Essential Ingredient Giveaway

Every Like, Comment and Share makes me so very happy! So I want to do something special for my lovely followers! My very generous sponsor Essential Ingredient Canberra has kindly donated a Cuisinart Hot and Cold Blender for one lucky follower!

Photo credit:

Photo credit:

There are a few ways to enter

Tag a friend in a comment on the photo about the giveaway. Follow both @thefoodavenue and @canberraesntl instagram accounts. Only one friend per comment, but for bonus points, you can comment/tag multiple times. Only open to residents of Canberra, Australia.

Tag a friend in a comment on the Facebook post about the giveaway. Follow both @thefoodavenue and @canberraesntl Facebook pages. Only one friend per comment, but for bonus points, you can comment/tag multiple times. Only open to residents of Canberra, Australia.

Follow both @thefoodavenue and @CanberraEsntl on Twitter. Retweet the post about the giveaway. Only open to residents of Canberra, Australia.

The winner will be able to pick up their prize from Essential Ingredient Canberra.

About Essential Ingredient Canberra

Photo credit: Essential Ingredient Canberra

Photo credit: Essential Ingredient Canberra

Opened in 2003 and located in Kingston, Essential Ingredient Canberra stocks high quality cookware and wide range of quality food products.

A full range of speciality cheeses, fresh-roasted coffee and culinary books compliment an excellent cookware range, making The Essential Ingredient Canberra a must-visit for any serious foodie.

The Essential Ingredient also provides a wholesale service to the best restaurants in Canberra as well as some of Canberra’s most prominent institutions, including; The National Library, The National Gallery, The National Press Club, Government House and The Prime Ministers Lodge.
Local products include:

    * Little Monster chocolate
    * The Muesli Bar handmade muesli
    * Pialligo Estate award winning bacon, gravalax & other small goods
    * Biscuitsnotcookies handmade gift cards
    * Serious Salsa chilli jams & relishes
    * Merrita’s homemade fruit cakes & puddings

Essential Ingredient Canberra

Winner announcement

Congratulations to Michelle Kroll (@ahcphoto) who has won the Cuisinart Hot and Cold Blender. Thanks as well to all who entered the competition and everyone's continued support of The Food Avenue!

Street food mania in Canberra


The weather is now a bit warmer, so it's market mania in Canberra! Those in town will be spoilt for choice when it comes to street food. Here is a round up of where to get your street eats this weekend.

Friday 11 September 2015

Night Market Canberra, held quarterly, will have pop up stalls, live music, and street eats from 4-9pm at Realm Park, Burbury Close in Barton.


Saturday 12 September 2015


begins today and there is usually a food hub on the grounds.

The Forage

and Hustle and

Scout Fashion Markets

are at the Bus Depot Markets located at 21 Wentworth Ave in Kingston from 2pm - 7pm.

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Breakfast at Kusina, Canberra


Asian style breakfasts are rare in Canberra. So when I heard that Kusina, the sole Filipino restaurant in Canberra served breakfast, I immediately made a note to check it out the first chance I could. Looking at the menu, it seemed like most of the breakfast dishes were lunch dishes but available earlier in the day (from 9am). This didn't bother me in the slightest, as I was used to having lunch-like dishes for breakfast in Asia. (I totally need to do a post just on Taiwanese breakfasts!)

As it was after 11am when we arrived, two dishes were no longer available: the Ube Pancakes - purple yam pancakes, maple syrup, berry compote and vanilla ice cream; and the Pacman Breakfast - eggs, bacon, garlic sausage, mushroom, potato hash, and pandesal bread.

Macgyver Boyfriend was super disappointed he couldn't get the Pacman Breakfast!

We were both quite taken by the sound of the Longsilog - garlic sausage (made fresh by our mama), garlic rice, and fried egg.

But we settled on two completely different dishes.


MB had the Eggs Lola Flora ($16) - scrambled eggs on pandesal bread, sauteed spinach, crab meat, sriracha chilli and mayo. Whoever thought of putting crab meat in scrambled eggs was an absolute genius. It was a perfect flavour and texture combination, complemented by the creaminess of the mayo and the kick from the sriracha!


I loved my Chixsilog (14.50) - crispy fried chicken, banana ketchup, garlic rice and a fried egg. What's not to love about crunchy fried chicken? In fact, all of the components of this dish were delicious - from the aromatic garlic rice, to the sweet/spicy banana ketchup, the gooey fried egg and the pickled vegetables on the side to cut through the richness of the dish. It was an adventure of textures and flavours!

Next time, we'll be back to try the Ube Pancakes and the Pacman breakfast!

Kusina is also famous for their boodle feast, which is only available on the last Sunday of every month. A range of delicious Filipino dishes are presented on banana leaves and you have to eat the food with your hands - no cutlery allowed! It's fun and delicious!

