Travel Thursdays – 7 Things We Love about the Tesselaar Tulip Festival

The Urban Ma blog Tesselaar Tulip Festival 2015Kids Day out Tulip Festival

Tesselaar Tulip Festival
357-359 Monbulk Road, Silvan (40km east of Melbourne)

Now in its 62nd year, the Tesselaar Tulip Festival opened today with over 100,000 tulips planted across 25 acres brightening up the Dandenong Ranges. We went for a drive with the family last year taking our aunties, cousins and grandparents and great grandparents with us – there was something to do for the whole family!

With a different theme each week, you can make a weekend of it and even organize a relaxing stay in the Dandenongs.

Sept 11th-13th – Turkish Weekend
Sept 14th-17th – Yarra Ranges Week
Sept 18th-20th – Dutch Weekend
Sept 21st-24th & Sept 28th-Oct 1st – Childrens Weeks
Sept 25th-27th – Food, Wine & Jazz Weekend
Oct 2nd-4th – Irish Weekend

Things we love about the Tulip Festival:

1 – Food and Entertainment We ate some gozleme, Dutch pancakes, ice cream and German sausages while listening to live music by some talented musicians. There is also entertainment with dancers and

dutch pancakes Tulip Festival Melbourne The Urban Ma reviewgozleme Tulip Festival The Urban Ma blog MelbourneThe Urban Ma eats Tulip Festival Melbourne

2 – Open spaces and opportunity to be out in the open among beautiful flora spending quality time with family

The Urban Ma picnic Tulip Festival Melbourne

3 – Big clogs and novelty things that you can find around the 25 acres that interest the little ones and the young at heartbig clog Melbourne Tulip Festival Melbourne

4 – Loads of photo opps – smile!

Tulip Festival 2014 selfie

5 – The Sculptor exhibit and plenty of market stalls to purchase goodies from

Windmill Tulip Festival Tulip Festival Melbourne 2015

6 – The new Tulip Train which you can ride on to view the colorful fields

school holidays activities Tulip Festival

7 – The beautiful and bright tulips. You can even grab a bunch to take home.

What’s your favorite thing about the Tesselaar Tulip Festival?

tulips at the Tulip Festival Melbourne

Travel Thursdays – 7 things to do at the Tesselaar Tulip Festival 2015

The Urban Ma blog Tesselaar Tulip Festival 2015Kids Day out Tulip Festival

Tesselaar Tulip Festival
357-359 Monbulk Road, Silvan (40km east of Melbourne)

Now in its 62nd year, the Tesselaar Tulip Festival opened today with over 100,000 tulips planted across 25 acres brightening up the Dandenong Ranges. We went for a drive with the family last year taking our aunties, cousins and grandparents and great grandparents with us – there was something to do for the whole family!

With a different theme each week, you can make a weekend of it and even organize a relaxing stay in the Dandenongs.

Sept 11th-13th – Turkish Weekend
Sept 14th-17th – Yarra Ranges Week
Sept 18th-20th – Dutch Weekend
Sept 21st-24th & Sept 28th-Oct 1st – Childrens Weeks
Sept 25th-27th – Food, Wine & Jazz Weekend
Oct 2nd-4th – Irish Weekend

Things we love about the Tulip Festival:

1 – Food and Entertainment We ate some gozleme, Dutch pancakes, ice cream and German sausages while listening to live music by some talented musicians. There is also entertainment with dancers and

dutch pancakes Tulip Festival Melbourne The Urban Ma review gozleme Tulip Festival The Urban Ma blog Melbourne The Urban Ma eats Tulip Festival Melbourne

2 – Open spaces and opportunity to be out in the open among beautiful flora spending quality time with family

The Urban Ma picnic Tulip Festival Melbourne

3 – Big clogs and novelty things that you can find around the 25 acres that interest the little ones and the young at heartbig clog Melbourne Tulip Festival Melbourne

4 – Loads of photo opps – smile!

Tulip Festival 2014 selfie

5 – The Sculptor exhibit and plenty of market stalls to purchase goodies from

Windmill Tulip Festival Tulip Festival Melbourne 2015

6 – The new Tulip Train which you can ride on to view the colorful fields

school holidays activities Tulip Festival

7 – The beautiful and bright tulips. You can even grab a bunch to take home.

What’s your favorite thing about the Tesselaar Tulip Festival?

tulips at the Tulip Festival Melbourne  

Your guide to 11 Filipino restaurants found in Melbourne!

I always get a lot of questions about where to find Filipino restaurants here in Melbourne and I always wish that I could just recommend my parent’s or all my aunties’ kitchens as I absolutely LOVE their cooking!
Below I’ve put together a quick guide for you on where to find Filipino cuisine. For those of you who have never tasted it before, come with an open mind and ask questions at the counter so they can explain to you what’s in some of the not-so-appetizing looking dishes because they may not look like a Masterchef dish but they are still just as delicious!
Shop 2, 243 Franklin st, CBD, Melbourne
Grills are their specialty and their cripsy pata meal is delicious. Other traditional Filipino dishes like sinigang are available upon request and make sure you pick up a jar of their atchara (pickled papaya). It is a great condiment with meat dishes. Check out my earlier post here to see what we ordered!
 gjs-grill-beef-tapa1 gj's grill atchara gj's grill melbourne
50 Errol st, North Melbourne, VIC
 The newest addition to Melbourne’s Filipino restaurant scene, Reynaldo’s serves their dishes straight from the kitchen and have a variety of Filipino and Western options on the menu. Of the Filipino choices, make sure you try the Adobong Manok sa Gata (chicken adobo with coconut milk) and the kare kare. Friendly service and I liked that their dishes not only had rice on the side but also some veggies.
Kare Kare Reynaldo's Filipino Restaurant Adobong manok with gata Reynaldo's Filipino Restaurant Melbourne
Click to add a blog post for Reynaldos Restaurant Grill and Cafe on Zomato
475 Ballarat rd, Sunshine, VIC
11/53 Synnot st, Werribee, VIC
Try their chicken and garlic rice. The lapaz batchoy (pork noodle soup with pork offal and crushed pork crackling on top) is a nice winter warmer and can be bought in a meal with siopao on the side – very tasty and very filling! And it’s also cooked at the back and not just served straight from the bain marie 🙂
Chadz Chickenhaus The Urban Ma blog
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Markets and Events, various locations
Currently they can be found at the Night Winter Market at Queen Victoria market and the Night Noodle Markets along Brisbane’s Southbank and attract attention with their suckling roast pork rotating on the spit. Lines can be long so best to get in early.

Click to add a blog post for Hoy Pinoy on Zomato

5. Happy Hut
85-87 Oakwood Road, Albanvale (close to Brimbank Shopping Centre)

I didn’t even know that this place was open until my cousin told me they had visited it before and were impressed with the freshness of the dishes here compared to some other locals. Since our first visit we’ve been back to get the dinuguan and fish for dinner! So yummy! Great to see they also stock GJ Grill’s atchara here too.

12 Victoria square, St Albans, VIC
I’ve heard the halo halo (a Filipino iced dessert with various toppings like beans, jackfruit and leche flan) here is pretty good. You can choose your dishes from the bain marie such as pancit (noodles) and dinuguan (stewed meat in a spicy dark gravy of garlic, vinegar and pigs blood). Click here for fellow food blog Consider The Sauce’s visit to Lasang Pinoy and some of the dishes Kenny tried out!
Click to add a blog post for Lasang Pinoy (The Filipino Cuisine) on Zomato
Shop 21-23, 100 Furlong rd, Cairnlea, VIC
5/49 Synnot st, Werribee
Dishes sit in the bain marie from menudo (stewed pork meat with tomato sauce and cubed potatoes, carrotsand liver) to fried tilapia and longganisa (Filipino sausage). Bring a Filipino friend to help explain the different choices to you.
Unit 2, 275 Foleys rd, Deer Park, VIC
Try their freshly made vegetable rolls – lumpiang sariwa garnished with sweet sauce and crushed peanuts. They also have an ihaw-ihaw platter consisting of a variety of grilled meats and seafood complete with soup and gulaman (sweet grass jelly type beverage) drinks which you need to book for in advance. Service is a bit slow. Check out food blogger Mon’s Adventure for her experience at Jasmine’s here.
Click to add a blog post for Jasmine's Café & Restaurant on Zomato
With the following Filipino cafes, I haven’t actually visited them so if you have and have any comments or suggestions, please feel free to comment below!!
Marriott Waters Shopping Centre, Lyndhurst, VIC
Breakfast, coffee and a few Filipino items like chicken adobo with rice on the menu.
129 Walker st, Dandenong, VIC
Breakfast items include tapsilog while other dishes that can be found include paksiw na pata and lechon kawali
548 Whitehorse rd, Mitcham, VIC
Mostly Thai dishes at this place with a few Pinoy meals scattered throughout the menu.
12! Eduardo’s Kitchen! 😉
No matter how near of far I go to get my fill of tasty Filipino dishes, nothing fills me up with more goodness and comfort than when my own papa and relatives cook a meal for us! If you’re lucky enough to have a Filipino friend, make sure you get an invite to their place for dinner so you can experience the warm hospitality and fresh flavour of Filipino cuisine – including all the noise and conversation that accompanies a Filipino meal.
Let’s eat! – Kain na!
Eduardo's cooking
Pictured above is the epic kamayan/boodle fight table we put together for Papa’s birthday last year! Thanks to Kenny from the popular food blog Consider The Sauce for documenting the whole day we spent preparing this special meal for Papa! I will try and put up a separate post to list out all the meat and veggies included in the photo above so you too can hopefully put together a spread like this for a special occasion and enjoy a kamayan feast(eating with your hands). Tag your photos #kamayanyum so I can see and share!
For some other Filipino-themed blog posts check out here and here! 🙂
What Filipino dish is your favourite or would like to tryout!?

Chugga-chugga choo choo! – Altona Miniature Trains

The Urban Ma blog Altona Miniature Railway

Planes, trains and automobiles. Mr Two absolutely loves everything and anything that is fast, or has wheels or simply goes! So on a lazy Sunday, a third Sunday of the month to be exact, we took him to see some miniature trains for the first time!

He absolutely loved it.

We took him to the Altona Miniature Railway to enjoy the sunshine last month before winter set in. We arrived there after 3pm (it closes at 4pm) and as soon as we had parked, Mr Two was raring to go! He met up with his friends, and us parents loved seeing the kids enjoy the trains. We enjoyed it too!

A lovely breeze, excited passengers and happy, friendly operators filled our afternoon with rides along the railway and toots and whistles as we passed the other mini trains and their passengers. I’d have never had been to this place if it wasn’t for Mr Two – I’m so grateful that he gets us experiencing loads of different things and watching his face light up in the meantime is just pure bliss.

Making memories 🙂

Altona Miniature RailwayThe above two pics are from the Altona Miniature Railway’s Facebook page which you can find here.

As soon as I told one of my workmates the following week where we had been he got excited and told us there were a few more hobby miniature train places to visit like the Altona one! His next recommendation was to check out Diamond Valley so that’s on our to do list since Mr Two has constantly been wondering, “When are we going to the mini trains again?”.

I can’t wait to take him and this time bring his cousins and the grand and great grandparents along for some family fun outdoors.

Where have you been making memories lately!?

Next up…planes!

xx

The Urban Ma blog Melbourne

All smiles and a tick of approval from our little ones!

What: Altona Miniature Railway – hobby club

Where: 1 Blenheim Road, Altona North

When: Every 3rd Sunday of the month from 11am – 4pm

Cost: $2.50 per ride, 11 rides for $25, All day ride pass per person $17.50.

The Details: There are toilets and two bbqs onsite so you can have a picnic while watching the trains go by. You can also book for private parties on their website!

All information is correct at time of publishing.

IMG_1647

A balcony, cozy booths and good, cheap dishes

IMG_9665IMG_9664

Spring rolls, salt & pepper pork with fried egg 

Red Silks, Level 1, 200 Bourke st, Melbourne

I’ve been going to Red Silks since back in my uni days. Perfect for catching up with friends as they have big cozy booths, cheap but tasty dishes and are open ’til late! The menu is extensive and you can choose to share the mains or opt for your own single serve dish. I come here when feel like sharing a meal in a relaxed environment with great company and conversation.

I don’t think Red Silks specializes in any particular Asian cuisine so if you’re looking for authentic nasi lemak then it’s best to go to a Malaysian restaurant. Red Silks, however, offers generous sized meals and my favourites are their nasi goreng, lemongrass pork with fried egg and their salt and pepper dishes! They also serve the flavoured iced drinks with pearls and I like the taro flavoured drink!

IMG_9662IMG_9661IMG_9659IMG_9669IMG_9668Nasi goreng, chicken & cashew with rice, cute twiggy decor, signage outside, sneak peek of their menu

If you’re up for cocktails they also serve Cosmo’s and other alcoholic beverages which you can enjoy on their large outdoor balcony that overlooks Bourke st.

I keep coming back to this cozy little nook as the meals come out promptly and they never kick us out when we get too carried away having a girly catch up session 🙂

What’s your favourite relaxed hang out?

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Work Lunch #10 – Bombay Duck in Melbourne’s CBD

IMG_8372[1] Daniel Bombay Duck The Urban Ma blog IMG_8374[1] IMG_8375[1]

Bombay Duck, Emporium Melbourne
Upper Level food court, 287 Lonsdale st.

As with a lot of the other eateries we’ve tried in the upper level food court at Emporium, Bombay Duck is above average when it comes to taste, quality and service of what you normally expect for food court fare! Definitely a fav for a warm, satisfying, winter work lunch. Also open for dinner!

We ordered:
– 3 curries with rice and naan bread (So good!!)
– mango lassi (smooth and creamy)

Service:
– better than average food court service 🙂

Ambience:
– busy and lively

Details:
– Bombay Duck has their own seated section for customers which is a plus when looking for a seat in this busy area of Emporium

Bombay Duck on Urbanspoon

Saturday Styling – Cozy in our winter knits 

Winter warmers OOTD

This photo was taken on Mothers Day 🙂 Even though it’s only autumn, Melbourne has truly embraced the cooler seasons with so many days already being cold enough to really rug up with not just layers, but thick layers.

Chunky winter knits and comfy boots are our pick f

or the winter months this year and here’s what the family and I are loving right now.

Master D wears:
– blue shirt and knitted sweater from H&M
– Bottoms from Rhubard
– Converse All Stars from Platypus

Ma wears:
– black singlet from Cotton On (this has lasted me ages and still shows no signs of pilling! – great bargain buy!)
– black leggings from Cotton On Body
– chunky, cozy, warm, winter knit from Valley Girl, Emporium
– comfy ankle boots from Spendless