USA Adventures – Itinerary

Day 1-4/23-25/29-30: Stockton – Family gathering, Five Guys Burgers, China House Buffet, Taco Truck, Livermore Premium Outlet, Christmas feast…

Day 5-7: San Francisco – Golden Gate, Fishermans Wharf, Union Square, Chinatown, Fairmont Gingerbread House, Cable Car Museum, One Ferry Plaza Building, Lombard, Cheesecake Factory, Boudin Bakery & Café (Clam chowder in a bread bowl), Golden Gate National Park…

Day 8-12: Las Vegas, Arizona (Grand Canyon) – GRAND CANYON, Treasure Island Hotel, High Roller Ferris wheel, El Tavor Dining Room, Hoover Dam, Wicked Spoon Buffet, Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Gardens, Gordan Ramsay BurGR, David Copperfield, Bellagio Fountain, Secret Pizza, Cirque Du Soleil Mystere..

Day 13-22: New York City – Christmas Decorations, Empire State Building, Rockerfeller Centre, Magnolia Bakery, Katz Deli, Chelsea Market, High Line, Grand Central Gallery, The Union Square Holiday Market, Carlos Bakery, Lombardi’s Pizza, SOHO, Lobster Place, Matcha, Bryant Park, Madison Square Garden, Brooklyn Bridge, Central Park Horse Carriage, Subway…

Day 26-28: New Year! Heavenly Mountain, Sledding, Frozen Lake..

Foodie Reviews Coming Soon..

Frank’s, Cheltenham

FullSizeRender (6)


I’ve been following Franks’ café on insta for a few weeks now and coincidentally I was in Moorabin over the weekend so we decided to pop in during the Easter break for brunch! Recently opened Cheltenham local is a great café for good coffee, pretty foods and wonderful faces! Such a light and open fixture, it was welcoming and such a treat.

FullSizeRender (2)

FullSizeRender (1)

Service was fantastic! The girls were friendly and happy. Got a table within min.
We started off with a latte and a matcha latte. The coffee were good but slightly too milky. I could do with another tsp of matcha powder for the extra antioxidant boost. My matcha also looked quite pale so initially I thought they had the order wrong…

FullSizeRender (1)

FullSizeRender (2)

Great simple menu options for breakfast, with lunch offered from 11am. Asian and European fusion I believe. Narrowing it down I went with the Vegan Scrambled Eggs which I substitute the tofu scramble with eggs as I’m actually not a vegan but the item sounded so fresh and tasty with the roast tomatoes, eggplant puree and spinach pancakes. First off I must say – it came out looking way too pretty to eat! The eggs was scrambled perfectly and the tomatoes was so juicy. The Spinach pancake was different. A lil bit denser then I would like it as it got a bit too heavy so I managed to finish one but I did polished off everything else on the plate!

FullSizeRender (4)

FullSizeRender (5)

Hubby got the Benedict with the Crispy Pork Belly, Poached eggs and Hollandaise on Sourdough. I could see where the Asian influences came in. Everything on this plate was a delight to eat. Great portion size for breakfast and again very nicely presented.

FullSizeRender (4)

Overall a wonderful experience. Tuck away in a more industrial and residential setting but plenty of parking spaces. Will definitely return to try out the other menu items if I’m in the area again!

“I know that eggs do well to stay out of frying pans.” ― George R.R. Martin, A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms.

Till next time!!

Frank's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Lucy Liu Kitchen & Bar

First timer at Lucy Liu Kitchen and Bar, I must admit I haven’t heard of it before – Yes I’m like a hermit, where have I been blah blah…


Entry to the space is now via cobbled Oliver Lane at the rear which is weird, I understand it’s a quirky idea but why can’t there be 2 doors, one via the lane and one via Russell Street? Cobbled stone aren’t the best for women’s in heels (insert giggles).


First impression, it is a very charming restaurant. The interior is a mix of communal and booth seating. Very loud with the music and the customers, we had to kind of shout at each other at one stage to hear the person across from us. Highly recommend reservations. We managed to get one day before for a 5.30PM seating which then we were promptly excused at 7PM on the dot for next reservation.


Service was good however that was from the main server. The other two that we got was sort of random, asked me for either tap or sparkling water and never came back to me. And the other one felt like they were rushing us to eat so they could clear the next table. Yes we know you told us we needed to be out. We were aware… just be genuine to us and you will get the respect back. A diners experience starts from the service to the foods!


Food wise, menu offered were very similar to other Fusion restaurants. Frankly I must say there are way too many Asian Fusion restaurants in the CBD now. Choices of Asian share plates, it offers the usual betel leaf entrée which came with tuna, soy and ginger. This was a disappointment to me, the leaf was fresh but I did not taste the soy and ginger flavour at all. Then we ordered the Kingfish Sashimi, with toast coconut and foam? The foam was a delight with the Kingfish however I was missing the chilli kick! The final dish we got was the Korean style Pork Belly, with apple kimchi salad and pancake and hoi sin. Boy this was huge! Fit for a party of 4, we had plenty left over between the 3 of us. The Pork was dropping off the bone but I’m not highly convinced I like this dish to be served with the pancake. The pancake was dry and was cracking half the time I attempted to wrap it. Where’s the light floury pancake like what you get when you have Peking duck? Tsk Tsk. The Kim chi on the other hand was the star to me! It added a special kick to the combined dish. However would I return for this dish? Probably not.



