What Went on Down Under!

I’ve been to Australia way too many times in my life, but for some reason I never get bored of it. It’s true that you can go back to the same place countless times, but still enjoy different experiences and create new memories. Case in point – I’ve been to Australia twice in the last 2 years, and visiting Tasmania (yes, again) to welcome 2017. Super stoked, can’t wait!

The first time I’ve been there was when I was 8 years old. And also for some reason, my parents thought it’d be a good idea to bring my 4 year old sister on a plane for the first time. 8 hours and 2 bags of Val’s puke later, we finally arrived. Because we were young, we followed the tour group and went to places like Movie World and Sea World (that, I remember very clearly as I threw a major tantrum) and went on a farm to do some sheep shearing.

Fast forward 14 years, I took a trip back to Aussie. This time to Brisbane, Cairns, Melbourne, Sydney and Tasmania in December 2014 for 6 weeks. 2 years later, I took a trip back to Melbourne and Sydney with one of my close friends, Megs. It is on the most recent trip that I’ve been more conscious about recording down the amazing cafes and restaurants that we visited ever since I started writing about my holidays.

Australia has one of the most vibrant cafe scenes and we were lucky enough to have met great hosts (Megs’ aunt included) that showed us some of the best places to have good food. Of course, we did a lot go Googling work as well before we left for Aussie so we were spoilt for choices. It helps to do your research before going on a holiday just so you know the opening hours of certain places that you want to go, deals that places offer on a specific day and time, and also to make reservations at places that are really popular to avoid disappointment.

(Hint: Putting everything in a spreadsheet helps so you get a general idea of what’s happening during your trip.

P.S. It’s helpful so you know where and when you have pockets of time. You can include useful information like addresses of attractions, bus timings, things to do etc.

P.P.S. I’m not crazy.)

Hello from Sydney!

We were a little more free & easy in Sydney when it came to the places we ate at because we were simply more biased and was really looking forward to Melbourne.

1. Dulcis Domus Wood Pizza- Italian Restaurant

We chanced upon this restaurant on our first night. The menu looked good enough from the outside and we were STARVING so we made our way in. Everything on the menu looked appetising, partly also because we haven’t eaten the whole day. Prices are reasonable too for a restaurant near Central Sydney. They have about 30 different kinds of pizza. It took us A LOT of self control to order only a pizza and a pasta to share.

MonteFroire – Mozzarella, Ham, Spinach and Ricotta (AUD$22)

THE CHEESE. IS. AMAZING. What we liked about the pizza, other than the fact that it was warm and toasty on a wintery night, is that it wasn’t too thick and also not too biscuity, so we had just the right amount of crust to chew on. The overall taste of the pizza is very wholesome – saltiness from the ham balances out with sweetness of the spinach, and the cheese is the icing on the cake.. or pizza.. in this case.

Penne Salmon – Penne with salmon, black olives, cherry tomatoes, cream tomato sauce, parmesan (AUD$19)

I’m not a huge fan of salmon but I was sold when I saw “black olives and cream tomato sauce”. We ordered a fish pasta because we already have ham in the pizza. Turned out to be surprisingly good. I’m usually wary of cream sauces because the creaminess tends to get to me when I’m about halfway through. This sauce was like and olives were fresh, needless to say, we were this close to licking the plate clean.

Nothing like Italian food to warm the body and soul on a cold night. Mmmmm.

You can find them @:

Address: 16-18 Broadway, Ultimo NSW 2007, Australia

Tel: +61 2 7901 4481

Opening Hours: 1700hrs – 2300hrs (Sat – Wed), 1200hrs – 2300hrs (Thurs & Fri)

Website: dulcisdomus.com.au

2. Blue Fish

The next morning, we decided to take a morning stroll along BlackWattle Bay to get to the Darling Harbour.

From my previous trip to Sydney, I knew that there were a row of restaurants at the Harbour so although we didn’t specifically pick one out the night before, we knew we could find a pretty decent place to have breakfast.

We were a little concerned because prices can get a little steep near Darling Harbour (especially since it is a touristy area), so when we saw the sign “One-for-one breakfast”, our eyes lit up. Plus we could sit outside and enjoy the sunlight!

Our view from the table!

The menu was split into two parts – Really Hungry and Hungry. They had heavier brunch dishes and also standard breakfast items like toast and croissants.

While waiting for the food, we obviously also had time to take some selfies heh

Broken Eggs – Oven baked with Mushroom, Spinach & Potato Gratin with Sourdough Toast (AUD$15.50)

Mushrooms, mushrooms and more mushrooms. GIVE ME ALL THE MUSHROOMS. If you know me, you know that that my favourite food is mushrooms. My dish came in a hot pan and the portion is quite generous. Too much potato in my opinion (I’m all about the low card diet these days LOL) but the mushrooms and spinach were tossed in a generous amount of oil so that really made my day.

