9 hearty meals to warm you up in Canberra

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1. Spit-roast What's more warming than spit-roasted meat? The lamb souva ($16) from Wood and Coal's lunch menu comes with a massive side of the best chips in town - crunchy as anything and super hot. One of the best value Civic lunches in my opinion.

The_Food_Avenue_wood_and_coal
The_Food_Avenue_wood_and_coal

2. BBQ Ribs

Grab some delicious ribs smothered in BBQ sauce at PJ O'Reillys in Civic - available every Saturday night. $35 for a full rack and a jug of beer or $25 for a half rack and a jug of beer. Probably the best value ribs I've had in Canberra.

The_Food_Avenue_ribs_PJs
The_Food_Avenue_ribs_PJs

3. All you can eat BBQ

Sitting right in front of a barbeque is sure to keep you warm at Yummy Chinese BBQ in Civic. You can grill your own skewers on the awesome barbeque contraption that automatically rotates the skewers. There is also a mini hot pot and a hot and cold buffet. $35 per person for the basic buffet, $45 per person includes seafood options.

The_Food_Avenue_yummy_bbq
The_Food_Avenue_yummy_bbq

4. All you can eat hot pot

If you prefer hot pot (also known as steam boat) over barbeque, Up To You Restaurant in Belconnen is just the spot. It is also a cheaper all-you-can-eat option at $25 per person. Their huge range and seemingly endless supply of hot pot ingredients is impressive. I've also heard their clay pot rice dishes are great too.

The_Food_Avenue_up_to_you
The_Food_Avenue_up_to_you

5. Noodle soup

Feel like some hot soup but don't want an extravagant all-you-can-eat meal? There are some great noodle soups to warm you up. Noodle Cafe in Civic does $11 lunch specials which include a filling laksa and a flavoursome beef pho that never disappoints.

The_Food_Avenue_noodle_cafe_laksa
The_Food_Avenue_noodle_cafe_laksa

6. Steak

Arguably, the best steak in Canberra is at Chifley's Bar and Grill in Barton. The menu dedicates a whole page to different types of steak, so you know they're serious about it. Good quality steak cooked perfectly. The meat was tender and juicy and I just loved the rich sauces that accompanied.

The_Food_Avenue_chifley_bar_grill
The_Food_Avenue_chifley_bar_grill

7. Pasta

Pasta is the ultimate comfort food. The Loft Bar and Grill in O'Connor does pasta with elegance. Get the Lobster Risotto. You won't regret it.

Want a luxurious dish? This lobster and fennel risotto with saffron butter from The Loft Bar and Grill will hit the spot! #restaurantlaunch #invite #restaurantaustralia #Canberra #Australia #thiscanberranlife #visitcanberra #localscan #restaurant #food #foodporn #foodphotography #lobster #risotto

A photo posted by The Food Avenue (@thefoodavenue) on Apr 2, 2015 at 3:27am PDT

8. Curry

Possibly the best curry dish in Canberra is the Chilli jam crispy soft shell crab at Kinn Thai. It doesn't sound like a curry, but there is definitely a delicious curry at the bottom of the gigantic bowl of soft shell crab. Yum!

The_Food_Avenue_Kinn_Thai_Canberra5
The_Food_Avenue_Kinn_Thai_Canberra5

9. Pizza

Pizza is another warming dish - perfect for winter! Briscola Pizzeria has a fantastic pizza recipe. The base is beautifully al dente in texture and topped with the right amount of ingredients and balanced flavours.

The_Food_Avenue_briscola_pizzeria
The_Food_Avenue_briscola_pizzeria

What did I miss? Where are your favourite hearty meals in Canberra (or your city)? Let me know in the comments below!

Lunar New Year Celebration 2014

Happy Lunar New Year!! My friends and I ushered in the new year over hot pot! For those who are uninitiated, hot pot involves having a large pot of broth (or two) on the table and you add various ingredients into the pot (e.g. thinly slice meat, corn, cabbage, noodles, seafood meatballs, egg dumplings etc). OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I'm not normally a huge fan of having hot pot unless it's with a fairly big group. When you have a lot of people, the range of ingredients in the pot generally increases and I love trying a bit of everything!

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It was a very warm evening (about 37 degrees celcius) and it was suggested that we have "cool pot" where the food would be pre-cooked in the pot on the stove and then put on the table once everything was cooked. But it didn't seem right without having the pots in front of us, cooking it then and there, and scooping the food straight out of the pot!

There's just something about hot pot - you have to cook the food together! (that's the whole point of hot pot!)

We let our full bellies rest for a bit (by playing a bit of the boardgame Articulate) and then it was onto dessert! We had a not-so-Asian (but scrumptious!) pavlova, mango pudding, various fruits (grapes, watermelon, lychees) and icecream, egg rolls and Asian-style sesame snaps. It was all super delicious!!

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It was fantastic to catch up with friends over a magnificent Chinese new year feast! Xin nian quai le! Gong xi fa cai!!

Let me know in the comments below how you celebrated the beginning of the lunar new year :)