Overall a pleasant experience. But Lucy Liu is just another I have to add to the mixed of Ok places. I might stick to my absolute favourite Longrain or Supernormal though…

“The things that people cannot do without everyday are firewood, rice, oil, salt, soy sauce, vinegar, and tea.” –Phrase coined in the late Southern Song dynasty.

Till next time

Lucy Liu Kitchen and Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Saint James Cafe, Malvern

Saint James Cafe is the English Cousin of From on High, Hard Pressed; Small Print Pizza Bar, Pedro Espresso & Yorkshire Brewhouse. I’ve seen some reviews recently on this newly opened café (opened about 7 months ago) and finally had a chance to visit on Sunday and was totally satisfied with the experience.


Craig along with the others at Saint James was exceptional in their services. Love a friendly and happy crew! The café itself was fresh, inviting, and open with a cohesive urban design. I’m a big sucker for designs that include fresh green plants especially that beautiful bird of paradise planter pot in front corner of the café! So chic! Plenty of seatings available, but the tables are a little bit too close to each other which made it a bit uncomfortable to squeeze around. Toilets to the back can do with a lil bit more character.


The menu is filled with plenty of familiar items with a modern touch.

First off, as a weekend coffee drinker I must say the coffee here is perfect. The drink here is all about the coffee roast; milk texture is creamy with a small layer of foam. Totally delicious!



The hubby ordered the Saint Benedict which included Berkshire pork shoulder, poached eggs, fresh apple and sauce with hollandaise on toasted sourdough. I think the delicious tender pork, went well with the apple sauce. My husband on the other hand was on the fence about this brunch option. He’s more of a savory man and preferred his eggs as a savory option. Unfortunately the hollandaise sauce got a bit curdled toward the end of the meal but that could be due to the hot plate?



I on the other hand went toward the sweeter brunch option and got the Strawberry and Cream Pikelets. The buttery soft and spongy pikelets was topped with delicious chocolate soil, fresh berries and meringue gems. While it may sound like a sweetness overload, the dollops of cream fraiche balance the sugar; and the tartness of the berries brings the harmony of the dish together. Topped with some edible flowers, this totally made it on my Instagram page!



I was stuffed by the end but when Craig generously suggested I should go ahead with one of the sweet option, who could resist the Cookies & Cream Syringe Donut?! Ok it was a bit tooo sweet for me but again totes Instagram worthy! The donut was a little bit more on the doughy side with a great dark chocolate topping that balanced out (haha) the Nutella. Better to share this one with someone I say; but when I do return to Saint James I think I might try another sweet instead.



I did forget to mention that I also tried the ‘Melon Delight’ juice which unfortunately didn’t hit the mark for me. It was refreshing after all can’t go wrong with apple and watermelon and mint right? However I need an extra oomph to it, perhaps a touch of ginger to bring out the fruity flavour, include some ice for a warm day and a lil bit of visual garnish for that extra appeal like the foods itself which was a work of art in presentation wise.


Overall I thoroughly enjoyed Saint James. Highly recommend everyone to pop this little gem on your ‘must eat list’ when visiting the neighbourhood!

“When eating fruit, remember who planted the tree; when drinking water, remember who dug the well” ~ Vietnamese proverb

Till next time!

| Courtesy invite by Saint James Café. Opinions are of my own. |

Saint James Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Fork & Fingers Ascot Vale

Fork & Fingers has a very modern look and feel to it. Upon entering the very quiet restaurant (Thursday night and we were the only one in the restaurant at 6PM).

Menu was all about mixing exotic Indian flavours with a fusion of other cultures i.e. taco, burgers etc. Very modern but we opted for the traditional dishes, hence ordering 4 curries, 3 Nan breads, rice and some beverages. And although the dishes looked small when it came out (and presented very nicely), boy was it a struggle to finish it all up!

First off I must say one of the best Nan bread I’ve eaten! A touch of too much garlic however once dipped in the curries it was heaven!


Butter Chicken – godfather of Indian curry – my must have dish. And I was not disappointed! The tomato based sauce was creamy and the chicken was cooked to perfection where it was so tender and moist. We got a medium version however I think we could have gone with Hot for the extra kick to bring out that sauce a bit more!


Lam Rogan Jose – The lamb was braised very well with delicious cooked gravy – very aromatic.


Goan Fish Curry – The spicy fish cooked in coconut with a lot of ground spices was a surprisingly good dish to me. I’ve never been a big fan of fish curry however the curry was light and sweet and definitely works well on the place with the other curries.


Veg Korma – homemade with various veggies. It was tasty however the vegetables were all a bit too confusing for me. Probably braised a bit too long so it did get a bit drowned out by the curry itself.


Mango Lassi was delicious at first however quarter way through it got a bit too creamy and thick for me. Perhaps a bit too much yoghurt?


