Archive for category Food

I Heart Hyatt Hotel Canberra

I had planned on a low key night of antipasto and Sleepless in Seattle with my lady for Valentine’s Day, but when I received an invitation for a five course dinner at Hyatt Canberra, I had to reluctantly shelve those plans. Okay, no twisting of the arm was required, but antipasto and the movie will be done soon.

Valentine’s Day dinner. Photo supplied: Hyatt Hotel Canberra

This was only the second time I had dined at the Hyatt; the first time being a function in 2013.  I quite enjoyed the food then, so I was certainly looking forward to a five course set this time around. It did not disappoint – a very satisfying meal in an ambient setting with free flowing Moët & Chandon. And while each dish was a hit, three were a particular knock out for my lady and I – Seafood Garden entree, Entree 2 of sous vide stuffed chicken, and Champagne strawberry sorbet.

Free flowing Moët & Chandon. Photo supplied: Hyatt Hotel Canberra

The Seafood Garden – confit king fish, beetroot sponge, black garlic puree, squid cracker, sea vegetable – was a delightful start with each element getting the tastebuds going. Entree 2 – sous vide of stuffed chicken, morel mushroom, smoked potato, Jerusalem artichoke, truffle oil – then hit the tastebuds hard, packing loads of flavour. I shouldn’t have turned down the offer of more bread earlier on so that I could have wiped up every bit of savoury goodness from the plate.

Seafood Garden. Photo: @housh45

The popping pearls added a fun burst of sweetness to the Champagne strawberry sorbet that was a perfect refresher to reset the tastebuds for the Duo of Lamb main. I’m not often fond of lamb, but there are times when it’s done well, like the duo of roasted lamb rack and slow cooked lamb belly. I especially liked the belly, but after finishing off the rack and the other dishes, the richness of the belly was hard to get through in the end. I wouldn’t have minded a smaller portion to have it as an entree and the sous vide stuffed chicken as the main instead.

Champagne strawberry sorbet. Photo supplied: Hyatt Hotel Canberra

Main: Duo of Lamb. Photo supplied: Hyatt Hotel Canberra

Dessert – berry shortbread heart, white chocolate mint ice cream, popping candy, Grand Marnier jelly – was a fitting finish, although I was getting too full to fully appreciate it. Overall a great night. The live saxophone and guitar duo added to the ambience, although some recorded music while they took a break would have been ideal.

Dessert. Photo: @housh45

During the past 12 – 15 months Hyatt Canberra has hosted a range of events targeting a younger demographic. In true testament of this Chris McClelland chose the hotel to propose to his girlfriend. Chris met with the team a couple of times to plan the big day. He took the unassuming Millie Evans for a picnic at the Lennox Gardens. Chris popped the question and she said YES!!!

Chris pops the question. Photo supplied: Hyatt Hotel Canberra

The couple was then picked up by the hotel’s concierge and brought into the stylishly decorated Howard Lounge to the soothing sounds of a saxophone player. The room was tastefully decorated with roses and candles. A slide show and playlist designed by Chris helped the couple calm their nerves and relax. After an amazing three course dinner perfectly paired with matching sparkling wine, the couple spent a night of luxury in a Deluxe King Room.

Howard Lounge. Photo supplied: Hyatt Hotel Canberra

Soothing sounds. Photo supplied: Hyatt Hotel Canberra

Deluxe King Room. Photo supplied: Hyatt Hotel Canberra

Give Hyatt Hotel Canberra a follow on Facebook and Instagram to keep an eye out for upcoming events, and certainly plan it for Valentine’s Day next year. And I need to have my first high tea experience soon.


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Chicken Wings

Actually, this is about the marinade rather than the wings. But I like it best on wings skewered and cooked over coals.

Chicken wings, beef kebab and tomato kebab


  • 1.5kg chicken wings
  • 2 spoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 spoons brown sugar
  • 1 spoon grated ginger
  • 4 cloves garlic crushed
  • ½ spoon sambal oelek or 2 small chillies chopped
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • salt to taste

Chop the wings into segments – drumette, wingette and tip. Use the tips for stock or give to your dog as a snack.

Mix all the ingredients together, add to the chicken and marinate for at least a couple of hours. Can also be used on chicken thigh fillets or chicken thigh skewers.

For a simple salad to go with it, just dice up cucumber and tomato, slice some spring onions and dress with roughly equal parts of Dijon mustard, avocado oil, white wine vinegar, a garlic clove crushed and a pinch of salt.

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Chicken Adobo

Anyone who knows me knows I love my food and knows I especially love Adobo, the Filipino dish, both pork and chicken.  It is quintessential Filipino cuisine and something you must try.

The general recipe is basic, with pork or chicken stewed in vinegar and soy sauce with garlic, black peppercorns and bay leaves.  But there are also many varieties with other ingredients such as potato or pineapple also used.

Below is my recipe for Chicken Adobo.

Chicken Adobo


  • 8 chicken thigh cutlets
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 3 bay leaves


  1. Peel the skin off the chicken thighs and trim any large bits of fat and excess bone so you are left with a skinless thigh fillet with the single thigh bone it it.  But you can leave the skin and the other bone on if you want.
  2. Brown the chicken on both sides (I like to fry in a wok with peanut oil).  Place the browned chicken in a pot or large saucepan.
  3. Press and peel the garlic.  Add the garlic, peppercorns, bay leaves, vinegar and soy sauce to the chicken in the pot or saucepan.  I like to keep the cloves of garlic whole and also brown them in the wok.  The peppercorns are left whole, but sometimes I like to crush half of them in a mortar and pestle.
  4. Place on high heat and bring to the boil.  Reduce to medium heat and simmer until most of the liquid is gone and gives the chicken a good, saucy coating (30-60 minutes).  Stir every 5-10 minutes to ensure all pieces get simmered in the liquid.  If you want more sauce than just a coating then do not simmer for as long.
  5. Serve on steamed rice.

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