Tag Archives: Cook

Little Oink night menu, Cook

13 Feb

It’s no secret that I love – LOVE – Little Oink.Β  (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.

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Little Oink Cafe, Cook

15 Jun

Canberra’s known for its local centres. Heck, we’ve even got Parties at the Shops, which revolves around and celebrates them. But some local centres are in a bit of a state of decline (and for still others, that’s a euphemism!). So, it kinda excites me to see a range of new cafes popping up in some of the quieter centres and making a real go of it. Little Oink Cafe in Cook shops is one example.

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Mt Painter

6 May

We’re incredibly lucky to have so many good walks within Canberra. My favourite trek of these is Mt Painter. It’s nestled behind (in front of?) Cook and if you’ve driven down William Hovell Drive you’ve likely driven right past it.

Entrance from Bussell St, Cook to Mt Painter

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Black Mountain stroll

25 Jan

Looking back towards Belco

Along with Mt Ainslie, Black Mountain (or Telstra Tower) is hard to miss – making it a pretty obvious choice for a Sunday afternoon walk.

Tower peaking through... example of the type of footpath

There are many routes you can take to get up to the top, but we took one of the ones that starts at Belconnen Way. You can pull into a small ‘carpark’ and basically it’s a straight hike towards the mountain.

Black Mountain looks far away, but you cover ground quickly. With my numerous stops to catch my breath, it took us less than an hour to get to the top. The path starts narrow, then gets very wide, before you climb up well placed stones to Canberra’s well known landmark. Well, to Canberra’s well known landmark’s carpark.

More footpath examples

The most unfortunate and well known fact about getting to the top of Black Mountain when you drive up there is the same as when you walk – you can’t see anything. Sure, there are glimpses of the suburbs as you climb up, but once you’re at the top, good luck seeing past the tall trees… unless you’ve brought your wallet and you’re willing to go up to Telstra Tower for the view.

I think Black Mountain is a great walk, but it’s not somewhere I’d be taking any out of town visitors to show off the views of Canberra for free. You’re going to get much better views from Mt Ainslie or nearby Mt Painter (next to Cook – and my favourite Canberra mountain).

But, I won’t deny it – there’s a definite sense of accomplishment from climbing Black Mountain.

Check out the map here.

Infamous Telstra Tower at the top