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Saturday, July 31, 2010

Melbourne: The Philip Island tour.

Some update on my recent happenings, I just came back from a killer steamboat @ Vil’s place before finishing the meal with a 2kg Korean barbecue meat fest by his pool with just 5 people.  I do not think sleeping nor showering is too favoured at the moment so here I am.  Xin Ling has gotten herself the new Iphone4 after queuing for almost 6 hours. I on the other hand was devastated to find out that the call centre messed up on their information about my delivery time.  She confused days for weeks! Bloody disappointing but fair enough, it should be in my hands this week I hope?  I was waiting with XinLing so I could have just helped myself to one really =X Bummer!!  But its ok, I was never too keen to keep up with the hype.  But it really does look beautiful.  I’m no hardcore mobile warrior so really, the aesthetics are somewhat the more important feature for me hoho!

Winding the clock back a bit to my trip in Melbourne, we went on another tour to Philips Island after deciding that spending 90 bucks on a tour is cheaper than spending 200 bucks on shopping.  Ahaha even now the hole in the pocket has yet to be mended for the little girl. xD  The main highlight to Philip Island was meant to be the penguins, but at the end of the day, it was the other activities which brought more joy to us.
The sleeping devils.  Look like angels don’t they? :D!

hahahaha look at her smile. So distorted, but she was nervous as hell really.

Me feeding the kangaroo, this kangaroo was the centre of attraction because it is bloody big.  Like seriously.  It’s probably slouching or something in this picture.

Kelvin xD! Kelvin’s hidden hand on the right looks as if he is ready to slap the kangaroo if it does anything funny xD!!

After the trip to the animal reserve, we headed over to a beach. A lovely one I must insist.  SO happy just to be there doing nothing.  Sometimes you just get the feeling right?  “Happy to just do nothing” that kind.
This beach however was no match for Cottesloe beach.  Still more pristine and populated with good looking people xD ahaha.  Even the tour guide which hails from Perth thinks so too. ahaha

The uncle’s height = 6ft, my jump 6.5ft.  No joke its the shoe. Oh wait its not a pair of Jordans.  Must be me then. xD no la ahaha jk jk.



Later on after doing all the monkey acts on the beach, we recouped and our next destination was the seal observatory in which you have to view the seals by hiring a remote camera.  How lame.  Why not just watch National Geographic.  So instead, I walked about and tried to take a few pictures of waves smashing against the rocky coast.
Liked the way it smashed when viewed through my eyes.  Not my camera  :(!!  This occurrence of nature is one spectacular show that occurs every minute.  Funny thing how we overlook this beauty so easily.

Stairs by the hillside.

On the other side of the hill. So niceeeee!  But I think it could have been a whole lot better if it was not so rush that day.  All because of those midget penguins booooooooooo!  And believe it or not, we waited for the penguins for like 1 hours only to see the timid side of them.  Each time they came up to the shore after a day of hunting, they just run back into their little hole.  And no pictures allow because their eyes are too sensitive.  So yeah, we wasted the whole night being cold and hungry just to see things we thought was cute when we were young :(!  Truth be said, penguins actually looks quite evil @.@!  Their eyes are so full with intent. Ackkk! But the kangaroo, wombat and other stuff was quite fun though.  It was only the night that felt wasted!  But on the bright side, we did get to eat kangaroo and crocodile meat pizza eheh.  Something different but with an OK only taste.  Do not fancy those kind of meat of which one animal I consider very fun to feed.


Monday, July 26, 2010

Melbourne: The Replay of Great Ocean Road.

Two years ago on a cold morning, I boarded a van and was headed towards the Great Ocean Road to see the 12 apostles and other scenic views along the way.  Ever since then, a familiar feeling has always told me that my first trip there was not going to be my last.  True enough, seven hundred and thirty days later there I was again, at the very same place after boarding the very same mini van that was driven by the very same tour guide. Sweet.

This was the entrance to the Great Ocean Road.  The road was constructed after the first world war, WWI to connect Victoria to Adelaide or something like that.  But really, I think it was just to give the soldier something to do after the war. :P!

