Dumplings at Highpoint

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Dumplings Plus, Highpoint Shopping Centre, Rosamond rd, Maribyrnong

I love when you turn a corner and there’s an unexpected surprise that jumps out at you, like the time I went to Highpoint and bam!, Borders was there! 8) That was a while ago… Today we turned a corner and bam!, newcomer Dumplings Plus greeted us with the smell of fresh paint on wood. The enthusiastic and helpful waiter told us that today was their first day operating in the fresh food precinct of Highpoint. Dumplings Plus has taken the space next to the fruit and veg market and also has two other stores in Chadstone and on Swanston street.

We ordered dumplings of course and the pan fried pork dumplings came out on a plastic plate even though we were “dining in”. The dumplings were fresh and hot. Tasty and served with a smile. Not the best dumplings I’ve had but I still enjoyed them. There seemed to be a lot more people ordering take away at the counter  than those dining in but we took our seats in outer area easily accommodating our pram and an easy vantage point for people-watching 🙂 A big window next to the patrons lining up to order allows you to see the dumpling-makers hard at work creating fresh little parcels of pork goodness ready to be steamed, fried and served. There is also a selection of dumplings and pork buns in the fridge if you wanted to take some home for later.

After living in the city last month and eating at HuTong & Shangahi Street every other night, it made me miss the choice of dumpling places in the CBD and I’m excited to see that Dumplings Plus has opened in the area – I hope they settle in nicely. Can’t wait to try out their other dishes!

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Winter Weekend fun! – Markets and festivals


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Slow Food Farmers Market – Abbotsford Convent, 1 St Heliers st, Abbotsford

Every fourth Saturday of the month

The sun was shining so we embraced the crisp winter morning and went for a wander through the Slow Food farmers market. It was bustling with families, dogs and plastic-free shoppers lapping up the fresh fruit, meat and veg for sale. Baby D made some friends with Zac and a little lab x named Forest who was rescued from the dogs’ home. I got excited to see truffles and also brussel sprouts because for some reason I never knew they grew like that (see pics above)! I had also never tried a cauliflower or cardoon fritter before and boy were+- they good! Will try to make some this week and see how I go.

We got our dose of vitamin D whilst eating pies and croissants from the Convent bakery and also enjoyed a berry lamington from the MoVida Bakery stall. There’s something special about being up early in the morning and catching that first wave of freshness in the air, and it’s even more special when you’re spending it with good company and good food.

Williamstown Toddler, Tweens and Teens Festival 2013

Face painting, a talent quest, farm animals, basketball games and book signings were just some of the things happening down in Ferguson street, Williamstown for the Toddler, Tweens and Teens Festival. It was great to see lots of kids outside all rugged up and enjoying a day outdoors with their parents and friends! There were a few activity stalls and dance schools MDX and The Dream Academy were there too. Baby D loved the little petting farm in the middle with a piglet and the cutest little lamb 🙂

When we first got there I thought “Is this all?” There were a handful of stalls and one main stage. But walking around and seeing all the excited little faces and huge, happy smiles I was brought back down and remembered it’s the simple things. It’s the simple things that can excite a little toddler and baby and it’s a simple smile or hand reaching out in awe that can make us parents feel so fulfilled. Seeing Baby D’s eyes widen at the sight of the ducks quacking and piglet snorting was so cute! And slowly the more I looked around the more I appreciated how special these festivals can be as they create lifelong memories that our kids will cherish. So get up, get dressed, and get out there and enjoy the wonderful world around you! ❤

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Cozy bistro in Paris – Le Coude Fou

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Le Coude Fou –  12 Rue Du Bourg Tibourg , Paris,France.

Flashback to Paris and a cozy, little bistro just a short walk from the Bastille metro. We ate here on suggestion from a friend and we enjoyed it so much that we went back for seconds the next night (hence the second lot of photos – no, we didn’t eat that many dishes in one go!)

The whole menu was in French and after a few days in this city you get the hang of what and how to order, plus one of our friends spoke some French helping us out 🙂 My foie gras main and the chocolate fondue were responsible for the party in my mouth and tummy – loved it! When we came the next night, the foie  gras dish was not available so it gave me the chance to try something different. All dishes were served with a welcoming smile and the quirky artwork on the walls were equally welcoming. such a charming Parisian bistro with an inviting atmosphere.

Hopefully when we get the chance to visit Le Coude Fou again it will be just as memorable the first time.

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Cafes and donuts in Gisborne

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The Oval Cafe – 30 Aitken st, Gisborne

With the sun finally shining after a few days of nonstop rain, we went for a drive to the town of Gisborne. When I first visited this pretty, little town I was expecting to find chunky homemade pies and friendly country residents however even after over 6 years of lunching in Gisborne I am yet to find that pie. Instead there are a handful of cafes serving what tastes like frozen or ready-made cakes, pies and savoury meals.

This week I ate at the Oval Cafe while catching up with a friend. A young, friendly waitress greeted us at the door and seated us at a table whilst another saw that we had a baby and quickly got us a highchair 🙂 I wasn’t expecting much of the food or the service but was pleasantly surprised when we didn’t have to wait too long for our cappuccinos to come out and the chicken and lamb kebabs we ordered tasted fresh and juicy – juicier than the kebabs in the Brimbank Central food court anyways. The fries were warm but not hot and I left wishing I got the wedges instead. There weren’t to many patrons in the cafe and it didn’t have the warm, small town hospitality that I’d expect, perhaps because it’s not so much a small town these days.