Eggs Benny – Poached Eggs, grilled Leg Ham on Sourdough Toast & Hollandaise (AUD$15.50)

Megs ordered the usual Eggs Benedict with an extra helping of mushrooms (AUD$4). We were thinking, since our breakfast was half priced, it was so worth it to order extra sides. Plus I will never say no to mushrooms. Her Eggs Benedict was average but i must say the mushrooms were very well sautéed

Our breakfast was really value for money and we sat around for a little while enjoying the  morning sun and people watching. They are known for their seafood and offer quite a large range of items on their main menu. I’m definitely trying those the next time I’m back! 

You can find them @:

Address: Harbourside Shopping Centre, 287 Harbourside Shopping Centre, Darling Dr, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia

Tel: +61 2 9211 0315

Opening Hours: 0800hrs – 2300hrs Daily

Website: bluefishsydney.com.au

Sydney was a little underwhelming when it came to food this time, perhaps because we focused more on the attractions like the Taronga Zoo and the markets that we planned what we ate around where we were. I’m so much more excited to get started on Melbourne! I was a little more biased when it came to research on Melbourne so sit tight!

Hello from Melbourne!

We arrived late afternoon at the Tullamarine airport but had to wait for quite some time as the airport shuttle runs hourly and we missed the previous one by a few minutes. By the time we got back to the apartment, it was dinner time. Because we chose an apartment that was right in the heart of Fitzroy (a.k.a. the hip area), we had plenty of options to choose from as the streets were lined with restaurants and bars.

Our Airbnb host left us a little guide with a list of cafes and restaurants that he really likes.

1. Rice Paper Scissors

We picked a restaurant called Rice Paper Scissors that was around the corner from our apartment.

“Rice Paper Scissors is modelled on the hawker dining bars of South East Asia with a shared-eating concept being the focus of our offering.”

It was a lot closer than we thought and it was packed when we arrived! There were long tables in the restaurant and we were more than happy to share our table so long as we could dig in as soon as possible!

Nice homely feel to the space 🙂

We could pick any 5 dishes for AUD$59. we had such a difficult time choosing from the list of 16 items. The dishes are served Tapas style and each dish is $13-$14, so this makes a pretty good deal.

BBQ Lamb Ribs – Mekhong Whiskey Marinated Lamb Ribs in a Sticky Special Sauce

Lamb dishes are usually tricky, especially for people who are adversed to the very distinct lamb taste of the meat. My mum is one person who cannot stand the taste of lamb. The slightly sweet sauce masked the smell of the lamb really well and the meat slid off the bone easily.

Chicken Salad – Coconut Smoked Chicken with Vietnamese Slaw

This salad was very refreshing! As the name suggests, the chicken was smoked and you could almost taste the coconut taste but we felt there was a little too much going on in that dish to really sieve out the coconut flavour. I must say that the portion of chicken was very generous!

Grilled Calamari – Local Squid Marinated in Lemongrass Chilli & Tumeric

Really tangy flavour and nice firm texture of the calamari. The lemongrass chili gave it the dish a nice pop.

Spicy Wagyu Beef with Rice Noodle, Holy Basil & Fiery Lime

One thing in common with all these dishes is that they use A LOT of basil and shallots, which I am not a big fan of. I spent a huge portion of dinner time picking out the coriander, basil and shallots that I don’t like. But all the dishes combined, it was a nice fusion of flavour – we had spicy, sour and sweet mix of meat and seafood.

A Great Leap Forward – Lychee Infused Vodka, Lime, Mint and topped with Ginger Beer

They have a very interesting cocktail menu, all with a tinge of Asian flavour. Ingredients like lemongrass, thai basil, grapefruit, Vietnamese mint lime, tangerine etc. are included subtly in the drinks and complemented the dinner very well.

You can find them @:

Address: 307 Brunswick St, Fitzroy VIC 3065, Australia

Tel: +61 3 9486 0066

Opening Hours: 1800hrs – 0000hrs (Mon & Tues), 1200hrs – 1500hrs & 1800hrs – 0000hrs (Wed – Fri), 1200hrs to 0000hrs (Sat & Sun)

Website: ricepaperscissors.com.au

2. Industry Beans

Remember the list that I mentioned our Airbnb host left us? Turns out he’s a barista, so we’re definitely trusting him on cafe recommendations. Industry Beans made the list and from my research pre-holiday, this came up a couple of times on the internet as well. A 10 minute walk from our apartment, we took a walk there on a rainy morning.

They had a nice outdoor area that would have been perfect in the summer but mind you, it was cold AND wet.

Here’s the view of the outdoor area from the inside!

Loving the industrial feel to the place.

A warehouse converted space, Industry Beans is a science lab equivalent for coffee and serves amazing food as well.

Their coffee menu is too cute.

They’ve indicated what flavours their coffee have and we had such a difficult time picking one to start our day with! They do seasonal blends.

I eventually went with the Winter blend which was roasted with blackberry, dark chocolate and dried fig. I’m am a dark chocolate fan, love anything berry flavoured… Dried figs I wasn’t too sure but it sounded interesting enough so I took the plunge.


I ended up buying a bag of that blend home.

Now for the food heh.

Their brunch menu is seasonal as well and their chef tries to incorporate coffee into the food menu. Their summer menu can be found here. Some of the items are repeated, but they change it up a little to keep things interesting.

Coconut Crusted Brioche – Pineapple, Crushed Peanuts, Lime Curd and Coffee Caviar with Maple Glazed Kaiser Bacon (AUD$18)

Please let’s all take a moment to admire this beauty. I couldn’t bear to eat it and spent quite a bit of time taking photos :p

I was drawn to the pineapples and crushed peanuts, and super intrigued by the coffee caviar. That was my first time hearing about it! My dish reminded me a little of Rojak (a Singaporean dish consisting of fried dough sticks, a sweet sauce, pineapples bits and crushed peanuts).

Bacon was just the right sweetness, the brioche was toasty on the outside and fluffy on the inside, the tinge of the coffee tickled my palette just a little and the pineapples and lime curd added just about the right amount of sour. (Also not complaining about the edible flowers that made my dish picture perfect ;))

Megs ordered a cheese omelette. You might think that omelettes are boring and can be easily whipped up at home, but you can tell that the ingredients are very well thought out.

Shanklish Cheese Omelette – Caramelised Leeks, Zaatar, Pinenuts, Crispy Kale & Sourdough. (AUD$19)

Doesn’t quite sound like your usual plain ol’ ham and cheese omelette, does it?

No edible flowers in this one but fluffy omelette and garden of green goodness and the extra crunch from the kale… mmmmm (inserts satisfied face)

You can find them @:

Address: 3/62 Rose Street, FITZROY, VIC, 3065

Tel: +61 3 9417 1034

Opening Hours: 0700hrs – 1600hrs (Mon – Fri), 0800hrs – 1600hrs (Sat & Sun)

Website: http://industrybeans.com/

3. Hash Specialty Coffee & Roaster

Next stop: hot chocolate time!

We made it to this cafe about half an hour before they closed and we were lucky we didn’t have to wait very long for our table. Although the 10 minute wait felt like eternity as we stood outside in the cold.

This is where the magic happens.

Of course, we only wanted to come to this cafe for their signature and most Instagram-worthy item on the menu – Hot Chocolate with Fairy Floss.

I’ve seen this on social media countless times and seems like friends who visit Melbourne will hit this cafe because… how often do you get to melt candy floss with hot chocolate?

The hot chocolate gets served in a beaker and the fairy floss is rested nicely on a cup. Now for the fun part! Trickle the warm chocolate down the top of the floss and admire the crumbling of the floss. Be careful not to get too carried away as it is very easy to get chocolate outside of the cup.

Hot Mess – Oops

The customers after us wanted to order this too but we ordered the last two, so yes! They run out! Because the fairy floss is sweet as well, we weren’t sure whether melting it into the hot chocolate would then make the drink too sweet. Surprisingly, the drink had the right amount of sweetness without overpowering the taste of the chocolate! They must have adjusted the sweetness, taking that into account.

Cosy ambience in the cafe. Flowers on the table added a very nice homely touch to the place. I’m not sure about the food but overall it was a fun dissolving-fairy-floss experience, which I’m sure that is the main reason people visit that cafe.

You can find them @:

Address: 113 Hardware St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia

Tel: +61 3 8529 0284

Opening Hours: 0700hrs – 1600hrs (Mon – Fri), 0800hrs – 1600hrs (Sat & Sun)

Website: https://www.facebook.com/hashcoffeeroasters/

4. Hammer & Tong (Note: It has been recorded as closed on Google. If you guys know if this is true or not, do let me know!)

Before we went to meet Megs’ aunt (who is an amazing host by the way), we decided to grab a small bite at a cafe near our place because we’re greedy like that heh.

Hammer & Tong is located in Fitzroy as well (cool hip place with never-ending places to eat) and has 3 dining areas to the restaurant.

Inner most room of the restaurant.

The sunroom had sunlight coming through the roof. It was still drizzling outside so it was nice to sip coffee and watch the rain from the inside.

I find it really amusing that cafes are increasingly using beakers to contain food.

Butter Milk Pancakes (Savoury) – Fried Egg, Pork & Duck Sausage, Maple Ice-Cream & Bacon Crunch. (AUD$20)

I generally like dishes that is a good combination of savoury and sweet. I was sold at the maple ice cream and sausage. The dish looked aesthetically pleasing and each bite was a mix of fluffiness from the pancakes, creaminess from the ice cream, springiness from the sausage and the crunchiness from the bacon bits.

