Fueling the West – Eating Station, Ravenhall

img_2403img_2412

img_2413 img_2421 img_2410 img_2418

A while back we had brunch at Eating Station. It’s one of those places that makes you feel at ease as soon as you walk in, even if you have a pram and a couple of kids in tow. Spacious and modern, clean and well-lit. The staff were attentive and while we waited for our order, the little garden outside with a slide and other little materials for the little ones to play with, kept our three year old occupied until it was time to eat.

The menu offered a variety of options and with seating inside and out, we felt spoilt for choice. I was so happy with what I ordered – no plate envy for me! The veggie fritters with poached egg and salmon hit all the right notes and the pancakes were presented so nicely with the pink fairy floss covering a ball of ice cream.

A great way to start of the day and a beautiful weekend.

We want to play too! – Woodlea playground

We could see the tall tower from the highway calling us to play. As we got closer there were slides and flying foxes comfortably nestled among the beautifully landscaped playground. We could not get out of our cars any quicker!

This is one of the latest estates in Melbourne’s outer suburbs boasting a well-planned playground to entice home buyers to secure their own little piece of the world. The other space we enjoy visiting especially in the summer time is Werribee’s Riverwalk park.


What: Explore one of Melbourne’s latest playgrounds for some outdoor fun
Where: Just off Woodlea blvd in the Woodlea Estate west of Melbourne. An easy drive along the Western Highway turning right off the Leakes road exit.
When: All year round
Cost: Free
Features: Basketball ring, footy park, table tennis table, bbq’s, cafe (Go West Tuckshop and Eatery), flying foxes, slides, swings, exercise equipment, sand play, trampolines, tunnels and natural elements encouraging kids to use their imaginations
Age: Something for everyone. There are even two flying foxes, one of them has a seat with seatbelts to secure the younger ones
What to bring: Balls to play with the basketball ring, footy posts or table tennis table, a picnic or something for the bbq, a jacket during the winter months as it can get quite cold.
Fun Facts: There are currently only around five homes being occupied in the estate as this is published but land blocks have been selling so fast as each new stage opens, so we predict that this will quickly become a popular meeting place. The cafe next to the playground is run by a few business partners responsible for the restaurants Entrecote and Second Home in Melbourne and Eltham, no wonder our brunch and coffee was on point! A great partnership between the property developers and restaurant operators that if successful will be replicated in the later stages of the estate.Undercover BBQ and seating areaUs adults trying to get in on the swing actionSand play with pulleys, buckets and even a ride on digger, similar to the one at the Ron Barassi playground in the Docklands.Let the kids use their imagination to run around and enjoy the parkFresh and newAnd some exercise equipment for the adults!More sand play at the Woodlea land sales office

Bouncy holes surrounded by rubber surfacesThe letter of the day is…D for Daniel!

We ended up driving out here two days in a row that’s how much fun we had! – first day was with my mothers group and the next day Daniel wanted to take Daddy to show him the “big sandpit” and also to bring his bike and a basketball. I secretly wanted to come back to try the burger for lunch! It was amazing.

Here are some other playgrounds to visit if you want to spend some quality outdoor fun with the kids – Docklands, Yarraville, Werribee.

Have a great long weekend everyone -xx-

What are some of your favourite playgrounds?
Daniel would love to check them out!

Ka Pies – home of Australia’s Best Pie 2016

 

Ka Pies – Hampshire road, Sunshine

The other week we were craving the scrumptious pies from Pieland in Phillip Island where we met a lovely Polish couple. Kris and Halina’s homemade pies warmed up our trip to the Island and had us wanting to make the two hour road trip back there just to get our hands on their pies including their “Hunter’s Stew – Bigos” pie.

Being a weekday mid afternoon we decided against driving to the other side of town and chose to see if there was anything more local worth trying. A quick message to our foodie friend Kenny asking for suggestions of good pie places in Melbourne’s west led us to Ka Pies.

Amongst the array of cuisines along Hampshire road that take you all around the world from the tastes of Asia to Africa, Doug and Adrian’s Ka Pies brings a taste of New Zealand to the masses with their Hangi Pie (smoked pork, potato, kumara in gravy)! They also have classic meat pie flavours such as steak and mushroom, steak and cheese as well as their 2016 award winning vegan option their Thai Vegetable Curry pie as judged by the Bakers Association of Australia.

  We arrived just before they were closing and got ourselves just under a dozen pies for around $5 as we just bought whatever was left (we didn’t get to try their Thai curry pie)! Their service was super friendly and helpful and we satisfied our meat pie craving…for now. Tasty pies with light, soft pastry. Well worth trying out!

 We’re still dreaming about those pies from Pieland so we’ll really need to make our way down their soon.

What’s for lunch at Pusong Pinoy?

