Creamy Chicken & Corn Soup Recipe

It’s well and truly winter here in Australia. I live in the cold capital of Canberra so I know a thing or two about cold winter days! There’s also an icy wind on top of having most nights sub zero… just thinking about it makes me shiver!

Winter always calls for comfort foods that warm your body and help the soul deal with the shorter and colder days. When the temperatures dip like this, it’s always a great idea to sip on soup in winter.

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Review: Balgownie Estate Resort Yarra Valley

There’s plenty of beautiful winery regions in Australia and there’s usually many on travellers wishlist to explore. The Yarra Valley has to be one of those winery destinations that you have to see. Its a short drive from Melbourne so easy for people to get to. The Yarra Valley definitely is the perfect romantic getaway location, with lots of wineries, cafes, spas, retreats and activities to do as a couple.

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Vegan Scrambled Tofu: the Healthy & Cruelty-Free Alternative

For those who follow me on social media, you would have seen that I completed the Veganuary challenge in January. It was really a interesting challenge that completely opened my eyes to new possibilities in the kitchen.

One new recipe I tried was scrambled tofu. I already liked the taste of tofu and occasionally ordered it when eating out. But I never knew how to cook it properly.

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Veganuary Challenge 2017

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Some of my readers may have heard of Veganuary. For those who haven’t it’s a food challenge where you eat vegan foods for the whole month of January. So that’s no products that come from an animal – including cutting out honey and even some wines!

The purpose is to raise awareness of animal suffering, help the environment, but also showing that being vegan is not as limiting as people think. I was definitely a curious carnivore but also reluctant to give up my favourite food groups…

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Winter Dinner at Rubicon Restaurant Canberra

We recently decided to have a last minute dinner at one of our favourite fine dining restaurants in Canberra: Rubicon.

Rubicon is a restaurant tucked away at the Griffith shops, near another favourite restaurant of mine, Aubergine. Like Aubergine, we like to go to Rubicon for special occasions, and have only been there a handful of times.

Click here for a review on Aubergine Restuarant

This time it was a double date night and the spot chosen was Rubicon. This wouldn’t be my usual spot for just any night out for dinner, because it is not a budget friendly dining experience, especially if you add a couple of bottles of wine onto the bill!

But it had been a while since we had gone out to a fancy dinner, so I was happy to go to this somewhat random double date dinner at Rubicon.

The Atmosphere

Rubicon is a small restaurant with intimate, dim lighting and pretty fairy lights in the back to give it a relaxed “starry night” feel. The tables a covered with white table clothes and many of the group tables (4 or more people) are placed closer to the back of the restaurant. This actually makes sense – the more talkative groups can be placed away from the intimate dining for couples.

There are no windows to look out of, and therefore no view to muse over when you run out of conversation with your date. But the relaxed feeling of the lighting makes it a beautiful place for an intimate or romantic dinner.

This was the first time that we went to Rubicon with more than just myself and my partner, so

The Service

The service is always fantastic at Rubicon. It’s not quite fine dining but fairly close to it. The service is a little more on the casual side, but they really know how to multi task being attentive to all tables, even when the restuarant is full.

I’ve never noticed any staff member looking stressed or like they didn’t want to be there. They also have exceptional knowledge of the wines on their menu – which is one of the reasons we like to go there.

The Food

We were given complimentary appetisers which unfortunately were not gluten free. The were some kind of pork bite on a mini toast crust. Everyone on the table enjoyed their little appetiser. When the waiter realised that I needed a gluten free option, he kindly brought me out some delicious marinated olives for an appetiser.

My man chose the cheese souffle for his entree and I chose the pork belly. The souffle was the size of a muffin and came with a small salad of baked sliced tomatoes, warm tomato wedges, and a quinnel of herbed sour cream. Tristan liked the taste of the souffle, but decided to let me eat the tomato salad. The sour cream seemed to be a bit much but the tomatoes were nicely seasoned and have a good combination of herbs and spices. I think that the combination would have would have gone nicely with the souffle.
The pork belly had a few small cubes of prom belly with a delicious combination of sweet sauce, shaved apple and sautéed onions. The pork belly was cooked to perfection as it melted in the mouth with each bite. However there were no crunchy crackling parts of the pork belly. I always expect a bit of crunch when it comes to pork belly, so I was slightly disappointed with this one. Other than that, the dish was perfect.
My main was a gnocchi style dish. This was quite exciting for me as I more often than people realise, I can’t eat gnocchi, especially if the potato is incased in pasta. This kind of gnocchi was so delicious and creamy, and it was complimented perfectly with the zucchini. There was also a creamy sauce. The zucchini balanced out the creaminess of the sauce and the heaviness of the gnocchi. It was very filling though and I only managed to get through about half of the dish.
My partners dish was a beef dish (no surprise, he always gets steak or beef of some kind). This dish had sautéed onions and a rich jus on the side. I had a small bite and the beef so very tender and juicy. It’s a fairly predictable combination to have sautéed onions, but if it works you may as well stick with it. And they were cooked perfectly.
Most of the meals seemed like very “safe” kind of dishes, with not too many surprises in the flavours or combinations of flavours. However they were done very well and we were all satisfied at the end of our meals.

 

My rating of Rubicon

Atmosphere: 4.5/5 | Customer Service: 5/5 | Speed of Service: 4/5 | Presentation of Food: 4.5/5 | Taste: 4.5/5 | Value for Money: 4.5/5

Total: 27/30

Overall thoughts: Rubicon is a great fine dining restaurant with excellent attentive customer service. I will definitely be back to experience the delicious food and wine. 

For more info on Rubicon Restaurant click here

Have you been to Rubicon Restaurant? What are your thoughts on it? Let me know in the comments section!

Bye for now,

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All opinions in this post are my own. Unless otherwise stated, this post has not been sponsored and I have not been paid for this post

See you in the Social Media Atmosphere:

Instagram: @vintagebarbie17 | Facebook: Adventures of Vintage Barbie – Blog | Twitter: @vintage_barbie1 | Polyvore: vintagebarbie17 | Pinterest: @vintagebarbie17

Aubergine Restaurant

Aubergine is a quiet little restaurant tucked away at the Griffith shops in Canberra. It has a small outdoor garden area and many tables for two inside facing alongside the floor to ceiling windows.

Before December 2015, we had only been here once as a couple because it is a very popular fine dining restaurant (therefore expensive), and we have been attempting to try all of the fine dining restaurants in Canberra (without blowing the budget!) We decided to return to Aubergine for our anniversary so we could celebrate in style and with some delicious food and wine.

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Taco Tuesday at Honkytonks

When I heard about Taco Tyesday at Honkytonks I got pretty excited! $10 gets you two tacos and a beer… Even though Indon’t drink beer, this sounds like a pretty tasty deal to me, especially on the day before payday.

For those who have not been to or heard of Honkytonks, it is a Mexican themed bar and restaurant right in the heart of Canberra’s city in Garema Place. The place often plays Mexican music during the day, with the windows opened up to the street, and more seating outside under a marquee. They have the largest selection of Telquilla in Canberra, and the also make delicious cocktails and sangria!

I decided to do a catchup dinner with one of my friends who is also a little bit obsessed with Mexican food. We were both excited to try out Taco Tuesday and took a while to decide on what eat. Luckily the bar staff quickly served us with a drink so we could chat, drink and eventually decide on which two tacos to try.

There are lots of choices on the menu. I didn’t see anything specifically gluten free, but to be perfectly honest I really wanted to try the tacos so I didn’t care if they were gluten free or not. I eventually chose a beef taco and a pork taco, and my friend chose two chicken taco’s. So many choices! I wish I could have eaten them all!

I also decided to order some chips and salsa, because who doesn’t like corn chips with sour cream, salsa and guacamole? Plus I wasn’t sure how filling the tacos would be, and I was super hungry!

In the end I’m pretty glad I ordered the chips and salsa – the two tacos definitely did not leave me satisfied. I was actually pretty disappointed in the tacos. Firstly, the soft tortilla tasted like a savoury, doughy, thick pancake. Definitely not what I was expecting. It reminded me of Greek gyros, but nowhere near as satisfying or delicious. I would have thought the tortilla would be thinner, and my friend agreed on this.

Because there was so much dough to the tortilla, it definitely took away from the rest of the meal. But this may also be because there was barely anything in the tortilla. There was a small scattering of meat and a sprinkle of salad… Not the generous serving of Mexican deliciousness that I was expecting.

Out of the beef and pork I definitely enjoyed the beef more. The mixture of corn and salsa was a good pairing with the meat. The pork had hints of orange and was fresh with crunchy cos lettuce, but was definitely missing something. I suppose this is to be expected when you are getting a “tight-arse-Tuesday” kind of deal. But even if you expect that the establishment might be a bit stingy on the food, you still hope for a full tummy at the end of your meal…

Then we moved on to the chips and salsa. There was probably way too much sour cream for my liking, but there was plenty of tomato salsa to have with the chips, the guacamole was also nice. To be perfectly frank, there was nothing amazing about the chips and salsa, but it was definitely a nice addition and left us feeling full (finally) after our disappointing tacos.

I was glad that the $10 2 tacos & beer deal allowed us to swap our drink for house wine. Whilst I can’t remember what brand the wine was, it was fairly nice for the house Sauvignon Blanc. I ended up getting two glasses!

The service was also good, fast and friendly. All the staff members were helpful in deciding on either what to drink or what to eat. I have always found this with the staff at Honkytonks, even when they are busy at the bar on Friday and Saturday nights. This is one of the reasons that I would go back to Honkytonks again – whether this be for food or for drinks – I definitely would still go back to this place as one disappointing dinner hasn’t outdone the other good experiences I have had with Honkytonks.

My rating of Honkytonks Taco Tuesday

Atmosphere: 4/5 | Customer Service: 4/5 | Speed of Service: 4/5 | Presentation of Food: 3/5 | Taste: 3/5 | Value for Money: 3/5

Total: 21/30

Overall thoughts: I would return to Honkytonks, but I would definitely have something else on the menu and skip the tacos next time.

For more info on Honky Tonks click here

Have you been to Honky Tonks in Canberra? Do you know of somewhere else that has a great Taco Yuesday deal? Share your thought in the comments section!

Bye for now,

Vintage Barbie xoxo

All opinions in this post are my own. Unless otherwise stated, this post has not been sponsored and I have not been paid for this post

See you in the Social Media Atmosphere:

Instagram: @vintagebarbie17 | Facebook: Adventures of Vintage Barbie – Blog | Twitter: @vintage_barbie1 | Polyvore: vintagebarbie17 | Pinterest: @vintagebarbie17

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