A new Filipino cafe hits Braybrook 

   Pusong Pinoy – Filipino Cafe, Groceries, Catering
168 Churchill avenue, Braybrook

This new little cafe shines brightly among its fellow neighbors along this short strip of shops where the longstanding Masarap (delicioustasty) Bakery can be foumd. It occupies the old location of Quiapo, a Filipino/Asian grocery, who are now focusing on distribution. Pusong Pinoy (Filipino Heart in English) has transformed the space into a clean, welcoming and cheery cafe complete with USB ports and power points right next to the tables!

My cousin and I took the kids to get some lunch however being so new, the shop didn’t have their gas connected and as such the bain marie was empty. Jocelyn and her sister inform us that once everything is up and running they’ll be serving up some Filipino favorites such as adobo, pancit and other Pinoy staples.

In the meantime they offered us some sandwiches however the Filipino desserts and cakes caught my eye so we ended up trying out their coffee and sweets while Daniel bought a packet of cheesy Clover chips! The dessert fridge was filled with classics such as suman, puto and espasol – hopefully next time we visit they’ll have some egg pie! The cappuccino and cassava hearts were such a good combo and it was lovely to meet and chat with the excited new owners.  We’re told that Pusong Pinoy also provide catering so if you’re interested in ordering, you can find their details on Facebook 🙂

The annual Philippine Fiesta is coming up this weekend so for those of you who can’t get out to Braybrook to check out Pusong Pinoy, you can find this year’s fiesta at the Royal Exhibition Building in the Carlton Gardens. Jocelyn and her sister are multi-talented busy bees! Jocelyn informed us that she’ll be performing with a Pinoy choir this weekend in Geelong for Panunuluyan 2015 Celebrating the Joy of Christmas, while her sister is performing some Zumba moves at the Philippine Fiesta on Saturday!

  Daniel liked the cute little teacup lights above the counter 🙂Grab some cofee and cake from Pusong Pinoy or you can walk a few shops down to Masarap Bakery for some fresh pan de sal bread!

And right across the road is a great park for the kids to play to run off some of the sugar from the desserts! Braybrook Park features a huge wooden airplane structure and a BBQ area. (Update 23/12/15 – The playground was destroyed by a suspicious fire and is currently closed.)

Pusong Pinoy Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

A kid-friendly bakery in Kyneton

Country Cob Bakery Kyneton Styling Daniel

Country Cob Bakery, 130-132 Mollison St, Kyneton

Whenever we can get the whole family together, we spend a few days at an old family favourite getaway less than an hour’s drive from Melbourne. Kyneton Bushland Resort is a place we’ve been going to since I was baby – fresh air, loads of trees and wildlife roaming around and activities for the whole family.

The past two times we’ve been, the family and I have been taking the time to check out some of the cafes and eateries in Kyneton’s town centre. There are loads of great places to choose from and a stroll down Piper street is a must. Gastrology blog even shares a few different places in their post here.

homemade pies Country Cob Bakery KynetonLunch with the parents Kyneton brunch The Urban Ma

We were hungry and had just gotten off the freeway and stopped at the first bakery we could find as Papa loves his pies! Country Cob Bakery seemed the ticket as it was just on the road that we turned into with ample parking spaces and loads of options. It sort of felt like a cafeteria with a large range of hot and cold options to choose from.

We ordered:

– pies

– a roast beef roll

– roast veggies and roast beef (Mr D loved the roast veggies)

– eggs florentine

– and some cakes (vanilla slices and beestings, yum!!)


Kyneton Bakery The Urban Ma Country Cob Bakery Melbourne eats

The Details:

Lots of seating options and space for prams. Service was friendly even though the bakery was busy when we first ordered. We even ordered some loaves of sourdough to take with us for our BBQ sausages and burgers we were going to cook for dinner that night. The bread was so fresh and soft. Country Cob Bakery have been operating for almost 20 years and also offer catering.

Country Cobb interiorRoast sandwich Kyneton Melbourne Country Cob eggs benedict Country Cobs vanilla slices Country Cob Bakery Melbourne's west Kyneton

Country Cob Bakery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Your guide to 13 Filipino restaurants found in Melbourne!

I always get a lot of questions about where to find Filipino restaurants here in Melbourne and I always wish that I could just recommend my parent’s or all my aunties’ kitchens as I absolutely LOVE their cooking!
Below I’ve put together a quick guide for you on where to find Filipino cuisine. For those of you who have never tasted it before, come with an open mind and ask questions at the counter so they can explain to you what’s in some of the not-so-appetizing looking dishes because they may not look like a Masterchef dish but they are still just as delicious!
Shop 2, 243 Franklin st, CBD, Melbourne
Grills are their specialty and their cripsy pata meal is delicious. Other traditional Filipino dishes like sinigang are available upon request and make sure you pick up a jar of their atchara (pickled papaya). It is a great condiment with meat dishes. Check out my earlier post here to see what we ordered! We love their garlic rice and their skewers and lechon dishes are always on point!
 gjs-grill-beef-tapa1 gj's grill atchara gj's grill melbourne
50 Errol st, North Melbourne, VIC
 The newest addition to Melbourne’s Filipino restaurant scene, Reynaldo’s serves their dishes straight from the kitchen and have a variety of Filipino and Western options on the menu. Of the Filipino choices, make sure you try the Adobong Manok sa Gata (chicken adobo with coconut milk) and the kare kare. Friendly service and I liked that their dishes not only had rice on the side but also some veggies.
Kare Kare Reynaldo's Filipino Restaurant Adobong manok with gata Reynaldo's Filipino Restaurant Melbourne
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475 Ballarat rd, Sunshine, VIC
11/53 Synnot st, Werribee, VIC
Try their chicken and garlic rice. The lapaz batchoy (pork noodle soup with pork offal and crushed pork crackling on top) is a nice winter warmer and can be bought in a meal with siopao on the side – very tasty and very filling! And it’s also cooked at the back and not just served straight from the bain marie 🙂
Chadz Chickenhaus The Urban Ma blog
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Markets and Events, various locations
Currently they can be found at the Night Winter Market at Queen Victoria market and the Night Noodle Markets along Brisbane’s Southbank and attract attention with their suckling roast pork rotating on the spit. Lines can be long so best to get in early.

Click to add a blog post for Hoy Pinoy on Zomato

5. Happy Hut
85-87 Oakwood Road, Albanvale (close to Brimbank Shopping Centre)

I didn’t even know that this place was open until my cousin told me they had visited it before and were impressed with the freshness of the dishes here compared to some other locals. Since our first visit we’ve been back to get the dinuguan and fish for dinner! So yummy! Great to see they also stock GJ Grill’s atchara here too.

12 Victoria square, St Albans, VIC
I’ve heard the halo halo (a Filipino iced dessert with various toppings like beans, jackfruit and leche flan) here is pretty good. You can choose your dishes from the bain marie such as pancit (noodles) and dinuguan (stewed meat in a spicy dark gravy of garlic, vinegar and pigs blood). Click here for fellow food blog Consider The Sauce’s visit to Lasang Pinoy and some of the dishes Kenny tried out!
Click to add a blog post for Lasang Pinoy (The Filipino Cuisine) on Zomato
Shop 21-23, 100 Furlong rd, Cairnlea, VIC
5/49 Synnot st, Werribee
Dishes sit in the bain marie from menudo (stewed pork meat with tomato sauce and cubed potatoes, carrotsand liver) to fried tilapia and longganisa (Filipino sausage). Bring a Filipino friend to help explain the different choices to you.
Unit 2, 275 Foleys rd, Deer Park, VIC
Try their freshly made vegetable rolls – lumpiang sariwa garnished with sweet sauce and crushed peanuts. They also have an ihaw-ihaw platter consisting of a variety of grilled meats and seafood complete with soup and gulaman (sweet grass jelly type beverage) drinks which you need to book for in advance. Service is a bit slow. Check out food blogger Mon’s Adventure for her experience at Jasmine’s here.
Click to add a blog post for Jasmine's Café & Restaurant on Zomato
With the following Filipino cafes, I haven’t actually visited them so if you have and have any comments or suggestions, please feel free to comment below!!
Marriott Waters Shopping Centre, Lyndhurst, VIC
Breakfast, coffee and a few Filipino items like chicken adobo with rice on the menu.
129 Walker st, Dandenong, VIC
Breakfast items include tapsilog while other dishes that can be found include paksiw na pata and lechon kawali
548 Whitehorse rd, Mitcham, VIC
Mostly Thai dishes at this place with a few Pinoy meals scattered throughout the menu.
12! Eduardo’s Kitchen! 😉
No matter how near of far I go to get my fill of tasty Filipino dishes, nothing fills me up with more goodness and comfort than when my own papa and relatives cook a meal for us! If you’re lucky enough to have a Filipino friend, make sure you get an invite to their place for dinner so you can experience the warm hospitality and fresh flavour of Filipino cuisine – including all the noise and conversation that accompanies a Filipino meal.
Let’s eat! – Kain na!
Eduardo's cooking
Pictured above is the epic kamayan/boodle fight table we put together for Papa’s birthday last year! Thanks to Kenny from the popular food blog Consider The Sauce for documenting the whole day we spent preparing this special meal for Papa! I will try and put up a separate post to list out all the meat and veggies included in the photo above so you too can hopefully put together a spread like this for a special occasion and enjoy a kamayan feast(eating with your hands). Tag your photos #kamayanyum so I can see and share!
For some other Filipino-themed blog posts check out here and here! 🙂
What Filipino dish is your favourite or would like to tryout!?
—————————————————— Updated 15/03/16———————————————————-
168 Churchill Avenue, Braybrook
Newly opened Filipino restaurant in Melbourne’s west, Pusong Pinoy serves up Filipino dishes towards the back of the presmises and coffee and sandwiches at the front to the lunchtime crowd in the Braybrook area. They have a range of freshly made desserts on offer as well as Filipino grocery items. Pusong Pinoy also offers catering.
Pusong Pinoy chicken tinola
14. The Little Jeepney Filipino food truck
Various location in Melbourne
With the Little Jeepney about to set off on their first day of trading (keep updated here),  Australia’s first Filipino food truck will soon be in operation! We attended their soft launch a couple of weekends ago (see blog post here) and the adobo chicken and BBQ skewers were our favourites so far. We can’t wait to see The Little Jeepney sharing their love of Filipino cuisine with rest of Melbourne and look forward to their new Pinoy fusion additions such at tocino sliders and more!
Little Jeepney Melbourne foodtruck The Urban Ma blog