The morning grogginess got me here.  First I put the green tea bag into the hot milk.  Then I asked, why in the world is my tea not turning black.  I then frantically stirred my tea and holy smoke.  I actually had a green tea sachet in the cup *stupid!!*  I then  put the black tea sachet in to get the colour I wanted hohoho!  Hence the story of the two tea bags in one cup. 

After quite a fair bit of driving, we headed towards a beautiful place with awesome view.  And then I had three memorable pictures of this place :D! Hohohho! 
What place was this again?  Does anyone know?

After that we jumped back on the van and drove to get the koalas!  It seems that in Australia, Koalas are one of the main attractions but to me, omg, it is like the lamest thing ever.  I’d rather see a wombat than a koala.  Even feeding kangaroos are tonnes more exciting than a koala.  Like seriously really totally.  Therefore, ditching the koala hunting game, we decided to spend our time feeding the wild birds in the park.
Xin Ling at the bird park feeding them.

As we drove through the winding road, a popular lookout became our next destination for a scenic photograph.  The lookout at Cape Patton:
Oops?  The winter day was a cloudy mate but fortunately enough, rain did not come pouring throughout our trip :D!

After a quick lunch of roast and deep fried fish, we were about to see Melbourne’s epic rain forest where the flesh eating snail resides. Spooky at it seems, we all came out alive without even spotting a SINGLE snail, so do not bother wondering about the flesh eating one =.=!! I got a picture of my housemates hiding a tree trunk though. :D!
Nice smile Kelvin! Fits into the emoticon which goes something like this one –> “XD”

After touring the rain forest which makes up approx the entire Malaysian forest, the climax of the tour peaked with the twelve Apostles next up the destination list.  I’ve learn geology for 4 years in university now.  And I know rocks are things which takes ages to reach its current state.  But sometimes when you look at the Apostles, you cannot imagine why there are just twelve of them.  Why not have apostles all along the coast of the Great Ocean road?  Then again, noticing how the waves kept bashing the rocky faces of the cliffs, probably the waves here are magnitudes greater than the rest. 
I’ve mentioned this before I think ehhe and as you can see from this picture, there are two Apostles that have crumbled.

I have tonnes of other pictures but nothing much that I have not posted during my first trip to Melbourne so feel free to just click on the link I have on the left most column :D!  After the apostles we visited the London bridge and Lord Ard Gorge before the guide Simon speeded all the way home!  I think he sped through a traffic camera because I saw it fire a flash =X!

Sunset on the last stop :D!  Goodbye Great Ocean Road.  Fate tells me this is not the last trip too.


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Bites: Stalactite @ Russell St. (Melbourne)

2 years back when I visited Melbourne with Vil, Fishman and JH, we would venture out to the streets randomly bumping around looking for food to eat in the wee hours in the morning.  And yes, I really mean wee hours in the morning.  Like at 3am with temperatures dipping below 5 degrees.  One of the places we occasionally pass by is Stalactite, a Greek restaurant along Russell Street.  Funny thing though, is that we never ate there.  Like never EVER.  Probably the fancy looking cave look-a-like decor felt a tad too costly to eat.  And that was until Boony brought Kelvin and I there saying it was one of the cheaper supper place in town.  And to my dismay, it really was one of the best and cheapest places for supper.  Even fellow Victorians love this place.   Come on Friday night at say 2-3am, and you probably will have to queue for a place to sit! 


The stalactite interior of the restaurant.  Suits the place considering it has been here for no longer than 10 years.  The stalactites are miniscule =.=!IMG_7111The photos were taken when I brought Xin Ling here for lunch when Kelvin was away for skiing.  We only ordered two Souvlaki and a appetizer consisting of pita and dips but we only managed to finish part of the food we ordered.

 IMG_7106This 4 dip combo is probably the best for newbies in this restaurant who does not know which dip to choose from.  But from my taste buds I assume that the one with Paprika powder (top right) is the original humus, the pink coloured one has onions in it, the yellow-brownish dip was loaded with garlic and the white creamy coloured one was tatziki, a creamy yoghurt with diced cucumber.  All this was to be eaten with the pita bread!


