The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” – G.K. Chesterton

Monday, 11 November 2019

Cozy German-Swiss dining @ Restaurant Stägerstübli, Murren (Switzerland)

During our (too short) stay in beautiful Murren in the Swiss Alps last year, we ventured out of our excellent lodging for an early dinner at Stägerstübli on our final evening there. It is family-friendly with hearty meals to warm the body and soul up. The meat menu came with the choice of sides, carbs or vegetables and sauce, so between the three adults, we got to try different options. We found the service to be friendly and helpful, and the cozy and homely atmosphere was very inviting. I remember being satisfied and happy with our meals at Stägerstubli.

This was where I tried aperol spritz for the first time:

Can't go wrong with fish fingers and chips for the fussy kids:

Kalbsgechnetzeltes en Rahmsauce - sliced veal in a cream sauce, with rice and vegetables:

Lammfilet mit Knoblauchmayonnaise - lamb fillet with garlic mayonnaise, with rosti and vegetables:

Schweinsrahmschnitzel - escalope of pork with a mushroom cream sauce, with rosti and vegetables:

Dessert was a trio of delicious ice cream flavours:

Restaurant Stägerstubli
L. & R. Gertsch-Betschart
CH-3825 Mürren
Tel. +41 33 855 13 16

Wednesday, 16 October 2019

Brunch @ Mamma Says, Melbourne

I love the fact that we are spoilt for choice for good food and coffee near where we live. Hubby and I make it a goal to fit in a quick brunch date once a month when the youngest is in kinder, and it always has to be somewhere nearby because the kinder session is only 2 hours duration. Mamma Says is a favourite amongst the locals on Station Street, located opposite another favourite. The menu contained the usual brunch favourites featuring eggs like a few varieties of eggs benedict, omelettes, and the big breakfast, as well as a couple more decadent selections like pancakes and french toast. There were also lighter options like toast, muesli and yoghurt, and more substantial mains for lunch like chicken parma, grilled lamb and steak sandwich. There are plenty of choices to suit a variety of tastebuds and appetites. We have been to Mamma Says twice now, and can confirm that is consistently great, whether for a quick coffee or a proper meal.

Delicious coffee:

Avocado Smash (AUS$19) mixed with feta, lemon juice and mint, with a poached egg and jalepeno on toast:

Hashstack (AU$18.50) with 3 homemade hashbrowns, bacon and a poached egg topped with hollandaise:

Mamma's Big Breakfast (AU$22.50) with eggs your way on toast with bacon, tomato, chorizo, mushrooms, homemade hash brown and aioli:

Atlantic Benedict (AU$20.50) - poached eggs on toast with smoked salmon, spinach and hollandaise:

Mamma Says
120 Station St
Fairfield VIC 3078
Tel. +61 3 9489 1112

Mamma Says Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Monday, 23 September 2019

Delicious Korean stews @ Masizzim, Melbourne

Recently I received an email invitation for me and a guest to try some of the food and drinks at a new Korean restaurant called Masizzim that opened up at The Glen Shopping Centre. This shopping centre is quite a drive from home, and the week day timing was a little awkward for my schedule, so I must admit that I did not immediately jump at the opportunity. However after having a chat with hubby about this invitation, he was keen to try, as we realised that we hadn't eaten Korean since we left Hong Kong in early 2018. I managed to arrange a suitable time to visit Masizzim, and boy, are we glad that we took this invitation! Here I must state that although we did not pay for this meal, I maintain the integrity of my blog to give honest reviews. So here is our experience as if we were full-paying customers. Our older two kids were in school, so our youngest got to come along and enjoy the experience. We were greeted warmly and welcomed by one of the restaurant's staff, who took excellent care of us for the hour that we were in the restaurant. We had previously informed the restaurant that we could only stay for an hour, and our waitress ensured that the food were served at a good pace. She also gave great recommendations on what to order.

Masizzim's interior is bright and spacious with a contemporary and distinctly Korean fit-out. Wood, slate, steel and stone feature prominently:

At our waitress' suggestion, we sampled some of the popular Korean drinks. The 3-year-old enjoyed the sweet Haitai Bon Bon grape drink with whole skinless grapes, hubby ordered the peach soju which he really enjoyed, and I got the aloe vera drink:

One of the things I look forward to in a Korean restaurant is the banchan, the complimentary and usually refillable side dishes to accompany the meal. We were served kimchi, seasoned eggplant, onion and fish cake:

Masizzim at The Glen is the first Australian branch of a Korean chain that has restaurants in Singapore, Jakarta and Bangkok. Masizzim translates to 'delicious stew', referring to the restaurant's specialty of galbi jjim meat stews featuring slow-cooked beef or pork short ribs. These braised meat dishes are traditionally served during festive holidays and at high end restaurants, but Masizzim makes galbi jjim easily accessible to anyone for an any day meal. The restaurant's Korean founder uses his mother's original recipes, and imports the secret recipe pastes from Masizzim's Korean kitchen. The meat - pork, beef or chicken - are marinated in the secret recipe pastes, then cooked and served in an iron pot with the choice of udon or chewy glass noodles. There are 4 levels of spiciness to choose from, and we ordered level 2 spicy beef stew with glass noodles, which was pretty spicy even for us but still enjoyable. The beef was very tender and flavoursome, and we were pleased to see pieces of chewy tteok bokki in the spicy stew.