Back for more…this time it’s bun reiu – Co Do, Sunshine 

   When last Co Do (see post here) we bumped into a friend as we were leaving and she recommended we try the bun rieu so last month we did just that!

We ate at Co Do on a Saturday afternoon around 1pm and we were lucky we didn’t have to wait for a table. We were seated straight away near the window which enabled Mr D to car-watch while we waited for our meals, which didn’t take long at all to arrive.

We ordered:
– vegetarian spring rolls

– a bowl of bun rieu

 – a bowl of banh canh pork soup

Compared to some of the other cheap eats along Hampshire road in Sunshine, Co Do is fitted out with dark, rich colours making it feel just a little more special.

Fast and abrupt

The Details:
You can find street parking nearby and if you’ve never been to Co Do before their BBH (bun bo hue) is their specialty. The menu is extensive with lots of variety from soups to rice dishes to pancakes.

I liked the flavour of the bun rieu – it reminded me of a Filipino noodle dish called palabok. It had all the same flavors as palabok except the bun rieu was in a soup form! It had a lot of filling and even Mr D liked it!

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Work lunch #12 – Warm, filling, organic Japanese in Melbourne’s CBD

   I’ve been trying to bring lunch into work more often but when it’s catch up time with fellow blogger Consider the Sauce I know I’m in for a treat.

Kenny suggests this organic little place down Little Collins street and as we get closer to it I cannot believe I haven’t been here yet, it’s so close to the office!

We arrived just a little before 12pm and it was just as well as we beat the lunch time rush and got a table inside. It got so warm with the sun shining through the window – perfect winter day.

  We ordered:
– Organic salmon and miso soup $8 This was one of the 3 soups of the day so Kenny ordered that and it came with a slice of bread
– Half curry + salad combo $9.50 “You also can choose this option as the half size curry and salad combo. If you want to go healthier, this would be the best choice of you!!” This was what it said on their menu and I chose the Toyko style curry of chicken and tomato paired with tofu salad to keep it on the light side. The half size of rice and chicken was so filling that I can’t imagine finishing a full serving – and I eat a lot! Great value for money and I love how you can mix and match! (You can choose from the teriyaki chicken salad, tofu salad or creamy potato salad)
– Tokyo Bento $12 Rice balls, meatball, potato salad w/ Japanese mayo, traditional carrots, and eggplant & tofu w/ sweet miso. The meatball had great flavor.

A cute little cafe with tables inside and out. Casual and comfortable

Fast. Efficient. Somehow when we had started eating our meals, one of the staff came from the back and said they’d forgotten to add something to the Tokyo Bento so he took Kenny’s plate and came back with a meatball. We hadn’t even noticed anything was missing but were thankful for them acknowledging their mistake.

The Details:
Even though you may see a line outside Brimcc’s door, it actually moves quite quickly! Perfect for those in a rush for lunch. Open for lunch and dinner, check out the menu on their website so you know what to order when you get in.

BrimCC – Japanese Organic Cafe
601 Little Collins street

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Hit with Pho Fever!

2014 Melbourne Food and Wine Festival
Sunshine Pho Fever – 10th-13th March, 2014
Sunshine Business Association

It was a sold out event last year and luckily this year Kenny (Consider The Sauce) reminded me to get my pho fever on! Sunshine Pho Fever was again part of the Melbourne Food and Wine festival and this year we joined other guests on a walking degustation tour of the Vietnamese eateries that boast the drinks and soups Sushine is renowned for.

From the placemats with interesting facts printed on them to the goodie bags we were given at the end of our evening, it was a very organised event in which the hosts and restaurant owners’ love for this district’s cuisine was evident and contagious. We were charmed by Simon and Phong who hosted the two separate groups that night – they did a fabulous job showing us around.

