Tag Archives: melbourne

Melbourne & Sydney, December 2012 – Gavin and Christina’s Wedding

We started off Gavin Tan and Christina’s wedding with the traditional Jip San Leong. We had to battle the evil chi muis at a cold open space area of a hotel. The evil chi muis had imports from Malaysia and Indonesia. The Malaysian chi muis were brutal as usual.

It was probably one of the longest Jip San Leong sessions I’ve ever gone through. We had to apply make up, wear granny lingerie, eat fruits off a body of a heng tai, do a catwalk and go through a box with something possibly gross blindfold.


Ugliest person alive. Gavin in a mankini.


Steve “Mango Sticky Rice”.


Om nom nom

After an hour of so, we battled through the tasks and managed to save Christina from the evil chi muis.

We didn’t have much time after the event as we had to rush to Gavin and Christina’ s church ceremony at St Mary Star of the Sea, one of the largest and oldest parish churches in Melbourne. It was quick and unfortunately Gavin didn’t do a big blopper on stage.

Gavin and Christina had their dinner reception at this vintage mansion called Butleigh Wootton. They had it decorated nicely.


Each table had a little frame with a chapter of Gavin and Christina’s life together. Ours was “Chapter 7: Fancy Dresses” Gavin was quoted “I would do it if it weren’t for my wrist. And the whole hip shaking thing. And the V-necked tight suit” (in response to an invitation for salsa dancing).

If I had a choice, I’ll add Gavin’s famous quote, which came out when we were in a club, “HE GRAB MY COCK! HE GRAB MY COCK!“.

He was quite worried that we will sabotage his wedding. He made sure his presentation was in movie form so that we could’t fiddle with it by adding pictures like this:-


That’s not Gavin by the way. It was someone that looks like Gavin, cutting Kenny Sia’s hair.


Almost 10 years of friendship. Flew across the ocean to attend his wedding. Wore lingerie for him. And he got my name wrong. F*** you, Gavin.

Food was awesome. There was a live band. Great wedding video and photos too. I’m glad I didn’t miss it.

To Gavin and Christina, Congratulations to you both and much happiness on your wedding day. May the love you share always continue to shine.

Melbourne & Sydney, December 2012 – Overview

Gavin Tan aka Gayvin Tan invited me to his wedding in December. He came back to Malaysia for mine. I definitely had to go for his.

We took Air Asia to Melbourne. It rained when we left the house and we were stuck in a 2 hours jam to LCCT, Sepang.

No trip is complete is complete without any oddity. While in the boarding room, we had a strange person kneeling with face down for a long time. We couldn’t make out whether she was a bag or a person. Suddenly, she woke up thinking that the plane has left and tried to run to the tarmac.

Melbourne city is not the city I used to know. It changed quite a lot. Artisan cafes have popped up in the city. The good ones usually have long queues. My favourite A1 Chinese restaurant is gone. No more egg chiffon duck rice.

My wife and I stayed at Wei Chen and Sui San’s place at Albert Street. It was formerly an old brewery and now converted into an apartment. Wei Chen had kindly vacated him room for us while he slept in the living room.

I also took the opportunity to meet two of my business associates in Melbourne. One of them was nice enough to invite me to their office. The use colour coded system for their files. Each category has a different colour. It made their office pretty colourful.

We spent a lot of our time at artisan coffee joints trying what the Hipsters call “soul food”. To me, it’s basically food with plenty of bacon, potatoes or butter.

And it’s all awesome but I came back few KGs heavier.

After Gavin and Christina’s wedding, my wife and I made our way to Sydney via Tiger Airways. We stayed at Sui Lin’s place at the city. We did the usual touristy things.


We visited one of my buddies in Castlehill, Sydney. He cooked us dinner.

After Sydney, we went back to Melbourne and plonked at Sui San and Wei Chen’s place again. Lynnzter and Mid Sized Ben (both got married this year too) organised a dim sum lunch with the Melbourne gang at Tai Pan at Doncaster East.

They even serve battered durian. Gavin Tan is not a fan of durian so I made sure his hands smell of durian before leaving the place. I rubbed some durian on his hands while he wasn’t looking. WAHAHA.

Wei Chen sent us to the airport on the last day. The flight back was rather uneventful except that the lanolin cream that I bought for my mother got confiscated (6 bottles!). It seems that I cannot bring in any liquid exceeding 250g into the departure lounge. Strangely, the same lanolin was sold in the departure lounge!


