Friday’s fun facts – Pasalubong & jeepneys

The Urban Ma Pinoy

 You know you’re pinoy when you get excited about receiving pasalubong (gifts and souvenirs from someone coming back from their travels) from Goldilocks. Along with the little parcels of toasted flour, milk, sugar and butter, which we call polvoron, Mr D’s lola and lolo brought home a tricycle and jeepney to add to his car collection.

The jeepyney was packaged in a bright green box and on the back of it was quite a long passage educating the reader on some interesting jeepney facts. The content of which is below 🙂

Filipinos are known worldwide for their ability to create make-shifts and reproduce first-class technology into something that can be attained with limited resources. This has been evident in a distinctly Filipino creation, the Philippine Jeepney. The idea of the vehicle was derived from the GI jeep brought by the American soldiers during World War II. It has the same strong engine as an Army jeep but with a body that has been remodeled and re sized to accommodate commuting passengers that normally ranges from 20 to 30 all in all.

Every jeepney carries a touch of artistry and ingenuity as well-detailed artworks are elaborately displayed on the shining chrome bodies and even inside the vehicle’s interior. No jeep is exactly similar to others in terms of appearance. Payment system while inside the jeepney is on an honesty basis, every driver just hopes that passengers will pay sufficient amount of far required for a certain distance traveled. Today, the jeepney is the most popular means of transportation in the Philippines, with its innumerable population which is mostly concentrated in the metropolis, no wonder why it has been tagged as the country’s “King of the Road”.

Have you ridden on a jeepney in the Philppines? How was your experience?

Work lunch #2 – The Archway that holds Melbourne’s latest hidden foodie surprises


5 and Dime Bagel Cafe
Katherine ok, Melbourne

Someone sat eating a gorgeously delicious looking bagel in the lunchroom at work the other day. So naturally I had to know where it can from. “The little laneway off Flinders lane”, I was told.

Long overdue for a catch up with one of my fellow blogger, Kenny (Consider the Sauce blog) and I went for a work lunch bagel hunt. I wanted to try something different to Work Lunch #1.

Along a row of, what I imagine will become popular and regular, lunch time haunts in The Archway for the population at this end of the CBD, is 5 and Dime Bagels.

We caught the lunch hour rush (we got there at around 12:30pm) with a line of hungry patrons up to the door. Luckily for us there were still lots of bagels on display in the window (I was told they were sold out last week!). I ordered a dill bagel with a generous spread of scallion and horseradish cream cheese topped with salmon and red onion recommended by the helpful and friendly staff.

It was bagel heaven!

5 and dime bagel The Urban Ma blog2015/01/img_9695.jpg

There were these sweet little slices on the counter bench top that look like what I can only describe as homemade Pop Tarts!!! I’ll have to come back to try them out next time! We had our little impromptu picnic right outside the cafe.2015/01/img_9677.jpg

Biting into my lunch made me think about all the Sunday mornings that mum would wake us up with warm bagels and spread waiting on the breakfast counter. I used to love eating the blueberry ones. I can’t remember where she bought them from all those years ago but the ones I tried today were so good I can’t wait to go back and take some home for the family!

You can purchase 5 and Dime Bagels from a few locations in the CBD and also at some farmers markets. 2015/01/img_9676.jpgLove the simple yet rich interior of this place.


5 & Dime Bagels on Urbanspoon

Work lunch #1 – Two pork belly burgers for lunch? Yes please!

Son of a Burger Collins street MelbourneBusiness card designMelbourne burger eats The Urban Ma

Son of a Burger, McPherson House foodcourt
7/546 Collins st, Melbourne

Since some friends took me here for lunch, I’ve been back several times and shared the valuable info with others.

You may be wondering how can I possibly smash down two burgers for lunch! Son of a Burger’s burgers are bigger than slider but smaller than your average burger – order two if you’re really hungry or just one with a side to satisfy your burger craving! The flavour-filled, juicy pork belly burgers are what gets me every time…paired with a side of kaarage popcorn chicken or crunchy eggplant fries and some wasabi mayo, you’ll be wondering why you haven’t tried it earlier!

