Work lunch #5 Every Friday smoke comes wafting out from the Rialto forecourt

2015/02/img_0243-0.png Merchant BBQ – Rialto forecourt Collins st, Melbourne

Thanks to a focus on mindfulness and wellbeing at work, a few of us decided to get out and about to enjoy the bright weather and each other’s company. When a work mate suggested we go out for a team lunch across the road for a BBQ I thought, where? Turns out every Friday right in the forecourt of the Rialto tower Merchant gets the barbie going.


A friendly crowd waited in the line that moved quite quickly and I ended up chatting to some others on their lunch break who told me that they’ve been coming here Friday for their lunch (they work just right above!).

I ordered the charcoal spit roast lamb with a generous serve of condiments and it was saucy and filling.

We’ll definitely be back again as I’ve heard the chicken spit is a must from their menu! If you’re not into spit roast, you also have sizzling sausages as an option for lunch. A Virgin Mary refreshment accompanied my meal as they were promoting the upcoming tomato festival…seems like Melbourne has an abundance of festivals at the moment.

Fridays until sold out, get to the Rialto early and enjoy a relaxed casual atmosphere with meaty goodness.

Merchant Osteria Veneta on Urbanspoon2015/02/img_9951.jpg 2015/02/img_9947.jpg

The 2013 Philippine Fiesta

The Urban Ma at the Philippine Fiesta 2013Filipino food fiesta

The 2013 Philippine Fiesta – Melbourne Showgrounds 23rd-24th November

Last weekend was the annual Philippine Fiesta and this year it was again held at the Melbourne Showgrounds. Anticipating Melbourne’s unpredictable weather, all the stalls, stages and exhibits were held undercover in the Exhibition Pavilion. We visited on the 2nd day of the fiesta and as always there was a festive vibe with singers and dancers lighting up the stage and the smell of bbq calling us over to the food stalls – Filipinos love to sing, dance and eat! It was great to see the newly launched Cafe Rende serving up smooth coffee using beans from Benguet in the Philippines.
We devoured at least a dozen sticks of bbq and at 4 for $10 it was a pretty good deal compared to the Night Noodle Markets we attended recently! The skewers from soon-to-be-opened Jasmine’s Cafe and Restaurant were tasty and tender and we also tried halo halo (crushed ice dessert with a variety of fillings) from two different stalls at $5.50 and $8 each, the difference being one had ice cream and leche flan (a Filipino creme caramel) and the other didn’t.
Filipino dishes are not really known for their appetizing appearance but give it a go and I’m sure you will get hooked on dishes such as sisig (chopped pork pieces seasoned with calamansi and chilli), kare kare (a stew with ox tail and peanuts) and  lechon paksiw (pork and vinegar stew).
The Philippine Fiesta is in its 31st year and even though there was a cheerful atmosphere when we arrived I did notice that there was a drop in numbers – both in the number of patrons and the number of stallholders that were present at the fiesta this year. It was pretty sad to see this and maybe the car park and entrance fee along with other issues have slowly deterred many people from showing their support year by year. Were you there this year? What did you think?




BBQ skewers!

A busy opening for Cafe Rende

Daniel wishes Filipino celebrity Isabel Granada good luck for her performance

Paquiao wins his fight!

Long weekend shenanigans

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Dos Diablos food truck, Pollo and carnitas tacos, Digging for Frire BBQ (DFFBBQ) Kitchen food truck, This Little Piggy roll, the spunky ones at the Lacrosse tournament, fish and chips at Williamstown’s Top of the Bay.

This long weekend…!

Food, food and more food is what we got up to this long weekend! I wish I could say I got some sleep in there too but no, these bags under my eyes aren’t Prada. I miss my sleep…hopefully the little one’s first tooth will cut through soon.

First time trying out Dos Diablos and I just had a bite of the better half’s tacos – yummy chicken taco was full of flavor, only wish it was a little bigger. I headed over to the DFFBBQ guys to try their pork roll and enjoyed the chunky fillings and pineapple and chilli relish. Always great service from these fellas! 🙂 There was also a stall serving freshly squeezed orange juice and the kind man gave us a free bag of mandarins as we walked passed!

Yesterday we headed over to Williamstown for some fish and chips, or in my case, scallop and chips (I lurrve scallops!) with the family and even though it was a chilly Melbourne afternoon, we had a great time just hanging out on our picnic rug enjoying Top of the Bay’s flake, scallops and prawns. This place has been a long time favourite of our’s and after not visiting for a while because it seemed like scallops had shrunken in size, they’re back, bigger and juicier than ever!

We finished the weekend with something sweet – Dolce Latte and Creme Caramel flavored ice cream from Capriccio One.

I also ate more than my weight in Filipino food at my aunty’s big 50th birthday bash on the weekend but my camera ran out of battery so sorry but no pics 🙁 I’m still enjoying some take home birthday cake – sooooooo good! Ube flavored with macapuno filling in the middle – Leslie I need more! You’re baking is amazing!