Other than lanolin, I bought my stash of coffee beans!

Anyway, the trip was awesome. Many thanks to friends who gave their time and space to comfort and entertain us.

Climbing @ Lactic Factory, Melbourne

Before my Melbourne trip, I wanted to climb outdoors. Wei Chen showed me couple of his Mount Arapiles outdoor bouldering pictures and it looked pretty good!

Unfortunately, it was summer time hence it is quite dangerous. A bush fire might happen while we are there. Therefore, we decided to climb indoors instead. My friends brought me to Lactic Factory, a bouldering gym not too far from the city centre. I was there 2 times in a week!

The gym consists of two floors. Each floor has a bouldering wall. The second floor wall has a roof.

The gym also has a very nice lounge with loads of book regarding climbing.

The entrance fee is about AU$13 per entry. First timers are required to sign a disclaimer form (as usual).

Routes are pre-set by the owner and changed from time to time. Dont need to crack your head to set your own routes.


View from 2nd floor

The climb was awesome as they had plenty of routes to try. Most of them power moves. Tire my muscles quite quickly.

Most of my friends were pretty good climbers. Some of them climb 3 times a week. They said there’s nothing much to do in Melbourne hence they climb 3 times a week. Fortunately, fatty Gavin Tan was around and hence I didn’t qualify as the worst climber wahahahha

The only drawback about this place is the toilet. It doesn’t have a place to wash your feet. I had to do some yoga moves to get my feet up into the basin.

Address
1 Studley St
Abbotsford VIC 3067, Australia
Tel: (03) 9416 2508
Wesite: thelacticfactory.com.au

Map

View Larger Map

Unique Chocolates

I was in a convenient store buying chocolates for my friends and I spotted these..


50% His and 50% Hers. Look at the “equal” distribution..


Girth Control – Helps you avoid thinking about “it” for up to 15 minutes! Name and packaging made to look like birth control pills


I’m a Libra!


Bochox – For relief from symptoms of wrinkles and crow’s feet. Who needs Botox?

From my research, Girth Control and Bochox are made by a New Zealand company by the name Bloomsberry & Co.

Source: http://www.dionlabel.com

Bloomsberry & Co. chocolate is far from boring.

Bloomsberry & Co is taking a bite out of the chocolate industry with their witty packaging and delicious chocolate. Graphic designer Giles Barker and his wife Vanessa Kettelwell are the brains behind Bloomsberry & Co. Their chocolate is harvested from cacao trees in warm, often tropical, areas. Cacao bean is one of the main ingredients in chocolate and is found within the cacao pods, these pods are harvested once they hit the ground. The quality of Bloomsberry & Co chocolates are due to the patience and precision they take during the harvesting period.

“There are some big players in the chocolate category, but by creating a unique gift item with a story behind our brand, Bloomsberry transcends that,” says Mr. Barker. “Chocolate packaging is typically a very traditional and serious business – we are coming at it from a very different position.” Different position is right! In a world of boring packaging these chocolate bars contain names such as bochox, emergency chocolate, girth control, and lusty. With their bold colors and humorous slogans it’s no wonder why this New Zealand based company is now spreading like wildfire. Bloomsberry & Co can be found in Manchester, Melbourne, Paris, Singapore, and New York. The chocolate bars can be found in retail chains such as Barnes & Noble, Borders books, and Whole Foods Market. To learn more about Bloomsberry & Co you can visit their website here.

Check out their Facebook page for more stuff! And not to mention their official page.

Melbourne Food Guide – Sweet Delights

The main cause of my weight gain but it was well worth it. There are plenty of places in Melbourne to satisfy your sweet tooth. Here are some of my favourites.

Suga @ Royal Arcade, Bourke Street, Melbourne

Suga was also one of the places that I wanted to visit for this trip. Suga is well known for its rock candies which come in various flavours.

The rock candies at Suga comes in a few layers and have all sorts of designs embedded on the front. For example, pineapple flavour would have a pineapple logo in it.

The candies are made in front of everyone and usually you will find a crowd standing in front of the shop to see the process.

[Note: you can get something equivalent in 1 Utama now]

Address
Royal Arcade,
Melbourne VIC 3000,
Australia
Tel: (03) 9663 5654β€Ž

Map

View Larger Map

Il Dolce Freddo @ Lygon Street

Some people has claimed that Il Dolce Freddo serves the best gelato in Melbourne. Located at Lygon Street, this place is usually packed with people.

