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New Canberra Fun for Foodies

By snickers - 25 June 2009 25

When I first moved to Canberra from Melbourne I thought all hope was lost – and that I had gone to foodie hell.  What I discovered was a extensive, quality, but difficult to find foodie fun scattered around the Canberra burbs and hidden in little regional enclaves.  I have included some information on my most recent discovery below.

I was reading the recent post about our own local truffle growers and their (extensive!) schedule of local events and thought I might draw readers attention to a new little shop and series of events which has popped up at our beloved Old Parliament House.

I popped down for lunch the other day and low and behold – a little gourmet, farmers markety type food shop has sprung up.  It stocks a continually varying (small) range of fresh produce, local cheeses, wines, herbs, condiments, smoked goods, and freshly baked bread etc.  I consider it to be quite reasonably priced.

Besides those tasty goodies – one of the cool things they are doing is running a series of foodie events.  Much to my boss’s disappointment, their dinner with Maggie Beer is already sold out, but there are heaps of other events coming up that you foodies may be interested in.  They seem to usually consist of a talk with tasting, and then a lunch featuring the ingredient/theme of the talk/tasting (at an optional extra price of course!).

Their website is and some of the upcoming events include:

    — Our local truffle growers (19 July)
    — Smoked food demonstration (18 October)
    — Local berry crops (13 December)

What’s Your opinion?

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25 Responses to
New Canberra Fun for Foodies
ant 9:29 am 26 Jun 09

Cafe in the House continues to underwhelm, evidently.

YapYapYap 1:03 am 26 Jun 09

seekay said :

– but have been completely scared off anything to do with Kitchen Cabinet and Ginger Catering thanks to their absolutely cringe-making advertising.

Haven’t seen the ad but had the misfortune of dining at Cafe in the House last Sunday. The only thing worse than the food was the truly appalling service – the best example of which was the waitress attempting to fill a full glass of red from the bottle of chardonnay she had just delivered, along with said glass of red.

Never mind, as she explained to my 85 year old lunch guest, it was ‘a blonde moment, bloke’.

As to the food: slithers of flathead – not that the waistress could tell me what the beer battered fish of the day was when I enquired. I suggested it might be “flathead?”, and she agreed it probably was – were set in concrete, and the roast lamb was raw. I love meat on the hoof, but this was a little too much for me let alone Bloke’s 80 year old girlfriend.

Zero out of two for Sunday lunch at OPH in the last 2 months. And it used to be excellent.

gunslingr 11:17 pm 25 Jun 09

ant said :

They sent letters/emails/faxes to local producers, asking for their produce to be provided to the shop before it opened recently. it’s a good try but I wonder if the odd location will prove a problem? When you enter OPH, it’s predominantly a museum.

Maybe they can spread the word by anonymously posting articles on local websites, touting their wares?

kean van choc 4:28 pm 25 Jun 09

Oh, and there are a couple of good dry spice shops in Phillip (the industrial area) – one with an indian focus on the main street and a more mixed asian one in one of the courts which sells top quality ghee (the green tin branded – can’t remember the name) for a few bucks cheaper than any other place in town. They also have a good mix of sri lankan spice mixes.

kean van choc 4:23 pm 25 Jun 09

Cedars of Lebanon in Southlands (Mawson) isn’t bad for middle eastern stuff – they also sell sisha tobacco!! Mmmm, cherry…
The Nut Shoppe at the Fyshwick Markets also has a fair range of middle eastern stuff – it seems to have expanded since they moved into the new area – we bought some pretty good halva from them the other week.

Skidbladnir 3:00 pm 25 Jun 09

RE: Middle Eastern:
Jabal Halal Market in Belconnen (Kippax?) used to do all kinds of good middle eastern bits and bobs.
There is also Al-Bait Spice (Walder Street, Belconnen)

I think there’s now a Jabal Halal in Mawson now, but he may just be a halal butcher?

ant 2:28 pm 25 Jun 09

Ah ha! Dan makes cheese. I’ve been eying hobby cheesemaking but the furtherst I’ve got is paneer to use up my milk before it goes off! Bland stuff.

That heads-up on the place in Leeton St is a good one, definitely worth checking out. There used to be the best deli in the entire world in the Qbn main st, near the QLC, but the bloke who owned it couldn’t get his family interested in takign it over, so he closed it and sold the building.

What about speciality ethnic food delis/shops? Like for supplies of Mexican, or middle eastern ingredients? Or others… there’s a wealth of knowledge here.

Danman 2:04 pm 25 Jun 09

Ant, if you pay for the milk (Has to be parmalat full cream) and a small “Adjustement fee” for time and consumables – I am quite happy to make your fetta and have it ready for consumption 72 hours after providing the milk…

As good as or better than any fetta you can buy round the traps…

Send me a message via the usual methods if you wanna know more.

Going to start a blue this weekend too..

Scribble 1:55 pm 25 Jun 09

Regarding the Ginger Catering tvc’s, an old ad guy once told me it doesn’t matter whether people like advertising or loathe it, as long as they notice it. By that measure it seems GC has done reasonably well.

snickers 12:23 pm 25 Jun 09

The Nut Shop @ 5 Leeton Street Fyshwick would probably have the buckets of feta – they have a lot of european goods, sauces, canned goods, dried fruits, jams, cheeses and cold meets. I am pretty sure they sell the buckets of feta…. if not they do have some wonderful Israeli cous cous, dried wild figs, and bulgarian sheeps milk feta.
Do be careful as I think they are only open on Saturday til 2 pm and closed on Sunday. They may also be related in some way to the nut place at Fyshwick markets – but I’m not sure… that may be another place to try. The shop at the markegs certainly stocks some very economical large vats of labneh and haloumi.

astrojax 11:58 am 25 Jun 09

i think ainslie iga has fetta in buckets, ant. could be wrong, but pretty sure – and sorry to say it, but i think woolies in dickson also has it… as far as good delis go, which is a considerable distance, the ones out at belco markets between them are ok, but it is a sad state of affairs that isn’t a great one in civic. is there?

ant 11:04 am 25 Jun 09

They sent letters/emails/faxes to local producers, asking for their produce to be provided to the shop before it opened recently. it’s a good try but I wonder if the odd location will prove a problem? When you enter OPH, it’s predominantly a museum.

There are little shops around the place specialising in different foods, I’d sure like ot hear about any special suppliers/delis etc. For instance, where can one get buckets of fetta now? Mother Natures in Qbn used to have them, but have reduced their holdings to mostly just F and V.

sepi 9:47 am 25 Jun 09

me too!

Those ads are terrible – especially the woman whose friends are her cookbooks, or whatever she says – it doesn’t even make sense.

but I might check this out. I like a visit to OPH.

seekay 9:46 am 25 Jun 09

I’m missing Melbourne’s range of food too – but have been completely scared off anything to do with Kitchen Cabinet and Ginger Catering thanks to their absolutely cringe-making advertising. They must really have a low opinion of their target demographic to portray them all as podgy, nerdy, desperate ageing singletons?

On another note: I bought some fantastic duck ravioli out at the Fyshwick markets several months ago and haven’t seen any there since. Anyone know where you can find it?

muFasa 9:30 am 25 Jun 09

snickers… I love that you are a foodie… and your name on here is ‘snickers’….

But seriously… thanks for the link, I had no idea it existed and will definately check it out!

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