• Husband and wife team, Ben and Georgia Limmer have pushed their food business even further by opening their very own Wholesomeness Healthy Grill Bar and Cafe, which we visited for breakfast this weekend.

    Wholesomeness Healthy Grill Bar and Cafe

    Husband and wife team, Ben and Georgia Limmer have pushed their food business even further by opening their very own Wholesomeness Healthy Grill Bar and Cafe, which we visited for breakfast this weekend.

  • Fitzrovia.

This all day dining cafe and restaurant takes advantage of the view overlooking Albert Park in St Kilda with its black framed glass frontage. Fitzrovia's unique menu is styled with Italian and English influences, and focuses on creations made from free range and organic ingredients where possible.

    Melbourne: Work lunch at Fitzrovia

    Fitzrovia.

    This all day dining cafe and restaurant takes advantage of the view overlooking Albert Park in St Kilda with its black framed glass frontage. Fitzrovia’s unique menu is styled with Italian and English influences, and focuses on creations made from free range and organic ingredients where possible.

  • It was a year ago when we first discovered Fukuryu Ramen on a trip to Melbourne. Located just outside the main Chinatown strip, Fukuryu Ramen is a bit of a hideaway, but worth the hunt for its rich broths and al dente noodles.

    Melbourne: Fukuryu Ramen

    It was a year ago when we first discovered Fukuryu Ramen on a trip to Melbourne. Located just outside the main Chinatown strip, Fukuryu Ramen is a bit of a hideaway, but worth the hunt for its rich broths and al dente noodles.

  • There is an unspoken challenge with a moniker such as the Defiant Duck - don't defy the Defiant Duck! It speaks of a brazen unapologetic and quirky character. That initial impression seemed a little at odds with this American joint, which at first glance looks like a crisp casual upmarket not-quite-fastfood restaurant.

    Don’t defy The Defiant Duck

    There is an unspoken challenge with a moniker such as the Defiant Duck – don’t defy the Defiant Duck! It speaks of a brazen unapologetic and quirky character. That initial impression seemed a little at odds with this American joint, which at first glance looks like a crisp casual upmarket not-quite-fastfood restaurant.

  • Disclaimer: The following post is a review of our complimentary dining experience as invited guests of Willow and Spoon and Liquidity Marketing. I am […]

    It’s all family friendly at Willow and Spoon

    Disclaimer: The following post is a review of our complimentary dining experience as invited guests of Willow and Spoon and Liquidity Marketing. I am […]

  • The Jam Pantry has been on my to-visit list ever since owner Naomi Zavackas (formerly the creator of Comfort at My Table and more widely known as Nims) opened her new business on Logan Road in January this year. And we managed to do just that enroute on an Ikea run (we love our cheap furniture) and finally dropping into the Jam Pantry for breakfast.

    Finally dropping into the Jam Pantry for breakfast

    The Jam Pantry has been on my to-visit list ever since owner Naomi Zavackas (formerly the creator of Comfort at My Table and more widely known as Nims) opened her new business on Logan Road in January this year. And we managed to do just that enroute on an Ikea run (we love our cheap furniture) and finally dropping into the Jam Pantry for breakfast.

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Wholesomeness Healthy Grill Bar and Cafe

Disclaimer: The following post is a review of our complimentary dining experience as invited guests of Wholesomeness Healthy Grill Bar and Cafe and Scrunch. I am not financially compensated for this post. My opinions are my own.

 

You’ve had a big week and been eating all the crap you really shouldn’t. You’ve discovered your body gets extremely unhappy when you eat gluten, dairy or refined sugar. Or maybe you’ve made a resolution to treat yourself better. Whatever the reason for wanting to eat better, you should add Wholesomeness to your little black book. I first mentioned their personal catering services back in 2013 and have been consistently impressed with the meals we’ve ordered from them. Husband and wife team, Ben and Georgia Limmer have now pushed their food business even further by opening their very own Wholesomeness Healthy Grill Bar and Cafe.

Wholesomeness Cafe

Their little corner of wholesomeness is located in the tranquil leafy suburb of Grange between a large cafe and a vet on Days Road, but you cannot possibly miss them. A large mural of bright cheery vegetables and fruits on one wall overlooks the deck with assorted seating that accommodates small groups of up to six.

Wholesomeness Healthy Grill Bar and Cafe is home to the Wholesomeness business and might be all about delicious whole nourishing organic foods, but I cannot give up my morning latte. Ben pulled a very decent brew for our lattes while we waited for our order.

Wholesomeness Cafe

Wholesomeness Cafe

Wholesomeness Healthy Grill Bar and Cafe offers breakfast, lunch and dinner. Their breakfast menu has eight offerings, ranging from the traditional eggs benedict (AUD$16) to a chilly Cocowhip bowl (AUD$12). The best part is that everything is gluten free – perfect if you are or have celiac friends.