Durian gelato is famous here. However, I am not a big fan of durian hence I didn’t try it. Instead I had cookies and cream which tasted not bad πŸ˜€

Address
116 Lygon St
Carlton VIC 3053, Australia
Tel: (03) 9639 3344

Map

View Larger Map

Little Cupcakes @ Degraves Street

Degraves Street is a small lane between Flinders Street and Collins Street. It even has its own Wikipedia page.

In this little lane, we found one shop selling cupcakes by the name Little Cupcakes. As its name suggest, it’s a small shop selling small cupcakes.

We bought a piece of cookie and cream cupcake and also a piece of Belgian Chocolate cupcakes. They were very moist and rich in chocolate! Absolutely great!

I’m not a big fan of cupcakes as they are too sweet for me. However, the cupcakes at Little Cupcakes take the cake as it is not too sweet.

Price is a little bit steep though. A piece was $2.20. Nevertheless, its a price worth paying for such scrumptious delight.

Address
7 Degraves St
Melbourne VIC 3000
Tel: (03) 9077 0413
Website: www.littlecupcakes.com.auβ€Ž

Map

View Larger Map

Koko Black Chocolate @ Royal Arcade, Bourke Street, Melbourne

Koko Black Chocolate is just a few doors away from Suga. It is a small cafe cum outlet selling high quality chocolate.

Gavin recommended that I try their hot chocolate here but since the weather was slightly hot, I had a glass of iced chocolate instead. It came with 2 scoops of chocolate and vanilla ice cream and also chocolate flakes. It tasted really good. Very rich and obviously very fattening. Made me feel like doing 100 burpees immediately ala Yakitate! style.

Also at Koko Black, you can buy premium chocolates back home. I bought some snowman chocolates back home πŸ˜€

Address
Shop 4 Royal Arcade
335 Bourke Street
Melbourne 3000
Australia

Website: www.kokoblack.com

Map


View Larger Map

Melbourne Food Guide – Coffee Culture

OK, back to my Melbourne Food Guide entry. The first one was here btw.

When I was in Melbourne in 2002, I didn’t realise that Melbourne has a humongous coffee culture. Coffee is served at almost every corner of Melbourne. Long queues are always seen in places that serves good coffee.

In 2008, American coffee giant Starbucks closed 61 Australian stores. I heard that Melbournians rather drink their local coffees than Starfucks. There is also a paid tour around Melbourne to see Melbourne’s historical coffee sites and also sample good coffee around Melbourne.

Back in Kuala Lumpur, I would usually have a cup of coffee before starting my day. But in Melbourne, coffee is so good that I usually have two cups a day. Makes me pangsai twice a day.

Here are some of my favourite coffee places.

Brother Baba Budan @ Little Bourke St

This small cafe serves one of the best coffees that I tasted in Melbourne. It is a very small cafe with very unique design. The seats are scattered and their ceiling is filled with hanging chairs.

The only drawback of this place is that the price is a little bit steep.


Nevertheless, the coffee is worth every drip of it. I had a cuppa almost everyday!

Address
359 Little Bourke Street
Melbourne 3000
Telephone +613 9606 0449
Website: www.brotherbababudan.com.au

Map


View Larger Map

7 Seeds Specialty Coffee @ Berkeley St

Before our trip to Point Nepean, Gavin and I had breakfast at this place. This place is somehow related to the owner of Brother Baba Budan. It’s larger than Brother Baba Budan and it serves food all day long.

Finding the place was quite difficult as it doesn’t have a proper signage. You can only see a gray coloured wall from far.

The interior is nicely done. Great place to chill out.


Box to store bullets!


Not Marijuana…hehe


Yummmmmmmmmm


Dench sourdough served with smoked salmon, wasabi creme friach and pickled cucumber salsa – AUD13


Dench sourdough served with hommus, tomato salad, cold pressed olive oil and dukkah – AUD11

Highly recommended!

Address
106 Berkeley St
Carlton VIC 3053, Australia
Tel: (03) 9347 8664
Website: sevenseeds.com.au


View Larger Map

St. Ali Coffee Roasters @ South Melbourne

Stopped by St. Ali on my last day to grab my last cup of coffee from Melbourne. Coffee was great, as good as those served at Brother Baba Budan and 7 Seeds.

Again, this place is not easy to find. We walked through a small alley to get to this place.


Looks like a factory!

