I have been on holiday for the past week now. It’s been wonderful. We road tripped it down from Brisbane, through New South Wales, to Canberra. Our mission – Summernats 25. The biggest, most bogan car festival weekend in Australia. It’s the kind of festival where no shirts, mullets and rats tails are acceptable and where the saying goes “Tits or Rubber – One or the other” is frequently heard. After Summernats had ended I was lucky enough to have dinner with another fellow blogger, Tom. Tom and I had met at the EatDrinkBlog Food Bloggers Conference in Sydney.. he, Ben (another foodie) and I sat in the back row.. and observed and absorbed as much as we could.
Using Twitter, we organised to have dinner. Tom suggested Soju Girl, on the mainstrip of Northbourne Avenue. It was very quiet when we walked in, two, maybe three tables filled with people and a small group of people at the bar having a drink. The atmosphere is funky and very casual. The decor is minimal, but I think its very stylish. Over on the bar side there is a huge graffiti mural which really brings a little somethin’ somethin’ to what some people may call a bland space.
Once we were greeted by the manager and waitress, seated and then provided with menus. Soju Girl specializes in a kind of modern-Asian-fusion menu. There is something on the menu for everyones taste buds.
We decided to start the evening off with a cocktail. I chose, Yellow Fever ($16) a delicious mix of rum, ginger beer, citrus and garnished with cilantro, poured over ice.
Now, when it came to ordering, I basically let Tom lead as he has dined at Soju Girl plenty of times before.
So after careful consideration, we decided to run with:
6 South Coast natural oysters served with a ponzu granita ($3.50e)
Grilled cuttlefish salad with bacon jam and herbs ($16)
Crispy battered cauliflower florets, with spicy seasoning, rice bubbles and a tangy foam ($16)
… and our main – a 24hr slow braised beef short rib, with a caramel sauce, Asian creamy slaw and jasmine rice. Stunning!
We drank this with a bottle of 2010 Angullong Savignin, from Orange NSW ($39/bottle). It was beautiful. God, I love Australian wines.
We were soooooo full, and a little bit drunk, but we soldiered on and could not resist looking at the dessert list. I already knew what I wanted.. I had been stalking the list all day. Haha.. Hazelnut espresso martini with petite four ($18).
Tom ordered the special – manage a trois, mango sorbet, panacotta, jelly and a mango foam with pop rocks. It was wickedly good.
We decided that we should also end the evening with another cocktail.. my choice – Soju Girl, a concoction of cranberry and kiwi fruit.. with some other liquor. It was so unbelievably smooth, fruity and delicious that I could have easily threw down half a dozen.
The night ended on a positive note. I hope to have dinner with Tom again, we had a great talk about blogging, monetization, truffles and general food culture as well. It was a fantastic evening, with great food, wonderful & friendly service and awesome company.
Sojo Girl is a must try for those who are in Canberra.