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, 12 August 2019

Brunching @ Three Locals, Melbourne

Now that the youngest does 3-year-old kinder for 5 hours a week (which is really not very much), hubby and I aim to have a kid-free brunch date once a month. Given our busy schedules, it actually works out to be closer to once every two months, but that is better than none. We are blessed to be situated close by the foodie offerings on Station Street in Fairfield, which makes it so easy to fit in an hour's date with delicious food and good coffee. We have yet to come across a place we don't like on Station Street, and Three Locals is no exception. My girls and I walk past Three Locals every day to and from school, and it's a popular choice for a coffee break with the locals, especially the parents after dropping off their children at school. The all-day menu offers a wide selection of dishes to suit all taste buds, and vegans, vegetarians and gluten-free diners are also catered for. We enjoyed our brunch and coffee very much at Three Locals, and will definitely revisit again.

Maison Brekky - avocado, tomato relish, grilled ham and two poached eggs, topped with hollandaise and served on toast:

Mr Atlantic - Salmon Benedict with premium smoked salmon, sautéed spinach, two poached eggs & house hollandaise on toast:

Three Locals
127 Station Street
Fairfield VIC 3078
Tel. +61 3 9078 6579

Three Locals Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Saturday, 3 August 2019

Tasty ramen @ Shujinko [Russell Street], Melbourne

One of the best things about living in the same city with a sister who appreciates food is that we meet and go out for the sole purpose of satisfying whatever cravings we have. It requires a bit of coordination with our husbands to look after our kids on a weekend day, but my hubby is happy to take the kids for a few hours as long as I bring home goodies for him too. Shujinko is a 24-hour ramen bar, and it serves hearty bowls of Tokyo-style broth ramen and classic Japanese snacks to satisfy the midnight munchies if you so happen to find yourself in the city late at night. I'm sure the daytime atmosphere is quite different to the night vibe, but the food nonetheless was lip-smackingly delicious. This trip to Shujinko was the last of three food stops for lunch that afternoon, and our eyes were bigger than our stomachs when we ordered three dishes to share. Happy to say that we managed to finish everything, and we enjoyed every bite we had.

Gyoza - the perfectly crispy base contrasted the chewy dumpling skin and moist tasty filling. As it said on the menu: the best side dish to go with ramen:

Tofu salad - soft tofu served with cherry tomato and salad mix, dried bonito flakes and sesame soy dressing:

Shujinko ramen - the original signature ramen in tonkotsu soup base. That pork belly alone is worth the visit to Shujinko!

Shujinko [Russell Street]
225 Russell St
Melbourne VIC 3000
Tel. +61 3 9654 0989
Shujinko - Russell St Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Friday, 19 July 2019

Comfy lodging and delicious Swiss food @ Hotel Bellevue, Murren (Switzerland)

I am still going through my photos from our trip to Europe last year, and I do hope to get through them all by the end of 2019! It had always been a dream of mine to visit the Swiss Alps, and last year we actually stayed on the Swiss Alps for two days! Choices on where to base ourselves on the Alps were plenty, and many online have raved about how scenic Murren is, so I booked us in to stay at the highly rated Hotel Bellevue in Murren. Service was excellent from the moment of my email enquiry, right up until we checked out and departed. It's a fact that Murren is car-free, so the complimentary pick-up and drop-off service between the station and the hotel was greatly appreciated, especially with our large group of three adults and three children, and the sizeable number of luggage that accompanied us. The rooms were well equipped and we slept comfortably and cozily each night. Our family stayed in a suite and my mum enjoyed her solitude in a single room. The suite had a back door directly out onto the snow, which delighted the kids. Breakfast was included in our rate, which is super convenient when travelling with three kids. The breakfast fare was lovely, and I loved the hot freshly made coffee each morning. We enjoyed one dinner at the hotel, and it was delicious.

The single room:

The living area in the suite:

The bedroom in the suite:

The breakfast room:

The view from the breakfast room:

Bread basket:

Fruit and bread corner:

Muesli, yogurts, cheese and cold cuts. There's even a pot of boiled eggs!

Swiss muesli with various cheeses:

The restaurant dining area:

Hubby's first taste of Ramseier Suure Moscht (Swiss apple cider), and the kids' first taste of apfelschorle:

Snow-covered scenery to be enjoyed from the dining room window:

Special order of sausage and chips for the boy to share with his sisters:

Mum's choice of deer fillet, smoked and pan-fried with a creamy mushroom sauce, glazed chestnuts, red cabbage, poached pears with cranberries, served with homemade spätzle:


Hubby could not resist finishing the meal with something sweet. This mixed berries tart was delish:

If you're looking to stay on the Swiss Alps, I can highly recommend the alpine village of Murren, and Hotel Bellevue is a superb choice for accommodation.

Hotel Bellevue
CH-3825 Mürren
Tel. +41 33 855 14 01

Thursday, 4 July 2019

Brunch @ The Hills Pantry, Melbourne

Earlier this year we signed the kids up to Saturday Chinese school, at a language school recommended by my cousin whose kids also attend the school. Our 10-year-old had received daily Mandarin lessons for five years at his school in Hong Kong, and I didn't want it all to go to waste. The school is also for his younger sisters to get a bit of exposure to the language, and the 3-hour duration allows me to get some productive work done without the distractions of childcare and household chores. When I first brought the kids to trial their respective classes, hubby came along for support, and when the 3-year-old was finally settled in the kinder class, we found ourselves with some time to spare, sans kids! We googled for the nearest cafe to have coffee, and found ourselves at The Hills Pantry for a quick brunch date. The location in a small shopping centre means that parking is easy to find, and it is a convenient place for a coffee break whilst getting the shopping done. The staff were friendly and the service was efficient. There was a decent selection of food to choose from, and the coffee was also fantastic. All in all, this is a great little cafe for good coffee and a bite to eat.

Hubby enjoyed his cappuccino and I loved my piccolo:

Hubby ordered the classic brunch dish, Eggs Benedict - poached eggs with ham and hollandaise. Can't go wrong with this one:

I could not resist the Smashed Avocado and Fetta on sourdough. There was the option to add poached egg, but it was delicious just as it was:

The Hills Pantry
Wheelers Hill Shopping Centre
190 Jells Road
Wheelers Hill
Tel. +61 3 9561 0022

The Hills Pantry Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Friday, 31 May 2019

Lunch special @ Chu The Phat, South Brisbane

A few months ago, I was in Brisbane for one night, for the sole purpose of cheering on my younger sister when she participated in a dance competition. I managed to catch up with one of my friends from university, who is now based in Brisbane. We met for a quick lunch at Chu The Phat, which was conveniently close by her workplace and the convention centre where the dance competition was held. I liked the hip and modern interior, and staff was welcoming and very friendly. We liked the two dishes that was offered on the affordably priced $15 lunch specials, so we ordered one of each and shared them. Service was quick and efficient, which was great for my friend who only had a 1-hour lunch break. The food was delicious and flavoursome, hearty and wholesome, the perfect companions for plain rice. If I lived in Brisbane, I would most return for multiple revisits to explore the menu.

Outdoor dining by the entrance on Fish Lane:

Love the cool and awesome decor:

Braised beef shin, fermented chilli and baby turnip:

Pork and kimchi stew with tofu:

Chu The Phat
111 Melbourne St
South Brisbane QLD 4101
Tel. +61 7 3255 2075

Chu The Phat Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato