Westside Acton Park - shipping container village

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After our yum cha experience at AKIBA, Linda and I decided to go in search for dessert. I'd heard that the shipping container village was doing a soft launch on the Canberra Day weekend and we wanted to check out the creperie, news of which kept tantalising me.

Image credit: Linda Soo

When we got there, it looked as though the recreational area was ready to be used, but not all shops were open, including the creperie. The skateboard swings were pretty cool though!

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ynerDfs0Gho&feature=youtu.be

A bit of digging on the Westside Acton Park website uncovered the following information I was after about the food and drink on offer:

Miss Vân’s Street Food (Vietnamese, Lao and Thai food)

Miss Vân’s is proud to offer food that has been cooked by three generations of our family, spanning over four different countries. Though focusing primarily on Vietnamese cuisine, we incorporate a heavy influence of Lao & Thai cooking flavours and dishes. Food that is commonly sold by street vendors and at hawker markets in Vietnam, Laos & Thailand; we present tasty, vibrant, fresh and healthy classic dishes.

A central menu consisting of phở (beef noodle soup), bánh mì (Vietnamese sandwich) & bún (Vermicelli noodle bowls), we will offer a weekly rotating “specials” menu, where one featured dish is sold in addition to the regular menu. These dishes will include items such as Vietnamese pork & lemongrass soup (Bún bò Huế), chicken congee (Cháo gà), Vietnamese chicken rice, sticky rice & grilled chicken, pad thai, springrolls & stuffed chicken wings etc.

Beverages will include Vietnamese iced coffee, homemade soya bean milk infused with pandan leaf & ginger, young coconut juice, along with the standard fare of soft drinks.

La Crepe (French Creperie)

La Crepe is the creation of Parisien, Franck Leonhardt, whose connection with Australia commenced after a chance meeting with an Australian woman in the romantic city of Paris. It was love at first sight! They got married, lived in Paris for twelve years and relocated to Canberra in 2012 with their two sons.

Franck will be recreating the delicious sweet and savory crepes from his childhood at the exciting new Westside Acton Park precinct.

O' So Smoothie (smoothie bar)

O‘ So Smoothie will predominantly be a smoothie kiosk which will also offer the O’ So Smoothie specialty muesli. We have developed a menu which caters to the dietary requirements of dairy-free and gluten intolerant people, being a health focused café.

The menu includes a range of rich and creamy to light and refreshing smoothies. There will be everyday smoothies and a specials board which will change weekly. We will have low-carb options for those who wish to watch their sugar intake and high protein and energy shakes for those looking to power through the day. All smoothies will be made from fresh and healthy ingredients sourced and bought locally where possible.

Damn Fine Roasters (Canberra's first drive-thru coffee shop)

Damn Fine Roasters is a coffee roasting business with its roots and family heritage originating from Italy. It’s unique blend is Southern Italian, a family recipe which will leave you with the hypnotising aroma of this fine blend of fresh coffee.

Along with selling fresh coffee, they also offer hot herbal teas, ice cold herbal teas, Italian ice cream, and a new product from Italy called Crema Caffe.

What is unique and sets Damn Fine Roasters apart, is that it will be the first drive thru coffee shop in Canberra, strategically positioned at Westside Acton Park to be able to operate from dusk till dawn.

Aviary (rooftop bar)

This ground-breaking rooftop bar is Canberra’s first sky high saloon, the perfect place to drink in views of the city skyline while you, well, drink in! The entire structure has been designed from the ground up (literally!) with custom furniture made from recycled wooden pallets complementing the ecological feel of the garden bar.

The panoramic windows provide spectacular views of Black Mountain Tower, the National Galley, Parliament House and many of Canberra’s most famous landmarks, all while you sample a bespoke menu of crisp cocktails, craft beers, side by side with both the best of local and imported beverages to suit everyone’s tastes.

Located on Barrine Drive in Acton, Westside Acton Park will officially open on Saturday 14 March 2015.

Want more information on the Canberra shipping container village? Check out the website and Facebook page.

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

Review: Eighty/Twenty, Braddon, Canberra

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Fresh, nutritious, wholesome, healthy food. Doesn't sound like the kind of thing a 'bacon waffles and fried chicken' kinda girl like me would be into for brunch. And yet...this new cafe might have just about convinced me to make friends with salad. But we'll get to that part later. Eighty/Twenty Food is the latest newcomer to join the Lonsdale street restaurant strip in Braddon. Just when I thought the suburb had hit cafe saturation point, I was proved wrong.

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This particular Braddon cafe has a point of difference - a focus on wholefoods and balanced eating. Run by sisters, Klarisa Cengic and Tihana Ravanparsa, their food philosophy is "Eat well 80%. Indulge 20%. Happy 100%". Oops! All this time, I've been eating well 20% of the time and indulging the other 80%!

Located on the corner of Lonsdale and Eloura streets (opposite the other numerically-named eatery Eighty-Six), Eighty Twenty has a very chic and monochrome interior. I loved the black shiny tiles in a diagonal pattern and the copper light fixtures. Very cool.

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Perusing the menu, I noticed a variety of The Fix cold press juices, but it was the intriguing smoothie menu that enticed me to read more. The Matcha Immunitea smoothie (matcha, mango, almond milk, coconut flesh, and coconut nectar) definitely caught my eye. I love matcha flavoured drinks, but I didn't think green tea was going to cut it this morning. I needed coffee. Bad.

I considered the Coffee + Cacao smoothie but the Nutty Professor won my heart. Despite being run off their feet with a sudden explosion of people in the cafe, the person taking my order didn't even blink when I asked if I could have my Nutty Professor smoothie with coffee. She seemed completely unphased by my fussy order and put it through with no extra charge. I was impressed.

Pretty much a meal in itself, the Nutty Professor smoothie ($8) was sensational. I knew it would be when I read the ingredients listed: cacao, milk (or milk alternative), banana, peanut butter, maca. Well actually, I had no idea what maca was, but I was willing to live on the wild side and take a risk. Later on, I asked Google. It turns out, maca is a root originally from the mountains of Peru and has been called the 'Peruvian ginseng'. Apparently it has been highly regarded for centuries as a miracle food and is the latest superfood to add to smoothies.

I loved the visual presentation and textural element of the cacao nibs (cacao beans that have been roasted, separated from their husks and broken into smaller pieces). I stirred the cacao nibs through the drink and got a deliciously crunchy peanut butter smoothie. This clean eating business was off to a good start.

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Then came possibly the most beautiful porridge I've ever seen. The Quinoa porridge ($9.50) was sprinkled with pretty edible flower petals. The poached fruit and the crushed pistachios were perfect additions to the dish.

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My patient friends very kindly let me take photos of their dishes! Between all of us, we covered almost every item on the menu!

Kale and sweet potato rosti with poached egg, pesto oil and blistered cherry tomatoes ($14.50). I had a small bite of the rosti and vowed to get this dish next time I come back!

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The '80' Bowl: kale, watercress, rainbow chard, radish, cauliflower crumb, soft poached egg and grilled king trout ($17.50). I pinched a bit of the king trout and it flaked away beautifully. Cooked medium rare, the trout was tender and full of flavour.

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Poached free range eggs on toast ($8), with a side of king trout ($6) and mushroom medley ($3.5). Total came to $17.50. The toast was left unbuttered, which got a tick from my friend.

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The_Food_Avenue_EightyTwenty5

Dukkah spiced eggs with flat bread, hummus, house made labna and charred eggplant, capsicum and parsley salad ($14.50)

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The_Food_Avenue_EightyTwenty36

I noticed sparkling water served with every dine-in espresso - a sign they're serious about their coffee! (A sip of the sparkling water is used to cleanse the palate before having a sip of the espresso. If the coffee is good, finish off the water and then enjoy the rest of the espresso. If the coffee isn't good, finish off the espresso and use the rest of the sparkling water to cleanse your palate. Thanks again, Google!)

Except for the '20' Bun, everything else on the breakfast menu is pretty much vegetarian and gluten free. For those on the paleo diet, the menu also notes whether an item is paleo or not. Picky foodies all around can rejoice! The price point is excellent too. For the quality of ingredients you get, the prices are very reasonable and that makes me happy.

What I'm coming back for: poached eggs on toast with a side (or two) of king trout and blistered cherry tomatoes. The Glow Pro smoothie looked amazing, so that's on the list too.

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

The Low-Down on Eighty Twenty Eatery type: Health food cafe What to order: Kale & sweet potato rosti, Nutty Professor smoothie. I'd also recommend getting a side of king trout with anything you've ordered. Best for: Health-conscious brunchers (especially those who are vegetarians and/or gluten intolerant). Or a smoothie date with the bestie. x

Website: http://www.eightytwentyfood.com.au/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/eightytwentyfood Phone: 02 6247 2866 Email: info@eightytwentyfood.com.au Address: 1/8 Lonsdale Street, Braddon, ACT 2612 Open: Monday to Saturday 6am - 4pm. Sunday 7am - 4pm. They only take bookings of 6 people or more.

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