IMG_7108The Greeks answer for the Mamak’s Roti Canai.  Not quite there but its in a class of its own.



This was my mixed Souvlaki which had plenty of lamb and chicken meat inside. Only 3 dollars more than the one near UWA and it has like double the meat in it.  Plus the tatziki sauce in it was so yummy!


IMG_7115Miss XinLing’s chicken Souvlaki.  We could not finish hers, so we had the remainder for supper as we watched Spain lift the World Cup for the first time ever! So memorable! :D!! Happy!!!  And oh, each Souvlaki can feed to not really hungry tummies.


All in all including a hot chocolate cost us 36 bucks.   Without the drinks and the dips, we would only be paying about 23 dollars.  But we thought that we should have an assortment, hence the 36 dollar bill.  But the food we ordered can easily feed like say errr 3 pigs?  So yes its aplenty and can easily be shared ahah.  This place is awesome really.  Or maybe the holiday mood made it taste better than it normally is?  Either ways its good stuff I’m speaking off here!  So head there and get a bite if you have not done so already!!!



Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Bites:Universal Italian @ Lygon St. (Melbourne)

Time and time over, my tummy would have a sudden craving for Italian food.  Just a couple of days after having a pleasant yet SERIOUSLY cheap Italian food at Sofia’s and again I was in the mood for some more Italian kitchen action.   I could not really figure out where to go but random memories popped back in an instant as I recall hearing about a place called Universal so I goog-led it out and true enough there was a place on Lygon st. called Universal Italian food.  So it was decided then that darling and Kelvin would come with me to try it out too!


The place was pretty empty when we reached and the waitress was quick in making us comfortable.  The emptiness got us a bit worked up but then again maybe a quarter past 6 was a little too early? hehe.  Unable to decide what we would have, we decided to start with the Bruschetta!

IMG_7047Not your typical Bruschetta as this was oven baked.   This somewhat killed the freshness of the tomatoes but fortunately, the melted fetta was a blessing.  Overall it was OK although melted fetta + fresh tomatoes would be best!  Ahah and it was funny how my housemates thought the base was drizzled with chocolate sauce but was instead something else which I think is the Balsamic Vinegar.


After fondling the menu and turning it back and front we finally decided to order two type of food instead of three as we were still quite full from the lunch before.  I think we had our lunch in Menya but I’m not to sure. It has been quite a while since I had this meal.  Almost two weeks now!  Writing these post makes me miss Melbourne!! Aaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh *sobs*!  We decided to go with;IMG_7048Ribs and Chicken Wing Combo.


IMG_7051This looked like a Carbonara but it was not.  Funnily enough that even though it taste and feels like one, it is called a Fettuccini Roma.


These two dishes were not quite as yummy as the appetizer but definitely not crappy as well.  The biggest problem about the wings and ribs was that the seasoning was just too simple.  Perhaps a little more taste will help it shine?  As for the pasta, all it lacked was salt.  More salt would have been good considering how it tasted flat. 


Overall the food here is edible by standards but its not killer material in any way.  Maybe we were the few early customers and the chefs were not warmed up yet but either ways it feels as if they were not at their best.  And when we were done at about 7.30 or so, the place started to crowd and perhaps it was then that we should have arrived.  Universal is cheap by a Perth-ling standard.  At 13 bucks, this was nowhere near the 25-30 dollar price I would normally pay for an Italian meal in Perth.  I’m not going to end this saying whether this place is recommended or nor because in the end everyone has different taste.  Just give it a shot.  13 bucks and a meal is not too much to lose!!



Monday, July 19, 2010

Bites: Sofia’s @ Camberwell (Melbourne)

IMG_6791On the weekend of my arrival and just after one day with 300 bucks being spent, I cannot blame myself if I am feeling stingy right? ehehe.  On a side note, I remember getting my Lacoste shoes before heading off to dinner on the weekends with my college mates and friends.  Bright red it is :D!


For dinner, my friends decided to bring us to this place called Camberwell just a few train stops from the city.   Being a stranger in this bustling city, I willingly followed and to my joy we were up to something really cheap which is not stingy on serving and taste.  We went to Sofia’s which had plenty of seats yet they were all occupied.  Seeing the menu, I had absolutely no problem understanding the patrons choice.  The Lee family calls it C & G which simply stands for cheap and good!  True enough it really was!!  But if you are looking for something more authentic this might not be for you.


IMG_6793We started of with this really large crusty pizza overloaded with cheese and a garlicky after taste!  This monster was at least 30 cm in diameter.


IMG_6794Sofia’s offer what they called a Pasta for two which allows you to choose three type of pasta on one large platter.  This was my choice called Spaghetti Sofia’s which has prawns, bacons and ooh the ever so delicious scallops! Slurps!!


IMG_6795The Lasagne was the other choice of my companions that night! And we had a serve of gnocchi in the middle!  This was by far the cheapest pasta I have ever eaten.  And this is even cheaper than the pasta in the university’s ref.  And the uni pasta sucks!  Always overcooked and never al dente.


IMG_6796This was the seafood misto that we ordered to share as well.  Loaded with crumbled calamari, scallops, prawns and fish, this was the meal you know you had to share.   And that went down well with us considering we had a large group of 8 people!  For this dish, I felt that it was pretty fresh considering none of it had the foul seafood stench.  And it was well fried.  I mean you have to consider the price and time taken to serve you right? ehehe. :D!!


After failing to finish just these three ala carte dishes plus another pizza, we were curious to try what seems to be a popular dessert,  and I only can describe it as an abomination of ice creams.

IMG_6802Pistachio, water melon, orange, lemon, chocolate and mint all stacked into a humungous tower!  Nothing to shout about thought.  Freddos on Lygon win flat out.


By the end of the night, we were all filled and happy to go home.  But the only problem was public transport on a Sunday night is not a good good night :(!  Bloody trains were so infrequent and believe it or not, we took the wrong train ahah.  So in the end, what was meant to be a 20 minute trip ended up being a 90 minute journey xD!  Still a pleasant night and with the bill only costing us 88 bucks for 8 people, I have no complaints :D!!  An eating place for bargain hunters to keep in mind!!!



Sunday, July 18, 2010

Bites: Mart 130 @ St Kilda (Melbourne)

I’ve just gotten back from Melbourne two days ago.  After catching up with my friends and distributing most of the things I have brought back, I finally have time to update this space of mine in the sky.  I’m not really sure what I should post considering my options are aplenty.  But I think I will go with my final breakfast in Melbourne at Mart 130.  Mart 130 turns out to be highly recommended by newspapers and bloggers.  Most critics applauded the cafe owner’s smart move in turning this old tram station into a cool looking cafe while still being able to preserve its historic sentiments.  Getting to this place was a whole lot easier to get to I must insist.  Just head on over to Bourke St. and get on tram 96 heading towards St. Kilda and then get off at tram stop 130 the MiddlePark stop.  That is all you have to do.  Mart 130 is spelled in reverse of Tram 130 if you realise.  So simplistic yet so functional.  My name in reverse however, can probably only be used as a cover name in the Vietkong military :(!IMG_7306Table decor


Ok!  Enough talk more food! hehe!  To get our tummy started for the day, we indulged in hot drinks.  Xl and I opted for the hot chocolate:IMG_7293 See the froth and get weak on your knees.  This is the thickest froth I have ever had in Melbourne.  And oh god it was sooo satisfying!! I cannot help but mention how important this layer of froth is in hot drinks.  Been to places that serves hot drinks with an almost non-existent layer of froth and that really shows how passionate they are about being a barrister.  With no froth, it feels as if the milk came from a microwave.  Mart 130 serves the best classic hot chocolate in Melbourne.  For me at least! :D!!  Even Max Brenner’s creative Malteser copy cat is no match ahah.