Address
12-18 Yarra Pl
South Melbourne VIC 3205, Australia
Tel: (03) 9686 2990


View Larger Map

Melbourne Food Guide

This food guide will be separated into 3 sections and is based on the good places that my friends brought me to eat. Feel free to add other places.

A1 Cafe @ Russell Street, Melbourne

One of the first things that I wanted to eat when I arrive in Melbourne was A1’s egg chiffon duck rice. I used to have lunch at A1 almost everyday when I was in Melbourne in 2002. I missed it since then!

On my 2nd day in Melbourne, Gavin joined us for lunch. He said he usually have A1’s cheese baked rice which according to him, taste good. But this time round, he decided to try chiffon egg rice for the first time.

The chiffon egg covers the entire plate. It also comes with a bowl of sweet soya sauce. The portion is huge and it usually takes a fatty to sweep the entire plate clean. Gavin cleaned his plate and half of my plate as well. Fatty Power!

Address
191 Russell St
Melbourne VIC 3000

Tel: (03) 9639 2999

Map

View Larger Map

Andrew’s Hamburgers @ Melbourne

Andrew’s Hamburgers is an award winning hamburger restaurant in Melbourne. It had been awarded with numerous awards for best food and also frequented by celebrities.

Due to its popularity, burgers may run out early thus it is advisable to turn up earlier. I was lucky to be there at 830pm and served with a egg bacon cheeseburger. It also comes with pieces of fried onion and also fresh tomato. It was absolutely scrumptious!

Address
144 Bridport St
Albert Park VIC 3206
Tel: (03) 9690 2126

Map

View Larger Map

Sushi Monger @ Causeway St

When I first arrive in Melbourne, Wei Chen brought me to this small Japanese restaurant for lunch and also to meet Lynnzter, who had migrated to Melbourne few years ago.

This small restaurant has only a few seats and pack during lunch time. We were fortunate to grab a seat outside. Food must be ordered from the counter. Price is cheap, very economical for poor travellers like me.

Salmon Chirashi rice is good. 3 rolls of Sushi, which comes with miso soap, is good as well. You can choose the sushi that you want from the display counter.

Lunch crowd is massive. Hence try to be there early or after lunch time.

Address
309-325 Bourke St
Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia
Tel: (03) 9663 0899

Map

View Larger Map

Hutong Dumpling Bar @ Market Lane

Dumplings are highly popular with Asians and Caucasians alike. For me, dumplings usually serve as a side dish for me but at Hutong Dumpling Bar, our brunch was nothing but dumplings.

According to Wei Chen, dumplings at Hutong Dumpling Bar is one of the best in the city (No relation to Hutong @ Tsim Tsa Tsui)

We ordered Shao-long pao, boiled pork dumplings, spicy dumplings, and also pan fried dumplings.

Shao-long pao (its spelled like this in the menu) comes with a small piece of meat wrapped with steamed flour skin. Inside the wrapping, there is a small amount of soup. To me, it looks like a sack of nut.


A sack of nut

To eat it, nibble the top part of the dumpling and then suck the savoury soup off the dumpling and then eat the skin and meat. Its like trying to suck a sack of nut.

The pork dumpling unexpectedly comes with a small amount of soup in it. Quite tasty.


Pan fried dumpling is quite unique as it comes intact through a thin slice of fried dough.

I read from some websites that their service is crap. It was ok for me when I was there. Chinese restaurants (especially those in Chinatowns) are well known for its terrible services. Word of advice, just take it if you don’t want your food to taste a little bit ‘saltier’.

Address:
14-16 Market Lane,
Melbourne VIC 3000
Tel: (03) 9650 8128 (Book before going as they may have a long queue to get in)

Map

View Larger Map

Point Nepean, Victoria, Australia 2009 – Part II

[Continuation from Point Nepean, Victoria, Australia 2009 – Part I]

At the tip of Point Nepean, there are a few military ruins to see. One of them is the old tunnels. It has been around for ages and you even see scribbles by visitor from the past.


1963 – earliest scribble I could find.


The best looking scribble I saw

The path to the Engine House ruins is also worth taking as it has a great scenery. The beach was empty and the water was crystal clear. Access to the beach is prohibited but no one stops you from doing so. πŸ˜€

After hanging out at the place for an hour, we decided to head back. However, as the sun was scorching hot and there were many flies, we decided to hitch the shutter truck back. Further, while on our way to the tip, we saw one red faced guai lou walking towards the starting point. He was all burned up!

