Trev’s at Dickson, Dickson*

10 Oct

* I reviewed Trev’s at Dickson as a guest.

Not that long ago, Trev was The Lodge’s resident chef for Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. A little over five years later, Trev leads his eponymous cafe/restaurant tucked away in the office area of Challis Street, Dickson.

Trev’s is open seven days a week for breakfast/brunch and dinners on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Today’s a Thursday at what seems a very early 7.30am. On arrival we’re greeted with requests for coffee orders and my large chai latte arrives truly large with a yummy crust of  cinnamon sugar on frothy milk.

Trev’s is also renowned for its similarly eponymous dish: the Trev’s Taste Collective. Have you ever perused a breakfast menu and felt like you really want something sweet but you also really want something savoury, and somehow early on a Saturday morning you’re still required to make that very difficult choice? For me it’s almost always pancakes with fruit and ice cream versus a dish – any dish – that has poached eggs. The eggs usually win (unless it’s pancakes from Ha Ha Bar – then pancakes are victorious!).

Trev’s Taste Collective goes some way to solving this. At $18.50 you get a small stack of thick pancakes with strawberry and basil compote, marscapone and a smatter of icing sugar, a very thick corn fritter with a heaping of avocado and tomato salsa and a bacon rasher, followed by a two-fruit salad (today it’s strawberries and watermelon) with kaffir lime syrup and a wisp of fairy floss. It all comes with their mini JOD (juice of the day) – today it’s apple, orange and cranberry and it’s tangy and delicious and all too small; I’d love it slightly larger with an ice cube.

Corn generally is not my thing but what I do have of the corn fritter is tasty. The generous helping of avocado salsa is a stand out and I could eat plenty of it with the bacon. The strawberries and watermelon are sweet and fresh and it’s easy to devour. The pancake batter is a little thick rather than fluffy but they’re just enough to make the whole dish very, very filling.

I’m sure a few friends have questions about eating it altogether or separately, and whether it’s weird to have sweet and savoury near or touching each other. While it’s clear from the photo that some of the juice from the berry compote and syrup leak under the fritter, I don’t know it at the time.

Trev’s idea is a very clever one which finally provides an answer to so many people’s early morning dilemmas. But to answer mine, it still needs a poached egg in it somewhere!

Date: Thursday, 8 October 2015

Where: Challis Street, Dickson

Cost: I dined as a guest of Trev’s at Dickson. The Trev’s Taste Collective costs $18.50 including a small juice of the day but not including coffee/s.

Want more? Trev’s has a very comprehensive website and detailed menus.

IKEA Canberra – find hidden furniture for your chance to win!

6 Oct

You may have (ha! I mean will have!) heard that IKEA Canberra is opening on Monday, 16 November. And in case the excitement wasn’t already at fever pitch, from this week IKEA is launching a treasure-hunt style game across Canberra: the Hidden IKEA catalogue. $50 IKEA gift cards are up for grabs each week with a grand prize of a $1000 gift card. That’s a lot of IKEA!

Intrigued? Here’s how to play.

Each week from 6 October there’ll be weekly clues on Use the clues to get searching for the secret location and find the hidden piece of furniture somewhere around Canberra!

When you find the hidden IKEA product, it’s up to you to take your most creative IKEA catalogue shot and share it on your social media channels – Twitter, Facebook or Instagram – with the #IKEAHidden hashtag to be in the running to win!

Check back to my blog in the week beginning 11 October for a post with a clue!

The fine print: You have to be 18 years+ to participate. Full terms and conditions are here.

Bolt Bar, Aranda

5 Oct

A year ago Aranda Shops were empty. And they had been empty for more than a decade. The car park and the centre were dilapidated and if you were new to the area, you wouldn’t even know that it had once been shops.

That’s changed now. Two Before Ten has set up shop in the whole building, starting with its cafe on a far corner, followed by a library, followed, at the other end, by the adjoining, long awaited pub: Bolt Bar (named after Dirk Bolt, who designed the unusual building). Aranda Shops is now full of life in the mornings, and, with the Bolt Bar open til at least mid-evening seven days a week, I think it’s likely the whole area will be constantly humming very shortly.