IMG_7301My brekkie pick.  Corn fritters with crispy bacon streaks serve with drizzles of relish and a serve of sour cream.  Hope I got that right.  I’ll soon elaborate more about this very fancy looking piece of edible art.


IMG_7303lil girl’s poached eggs on sourdough with avocado mash and crispy bacon with hollandaise sauce.  I would have personally chosen this as my favourite after trying all the food we ordered.  The eggs felt slightly overcooked as the yolk did not turn out to be as runny as I would have preferred.  Bacon streaks were crisp and slightly charred, just the way I like it.  And amazingly this platter of eggs, mash, bacon and bread turned out to be a whole lot more filling that I thought it would be.  Lil girl was overloaded.

IMG_7304 Kelvin’s set was somewhat similar to XL with the exception of the avocado mash and bacon.  Instead, Kelvin had chorizos and olives cooked in what looked like an Italian herb tomato sauce.  The chorizos were yummy mummy but the olives were.. urgh @.@!   No olives thanks :D! 


I really think that any of those Mart 130 egg specials will be ok.  I particularly thought that Set #1 looked interesting served with spinach and mushrooms.  Mart 130 egg sets all cost the same at $16.90 each.   I do not see how any of these egg meals would end up in a disaster so I’d thoroughly recommend any of these to eggs lover or simply even if you are just a tummy left hungry. Ok time to get back on to my breakfast meal that I have yet to explained to you about.IMG_7301 Ok peeps, this is the supposedly yummy oven baked corn fritters that my good ol buddy Yobi told me about.  And really, it is not only him that I’m getting this input from.  Bloggers love this dish from Mart 130.  The reception for this dish has been particularly impressive on that day as well.  I saw most if not all tables of 3 or more having at least 1 of it.  But for me unfortunately, I did not see a dish that reflected what I liked.  Firstly having said fritters, I was expecting something more airy and crispy.  So crispy that I initially thought that an additional set of eggs and bread was needed to make me full.  But instead, these were more of corn cakes heavily loaded with flour and corn which equally congested my digestive system.  The taste of corn was not lacking in any way which is good for corn lovers.  I like corn in a way that is buttered and done up through a grill in any flavour.  Nandos is one that I enjoy thoroughly.  But this one here just did not make the mark.  Maybe next time just a little crispier?  I finished last in this breakfast race. :'(



Monday, July 12, 2010

Date Night: Max Brenner

Kelvin left for his skiing trip after our lunch at Ying Thai @ Lygon street.  So that leaves Xin Ling and I since Pauline and our other friends left for Sydney almost 4 days ago.  After shopping around for my pair of jeans in which I chose Nobody over Ksubis, we had a slight dinner before going to Max Brenner for dessert.  Call us fat, call us greedy but hey! hey! We’re in Melbourne for goodness sake.  Not to mention, the Dessert House Eatery which we had our dinner at, the waiter told us that you can have the Mango Dessert with Sago just that they did not have any mango flesh and sago. @.@!


We had a problem deciding what dessert to have at Max Brenner so in the end the little girl asked me to surprise her and order what I think would suit us best.  Knowing the little girl I ordered:IMG_6764Hot Chocolate with Crunchy Waffle Balls!  One of the more delicious drinks at Max Brenner.  These crunchy Maltesers wannabe that floats so noticeably on the froth melts in the creamy hot chocolate before settling with a crunch in your mouth! 1 word, lovely!!


IMG_6762Malteser wannabe on macro mode!


As for the main dessert, I got us the fondue for two with an extra shot of strawberries for darling!  She loves strawberries!

IMG_7095Om nom nom nom!  Best source of Vitamin C for unhealthy kids.  Banana bread, strawberries and banana slices dipped in chocolate.  Both dark and milk are good sources of antioxidant.  Excuses to enjoy :D!


IMG_7098Marshmallows and banana bread.  The banana bread does not taste good by itself though.  Its only nice when dipped in chocolate.  The spongy marshmallows were the typical off the shelve hypermarket ones.


IMG_7099Fruit bowl!!  I think more assortments would be delicious but the standard strawberries and bananas do well too!


IMG_7101The extra serve of strawberries for the baby girl.  A definite win.  Liked her smile that came with the strawberries hehe.


At the end of the night, our tummies were bulging inches more than normal as if someone pumped too much air into the tyres but the grin on our faces is more than enough to show our happiness :)!  But one amazing thing is that from the first day of the trip until today, the weighing scale is showing 68kg :)!  Does that mean I’ve lost weight? ehehe!  Must have been all the walking I’ve been doing in this oversized city!


Time to sleep :D!



Saturday, July 10, 2010

Bites: Ying Thai 2 @ Lygon St. (Melbourne)

Kelvin is not with us at the moment.  He went off with his friends to a national park in Bright before heading off the Alpines for a ski.  Before he left though, we went for something with a higher temperature to keep him warm during his trip hoho! THAI FOOD @ Ying Thai 2.  This little eatery has long been a famous eatery.  And there is no secrecy to its existence considering the queue during dinner and the lack of tables during lunch.  My fellow friends and readers (I hope there are some >.<) know that I’m a sucker for Thai food.  But only good ones though.  But luckily enough I have not had any sucky ones.  From my trip to Bangkok to S & T in Perth and now Ying Thai 2. Wow!  Undeniably, these were really good food.  Cleanliness in Bangkok well, it is something else but it was not detriment to me in anyway.

IMG_7087 The interior is simple but felt as if we were in some fancy back lane cafe in Bangkok. Liked the drawings depicting village kids spinning the tops like the classics engaged in a road side battle.


We were looking at the menu to decide what would best suit our hungry tummies and looking up and about the papers, we decided to go with the lunch set menu.  I think part of our decision was caused by the pricey cost of the rice.  Its 3 bucks per head =.=!!


What we ordered?IMG_7090This is one of the best Thai food available.  Spicy minced meat with holy basil!  Forgot what it is called but oh boy! Its lovely! The only downside with this version at Ying Thai 2 is the spiciness level was nowhere within Kelvin’s region spiciness.  It is our fault really.  We only asked for mild spiciness.


IMG_7089Xin Ling’s tom yam soup here is every bit as Thai as it should be.  From the clarity to the tastiness.  Its a blast.  Its typically how my uncle Teow Loon would made it from scratch.  I know they had Kafir lime leaf, dried chillies, tomatoes, fish sauce I guess? And other extras hehe.  Really tasted delicious.  Maybe we will go there one more time and have it with extra chilli as Xin Ling confesses to a certain thrill when she is busy gasping for air to cool her burning tongue :)!


IMG_7093This was my Thai red curry with duck meat.  I’ve always avoided curries when I go to Thai restaurants but I knew I was in no position to resist when I saw this curry on the menu.  My first experience of a beautiful duck curry was on a flight to Bangkok on Silk Air.  The roast duck curry I had on the flight was by far the most tantalising meal I have ever had on an flight.  Even beating the juicy steak on the Malaysian Airlines night flight to Australia.  I was only 12 when I had that curry and this curry was close to replicating that experience.  The thick flavoursome curry going nicely with the addition of a rich and aromatic coconut milk.  My god. Its taste was totally smack!  Even after I was done, Kelvin happily spooned the remains into his mouth.  I cannot blame him really.  It is after all a wonderful serve of curry.  The only downside was the serve of duck meat was a little insufficient.  I know I only paid 10 bucks which is far too cheap for a serve of Thai food but I was hoping for a little more meat. ahah


By the end of the meal, we were all filled to the brim.  The serve of rice is really large.  But I almost wanted to order one more serve to go together with my curry but luckily I had some self control ahah.  Finalising this post, Ying Thai 2 on Lygon street is a MUST go.  Unless you are from Thailand that is.  The price for the set menu is really cheap and if you are going for dinner, do not be bothered by the price of the rice.  The serve of meat seems pretty damn large.  And if you’re having curry, rice overload is not an option.  Its definitely a must.  I have not tried but I think the green curry would not be any lesser (in taste) than the red one.