I ordered Tuna Rice Balls for the 3yo, which were fun to make, but she was more interested in the Squid and Leek Jeon (pancake). She enjoyed the savoury pancakes so much, she must have demolished at least half of it. She's actually quite a picky eater, and I was amazed to see that she did not pick out the green bits like she usually does. The tuna rice balls were delicious and it would be a great dish to order for my middle one who loves to get her hands messy (gloves are provided).

Squid and Leek Jeon:

The ingredients in a bowl for tuna rice ball (with glove and kim chi on the side, not pictured):

Hubby also ordered Stir-fried Spicy Pork Hot Stone Bibimbap, and the flavour was on point but lacked the burnt rice bits at the bottom which we have become accustomed to looking for in hot stone bibimbap. It was nonetheless still a delicious bowl of bibimbap:

For dessert, there are three types of bingsu on offer at Masizzim. I've never had bingsu like this before! We chose the Mango and Cheese Bingsu, which comprised of milky shaved ice topped with sweet juicy mangoes, cheesecake pieces and a scoop of vanilla ice cream. What a perfect way to finish a spicy meal! Hubby really appreciated the cheesecake chunks.

Masizzim is worth a visit if you're in the area. I just wish we lived closer so we could make this a regular jaunt.

Shop 1-002/235
The Glen Shopping Centre
235 Springvale Rd
Glen Waverley, VIC 3150
Tel. +6 1 3 4418 2805

Masizzim Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Wednesday, 11 September 2019

Seafood @ River Quay Fish, South Bank (Brisbane)

When I visited Brisbane on a solo trip, I met up with my in-laws for lunch at South Bank. I adore the South Bank - I think it is a beautifully planned out space with fantastic facilities for the public along the Brisbane River close to the CBD. There are plenty of dining options in South Bank, and we strolled through the restaurants along the river before deciding on lunching at River Quay Fish. The service we received was great, and the restaurant was very accommodating to my step-MIL's dietary requirements. It is a fine choice for seafood and lovely views of the river, and we quite enjoyed the food we ordered.

A dozen natural oysters, all of them fresh, plump and delicious:

My King Fish with potato mash and greens was excellently prepared:

The Seafood Paella with bomba rice and seafood stock resembled more like a risotto, but it was full of delicious seafood flavours:

River Quay Fish
South Bank, Sidon St
South Brisbane QLD 4101
Tel. +61 7 3844 3993

River Quay Fish Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tuesday, 3 September 2019

Exquisite afternoon tea @ The Hotel Windsor, Melbourne

Last week, hubby and I celebrated a milestone anniversary. I won't say how long we've been married, only that we got married 10 months before I started writing in this blog! How far we have come since - the adventures we've had around the world, living in three different countries, and raising three beautiful children. It hasn't been all sunshine and roses, but the challenges we've encountered and overcame together, I hope that these have helped forged our bond stronger. To celebrate our anniversary, I booked us to have high tea at The Hotel Windsor, which claims to be Melbourne's most famous afternoon tea. Regardless of the fame, the experience we had was nothing short of fabulous. We were informed that the hotel has been serving afternoon tea everyday except Christmas since 1883! The interior was grand and elegant, the service we received was impeccable, and the food was exceptional. The maître d' who greeted us at the door gave us a warm welcome, and acknowledging the occasion we were celebrating, he sat us at a window table, which was a pleasant surprise as it was something I did not request nor expect. We enjoyed our glasses of bubbly aperitif, and we did not have to wait long after being seated before the 3-tier high tea set was served. We didn't feel rushed nor hurried as we savoured every bite of the afternoon tea. I liked the bottomless coffee and tea, and we enjoyed a cup of cappuccino each as well as two different types of tea (we tasted each other's teas, so we actually tried four different types of tea). We had a really good experience, and I highly recommend the afternoon tea experience at the Hotel Windsor.

Classic and timeless decor:

Our glasses of French sparkling wine:

Savoury pastries, exquisite patisserie and ribbon sandwiches on a three-tiered stand:


Warm savoury canapes: Roasted jerusalem artichoke tart, ricotta, thyme, fine herbs; and Parmesan crusted gougère with Gruyère fondue:

The gougère had a delicious cheesy filling:

Sweet patisserie: pistachio macaron (macaron biscuit, roasted pistachio, Sicilian pistachio ganache); vanilla and yuzu religieuse (vanilla bean mousse, yuzu sauce & crémeux, mirliton (almond) sponge); and longchamp (Milk chocolate mousse, hazelnut praline):

Ribbon sandwiches: free range egg with saffron aioli & mustard; Waldorf smoked chicken salad with Victorian walnuts; and cucumber with peperonata & Yarra Valley fetta:

Our teas were served in elegant silver teapots:

My cup of sencha. I haven't enjoyed a good green tea for years, and drinking this brought back nostalgic memories of our years in Japan:

Freshly baked traditional and sultana scones, served with housemade strawberry jam and thick double cream:

I actually forgot about the scones, and I was already full from the pastries and sandwiches, but I love scones and none went to waste:

At the conclusion of our high tea, we were served this plate of cake:

The Hotel Windsor
111 Spring St
Melbourne VIC 3000
Tel. +61 3 9633 6002
Bookings can also be made online

Afternoon Tea At The Windsor Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato