Sunday session – BBH greatness in Sunshine!

2015/01/img_9618-0.jpgCo Do Vietnamese Restaurant
200 Hampshire rd, Sunshine

Can you believe I’ve never had a bowl of bun bo hue? I was watching an episode of Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown the other night while ironing our work clothes for the week ahead when I saw Anthony slurping up, and thoroughly enjoying a bowl of soup. It wasn’t any ordinary bowl of soup, it was topped with an assortment of pork hock, beef loaf, pork, prawn and blood cake and I could practically taste the delightful broth through the tv screen.

Bring forth Co Do, Sunshine. The sister restaurant to the prized Richmond establishment that has appeared in many guides and features specialising in bun bo hue along with some other traditional Vietnamese dishes. I’ve tried other restaurants along the Hampshire road strip but I can feel this one will fast become one of our favs!

My mouth immediately tingled as soon as my order was placed in front of me. An ambrosial offering to those open to seeing blood cake and pig hock on top of their soup, you are also able to order a beef only version if you are not feeling so adventurous. I opt for the traditional Vietnamese style chilli beef soup with the lot, while the hubby tries out Co Do’s banh canh gio heo (I’ll have to come back to try the banh canh cua). Master D ordered special fried rice and some pork and prawn cake wrapped in banana leaves.

We will be back for more.

How did I not taste this sooner?

Co Do has been present in Sunshine near the revamped train station for less than year and I can tell you now that you’ll be seeing our faces here a lot more often!

For now I’m sitting here still thinking about my first BBH experience… <3

P.S We in came just before the dinnertime rush and it didn’t take long for a line to form outside the door. Be patient and you will be rewarded!


Good value for money2015/01/img_9620.jpg

Cheers! Our little one is getting accustomed to drinking tea and trying all new types of food! Not bad for his 2 years of experience 🙂

You could see through the super chewy prawn and pork cake. Dip it in some sauce and it makes a nice entree to get your taste buds ready for more.2015/01/img_9621.jpg

– Bun Bo Hue Dac Biet (Traditional Vietnamese style chilli beef soup)
– Banh Bot Loc Goi La Chuoi (Pork and prawn cake in banana leaf x 6 pieces)
– Banh Canh Gio Heo (Dropped rice noodle soup with pork)
– Special fried rice
– Tea2015/01/img_9612.jpg

Rich dark colors of paneling on the roof and tables. Feels like we could gather the whole family here for a special occasion and at the back of the menus there are several banquet options you can choose from.2015/01/img_9622.jpgLocated right near the station if you’re coming to visit by train, we also found free parking easily accessible on a Sunday afternoon. So lucky to have this place only 5-10mins away from us. That means we’ll be back for more. Pretty soon. We bumped into a friend on the way back to our car and she strongly suggested for us to taste the bun rieu dish next time. And so we shall! You will be seeing a bowl of bun rieu and banh canh cua here and on my Instagram feed very shortly.

Co do on Urbanspoon

Life Lately – the start of 2015


Day 1 and 2 – The first meal of 2015 was some ham and a bowl of arroz-caldo (a Filipino rice soup with chicken and ginger-flavored broth) at mum’s house after watching bursts of colorful fireworks just outside – Mr D squealed with so much excitement at the unexpected explosions! Day 2 was production-line time as we helped my brother prepare for his wedding with over 250 name tags, goody bags, cupcakes being carefully assembled one by one. When all was done we took a train into the city to go through a last rehearsal at Passion Dance Studio – the bride and groom had a couple of special dance numbers in store for their guests 🙂 We then had an eventful night staying over at Crown Promenade.

Day 3 – Eat, drink and be married! I love how the two photos above show the two sides to our day – looking all pro in the top photo whilst behind the scenes it was super hot and windy! The fierce weather didn’t stop us from celebrating a beautiful ceremony at the Fitzroy gardens before partying it up with good music, food and drink at Taylors Lakes reception. For more pics of the day check out my Instagram feed!2015/01/img_9350.jpg

Day 4 – Time to relax. We took Mr D swimming at the hotel pool before spending some time with family friends who had come from Las Vegas to attend the wedding. I love how these milestones in life always bring loved ones together and what better way to reconnect than over a delicious home-cooked meal by my dad!2015/01/img_9351.jpg

Day 5 – Playing Melbourne tour guide. Domaine Chandon and a stop over at Yarra Valley Dairy cafe was bliss on a gorgeous day. Enough said.

2015/01/img_93521.jpgDay 6 – Grateful for thoughtful friends and their brunchtime invite. Duchess of Spotswood. Devoured a Prince of Wales. 2015/01/img_9430.jpgDay 7 – A happy day. Brunch in Williamstown. A walk in the park. A visit to the NGV. Shopping at Emporium Melbourne and dinner with the family.2015/01/img_9354.jpgDay 8 – Back to work. Maths and science books at the post office. A new cafe. Vintage posters at the Salvo’s. A dinner date and finger lickin’ good dishes at Mr Miyagi. Loved the music too! Reminded me of the Next Blue days 😉2015/01/img_9355.jpg

Day 9 – Dumplings galore at China Red for a farewell dinner as a friend moves overseas for work. Always love catching up with my dance family, Rewind.

2015/01/img_9356.jpgWeekend – Fried chicken and a visit to grandma’s to spend time with my aunty and uncle who were visiting from London!

2015/01/img_9357.jpgDay 12 – 14 – Work fridge looking full with lunches from home – looks like everyone is going well with their new year resolutions of either eating healthy or saving money! Took Father Noel out for a belated birthday dinner. Love Longrain’s braised pork and dessert platter.


Day 15-17 – A stroll after work down to South Wharf – such a nice, little walk along the river! Hadn’t walked down this side of Melbourne before! Attended the media call for Strictly Ballroom and was blown away by the sequins, music, dancing and Baz. The performances were so energetic and uplifting, I just wanted to dance in the aisles – and that was only after seeing a snippet of the show! You can get your tickets here! Attended the Blogger BBQ at The Park, Albert Park and got to catch up with some fellow bloggers. It was nice to be able to chat face-to-face 🙂 Beautiful stained glass windows of St Francis’ church on Londsdale st.2015/01/img_9400.jpg

Sunday selfies with this little guy. Along the Yarra outside Crown, we lazed around in the Sportshub enjoying live acoustic music and a cup of Movenpick icecream! Cozy outdoor lounge settings and beanbags. A perfect start to the year.

What have you been up to lately? Hope it’s been a happy and healthy start to 2015 – xx –

2014 – Thank you, you were amazing…Warning: photo-heavy post!

 Here is my ode to 2014. To those of you who laughed, played, cried and celebrated life with us, thank you from the bottom of my heart for your time and presence. Whether it was a second or a day of your time, I’ve learnt so much from each and everyone of you and hope that 2015 holds more unforgettable moments – xx-

Styling DanielThis littke guy’s ootds were the most clicked on posts this year! Check him out on Instagram @jacqfruit
IMG_0108 IMG_0324Lots n lots of family time at some of our favourite destinations. See post here!
The Urban Ma 2014 family time
IMG_0378Some party people. Yes here’s a pic of the males bathroom – thought it looked pretty cool lol!
The Urban Ma 2014 nights out
Family comes first - The Urban Ma blogBest friends - high schoolSo much fun with all the dedicated mammas!
ProBlogger 2014Met so many unbelievably talented bloggers and podcasters this year…can’t wait for what’s coming up in 2015. Never stop learning!
Radio interview The Urban MaFirst radio interview
The Urban Ma 2014 workWork life – one of my favourite years with the most amazing people! So very grateful and blessed for the opportunity to work with super knowledgeable, hardworking and inspiring people. Best!
Brighter Futures Suncorp
NGV Melbourne exhibitionLoads of things to do in Melbourne – NGV is amazing!
airplane lifeOur little one was obsessed with planes, trains and automobiles this year!
This is Queensland The Urban Ma Gold Coast StayzFun in the Gold Coast for my bro’s big 30th bash and also the inspiring ProBlogger Conference
Lolo time Ballarat Wildlife Park The Urban Ma
Kare Kare The Urban MaFilipino kare kare but not as you know it! Wow!
Chef Sau William AnglissTried to cook some Filipino dishes and also met some talented Filipino chefs
GJ's Grill lechon The Urban MaNew Filipino restaurant in Melbourne’s CBD – GJ’s Grill (next to Vic Market)
The Urban Ma Spunky Ones JacqfruitStylish daddy and son duo #thespunkyones Lots more ootd’s to come in 2015!
The Urban Ma 2014 weddingsWedding ladies Mandy's weddingWeddings and bridesmaid duties were so much fun with this crew!
Daniel's 2nd birthdayWe celebrated loads of happy birthdays this year including our lola and our little man turning two!
Christmas with the YuansAwkwardly testing out the timer on our camera…Daniel is not impressed!

Our first video went live on YouTube today and I hope you find it helpful! Let me know what else you’d like to see in 2015. xx

The new Bond.

Bond Bar MelbourneBond Bar fluid

Bond, 24 Bond St, Melbourne

Fluid. Black. Gold. Sleek. Sexy. Alluring.

A weeknight out in the city for Bond’s Industry Family & Friends preview was a nice end to my Wednesday. Drinks, entertainment and familiar faces. This has got to be one of Melbourne’s best lounge bars. Congratulations to everyone involved in the the rebirth of a classic. Check out their website for information and bookings.


Bond Bar The Urban Ma
DJ booth Bond Bar main roomIMG_0369Bond Bar interior designBond Bar Melbourne outdoor areaBond Bar designIMG_0384Bond Bar opening night family and friends MelbourneBond Bar DJ Tang eventsBond Bar Melbourne agency SAMGThe Urban Ma Collins St Bond Bar Melbourne blogger

Mummy Mondays – My week in pictures


Hardly felt like summer this week but that didn’t stop Mr D brightening up our days with his new found singing voice, his never-ending chatter and his big, big hugs! Here are a few pics from my iPhone this past week 🙂

IMG_7656A new studio opened in the west – get your dance on at Bkode Studios
IMG_7674Donuts and morning coffee with my work colleagues at Bonnie Coffee Brewers on Collins street
IMG_7725Pic courtesy of my sister 🙂
IMG_7640A favorite Filipino snack – mangoes and shrimp paste. Don’t knock it til you try it! 😉
IMG_7759Birthday fun with the cuties from mother’s group xx
IMG_7791Chilling on the couch with my man – date night, movie night 
IMG_7805“Empanada, I want YOU!”
IMG_7817Yesterday Daniel ordered his very own baby-sized pho ga…and he finished it!
IMG_7834The Big Design Market was a hit with the whole fam…except for this little guy who just wanted to storm the puddles outside
IMG_7573Front of house with this birthday boy at the 2014 Australian Dance Crew Championships last weekend at the Melbourne Town Hall
IMG_7624Spectacular lighting entertainment on the facade of the Melbourne Town Hall – come and see it every night from 9-11pm!
Just some of our buys at the Big Design Market this weekend 🙂

Santa’s Magical Kingdom 2014

Santa's Magical Kingdom 2014 MelbourneSanta's Magical Kingdom The Urban Ma blog JacqfruitSanta Melbourne blogger


We were so excited to take Mr D to Santa’s Magical Kingdom last night – to see him smile after not feeling well all week was the best! Mr D decorated his own little gingerbread man, he watched the circus acts while eating nuggets and chips, he flew down the giant slide and had fun exploring all the activities under the huge tent while merry Christmas carols played.

This year Santa’s Magical Kingdom has set up camp at the Caulfield Racecourse and sessions run from Thursday to Sunday up until December 23 (you can book your tickets here).

Enjoy an interactive, walk through adventure that incorporates everything that you and your family love about Christmas. 

As you will probably be able to tell from the pics below, we all had an enchanting time!

snow fall The Urban Ma blog SMKSnow falls in Snowland
Santa's Magical Kingdom kid-friendlyConquered the giant slide, decorated his dessert before eating it, Lego building and fun on the merry-go-roundChristmas gingerbread man Santa's Magical Kingdom Melbourne eventsBeautifully decorated areas under the magical tent
Santa's magical Kingdom mascot Jacqfruitdinosaur ride Santa's Magical KingdomDinosaur rides
SMK slide Melbourne blogger mum
Scared and excited at the same time, Mr D conquered the giant slide!
plane ride toddler rideLego land Santa's Magical KingdomPracticing to be a master builder lol!
Gingerbread man ChristmasWe all enjoyed the gingerbread man decorating. Finished up by eating it with coffee from the foodstall!
SMK games Melbourne blogger mumStory time with Mrs Claus
ferris wheel ride
Before going home we enjoyed the night time view up high on the ferris wheel
Ferris wheel ride Santa's Magical KingdomMrs Claus the Urban Ma blog Melbourne

Fun for all the family! Congrats to the winner of the Urban Ma blog Santa’s Magical Kingdom ticket giveaway! Check the “Giveaways” tab for more prizes.