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, 22 February 2021

Lunch, dinner and breakfast @ The Boat Shed, Lake Hume Village, NSW

What a crazy few months it has been so far! The new school year began at the end of January, and everyone - especially the children - were so happy to be back at school again. My youngest has also begun school, so it has been quite momentous for our family. However, two weeks after the new school year started, Melbourne went back into Stage 4 lockdown, but thankfully this was for only five days. For us, one of the things I missed the most when Melbourne went into lockdown for half of 2020 was travelling. Fortunately, enough restrictions were lifted by the end of last year to allow for some travelling, so we made plans to travel into regional areas during the school holidays to help boost the regional tourism economy which had been greatly impacted in 2020. In December, right after the school summer holiday began and the weekend before Christmas, we took a 3.5-hour road trip across the border into New South Wales. The main reason for our trip was to reunite my boy with his best friend from Hong Kong who he hadn't seen for almost three years since we moved to Melbourne. Our friends had gone to Sydney in early 2020 to visit their family, and the situation hadn't improved enough for them to return back to Hong Kong, so our they remained in NSW for the rest of the year. It was a case of so-close-yet-so-far because the domestic Covid-19 situation prevented both of our families from meeting up for most of last year, until a small window of opportunity opened up for us to finally get together for only two days, and a location roughly half way between the two households was swiftly decided. However, our travel plans were not without some Covid-19-related drama, because on the day before we were to embark on our lengthy drive, we heard news about a growing cluster of Covid-19 cases in Sydney, and that some border restrictions were already in place between our two states. We had a difficult decision to make - if we went ahead with the trip to cross the border, we would risk having to isolate ourselves upon our return to VIC if state border restrictions were further tightened during our short time in NSW, and our plans to host Christmas lunch for my sisters and cousins and to go on another road trip post-Christmas would have to be cancelled. Since regional NSW was still considered "green zone" for VIC, we decided to make the trip and be prepared for a quick exit. Where we had booked for accommodation in Lake Hume Village was only a 15-minute drive from the border between VIC and NSW, so a quick exit would certainly be achievable. I must admit that I couldn't really relax while on the trip, and when we weren't with our friends, I was on my phone looking for the latest news on the border restrictions (internet reception was terrible, so often it was a futile effort to get any news). The areas being "red zoned" by VIC had widened by our second day in NSW, and after a quick discussion, hubby and I apologetically told our dear friends that we would drive home that night and forfeit the second night's stay at Lake Hume Resort.

In our short one night stay at Lake Hume Resort, we went the convenient route for meals and ate all three meals at The Boat Shed, located on site at the resort. The food was always delicious, the kids portions were generous for $10, and the cocktails were pretty tasty too. The Boat Shed and the resort's recreation facilities like the pool and mini golf were conveniently located near the cottages we had rented, and we did not need to leave the resort for food or recreation during our short stay. We are so glad we decided to take the risk to make the trip because we had a memorable time with our dear friends, and it really was a sweet reunion between my son and his best friend.

The beautiful setting of The Boat Shed by the Lake Hume:


Both of our families started our drive from our respective homes in the different states at around the same time in early morning, and we arrived at The Lake Hume Resort within 30 minutes of each other around lunch time. We sat on the deck of The Boat Shed, enjoying lake views and the delicious aroma of pizzas cooking in the woodfired ovens in the kitchen next to our table.
Hubby decided to treat himself to a boozy icy drink after a long 3.5-hour non-stop drive with three kids in the back, and the Iced Tea Bourbon Smash (AU$17) with berry rooibos tea, limoncello and lemon juice was the perfect drink:

Pizza is one of the best things to order at The Boat Shed, and we also enjoyed takeaway pizzas for lunch the following day. Pictured is Ritchie's BBQ Bliss (AU$22), with semi-dried tomato, jalapeno, caramelised onion, mozzarella and house BBQ sauce:

Youngest chose the Chicken nuggets and Chips (AU$10):

Elder daughter ordered the Kids-sized Penne Bolognaise (AU$10):

Son ordered the Kids Cheese Burger and Chips (AU$10):

Hubby enjoyed the Lamb Taco (AU$22):

Our friend ordered the Tajima Rump Steak with creamy mushroom truffle sauce (AU$36):

After we had a chance to unpack and settle into our cottages, we met up for dinner at The Boat Shed again. My son stayed with his friend's family the whole time we were at the resort, even for sleep, so we only saw him at meal times. It was a good arrangement, as it allowed the best friends to spend as much time as possible together. The kids ordered again from the kids menu, so their meals are not pictured in this section.

At the dinner meal, I indulged in an aperitif, and The Spring Thing (AU$17) with ink gin, limoncello, lemon juice and lavendar was refreshing and delicious:

Hubby went for the Woodfired Chicken Parma (AU$28) - generous serving size, and hubby enjoyed every bite:

Peruvian Ceviche (AU$16) with fish of the day, leche de tigre and tostados - I enjoyed this ceviche, and it was the perfect portion for my evening appetite:

Bacon & Egg Roll (AU$15) with brioche and spiced relish - perfect for those with big appetites:

Bacon and eggs on toast, as requested by son:

Friend ordered Morrocan Eggs (AU$16):

I always order Smashed Avo (AU$15) for brunch whenever I see it on the menu, and adding toasted sesame seeds is a simple but delicious addition:

The Boat Shed
1 Ray Welsh Dr
Lake Hume Village NSW 2691
Tel. +61 2 6009 1666
The Boat Shed Lake Hume Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tuesday, 5 January 2021

Margaritas and tacos fun @ Radio Mexico, Melbourne

A friend introduced to me to the fun at Radio Mexico when we went out for my birthday, where margaritas and tacos go hand in hand. The Covid-19 lockdown restrictions in Melbourne had recently lifted, but there were still a number of restrictions in place, so it was just the three of us who went out that evening, which was fine by me as I don't like big fancy birthday celebrations. First stop that evening was Radio Mexico, which were not accepting bookings, and we waited about half an hour for a table. My younger sister and I enjoyed this experience so much that we came back for a revisit a couple of weeks later on her birthday, this time with our older sister. Between those two visits, we tried all the different margaritas and most of the tacos on the menu. The tacos were delicious, and the perfect accompaniment to the margaritas. Our favourite taco was the BBQ pork belly, and the fancier ones with scallop and prawn made our top fave three tacos. If you're after a hip, fun and casual atmosphere in Melbourne, Radio Mexico would fit the bill very nicely.


Totopos - hand-cut batch-fried organic white corn chips with house-made salsas:

Baja - beer-battered fish, pico de gallo and slaw:

BBQ Pork Belly - a twist on tacos al pastor, featuring pork crackling and pineapple:

Grilled fish with pickled red cabbage, avocado and black bean salsa:

Callo de Hacha - scallop and pork crackling with pickled red cabbage and habanero cream:

Camaron - Chipotle prawn and slaw:

Radio Mexico
11-13 Carlisle Street
St Kilda VIC 3182
Tel. +61 3 9534 9990

Radio Mexico Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Monday, 30 November 2020

Birthday lunch @ The Estelle, Melbourne

This time of the year is always busy with a few birthdays in the family, hence why it's been quiet on the blog for the past month. A few weeks ago my birthday fell on a Friday, and hubby took a couple of hours off work to treat me to a lovely lunch at The Estelle in Northcote. We have been fortunate that the Covid-19 restrictions lifted sufficiently just prior to the November birthdays in our family, and simply going out for a meal with hubby felt like such a wonderful treat after being stuck at home in lockdown for half the year! We were pleased to find an elegant restaurant serving fine dining only five minutes drive away from home! In keeping with Covid-19 regulations set by the Victorian government, only a few indoor tables were available for booking to allow for adequate social distancing, and only the classic Estelle 4-course degustation was available for indoor dining. I was more than happy to have the kitchen decide the food for me, and all I needed to do was sit back, relax and enjoy the experience. The only extras we ordered were the half dozen oysters, and the Wagyu supplement course. Everything went fantastically well, and we enjoyed the friendly service and the food that were delicious and beautifully presented.