Pusong Pinoy Melbourne Filipino restaurant
Pusong Pinoy – 168 Churchill Ave, Braybrook 

We visited Pusong Pinoy late last year and enjoyed their sweet cassava heats with a cup of coffee. This time I was back for more with a hunger for some Filipino ulam (the main dish that goes with rice) for lunch. In the bain marie were three dishes, two of which were cylindrical in shape and wrapped in foil.

We ordered:

– chicken tinola with sayote (choko)

– Squid stuffed with pork mince

– Embotido (a Filipino version of meatloaf with minced pork cooked by steaming while wrapped in foil)

– donuts made on site for dessert


Pusong Pinoy stuffed squid Pusong Pinoy chicken tinolaPusong Pinoy Embotido

Mr D loves rice soaked in any type of soup dish so he devoured the chicken tinola which Kenny said reminded him of Hainanese chicken.

We each bought a meal combo consisting of a serve of rice and our choice of two dishes for good value at $9.50 – I was full and did well with the rice/ulam ratio (Filipinos know the struggle – we’ve got to have that perfect ratio of rice to ulam, or at least master the art of rationing the two so as to end the meal with nothing left on your plate!).

If you are hungry for some Filipino food in Melbourne my blog post here has twelve places where you can get your fix. Let me know if I’ve missed any and if you end up visiting any of the restaurants, let me know what your favourite dish was!

Date night excellence in Melbourne’s west – West of Kin

     Having a new addition to our family has brought both joy and sleepless nights but perhaps one of the biggest changes is that we’ve lost that time we used to have to ourselves. LifeBc (life before children) afforded us so much time to just sit and be, and while I wouldn’t change a thing, it was nice to finally have a date night again just us two after having baby number two.

A bright new addition to Melbourne’s restaurant scene in the west had just opened its doors and we were keen on enjoying an evening out somewhere new. West of Kin was the perfect choice with its high quality and sophisticated Asian fusion menu and ambiance. As soon as we were greeted by our waiter and placed our order we knew we were in for a treat.

  We ordered:

– Kelp cured kingfish, smoked oysters, chogochujang, viola
– Jiangxi style chicken bao (the hubby practically inhaled his bao it was so tasty!)
– Yunnan style lamb ribs, sesame seeds, sweet and sour soy lacquer (recommended by our waiter and it was one of our faves of the night)
– New style son in law egg, steamed rice, house made Kim chi mayonnaise
– Sichuan style beef tartare, fried shallot and garlic, quail yolk
– Quail terrine, raisin relish
And that was just to start!

– Master stock shredded duck, egg noodle, xo sauce, spring onion, coriander, chilli, fried quail eggs (By the time we finished this dish between the two of us we were both full!)
– spiced panna cotta, scorched fruit, saffron syrup
– Chocolate de lice, golden leaf, hazelnut crumble (a rich chocolate flavour but oh so good!)


We loved everything we picked and having ordered nearly everything on the menu.
We initially drove straight past West of Kin because as soon as I saw that the address was Lacy street, I remembered that this street was where my dad used to work and wanted to reach the end of the street. At the end of Lacy street is a big factory warehouse where Pilkington used to be located before moving to Laverton and then later closing their operations in Australia. I remember visiting my dad with my brother when I was small and seeing all the big machines and his workmates. At the end of the street there are sloping hills and a park and playground and I remember Pilkington holding a family Christmas party one year where we got to meet Santa and it was so much fun. Funny the memories that stay in your head!

After reaching the end of the road still not seeing number 17 anywhere, I finished my little trip down memory lane, and we did a u-turn and realised that West of Kin was actually located in the unassuming but esteemed building that  on the corner of Ballarat road and Lacy street.
  

  
  
Spot Kenny! We bumped into him as he was also dining there that night and you can check out his West of Kin experience here.
For now West of Kin is only open for dinner but we are told that they will extend their service to breakfast and lunch as they settle in. The courtyard would be a great place to dine and relax on a nice day. A much needed addition to this area, we can’t wait to come back for a drink or two and to taste the rest of the menu!

West of Kin Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Phi Phi Restaurant, St Albans

Phi Phi Vietnamese & Chinese Restaurant
28 Alfrieda st, St Albans Phone: 9366-5686

Even though I’ve been in the area for a long time I must admit I haven’t eaten at even half of the restaurants along the Alfrieda strip let alone the other streets in St Albans. I’ve clearly been missing out! – I normally just grab a trusty banh mi and donut and am fully content. Mr D and I headed out for a mid-week lunch a few weeks ago with Consider the Sauce blog writer Kenny,  to Phi Phi Restaurant. I couldn’t believe I’d never eaten here before as it is quite a favorite with the locals along with a few other restaurants on the strip. I just had to try the roast pork and duck and soup dishes!

We ordered:

Mixed Roast on rice (2 kinds) – I ordered roast duck and roast pork. It was such a tasty meal accompanied by a bowl of soup which I poured over the rice and some sauce and pickled veggies

BBQ Honey Pork with Egg Noodle (soup or dry) – I ordered it with soup because Mr D loves soup and noodles! The BBQ honey pork was so good, I’m going to order this again next time but for myself lol!

