Monday, May 6, 2013


Location: 11 Wentworth Avenue, Kingston ACT (next to the Old Bus Depot Markets)
Phone: 0424 635 824
Cuisine: Burgers

I will probably be flame-grilled by local Canberrans for this post.

For most, Brodburger is the burger joint of Canberra. It's a tourist must-see, a late night craving satisfy-er and apparently the best burgers in town.


Don't get me wrong, the burgers do taste pretty good and are jam-packed with delicious fillings. But to be frank, the burgers are expensive, overrated and after all that, you still have to wait at least 30 minutes (on a good day) for your food. (By which time, anything would taste good!)

The first time I went, Brodburger was still a van in a park. The burger was delicious, but that was relative to the hour wait in the cold and dark.

My more recent visit was well after they had moved into the old glassworks building at the OBDM. You'd expect that perhaps now having a proper functioning kitchen, they would make the burgers faster. Wrong. The burgers still took almost an hour to come out.

Brodchicken - succulent butterflied Chicken breast, flame grilled.
Topped with bacon, avocado, fresh lettuce, tomatoes &
Spanish onions. Includes homemade aioli & tomato relish
A Brodchicken costs $14.50. Add another $2.50 for chips and with a drink you're looking at close to $20. The burgers are good, but when you compare them to the London, Grill'd and the newly opened Shorty's, the burgers at Brodburger just aren't worth the price or the wait.

Overall Impression: 5.5/10
Brodburger - Flame Grilled Burgers on Urbanspoon

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Pok Pok

Location: 801-803 Bourke Street, Docklands VIC 3008
Phone: (03) 9620 4580
Cuisine: Thai

Pok Pok isn't the kind of restaurant you'd expect to find in the Docklands. It's nothing like the restaurants over on the New Quay side, and more like something you'd find nestled down in Flinders Lane in the CBD. It's got the vibe of Chin Chin, Mamasita and Cumulus Inc rolled into one.

The menu is extensive, ranging from curries to noodle and rice dishes to more traditional street food. Lots of dishes jump out at me, but fellow bloggers have raved about the lamb curry, so my decision was pretty easy. 

massaman lamb curry with crisp roti bread - massaman curry of slow cooked
lamb shank, waxy potatoes, onion, fried shallots and crunchy cashew nuts
served with freshly cooked roti bread
Unlike your typical curry, this was a slow cooked curried lamb shank. The meat was tender and flavoursome, and the meat almost fell off the bone - it possibly could have done with just that little bit more cooking. The massaman itself was mild and creamy, the chunks of potatoes were cooked perfectly and the fried shallots and cashews added a nice texture to the dish. 

The roti looked pretty good, although I was skeptical as to why it was served rolled up. It lacked the crispiness (explains how it was roll-able) and smokiness I had hoped for - not the best I've had.

That said, for a meal that costs less than $15, I have no complaints. If you happen to be out Docklands-way and after a quick cheap lunch deal, Pok Pok is the place to go. And there's plenty more things on the menu I still need to try.

Overall Impression: 7.5/10
Pok Pok on Urbanspoon

Sanur's Balinese Restaurant

Location: 1/114 Emu Bank, Belconnen, Canberra 2617
Phone: (02) 6162 1688
Cuisine: Balinese

Finally made the trek out to Belco last night to try out Sanur's Balinese Restaurant. It's been on the list for some time now, but it was worth the wait. 

We're seated and menus are brought out. As usual, I've had a sneak peak of their online menu which contains a list of 'signature dishes' (not easily identifiable on the actual menu). We order a platter of skewers, the beef rendang and the bebek betutu (the latter two are on the 'signature dishes' list).

coconut juice
First up, some refreshing coconut juice. The drinks menu sported two coconut juices - the fresh one costs $6 while the other $4. We ordered the latter, but I'm not sure there would have been much difference as it tasted much the same as a fresh one.

The first dish to hit the table was a mixed platter of satays - a perfect solution to our inability to decide on which meats to get.

sate Sanur's - platter of chicken, beef and prawn skewers
with rice cake, satay sauce, pickled cucumber and sambal
While I initially thought that the chicken and beef  looked a little dry, they were beautifully chargrilled and still tender and juicy on the inside. The prawns were succulent and smokey. The satay sauce was sweet and savoury and peanutty, and topped off with some fried shallots for an extra crunch - a strong hit of flavour that went brilliantly well with the skewers and the   rice cake. The pickled cucumber with sambal was an interesting addition, I'm not 100% sure it was a necessary component of the dish, but the sambal had a good hit of chilli which was cooled down with the cucumber.

beef rendang - slow cooked beef in rich coconut sauce with Indonesian Traditional herbs and spices
Next up was a rich aromatic beef rendang. The beef was fall-apart-tender and could easily be pulled apart with a fork and spoon. The gravy was sweet, slightly spicy and soaked up the rice well. A great winter warmer.

After a slight wait, our duck arrived! The menu warns that the dish will take about 30 minutes to prepare, which suits us fine since we ordered an entree anyway.

bebek betutu - roast duck in Balinese secret spices covered in banana leaves
The duck arrives wrapped in banana leaves as promised. The duck has been rendered and roasted and the meat is falling off the bone. There's an Asian-ish salsa of sorts scattered on top to add some freshness. The duck is soft and tender, the skin is slightly smokey from the roasting and the banana leaves. My only issues with the dish is that the bones are easily tangled up in the flesh which made it a little difficult to eat, and not quite enough salsa to give the contrasting crunch and freshness.

You'd think that all that food would have been enough, but we couldn't pass up dessert.

pisang goreng - deep fried banana in special battered with mandarin infused palm sugar syrup
Not your typical banana fritter! These little bananas are deep fried to crunchy but then smothered in a sweet sticky syrup that just screams of South East Asia. Delicious and a perfect winter dessert.

coconut delusion - coconut pancake filled with unti (shredded coconut)
with pandan anglaise, ice cream & toasted almonds
I still haven't quite worked out why the Malaysians and Indonesians like to call these things 'pancakes'., because I keep envisaging a stack of flat pancakes. These are more like pandan crepes rolled up into cigars or spring rolls. The crepes are thin and the shredded coconut filling is sweet but not too overpowering. The toasted almonds add the crunch element. The anglaise didn't quite have enough pandan flavour, but overall, the dish was a treat.

In addition to the delicious food, I have to commend the service. Our waitress was attentive and pleasant, the food was served promptly (even the duck). It'll definitely be worth trekking back up that way to try out some of the other dishes on the menu.

Overall Impression: 8.5/10
Sanur's Balinese Restaurant on Urbanspoon