At the end of 2013, I look back on an interesting year. I wouldn’t have thought that I’d start it in Perth and end it on the other side of Australia in landlocked Canberra. Parting with a job that I’ve loved and settling into a new city has been challenging but I end 2013 with a positive mindset and I’m intrigued with where 2014 will take me.
From the food dining prospective, moving to Canberra has opened new avenues of food discovery, with not only the Canberra food scene but frequent visits to Sydney allow me to see their bustling scene as well. I’ve also changed my blog name and content, which was a difficult decision but a requirement from the move to Canberra (as I couldn’t be Perth Food Journal anymore unfortunately!).
In 2013, A and I also had a month of international adventures, with a few days in Dubai, a weekend in Barcelona and three weeks travelling around Italy. I’m a big believer in trying foods in their cultural settings and these trips provided this experience.
In my blogging life, I’ve also had lots of great opportunities head my way, but the main include being selected as a guest blogger for the Eat Drink Perth festival earlier in March and being mentioned in Scoop Magazine (Autumn 2013 edition) with my choice of favourite dessert in Perth. Others include:
- Attending the ‘Coat of Arms’ Burger launch at Grill’d
- Attending the Western Potatoes Food Service Sundowner
- Enjoying a Cocktail Class at Canton Lounge Bar
- Attending a Presse Dinner at No4 Blake Street
- Heading to the Pop Up Gin Garden at The Muse Cafe
- Attending a Back to Balkan Dinner at Divido
- Media Lunch of the Italian Wine Course, organised by the Italian Chamber of Commerce and Industry
- Sampling an Egyptian High Tea at The Muse Café
- Attending the Night Food Safari, which was a progressive dinner between The George, The Aviary and Wolf Lane.
- Going on a truffle hunt at The Truffle Kerfuffle – Southern Forrest Food Festival
- Hitting over 65,000 page views on PFJ.com and CFJ.com since January 2013
- Having 600+ followers on Facebook and over 1300 followers on Twitter
Over the last couple of weeks I’ve looked back on my posts of 2013 and created one list, featuring three Australian cities of my favourite dining experiences of 2013. These are the meals that I’m still talking and craving about.
Excellent coffee and perfectly executed dishes that are an excellent fusion of breakfast favourites with a unique Cantina twist.
After the Presse Dinner I attended, A and I returned again to have another of their Chocolate Garden desserts. On the second time, it still managed to wow us – I highly recommend a visit if you haven’t been!
Impressive breakfast favourites and excellent coffee. A little pricey but worth a visit.
Dinner @ Miss Kitty’s Saloon, Inglewood
I didn’t post this this meal on the blog, but it was definitely a favourite of the year. Miss Kitty’s Saloon nails tasty American & Canadian cuisine and dominates the Perth scene as one of the best new restaurants to open in Perth for 2013.
Because sometime’s the simple meals are one of the best – the laksa at Basil & Mint in Morley was fantastic.
Imported French flour and a passion for baking results in amazing French style pastries and bread. I feel so lucky to live close by to this bakery!
Coffee @ Farmers daughter, Yarralumla
I’m calling this my favourite coffee of 2013. Strong Campos coffee beans and silky milk make for the perfect coffee. Superb!
If you’ve been to Queenstown in New Zealand, chances are you’ve either visited Fergburger or told fervidly that you had to visit it. Well I think I’ve found the Australian equivalent in Brodburger! Brodburger serves delicious burgers, featuring pink patties, fresh salad, homemade aoili and tomato relish.
Heavenly pappardelle and the most amazing panettone, date & almond budino. I can see why there is consistently so many great reviews by national and local publications, including Gourmet Traveller.
Dinner @ Sanur’s, Belconnen
I’ve yet to publish my blog post on my numerous visits to Sanur’s, which is currently my favourite restaurant in Canberra. Fantastic Balinese cuisine, with my favourite dish being Nasi Rames Ayam ($16.90) – Indonesian style of steamed rice with your choice of fried or grilled sanur’s chicken served with gado gado, rending egg, sambal and crispy shallots.
Home of the best pide I’ve had, tasty and very generous Turkish banquets as well as fantastic kebabs.
Breakfast @ Sweet Bones Bakery, Braddon
When A and I arrived in Canberra, we were regulars at Mocan & Green Grout and fell in love with the banana bread they served, which is made by Sweet Bones. Since then, we’ve visited Sweet Bones Bakery in Braddon on numerous occasions to order one of their excellently made coffees (they use Lonsdale St Roasters coffee beans) and a piece of their banana bread. They also offer lots of vegan and vegetarian options.
This was my favourite meal of 2013, featuring authentic italian arancini, the most amazing nutter butter peanut oat biscuit and my dish of the year, wood-fired grilled octopus with eggplant puree, lemon and herb salsa. The kitchen is headed up by chefs who have previously worked at Rockpool, Spice Temple and Catalina but are now serving up great food without the fuss or the price tag. Spectacular dining at its best!
Dessert @ Gelato Messina, Surry Hills
This institution is a Sydney favourite for gelato – unique flavours that work magically. Expect a queue but it’s definitely worth the wait!
Pad Thai @ Thai Riffic Noodle Bar, Westfield Sydney Shopping Centre
My favourite pad thai is made by Thai Riffic Noodle Bar and every time I’m in Sydney I have to have it. There is always lots of chicken, big pieces of lightly fried onion and capsicum adding lots of flavour and the sauce isn’t too sweet. An excellent, inexpensive and recharging lunch.
It’s also interesting to note that even some of my top eats from 2012 are still providing excellent food, wine and coffee in Perth – Ha-Lu in Mount Hawthorn, La Cholita in Northbridge and Ingredient tree in Wembley.
There have been so many new favourites that I’ve stumbled upon and I can’t wait to see what 2014 will bring!
I also want to say a huge thank you to all my readers! Your support by reading the blog, commenting, emailing and the random chats on Twitter/Facebook are greatly appreciated. I look forward to another year with you and CFJ in 2014!
May it be our best year yet!