Review: This Cafe, Gungahlin – Re-Opening

Last July I wrote about my favourite cafe closing which was sad but also OK because they’d be opening in again in 3 months in a new location.

This Cafe new logo - from the inside of the cafe
This Cafe new logo – from the inside of the cafe

Fast forward twelve whole months (well 11.5) and they finally are open again. Throughout the year I was told there were delays and they weren’t opening in October but in February, then April, then June and then finally July and fortunately, while playing Pokemon Go, we walked past last weekend to find out they were opening on the Monday after.

So of course we decided to go there today! We weren’t sure what to expect, they don’t have an online presence and I hadn’t seen much of anything to say they were re-opening and I wondered if it would be quiet.. on the plus side that would mean we’d get a booth seat!

Mini Gallery on the wall
Mini Gallery on the wall

As it turned out, the place was packed! We didn’t get a booth seat (next time) and there was only one 2 person table left so we quickly sat down and took it. I guess other people had also missed the cafe! As it turns out the table was ok, they have new chairs now which are much more comfortable than at the old location.

So, how was the food?

The menu was very similar to the old one, just a bit more condensed but they appeared to have all of our old favourites. We were concerned things would change and we wouldn’t like it anymore but that wasn’t the case.

Chocolate Thick Shake ($5.90)
Chocolate Thick Shake ($5.90)

It was mostly about the shakes. Were they still going to be sweet, thick and delicious? Yes! And they are also the same price as when I last reviewed This Cafe in February of 2015. Given the explosion in crazy shakes at the moment it is nice that some places just do your standard chocolate thick shake without the frills and for a very good price.

French Toast ($15.90)
French Toast ($15.90)

The first time I ever ate French Toast was at This Cafe in 2014. For some reason I never tried it before that and now I try if everywhere! It was also the first time I jumped in and ate my bacon with maple syrup and it was so good! Which everyone in existence knew except me. I considered going with the pancakes but opted with the French Toast for this visit and out it came with a crater of maple syrup. Bananas are much more bearable when covered in maple syrup!

This has a good combination of all the things I like with French Toast; berries, bacon (hard to see in the photo but it’s hiding between the two slices) and maple syrup with the added bonus of yoghurt and banana. The bread was well cooked and not soggy like you sometimes get with french toast, would definitely go back and try it again.

Brekkie Wrap ($11.90)
Brekkie Wrap ($11.90)

Jarrod has been going crazy for bacon and egg rolls with hashbrown in them so decided to go with the brekkie wrap which, based on my previous review, is now $3 cheaper! It doesn’t look the best in the photo, I suppose it’s hard to make a wrap with bacon, egg and hashbrown look overly appealing while hashbrown oozes out of it but it was hot, tasty and filling.

Overall it is the same food in a new location. I’m happy to have This Cafe back and am excited to see what new seasonal additions and specials they add to the menu.

This Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sarah

Review: The Knox, Watson

A couple of weeks ago Jarrod and I decided to go to Cherryripe Brasserie in Watson because I had heard some good things about it. When we arrived at Watson Shops there were a lot more cars than I was expecting and hoped we would get a seat. As it turns out, it was pretty quiet and I wondered where everyone was. Little did I know that just around the corner was The Knox and that is where everyone was hiding.

Delicious cake display!
Delicious cake display!

Curious, I looked up The Knox and the menu seemed much more our type of thing and made me realise it was where we should have been eating on that weekend at Watson. So we decided to go the week after to see what all the fuss was about. It was a fairly gloomy day (Canberra has had nothing but rainy days for weeks leading up to this weekend) but all the tables outside were taken, we walked inside and were fortunate enough to grab the last tiny table for 2 they had. The table was very small and somewhat rickety but we made do and where more excited about the food than the unstable table.

Cookies & Cream & Choc Mint Fudge shakes ($7 ea)
Cookies & Cream & Choc Mint Fudge shakes ($7 ea)

But lets be honest, you know we came here to try the shakes! And we weren’t disappointed, Jarrod went with the Cookies & Cream and I chose the Choc Mint Fudge, they were nice and thick and very flavoursome. The cookies and cream one was quite sweet and very cookie like but not too overpowering and the Choc Mint was so minty but not too minty, just the right amount plus look at all that chocolate syrup drizzled down the sides!

Double egg & Bacon Roll ($9)
Double egg & Bacon Roll ($9)

Jarrod opted for the Bacon and Egg roll which, to me, looks like it has eyes. It’s staring at me… It was also presented in a strange way (I’ve never seen eggs done this way before but it is a clever idea) with the roll open and a pot of tomato relish on the side to pour in as much as you like. It was all served on a brioche roll (which I guess is just the standard now) with massive piles of bacon underneath. Initially Jarrod thought it might be a bit small but he was pretty full by the time he devoured it all. Everything was well cooked (assuming you like very runny yolks) and tasty!

