Bali Bali Bali

seminyak-beach-bali

Feeling super relaxed after 5 glorious days poolside in Bali. Lots of swimming, eating, reading and not much else. Sounds like bliss right?

I left the Boyf at home and met up with an old school friend, Mel in Seminyak. Mel had also left her Boyf at home and our goal of the holiday was to do as little as possible and eat as much local food as possible. Coming in to the end of the year we were both slightly frazzled from work and life so we didn’t want to be travelling around sightseeing or filling our days haggling over Balinese trinkets we didn’t really need. Our only aim for the day was to fill our quota at the buffet breakfast then lounge by the pool or beach until we ventured out of the resort for an early dinner in the late afternoon. After dinner we’d get a massage and head back to our rooms for an early night. Usually when I travel I’m always on the go sightseeing and moving around cities or countries so this holiday was one of the most relaxing I’ve ever had.

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Paleo Treats, Waterfront Walks and Slashed Tyres

Yesterday, boyf and I were visiting our friends and their delightful newborn baby girl in Geelong. For those who may not know, Geelong’s the second largest city in Victoria and about an hour’s drive from Melbourne. We’ve been there many times before as we have a few friends living there, so we’re quite familiar with the city and drive there from Melbourne. We started our drive just after peak hour traffic died down, and arrived in Geelong around 11am. Naturally our first stop was to visit our friends and their new baby girl, Emily. She was absolutely delightful and we could instantly see Mum and Dad were totally besotted with their first child. It was so amazing to hold Emily less than 24 hours after she entered this world. Child birth is such an amazing thing… But that’s a whole other blog post!

After our hospital visit to meet new baby Emily we walked into the city centre to explore coffee options. As we’d had a huge breakfast not long before we left Melbourne, lunch wasn’t on the menu yet. Our friends had recommended we try Bear and Bean which I recalled instantly as I’d seen another friend mention it on Facebook last week. Off we trotted in search of good coffee and highly recommended paleo cakes. If you’re planning a visit be warned – the café is hidden away at the back of a carpark down a small side street – we walked right past it the first time.

bear-and-bean-cafe-geelong great-geelong-cafes

It was about 12.30pm and the café was super busy with the lunch crowd. We managed to secure the last free table and ordered some coffees and perused the cakes on display.

paleo-cake-treats

Bear and Bean offer an awesome selection of paleo cakes including raw desserts. All of the cakes looked delicious and it was really hard to choose just one each. I went with the Paleo Cookie Dough Cake and the Boyf chose the Paleo Pear and Walnut Slice. Here’s what they looked like:

paleo-treats-geelong-cafe caffe-latte-geelong

OMG OMG OMG, they were both amazing. The Cookie Dough Cake was a raw dessert made from nuts, dates and coconut cream as the base. It was heavenly. Naturally, I snuck a bite of the Pear and Walnut slice too and it reminded me of a beautiful banana bread consistency, maybe just slightly denser. We were both so surprised to feel full after our coffee and cake but I guess that’s because the treats are made with high quality foods filled with healthy fats. We definitely weren’t going to need lunch for another few hours.

We headed back to the car as the Boyf had some work to do back in Melbourne. What we hadn’t counted on was returning to two slashed tyres on our car. What the?! We’d parked in a 4-hour parking area down a quiet side street and unfortunately the cars next to us had both had their tyres slashed too. Who does that? After having a moan to each other we decided the quickest way to deal with this would be to just get a local tow truck company to tow the car back to Melbourne where we could then get both tyres fixed. What a nightmare! We found Affordable Towing Geelong online and after a telephone quote decided to book them in as, like their name suggests, they were affordable and they said we could both ride back to Melbourne in the Tow Truck with the driver. Unfortunately though, as our towing needs weren’t urgent in nature we had to wait an hour for the tow truck driver to arrive. We decided to head for a walk down by the bay to cool our heads.

seaside-geelong

The Waterfont was really enjoyable and definitely took our minds off the fact someone had slashed our tyres! The weather was nice and sunny, the water a beautiful blue and there were lots of cool things along the walk to look at. We took some photos of the Baywalk Bollards and some other interesting sculptures. Before we knew it, it was time to head back to the car and await the tow truck.

geelong-waterfront waterfront-geelong

Our tow truck driver, Chris was really friendly and made the drive back to Melbourne and the whole experience as painless as possible. We contacted Geelong Police but there wasn’t much they could do for us, especially as we’d already left the scene. The Boyf removed the tyres and took them in for repair and everything is as good as new now… But it was a very costly day for us in the end. Meeting baby Emily and eating delicious paleo treats did help lessen the blow though!

Oh yea, back to the paleo treats – highly recommend Bear and Bean. Hunt them out and try their yummy, healthy treats – they’re amaze and I’ll definitely head back there next time I’m in Geelong.

