Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

Tag / australia

First of all, if you’re planning a visit to Australia, head to right now! It is the single most comprehensive site for travelers heading Down Under, in there you can find heaps of information on pretty much everywhere and everything Australia.

Here are some of the things you can find on the site:

  • travel by destination – cities
  • accommodation – with links to hotels, ratings, etc
  • transportation
  • restaurants and where to eat
  • shopping
  • adventures

The information is laid out well, with photos, guides, videos, tips, and even special offers. It is the single most amazing tourism site I’ve seen. website, everything you need to plan a trip website, everything you need to plan a trip

Personally, I’ve been to Australia twice, both times to Melbourne and I really enjoyed my visits. There’s plenty to do, I went skiing at Mt. Buller, visited Chinatown, ate at little Italy, traveled to St. Kilda by tram, walked around Melbourne University, and shopped at Queen Victoria Village.

And since this blog is primarily known for food, lets explore a little bit on what you can expect to find while in Australia. These are just some of the places I went to in Melbourne, but you can find many a variety of dining choices in pretty much every city in Australia.

Food lovers will never be disappointed.

MART 130, excellent breakfast place
MART 130, excellent breakfast place

There are many awesome breakfast places in Australia, and MART 130 would be one of the excellent examples if you’re traveling to Melbourne. The place used to be a TRAM stop, but it is now serving one of the best breakfasts you’d find anywhere. Yes, you can get there on Melbourne’s well known tram system.

MART 130
07A Canterbury Road,
Middle Park 3206,
Melbourne, Australia

coffee at Brother Baba Budan

For those who love coffee, the caffeinated culture is mature and sophisticated. Coffee houses are among the hot spots where people hang out, and one of the places you should check out would be Brother Baba Budan, the coffee here is one of the best you could get anywhere and consistently praised by critics. I certainly loved it.

Alternatively, chocolate lovers should check out Max Brenners chocolate bar at QV, they serve pretty awesome chocolate drinks, and rather decent coffee too.

Brother Baba Budan
359 Little Bourke Street
Melbourne 3000

real hearty burgers at Grille
real hearty burgers at Grill’d

There are fast food joints all over Australia, but if you’re into hearty, thick-pattied burgers, Grill’d would be one of those places you want to stop by. Australia produces premium quality beef, which you can enjoy in their burgers.

Grill’d is available at more than 30 locations.

Grill’d (opposite Max Brenners)
Level 2
210 Lonsdale Street
Melbourne VIC 3000

authentic as you can get Vietnamese pho, even has coagulated blood
authentic as you can get Vietnamese pho, even has coagulated blood

Since Australia is a melting pot with various cultures and immigrants from different parts of the world, you get many authentic ethnic cuisines.

One of my favorite Asian dishes is Vietnamese pho (soup noodle), so we went all the way to Richmond, the “little Vietnam” near Melbourne for a meal. Pho Dzung did not disappoint, they even have coagulated blood on the menu, something I haven’t seen from anywhere else outside Vietnam!

Pho Dzung Tan Dinh
208 Victoria St
Richmond 3121 VIC

Korean food? you're covered at Oriental Spoon
Korean food? you’re covered at Oriental Spoon

If Korean food is your choice, there are plenty to choose from as well. We went to Oriental Spoon while I was in Melbourne, the bulgogi was huge and yummy, the only small problem over there is that you might end up waiting for a bit to get a vacant table.

Oriental Spoon
254 La Trobe St,
Melbourne VIC 3000,

Japanese food? No problem, Shoya is more than satisfactory
Japanese food? No problem, Shoya is more than satisfactory

Shoya is an established high end Japanese restaurant that calls Melbourne home. If you’re on a bit of a budget,a great way to try high end restaurants would be to go for their set lunches. The photos above are some of the dishes we had for the two sets ordered. The meals ended up with two satisfied customers.

25 Market Lane, Melbourne.

Victoria, Australia, 3000

Ying Thai 2 offers one of the best Thai foods around
Ying Thai 2 offers one of the best Thai foods around

Fancy some spicy food that’ll leave a burning sensation in your very own down under? Ying Thai 2 is one of the many Thai restaurants in every major Australian city. Tomyam, green curry, minced meat with basil, and even chicken in pandan leaves, they have it all. Prices are very reasonable as well, a very popular place among students and working adults alike.

Ying Thai 2
110 Lygon St,
Carlton VIC 3053,

Italian cuisine? Plenty of those at Lygon street
Italian cuisine? Plenty of those at Lygon street, pics above from Tiamo 2

There are plenty of Italian restaurants in Australia, and the popular place to go if you find yourself at Melbourne would be Lygon Street. We’ve been to Cafe Italia for authentic Italian food, Il Dolce Freddo for some of the best gelati, and Tiamo 2 Cucina E Pizzeria for hearty pizzas.