Our ticket only entitle us to a ride to the tip and not the ride back. There was no ticket counter to purchase a return ticket at the tip. If we were to walk back, we would probably end up like the red faced guai lou and attacked by flies throughout the walk. To overcome the problem, we did the Malaysian way, sit on the shutter truck and keep quiet.


Kid sitting in front of us. Poor kid had to endure the flies.

No one checked our tickets on the way back. It brought us back to our car without paying additional fee! Yay! Malaysia Boleh!!!

Point Nepean, Victoria, Australia 2009 – Part I

Gavin had a day off hence he decided to be nice for a day and drove me to check out Point Nepean National Park, which is about an hour and a half from the city of Melbourne.

Point Nepean marks the southern point of The Rip (the entrance to Port Phillip) and the most westerly point of the Mornington Peninsula, in Victoria, Australia. Closed to the public for over 100 years, Point Nepean National Park is now a popular tourist destination. Besides spectacular ocean scenery, the park is home to Fort Nepean, established in 1882, and the historic Quarantine Station first established in 1852. This place also marks the place where Australia lost its 17th Prime Minister, Harold Holt, who disappeared on 17 December 1967, presumed drowned.

To get to the end of the point, one can either take a 7KM walk (back and forth) or take a shutter truck. For the fee of $16.80, the shutter truck will bring you to the tip and bring you back to the starting point. Alternatively, pay the fee of $13.50, the shutter truck will only bring you to the tip and thereafter walk back to the starting point. We opted for the $13.50 fee as we thought it would be nice to have a stroll back since it is only 3.5KM back.

Since we are only taking a one way trip, we had to drive up to Gunners Cottage to park our car there. Thereafter, we would have to walk to the 1st stop nearby to catch the shutter truck.


Walkway to the 1st stop

There is an old cemetery nearby Gunners Cottage. It was established in 1854 replacing an earlier quarantine station burial ground which became unsuitable when beach erosion unearthed the burials of 1852.

As we reached the place early, we had to wait for the shutter truck to arrive at the 1st stop. At that time, we were attacked by flies here and there. The bloody flies in Australia stick to people like we were pieces of shit!!


Shutter Truck

When the shutter truck came, we were still attacked by the flies. Nevertheless, the view was magnificent!

However, when we arrived at the tip, the flies became a little bit more aggressive. -_-


First there were 2.


Then there were 4.


And then there were too many. It was as if the flies were trying to set up a village on Gavin’s back!

A nice lady gave us some branches to swat the flies away. According to her, the act of swatting the flies is called the ‘Aussie Wave’.

[To be continued..]

Melbourne & Adelaide, 2009 – Overview

Happy New Year peeps! To begin my first 2010 entry, I shall post about my Australia trip πŸ˜€

My 2 weeks trip to Australia was very enjoyable. The purpose of the trip was to attend Jo and Viv’s wedding in Adelaide. Since I got many friends in Melbourne, I decided to drop by Melbourne. The last time I was there was in 2002. The place changed a lot.


Flinders Street Station didn’t change one bit except for the foyer.

I stayed with weichen in Melbourne and at Viv’s place in Adelaide. Many thanks to them for their kindness especially weichen who picked me and sent me to the airport numerous times.

Many of my Malaysian friends migrated to Melbourne. Those who I hung out with in Melbourne were either my old clubbing kakis or climbing kakis.


The gang

A came a day later than me and she only spent 2 days in Melbourne. I brought her around to shop before we flew off to Adelaide for Jo & Viv’s wedding.

Adelaide, to me, is a quiet and tranquil place. The city is small compared to Melbourne and there is nothing much to see there. However, our trip to Barossa Valley was quite enjoyable. We managed to visit Jacob’s Creek and the Whispering Wall.


Jacob’s Creek

The wedding started off with a traditional ‘chip san leong’ ceremony with a little bit of Vietnamese twist (Viv is Vietnamese). Thereafter, there was a church ceremony.


Got Siew Chu!

The wedding dinner was held in a small ballroom. A and I were MCs for the night. This time round, I didn’t scream yamseng too loud until the whole floor went quiet.

A went back to KL after our Adelaide trip. I stayed back in Melbourne for another week. I managed to climb twice at Lactic Factory and also made a trip down to Fort Nepean with Gavin.


Fort Nepean!

I also managed to try out a few good restaurants and went to some places that I didn’t visit when I was in Melbourne in 2002.


Yummy!


Inside the State Library


Didn’t try GayLord though

Stay tuned for details!