I guess I’ll just have to work it hard at the gym and rehearsals this week! ;P

Melbourne Foodtrucks – Digging for Fire BBQ Kitchen

Foodtruck Friday!


Digging For Fire BBQ – Melbourne food truck, various locations

Last Friday, after following DFFBBQ on Twitter, I was excited to see that they were heading across the bridge to Yarraville. So with some friends and family we braved the cold Melbourne weather to enjoy some freshly bbq’d dinner with the Digging For Fire peeps! We got there around 5.30pm and there were already a few people milling around deciding what to order and as the night progressed it was nice to see more and more people coming out to this mini fiesta of food trucks!


The night’s special – Cinnamon & Chilli Chicken Wings, Baby’s happy with my tasty choice 🙂

After a hard decision on whether to go with the pulled pork baguette or the night’s special of cinnamon and chilli chicken wings, I went the wings. The customer service was great and you could tell that the guys at DFFBBQ had a real passion for what they were doing. They were both very busy keeping up with all the orders but were still able to stop for a friendly chat 🙂

It was so cold last Friday out in the park but once I bit into my cinnamon and chilli wings, braving the cold night was totally worth it! The wings were well-cooked and bursting with not only the cinnamon and chilli flavours but also that of the salsa/sauce that covered the tender bbq pieces! It came with chips and was absolutely delish!

Can’t wait to try out the rest of their menu next time! – Thank you DFFBBQ for a great dinner out! 🙂

For those of you who follow heaps of blogs, I’ve found that Bloglovin helps me sort through all the blogs I’ve subscribed to and is an easy way to track all your favs!

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Keep checking back every Monday and Thursday for new blog posts on food and fashion in Melbourne and I will also post some pics and things that interest me on surprise days! 🙂

For now, have a great week and always start your morning with a smile! – go on, do it 🙂 you’ll feel better if you do! 😉

Digging For Fire BBQ Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Melbourne Mondays – St Kilda Festival 2013 and Lunar New Year

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Rewind performing in the Dance Zone arena, Wes ordering a hot dog with the lot from the Grill Kings, Daniel & I in front of Luna Park, lunch at Dahon Tea Lounge in South Melbourne, dinner at Kotaraya in Elsternwick


St Kilda Festival – DanceZone (Sea Baths carpark area)

The weather was perfect yesterday for the 2013 St Kilda Festival and the first day of the Lunar New Year of the snake! Rewind performed from 1pm until 1.45pm at the DanceZone arena alongside special guests, Kstar and Mute Crew. Initially we were worried that the crowd was a bit sparse but once the music got going and MC Steve took over the mic, the huge crowds came in to watch! It was so great to see these crews continuing to inspire the community to get involved through their love of dance. If you are interested in dance classes these crews teach in various locations around Melbourne teaching 1 year olds right through to adults!

Dahon Tea Lounge – 111 Cecil St, South Melbourne

After performing at the DanceZone arena and stopping at a hot dog stand we made our way through the crowds with Baby in his pram and walked back to our car to have lunch somewhere a little more comfortable for a mamma and Baby ;P You know I never really paid much attention to prams in shopping centres or out and about, but since having a baby I really admire the courageous mums who get out there despite constantly have people cutting in front or not acknowledging that they may need a little more space than normal to get by.

We had lunch just off Clarendon street at a Filipino tea lounge called Dahon. It was nice to relax and sit down with a cold rockmelon drink and refreshing iced tea. I ordered the garlic rice with chicken adobo and pork tocino skewers which I chomped down quickly as I was so hungry from performing earlier. For dessert we had halo halo – a Filipino shaved iced dessert which is a different version of the Malaysian cendol or the 3 coloured drinks. It was nice and big and full of toppings. If you are not familiar with the Philippine cuisine then I suggest you ease into it buy ordering the rice and skewer combo and by trying the rockmelon iced drink 🙂

Kotaraya Asian Multi cuisine – 237 Glenhuntly Rd, Elsternwick

After just chilling at Dahon for a while and having some rest time with Baby, we made our way to the east side for a dinner to celebrate the Lunar New Year with hubby’s side of the family. Filipinos celebrate the western new year on January first but with hubby’s family being Malaysian/Chinese we headed to Kotaraya to have traditional Lunar New  Year dishes like Yu Shang! The first time I had this dish was in KL – see previous post! We had about 8 different dishes to share and they were all so tasty! Especially a fish dish – I didn’t get to take I picture of everything or even look at the menu because baby was unsettled and needed to sleep). I really want to come back here again so I can get the names of the dishes we ordered for you, I think they were part of a special new year’s menu. The desserts were colourful as you would have seen in other restaurants of this type and very sweet and we finished off with a juicy, cold fruit platter.

All in all even though it was a little tiring, we had a great day with family and friends. With a friend suddenly passing away  last week, it just reminds me that making time for your loved ones should always be at the top of your list of things to do. Life is short and you can never shower anyone with too much love so if you haven’t seen you mum, dad, cousin, friends in a while then why not call them up for a catch up? 😉

Have a great week! Love.Live.Laugh <3