Tag Archives: beer

Little Oink night menu, Cook

13 Feb

It’s no secret that I love – LOVE – Little Oink.  (Example here.) I love the food. I love that it’s just this unassuming little cafe in Cook doing big things. I love the friendly atmosphere and that there’s a focus on comfort and a design that’s familiar and homely, but it’s not at the expense of the food quality.

Excitingly, earlier this year Little Oink got a liquor licence! Now it’s open later on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings and has a new tapas menu to go with it.

We arrive on a Saturday evening before 6pm and the outside tables are already booked up. We sit in the cool inside and inspect the menu. Between 5 and 6 is 3-for-2 tapas. Beers include the Stone & Wood Pacific Ale and the Feral Hop Hog (both $8 for a bottle, served with a glass). Cocktail jugs of thick, slurpy sangria are $20.

The tapas menu is ambitious and exciting; it’s hard to choose just three (so we don’t).

Cheesy risotto balls

Baked brie with pomegranate and wine sauce

Salt & pepper baby squid with mango and lime sauce

The baked brie with pomegranate ($13) is superb and extremely good value – decent portion size, tasty and plenty of lightly toasted bread. It comes out deliciously melted but a little cool – a touch warmer and we would have been blown away. The $12 bourbon-glazed chicken wings with blue cheese sauce are exactly as they’re described – as well as juicy – but I miss a bit more of a crust on the wings. The salt and pepper squid ($14) is moreish, and the risotto balls ($10) are cheesy and buttery (and feel very, very naughty).

The atmosphere and setting as usual is relaxed but it’s still a thrill to have such unique, interesting and – most importantly good quality food and service at reasonable prices – and on a Saturday evening to boot! Little Oink has produced a hidden gem within a hidden gem – but it won’t be hidden for long!

Date: Saturday, 7 February 2015

Where: Cook Shops, Cook

Cost: $107 for numerous beers, 3-for-2 tapas, cocktail jug, and baked brie.

Value for money: High

Worthwhile factor: Highly worthwhile

Want more? Try their Facebook page. And this previous review. And this one.


Bent Spoke Brewing Company

7 Jun

It’s the most anticipated opening in Canberra this year – and they sure knew how to draw it out. But Bent Spoke Brewing Company has been worth the wait.

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L’Artista, Belconnen

8 May

Zeffirelli’s on Chandler Street in Belconnen was an institution – but one of those that we took for granted as always being there, and never really frequented. It turns out a few people must’ve taken it for granted, because it closed down back in February. For months we’ve been wondering what – if anything – would fill the big space it left. The answer is L’Artista.

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Bridge Road Brewers, Beechworth

29 Apr

Bridge Road Brewers produces some damn fine craft beers, and its rustic brewery in Beechworth perfectly complements the beer and brand.

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Bright Brewery

27 Apr

Following a rather long drive we end up back where we started: Bright. It’s open for Good Friday. We’ve only had (very good) pancakes (and butter!) today so, even though we’ve got dinner at Provenance in Beechworth looming, we stop in at the local brewery for a good beer and a snack.

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Canberra Craft Beer and Cider Festival 2014

9 Apr

The Canberra Craft Beer and Cider Festival is one of our ‘must-dos’. Sunshine, a great venue and, of course, beer all make for a great afternoon out… but the festival still has a few issues to get on top of.

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Chez Frederic, Braddon

15 Jan

I’ll be the first to admit it: even after scouring the website, I don’t quite get what Lonsdale Street’s latest offering, Chez Frederic, is all about. It’s not until we arrive that I really appreciate exactly what this concept – what I think is the first of its kind in Canberra – intends, and achieves.

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Coming Up in 2014 #1

11 Jan

One of the most regular bits of feedback I got in 2013 was “I wish I’d known about that event you reviewed sooner! I would have attended.” That’s awesome feedback for me in that it means I’m reviewing things you’re interested in, but it also highlights the restrictions on being a review blog.

I’ve said elsewhere, but I’ll state it again: this ain’t a preview blog. I don’t claim to know the scoops around town. Honestly, I usually learn about things opening up when everyone else does.

My main sources of ‘review ideas’ are as follows, in no particular order:

  • Visit Canberra. Look, “Visit Canberra” isn’t the right name for this institution. They should be something like “Visiting and Living in Canberra”. The people behind Visit Canberra showcase all the things on in Canberra – suitable whether you’re a tourist or living here. Their website is pretty easy to navigate, and they’ve got a great presence on social media, and encourage Canberrans to share what’s going on. It will also point you in the direction of the Visitors Centre on Northbourne – even if you live here, don’t be ashamed to stop in.
  • Johnny Boy’s Walkabout Blog. If you’re looking for bushwalking ideas, you’ve got to start at John’s page… or mine. But I will freely admit that John’s page is hands down the best resource for walks in and around the ACT. John is a seasoned walker (understatement!), has a great sense of humour and diligently documents every single walk he’s on. Canberra’s lucky to have John and his website as a resource, and long may it continue. Some of John’s walks are a little bit long for me (sometimes I’m lacking a bit on the patience, time or energy side – or all three!), but he provides critical detail with maps and what you should expect – as well as highlighting things you might have never heard of before!
And one of your humble correspondent in her fashionable bushwalking outfit at the summit on a walk with John Evans