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Coming Up in Canberra – Spring 2015

4 Oct 007

What better way to celebrate the welcome return of daylight saving?! It’s a LONG while since I’ve done one of these posts but there is honestly so much happening that this post can basically write itself from my own diary’s calendar! Here we go:

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The Green Herring, Gold Creek

4 Oct

I don’t know much about Green Herring except that it’s quaint, it has a solid menu, and that it’s somewhere in Gold Creek. The only place I have a vague idea where it is is the aviary, so on this Friday evening it takes me a little time to find the car park attached to the very rustic cottage – The Slab Hut built in the 1860 – in which Green Herring resides. (It turns out it’s just behind George Harcourt, but you could have fooled me at the time in the dark – it’s really not very well lit!)

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Draft update to the Belconnen Town Centre Master Plan

27 Sep We're privy to some beautiful reflections

As you all know, Belconnen is my home and it has my heart. When I’m not blogging or working, I’m advocating for Belconnen as Chair of the Belconnen Community Council.

Over the last 18 months, we’ve worked hard a range of community consultations into the update of the Belconnen Town Centre Master Plan, like hosting a free barbecue at the Belconnen Arts Centre. Master Plans are important because they set out the future character of the area – what things might be developed, what it could or should look like, and what areas should be preserved.

Today the draft update to the Master Plan was released. It includes a whole lot of things that the BCC, I and the community have been advocating for to make the Belconnen Town Centre an even better play to live, work and play, including:

  • clarity about height limits in the Town Centre (proposing different heights for different sites, and providing for both high- and medium-density)
  • activating the previously abandoned Joynton Smith busway and turning it into a cycleway to better connect the Town Centre to Florey
  • increasing and widening paths in the Town Centre so it’s easier for cyclists and pedestrians to get around; joining the path around Lake Ginninderra behind the Belconnen Arts Centre so it’s completely connected
  • expanding the 40km/h zones so that it’s safer for pedestrians and cyclists to move around, and replacing plastic speed humps with build-outs and raised pedestrian crossings
  • providing a multi-storey car park in a place that’s central to encourage activity – ie park your car and then walk around the Town Centre, such as to Emu Bank. This could free up key areas which could be used for entertainment (like on Emu Bank) and also provides an alternative for commuters instead of activity like driving from the Belconnen Markets to Westfield to Emu Bank to John Knight Memorial Park – and may also free up existing car spaces elsewhere

  • preserving the Diddams Close peninsula and considering ways to activate these open spaces, such as community gardens or concerts
  • activating Margaret Timpson Park with play areas (including water play), a legal graffiti wall and barbecue facilities
  • proposing stricter rules around building design to ensure high quality
  • linking the Town Centre to the University of Canberra
  • providing a destination at Emu Bank with more outdoor dining, increased walking areas and – potentially – fewer car parks taking up important lake views

There are also sections in the Master Plan which will require careful community consideration. These include the proposal for different height limits in different parts of the Town Centre and high-rise buildings along Lathlain Street, as well as the eventual redevelopment of the bus depot as housing. There’s also a question about what might the Master Plan be missing? Are there any great ideas out there which haven’t been included and really should be?

The best part about it being a draft Master Plan is that we’ve now got time to answer these questions and provide feedback. Formal feedback opportunities will open later this week but in the meantime please do yourselves a favour and read the proposals so you are ready to comment. There are plenty of diagrams and detailed explanations, as well as overarching statements about the character. It all starts on page 57, but the preceding pages give really useful context (like a study into car park use) as well as a summary of the input the community provided.

Read the draft update to the Belconnen Town Centre Master Plan here. The future of the Town Centre depends on your input!

The Confidence Man, The Street Theatre*

20 Sep

* I attended The Confidence Man as a guest of The Street Theatre.

We’re sitting in a row of chairs, level with the stage that we border, in the Street One Theatre. Among us are six audience members who are about to run the entire 45 minute The Confidence Man themselves. We know who they are because they’re wearing enormous masks: black mesh covered with wide facial features to allow them to see. The stage is dominated by a house setting, but at one end there’s another small house setting, as well as a set of plants which doubles as the main house’s backyard and a park.

We all have headphones and phones – even the players. Each of the players listens to their pre-recorded dialogue and thoughts for their character through the headphones, as well as instructions on what to act out. Their entire experience of the show is through what happens with their character – they have no idea what any of the other characters are thinking or being instructed to do, but they can hear their dialogue if they are in conversation with them.

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