Pho fever was a great night out where I learnt all about the origins of pho, how it is cooked, met the people behind the scenes and also met other interesting diners. Networking and pho – I’ll be back next year pho sure! (Sorry I had to do that!).

So without further ado below were the 4 stops that those of us in Group 2 enjoyed last week!:

Cafe #1:
Sao Cafe 3/308 Hampshire Road, Sunshine (9312-0546)
To start the evening off we were welcomed with a red carpet and our choice of refreshing drinks. Wes and I enjoyed ca phe sua da (Vietnamese iced coffee) and taro with some pearls. Mmmm yum.

Cafe #2:
Pho Hien Saigon 3/284 Hampshire rd, Sunshine (311-9532)
We love this place! Being a regular weekend lunchtime favourite, something new we experienced was a meeting restaurant owner Cung and hearing about how his workers and himself prepare their delicious pho and the hours it takes to get it right. Cung explained that his pho is in the making from 9am to 9pm each day . In the evening they take out the ingredients and let the soup rest overnight. It is then ready to serve the next day after Cung himself comes in the morning to season it with his secret mix of spices and herbs.

Cung explained that his uncle originally from the south of Vietnam, now living in California gave him a recipe for pho except Cung felt it had too strong a taste and aroma so after trying pho from different places he tweaked it to his taste, and ours! – I finished my chicken pho even though I thought I should’ve been pacing myself for the rest of the night. It was too good not to! Pho Hien opened 7 years ago and recently expanded its floorspace to accommodate their adoring patrons.

We had the chance to sit next to Kenny and Lauren (Footscray Food Blog) and it was great seeing the different “routines” people have when seasoning and eating their pho (I’ll have to write that up in another blogpost if you’re interested).
If in Sunshine or if you just want to try somewhere new you must try Pho Hien Saigon’s pho, combination rice vermicelli, crispy fried chicken and rice, pork and broken rice and their amazing avocado smoothie!! – ok basically everything they serve here is drool-worthy 🙂

Pho Vien

Cafe #3:
Thuan An 253 Hampshire rd, Sunshine (9311-1119)
Next up the beautiful Julie welcomed us with a candlelit table and the ingredients of her pho displayed along the table runner – star anise, cumin, cinnamon, coriander seeds, cardamon, and rock sugar. Julie explained that their pho broth takes 18 hours to cook and that it is compatible to suit the tastes of those people from both the north and south of Vietnam. Julie informed our group that the spices must be put in at the right time or it will make the soup too light or too dark in colour.

I opted for the combination pho this time which included strips of tripe, sliced beef, meatballs, tendons and brisket. It had a strong flavour and I liked the different textures however I was quite full from my chicken pho that I couldn’t finish it no matter how hard I tried! Or maybe I was just too excited to get into the kitchen and check out their 240 litre pots of broth. The kitchen staff were very friendly and happy to have us in their space.

Our fellow table folk this time were the lovely Tracey (SBA’s new marketing manager and Malcolm from the Academy of Design). We got to chatting about everything from pho, arts, youth, council and area development. Keep an eye out for big things happening in the area! 😉

Cafe #4:
Nhi Nuong 2 Sisters, 255 Hampshire rd, Sunshine (9311-6522)

We were welcomed, fed and serenaded by the talented sisters Yen and Elizabeth at our last stop on our Pho Fever adventure – Nhi Nuong. It was a colourfully decorated cafe and I was glad to see fresh fruits, crunchy spring rolls and beef in betel leaves. I was so full I doubt I could have finished a third bowl of pho – again props to the organisers for taking on feedback from last year’s event!

The first thing we were asked to do was to smell and taste the tea and guess what it was made of. The tea on our tables was warm and fragrant and had a calming effect. We were informed that it had pandan in it and could not be brought in stores – it is specially made in a country town in Vietnam and imported to the restaurant for $80/kg! The betel leaves that enveloped the scrumptiously marinated beef was $45/kg and came from Queensland where the weather produced good quality leaves. We were also served tall glasses of refreshing sugar cane juice flavoured with cumquat and with a guitar and beautiful singing voices, we listened to a traditional Vietnamese children’s song about a child having sugar cane whilst waiting for her mother to finish her grocery shopping. What a night!

If you’re after a night of good food, great company and passionate cafe owners committed to serving you, then Sunshine’s annual Pho Fever is a must visit in Melbourne.

In the meantime if you want to experience more of the area’s food and talent – this weekend is the first year of MaDE in Brimbank (Music And Dance Event). This Sunday March 23rd from 12pm-8pm, come and grab some lunch or dinner from local stalls or an array of food trucks. While you eat, you will be entertained by talent from locals and also XFactor guests and the twins from My Kitchen Rules! For more info check out: Brimbank’s MaDE.