Archive | May 2012

Gorgeous sunny day in Melbourne – May 31st

Today my work held a Client Expo at the Melbourne Convention Centre, next to the Exhibition Centre (aka Jeff’s Shed after former premier Jeff Kennett) in Melbourne’s CBD.

I volunteered to get there at 7am to help set up.  It was my way of avoiding the masses of traffic that commute to the city every weekday.  By the time I got there the sun was beginning to rise.  It was a cold, crisp morning and I couldn’t help admiring the quiet as the city was waking up.  I stopped to take a few photos.

Lately it has been very grey in Melbourne as it can be at this time of year but today was spectacular.  Brilliant blue skies.  For someone who hates winter (or the ‘W’ word as I normally call it) today was very cheering for the soul. No SAD for me today.

I was able to go out and take some more photos later. I then took some more when we were out looking for somewhere to buy some lunch.   That was another story.  A few of us went to a cafe next to the Convention Centre but we didn’t like the food.  Their breakfasts looked amazing but lunch looked very average.  Not to mention expensive.  We spent probably 15 mins searching for somewhere they sold nice takeaway.  It was farcical.  Eventually I left my two friends and tried DFO South Wharf.  I ended up finding a cafe in the Basement.  By this time I was worried I was going to be late to listen to one of the talks we were putting on for clients.  Sure enough I was late so had to put my lunch away and eat it later. 

Overall it was a great day.  Made so much better by the fact that it was in the city and I could admire the gorgeous weather and take lots of photos. 

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Yum Cha at Lucky Chan – Crown Casino, Melbourne

March 25, 2012

Every six months my friend and I go out for Yum Cha.  We have a list of places to go to and are trying to work our way through it.

This time we went to Lucky Chan at Crown Casino http://www.crownmelbourne.com.au/lucky-chan.  We researched www.urbanspoon.com.au and found some good and bad reviews but were always going to try it ourselves.  They have two sittings for lunch but we went to the 11am sitting because I had to be somewhere in the afternoon.   The restaurant was quite empty because it was a little early for lunch but we had our pick of the tables.  We chose one near the windows overlooking the Yarra River.

The food was really nice with some exceptions.  I’ve been spoiled by eating the most beautiful Fried Calamari at another Chinese restaurant.  That was cooked in Chinese Five Spice.  The one at Lucky Chan was quite bland.  The Prawn toasts had something missing as well.  I didn’t like the Chinese doughnuts though but at least I tried them.  The dumplings and spring rolls however were delicious.

We enjoyed the experience and I know I would go back again.  I didn’t find it very expensive although other reviewers on Urbanspoon have commented that it was but I suppose that depends where you’ve been before.

Sunday lunch

I’ve been finding so many nice recipes lately I decided to cook something today for a friend.  We get together every month to scrapbook and take turns in going to each other’s houses.  Sometimes we go out for lunch but I was in the mood to cook so planned a nice lunch.  The recipes had to be ones that are quick and easy because the purpose of the day is to scrapbook. 

I’m addicted to cooking magazines (Super Food Ideas and Recipes+) and websites such as www.taste.com.au.  They are a great source of inspiration.  I often make changes to make them as healthy as possible.

I found the recipes for todays lunch on the Weight Watchers Australia website www.weightwatchers.com.au. I cooked a Bacon, feta and vegetable filo tart followd by Creamy Lemon tart.  Their recipes have come a long way in the last 10 years or so.  Most of the time you would never know a WW recipe from a top magazine recipe.

Stamford Hotel, Rowville

My family went there for dinner for my brother’s birthday on Sunday night.  It was very busy and noisy for a Sunday night which I guess is a good thing.  It makes it hard to talk to people though.  They have a great family bistro with a playroom for kids which has climbing equipment and a few televisions.  They have cameras dotted throughout the restaurant so you can keep on eye on your kids while they play.

http://www.thestamford.com.au/index.html

After a 45 min wait, I ate Chicken and Pesto Risotto which was quite nice but I feel it needed more seasoning.

My sister in law made a great red and white cake.  It had four layers of cake that was each coloured with a different shade of red.  It took a long time for her to make it but it was well worth it.

Sketches Cafe, Bar & Restaurant, Burwood, Vic

Mum and Dad wanted to go out for breakfast after Matty’s soccer so I asked to join them.   Soccer was in Doncaster so I looked in the Entertainment Book for somewhere suitable and found Sketches. 

It turned out to be a small cafe in a strip shopping centre on Burwood Highway.  The main part of the cafe is very small and filled with dark furniture which makes it feel even smaller.  We were offered a table in the Atrium out the back and decided to sit there.  It turned out to be in a nice courtyard.  The sun was shining in and warming us nicely so the outdoor heater had to be turned off as more people came in.

Service was quite slow but it looked like there was only one waitress.  I had to go and ask to place our order.  Drinks took forever to arrive.  We heard some people at a nearby table ask when their coffees would be brought out and mentioned they had ordered them an hour ago. 

Mum and Dad ordered the big breakfast which consisted of eggs, bacon, mushrooms, tomato and hash browns on sourdough toast.  They had run out of hash browns which didn’t bother them.  Mum asked for her eggs to be scrambled and didn’t want the mushrooms.  When it arrived her eggs were poached and the mushrooms were on there.  The waitress was a little rude about it.

I ordered the breakfast bruschetta which apparently is one of the most popular dishes on the brunch menu (they serve brunch until 3.30pm).  It was absolutley delicious and left a beautiful aftertaste in my mouth.

  It had garlic-rubbed sourdough toast, poached eggs, tomato, basil, balsamic glaze, extra virgin olive oil, wild rocket and parmesan.

Welcome

In the past few years I’ve become a bit of a foodie.  One of my good friends and I like to try new restaurants around Melbourne and regional Victoria.  Sometimes we re-visit places we have enjoyed eating at in the past. 

These days there are so many websites offering discount vouchers that we have been able to try even more restaurants and cuisines.  One other source of inspiration is The Entertainment Book http://www.entertainmentbook.com.au which is a book of vouchers that is purchased around May each year and has hundreds of vouchers for restaurants.  The vouchers must be handed in when you dine but that just encourages us to try different places.  The Age Good Food Guide http://www.theage.com.au/entertainment/restaurants-and-bars/the-age-good-food-guide-2012-20110829-1jhxp.html is also a good place to find a nice restaurant.

With this blog, I’ll aim to post photos and share the experiences of the meals and places I travel to.  I love taking photos of the meals and am disappointed when restaurants ask us not to take photos.  Not that that has happened many times.  My passions are photography, sport, travel and food, not necessarily in that order.