I always wondered what it was like to be one of those kids that moved around with their families every few years (or less). Having grown up in little ol’ Canberra, I wondered how much more of the world they’d seen; how much collateral knowledge they’d picked up on the way. But I also wondered how they approached their relationships with new people and these new places, knowing that they would most likely be short-lived and transient.

Why the philosophical start to this post about a small, 12-seater café? Well, this week marked the start of my gradual transition up to Sydney, after almost three decades living in Canberra. And it was only when I was up there this week that I realised I’d already spent my last full week in Canberra (for now, at least). It made me realise that I had a pretty great connection with the town I’d grown up in, and also how much I’d miss about it – the open spaces, the network of bike lanes, the community minded people, the honest politicians, and not least – the incredible evolution of our cafe, bar and restaurant scene.

In terms of this evolution, Braddon has obviously been one of our biggest success stories in recent times, gathering national – and even worldwide – attention for its quick and organic development into a vibrant, cultural hub. One of the newer coffee shops along the Londsale strip is Barrio Collective Coffee, a locally-owned operation that joins a number of other Canberra cafes in (ethically) sourcing and roasting their own beans.

Read More

Christine Manfield Pop-Up @ Eightysix | Braddon, Canberra

Christine Manfield Pop-Up @ Eightysix | Braddon, Canberra

Travelling overseas always gives you a chance to get a bit of perspective on things – I guess being removed from your usual surroundings gets rid of the blinkers that influence your day-to-day thoughts and decisions, and gives you a bit of cognitive freedom to explore new possibilities. At the same time, travelling overseas also leads to your mind wandering really aimlessly at times – especially when you’re passing time on a train or having a couple of beers in an empty bar at midday (or earlier) - and random thoughts that would normally be reserved for Hollywood’s stoner scenes start to enter you head.

So after a few weeks of travelling through Japan earlier this year, while walking up a little mountain in Miyajima, I started thinking about ethnic foods that would be fairly commonplace back home, but that would be completely foreign to Japanese people. I think it was because almost every restaurant we’d seen over the last 21 days served traditional Japanese food (not that I’m complaining), and there didn’t seem to be much overseas influence on their cuisine.

Read More