Work lunch #13 – A hot little Korean spot in Little Collins street

  After around 6 months of exploring the CBD streets and laneways surrounding my workspace, I still keeping stumbling across more and more foodie haunts that I haven’t tried yet. By Korea is one of them.

Nestled between a Vietnamese eatery and the organic Japanese Cafe of Brimm CC (see previous Brim CC post here), By Korea provides another Asian option for quick, tasty, cheap meals! The hubby and I had a lunch date here the other day and I’m pleased to report back that he loved it as much as me 🙂

We ordered:
– Original Fried Chicken
– Chicken Bulgogi (chilli)

Lots of corporates here either dining in or grabbing a quick take away meal. Cozy wooden tables and blackboards scribbled with drinks options. It was a little squashy having to walk around all the wooden seats scattered inside but there is also outdoor seating available

Fast and efficient

The Details:
They have lots of choice on their menu and we just picked from the first few options under “Light Meal $10”. Ummm I don’t know how “heavy” the other meals would be, but we were so full from our “Light” meals that we were really satisfied with the flavours and value for money. Will definitely be back here again, maybe to try the soup/noodle dishes next! (I don’t know about you but I always try to get a quick look at what everyone else is eating when I go to a new place so I know what to try next time!).

By Korea The Urban Ma Melbourne blogger foodie menu 1 Urtbanspoon By Korea The Urban Ma Melbourne foodie blogger menu 2 Urbanspoon By Korea The Urban Ma Melbourne foodie blogger menu 3 Urbanspoon

Cinnamon scrolls and ridiculously good pulled pork at this gourmet foodstore, deli & cafe

Boccone Melbourne brunch breakfast

kwak cinnamon scrolls at Boccone Essendon Gourmet deli The Urban Ma digs into her Kwak scrolls
Look at this pregnant lady! – couldn’t even wait until after lunch to dig into her scroll!

If you follow me on Instagram you’d know that I’ve been in search of those deliciously tempting Kwak cinnamon scrolls and I finally got my fixing finding them at Boccone Gourmet Foodstore, Deli and Cafe in Essendon.

We ordered:

– Pulled pork brioche with jalapeno mayo, pickled red cabbage and Swiss cheese – We all had a taste of this and loved it! The pork wasn’t dry and everything encased between those two brioche buns had such great flavor together. Will definitely be ordering this next time we visit!

– Boccone beef burger. Aged ground beef, confit onion, cheddar, aioli, pickled gherkin on a seeded brioche bun with fat chips. The hubby enjoyed the burger and the fat chips were nice, well cooked parcels of potato that D enjoyed with some chicken schnitzel pieces from my panini

– Chicken schnitzel panini with olives, rocket and sundried tomato from the window display

– two Kwak scrolls – cinnamon and salt caramel flavour. We loved the salted caramel scroll and now I’m on a mission to taste all the other flavours!

– cappucino

– a vanilla slice to take away – the pastry was crispy and the middle was oh so smooth and creamy. We finished it off in no time when we got home.

A lovely gourmet food store, there were tables lined up all the way down one side of the cafe while the other side had gorgeous gourmet products on display such as pasta and cheeses. Clean, sophisticated interior.

We were seated as soon as we got in and the service was on point.

The Details:
From the cake display to the cheese board menu, Boccone Essendon is a lovely place to have Sunday lunch. There’s even a separate dining area at the back of the cafe where I’m guessing you can book if you’re thinking of having a big family lunch or celebrating a special occasion. Not sure if it was just because we had an active 2 year old with us but our table seemed a little smaller than normal – maybe it was because D had brought along his toys to play with!

Pulled pork brioche Boccone Essendon
Sorry for the pics! – low lighting and a hunger to dig into our lunch meant a few blurry food photos! That and the fact that we need to go on a photography course lol!

Boccone beef burger with fat fries
The hubby’s Boccone beef burgerChicken schnitzel panini brunch at Boccone
Chicken schniztel paninifreshly made pasta at Boccone Essendon
Freshly made pasta on displayGourmet deli cafe brunch Boccone

The cheese bar – We’ll definitely be visiting and order something from here as soon as bubba #2 arrives…bring on the soft cheeses!

Boccone Gourmet deli Essendon brunch breakfast Melbourne  cake display vanilla slice cinnamon scrolls Melbourne

So tempting – everything in this cake display was screaming out to me “Buy me, eat me, you know you want me!”

The Urban Ma Sunday Style Loves

The spunky ones – style outfit post on their ootd coming up this Saturday 🙂 
Click to add a blog post for Boccone on Zomato

Sunday loves – Coffee, cars, boats and brunch

The Urban Ma blog Sunday loves Melbourne coffee The Cornershop Yarraville

A nice, warm sleep-in (we went to mass the last night!), brunch and good coffee, exploring and playtime with Daddy and Mr D, spending time with friends and family. An afternoon nap. Dinner with the family. A perfect, ideal Sunday. Relaxing and slow paced. Simple and beautiful.

This morning we slept in (with a 2 year old toddler that means sleeping in past 9am!) then headed straight downstairs to play with all Mr D’s new cars (our local toy store is closing down and everything was going for half the price!). The sun was shining and Daddy was up (he had an early dj set last night! Get his mixtapes here!) so brunch at one of Melbourne’s cafes was the pick.

We decided to go to nearby Yarraville knowing that there would be plenty of great cafes to choose from.

The Urban Ma breakfast Yarraville Bacon steak Cornershop Yarraville  Waffles Cornershop Yarraville

We ordered:
– Bacon steaks with beetroot and celeriac remoulade, poached eggs and Finnish mustard ($18)
– Free range scrambled eggs with parmesan, rainbow chard, soft herbs and chilli ($14.50) and I added mushrooms extra ($4.50) – it was such a great combo – full of taste and so filling!
– Kids waffles with maple syrup (Yummm! We shared with Mr D!)
– a flat white and a cappucino

Relaxed and casual with lots of light and both outdoor seating round the back and seating at the windows with views of pretty Ballarat street.

