Snapshot: Brodburger

Thursday, 30 October 2014

In 5 short years, Brodburger has reached cult status in Canberra. Basically, the burgers are reveredI've never heard a bad word against them. What started out from humble beginnings in a fairly dodgy (luminously) red caravan, Brodburger has upgraded in a pretty major way to take up residence at the Canberra Glassworks in posh Kingston. The very clandestine act of purchasing a burger at the edge of Lake Burley Griffin was certainly one way to win some adoring fans (and raise a few eyebrows). The other thing is that Canberra can get bloody cold. Did I already mention that? YES. A roof and heating is definitely a good thing. Opening for lunch and dinner 6 days a week - there are many hungry mouths to feed (hundreds, in fact). 

The original Brodburger. A half pound flame grilled beef patty with fresh lettuce, tomatoes and spanish onions, homemade aioli, swiss cheese (but take your pick) and tomato relish. And let's not forget those French fries (reminiscent of Macca's fries but with less guilt)

So what's all the fuss about?  Them burgers of course! For a face sized burger (no kidding), this is your place. Go when you have a bit of time up your sleeve because you're in for a wait. But before you know it, those red baskets are plonked in front of you and pure joy ensues. Dig in to that thing, with the beef so succulent and the juices running down your fingers. Isn't there something so glorious in that moment of abandon?! The bun is fluffy soft and rather sweet. The salad, the perfect ratio so as not to detract from the patty and super fresh. I was so distracted I even ate the raw onion. If you're up for the challenge (or a glutton), give the Broddeluxe a crack (it's a monster). The burgers are pumped out here as if life depended on it. Come and get your fix.

The new and improved Brodburger, now catering for the masses (no joke). Source: Weekend Notes

Thanks for reading!
Brodburger on Urbanspoon

Mocan & Green Grout

Friday, 24 October 2014

Spring is the in the air(!) and like a moth to a flame, I've found myself straying to the nation's capital once again. Canberra really is a magnificent place at this time of year (and during Autumn for that matter) and what makes it even better is the hipster revival that it has undergone in the past 18 months. With several new hot spots on the map including Kingston Foreshore and the New Acton precinct things are looking up in the ACT. Recently dubbed the best place to live in the world (although I beg to differ when you're scraping ice off your windscreen in the dead of winter) and with a write up in the New York Times, the sleepy Canberra of old is making a name for itself. My next few posts will attempt to explain why. 

A cappuccino keeps the grumpy away. Lapping in the sunshine on a Sunday morning is what it's all about.

Mocan and Green Grout (there's some sort of accent there somewhere) has stayed the course since 2011, with ever increasing popularity from the early morning cyclists to non-chalant Bohemians. Starting out as a hole in the wall (basically), they have come a long way now with a dinner service to boot and a bonafide waitlist to get a table (say, whaaat). Perched on a corner of a fancy apartment complex in New Acton, Mocan & Green Grout makes a fair go of serving fair trade coffee and sourcing local produce. Eggs from the South coast, anyone? They also make bikes, if you're into that kind of thing. 

Sun drenched and lovely, the front is a hodgepodge of greenery. The vibe, genuinely laid back

Let's face it, this café is inescapably small but the wait is brief as the turnover is speedy. There's no need to join a mob ready to swoop, like there is in the big smoke (atrocious). It's all rather civilised and relaxed, the people watching is a bonus. The café features reclaimed materials along with commissioned artworks, fostering local creative talent. Kind of like chilling at a friend's house, but appreciating the extra effort that's gone into the coffee and eggs ;)

There's only one word for this and that is: cosy. A place where the kitchen and dining space happily blend

Smashed egss, mushrooms, Goats curd, black garlic. Just a few of my favourite things rolled into one dish. The black garlic was a rather funky addition, roasted and creamy (one only wishes there was more!). The eggs were just the way I like them, runny enough so the toast can mop up the rest

