Tag Archives: Kingston

Movenpick, Kingston Foreshore*

22 May

* I attended Movenpick as a guest

For the uneducated (like I was), Movenpick is an international ice cream brand. It’s one of those franchises people are obsessed with: queuing up outside for hours, sampling all the flavours, and coming back the very next day to try it all again.

And that’s the story of Siddharth Mahabal and Aneeta Singh. While living in New Zealand they didn’t just eat Movenpick but they lived it, and on moving to Canberra figured if there wasn’t a store here already then they had to work hard to bring one here – including opening it themselves.

They did just that. At the launch of Movenpick we heard from the head office how the husband and wife team would regularly contact Movenpick to ask them to consider opening a store in Canberra. They were nothing if not persistent! The good news – for Siddharth and Aneeta, as well as for all of Canberra – is that it worked.

Canberra’s very first Movenpick store is located on the still-expanding Kingston foreshore, down the end where you’ll find Molto Italian. It’s a corner store, luxuriously fitted out with leather couches in the traditional Movenpick colours of black, red and white and curved edges everywhere I look. It’s classy and homely.

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One of the best parts of Kingston foreshore is being close to the lake. Movenpick’s taken the bold step of having an outdoor eating area. Given Canberra winters average about eight months, I was skeptical whether this would be successful but Movenpick has been able to stretch out the awning to provide a covered area and they also have these beauties:

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They work a treat and have me shrugging off my jacket.

But we’re here for the ice cream! So what’s on offer?

The first thing you need to know is that Movenpick offers free tasting of all its flavours. And there are a lot. And some of the flavours you can’t quite properly grasp until you taste them, so don’t be shy. I try blueberry cheesecake, cinnamon, raspberry sorbet doubled with Swiss chocolate to make a Cherry Ripe-style duo, caramelita, espresso (as a non-coffee drinker this almost blew my head off – the flavour is strong), maple walnut, mint chocolate, chocolate brownie… you get the idea.

Siddharth isn't just the owner of Movenpick Kingston, but probably one of Movenpick's greatest ambassadors! And he consistently serves with a smile, even at my 10th tasting.

Siddharth isn’t just the owner of Movenpick Kingston, but probably one of Movenpick’s greatest ambassadors! And he consistently serves with a smile, even at my 10th tasting.

The process of creating Movenpick ice cream is something of a feat. Ingredients are sourced from all of the world – Madagascan vanilla pods, cocoa beans from Venezuela – and brought to Switzerland where the ice cream is prepared centrally, before being shipped to its stores around the world. You can’t doubt the Swiss for wanting to achieve consistency in quality product, even if I do wonder a bit about overall efficiency.

Movenpick ice creams are creamy. Really creamy. And the flavours come through strongly – they use natural ingredients and there are no artificial additives, colours or flavours – just like our own local Frugii. My favourite flavours are cinnamon and blueberry cheesecake (these are two separate flavours), but the tasting helps me uncover flavours I was convinced I wouldn’t really like and love: caramelita (with both caramel ripple and caramel bits) and the white chocolate, too.

I start with a double serve of cinnamon and blueberry cheesecake in a cone. But it turns out to be that my only love is sprung from my only hate. Or, to be less dramatic, the delicious blueberry cheesecake (which I love) is slated to replace the cinnamon ice cream (which is beyond devastating!). If you are reading this, Movenpick head honchos, you are making a mistake. The cinnamon is so, so good. (If you think you might like even kind of like the cinnamon I urge you to get in quick before it’s gone forever!)

Cinnamon and blueberry cheesecake

Cinnamon and blueberry cheesecake. The cones are made on site.

While I’ve been on my Charlie and the Chocolate Factory-esque taste of everything on site, Boyfriend has gone ahead and ordered a plate of the Movenpick macarons: macaron shells filled with ice cream and served with cream and a dash of chocolate sauce. It’s pretty darn decadent with chocolate, salted caramel and pistachio ($12.95).

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I think this is one of the best value for money offerings that Movenpick has: the macaron shells are high quality and the servings of ice cream sandwiched in each is essentially three different scoops. I’m not sure what it is about the pistachio but I’m not a fan and neither is Boyfriend – but otherwise the tastes are very, very good.

(Do you like the plates? They’re by Robert Gordon Australia.)

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Siddharth insists we try the chocolate waffles. These, along with the apple strudel, are items which obviously have a particular appeal during winter. The waffles are prepared on site according to the Movenpick recipe and they’re made to order so they come out hot and fresh with another two big serves of ice cream and brilliantly-red, sweet strawberries with lashings of chocolate sauce.

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This is another very decadent dessert. The waffles are crisp on the edge and overall very cakey in texture. Noting most of my waffle experience has been with frozen ones that you microwave that are essentially hollow inside, this takes me by surprise. Keeping the ice cream and waffles separate keeps the ice cream from melting and lets you choose how you want to eat them, but my recommendation is to pile the ice cream on the waffle so you get the cakey bits, the crunchy bits, the cold bits and hot bits all in one mouthful. Yum! (Save the strawberries until last so you can end feeling healthy.)

While Frugii will always be #1 for me, I’m impressed with what Movenpick has to offer, especially given it’s a franchise. The personal effort from Siddharth and Aneeta can be felt throughout the store and the ice cream flavours are spot on.

(Please keep the cinnamon ice cream, Movenpick. It really is very, very good.)

Date: Saturday, 7 May 2016

Where: Kingston Foreshore, 43 Eastlake Parade

Cost: I attended Movenpick Kingston as a guest; we paid for the ice cream sandwich macarons

Worthwhile factor: Highly worthwhile

Value for money: Reasonable: as you might expect from a product with ingredients sourced from around the world and centrally prepared in Switzerland, a single scoop is on the upper end for cost – but it is very high quality.

Want more? Check out their Facebook page for more.

Muse, Kingston*

17 Sep

* I visited Muse as a guest

This humble little blog recently celebrated four years – four years of eating, drinking, reviewing and peeling back the layers of Canberra bit by bit. While still being hosted entirely by WordPress after all this time (yes, yes, there are moves afoot to discard wordpress from my URL!), I’ve also seen a lot in this time and the only thing that’s surprised me recently is that this city still tolerates bemusing degustations.

But then I experienced Muse, the definition of which might be ‘Food, Wine and Books’. (That’s what the wine glass tells me, anyway.)

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La Rustica by the Lake, Kingston Foreshore

16 Jan

Kingston Foreshore feels almost ‘filled out’ now. The empty shop spaces are filled up and – at least in these summer months – each venue seems brimming if not bursting with people on these storm-filled afternoons.

If La Rustica sounds familiar, it is – for many years it was a mainstay of the Kingston dining scene on Kennedy Street but has been lured down to the foreshore. Like many of the establishments, it’s got a huge, sprawling space. Early Saturday afternoon we’re offered to sit wherever we like – but this doesn’t mean it’s quiet; we just find our seats amongst the busyness!

We have enough time to pore over the menus to result in major decision issues: I’m tempted by fettuccini salmone ($22.90), gnocchi gorgonzola ($23.90) and patate pizza (starting at $16.90 for a small) – and don’t decide on any of them. Our wines are served in large portions.

It’s a short, reasonable wait before our generous portions are served hot and fresh.We’re offered parmesan which is served in a bowl with a spoon (I love that we can keep adding spoonfuls!).

My Spaghetti Nero ($22.90) is perfect al dente; tangy mouthfuls are made moreish thanks to a creamy base, and heat the back of my tongue between bites.

Spaghetti nero (ie with squid ink)

My friend’s Balmain Bugs ($26.90) has three big bug bites, but the white wine sauce with shallots and garlic – while okay – doesn’t pack quite the flavourful punch she’s expecting.

Balmain Bugs spaghetti

As we finish the rain starts rocketing down. Other establishments scramble to rescue tables and shares, but La Rustica simply closes its roof. That said, rain has a habit of slicing sideways and we’re offered to move inside to any seat we like. We do.

We’ve been offered dessert menus. I’m a nooooooo toooooo fuuuuuull kinda person (although I wouldn’t refuse another glass of wine), but the time it takes between receiving the menu and having someone coming back to take our orders has me more than locating my dessert stomach (read: it’s a long time). Once ordered, our desserts arrive quickly.

Profiteroles ($12.90)

The custard-filled profiteroles are no match for my friend, who delights in them. I’ve never had panzerotti (sweet ricotta-filled fried dough) and the casing is probably a little too tough for my tastes (but this isn’t a restaurant issue – I think they’re supposed to be like this!). The vanilla bean ice cream served in a small dish surprises me: for presentation it’s pretty (see for yourself!), but it’s painful for practical purposes.

Panzerotti with vanilla bean ice cream ($14.90)

For a solid meal and very reasonable wine prices at a pretty lovely location, I’d recommend. A few hours of our Saturday comfortably slip by.