The Oval cafe on Urbanspoon

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Giz Donuts – Gisborne Village Shopping Centre, 22 Brantone st, Gisborne

Ok now this place I can definitely recommend you visit! Gisborne’s answer to Footscray’s jam donuts! A humble little shop in the village shopping centre, Giz Donuts serve made to order cinnamon donuts and they are so good you’ll want to drive out here just to get your fingers on them! Soft but also slightly crunchy and served hot, straight from the fryer, I suggest you order at least 6 of these sugar and cinnamon donuts. Two for now, two for later, and another two for a midnight snack with a glass of milk.. YUMMMMM!! Very friendly and efficient service. Make sure you check out Giz Donuts if you’re ever in town or even if you’re driving up the Calder Freeway, take a detour into Gisborne and grab yourself some cinnamon goodness 🙂

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Can you recommend any good places to try in Gisborne? I’d love to hear any tips!

 

Killiney Kopitiam

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Nasi lemak, interior decor, kaya toast, street view

Killiney Kopitiam, Shop 11, 108 Bourke st, Melbourne CBD

I was craving nasi lemak the other week so Daniel and I ventured across the road to Killiney Kopitiam. From the outside I didn’t even realise it was an eatery but the kaya toast on the menu caught my eye. For those of you who have been to Malaysia I’m sure you would have seen the Old Town White Coffee chain there – I LOVE the kaya toast they serve and got excited to see it on the menu here.

We went during peak lunchtime hour and to my delight there was enough room for Daniel’s pram and I to sit comfortably and the staff were very helpful sitting us near the kitchen and counter. You pay as you order so it’s good for those work lunches as you don’t have to worry about whether they split the bill and the crowd seemed to reflect this – groups of corporate folk  grabbing a quick meal on their lunch break.

When my meal was served I was pleasantly surprised to see a generous amount of ikan bilis on my plate –  normally when I order nasi lemak at other places they tend to skimp out on that and the sambal sauce. The meal was big, hearty size and even though I was full from it I still decided to order the kaya toast to try it. The kaya didn’t taste exactly like my favourite from Old Town White Coffee but I guess I’d have to go back to KL for that! All in all it was a tasty meal, great value and friendly service 🙂

Killiney Kopitiam Bourke Street on Urbanspoon

Gasworks Farmers Market


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Gasworks Farmers Market, 21 Graham St, Albert Park – Every 3rd Saturday of the month

It was a fine Saturday morning for a trip to Albert Park with the family – I should have also brought Lando so he could check out all the cute dogs running around!

With around 70 stalls of fresh, local produce, we were spoilt for choice and as soon as we walked through the tall brick entrance I could smell veggies galore! The better half and I had a breakfast sausage hot off the bbq dressed with aoli and some home made relish. Baby enjoyed the sounds of “Old McDonald had a farm” provided by Little Feet entertainment. I was so glad that we got out of bed early enough to enjoy the Saturday sunshine before it turn to rain a couple of hours later.

There were free taste testings and a stop at the Gateaux de Bordeaux stall is what got me hooked on the small, sweet, French pastry called canele or cannele.  Being dubbed as the new macaroon a few years back, I can’t believe I had never tried this treat from Bordeaux until now! It is a delightful little pastry that has a crunchy caramelized outside and a soft custard inside. Move over cupcakes – I am currently crushing on caneles (is that the plural for canele?!). I am now wishing I had bought a box of them instead of just one which the hubby and I devoured right away. I wonder where else I can get my hands on these beauties!

The organic blueberries and bagel stalls both sold out of their stock before we got there so next time I’ll make sure we wake up even earlier. With the produce I bought from the market, I baked some kale chips (see here) and a Filipino dish called Sinigang. I guess you could describe it as the Filipino’s version of Thai’s tom yum soup – it’s a soupy, sour dish that has a bit of kick to it!

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May & June’s Lust Have It beauty boxes

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June’s Lust Have It goodies!

You can probably tell I wasn’t that excited about May’s box since I am only posting it up now – that and there was just a lot going on so I didn’t get the opportunity to blog about it. June’s box on the other hand I only received today and I already can’t wait to try the OPI Nail Apps! I’ll try them out at an engagement party at the end of the month and let you know how it goes! The team at Lust Have It also changed the back of their information/description card making it look very Great Gatsby-esque! 😉

1.  Batiste Dry Shampoo RRP $9.95 200ml This smells absolutely scrumptious! I tried it as soon as I opened the box and am excited to be able to try this dry shampoo as I haven’t had the chance but have heard nothing but good things about it!

2. Pure Fiji Hydrating Body Lotion RRP $29.95 345ml The description on the card for this product reads “This exotic blend of coconut milk, raw honey and exotic nut extracts contains a rich source of natural antioxidants and a bounty of nutrients..” It smells luscious! Can’t wait to try it out after a night time shower! It would’ve been nice if they included the ingredients list with the product.

3. Real Purity Natural Lipstick in Romantic Red RRP USA $15.00 This was another of the goodies I tried as soon as I got my delivery this morning! It is such a stunning color to wear and I’ll post up some pics when I wear it out. It is creamy and smooth to apply.

4. Savi Organic Soothing Cream RRP $27.95 60ml I haven’t tried this cream out yet but the packaging is pretty and it is Australian Certified Organic.

5. Klara H20 Proof Eyeliner RRP $18.00 “Sexy, audacious and totally fashion-forward”. After swatching it on my hand I find this eyeliner to be nicely pigmented and am hoping that it is also long lasting and smudge proof!

6. OPI Nail Aps RRP $19.99 I have used the Sally Hansen nail polish strips and can’t wait to try these OPI apps. Hopefully they’re just as easy to apply and long-wearing.

I haven’t really used any of the May goodies so if you would like to see the description of the contents then click here. The miracle hair treatment looks interesting and I have put Nude By Nature’s pawpaw ointment in my bag ready to use when the time calls for it 🙂

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