Jasmine x

Reliving Those Penang Moments

I might have mentioned (right here) my love for the delicious food I ate in Penang earlier this year. Well, I’ve found the perfect little restaurant to recreate those amazing foodie moments right here in Melbourne, South Melbourne to be exact. I give you…. Penang Road. A cheap and cheerful Malaysian restaurant hidden beneath a bright neon sign on the bustling Clarendon Street.

The Boyf and I visited last Saturday night and the place was packed with a steady stream of people coming and going (the food turnaround time is super quick here!). I was hanging for some roti canai so we settled on that and salt and pepper chicken ribs as our entrees. The roti here is outstanding, pretty much on par with what I ate in Penang. The crunchy coating of the chicken ribs was really caked on and that took away from the deliciously tender chicken underneath all that coating. Nonetheless it was a lovely start to our meal.

chicken-ribs roti-canai

At Penang Road you can order all types of crazy drinks, green jelly, lychee, yummy tea tarik (I couldn’t resist!) and more. The staff here are so friendly and attentive and as I mentioned before, the food comes our hot, fresh and super quick. I digress..

Next on the menu we had our mains… I went for the standard curry laksa and the Boyf had the chicken curry. My laksa was delish. An amazingly tasty and thick curry sauce with vermicelli and egg noodles, lots of mung beans, broccoli, eggplant, chicken, fish cake and prawns. I gobbled as much as I could but failed to finish the huge bowl. The chicken curry was also yummy with delicate flavours and juicy chicken.

curry-laksa  chicken-curry

I’d say we were in and out in just over half an hour but we didn’t feel rushed at all. If you wanted to enjoy the atmosphere a little longer you could A) eat slower or B) order your entrees and then after they’ve arrived and you’ve finished them, order your mains. That way the mains won’t come out so quickly… And the break between courses won’t do you any harm!

All in all an exceptionally satisfying meal was had at Penang Road last Saturday and we will definitely be going back there again soon!

Jasmine x

Common Galaxia For The Win

I’ve said it before and I don’t mean to sound like a broken record but… Brunch is my fave meal of the day, hands down. I’d happily go out for brunch every day if money and calories weren’t an issue but such is life. My first trip to Common Galaxia was at least 18 months ago and aside from the outstanding coffee and service, the meal I chose was lack lustre. I ordered a mushroom dish that was drowning in truffle oil and was far too intense for me so I really didn’t enjoy it. Now, this could just be my own personal taste preference so I was more than happy to give Common Galaxia another shot when my friends Jess and Liam were visiting from Bendigo and wanted to try it out.

Common Galaxia is located in the bustling brunch spot of Seddon, surrounded by heaps of other cafes and restaurants, it’s become a very popular area in the last 10 years. House prices drove people out West and Seddon has taken this and run with it making the area a semi-hipster yet family friendly haven less than 7kms from Melbourne CBD.

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Pigging Out in Penang

Penang is a foodie’s ultimate paradise so you can bet your bottom dollar that when we were planning our 4 weeks Asia extravaganza we made sure we’d be spending some time in Penang. There’s a huge hawker stall scene in Penang, with the food being a delicious mix of Chinese, Indian and traditional Malay cuisine. I’ve been to China and India, and was impressed with the food there, so combining these two cuisines with Malay – my god I could feel my waist band tightening just at the thought.

roti-canai-penangAfter discovering roti canai at the start of our trip in Kuala Lumpur, I was most looking forward to checking out Roti Canai Transfer Road – an Indian breakfast stall on the side of Transfer Road. Took us a bit of navigating to find, in 35 degree heat and ultimate humidity but we were welcomed, seated and had a tea tarik ice all within a few minutes of arriving. We ordered roti with chicken in curry sauce. I very untraditional western breakfast but the place was full of locals eating just that. The locals were on to something – the roti and curry were absolutely delicious. The chicken was tender, the curry sauce was flavoursome and the roti was flaky, buttery goodness. Although the set up resembled a bit of a shambles, we were so impressed with the fast and friendly service and the amazing food that we went back the following day and had roti with mutton curry. Again, delicious. Read More »

My go-to brunch place

Brunch would have to be my favourite meal of the day. I love a long leisurely brunch with friends, the boyf, or alone. It’s the only time it’s perfectly acceptable to eat something sweet as your main dish, and you can even get away with a cheeky glass of bubbles or a bloody Mary… How could you not love brunch?

My favourite weekend activity (aside from sleeping in) is testing out new cafes Melbourne is always serving up. I’m always on the look out for the latest ‘top ten’ brunch spots but also love revisiting memorable cafes like Proud Mary in Collingwood and Pour Kids in Malvern. If a drive to the other side of town, or making my own brunch on a Sunday is out of the question, my absolute fave is but a 5 mins drive around the corner – Pint of Milk in Newport.

