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After our sub par service at lunch, V and I spent the afternoon walking around Canberra Centre.  We shopped for several hours and quickly filled the trunk with our (my) purchases.  All shopped out, V and I decided it was time to find our hotel, East Hotel, and check-in before claiming our dinner reservation.

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It was unfortunate that we were there for such a short time as the hotel looked quite stylish and offered much exploring (if only we had the time to do so).  Just like our trip to Melbourne, V and I spent the first half an hour in our room taking pictures of every little detail.  The photos shown below are only a few of the many photos that I took.  Now imagine … V and I each with a camera, running around the room, taking photos.

Click on the images to have a look at our hotel room – clean lines, spacious, simple layout and well-equipped…

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Having taken enough photos of our room and realizing that it was time for dinner, we hopped in the car and drove out to Belluci’s.  Yes, yes, Belluci’s is only a hop, skip and a jump away.  However, not wanting to walk back to the hotel in the dark (and yes, we were running late for our reservation), we opted to drive to the restaurant.

By the time we arrived, Belluci’s was already busy.  Our table was just inside of the entrance – literally.  Because of the tetris-seating of our table, we were facing the tiled door frame and I had my back to the window.  I did have a view of the restaurant’s interior.

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We started off our dinner with an order of wine.  Perhaps it is because of the sweetness, I have always enjoyed Riesling.  I looked at the three Riesling options on their wine list and ordered the Capital Wines ‘The Whip’ from the Canberra Region ACT (that’s what the wine list said). Might as well try the local wine.  I remember that this Riesling had a distinct tartness to it.  While I like food and drinks that have a little sharpness or sourness to it, I was only “okay” with a tart Riesling.  I am the first to admit that I don’t know much about wine.  Interestingly enough, I did attend my first ever wine-tasting event in November last year (the week after this Australia trip) … but that’s for another blog post on another day.

V and I decided to share a couple of antipasti and a salad.  Here’s what we selected:

Grilled Portobello Mushrooms (with yarra valley persian fetta and fresh herbs)

Grilled Portobello Mushrooms (with yarra valley persian fetta and fresh herbs)

Insalata di Melone (salad of roquette, rockmelon, 'san daniele' prosciutto, buffalo mozzarella, & ruby grapefruit with vino cotto)

Insalata di Melone (salad of roquette, rockmelon, ‘san daniele’ prosciutto, buffalo mozzarella, & ruby grapefruit with vino cotto)

Soft Shell Crab (with chilli, lemon and baby spinach) .. in the dark

Soft Shell Crab (with chilli, lemon and baby spinach) .. in the dark

...the same soft shell crab in V's camera flash...

…the same soft shell crab in V’s camera flash…

You may have noticed that over the course of the three share plates, it got darker.  From the sun just starting to set over the Portobello mushrooms to the feel of dusk over the salad.  By the time we go our soft shell crab, the lighting was dim.  V wanted a photo of the soft shell crab so I tried to borrow the flash from her cell phone to capture some of the lighting.  Uhh.. no.. gives off the deer in the headlights feel to the photo.  Nope.

The share plates were fantastic!  I love Portobello mushrooms so I was probably already biased when I started eating it.  The salad was refreshing.  A combination of roquette, prosciutto and mozzarella… need I say more?  The soft shell crab was good, too!  He held up quite well while I attempted to take many photos.  The chilli and lemon created a nice zing to the flavour.  A word of warning, don’t let the crab sit too long.  It tastes better when it’s not cold.

For our pasta, V and I both ordered the Pappardelle di Scampi.  At least, that’s what I think I ordered.  The only difference was the I ordered it as is on the menu and V asked them to hold the chilli / peppers. 

Pappardelle di Scampi (I think that's what I ordered...)

Pappardelle di Scampi (I think that’s what I ordered…)

The Pappardelle was tasty as well although I must admit that the share plates probably took the majority of my praise.  I conclude that it must have been pretty good though if I still managed to finish my entire plate of pasta after the mushroom, the salad and the crab.

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Although the dessert menu looked quite appetizing, V and I decided that we didn’t need dessert… or at least we might find dessert somewhere else.  We left Belluci’s and walked around the building along Furneaux Street to check out what other little shops and hidden treasures were around. 

I remember V telling me about some deep-fried ice cream dessert… well, of course we had to try that!  We stopped in at an asian restaurant called Timmy’s Kitchen and ordered our take-out dessert.  We ordered a deep-fried ice cream and a deep-fried banana with a scoop of ice cream.  Although the interior was entirely different from Dessert Story in Melbourne, it reminded me of our three days in Melbourne … eating big meals and getting take-out dessert to eat in the hotel room.

Although we rushed back to the hotel to reduce the amount of “damage” (melting) to the ice cream, we couldn’t help but stop for a moment to admire the interior of the hotel.  I like the vibrant colours and comfortable layout of the hotel. 

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We took a few pictures (or maybe I was the only one who took photos) and then hopped into the elevator to our floor.  Whew.. the ice cream only melted a little… Delicious!! 

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