Date: Saturday, 10 January 2015

Where: Kingston Foreshore

Cost: $110.60 (including two mains, two desserts, two sauv blancs and two rieslings)

Value for money: Reasonably high

Worthwhile factor: Worthwhile

Want more? Out In Canberra can fill in blanks.

La Rustica By The lake on Urbanspoon

Local Press Cafe, Kingston

6 Nov

It’s taken me too long to get to the most talked-about cafe in Canberra: Local Press, on the Kingston Foreshore.

I’ve big plans to arrive right on their opening time of 8am (on weekends) this Sunday morning, but it’s not to be. I’m still borderline gloating that we’ve made it to Kingston by 9am on a Sunday morning, but soon realise we’ll be competing for a table with people who’ve been up for hours and have already exercised and look pretty damn good for it. (I really wish I was a morning person.)

Local Press doesn’t take bookings so it’s all a bit chaotic: there are people waiting in various spots around the cafe for a table to come available. Many people are up at the bar in the centre of the cafe as a holding area, but with agreement from our waiter we take permanent seats there.

While this gives us a seat I think it confuses things a little bit, because it takes us some time to get a menu. It’s then only a few minutes for our orders to be taken, and our drinks arrive reasonably quickly, but it’s a good 40 minutes before our meals come out. It’s easy enough to guess this will be the case given the huge amounts of people they’re serving, but be prepared for a leisurely breakfast, not a speedy one.

Local Press is known for its cold pressed juices so I can’t go past the apple, kale, celery, lemon, cucumber and parsley juice for $7. It comes out in a cute bottle – which gets a good shake – and a straw.

Apple & kale juice with flat white

It’s cliche: I do feel healthier for drinking it. But I also feel conflicted because I really feel like I could have a second one, but would that make it too much of a good thing (or unhealthy?). I decide against it. Boyfriend is a little disappointed with his coffee, which he describes at lukewarm.

Poached eggs on rye ($13) with smoked salmon ($4 extra)

I have major food envy of Boyfriend’s dish of poached eggs on rye – it’s presented beautifully, the colours bounce off the plate, and there’s a lot of it.

Mine’s not so pretty, but there’s just as much.

Salmon and eggs sandwich with dill yoghurt, chilli jam, baby spinach, truss tomato ($14) and avocado and seeds (extra $3)

I don’t eat this like a sandwich, rather enjoying a slide of avo and seeds on toast, and another slice of chilli jam with eggs, baby spinach and yoghurt. There’s a lot on this plate as well, and it’s a struggle to finish. The overwhelming impression I’m left with is just how fresh it all is; it really does feel like only the best ingredients have been used.

Local Press Cafe’s food is as well designed and prepared as its decor and seating – to the point that it borders on too good, if there is such a thing. The throngs of people are testament to that, but serve as a warning – this isn’t for you if you’re in a rush. Bring in a newspaper and relax with a juice and a coffee, and prepare for the breakfast to be your main meal of the day!

Date: Sunday, 26 October 2014

Where: Kingston Foreshore

Cost: $45.50 for two breakfasts, a coffee and a juice

Value for money: The meals are assisted with the add-ons which makes them more expensive; for the quality of the ingredients and the amount, it’s great value

Worthwhile factor: Worthwhile

Want more? Try out the website, or Rachi’s excellent review.

 Local Press Cafe on Urbanspoon

C Dine Bar, Kingston

11 Aug

C Dine Bar is the recent winner of the AHA Award for Best Restaurant in Canberra. It has a prime location on the Kingston Foreshore, and I’ve always admired its vast outdoor seating and heard rumours of its excellent seafood.

10 minutes after arriving at the Foreshore we’ve taken advantage of the bright warming sunshine on this cool day and we’re sat outside with menus and views.

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How to have the best Brodburger experience

21 Mar

The name ‘Brodburger’ evokes high expectations whether you’ve been going there for years or whether it’s your first time: its reputation precedes it.

This is your guide to having the best Brodburger experience. You’re welcome.

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Canberra Cake Club – February

23 Feb

Canberra Cake Club began after a lovely Perth blogger mentioned Perth’s Secret Cake Club to a group of enterprising Canberra bloggers… in just a matter of months the Club was formed and the first Canberra ‘Cakeup’ was held at Gold Creek’s Stripey Sundae around an icecream theme (what else!). February marks the second ever Cakeup…

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