Saturday, 20 February 2010

Reasons for not blogging

* Too tired, because I'm not getting enough sleep, because Plummet wants to show off his mice at 2am and 4am.
* Getting used to 5 day weeks again.
* Out of town for the Blues Festival.
* Out of town for a friend's birthday.
* Moving all my stuff from one computer to another, so I could give my old one to B1, who is stuck in Sydney for the long term.
* Manually rebuilding all my photo libraries, contacts, bookmarks etc since Migration Assistant didn't do it right.
* Trying to get ahead with my Canberra Times stuff, so the editor can have a break.
* A new Mystery Case Files game.

I haven't actually given up. I have a few plans and partial posts waiting in the wings. Now that I've got my phone resynched and my camera connection reset, I can upload the photos to go with them. But now I have to go shopping. It's time to get the weekend food prep underway, and I need to buy some cream to fatten the cat.

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

ONA Coffee

This has been popping up all over town recently, but the home site is in Belconnen, obscurely tucked into the Benjamin Offices, Aqua building level 3. It's open to the public and a walking ramp goes up there from the big carpark up the back. Ostensibly a normal Public Service lunch spot, this is actually something quite special. Great coffee! In Canberra!

They seem to have quite a big business going - apart from the cafe, there's roasting and distributing coffee complete with cafe fitout, and office lunch catering. The cafe has some flyers which are, sadly, very desperately in need of a good proof-read. Even their slogan "Pure Decadence" is spelt wrong. And who knew that a coffee company might need barristers? Their baristas have been winning awards, for espresso as well as for coffee art, but their barristers' achievements seem unsung. And don't get me started on the apostrophes and the cemicals and the ceaser salad.

Oh well, with coffee this good, what more do they need? Apparently, a curry chef! There's a curry of the day ($10) every weekday, and it's made in house from their own fresh ground spice blends. I had lunch there on Monday with infoaddict, who had a red beef curry - not a Thai red style, it was more rendang like. Thick, rich, spicy, with a nice chilli bite, it was terrific. I got her to pick me up a takeaway on Tuesday, which turned out to be a green Thai veggie curry - again rich, thick, and with enough chilli to bite back. Perfect to reheat for an instant dinner. Yum.

Monday, 8 February 2010

Internet blackout week is over

...and I'm going to pretend that's why I didn't post last week. Not that I was too busy playing games, or drinking too many martinis, or going to work, or too busy doing Canberra Times stuff or anything. Not at all. Lalalala internet blackout week.

Last week's food highlight was that I finally managed to visit Ellacure. For a couple of years it's been a favourite of several people I know, and yet I never got there. But now it's just round the corner from me. I had lunch there with infoaddict last week, and this pic is my amazing green veggie risotto with pesto and spinach and asparagus ($18). It was very delicious, as long as you enjoy a light style - not so creamy and cheesy as risottos often are. But lots of good strongly flavoured bits and pieces.

Infoaddict had the open chicken BLT ($16), which came with some rather nice chips and a mustard aioli. We had coffees ($3.50), and they are also pretty good, especially by Canberra standards. It's not the cheapest place, but it's a nice spot, with quite a long winelist and a smart casual look. There are bigger meals up around $30, and fancy desserts around $14 - fine dining prices!

The Canberra Times last year mentioned it as being a spot to check out the AIS students. It is near the AIS, on Braybrooke & Battye Sts, Bruce. But I think the AIS crowd must be there on weekends, when they have a breakfast menu. On a Wednesday lunchtime, it was rather full of middle aged public servants, mostly female. Sadly no young lycra clad extra-fit chaps on show.

The service was good - quick enough for a work lunch, and when I didn't like my Virgin Mary they remade it for me without any fuss. Seriously, does this look like tomato juice to you? It's their house style, the waiter said - so the bartender must just absolutely LOVE Worcestershire sauce. I've never seen such a brown one before.

Anyway, it was nice and I'll cheerfully go back for a moderately special lunch, like a birthday or something. Pizza, pasta and risottos all come in around $15-20. And the breakfasts seem quite appealling, though not overly different to the usual cafe. Free range eggs, bacon, haloumi, chorizo, banana bread, french toast, that sort of thing.