Megs and I decided to share a dish because we were going to lunch shortly after this but were still really full even though we shared one portion.

You can find them @:

Address: 412 Brunswick St, Fitzroy VIC 3065, Australia

Tel: +61 3 9041 6033

Website: hammerandtong.com.au

5. Miss Jackson

After Hammer & Tong, the both of us took the tram down to St Kilda area where we were supposed to meet her aunt and cousins for lunch! Not sure why we thought that was a good idea…

Miss Jackson is a little cafe down the side street in St Kilda. We were a little early so we had time to shop at a pharmacy near the tram stop heh.

Again, using Google Maps made it really easy for us to locate the place.

The entrance of the cafe was really unassuming and low key, it looked like a side entrance.

Behind the wooden panels, is a flight of steps that lead up to the entrance.

Look how cosy the place is! Fireplace adds a nice touch, especially since it was really cold. We sat right by the counter and could see the pastries on display.  Also – nothing more soothing than the sound of coffee in the making.

We went in and got a table right at the entrance. Despite still being full from brunch, we went ahead and ordered one dish each.

Crispy Pork Belly with Baked Beans, Fried Egg and Brioche (<AUD$20)

Yummy baked beans!

The bean sauce had so much flavour. Beans were cooked just right without being too mushy. The tangy tomato flavour went very well with the crusty brioche and pork belly. The pork belly was very well done. It wasn’t too oily and the fat was firm.

The portions are quite huge and very value for money, especially if you share a portion between 2 people.

You can find them @:

Address: 2/19 Grey St, St Kilda VIC 3182, Australia

Tel: +61 3 9534 8415

Opening Hours: 0700hrs – 1600hrs (Tues – Sun)

Website: https://www.facebook.com/missjacksoncafe/

It wasn’t that difficult to maintain our waistlines. We walked so much on that trip and laughed heaps too (this helps, really). What’s a holiday when you worry about calories all the time? We rarely snacked but had good hearty meals for brunch and dinner. My recommendation is to try something new at each restaurant. I’m ALWAYS an Eggs Benedict person, but trying something that I usually don’t during meals has definitely been rewarding. If you do try these places out, I’d love to hear what you think!

Till next time,


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  • Sara MacIntosh
    Posted at 11:22h, 14 September Reply

    I’ve always heard that Melbourne is the foodie capital of Australia! I was just there and the food in general was amazing but I have yet to taste the incredible food that they offer in Melbourne. Well I guess there is always next time!

  • Theresa
    Posted at 14:54h, 14 September Reply

    That pizza looked to die for; I’m sure you chose correctly! And the hot chocolate with candy floss? I’ve never heard of that and now I have to have it. This is a good post to keep in mind if I ever make it to Australia. Your photos are great.

  • Michelle | michwanderlust
    Posted at 17:03h, 14 September Reply

    FIrst, HELLOOO from a fellow Singaporean! *waves* (not Kallang-style) Second, omg all your food pictures made me seriously hungry, I had to scroll through them pretty fast before I started drooling. That candy floss with hot chocolate sounds really cool – this is the first time I’m hearing about it actually! I’ve actually hardly been to Australia, so this was really interesting to read. I’ve heard that Melbourne has the best coffee though, would you agree?

  • oursweetadventures
    Posted at 21:24h, 14 September Reply

    You have certainly found some hot spots in Australia. The pizza and penne looked amazing. My mouth was literally watering. I am a huge sucker for breakfast food and can eat it any time. You mushroom meal looked awesome. The spicy wagyu beef may be a stretch for me but it looks tasty and that is good enough for me to try. I also try to eat things I have never had on holiday. If you eat the same thing you would normally eat back home, that isn’t much of an adventure.

  • Toni Frazer
    Posted at 21:58h, 14 September Reply

    I am from melbourne, i will check these all out. I do love Rice Paper Scissors. The Galloping Horses were divine! You should have tried that! Supernormal is also a great find in Melbs for next time. I am off to Sydney next week so i am going to find some of your recommendations too! Now i am really excited to be home! They look amazing!

  • Emily Hines
    Posted at 22:09h, 14 September Reply

    Wow. All of this food looks incredible. Still haven’t been to Australia; one day!

  • Kelly @ TastingPage
    Posted at 22:46h, 14 September Reply

    Wow, so many great places to eat. I love the use of spices, but sorry it wasn’t your favorite. That hot chocolate is unreal. I seemed to have missed that Instagram moment, but thanks for sharing. And nice to see someone else uses a spreadsheet for organizing their travels!

  • Felicia
    Posted at 18:26h, 15 September Reply

    Yumm all of this food looks so good! I’m going to Australia for the first time next week! So exciting! Thanks for sharing all of these places! 🙂

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