Rice vermicelli with stir-fried beef – Kenny ordered this and it looked packed with crunchy spring rolls and flavorsome beef pieces

The Details:

As soon as we walked in we were greeted with a smile by all the waitresses. When I first looked through the menu I was overwhelmed by the extensive list of dishes but with Kenny’s recommendations I found my way around it and spotted the rice and noodle dishes. We even went around the back to the kitchen to see the huge ovens that roasted all the meat. Just be careful to tread the floors to the toilets lightly as they were a little slippery. The rest of the restaurant was modestly decorated and clean, nice!

As soon as our orders were taken the waitress also placed an extra little bowl and soup spoon on our table ready for Mr D to use! How thoughtful 🙂 There were high chairs also available if needed and a few big round tables which I’m thinking I’ll book next time so the whole family can come for dinner and maybe we’ll check out the different banquet options.



  
  

Phi Phi Vietnamese & Chinese Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

And on hot, sunny days let’s do this!

Werribee water park The Urban Ma blogStyling Daniel sun smart Werribee water park the Urban Ma blog The Urban Ma blog Werribee water park

Water park fun…and it’s free!

Holidays. Sun. Clear blue skies. An adventurous toddler.

Off to the playground we went!

And not just any old playground. We drove to “new Werribee” to explore the water park nestled in the Riverwalk estate. Always looking for places to discover and things to do, D squealed with joy as he played with the water fountains.

Water park fun that won’t break the budget. This free playground has got to be one of Melbourne’s best new public spaces. With a full sized basketball court, mini skate park, bbq’s and playground there is something for everyone. And once you’re done with it all, the wide open fields of fresh, green grass is just calling out for you to lie down and daydream away!


Werribee water park The Urban Ma blog rules

You are invited to celebrate life!…The Urban Ma way 🙂 #celebratelifetumw

What: Explore Melbourne’s playgrounds – featuring a fantastic water park!
Where:
 Newmarket Road, Werribee (in the Riverwalk estate) Just off the M1 freeway Werribee exit
When: All year round. October to March 9am to 8pm. April to September 10am to 5pm. (Sometimes the water features are not in operation so to avoid disappoint, check before you head there! Places Victoria or Wyndham City Council)
Cost: Free!
Features: a net swing, monkey bars, climbing wall, water park fountains and features, a basketball court and skatepark, toilets, bbq facilities, shaded areas with picnic tables, slides.
Age: Fun for all ages with toddler friendly playground equipment
What to bring:
– sunscreen, a hat and sunnies – let’s stay sun safe!
– a change of clothes and a towel
– pack a picnic or bring some bbq essentials (we packed some yummy sandwiches filled with leftover Christmas ham, nectarines and chocolates from Christmas presents!)
– a bottle of water to keep hydrated
– thongs for when you get wet and comfy shoes if you want to run around the basketball courts
– a basketball/skateboard/kite to fly in the open, grassy space
Fun Facts! This park area occupies 1.4ha and cost $4.8 million to complete. Village Park is found in the new Riverwalk estate and opened in October 2014. Just make sure you check that the water features are working before you visit.

Water park Werribee Riverwalk basketball courtsDon’t forget to bring a ball, skateboard or your rollerblades!
Water park Werribee collage The Urban Ma jacqfruitThe perfect way to spend a sunny day
Water park Werribee Styling Daniel The YuansMy rock climbing little man

sun bathing The Urban Ma blogThe wooden decking areas surrounding the water park are perfect for sun bathing and watching over the kids
Playground Werribee water park The Urban Ma blog
bridge water The Urban Ma blog BBQ Melbourne playgroundBring some snags and burger patties for a satisfying meal
The Urban Ma blog Melbourne playgroundRide your bike here and you can park it just opposite the bridges and basketball areas
The Urban Ma blog Melbourne playgroundOpen space with seating areas…a place for fabulous future events I think!
The Urban Ma blog water park MelbourneThe water features can be operated by the little ones. Simply find the buttons scattered around the water play area on poles

Melbourne playground The Urban Ma blogThis structure had him occupied for ages! Bark was the feature and he loved it! Lots of tunnels and holes to push the bark through
The Urban Ma blog Daniel Places Victoria The Urban Ma blogFresh, green grass…perfect for throwing frisbees, flying kites or just lazing around with an antipasto platter!
Mother and son Playground funDigger playground fun
Werribee water park Melbourne playgrounds The Urban Ma blog jacqfruit Werribee water park Styling Daniel The Urban Ma blog sun smart The Urban Ma blog Werribee water park tunnel The Urban Ma blogToo much fun to be had with this little guy!

For more things to do and see in Melbourne, sign up for email notifications 🙂 Thank you so much for your support in 2014. I appreciate each and every one of your clicks, comments and likes!

Interested in other playgrounds visited by The Urban Ma? Check out our post on Dinosaur Mimi!