See you at lunch! 🙂

P.S You'll need to delve right into the back of the food court to find this one!

Son of a Burger on Urbanspoon

Karaage chicken Melbourne burgers

Pork Belly slider Son of a Burger




Sunday session – BBH greatness in Sunshine!

2015/01/img_9618-0.jpgCo Do Vietnamese Restaurant
200 Hampshire rd, Sunshine

Can you believe I’ve never had a bowl of bun bo hue? I was watching an episode of Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown the other night while ironing our work clothes for the week ahead when I saw Anthony slurping up, and thoroughly enjoying a bowl of soup. It wasn’t any ordinary bowl of soup, it was topped with an assortment of pork hock, beef loaf, pork, prawn and blood cake and I could practically taste the delightful broth through the tv screen.

Bring forth Co Do, Sunshine. The sister restaurant to the prized Richmond establishment that has appeared in many guides and features specialising in bun bo hue along with some other traditional Vietnamese dishes. I’ve tried other restaurants along the Hampshire road strip but I can feel this one will fast become one of our favs!

My mouth immediately tingled as soon as my order was placed in front of me. An ambrosial offering to those open to seeing blood cake and pig hock on top of their soup, you are also able to order a beef only version if you are not feeling so adventurous. I opt for the traditional Vietnamese style chilli beef soup with the lot, while the hubby tries out Co Do’s banh canh gio heo (I’ll have to come back to try the banh canh cua). Master D ordered special fried rice and some pork and prawn cake wrapped in banana leaves.

We will be back for more.

How did I not taste this sooner?

Co Do has been present in Sunshine near the revamped train station for less than year and I can tell you now that you’ll be seeing our faces here a lot more often!

For now I’m sitting here still thinking about my first BBH experience… ❤

P.S We in came just before the dinnertime rush and it didn’t take long for a line to form outside the door. Be patient and you will be rewarded!


Good value for money2015/01/img_9620.jpg

Cheers! Our little one is getting accustomed to drinking tea and trying all new types of food! Not bad for his 2 years of experience 🙂

You could see through the super chewy prawn and pork cake. Dip it in some sauce and it makes a nice entree to get your taste buds ready for more.2015/01/img_9621.jpg

– Bun Bo Hue Dac Biet (Traditional Vietnamese style chilli beef soup)
– Banh Bot Loc Goi La Chuoi (Pork and prawn cake in banana leaf x 6 pieces)
– Banh Canh Gio Heo (Dropped rice noodle soup with pork)
– Special fried rice
– Tea2015/01/img_9612.jpg

Rich dark colors of paneling on the roof and tables. Feels like we could gather the whole family here for a special occasion and at the back of the menus there are several banquet options you can choose from.2015/01/img_9622.jpgLocated right near the station if you’re coming to visit by train, we also found free parking easily accessible on a Sunday afternoon. So lucky to have this place only 5-10mins away from us. That means we’ll be back for more. Pretty soon. We bumped into a friend on the way back to our car and she strongly suggested for us to taste the bun rieu dish next time. And so we shall! You will be seeing a bowl of bun rieu and banh canh cua here and on my Instagram feed very shortly.

Co do on Urbanspoon

Sunday Sessions – This place along the Yarra has pop up restaurants, live music, sports and beanbags!

Crown Riverwalk Melbourne Aus Open The Urban Ma2015/01/img_9543.jpg

Sunday chill sessions with Master D

Last week while waiting for his daddy to finish his DJ photoshoot, Master D and I came across some acoustic live music, a nice patch of green grass with pop up restaurants bordering this lounge area by the Yarra.

It was Crown’s alfresco kitchen and sportshub with a little something for everyone to enjoy while taking in gorgeous views of Melbourne city, the latest sports news, music performances or just spending time with friends or family.

Master D promptly asked for ice cream as soon as he saw some people with theirs so we bought a cup and relaxed on the lounge chairs and beanbags. A great way to watch the world go by and be courtside with the Aus Open!