The Low-Down on Kusina Eatery type: Filipino restaurant What to order: Eggs Lola Flora, Chixsilog, Boodle Feast Best for: hearty home-style meals with family and friends Website: Phone: 02 6288 8461 Address: Coolman Court, Weston Creek, ACT 2611

Kusina on Urbanspoon

Are you on social media? Check out my latest updates on the best food and drink in Canberra and beyond! Facebook : /thefoodavenue Instagram: @thefoodavenue Twitter: @thefoodavenue

8 delicious Canberra date ideas

Edit: A more up-to-date post is available - 11 Valentine's Day date ideas for Canberra foodies


Are you stuck for ideas on what to do for a date in Canberra? I’ve put together a few of my favourite date ideas for Canberra foodies at any time of the day. If you’re more of the proactive kind, take the initiative and pick an activity (or two) from this list. If you’re the foodie and your partner is clueless, send him/her a link to this post to give them a subtle hint of what you want to do on your date! 8:30am – 10:00am | Pod Food | Breakfast


They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. What better way to kick off the day than with a breakfast degustation at Pod Food? You can get  a 4-course breakfast for $40, which at the moment is featuring: pancakes with banana, blueberries, popcorn ice-cream, salmon gravlax, scrambled eggs, and a white chocolate parfait with chocolate fudge, peanut crumble and strawberries.

9:30am -11:00am | Penny University | Brunch


If having four breakfast courses first thing in the morning is a bit too much for you to handle, why not try Penny University? It’s a cosy and cute café that serves up decadent breakfasts.

11:00am – 1:30pm | Park Hyatt | Morning Tea


Treat your date to high tea at the Park Hyatt. Enjoy an array of savouries, finger sandwiches, scones, jam and cream. Pair the delicious cakes and slices with the finest teas.

12:00pm – 2:00pm | Vitis Eatery | Lunch

Edit: Vitis Eatery is permanently closed.


Take in the delicate presentation, beautiful flavours and botanical décor with a luxe lunch at Vitis Eatery. You can graze on the selection of snacks or order a few of the larger plates to share. I highly recommend the squid risotto, which is made entirely of cut up squid (to look like rice)! Expect a casually elegant lunch date.

2:00pm – 4:00pm | Picnic by the lake | Afternoon Tea


Want to really impress your foodie date? Put together a superb picnic hamper made up of homemade goodies. Not much of a chef? You can cheat and grab some great food from local suppliers. Get some fresh bread or pastries from Autolyse or Silo, cheese from Essential Ingredient, fresh strawberries, grapes (even oysters!) from the Capital Region Farmer’s Markets, or chocolates from Robyn Rowe. A bottle of wine from Mount Majura Vineyard couldn’t hurt either.

A great spot for a picnic is Mariner Bay, next to the Southern Cross Yacht Club. You can watch the yachts sail by and it’s a strategic picnic spot for lazy picnickers because you can pick up some fish and chips from Snapper on the Lake.

4:00pm – 6:00pm | The Rum Bar | Pre-dinner drinks

Edit: The Rum Bar is permanently closed.


The aristocratic and refined setting of the Rum Bar is the perfect place to start a classy date night. The magical cocktails (like Under the Mistletoe, pictured) from the extensive drinks list will convert even the non-rum drinkers! A few dishes from the delicious tapas menu wouldn't go astray either.

6:00pm – 8:30pm | Lilo Tang | Dinner


Indulge in the $65pp tasting menu at the hottest new Asian fusion restaurant in Canberra. Or if you're going à la carte, try the stunning Toban duck breast sukiyaki with creamy tempura egg or the juicy Pork spare rib with black pepper and balsamic soy.

8:00pm – 9:00pm | Koko Black | Dessert


With its classic décor and to-die-for desserts, you can’t go wrong with Koko Black on Valentine’s Day. The Raspberry Chocolate dome will make anyone fall in love (with it). Made of quality milk chocolate and raspberry puree mousse with Madagascan vanilla custard and a liquid raspberry centre, it's the wondrous dessert that keeps on giving. Also currently available is the summer menu, which features a Mango and Vanilla Ice Cream Spectacular and Salted Caramel Iced Chocolates.

Let me know where your favourite dates are in Canberra!

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11 Delicious Christmas Gift Ideas (and giveaway)!

Do you buy your Christmas feast produce at the farmers markets? Why not do your Christmas gift shopping while you’re looking for your Christmas feast ingredients? There are plenty of fantastic Christmas gifts at the markets – the biggest difficulty you’ll have is deciding whether or not you want to give away all those goodies (or keep them for yourself)! The Rotary Club of Hall and Threesides Marketing invited me to come to the Capital Region Farmers Markets to sample the region’s freshest produce and to participate in a food challenge. If I had a $100 gift voucher, what would be my Christmas essentials? Challenge accepted!


The hardest part about the challenge for me was getting to the markets early enough. The Capital Region Farmers Market is on at Exhibition Park in Canberra (EPIC) every Saturday 7:30 – 11:30am. I’m usually barely awake at that hour, let alone out of the house. But I was the first one to make it to the markets, with 6 minutes to spare! I was off to a good start.

The other bloggers starting arriving and it was lovely to see some familiar faces and meet some new ones I hadn’t met before. The tour of the markets kicked off with an introduction about the markets. We found out that the Rotary Club of Hall started the markets as a community project in 2004 with only 12 stalls. Ten years on, there are 180 stalls on the books (including the seasonal stalls)!

The best part about shopping at the markets is being able to talk to the stall holders. They're the ones who made the product and can tell you more about the product and the story behind it.

Here are my top picks for edible Christmas gift ideas from the markets!

Capsicum and Chilli Jam - Shingle Hill Estate


Made in Gundaroo, this is a delicious savoury jam which is great with all varieties of cheese and cold meats. It would make a delicious accompaniment to any antipasto or mezze platter.


The lovely woman who makes the jam obligingly posed for a photo and her husband jumped in and photo bombed her. How cute are they!

Smoked garlic with organic rosemary and salt - Bredbo Gold


It comes in a grinder that you push down and pulverises the garlic and salt mixture into a powder . It would be fantastic in your potato mash or as a seasoning on your meats.

Ainslie Honey – Canberra Urban Honey


Canberra Urban Honey is part of the Honey Delight Family, beekeepers that have been producing honey and keeping bees since 1923. Canberra Urban Honey install and manage urban beehives throughout Canberra to increase the pollination provided by bees. This means that you can taste different honey made from different parts of Canberra. How cool is that! After trying all three types (Belconnen, Tuggeranong and Ainslie), I decided that Ainslie was my favourite flavour! My friend, who is a Northsider, told me not to tell anyone, but her favourite flavour was the Tuggeranong honey! What an awesome gift to give someone honey made from the suburb they live in!

Date and Toffee Log from Pudding Lane


This multi award winning date and toffee log has a delicious sticky toffee taste, ready to serve as a decadent dessert or to accompany a cheese platter. For those who are not huge fans of Christmas cakes and puddings, this is the perfect alternative!

Real Chai


After having an amazing chai latte at Elk and Pea, I asked them how they made their chai. They said “It’s real chai”. I accepted the response but was still a bit confused what that meant. My face must have been super easy to read because they explained that Real Chai was a product. Then I realised they were talking about the chai that was sold at markets. So I made a point to seek out the real chai stall at the markets. They had a limited edition White Christmas version! :D

Blood orange infused olive oil - Homeleigh Grove


I loved this infused olive oil made with australian extra virgin olive oil. I wasn't sure I would but the combination just works. Perfect for drizzling over a fresh summer salad.

Dark Whisky Marmalade andPear and Vanilla Jam - Black Horse


The distinctive whisky flavour gives a unique lift to an already delicious citrus marmalade. I could eat spoonfuls of this straight out of the jar. But civilised people could have it on crackers with a cheese platter. Same goes for the pear and vanilla jam.

Blood Plum Jam – Torry Hill Orchard


I loved the punchy flavour to this jam. I use jams in savoury and sweet dishes. Add as a sweet relish-type condiment to barbecued chicken, pork chops or any Asian starter. Or have it on plain crusty sourdough for a change to your usual strawberry jam on toast.

Gourmet gift hampers


For those who are time poor, (and let's face it, who's not these days!), you can buy a pre-selected hamper.

Gift voucher If you don’t have time to pick out and personalise your gifts, you could grab a gift voucher and they can pick out what they want themselves! All you have to do is give the gift voucher to the stallholder and the stallholder will take the voucher and give the remaining amount of the voucher to you in cash.

Thanks to Capital Region Farmers Market for my $100 gift voucher and tour of the markets!

Capital Region Farmers Market Cookbook

Another great Christmas gift is the cookbook! The book is packed with recipes and food ideas from many of the Canberra community’s most loved Farmers Market stallholders. The cookbook includes recipes for starters, soups, salads, sides, mains, cakes, biscuits, desserts and more. The Capital Region Farmers Market cookbook is available for purchase for $20 from the Market’s Rotary Help Desk.

The Rotary Club of Hall has kindly given me a copy of The Capital Region Farmers Market Cookbook to give away to one lucky reader!


How to enter (there are 7 different ways!):

  1. Comment below with the Christmas essentials you would buy from the Capital Region Farmers Market
  2. Like The Food Avenue on Facebook (and leave me a separate comment on this post telling me you have)
  3. Follow @TheFoodAvenue on Instagram (and leave me a separate comment on this post telling me you have)
  4. Follow @TheFoodAvenue on Twitter (and leave me a separate comment on this post telling me you have)
  5. Like Capital Region Farmers Market on Facebook (and leave me a separate comment on this post telling me you have)
  6. Follow @CRegionFarmersMarket on Twitter (and leave me a separate comment on this post telling me you have)
  7. Follow @CRFarmersMarket on Instagram (and leave me a separate comment on this post telling me you have)

Giveaway rules:

  • Must provide a valid email address;
  • Only open to Australian residents;
  • Must be 18 and above to enter;
  • I will be counting up all the valid entries, giving each a number, then use a random number generator to pick one person as the winner. They will be contacted shortly after the giveaway ends.

The giveaway opens now and runs until 5pm (AEDT) Friday 19 December 2014. Good luck to those entering! And happy Christmas shopping!

Are you on social media? Check out my latest updates on every dish that’s worth eating in Canberra and beyond! Facebook : /thefoodavenue Instagram: @thefoodavenue Twitter: @thefoodavenue