The dark and earthy interior of Estelle contrast the bright artistic halo lights hanging overhead:

A Negroni for me, and a creamy soda for hubby who had to return to work after lunch, and hence the designated driver:

Onion and parmesan brioche, herbed sour cream:

Beef cracker with coffee and sesame; and baby crudites in olive oil with caramelised garlic dip:

Merimbula oyster with mignonette:

Jonella farm asparagus, hay smoked hollandaise, egg yolk:

Cured kingfish, bonito cream, fennel, nori:

Flinders Island spring lamb, radish, nasturtium:

Supplement course: Westholme wagyu porterhouse, native pepper sauce, sarladaise potatoes $30:

Coconut and rhubarb pavlova, lemon myrtle:

The Estelle
243-245 High St
Northcote VIC 3070
Tel. +61 3 9489 4609

Estelle Bistro Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Saturday, 31 October 2020

Takeaway review: Burger Road [Fairfield], Melbourne

In the depth of the second Covid-19 lockdown that we recently experienced in Melbourne, I found myself being more relaxed about ordering takeaway food than I was during the first lockdown. On the occasions that I brought home takeaway for dinner, my family was happy with the novelty of having outside food, and I was happier to have a break from cooking. Burger Road is a relatively newcomer on the dining scene at Station Street, and hubby enthusiastically suggested having burgers from Burger Road for dinner one Sunday evening. Ordering from Burger Road was straightforward using the online order form, and pick up was extremely easy. The kids wanted cheeseburger, so I ordered a couple of the Station St Burger for them. Hubby enjoys everything with 'the lot', so it was Traffic Jam for him. The whole family enjoyed the burgers, which were juicy and full of flavours.

The Station St Burger - 100% Wagyu beef patty, cheese, tomato sauce, american mustard and pickle:

The kids aren't fans of pickles, and I was happy to have them!

The Traffic Jam - Wagyu beef patty, bacon, egg, cheese, lettuce, tomato, red onion, beetroot, grilled pineapple and American mustard mayo:

There's a lot going on in that burger, just the way hubby likes it:

I am sure we will be back again for more!

Burger Road [Fairfield]
89 Station Street
Fairfield VIC 3078
Tel. +61 3 9489 1351
Order Online

Burger Road Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Saturday, 10 October 2020

Seafood feast @ Ling Loong Seafood [Top Spot Food Court], Kuching (Malaysia)

When we visited Kuching earlier this year, our Kuchingite relatives kindly organised a dinner at Ling Loong Seafood for the visiting relatives. As soon as we walked through the undercover carpark to the lift, I recognised that we were taken to this same food court 11 years earlier by a friend (one of the many foodie places this generous Kuchingite friend took us to on that trip!). Our relatives filled up two tables, and we all enjoyed catching up over a delicous seafood feast. The dinner showcased the local specialties that can only be found on this side of Malaysia, and I didn't realise I'd missed having these local food until I saw them again that night!

O-chien - oyster omelette is a delicious combination of seafood and egg:

Manichye, also called cangkuk manis in Malay which means sweet leaf. It has a texture much like spinach, but without the bitterness:

The last time I had Midin was 11 years ago when we visited Kuching. This local fern grows in the wild, has a distinctive curl and a lovely crunchy texture. I do wish midin is more readily available outside of Sarawak:

Another local seafood delicacy is the bamboo clam. These clams have a delicate seafood flavour and a texture similar to perfectly cooked scallops. Curry sauce is a popular way to serve bamboo clams in Kuching:

Here we have Butter Prawns. These deep fried crunchy goodies are not the healthiest choice, but they taste so good, I ate them whole with the heads, shells and tails!:

Classic Steamed Whole Fish. I'm not sure what kind of fish this is, but this was perfectly cooked and seasoned with a light and simple ginger soy sauce:

Deep-fried silken tofu in a mixed seafood and vegetables sauce:

Ling Loong Seafood Top Spot Food Court
6th Floor
No 6 & 33, Jalan Padungan
Taman Permata, 93100 Kuching
Sarawak, Malaysia
Tel. +60 14-684 8368