Sunday brunch at Poachers Pantry

Sunday 4 May this year is known for two things. It’s Star Wars day (May the 4th be with you) and the Collector Pumpkin Festival. The weather wasn’t that conducive to being outside looking at pumpkins so Bron and I elected to enjoy brunch at Poachers Pantry. We’ve been here before and enjoyed it. It was time to visit again.

We had a reservation for 10 am and arrived a little too early. Even though it was a really fresh morning with a bit of wind we went for a walk to further whet our appetites.

2014-05-04_09.47.19_BCMAt 10 am we were greeted warmly and shown to a table next to a fire place which was a welcome relief from the cold outside. We asked for coffees and then perused the menu.

Bron asked for the Shakshuka baked eggs with sweet peppers, tomato, spinach, creamed fetta and toast and I asked for the Poacher’s Farmhouse Breakfast – fried eggs, ham steak, black pudding, crispy potatoes, button mushrooms, tomato relish and toast.

Bron loved her eggs and I was equally impressed with my dish. The tomato relish was very spicy and packed a punch. I asked if it was possible to buy the relish and unfortunately it’s not. In the end I chose an alternative take home.

fig, fennel and chilli chutney

fig, fennel and chilli chutney

Shakshuka baked eggs with sweet peppers, tomato, spinach, creamed fetta and toast

Shakshuka baked eggs with sweet peppers, tomato, spinach, creamed fetta and toast

Poacher’s Farmhouse Breakfast - fried eggs, ham steak, black pudding, crispy potatoes, button mushrooms, tomato relish and toast

Poacher’s Farmhouse Breakfast – fried eggs, ham steak, black pudding, crispy potatoes, button mushrooms, tomato relish and toast

The coffees we asked for were full of flavour and the special sugar (which you can see in a glass jar in the image above) complemented the flavour of the coffee. The service is warm, friendly and very helpful. Bron noticed on the black board that they had wasabi chocolate macarons (I bought her a bottle of smoky barbecue sauce instead because Bron makes amazing pulled pork). We’d recommend Poachers Pantry for a weekend brunch.

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Welcome to Poachers Pantry

Poachers Pantry on Urbanspoon

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Gary the #breakfast canary @hahabarcbr

This morning Bron and I had breakfast at the Ha Ha Bar in Belconnen on Lake Ginninderra.

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Sunday #breakfast @hahabarcbr | Ha Ha Bar Belconnen recommendation from @Girlhassparke

I’ve lived in Belconnen since 2007 and have never been to the Ha Ha Bar on Lake Ginninderra. Yesterday Megan mentioned on Twitter that breakfast at the Ha Ha Bar never disappoints.

So this morning I ventured to the Ha Ha Bar for breakfast.

I arrived shortly after 8 am and the place had a good smattering of customers. Soon after I arrived more people came streaming in demonstrating the Ha Ha Bar’s popularity.

The service was friendly and helpful. I was shown a table on the balcony overlooking  Lake Ginninderra. It was a view that allowed me to do a little people watching as locals walked, jogged, ran and cycled by.

I asked for a long black coffee on being seated and when it arrived it looked great. It was rich, dark and strong.

A picture of a cup of coffee

A long black coffee from the Ha Ha Bar in Belconnen

The menu looks pretty standard for restaurant that does breakfast, lunch and tea (plus high tea).

I asked for my standard, i.e., Eggs Benedict with bacon rather than ham. The Ha Ha Bar also adds a bit of spinach which is a nice touch.

a photograph of Eggs Benedict

Poached eggs, Hollandaise sauce, bacon and spinach for a delicious breakfast at Ha Ha Bar Belconnen

The eggs were cooked perfectly with a lovely runny yolk. The Hollandaise had a nice rich creaminess which made the spinach and bacon even more delicious. The bacon was streaky and nicely cooked. I’d happily eat eggs here again.

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Hope you had a great weekend and ate YUMMY

Ha Ha Bar on Urbanspoon

The Ha Ha Bar website

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Delicious #lowcarb hashed corned beef and egg breakfast stack

It’s a Saturday morning and after a poor sleep and a coffee I decide the only thing that will help me feel better is to explore the shelf of shame 😉

I pull out a tin of corned beef and from the refrigerator some Coon cheese, a cos lettuce and an egg.