Wholesomeness Cafe

Wholesomeness Cafe - Ham omelette with manchego, house baked sourdough and relish. AUD$16

Ham omelette with manchego, house baked sourdough and relish. AUD$16

The omelette can come either with ham or mushroom. The SO opted for ham and the slices were thankfully not paper thin shaved type. This was something you could sink your teeth into and savour. The golden brown omelette was served with a thick slice of grilled sourdough that had been buttered with New Zealand butter. The SO was greatly impressed with the butter flavour.

Wholesomeness Cafe - All day breakfast. AUD$12

All day breakfast. AUD$12

On the other hand, the all day breakfast is practically a steal at AUD$12. Served all day, this plate of pulled pork, sweet potato hash, wilted spinach, two poached eggs and relish satisfied me well past lunch hour.

Wholesomeness Cafe

The pulled pork was the star of the plate. I love that I could easily identify the carrot and celery bits it had been cooked with. This homely touch was proof that real ingredients were used. I asked Ben what gave the pork the silky sweetness that made it absolutely moorish. The secret ingredient: apple!

My own complaint would be the poached eggs were harder than I would’ve liked. It still had some oozy yolk for porn, but a little less than half of it had been hard boiled.

If the sweaty summer weather has put a damper on your appetite, Wholesomeness Healthy Grill Bar and Cafe also offers an acai bowl (AUD$12) and a Cocowhip bowl (AUD$12) to beat the heat. Both are served with fresh fruit and granola – I saw a customer walking away with his acai bowl and had serious food envy.

 

Wholesomeness Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Disclaimer: The following post is a review of our complimentary dining experience as invited guests of Wholesomeness Healthy Grill Bar and Cafe and Scrunch. I am not financially compensated for this post. My opinions are my own.

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Singapore Sentosa’s Malaysian Food Street

Who hasn’t lamented and flipped tables at the atrocity tourist attractions try to pass off as food at extortionist prices?

Well, I certainly have been burned, which is why I usually bring home-cooked meals on zoo visits. So it took a lot of convincing on the behalf of dear friend Jenn to meet and have dinner at Sentosa’s Malaysian Food Street. Seriously, babe? What were you thinking?

But as it turns out, Malaysian Food Street has some awesome shit that is a tad pricier than at heartland hawker centres on the mainland.

Jenn went for the Klang Bak Kut Teh, which is comforting soup of pork ribs stewed with soy sauce, spices and Chinese herbs – think of it as the Asian chicken soup. Usually served with a bowl of rice, these tender pork ribs has been a late night supper staple for many of my teenage clubbing years.

The SO had to mind Bubby, so I ordered the Penang Lim Brothers’ Char Kway Teow and Heun Kee Claypot Chicken Rice.

Sentosa's Malaysian Food Street

Penang Lim Brothers’ Char Kway Teow

Penang Lim brothers’ Char Kway Teow is apparently quite famous in Penang and quite different from the Singapore version, which uses thick dark soya sauce. Penang char kway teow is saltier and lighter in colour. The Lim Brothers use fresh quality ingredients – prawn, lap cheong (Chinese sausage), beansprouts, pork lard and egg – in the stir-fried noodles. The queue to collect one’s order is testament to the popularity of this dish.

Sentosa's Malaysian Food Street

Heun Kee Claypot Chicken Rice

Heun Kee Claypot Chicken Rice might be a smaller personal version to the family style claypot rice you can get in Chinatown, but Heun Kee uses chicken broth to infuse the rice with a full-bodied flavour. Dizzled with fragrant sesame oil, shallot oil, Chinese wine (Hua Diao Jiu), ginger sauce, and dark soya sauce over the lap cheong and chicken (salted fish additional), the piping hot rice becomes elevated to a rich hearty meal fit for kings.

With food like this, who would want corndogs and fairy floss?

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Singapore: Chinatown

I recently stumbled upon on a list of 50 Weird Things Every First Visitor To Singapore Must Do, Eat And See. How many can you tick off?

Chinatown is probably one of the best places to tick a lot of those food related items, and it is one of my favourite places to hit up whenever we’re back in town. We had breakfast there with the family and visited for lunch – it hasn’t changed all that much since our last visit.

Don’t know what to have? Suss out what everyone else is having and if you like what you see, ask them where they got it from. There are usually several stalls selling the same thing, so no one bats an eyelid if you ask for the location of the one they ordered from.

Chinatown 2015

Super popular toast and coffee stall. Try their thick kaya and butter toast!

Chinatown 2015

Chinatown 2015 - Bak chor mee

One of my favourite meals: bak chor mee.

Chinatown 2015 - Popiah making

Chinatown 2015 - Popiah

Popiah, the Chinese version of the fresh spring roll

Chinatown 2015

Braised pork hock

Chinatown 2015

Takeaway cold dishes

Chinatown 2015

Sea kelp pastry

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Singapore: A wedding at Marina Bay Sands

2015 was the year of weddings – I attended a total of five weddings, while the SO attended six.

And it seemed fitting that the final wedding of 2015 would be the most splendid – it was of a dear friend while we were back in the motherland. But what else can one expect when it’s held at Marina Bay Sands?

Marina Bay Sands

I had forgotten how lavish and elegant wedding banquets can be. Our own wedding – and we had two – were quite simple affairs by Asian standards. We hadn’t been in the work force for very long and we paid for most of our wedding ourselves, including my Australian visa application.

Everything about Marina Bay Sands whispers opulence and finery. The integrated resort houses the world’s largest atrium casino, as well as a mall, a museum, two large theatres, seven celebrity chef restaurants (Bread Street Kitchen by Gordon Ramsay, Spago and CUT by Wolfgang Puck and Waku Ghin by Tetsuya Wakuda to name a few), two floating Crystal Pavilions, a skating rink and a convention-exhibition centre.

So I cannot be blamed for having eyes as wide as saucers as we walked down plush carpet to the wedding dinner venue in the convention centre. My slitty Chinese eyes grew even wider when I looked at the menu.

Marina Bay Sands

No sharks fin soup in sight? Brilliant!

The table had also been set with little blue boxes of kueh lapis, a rich moist multi-layered cake that uses a ridiculously number of egg yolks (some recipes call for 22 egg yolks for a 9×9″ tin). I think kueh lapis is a far better cake option than dense fruit cake, so big thumbs up!

The assorted combination platter brought back many childhood memories. Sometimes known as the cold dish platter, this banquet appetizer can come in a multitude of options. This one had jelly fish salad (my favourite!), braised duck, fried prawn rolls, octopus salad with sesame seeds and prawn mayo salad.

Marina Bay Sands

Marina Bay Sands

Marina Bay Sands

The SO’s favourite dish was the stirfried scallops and asparagus in XO sauce. Coupled with the aromatic XO sauce and slightly crunchy asparagus, these plump juicy mollusks were generous bites of orgasmic joy. And best of all? We were at a table with a few non-seafood eating friends, so the SO got extra helpings.

My favourite on the other hand, was the braised abalone with broccoli. I’m not usually a fan of abalone. This marine snail is often chewy (think rubber band), bland and expensive, but this was divine. The braised abalone was tender and easy to bite into. So good!

Marina Bay Sands

Marina Bay Sands

Considering the sheer volume of food needed to cater to the wedding (and there were at least four other weddings at the same time), I was very impressed with every dish and am willing to overlook how late dinner started.

I had also forgotten how late wedding banquets can go till. Thankfully Bubby fell asleep in the Tula despite the ridiculously long taxi line to get home.

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To market, to market

Sleep has always been my bosom buddy and first love. I could think of nothing worse than dragging my reluctant slumbering body at a godforsaken hour to accompany my mother to gingerly wade through murky puddles and pinch my nose at the stench of damp and blood at the local wet market.

Yet here I was, bouncing Tristan on my knee at 6am enroute to Hougang 105 Hainanese Village Centre, more commonly known as Lorong Ah Soo market. My mother had a small shopping trolley between hers, as we chatted amicably about life. The world, still doused in soft light and dreamy colours, rolled past the bus windows.

Hougang 105 Hainanese Village Centre

14-year-old me would have yawned in deathly boredom, yet I found myself filled with contentment and gratitude.

Content to spend one-on-one time with my mother.

Content to revisit a long-ago tradition.

Content to see this way of life still preserved.

Hougang 105 Hainanese Village Centre

Grateful I still have the opportunity to spend time with my mother.

Grateful she still has the health and strength to enjoy the company of my son.

Grateful I can learn some traditional knowledge about food and cooking from her.

Hougang 105 Hainanese Village Centre

And what better way to spend that time and soak up the knowledge she has to offer than surrounded by the sheer abundance and diversity of raw produce to create nourishing meals for the people you care about the most?

After all, my mother still had a thing or two to teach me about food.

Hougang 105 Hainanese Village Centre

Hougang 105 Hainanese Village Centre

Hougang 105 Hainanese Village Centre

Hougang 105 Hainanese Village Centre

Hougang 105 Hainanese Village Centre

Hougang 105 Hainanese Village Centre

Hougang 105 Hainanese Village Centre

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