Pop ups include:

The Merrywell
Sho dumpling
– Ice cream from Movenpick and crepes from Crown’s banquet.

Drinks-wise you’ll have it covered with these bars:
Heineken, Canadian Club, Pimms and the Moet & Chandon Bar

Open during the summer see here for times and details.



Life Lately – the start of 2015


Day 1 and 2 – The first meal of 2015 was some ham and a bowl of arroz-caldo (a Filipino rice soup with chicken and ginger-flavored broth) at mum’s house after watching bursts of colorful fireworks just outside – Mr D squealed with so much excitement at the unexpected explosions! Day 2 was production-line time as we helped my brother prepare for his wedding with over 250 name tags, goody bags, cupcakes being carefully assembled one by one. When all was done we took a train into the city to go through a last rehearsal at Passion Dance Studio – the bride and groom had a couple of special dance numbers in store for their guests 🙂 We then had an eventful night staying over at Crown Promenade.

Day 3 – Eat, drink and be married! I love how the two photos above show the two sides to our day – looking all pro in the top photo whilst behind the scenes it was super hot and windy! The fierce weather didn’t stop us from celebrating a beautiful ceremony at the Fitzroy gardens before partying it up with good music, food and drink at Taylors Lakes reception. For more pics of the day check out my Instagram feed!2015/01/img_9350.jpg

Day 4 – Time to relax. We took Mr D swimming at the hotel pool before spending some time with family friends who had come from Las Vegas to attend the wedding. I love how these milestones in life always bring loved ones together and what better way to reconnect than over a delicious home-cooked meal by my dad!2015/01/img_9351.jpg

Day 5 – Playing Melbourne tour guide. Domaine Chandon and a stop over at Yarra Valley Dairy cafe was bliss on a gorgeous day. Enough said.

2015/01/img_93521.jpgDay 6 – Grateful for thoughtful friends and their brunchtime invite. Duchess of Spotswood. Devoured a Prince of Wales. 2015/01/img_9430.jpgDay 7 – A happy day. Brunch in Williamstown. A walk in the park. A visit to the NGV. Shopping at Emporium Melbourne and dinner with the family.2015/01/img_9354.jpgDay 8 – Back to work. Maths and science books at the post office. A new cafe. Vintage posters at the Salvo’s. A dinner date and finger lickin’ good dishes at Mr Miyagi. Loved the music too! Reminded me of the Next Blue days 😉2015/01/img_9355.jpg

Day 9 – Dumplings galore at China Red for a farewell dinner as a friend moves overseas for work. Always love catching up with my dance family, Rewind.

2015/01/img_9356.jpgWeekend – Fried chicken and a visit to grandma’s to spend time with my aunty and uncle who were visiting from London!

2015/01/img_9357.jpgDay 12 – 14 – Work fridge looking full with lunches from home – looks like everyone is going well with their new year resolutions of either eating healthy or saving money! Took Father Noel out for a belated birthday dinner. Love Longrain’s braised pork and dessert platter.


Day 15-17 – A stroll after work down to South Wharf – such a nice, little walk along the river! Hadn’t walked down this side of Melbourne before! Attended the media call for Strictly Ballroom and was blown away by the sequins, music, dancing and Baz. The performances were so energetic and uplifting, I just wanted to dance in the aisles – and that was only after seeing a snippet of the show! You can get your tickets here! Attended the Blogger BBQ at The Park, Albert Park and got to catch up with some fellow bloggers. It was nice to be able to chat face-to-face 🙂 Beautiful stained glass windows of St Francis’ church on Londsdale st.2015/01/img_9400.jpg

Sunday selfies with this little guy. Along the Yarra outside Crown, we lazed around in the Sportshub enjoying live acoustic music and a cup of Movenpick icecream! Cozy outdoor lounge settings and beanbags. A perfect start to the year.

What have you been up to lately? Hope it’s been a happy and healthy start to 2015 – xx –