Fried egg on hashed corned beef with Coon cheese atop a cos lettuce leaf.

Fried egg on hashed corned beef with Coon cheese atop a cos lettuce leaf.

This with another cup of coffee gave me the energy to face the day 🙂

Delicious low carb hashed corned beef and egg breakfast stack

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • Tinned corned beef
  • Cos lettuce (any green leaf really)
  • Egg
  • Coon cheese (any cheese really)
  • Cracked pepper
  • Curry powder
  • Worcestershire sauce

Cooking method

  1. In a hot oiled fry pan sautée about 100 g of corned beef so that it separates in the pan and starts to caramelise
  2. Add a splash of Worcestershire sauce and a teaspoon of curry powder and mix well while the corned beef is cooking
  3. Lay out a green leaf on a plate
  4. Add some thinly sliced cheese (I’m using Coon because it melts nicely, American cheese would be good too)
  5. Gently fry an egg sunny side up and so the white is cooked but the yolk is still soft and runny
  6. Add the corned beef on top of the cheese
  7. Gently place the fried egg on the corned beef
  8. Grind black pepper over the egg
  9. Capture an image
  10. Eat the food
  11. Clean up

If you have any comments or questions please send me a comment in the space below.

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Hope you have a great weekend and eat YUMMY

Recipes with hashed corned beef #bestblogs14

Regular readers and people who follow me on Instagram will know of my shelf of shame and the deep affection I have for canned hashed corned beef which I usually fry and flavour with curry powder. This morning breakfast and lunch contained corned beef. If you look through the food photography page you’ll come across many examples of corned beef as a base to a meal.

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Voting, walking, cooking and lots of eating Saturday 7 September 2013 #ausvotes

Today Australia held a federal election. For readers who aren’t Australian and living elsewhere we have compulsory voting and we always vote on a Saturday. Would you believe the hash tag #sausagesizzle was trending on Twitter in Australia!

Bron and I had a good day. We went out to vote early, enjoyed a nice breakfast and then took a good walk up to the National Arboretum. I’m currently watching the election night coverage and writing about today.

At most election venues, especially at schools there is a sausage sizzle and a cake stall to raise money for the school

At most election venues, especially at schools there is a sausage sizzle and a cake stall to raise money for the school

Ballot Paper - Version 2

The ballot paper for the seat of Fraser. I love voting below the line to get full democratic satisfaction from my vote.

After voting we walked to Ricardo’s cafe in the Jamison shops and enjoyed breakfast.

Check the walk at

Our walk to vote and then eat breakfast

Our walk to vote and then eat breakfast

Poached eggs on Focaccia Bread with a side of Hollandaise sauce and hashed browns

Poached eggs on Focaccia Bread with a side of Hollandaise sauce and hashed browns

After breakfast we went back to the National Arboretum for a walk. We’d been there recently for breakfast.

You can check out the walk at

Our walk up to and down from the Cafe at the National Arboretum. The zig zag represents the pathway.

Our walk up to and down from the Cafe at the National Arboretum. The zigzag represents the pathway.

Below are some images from the bonsai garden. These are some beautiful plants. I love bonsai.

The cafe isn’t too bad. It’s catered by the same people who run the Conservatory Restaurant. My iced coffee was pretty nice. I was very tempted by the hot pies. Hover your mouse over the image and read the caption.

This is a slide show. Please look through the images or click on the slide show to go through the images one at a time.

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The images above are a slide show of outdoor images taken while we walked up and down from the car park to the cafe at the top. We also walked around the Margaret Whitlam (for non-Australians Margaret Whitlam (deceased) was the wife of Gough Whitlam, a former Prime Minister of Australia) Pavillion which is essentially a wedding chapel for those that can afford a very nice view.

This afternoon I had a lovely vanilla slice from Ricardo’s cafe.

Vanilla slice. So rich. So nice.

Vanilla slice. So rich. So nice.

