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 ┬álechon 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?

 

IMG_1547

IMG_1548

IMG_1550
BBQ skewers!

IMG_1552
A busy opening for Cafe Rende

IMG_1575
Daniel wishes Filipino celebrity Isabel Granada good luck for her performance

IMG_1573
Paquiao wins his fight!

Melbourne Mondays – St Kilda Festival 2013 and Lunar New Year

IMG_1516IMG_1515IMG_1540IMG_1508IMG_1543IMG_1552IMG_1553IMG_1555 IMG_1565IMG_1576

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

Dance.Lunch&Dinner

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 ­čÖé

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 ┬áYear 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 ┬álast 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? ­čśë

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