Fried eggs, chorizo, corn, avocado, hot sauce. Another rendition of a brunch classic, the chorizo was cooked well. The avocado features as more of a purée, dotted daintily on the plate

If there's one thing that's reassuring about Mocan and Green Grout is their confidence in doing their own thing. Starting out 3 years ago, they already have a head start and the queues speak for themselves. The food is exactly what is says and isn't pretending to be anything fancier; simple with a streak of refinement. Do be wary though that the wait for food during peak times can be somewhat drawn out (be patient though and it will pay dividends). What's nice at M&GG is the lack of pretension or hype which can make Sydney brunches almost traumatic (I simply refuse to wait 1.5 hours for breakfast). Don't be disheartened if you can't don't get in because that's the other thing, there are now options!

The herb garden right at the entrance, freshly picked and in your breakfast!

My fascination with signs and typography continues; no doubt this one was hand painted, with love

Thanks for reading!
Mocan & Green Grout on Urbanspoon


Monday, 13 October 2014

Public is leading the charge on Brisbane's dining scene. Championing a shared plate revolution in the Sunshine State, this smartly placed restaurant has retained one chef's hat since its opening in 2012. You wouldn't know this place was two years young, with a rather snazzy interior and a nice energy which certainly exudes from the kitchen. Set on the first floor of the 400 George St skyscraper, this is a fancy departure from the laid back vibes that scream Brisvegas. Public is here to shake things up and prove a point.

A modern, rather sedate venue by day. At night, the mood lighting strikes (again) and the requisite taxidermy animals make a bold show of it Source: Time Out

Chef Damon Amos is obviously a man of few words because the menu is positively monosyllabic, and not in a bad way. Share plates are the name of the game and each dish is listed as a few ingredients, letting your imagination do the rest. This style of food is instantly recognisable and perfect for groups. What you get is a happy union of ingredients that aren't traditionally paired, with the inclusion of a few oddballs like Black ants and sea lettuce (where does one acquire such things?). Keeping the diner on their toes, which I like. The result is that Public is a jack of all trades, for a quick drink and pre-dinner snack or a full blown banquet - anything's possible. And as a location for private functions, it's an emphatic yes (from me, anyway).

Public Nuisance. Fresh strawberries combined with cucumber and elderflower, Beefeater gin and sparkling wine. A rather refreshing sup in a champagne saucer i.e. old school. Those who know me understand my devotion to gin as a beverage

Beetroot, cumquat, dukkah. Side dishes are notoriously boring but this one was a side for the ages. Beetroot done several ways with a smattering of powder. A cumquat puree at the bottom, dukkah and labna. Everything you could possibly ever need

Prawn, Jerusalem Artichoke, Sea Lettuce. A delicious prawn dish, the sauce at the bottom had this beautiful rich, nuttiness (thanks to the peanuts, duh. Greatness!

Texas brisket, soft tortillas, chilli sauce. This one's a bit of a crowd favourite, slow cooked beef brisket with coleslaw and soft tortillas. This is an eat with your hands and juices-dripping-down-your-arms kind of affair. An extra  splodge of chilli sauce and I'm in heaven. Be sure to try this one

What's nice about Public is that they lose the pretension that so many restaurants down south are infamous for. The food is absolutely not to be sniffed at, with flavours that are bold and playful. Let's not forget the plating which is all about detail adding different textures of ingredients. And the relaxed atmosphere is there, from the moment you're welcomed to when last drinks hit the table. Even now, it's difficult to get a reservation at Public; we were lucky enough to secure seats at the bar on a weekday. Here they are, doing their own thing in Brissie and building a reputation for themselves. It's kind of refreshing.

Duck egg, truffle, toast. I had inadvertently requested extra truffle to be served on this rather posh piece of toast. The dish ended up being dense, but enjoyable (without a doubt). Be sure to soak up the runny egg yolk with the bread. The truffle itself was unmistakable, like a homecoming!
Thanks for reading!
Public on Urbanspoon
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