Ricotta Hotcakes ($16)
Ricotta Hotcakes ($16)

As soon as I saw the menu I knew I wanted these hotcakes. I don’t even know why, I generally won’t buy pancakes when I’m out at a cafe because I find they’re overpriced but these ones had to be mine! Again, an unusual presentation but I actually felt happy about this because it looked like something I’d present at home and made me feel better about my presentation skills. Even though these came with caramelised banana (I don’t particularly enjoy banana) I still wanted them. Yes, I would have much preferred if they had been topped with berries (perhaps I can ask next time) but it was all still nice. There was a big blob of vanilla flavoured whipped cream and a little pot of maple syrup on the side. The hotcakes themselves were quite dense (maybe because of the ricotta? This was my first experience with ricotta hotcakes) but still fluffy somehow. They were very tasty and quite filling and, although a little too much banana for my liking, overall I really enjoyed them.

One thing of note about The Knox is that they try to source all their ingredients locally and are always looking for more suppliers. I think it’s great that they are trying to involve the community in their venture. I would definitely go back again to try other meals and, of course, some of those cakes in the display!

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The Knox Made In Watson Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sarah

Review: Cherryripe Brasserie, Watson

Last Saturday Jarrod and I decided we wanted to try somewhere new for brunch and I remembered a few people had talked about Cherryripe Brasserie in Watson. I looked it up online and it had fairly decent reviews so we decided to go. When we got down to the Watson shops there were cars everywhere and it was a lot busier than I expected but Cherryripe itself was fairly quite with about half of their tables inside full and no one sitting outside.

When we walked in I wasn’t sure whether they had table service or not. There was nothing around that really indicated what the system was so I awkwardly asked someone making coffee if we were ok to sit anywhere and was told yes. A few minutes later someone else came up and asked if we had been served so it sounds like the system isn’t working very well. We were handed the breakfast menu and advised the lunch menu was up on the board because it was being updated. I’m not sure whether that meant the board was the new menu or the old though.

Chocolate Milkshake with extra icecream ($6)
Large Chocolate Milkshake with extra icecream ($6)

First up, as with most of our cafe visits, was the shakes! When we were provided the menu we weren’t given the drinks menu, I suppose they expected we’d be ordering coffee? Eventually we were able to order and we opted for the large chocolate milk shake with additional icecream ($0.50 extra) and they were quite large! Much bigger than expected, ice cold and of a decent consistency for a milkshake. They also tasted good. Not too sugary or chocolatey but also didn’t just taste of milk.

French Toast - Served with maple syrup, bacon and fresh strawberries ($12)
French Toast – Served with maple syrup, bacon and fresh strawberries ($12)

Just in case I hadn’t eaten enough french toast recently I decided to give Cherryripe’s version a go. It was the promise of maple syrup, bacon AND strawberries that enticed me as,  in my experience, it is rare to have all 3. The toast was well made with a little bit of crunch and none of the sogginess which can happen with french toast. The berries were nice and sweet and the bacon plentiful. I doubt it was real maple syrup but it still tasted ok when everything was dunked into it. The only downfall here was that it waited at the kitchen window for about 5 mins before it was brought to the table and wasn’t as warm as I’d like.

Beef Burger - Bacon, cheese, tomato, spinach and spiced aioli with chips ($16)
Beef Burger – Bacon, cheese, tomato, baby spinach and spiced aioli with chips ($16)

Jarrod decided to go with the lunch menu and chose the beef burger which appears to have endless bacon! The chips were nice and crispy with a delicious beer batter and they weren’t so hot you burn the roof of your mouth the instant you eat them. Jarrod enjoyed the burger but found the bun a bit too bready, it was quite massive.

Overall the food was good, the atmosphere was ok and the service was average. I got the impression the staff would have liked to be anywhere but there.

Even though the food tasted ok I don’t know if I would be in a hurry to get back there.

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Cherryripe Brasserie Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sarah

Review: The Drawing Room, Crace

Crace is a suburb that gets complained about a lot. People will say the blocks of land are too small and the houses are too big, there’s no backyards and no space to do anything. What these people fail to mention is that Crace has some nice ovals, open spaces, a good community and some excellent local shops. I am immensely jealous of the range of shops they have and the choice keeps expanding.

A few weeks ago, Jarrod and I decided to go out to Crace and try a relatively new restaurant/bar/cafe called The Drawing Room. I’d heard it could get quite busy but fortunately, when we went it was fairly quiet. We had gone at the cusp between brunch ending and lunch beginning so that might be able to explain it.

Oreo Shake ($6) and freshly made juice ($6.50)
Oreo Shake ($6) and freshly made juice ($6.50)

First, we decided on our drinks. Jarrod went with our standard route and tried the Oreo shake. It was a delicious shake but lacked a good amount of icecream and was warmer than you’d like a shake to be. Good thing it tasted like a great cookie shake should. I decided to go for something a little bit different (for us) and ordered a juice, up to 3 flavours costs $6.50 and I went with apple, pineapple and watermelon. It was pretty great but quite tart so might not be for everyone.

Lemon chicken, semi dried tomato pesto, buffalo mozzarella on Soy and Linseed bread. ($13)
Lemon chicken, semi dried tomato pesto, buffalo mozzarella on Soy and Linseed bread. ($13)

Initially I went there hoping to try the french toast but they had sold out for the day (it has been listed as one of the best breakfasts in Canberra, so that might be why) by the time we got there so I went with my second choice, the Chicken Toastie. I am not usually the kind of person who will go out somewhere and buy a toasted sandwich because I can always make them at home but I’m glad I tried this one. The bread was amazing, quite dense and the seeds made for a different flavour and texture to your usual white bread. There wasn’t much lemon flavour to the chicken but it might be because the pesto overpowered it. Not that it’s a bad thing, the pesto was very tasty and overall I was pretty happy with my choice.

Beef Burger - Wagyu beef pattie with lettuce, tomato, gouda, chutney, bacon and aioli ($19)
Beef Burger – Wagyu beef pattie with lettuce, tomato, gouda, chutney, bacon and aioli ($19)

Jarrod went with the burger. I also considered it but like to get a variety of options when deciding to blog post a restaurant so I lived vicariously through him. He enjoyed the burger and the chips were also great.. especially with the little pot of tomato sauce. We also read a bit of the fake newspaper that it all came on. If you’re interested in trying the burgers at The Drawing Room, Thursday nights are probably the best time to go as they do a special for a burger, chips and a beer, wine or soft drink for $20. Very good value when you consider the burger by itself is $19.

Overall it was a nice place to eat and I’d definitely go back to try something different on the menu. They also have a happy hour in the afternoons that I sometimes consider going to as my bus drives past after work.

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The Drawing Room Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sarah

Review: Praga Cafe, Dickson

Praga is a cafe that Jarrod and I used to go to fairly often when we lived in Dickson. They make mega sized shakes for quite a good price plus they have a fairly extensive menu. It had been a while (about a year) since we had been there last so we decided to go back and see if those shakes were as good as we remembered. It was quite a cold day but fortunately there was plenty of seating indoors.

Chocolate Thickshake ($6)
Chocolate Thickshake ($6)

As always, we start with the shakes. These are huge shakes and full of icecream, they’re so cold that the outside of the cups start frosting up. Not great for a super cold day but, luckily, we’re indoors and can handle it. Chocolatey, icecreamy amazing and quite well priced for the size of them. Yes, they were just as we remembered!

Chicken Schnitzel Burger with Chorizo, Mushrooms and Aioli ($12.90)
Chicken Schnitzel Burger with Chorizo, Mushrooms and Aioli ($12.90)

They had a variety of chicken schnitzel burgers on special the day we went and the combination of chicken, mushroom and chorizo called out to me so I decided to give it a go. It was also served with a generous portion of crispy chips too but I had devoured them before taking this photo. The burger came with a nice herby bun and wasn’t overloaded with aioli which is how I like it.The schnitzel was made with breast meat and was nice and crunchy, if a bit greasy. The chorizo was more on the hot side than I like but still tasty and the mushroom were nice and soft and went well in the burger. It was quite a big serve though (I basically filled up on chips) and I had to, sadly, leave some of my burger behind.

 Beef Burger with aioli, tomato relish, bacon, grilled onion, cheese, beetroot, tomato and lettuce ($13.90)

Beef Burger with aioli, tomato relish, bacon, grilled onion, cheese, beetroot, tomato and lettuce ($13.90)

This is basically your standard burger with the lot. For some reason, in Canberra at least, a burger with the lot very rarely comes with both beetroot and pineapple but usually one or the other, which is also the case here. I love both on a burger though and, if I remember, will ask for whatever is missing to be added. This burger also doesn’t come with the usual egg that a burger with the lot would normally.

Jarrod opted for this beef burger which also came with a good serve of herbed chips but the burger came on a sesame seed bun instead. Jarrod enjoyed the burger and had the same issue as me of filling up on the tasty chips, although he made a triumphant effort and got through the entire burger.

Praga was basically how we remember with many of the same people (I assume the family as it is a family run business) still working there as the last time we went. The service is friendly and the food is brought up relatively quickly.

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Sarah