For dinner tonight I prepared a chicken to roast. I stood it up on a can of coca cola as a means to insert some moisture and drain the juices away from the chicken to keep the skin crisp.

For dessert I had a Black Forest bomb cake from Ricardo’s cafe. The YouTube video shows the sparkler (det cord) going off 😉

The Black Forest cake is delicious. The sparkler is a nice touch too.

The cut surface shows the lovely insides. Hover over the image and read the caption.

Well it looks like the coalition of the Liberal Party and National Party will be invited to form a government by the Governor-General. This will mean the Hon. Tony Abbott will be the next Prime Minister of Australia.

I enjoyed exercising, cooking and eating today. I hope you did too. Please feel free to leave a comment. If you’re a WordPress user please feel free to ‘like’ the post.

Breakfast at the National Arboretum

This morning Bron and I decided to enjoy breakfast at the Conservatory Restaurant at the National Arboretum.

We arrived at 8.30 and were shown a table near the large windows overlooking the grounds.

We started with coffee. Bron’s latte was nice but my flat white was weak and very milky. I didn’t ask for another.

The menu is pretty stock standard for Ginger Catering who have the contract for the cafe and restaurant.

I asked for a couple of poached eggs on sourdough toast with some mushrooms, aged cheddar and hollandaise sauce.

Poached eggs on sourdough

Poached eggs on sourdough

The eggs were okay. One was creamy runny while the other was firm and a little disappointing. The mushrooms were very nice and had a taste of tarragon. The herb butter they were sauteed in made a big difference. I wasn’t expecting so much aged cheddar, although for $4 I’m glad I got more than some grated cheese. The hollandaise was pretty good, it was a nice texture and had a good tang. The bread was nicely toasted the knife was sufficiently sharp for it not to be a problem cutting the toast. Check out Canberra blogger Tara’s comments on breakfast knives in these posts.

The meal was pretty expensive. $57 for two of us. The view was pretty nice and it was fun watching people, cars and cyclists making their way up the hill. I reckon it’s worthwhile doing. Perhaps next time I’d want a later start and walk from the bottom and then have a coffee in the cafe with a lamb pie rather than breakfast. If you live in Canberra or you’re visiting, it’s a nice way to spend a morning. I’d recommend you do it.

After breakfast we went to the look out at the top of the hill and looked around. Take a look at the slide show. These images were captured with my iPhone and my Panasonic DMC-TZ10.

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Restaurant non-food ratings

I didn’t need to empty my bladder so I don’t have a dunny review.

The napkins were thick paper napkins so it’s still a fail.

In terms of waiter etiquette, the service was friendly and helpful. Plates were not taken away too soon. So it’s a pass.

More about the restaurant

National Arboretum

Conservatory Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Google maps

Week 11 of 2013 in my Instagram life

After the last blog post last weekend I finished with an image of chicken schnitzel. Here it is cooked with some fried eggs. Yum comfort food.

#dinner #simple Chicken thigh schnitzel and fried eggs #yummy

Chicken high schnitzel with fried eggs


On Sunday morning I had breakfast with Bron and we went to Black Pepper for Eggs Benedict.

#breakfast Eggs Benedict with bacon and an extra side of hollandaise sauce. #yummy Bron had the same 😃

I always ask for more Hollandaise sauce


I went to work on Sunday to catch up on some work. Fortunately I had a snack there.

#lunch It's Whoopie time 😃

An extreme chocolate whoopie


From my garden

From my garden

From my garden

I do nothing to the garden bed in my apartment. I do not even add water and look at what grows.


Sunday night dinner of salmon salad

#dinner Salmon and salad with pear, beetroot, spring onions, feta, coriander, tomatoes, lemon zest and juice #yummy


Monday was a public holiday. I visited Bron and we had her homemade hot cross buns

Bron's hot cross buns #yummy #breakfast

These were really good. I had two and lots of butter.


After another day at work on a public holiday I made chicken salad

#dinner Because I'm an old man and because I don't feel well I had an early dinner. Maple and soy chicken salad. #yummy


Tuesday night I felt a little blergh and just made chicken and potato gems (tater tots)

#dinner I was bad. Chilli crusted chicken with potato gems (tater tots). #yummy

I felt better after eating this.


Bron has been busy making macarons. Look at these babies. Salted caramel, rose water and vanilla.

#dessert Look what Bron came and gave me today. Homemade macarons #superyummy

A salted caramel maracon.

#dessert The most delicious salted caramel macaron I've tasted #superyummy Thank you Bron ❤

This is the best salted caramel macaron I’ve ever tasted. These were so good. I love the way the flavours change as I bit into them and then as my tongue made contact.


My personal passport expires in about eight months. It is easier to renew it before it expires. I pick up my new one in a couple of weeks.

Morning office #coffee Time to renew personal passport.

Most of the travel I do is for work and for that I use an official passport. My current personal passport expires in January 2014. Given a passport cannot be used for the last six months of its ‘life’ and because renewing a current passport is many orders of magnitude easier than renewing an expired passport, I thought it was time.


Nothing beats a sausage roll for a quick lunch

DIY biology and a sausage roll. Quick #lunch So busy.


It was nice having a WIZZ FIZZ lollipop

I think I need a wizz fizz before dinner 😃


Thursday morning treat from Bron

Bron asked me not to photograph these delicious treats. I can't help but like the nipples.

Now this is the morning after the meal at Morks so I wasn’t that hungry but who can resist macarons. 


It was Jacqui’s birthday at work. We didn’t our usual Pay day Pie day, instead we had a burger. You may recall Jacqui from last week’s post.

#lunch Urban Bean cheese burger with bacon egg and beetroot. Amazeball chips #yummy Happy birthday @jacquimkane

This is an Urban Cheese. It is a cheeseburger from Urban Bean Espresso Bar. It has an Angus beef pattie, tasty cheese, bacon, fried egg and beetroot. The chips came with homemade mayonnaise.


I just had a salad for dinner

#dinner with Bron. Salad and no meat. #yummy

Followed with macarons

Look what we have for #dessert Nipply macarons. Thanks Bron


Mmm…Friday morning rituals. Mavi Breakfast wrap. This one was amazingly good.

#breakfast Getting my hand and mouth a Mavi breakfast wrap #yummy

The owner made this one and we reckon he put in more bacon and mushrooms.


Hot chip Friday lunch of course

#lunch hot chip Friday. Sorry @snagstand too busy today.

You’d think I would have had enough of these but no.


Saturday morning breakfast

Big #breakfast #yummy

This was a mistake. We had breakfast at Gourmet Deli in Belconnen Westfield shopping centre. This place has great coffee and is a fantastic delicatessen. This breakfast was a little too ‘greasy’.


For dinner on Saturday night I was at Bron’s place. Bron has been thinking of making Jamie Oliver’s Yorkshire puddings again. She’d made them a little over a year ago and we blogged about it.

Here are some very short video sequences of the puddings being poured and rising in the oven. I have uploaded them on Vine but don’t know how to embed Vine into this blog so I’ve embedded YouTube uploads.

Out of the oven

Yorkshire puddings #dinner #yummy

What a lovely plate of Yorkshire puddings


With the smoked hit ocean trout and horseradish

Bron made Yorkshire pudding with hot smoked trout and horseradish #dinner #yummy

It’s very hard to describe just how nice it is to have the tangy trout and horseradish along with the crisp fresh fluffy pudding


Dinner is served

Bron made Yorkshire pudding with hot smoked trout and horseradish and pear and walnut salad #dinner #yummy

It looks great doesn’t it?


Bite sized morsels of happiness

Bron made Yorkshire pudding with hot smoked trout and horseradish #dinner #yummy

This is perfection between my fingers


Oh yeah there was a pear and walnut salad

Pear and walnut salad #dinner #yummy

This added a lovely touch


Dessert was Bron’s amazing sticky date pudding with butterscotch and custard

Bron made the most amazing sticky date pudding with butterscotch, custard and ice cream #dessert #yummy

This is I think Bron’s signature dessert. No one makes it better. The butterscotch sauce is to die for. The custard is perfect. The ice cream was Madagascan Vanilla Bean.


Sunday breakfast was simple and in two stages

Bron's poached egg #yummy

Poached eggs are so yummy

River of yolk love #yummy Thanks Bron

Check it out. Hot homemade hot cross bun.

Amazing Bron breakfast. Poached egg on muffin followed by her homemade hot cross bun with butter. #breakfast #yummy #breakfastforwoojm

I hope you agree this looked so good. It tasted better.


After a walk today I needed a snack.

Grilled Australian Havarti cheese on toast #lunch #yummy

Australian Havarti cheese on toast


For dinner tonight I made some honey soy salmon and a salad.

#dinner Honey soy salmon with salad #yummy

I like the sweetness of mixing honey with soy on the hot fry pan and reducing it.


For dessert Bron gave me some of her sticky date pudding.

#dessert Bron's sticky date pudding with butterscotch and custard #superyummy

It was a nice big piece with extra butterscotch sauce and custard. This was just so good.


So ends this post.Thank you for reading this and going through my instagram experience. I’d also invite you to view my Facebook page and if you like it please click the LIKE button. Thanks.

I hope everyone has a great week at work. I know I’ve been finding my new role a challenge and it seems there is a lot of fatigue around not just in my workplace but from what I hear and read around the place. I hope everyone finds balance in their life. Take care. Live long and prosper.

On a good note, the Brisbane Broncos defeated the St George Illawarra Dragons this week and the Gold Coast Titans defeated the Canberra Raiders. It was unfortunate that the Melbourne Storm defeated the North Queensland Cowboys. I don’t feel that bad though because Melbourne are my number four team. For those who don’t know me well my top four teams in the National Rugby League are 1. Brisbane Broncos, 2. North Queensland Cowboys, 3. Gold Coast Titans, and 4. The Melbourne Storm. For Soccer it’s the Brisbane Roar. For the Australian Football League it’s the Brisbane Lions and the Gold Coast Suns. For cricket it’s the Queensland Bulls. For Rugby it’s the Queensland Reds. For State of Origin it is the Queensland XXXX Maroons. One day I’ll reveal the teams I detest.

Breakfast at Elk and Pea

In a remarkable coincidence I went to Elk and Pea with a friend for breakfast. Without thinking about it we had the same breakfast as T1 and BF on 15 January. Without wanting to offend T1, I did recall she had been to Elk and Pea but in my mind it was for dinner rather than breakfast. Sorry T1 I’d forgotten 🙂

In terms of the experience we arrived at 0930 and were shown to a table in the back near the toilets. The tables were all pretty close to one another and I could hear what other diners were saying. This is a worry because I’m deaf in one ear and it was on my deaf side. It was all pretty cosy. The table we had was very wobbly. We were grateful that a waiter came over and shoved napkins under the base. After a few napkins the amount of movement was reduced but not completely. Along with the quality of napkins I get judgy about restaurants if they cannot manage decent tables and chairs. This was not a good start. It was also dark and my immediate thought was poor lighting for iPhone photography. Fortunately, as I alluded to in my end of 2012 post I’ve recently acquired an iPhone 5 and the camera is a much better tool for food photography.

We ordered coffees and then food. My breakfast buddy asked for the Paprika eggs and I asked for the smashed avocado and mushrooms. The place was busy and fairly full so we accepted it would be a longish wait. The coffees seemed to be delayed especially when later orders (from the table next to ours) came out sooner than ours. Once the coffees arrived, the food arrived in quick order 🙂

The paprika eggs looked really good and tasted great too. My avocado and mushrooms was delightful. The bread was nicely toasted and the mushrooms perfectly sautéed. There was a good amount of avocado and my poached egg was perfectly cooked with a nice runny yolk. Unfortunately the poached paprika eggs were on the solid side. Marks off I’m afraid. Poached eggs really need to have soft runny yolks.

I had to use the toilet and didn’t see one specially for men. There were two women’s toilets and I used the unisex/disabled toilet. It was well appointed and also had a shower. This is a good thing for those customers who rely on a wheelchair. There were no paper towels and the air drier was pretty pathetic. I know they’re expensive but the Dyson air blade should be the standard for any restaurant toilet.

#breakfast Avocado and mushrooms #yummy

The food at Elk and Pea is really good. There is no question about that. I’m looking forward to going there for dinner this Saturday night with friends. I’ll happily go back for breakfast again. The coffee was good and I want to try the other items on the menu.


The Elk & Pea on Urbanspoon



I spent all afternoon at work today and came home to my ironing and decided on an easy dinner.

#dinner Chicken thigh with salad. I seasoned with Madras curry powder. #yummy

Chicken thigh seasoned with Madras curry powder and a simple salad.


Google maps

Ruchi Belconnen Southern Indian dining for a #CBRTweetUp Shout out @Sister_Ratched

Last year I blogged a couple of times about the food at Ramas in Pearce. I have enjoyed the food there and the company on the occasions we dined there helped make the evenings memorable. After blogging about Ramas a Canberra Twitter friend, viz., Jude @Sister_Ratched commented (via Twitter and on my blog) that she thought there were better places in Canberra and Sydney for Indian cuisine. She suggested she could introduce me to such places. I was very happy to be introduced to new dining experiences.
Jude is lovely, she avidly comments on my blog and given the amount of food I post on Twitter and Instagram, Jude has shared her thoughts. At times this has been a concern for the quantity and quality of food I would post. I believe in some ways, the recent changes in my diet have been influenced by Jude’s comments about cholesterol, the importance of fresh ethically harvested produce and the health benefits of salad 🙂 Jude is a Registered Nurse and currently practises in gastroenterology. I respect her opinion.

On Friday night Jude organised a Canberra Tweetup. I regret not taking names and Twitter handles because I’ll offend some new friends if I don’t mention them. Suffice to say this is not the last #CBRTweetUp I will attend. It was a most enjoyable evening and it really is great to meet tweeps in real life and get to get to know them a little better. One of my favourite Canberra bloggers was also there. T1 from InTheTaratory fame. T1 has been prolific recently on Twitter as part of the #LikeCanberra campaign for the Centennial celebrations of the Australia’s capital city.

We all met at Ruchi Belconnen. Ruchi specialises in Southern Indian cuisine. Jude recommended I try a Thali. A Thali is a tasting plate made up of a selection of various dishes. The food is served in small bowls on a round tray. In the middle there was bread and plus a piece of flesh (fish in my case). I asked for the Ruchi Special Non­‐Vegetarian Thali for $24.50. This consisted of Chapatti, channa curry, Kerala chicken, beef vindaloo, pickles, thayir pachadi, rasam, and boiled rice. When the food was being served I heard the waiter say “special non-vegetarian Thali” and I assumed it was mine. It turned out not to be what I asked for but it was a Mysore Maharajah Non-­Vegetarian Thali which consisted of Meen porichadu, chapathi, boiled rice, sambar, Mysore chilli chicken, daal, lamb korma, rasam, thayir pachadi, pickles, and a coconut dessert. This dish was considerably hotter in terms of spices than what I was expecting. It was not at all unpleasant, on the contrary it was delightful. I really enjoyed this tasting plate of Southern Indian delights. The company was great and in the end it was not a late evening but it was certainly a very enjoyable one. The next #CBRTweetUp is being organised. I’m looking forward to it.

Ruchi special non-vegetarian thallis #cbrtweetup

Mysore Maharajah Non-­Vegetarian Thali

The menu can be downloaded from

I would definitely recommend Ruchi Belconnen. I’ll be returning.


Friday was made even better with a Mavi Breakfast wrap which meant I didn’t need lunch.

#breakfast Tongue of bacon in my Mavi breakfast wrap #yummy

A beautiful tongue of bacon.


This afternoon. I enjoyed a pastry treat from Ricardo’s Cafe at the Jamison Plaza.

The Peanut Paste #yummy

This is the Peanut Butter. It contains a very subtle peanut paste flavoured mousse with a heart of caramel resting on a delicate chocolate crumb biscuit base. It was lovely.



Google maps


Google maps