Friendly and attentive.

The Details:
There are kids’ options on the menu and if you want to hang around and enjoy the sunshine, order a takeaway coffee and some of their delicious-looking baked goods and enjoy them on the lawn right outside.

Click to add a blog post for The Cornershop on Zomato

IMG_5973The Urban Ma blog Cornershop Yarraville

Afterwards we drove around to find Mr D some boats as he’s been asking about seeing some all morning. We drove under the Westgate bridge and if you haven’t see the bridge from underneath, you’re missing a great view! Try driving down Hyde street or Douglas parade. The view is amazing and makes you appreciate just how much work was put into building it. Such a different view from the daily peak hour traffic that you are probably normally used to.

We saw a huge container ship as we were driving so we quickly followed it and found ourselves at France Street Fishing Jetty. It was perfect! Mr D hurried out of the car and we just stood there in awe. It was so majestic – the view and the slow movement of the ship as it was nudged by a little tugboat in to dock.

The Urban Ma blog ship Francis Street MelbourneFrancis Street The Urban Ma blog

After boat-watching and finding lots of starfish on the jetty, we headed to Laverton as one of Mr D’s godfathers was there with his car club, 86 Club Australia. See here for details about membership and their events!“Go Ninong go!” (“ninong” is “godfather” in Tagalog) – Mr D was hypnotised by all the cars and the driving. He thought they were just like Lightning McQueen and was in awe of his ninong’s driving skills.

With such excitement, Mr D was ready for his nap and we got home just after midday for a siesta! 🙂

Up next, dinner with the family!

Our ideal Sunday:
– playtime with Mr D
– sharing meals together
– exploring the neighbourhood
– quality time with family and friends
– no rushing around

What’s your ideal Sunday? 

Warming up the winter days with this beef stew from VicPies

VicPies Cairnlea

VicPies Cairnlea Town Centre
Cnr Furlong Rd and Cairnlea Dr, Cairnlea

When it gets to cold outside and I feel too lazy to cook or drive anywhere, or I simply need some Viet food in my life, the family and I head straight next door to our local! – VicPies in the Cairnlea Town Centre. I’ve posted about this place before where I gushed about their amazing vanilla slice (see here).

Now that the winter chill is upon us it’s got me craving this pot of warm bo kho with big chunks of meat accompanied by fresh crusty bread.

We ordered:
– Vietnamese-style beef stew with bread $12

Friendly. The regular coffee maker always says hi to us and Mr D 🙂

Casual cafe with indoor and outdoor seating – I wonder when they’re going to take all those Christmas ball decorations down from the ceiling though!

When you first see VicPies you can be forgiven for thinking it’s just your average bakery selling pies, slices and coffee. As you approach you’ll see menu items posted on the windows and inside behind the counter showing breakfast options like eggs Benedict and popular Vietnamese dishes including pork crackling Viet rolls! 🙂

Vicpies Café on Urbanspoon

Work lunch #6 – Duck crepes at Choix

Choix Creperie – 620 Collins st, Melbourne

Soft, smooth crepes filled with an array of sweet and savoury choices.

With a few friends working down at this end of Collins street the recommendations on places to eat are endless! We are spoilt for choice with morning coffee and lunch time haunts and this time Mon took us to Choix.

Not very far at all from Southern Cross station and down a little laneway studded with cafes, we were lucky to grab a table inside this cozy little eatery.

I ordered the duck crepe as Mon had been talking it up and it was perfect! It was served with smiles and was generously filled with soft, well cooked duck. I had a taste of the meatball crepe and it too tasted so good with an unexpected dollop of creamy mayo that went really well with the sauce.

Another place to add to my list of places to return to as I want to try the sweet menu items!

Choix Creperie Café on Urbanspoon


Sunday sessions – Two Birds Brewing in Spotswood

Two Birds Brewery The Urban Ma blogThe Urban Ma Two Birds BreweryTwo Birds Brewing x Rockwell & Sons
136 Hall St, Spotswood

It was a grey and wet day last Sunday so we headed to Spotswood for some fried chicken and beer at Two Birds Brewing. With the menu items by Rockwell & Sons, we were pleased with the fact that we didn’t have to trek across the city to satisfy our Rockwell cravings.

We were pleased to find a spacious brewery right near Spotswood station next to another Spotswood favourite of ours, Chase Kitchen. With some new apartments being built in the area, I’m tempted to move to this suburb so close to the beach, the city, and foodie haunts.

Two Birds West Spotswood Fried chicken with hot sauce The Urban Ma Rockwell and SonsWe ordered the fried chicken and it went down well with the recommended Wolf of the West brew! Can’t wait to share a meal here with some friends and family!

We ordered:

– Fried chicken ribs with buttermilk dressing and hot sauce

– Wolf of the West (“This straw colored ale is spicy, piney, and dank. Don’t be fooled by it’s pale appearance, the Wolf has just enough lean malt to support the resinous finish and lingering bitterness This beer is all about hops – in all their leafy, citrusy glory.” – Two Birds Brewery Instagram)

– Smoked Scarmoza and chorizo jam with grilled cheese, salted onions and oregano (this sandwich was sooooo good – Daniel loved it too!) Rockwell and Sons westside The Urban Ma

Check out their menu below and there are also specials up on the board.

Two Birds Brewing on Urbanspoon

Two Birds Rockwell & Sons menu craft beer Rockwell & Sons menu The Urban Ma blog interior display Two Birds Spotswood The Urban Ma visits Two Birds

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