Pint of Milk is well known to the local community but relatively unheard of across the Westgate. It’s always busy, even on weekdays but especially on weekends, and has a friendly laid back vibe those hipsters in the East wouldn’t dream about. I could eat at Pint of Milk every day. Seriously.

On average I’d say I eat there twice a month, sometimes more, sometimes less. It’s my go-to cafe when I have friends or family visiting from overseas or interstate. It’s always nice to show off my local cafe and then take a stroll along the Strand in Williamstown to Commonwealth Reserve, where you get a great view of the HMAS Castlemaine with Melbourne CBD in the background. Last week I did just that – twice.

The-Strand-Williamstown

Last Tuesday I caught up with my friend Sally who runs a carpet cleaning business in Geelong. She was in Melbourne for the day so we took advantage and headed to Pint of Milk for breakfast. I’d taken Sally here before and she loves it just as much as I do.  I ordered my usual – Avocado and feta on pumpkin sourdough with a chilli, mint and broad bean dressing, and a long black. I order this dish 90% of the time, despite everything else on the menu looking amazing – I’m just a sucker for the avo, feta and broad bean combo. Sally went with the toasted bagel, avo, spinach, poached eggs, hollandaise and bacon. I hadn’t caught up with Sally for a couple of months so there was plenty to gossip about. After a leisurely breakfast we continued our catch up along the foreshore, burning calories while running our mouths.

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Tea with the Queen

Slight disclaimer… I haven’t had tea with the Queen, despite two failed attempts to visit her at Buckingham Palace last year… But that’s a whole other story…

The boyf and I spent some time eating our way around England last year. We started in London then hired a car and drove around the South of England visiting sights like Stonehenge, the Eden Project, St Michael’s Mount and both university towns of Oxford and Cambridge. It was a great adventure navigating ourselves out of London peak hour traffic and then around the tiny, winding country lanes. We came out of the experience with only one minor scratch from a parking attempt in Bath and about a 2.5kg weight gain EACH!!

English fare is known to be quite stodgy and we were ready for the challenge. In London we went to town on the full English breakfasts – some only five pounds a pop, went crazy on Mark’s and Spencer’s sandwiches and salads, and ate an amazing curry meal at Tayyabs on Brick Lane. So far so good…

When passing through Lyme Regis one day we stopped off for some fish and chips by the beach. Even though it was summer the temperature was only about 14 degrees yet there were people sunbathing and swimming. Meanwhile I was rugged up in a winter coat and woollen scarf! We found a spot to lean on and set up our fish and chip feast. The fish was so thick and cooked perfectly, the chips hand cut and well salted, and the view was amazing.

Lyme-Regis-England

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Pizza Please!

This one time, when I was in Italy… Ahhhhh, I often find myself reminiscing about that wonderful week I spent gallivanting around Italy, eating and drinking myself into a stupor. Exploring Tuscan wineries, Roman ruins and the breath taking Cinque Terre. Those were the days.

One thing I learned in Italy is that I love wood fired pizza. I’d never really eaten much of it, always preferring a nice pasta or dirty Dominoes if the occasion called for pizza. The wood fired variety just hadn’t been on my radar. Until Italy. Then I died and went to heaven. Naturally upon return to Australia, mainstream pizza no longer cut the mustard. I’m lucky to live near an authentic Italian pizza and pasta takeaway/restaurant, Pizza d’Asporto in Williamstown. The boyf and I partake probably once a month and it always hits the spot. Since finding a winner in Pizza d’Asporto we’ve never deviated to another Italian restaurant… Until two nights ago.

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Food Paradise in Krabi

Krabi-Accommodation-ThailandRecently the Boyf and I spent some time in Krabi relaxing on the beautiful beaches of Ao Nang and eating some of the most amazing and authentic Thai food. Krabi was our final stop after four weeks of travelling and eating throughout Asia, and we were still so hungry for more good food.

Before I go into detail about what we ate, a little bit of background information on our trip: Four weeks, five countries, eight cities and the itinerary 90% based on food reviews from the travel blogger Mark Wiens over at Migrationology.com. Mark is a passionate foodie who travels the world eating local food and making videos about it all. His videos range from stock standard street food (think Pad Thai and Tandoori Chicken) to the really out there stuff you may not have heard of ( durian and sea pineapples, anyone?). The Boyf and I have been watching Mark’s video blogs for a few years now, so we spent a couple of months going back through all the videos we loved with food we wanted to try. We created an itinerary, booked flights and the rest is history. You read correctly, we based almost our entire holiday on food reviews from someone we’ve never met. We’re cray – but Mark’s videos are that good!

Anywho, back to Krabi and back to the food…

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