Tiamo 2
305 Lygon St
Carlton 3053, Victoria

seafood at Claypots, St. Kilda
seafood at Claypots, St. Kilda

For seafood lovers, most of the major cities in Australia are along the vast coastline of the country. When I was in Melbourne we traveled to St. Kilda for this purpose. Here you find quite a few restaurants that serve fresh seafood, and we had a great dinner at Claypots. The fish was fresh, and prawns were scrumptious. It was indeed very yummy. I remembered ordering a fish that I’ve never tasted before, though the name of said fish escapes my mind right now.

213 Barkly St,
St Kilda
Victoria 3182

These are some of the places I personally visited from the two trips in Melbourne. There are plenty of great food experiences to enjoy in Australia, and you don’t even need to limit yourself to restaurants as there are also fresh produce markets, fruit picking, cheese farms, and many other delicious places to visit for a complete gastronomic journey Down Under.

Mell and I just had Vietnamese pho at Mekong a couple blocks away (will blog about the place and other restaurants for sure) at Swanston street, and I decided to process pictures taken in the last two days and share some of them here.

Melbourne city night view
Melbourne City night view, taken from Franklin/Swanston

I stay at the Verve apartment with Mell. The building is located at the corner of Swanston and Franklin, the edge of the busiest part of the city. At 20 odd floors, you get to see pretty much the whole city. It is rather magnificient, especially at night.

Swanston Street, Melbourne

The city is very well planned, roads are relatively wide with very pedestrian friendly side walks that are, at places, wider than the roads for automobiles. Walking is pretty much the main mode of transportation here, every intersection is equipped with pedestrian traffic lights that not only blinks, but beeps too (for the blind). Very handy.

Melbourne city Tram services
a typical Melbourne city tram

Crisscrossing the city are the electric trams. You can get on the tram for $3.70  (valid for 2 hours). Most of the trams stops at the middle of the road, unless it is a one-way street, like the one on the photo above. The trams are pretty much like the LRT without the elevated tracks, and running on a much slower pace.

State library of Victoria
State Library of Victoria

Architecture of the city is a mixture of old and new. You have the State Library of Victoria on Swanston that was opened way back in 1854 sitting right next to the QV Village that was opened in 2003.

cyclist at QV
Queen Victoria Village – QV

There are also dedicated cycling lanes in most roads, I guess cycling works best during this time of the year when temperature hovers around the low twenties and mid teens.

inside Melbourne Central
the ceiling of Melbourne Central

To travel to the suburbs or further, the train stops at Melbourne Central, which is doubles as one of the larger shopping complexes in the city. There’s cinema, restaurants, shops, and an office tower. Interestingly, the Melbourne Central railway station used to be called Museum.

intersection, Melbourne
a mini cooper at the intersection

While cars are a lot more affordable, it is quite a bitch to find parking spaces in the city without breaking your bank. Since public transportation is very good in the city anyway, there is virtually no traffic jam in the city.

Lygon Street - little litaly, Melbourne
a restaurant by Lygon Street

The city is pretty much overrun by Asian. I did not see any whites at all on the first night. The sidewalk of Swanston street (the busiest street in Melbourne) is basically 80% Chinese.

Lygon Street, however, looks more like the Australia I expected. We had lunch with Pinky and Kit and actually were the minority. The place is littered with many Italian restaurants, and appropriately referred to as Little Italy of Melbourne.

China town at Melbourne
Chinatown in Melbourne

Little Bourke Street is a little one-way road that is the whole Chinatown of Melbourne, which, incidentally, is also the oldest Chinatown in Australia. Like most Chinatown in the world, there are plenty of Chinese restaurants everywhere. We had lunch at a restaurant called Red Silk on Sunday and it was actually rather delicious.

I’ll attempt to create a food map for this city (as much as I can anyway), so watch this space!

A couple days before my birthday, I got a special delivery from down under, a big package all the way from Australia, the land of dozing wombats and slimy skinks. It was a gift from my hot chick, and I couldn’t be happier receiving the original super star snack Tim Tam and Pods! Just look at them! *drools*

Tim Tam and Pods
chocolate goodness to die for

Due to fluctuation in temperature while shipping these goodies, the pods seemed to have melted before, but fortunately, while the cosmetic is a bit off, they still taste great! Pods is something like a bigger version of Koko Krunch cereal but filled with chocolate and caramel, very rich and very addictive.

I think Tim Tam needs no introduction to most people, especially those who studied in ozzie. This chocolate mud biscuit is the best seller in Australia. The snack is full of chocolate, caramel, and biscuit in a harmonious combination that treats your taste buds the way good snacks do. Kinda reminds me of Reese’s although they are completely different.

Tim Tam and Pods
chocolate and strawberry flavors too!

You can get the local version of Tim Tam from places like Cold Storage (they now sell Reese’s too!), but I’ve heard that it doesn’t taste quite the same.