Old Bus Depot Markets & Local Press Café & Frugii Dessert Laboratory, Canberra

We took a weekend trip down to Canberra to visit the best-in-country museums and art galleries. Canberra is an interesting city, small (pop. 360,000) and pristine. It was planned to be a capital city, and the town planners went …umm… to town with the brief. The roads are a bit strange, especially around Parliament zone. For a pancake flat city, there are an inordinate number of loops and ramps, you can’t seem to get anywhere in a straight line. But it certainly looks impressive on Google Maps. After the somber history lessons at Australian War Memorial and the museums, you’ll want find some solace in food. The Old Bus Depot Markets is in the trendy, redeveloped neighbourhood of Kingston. The Markets are divided into a food section and an arts & crafts area. There were all manners of baked goods, fresh produce and flowers, and artisan products. There was also a food truck section around the back, including a vendor serving up spiced beverages. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA PicMonkey Collage Canberra has a hipster underbelly, with various artisan coffee roasters, vegan and paleo cafes. We found ourselves at Local Press Cafe, amongst a parade of eateries a couple of blocks away, looking out onto Boat Harbour. The café has a rustic vibe, and a great view. You could sit at the communal table in the middle or try nabbing one of the cosy tables with throw pillows along the sides of the restaurant. I am a wuss when it comes to the cold, so I wasn’t game to sit outside. PicMonkey Collage2 The cold press fruit and vegetable juices ($6), served in little jars, were undoubtedly the stars. Bursting with clean, fruity flavours. The flavours change frequently. The menu offers a range of wholesome options. Think grains, beans with meat used as a garnish. My lunch of a green pea pancake with poached eggs, macerated avocado, corn salsa, feta and chilli jam ($24) with balsamic dressing was bright and tasty. I found the flavours on the subdue side; more herbs or spices in the pancake would have improved the dish. BL went for the baked chilli con carne ($20) with poached eggs, guacamole, red capsicum, jalapenos and cottage cheese. The menu advised it was ‘very hot’, and it was. For me. BL scoffed at the presumed level of heat. As usual. Overall, this was a nice way to spend lunchtime. I felt the menu, though tasty, wasn’t all that imaginative, or executed as well as it could have been. On the other hand, the cold press juices had me at hello. We chanced on Frugii Dessert Laboratory while walking around Braddon. There are few things which will distract me, anything that says Dessert Laboratory will have my full attention. What sweet alchemy will we be tasting? They seem to be famous for their ice-cream, which includes some insane flavours (seafood laksa ice-cream anyone?). I was tempted by the display of choux  desserts, and settled on their lemon meringue choux. It. Was. Incredible. Crispy choux breaking into an oozy, tangy, rich lemon curd. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Old Bus Depot Markets 21 Wentworth Avenue, Kingston Open Sundays 10am – 4pm

Local Press Cafe 91 Eastlake Parade, Kingston Opening hours: Mon – Fri 7:30am – 3:30pm Sat – Sun 8am – 4pm
Frugii Dessert Laboratory 30 Lonsdale Street, Braddon Opening hours: Wed – Sun 12pm – 11pm

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