And one of your humble correspondent in her fashionable bushwalking outfit at the summit on a walk with John Evans

  • The Riot-Act is Canberra’s pulse. It’s full of Canberra content, including reviews, advice on businesses in Canberra, images of Canberra (more bushwalking ideas! Or submit your own pics), and a user-compiled list of things to do on the weekend.
  • Twitter. A lot of people don’t get Twitter. For years I just had an account to read Twitter, instead of contributing. Now, I love contributing. Either way, it’s a great source of advice and well of ideas about things to do in Canberra, and what people are enjoying (or not!). Search for the hashtag #canberra to get an idea of what’s on the boil. Through Twitter, I’ve learned of things to do that I might be interested from people including our Chief Minister. And, it was through Twitter that I learned about what became my most favourite Canberra event ever. Can’t argue with that!

With those main sources out of the way, I’d like to start up a semi-regular post on the blog letting you know of things to do in Canberra which have caught my eye and/or which I reckon I might head along to. I’m not sure if this will be weekly, monthly or simply ad-hoc, but I’m sure a rhythm will reveal itself! Without further ado!

Coming Up in 2014 #1*:

  • PM’s XI v England at Manuka Oval. There are still tickets available* for the game this Tuesday, 14 January! *at the time of writing. No idea how good they are.
Me and my dear dad in #likecanberra shirts at Manuka Oval last year

Me and my dear dad in #likecanberra shirts at Manuka Oval last year

  • Sunday arvos throughout January at Old Parliament House / Museum of Australian Democracy. Enjoy drinks at OPH each Sunday in January (including Australia Day), with live performances. Inside on Sunday arvos you can be drawn as a caricature (free!). (We’re still waiting to hear whether OPH drinks will be back on after what seemed like a successful showing throughout December.)
  • The Sculpture Bar appears again at the National Gallery of Australia on Thursday, 16 January. For those who haven’t been, it’s a bar at the back of the gallery amongst some rather lovely mist (perfect on a 39 degree day) and the NGA’s lovely sculptures. Drinks in the past have been expensive. Looking forward to seeing what’s planned with their Peruvian/Chandon theme (in the past it’s been Veuve, explaining the $ tag for drinks). Here’s my review from a few years back.
Drinking in front of a sculpture in 2012 - very refined, I assure you

Drinking in front of a sculpture at the NGA in 2012 – very refined, I assure you

So privileged to go on a behind the scenes tour of the broadcasting service at Parliament House in late 2013

So privileged to go on a behind the scenes tour of the broadcasting service at Parliament House in late 2013

  • Valentine’s Day (Friday, 14 February if you need reminding!). BOOK IN QUICK. Canberra restaurants are starting to issue their pricing plans/menus for the big day, including some tempting degustations at some of Canberra’s best. Before you book, you may want to read what I’d like to describe as my public service announcement for what you should NOT expect for a Valentine’s Day dinner.
  • AfterDARK Grazing Tour at the Botanic Gardens. Includes a tour in the evening and a three course dinner at night. There are still sessions available for Valentine’s Day (~$85) and Friday, 7 March (~$50).
  • Enlighten Canberra is back on between 28 February and 8 March (why they don’t extend it for the long weekend MAKES NO SENSE TO ME. Despite the silly dates, just block those eight dates out. You won’t regret it.
Just a little bit amazing.

Just a little bit amazing.

  • The Mapping Our World expo at the National Library (free, but you really should book online to avoid disappointment – here’s the linky) ends on the long weekend date of Monday, 10 March. This is only two months away. You could spend two months at this exhibition. For this reason, you need to get there and spend time with these remarkable maps as soon as possible.
  • Finally, the Canberra Craft Beer Festival has been pushed forward thie year to Saturday, 29 March (it’s been April or later in previous years). Don’t confuse this with the Small Brewers Beer Fest (dates still to be confirmed for 2014) or Canberra Beer Week (hopefully to be held again in November 2014).
With the Centennial Beer at the Canberra Craft Beer Festival in 2013

With the Centennial Beer at the Canberra Craft Beer Festival in 2013

* Not one of these venues/institutions/events asked me to tell you about this stuff that’s happening – it’s all of my own research/knowledge.

Happy blocking out your calendars!

The Museum Bar

16 Nov

Friday afternoon in Canberra starts out pretty gorgeous – blue skies, shining sun, decent weather. At 5.30pm, things turn, with huge black clouds sweeping in over the Brindabellas and a strong and biting wind. It’s a shame for The Museum Bar at (where else) the National Museum of Australia which is hosting its first evening of the season.

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Belgium Beer Cafe Beergustation

15 Nov

Following a big Beer Day Out, a shocking experience at the Durham, and a pretty decent time with Chuck Hahn at the Tradies, we’re not sure how the Beergustation at the Belgian Beer Cafe in Kingston as our final experience for Canberra Beer Week will go. At $99, it should hope to be good!

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