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Another Hazelnut Hot Chocolate with Awesome Foam Art!

Review: Social Bean Cafe, Belconnen

Winter has been slowly approaching us and that means I’ve been on the look out for somewhere that will make me excellent Hot Chocolate at a reasonable price. Last year I was going to Max Brenner most of the time and while that is tasty it is also quite expensive. I don’t really want to spend nearly $8 on a Hot Chocolate when the feeling arises.

Small Hazelnut Hot Chocolate ($4)
Small Hazelnut Hot Chocolate with awesome foam art! ($4)

One afternoon I was considering Max Brenner but I had no cash on me and they have an eftpos limit so I thought I might give Social Bean a try and hoped that they wouldn’t have an eftpos limit. They’re a bit hard to find if you don’t know where to look as they’re nestled under a government department building but they are worth hunting for. On this particular day I got to the counter and asked about an eftpos limit and my eyes lit up when the answer was “no eftpos limit” and that is when my love of Hazelnut Hot Chocolate began.

Another Hazelnut Hot Chocolate with Awesome Foam Art!
Another Hazelnut Hot Chocolate with Awesome Foam Art!

I’m so glad I decided to give them a try because the hot chocolate is one of the best I’ve found from a cafe. Generally places that make great coffee tend to make mediocre hot chocolate but that is not the case with Social Bean! It is hot but not so hot that it burns your face off when you first attempt a sip. As soon as it is handed to you, you can sip it and it will be perfect!

There is a good amount of foam (and if you decide to have it there it will have some great foam art!) and it actually tastes good. So many times I have bought hot chocolates and found they just taste like warm milk. I am a bit embarrassed to admit that over the last month I have been to Social Bean at least twice a week for a hot chocolate. This is quite a lot for me!

French Toast with Bacon and Maple Syrup
French Toast with Bacon and Maple Syrup ($13)

Now I’ve raved about the hot chocolate for 3 paragraphs I thought I might move onto the food. After finding their hot chocolate very good I thought I might see how the food was. It didn’t hurt that they would serve me French Toast for lunch as that is a thing I do now, apparently.

The food came out quite quickly and was pretty good. Nice and syrupy with a bit of a crunch on the outside and nice and squishy on the inside. There was also a good amount of maple syrup to dunk my bacon into. For some reason I always thought maple syrup and bacon would be a terrible idea. I’m glad I decided to try it because it is so amazing!

Chicken Burger with Chips ($15)
Chicken Burger with Chips ($15)

On my second lunch visit I decided to try the Chicken Burger and asked for it with chips (an additional $3, the burger alone is $12) which came out as a massive mountain! They were crispy and fresh and satisfied my craving for chips for the time being (it always comes back, chips are awesome!). The burger was also well made with grilled chicken breast, bacon, cheese, baby spinach, tomato and aioli. It came out on a massive toasted piece of turkish bread that I couldn’t actually finish. It was very tasty and also incredibly filling.

Social Bean also do salads (I’ve had multiple!) and wraps and some great little cakes and muffins! I definitely recommend checking them out.

Not only do they do all of the above but they are operated by the Belconnen Community Service and work to get people involved in the community, plus they have ‘suspended coffee‘ where you can buy an extra coffee and someone else who needs it can come and claim it. It’s a great endeavour that I’m happy to support – it’s an added perk that I get all the deliciousness in return!

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Social Bean Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Almighty - Grilled grass fed lean beef, tasty cheese, crispy trim bacon, free range egg, a couple of slices of beetroot with salad, relish & herbed mayo ($13.50)

Review: Grill’d, Belconnen

A few weeks ago I decided we should have burgers for dinner (that really isn’t unusual though, I always want burgers) and Jarrod suggested we go out to Grill’d in Belconnen and follow it up with some Yogurtland deliciousness. I wasn’t that hard to convince so off we went!

Grill'd - Make Burgers Good
Grill’d – Burgers Made Good

Grill’d is a burger chain in Australia that has a claim of making burgers healthy. While I’m not sure that is true, they do state that they use higher quality ingredients and less filler in their burgers which probably makes them healthier if not healthy.

In previous visits, they have had a menu board up above the counter but that has disappeared (I’m not sure if that is a permanent change) and they had their menus out the front which confused some people.. we weren’t sure why they didn’t just put them up at the counter. Fortunately, for us, we noticed the menus as we walked in and took a look before we made it to the counter.

The Almighty - Grilled grass fed lean beef, tasty cheese, crispy trim bacon, free range egg, a couple of slices of beetroot with salad, relish & herbed mayo ($13.50)
The Almighty – Grilled grass fed lean beef, tasty cheese, crispy trim bacon, free range egg, a couple of slices of beetroot with salad, relish & herbed mayo ($13.50)

Jarrod decided on the Almighty (as he usually does) which is essentially a burger with the lot. At Grill’d you also get to choose which style of bun you would like, there is the traditional with sesame seeds (above) and also a panini option. The traditional is full of sesame goodness and it’s what we usually get when we buy burgers from Grill’d. Jarrod raves about this burger and claims it to be nearly one of the best burgers he’s eaten, especially in its price range (not cheap, but also not expensive).

Bird & Brie - Grilled chicken breast, brie cheese, thick cranberry sauce, salad & herbed mayo ($12.50)
Bird & Brie – Grilled chicken breast, brie cheese, thick cranberry sauce, salad & herbed mayo ($12.50)

While I also like the Almighty I usually opt for the Bird and Brie.. sometimes I consider having something else but then I also think about  missing out on the combination of brie and cranberry sauce and stick to this burger. I also asked for the ‘traditional’ bun but was given the panini which, although it tastes decent, made me pretty disappointed – I love sesame seed buns that much.

All the flavours work well together in this burger and there is something about the gooey brie combined with the sweet cranberry sauce that makes it better than other chicken burgers. This is a great chicken burger.

Local Matters bottle cap
Local Matters bottle cap

One initiative that Grill’d has is the “Local Matters” donations. Whenever you buy a burger you receive a bottle cap in a little yellow envelope, in store there is a stand with 3 large containers that contain details about the charities Grill’d is supporting for the month. You place your bottle cap in the container of the group you’d like to support and the group with the most bottle caps at the end of the month gets some cash. I believe we went with supporting a Quidditch team.

Yogurtland delicious!
Yogurtland delicious!

We decided not to get drinks or chips at Grill’d (although they do excellent chips!) because we wanted to take a tasty trip to Yogurtland before going home! Yogurtland is great if you want to customise your dessert as much as you like. They have a bunch of different flavours of frozen yoghurt that you serve yourself (out of softserve machines) and then you can add in whatever toppings you like. It is all weight based which I prefer, unlike other places that charge you a flat amount for different types of toppings.

I, obviously, got all of the chocolate flavours, Twilight being my favourite as it’s a darker, richer flavour and is so good. I also make sure to get a few generous pumps of hot fudge before I go!

Overall a delicious night when you want to have something a bit junky to eat and not spend a huge amount (it might be worth noting though, that our yoghurt nearly cost the same amount as our burgers! We love filling up those cups!)

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Grill'd Belconnen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato