Review: 8bit., Melbourne CBD

In the week leading up to our Melbourne trip I started looking into good burger places in Melbourne. It turns out the city has exploded with fun burger places but through all my searches one place kept popping up and that was 8bit. A few days before we left I also asked The Drunken Bear team (food & travel vloggers) for the best shake place in Melbourne (something that appears to be lacking in Melbourne – my recommendation would be the Tim Tam Slam at Trunk) and they also mentioned 8bit so we definitely needed to give this place a try.

We went in search of it on for lunch on our first day in Melbourne and, although it was a Sunday (in my experience that means the CBD is dead but apparently not so much anymore) the place was packed! It is only very small with about 15 seats but they also do takeaway. In hindsight we probably could have ordered takeaway and eaten it on the grass at the beautiful State Library but we decided to come back another time… dinner that same night!

8bit. Burgers and drinks
8bit. Burgers and drinks

8bit is basically fastfood but the burgers are more like your local takeaway than McDonalds. With a name like 8bit you can guarantee that there is a old school game theme to the place from burgers named after video games to arcade machines in the stores. The website may also cause you to go blind.

I ordered an 8bit with Cheese ($9.50) which is basically a cheese burger, and Jarrod ordered the Double Dragon ($14.00) which is double everything. I love how they are presented. Initially, I thought it was weird to have burgers come out on their sides – wouldn’t all the ingredients slide down? – but everything stays in-tact and it’s actually really easy to pick them up and eat them when they’re like this.

The burgers were so good. It’s been a while since I’ve eaten a burger that delicious and they were, comparatively, quite cheap and the service was quick even though the place was packed. I left wishing that they’d open a store in Canberra (hint hint).

They have some unusual flavoured shakes and in the end I opted for the Strawberry Cheesecake shake ($7.50). I was pretty scared about this as I don’t like strawberry milkshakes so it could have ended up terribly. In the end it was a good idea as it was like drinking a liquid cheesecake. Yum! Jarrod went with the Chocolate Bar shake ($7.50) which has a featured chocolate bar each week, at the time that was a Bounty bar. It was also very good. Not overpoweringly coconutty and nice and thick.

Unfortunately, we weren’t able to fit in the chips and I completely forgot about the softserve! I was really looking forward to trying it, or at least checking out what the weekly flavours are. That just gives me motivation to go back there some time!

Website | Facebook
8bit.- CBD Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sarah

Goals Update – First Quarter 2016

The first quarter of 2016 has now come and gone. It’s been both a slow and fast year. I had booked leave from work at the beginning of February for the end of March and it felt like it took forever to get there but then it also feels like no time at all.

Now that we’re into April I thought I’d provide my first 2016 goals update for the year, both the good and the not so good. So here goes:

Lose 20kg by 31/12/2016

Currently not going so well.

I have lost weight since the beginning of the year but not as much as I was working on. I kept to my healthier snacks (mostly) and my 1 shake per work week mostly and I was also building up my strength. Plus my fitbit shows me averaging 10000 steps on most weekdays (lets not go into the weekends.. they’re a bit less active).

Easter is my major weakness and with that being in the same week as our delicious trip to Melbourne there was really never going to be any good news at this point. I did try and get my weight down enough to take into account those events but I had some stomach issues in February which made me feel sluggish and gross and not wanting to do anything.

I need to get right back on that horse (where did that saying even come from?) and try again. It’s just so sad that nothing healthy (in my mind) compares to easter chocolate and cafe eating in Melbourne.

Learn to crochet

This is going ok. Around the time of my first post I bought a bunch of yarn and a new crochet hook, I also started following along on this video series for left handers (I’m fairly certain they have the same thing for right handers too) and I got through the first project. I also got quite annoyed during that first project and took a break before learning how to crochet in the round – I’m still on that break.

Since that time I have started getting more interested in cross stitch so, potentially, I will change this goal to that instead. Potentially.

Cook at least one new meal a month

This is on track (ish). I have made 3 new things, 2 of which were dinners and 1 cake however, I didn’t make any of them in January and one of the dinners was a fluke because we mistakenly received Pork Fillets in our online shopping and I found a recipe for them on the fly. Unfortunately, I wouldn’t add the 2 dinners into my routine as they didn’t turn out excellent. I do have this Rogan Josh lined up for next week so maybe it will be the lucky one.

Visit at least 12 new food places by 31/12/2016

Definitely on track (was there any doubt?), we have potentially tried 12 new places this quarter (especially with Melbourne in the mix) let alone this year. Reviews to come, eventually.

Work on improving All The Me

I am slowly working on this however procrastinating on the menu options. I have been working on improving my photos.

I still use just a phone camera (I’m not ready to take a DSLR out into public and start shooting food photos) but I have updated my phone and I have been doing more editing to improve the quality of photos. Let me know if you’ve noticed a difference!

I also signed up for a Facebook Page which all my posts are listed on (and some random other things) so follow me there to keep up to date! Have I mentioned how much I dislike Facebook? I really have no idea how people don’t hate it however, for exposure for my blog, it feels like a requirement so I’d love you to like my page if you feel inclined to do so.

One of the goals for this was to post once a week. I have done this every week except for the week I was in Melbourne. I didn’t have anything scheduled and I had planned to write something while I was there but you know, lazy. Plus there were other things to do! Hopefully the weeks that I did multiple posts make up for this – they do in my mind.

Overall I’m doing ok, some goals are moving slower than I expected (I blame the purchase of one Stardew Valley) but they have been worked on. I’m quite disappointed in my lack of will power when it comes to food and was really anticipating a better result on the weight loss goal but all I can do is try and improve from here.

Hopefully I’ll have a more interesting update come the end of June!

Sarah

Event: Click + Connect

I’ve written previously on how I find it hard to meet and keep friends in my local area. As it turns out, I’m not alone in this thinking. Many people in Canberra (especially if they’re new to the city) find it hard to fit in and find friends.

Her Canberra, a website that keeps people up to date on the goings on in Canberra, published an article last year on finding friends in the city and were amazed at the response they received from people saying that thought it was difficult. As a result of that they started the Click + Connect events to get a bunch of women in the city together to meet new people.

Some of the guests of the event at Guild.
Some of the guests of the event at Guild.

It was 2 days before the event that I found out about the event and I thought it sounded like a pretty good idea. I also found it quite a terrifying  idea when I thought about walking into a restaurant full of strangers. I didn’t buy my ticket until the night before the event and was still pretty scared about doing it. There was an ‘interests’ survey when buying tickets so they could try and match you with similar personalities however I couldn’t tick any of the boxes and had to use the dreaded ‘other’ option. I wondered if I was going to be that quiet weirdo in the corner.

There were more than 50 women that came to the dinner and many others who couldn’t make it because of availability. Part of me thinks it’s pretty amazing feat for Her Canberra and Guild to cater but they did a great job of it. Another part of me thinks it’s a bit sad that so many people (who knows how many more are in the same situation and just don’t know about Click + Connect) have a hard time making friends in this city.

While I did feel a bit like the odd one out wearing my jeans and pop culture reference t-shirt, where most of the other women actually looked like grown ups, I didn’t feel like I was excluded and everyone was very friendly and interested in knowing about everyone else.

Banquet menu and cards from game Timelines
Banquet menu and cards from game Timelines

The dinner was held at our local board game restaurant (it’s the only one we have and opened in January), Guild, which I was also a little hesitant about. I mean, aren’t board games for nerds? It may be that I underestimated the many different types of games that come under the banner of ‘board game’ and that, in fact, they were pretty fun. It was actually an excellent idea to run the event here as it was the perfect ice breaker for all of us shy strangers (although some were less shy) sitting at a table together.

Lavender Lemon Fizz - Vodka in Lavender infused Lemonade
Lavender Lemon Fizz – Vodka in Lavender infused Lemonade

As part of the event, we had a banquet dinner that included a free drink. I, obviously, went for the one that included Vodka. Plus it had lavender infused lemonade! I had to find out what that was about – as it turns out, I am much more adventurous when trying new food than meeting new people. Both me and the girl next to me ordered this drink and marvelled over how pretty it looked. In reality, it was much more purple (you may even say, lavender) than this photo shows with little bits of lavender floating around the glass. Once I got over the fact that I was about to drink some lavender, I gave it a try and it was actually quite decent and really did taste like lavender. I was quite pleasantly surprised.

Zombicide Pizza - Pepperoni, smoked ham, herbed lemon chicken breast, smoked bacon and housemade BBQ sauce
Zombicide Pizza – Pepperoni, smoked ham, herbed lemon chicken breast, smoked bacon and housemade BBQ sauce

I was quite impressed that we were all able to choose our own pizza. It was an amazing feat by the pizza chefs to get so many pizzas out in such a short amount of time. I went with your typical ‘meat lovers’ style pizza which, in this case, was called Zombicide. All the pizzas had game based names, e.g. the 4 cheeses was called Connect 4 which I thought was cute.

The toppings on the pizza were pretty great but the base let it down a bit. It was quite crunchy and sort of biscuit like. I’m not sure if this is because they had to cater for so many people in such a short timeframe or whether this is their standard base. That being said, it didn’t ruin the pizza but it could be improved on.

Guild bar area
Guild bar area

The staff were great at Guild and they had people roaming around whose job it was to come and make sure everyone’s game was going ok or to check if they wanted a new one and in some cases come and play the game with you. It’s a nice service and you can tell they really enjoy what they do. It is definitely a good place to go with a bunch of friends, family or basically anyone (as we found out that night).

Her Canberra put together a pretty great event. It was well organised and a lot of fun. After I made the walk down the stairs to Guild and was introduced to my ‘early bird’ table friends I was less anxious about it all, I knew we were in capable hands!

I’m not sure that I made any lifelong friends this time around but I enjoyed going out and trying something a little different, as well as getting a chance to check out Guild with a big group of people, something I wouldn’t otherwise have been able to do.

I’m definitely interested in going to future events and recommend their facebook group for anyone in the area to keep an eye on for next time.

Sarah

Review: Dobinsons, City

A few weeks ago Jarrod and I had nothing much planned for Saturday afternoon lunch and were considering where to go. Jarrod had made a trip to Dobinsons earlier that week to try out their thick shakes and thought I needed to give them a try so off to Dobinsons we went. As a side note, this was the cafe and not the little shop in the Canberra Centre.

Oreo Shake ($6.50)
Oreo Shake ($7.50)

First up were the aforementioned shakes with some tasty mini oreo’s on top, yum! These were really well made, the shake tasted very much cookies and cream, they were topped with cream and also had chocolate syrup drizzled down the sides of the glass.

Original Beef Burger - with Iceberg lettuce, tomato, spanish onion & housemade burger mayo ($13.95)
Original Beef Burger – with Iceberg lettuce, tomato, spanish onion & housemade burger mayo ($13.95)

Jarrod chose the beef burger which overall he described as bland. The mayo was all hiding in the middle and overall it was Ok but not great. There really could have been more toppings on this, maybe some cheese. The chips were great though (I wonder when places will stop with the gimmicky things like chips in fryer baskets and shakes in mason jars) and the salad was ok. Nothing exciting though.

Chicken Schnitzel - with Oregano chips, fresh garden salad and gravy ($13.95)
Chicken Schnitzel – with Oregano chips, fresh garden salad and gravy ($13.95)

For some reason I had been craving chicken schnitzel when we went so decided to give theirs a try. Firstly, why do restaurants place the schnitzel on top of the chips. How are we expected to eat it? I resorted to pulling out chips one by one, jenga style, until the schnitzel had some plate room of its own. I really enjoyed the chips from Dobinsons and if I’m honest, I could have just eaten a whole plate of them by themselves and not had the chicken.

The schnitzel was odd. There was something not quite right about it. The chicken didn’t taste or look like breast chicken (I’m not sure if it was, there is no mention of it on the menu) and I think it had too much batter. I think that is what the problem was anyway, it was hard to pinpoint the reason I didn’t really like it. It just wasn’t great. Overall, an average schnitzel that was saved by the chips on the plate.

I think if I were to take another visit out to Dobinsons it would be to have a shake and one of the delicious looking cakes they have in their display window and make an afternoon tea of it rather than a lunch. Or just a big bowl of chips!

Facebook | Website – not sure if this is updated. The menu is out of date.
Dobinsons Bakery Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sarah

Timeless Thoughts #5 – Weight

Timeless Thoughts Linkup - Click to join!
Timeless Thoughts Linkup – Click to join!

It’s the first Saturday (uh.. Sunday) of the month again and that means the Timeless Thoughts linkup! I missed last months but am back again in March for thought #5, weight.

For most of my adult life my weight has gone up and down within a range of about 20kg and unfortunately, right now, it is at the higher end of those 20 kilos. I have been working on getting it back down to the lower end of the scale and it is one of my goals for this year. It was going quite well in January and parts of February but then I developed a stomach issue that lasted a few weeks and left me feeling sluggish, bloated and mostly just gross. In the end it meant I didn’t meet my target for February and so far am behind for March too.

This morning as I jumped on the scale and didn’t get the result I had hoped for (I am hoping it’s related to my increase in strength training and building of muscle in Feb and March and not just too many snacks) I thought about how I never thought about weight as a kid. As a kid the priority wasn’t on the way my body looked or felt but on doing things that were fun. It might also be coincidence that as a kid you barely stop moving and life is about running around, skipping with a skipping rope (I used to be able to skip forever! Now I feel like I’m dying after 30 seconds), climbing trees and riding your bike wherever you can.

It seems the older you get the less you move, or at least if you’re working in IT, like I am. Many hours of the day I’m sitting (usually slouched) at a desk, staring at a screen and not moving much of anything, other than my fingers on the keyboard and hand on the mouse. As a result you have to consider how much food you’re taking in and whether you’re moving enough to burn it off. You also have to consider whether you should be going to the gym (I have considered it and the answer is no! They kind of scare me) and it just seems a whole lot more complex than life as a kid when you didn’t even know what a gym was.

I wish life could be as simple as getting up and doing what I want, having someone feed me the nutrients I need (not having to think about or make your own food is a massive perk of being a kid!) and not thinking about it any further. Either that or chocolate could become a superfood and give me all the nutrients I need! That’s the dream.

On the plus side, as an adult, I can make the very responsible choice of eating icecream for dinner.

Sarah