Overall a lovely experience. Booking was made easy via open table bookings. The service was lovely and he was very friendly with a great sense of humour. We sat down at 6pm and were out by 7pm. It was great for a quick dinner before our cirque du soleil show at Flemington Racecourse which was a few min drives down the road!

“We should look for someone to eat and drink with before looking for something to eat and drink.” ~ Epicurus

Till next time! =)

Fork & Fingers Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Eureka 89 – Asian Gala Dinner

What a wonderful place for absolutely any events!! from romantic dinners to weddings to the Asian Gala Dinner event on 8 Feb 2017. The view was absolutely gorgeous. Such an honoured to attend such a well organised event to dine during such a beautiful sunset setting. Having never been the 89th Floor – I’d never realised Melbourne by night is so beautiful.

Crumbed Tuna and Pineapple Salsa 2

Menu and thoughts:

Canapes on arrival: Sesame seared tuna with yuzu, pineapple, chilli & coriander salsa and Steam prawn dumpling. I loved the presentations of these mini-bite size delights. The flavours of the the seared tuna complemented each other and the tuna was seared to perfection. The steamed dumplings was juicy and steamed very well.

Crumbed Tuna and Pineapple Salsa

Shared entrees to the table: Spanner crab with lime & seaweed cracker, Crispy duck with watercress plum sauce, Tasmanian oyster with ginger dashi dressing and Seared scallops with black bean sauce. My absolute favourite would have to be the duck with the plum sauce. The dish was presented beautifully and the flavour was definitely en point for the CNY theme.

Plum Duck

Main course –  Master stock braised chicken with shitaki mushroom & black rice crisps and Barramundi with asian noodles. Alternating between eating the two with my partner, I must say both dishes were presented beautifully on the glazed plate. The chicken was moist and tender and the black rice surprisingly was not as plain as I thought it would be. Likewise for the fish, cooked to perfection with a slight crispy skin on top. Both dishes however lacked the sauce element. It was agreed around the table that a good gravy or fruit sauce would have completed both dishes.

Braised Chicken

Dessert – Coconut pannacotta with mango textures and freeze dried passion fruit Poached fruit with lychee & coconut ice cream. Although both looked like artworks, unfortunately I found that both desserts had way too much ingredients on the plate. It’s nice sometime to have less then more for me. The sweet and sour and creamy flavours were too confusing for my amateur pallette.

But overall a very enjoyable meal with great company!! Thank You to the teams for the great communications and services (Eureka 89 team and the event organisers) from the get go to the end of the night.

“It’s so beautifully arranged on the plate .” ~ Julia Child

Till next time

| Courtesy tickets from RACV for the Asian Gala Dinner 2017 event. Opinions are my own. |

Eureka 89 Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Taste-T on Collins

What a cute little joint in a busy food court location on Collin Street~ Taste-T features traditional Vietnamese street food with a touch of western influence. First impression ~ Very clean with simple fit outs, less is more sometimes I say! Menu was easy to read and understand with popular dishes such as rice paper rolls, banh-mi, pho, noodle salad and Pho.


I was suggested to try the Pho – so that i did and got the mixed meats option (beef and chicken). The broth was crystal clear (like a delicious French consommé) and very flavoursome i.e. the earthiness that the broth produced after been simmered for hours in bones, aromatics etc.  There were heaps of meats! Often I would review that there are too little! Boy of boy. Slightly regret not just getting the beef on its own as the chicken component was a little bit overcooked. And I could have gone with a bit more authenticity – where’s the oxtail and flank and tribes? I would suggest an added option for the side in the future for the pho-lovers? I’m also missing the extra herbs and bean sprout etc. – the garnishes that you associate with a good bowl of pho. However for a hot steamy bowl at that size in a food court of Melbourne CBD for $9 I’m not complaining!



The second item we got was the banh-mi. At $6 I knew that it was definitely an affordable option for busy city workers during lunchtime already. I didn’t even realised you could get a banh-mi in the city for under $7 nowadays. This is definitely more westernised as its missing out on the pate and mayo spread on the baguette, that you would see from a traditional banh-mi food cart on the streets of Vietnam however don’t get me wrong it was certainly still a deliciously tasty looking baguette.  I would prefer the meat to be heated up and bread to be toasted slightly on its own rather than via a flat toaster – however that’s a minor issue!



Then we washed it down with 2 giant cups of Vietnamese ice coffee and home-made peach tea (which was presented rather nicely). YUMMMYYY!!!! Both were a touch too sweet for my liking but definitely reminded me of all my Vietnam trips.


Overall I lovely experience! I like the rows of sriracha sauce bottle on displayed but perhaps a bit more like some Vietnamese non-la , sugarcane or photos of sit-lo etc. CHEESY… but rather effective to attract potential customers (or at least someone like me ha-ha!). Did I also mention the services were top-notched??? Nothing better than seeing happy smiley faces from the start to the end of the meal.  Keep smiling girls!


“To me, life without veal stock, pork fat, sausage, organ meat, demi-glace, or even stinky cheese is a life not worth living.” ~ Anthony Bourdain

Till next time

| Courtesy invite by Taste-T on Collins. Opinions are my own. |

Taste T on Collins Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato