Brunch at Chez Dré, Melbourne

This post is going to be mostly pictures as I really can’t call it a review. Because I’d been procrastinating, this post is more than one and a half years overdue. So… just enjoy the photos.

Some of the best coffee can be found in Melbourne! I’m usually all about tea, but when in Rome, do as the Romans do (or in this case the Aussies), and drink copious amounts of coffee.

Ratatouille baked eggs with chorizo, eggplant, zucchini, capsicum, onion, and toasted baguette

Eggs Royale with Tasmanian smoked salmon, poached eggs, tobiko, yuzu-miso hollandaise, and toasted sourdough

Smashed sweet potato, goat’s cheese, poached eggs, truffled honey roasted nuts and toasted country loaf

Confit pork belly, poached eggs, pumpkin puree, rainbow chard, crispy prosciutto, pain d’epices crumb and toasted baguette

Queen Victoria Market in 20 Pictures

Missing Melbourne and its food so badly now.

qvm-1 qvm-2 qvm-3 qvm-4 qvm-5 qvm-6 qvm-7 qvm-8 qvm-9 qvm-10 qvm-11 qvm-12 qvm-13 qvm-14

The macarons on the far right look like bath bombs. I don’t get the rainbow food craze. These days food is looking more like soap and soap is looking more like food.

qvm-15 qvm-16 qvm-17 qvm-18

“George recommends”. George as in the George from Masterchef Australia? I LOVE that show.

qvm-19 qvm-20

Not too many captions today – just wanted to get this out before I head to work. Hope you enjoyed the photos, do check out the post on South Melbourne Market if you’re interested. Cheers!

Fitzroy Gardens Conservatory, Melbourne

“Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine for the soul.” – Luther Burbank, environmentalist

fgc-1 fgc-2 fgc-3 fgc-4 fgc-5 fgc-6 fgc-7 fgc-8

“Flowers seem intended for the solace of ordinary humanity.” – John Ruskin, writer


Such gorgeous flowers. It was like being in a real life Wonderland.


Outside the conservatory, we continued to take more pictures.


English-style cottage where you had to pay something like ten Aussie dollars to go in. Um, no thanks.


Miniature houses, because why not.


This reminds me a little of that Chip and Dale episode, “Out of Scale“. If you know where I can get hold of a couple of anthropomorphic chipmunks, do tell me! It’d be much appreciated.


Till next time!

South Melbourne Market, Melbourne, Australia

WARNING: This post is mostly about me getting really excited about vegetables. Read at your own peril.

So… another #throwback post because I haven’t been going out much in recent weeks. I did try Ruby Tuesday for the first time last month but it was horrible, so I’m not even to bother writing a post about it. Aside from that, it’s mostly homecooked food or Deliveroo. I haven’t quite decided whether it’s a blessing or a curse.


Living in Hong Kong, I’m really lucky to have an assortment of supermarkets within walking distance of my apartment, so grocery shopping is really convenient. Still, I can’t help envying Melbourne residents who get to shop at South Melbourne Market.


I mean, just look at the impossibly neat rows of fruit and vegetables! The tomatoes at my usual supermarket aren’t quite as uniform in size and shape.


I may look really calm in the photo, but deep down I was trying really hard to contain my excitement.


Can’t say for sure, but the local children probably don’t have a problem with eating their greens.


Like a pedestal.


It’s almost pornographic.


Aside from glorious fresh produce, there are other goods and services available, including a nail salon…


… art prints…


… essentials for your fur babies…


… apparel…


… a place for hipsters to pick up their sriracha…


… and lots of beers!


There are also places where you can rest and have a quick bite before doing more shopping. P.S. Loving how the two little kids are enjoying their snack/staring off into space while the adults are having a conversation.


Dips and sauces.


Carbs = Life


“No bones about it”, “The place to meat”… cute.


*slowly peels face from screen*


I LOVE dips. When I was in Dubai, I practically ate my weight in hummus, and then some more. Give me hummus, tzatziki, and some warm flatbread… heaven.


To be fair, there’s bottled sauces in Hong Kong too, but maybe it was the fresh winter air in Melbourne, somehow everything just smelled and tasted better there.

That’s it for tonight, I’ve got an early morning tomorrow, and maybe this weekend I’ll be able to work on some Christmas-related content. One of my resolutions for 2016 was to blog more regularly. I adhered to it from January to April, stopped in May because we had to move, sort of picked up the pace in September, then lost the spark again. Hopefully this month will be a productive one. Blogging does take a certain form of discipline, and I do want to see where I can go with it in 2017.

So yes, see you real soon!

St Anne’s Winery, Melbourne, Australia

Can’t believe November’s ending… where did the year go?!? On the bright side, there’s nothing like Christmas! Do you have any plans for the holidays? Edwin and I will probably stay home and have a quiet Christmas, just the two of us and the TV. Since it’s the festive season, we might also have some fancy snacks like cheese and parma ham, maybe some wine? Sounds like fun already!

Anyway, I’m (still) going through photos of last year’s Melbourne trip, and I’ve been wanting to share some pictures of St Anne’s Winery. Initially I thought to put everything together in a general “Sights and Sounds” type of post, but it’d be too long, I didn’t quite know how to structure it and thus never got around to doing it.

Now that I finally have some time on my hands, I still feel overwhelmed by the prospect of sorting hundreds of photos. So you know what? I’m just going to do a mini post. Why didn’t I think of that earlier? D’oh!


At the entrance/parking lot


Now THIS is what I call wine tasting. After the massive disappointment that was Gurdies Winery, we finally had a proper experience here. There were at least a dozen wines (possibly more) that we could try, and the staff was wonderfully warm. They were happy to make recommendations and to explain what makes a certain wine special. The jargon usually goes right past me, but if you fancy yourself a connoisseur then you’ll definitely appreciate the effort.


So much fun trying the different wines. Got a bottle of (what else?) moscato and orange chocolate liqueur, while Mum bought a bottle of red wine. The price lists were displayed clearly on the counter, so you don’t have to worry that the taste you just fell in love with is secretly $100 a bottle. In any case, the prices were all reasonable, with most of the wine costing less than $20 a bottle.


Also, mad respect for how shiny their floors are LOL.


I have a feeling this is what my sister’s ideal living room would look like.


Some of these barrels were ENORMOUS! Two of them combined would be roughly the size of my apartment.


If you’re travelling with children or non-drinking adults, St Anne’s offers other goodies too, so they won’t be too left out. The kiddies (and kids-at-heart) would be especially interested in the candy, methinks.


Ending with another massive THANK YOU to Uncle Michael who brought us around different parts of the city, including this place! Hope to see you all in Melbourne again soon!

Sovereign Hill, Ballarat: Old Gold Town


Sovereign Hill is an open-air museum (and theme park of sorts) in Ballarat, a city north-west of Melbourne. It’s got historically-recreated buildings to give us an idea of what Australia in the 1850s might have looked like, complete with antiques, machinery, and other paraphernalia of that era. (Here’s the Wikipedia link for more info.)


You can mine for actual gold, but I doubt you’ll find more than a speck or two.


Main Street. It’s no Disneyland, but it still has a certain charm.


Hope Bakery serves sweet and savoury pies! Bought an apple turnover for Mum and a beef and cheese pie for myself. There’s also a modern cafeteria off Main Street, where Mum bought a cup of coffee.


Gorgeous houses. I don’t think we were able to enter though. Oh well, happy to admire from afar.


Since Sovereign Hill is well, a hill, you can these stunning views.


There’s real livestock too!


If Mum had an Instagram account. #coffeeaddict #seetheworld


There probably weren’t any recycling bins back in the day. Just sayin’


Some of the activities that you could participate in include nine-pin bowling. No extra charge, but it’s quite popular and you might have to wait quite a while for your turn.


Ye Olde Fire Brigade.


(Singing) ~ Going to the chapel and I’m… already married.


You could also ride on a carriage, but it would cost extra.


Waiting for the mine tour, which is underground. Yes, we had to pay extra, and no, we could not climb that tower.


The mine tram would go down at an approximately 45 degree angle and the tunnel was PITCH BLACK. Even with the lamps at the end of the tunnel, the underground mines were really dim and it took some getting used to.


The show that we watched was a tale of two Chinese brothers. Yes, there were Chinese miners in Ballarat 150 years ago. The Chinese went to distant corners of the world for gold, and The Land Down Under was no exception.

Our tickets also included admission to the Gold Museum. There were gold nuggets, gold trinkets, tools for mining gold, and of course lots of history lessons, but the exhibit that really caught my eye was this one…


“Chinese Fashion Design Students Re-imagine the 1850s in the ‘New Gold Mountain Street Style’ Competition”. Apparently the costumed characters in Sovereign Hill fascinated the Chinese visitors and so Sovereign Hill had a fashion design competition to strengthen its ties with the overseas Chinese community. Interesting.


One last photo for the road: one of my favourite displays in the museum. Golden chalice, anyone?