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Melbourne, with my loves

Melbourne, with my loves

Last month, Jien and I took a short break from the chaos of work and visited Melbourne with May Anne in tow. It was our first time visiting this city and we got plenty of recommendations from friends and some of Bangsar Babe’s followers.

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Accomplishment unlocked: Travelling with a toddler

Melbourne has a pretty good mix of food and sightseeing. Weather was great and we were lucky we only had one day of rain. I feel a lot of the cafes and restaurants aren’t child-friendly as they don’t offer high chairs. Nonetheless, Jien, May Anne and I had a good time as a family.

For those planning to travel to Melbourne, I’ve compiled a list of places to visit and spots to eat in this city. Hope this helps with your travel plans, especially if you’re traveling with a baby/toddler!

VISIT: Melbourne Zoo

I wasn’t expecting much from the Melbourne Zoo but we ended up staying for close to 4 hours because I really enjoyed walking around! The zoo is well-maintained and the animals were aplenty.

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Pardon the lack of photos. I was too busy enjoying myself at the zoo!

There’s also plenty to see as the zoo is pretty large so be sure to wear comfortable walking shoes when you visit. The entrance fee is AUD38 per person; a bit steep but the experience is worthwhile in my opinion.

Address:

Elliott Ave, Parkville VIC 3052, Australia

EAT: Hardware Societe

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Hardware Societe on Hardare Street
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Lobster Benedict

Hardware Societe was highly recommended by friends and even some of my followers so Jien and I knew this is a place we HAVE to check out. Even on a weekday, there’s a queue so expect to wait a little as the place is small.

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Baked Eggs with Chorizo
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Flat white

For parents travelling with their baby/toddler, you might want to check out the Hardware Societe on Katherine Place rather than Hardware Street. The former is bigger and more comfortable overall. But I prefer the cosy vibe at the Hardware Street outlet.

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Hardware Societe @ Hardware Street

Address:

10 Katherine Place Melbourne VIC 3000 Australia

Tel: +61 03 9621 2100

123 Hardware Street Melbourne VIC 3000 Australia

Tel: +61 03 9621 2100

EAT: Humble Rays

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Flat white

My cousin suggested Humble Rays for brunch — citing it’s one of the more popular spots in Melbourne. She wasn’t kidding. There was a long queue and we waited for 45 minutes to get a table!

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Eggs Benny
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Crab Meat Scramble

Good thing weather was nice so we didn’t mind standing outside waiting for our turn. My crab meat scramble was pretty good and it comes with a twist; Sriracha mayo and chilli oil for an added kick. I definitely enjoyed this more than the version from The Mess Hall.

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Address:

71 Bouverie St, Carlton VIC 3053, Australia

Tel: +61 3 8354 8459

VISIT: Queen Victoria Market

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Good donuts!

I find the markets in Melbourne very enjoyable, especially Queen Victoria Market. There’s plenty to eat, see and shop here. From the freshest seafood to top quality beef, right down to artisan cheeses and hot food items.

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Market Lane Coffee
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Borek’s Spicy Lamb Wrap
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Sea Urchin
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Coffin Bay Oysters and fresh salmon sashimi

Market Lane Coffee is worth a shot if you’re looking for decent coffee in at the market. There’s also American Donut Kitchen, which you should try if you’re a fan of jam donuts — they do it good!

Address:

Queen St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia

*closed Monday & Wednesday

EAT: 8bit.

I tried the standard 8bit burger and also the Double Dragon since these two were recommended by the 8bit staff. Good burgers, but not the best I’ve had to be frank.

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8bit Burger & Double Dragon

The 8bit burger is a classic — beef patty, lettuce, tomato, cheese…basically your no-frills burger that does the job. That said, I prefer the Double Dragon as it’s a richer burger with double beef patty, double cheese and double bacon.

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Address:

231 Swanston St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia

Tel: +61 3 9687 8838

VISIT: Royal Botanic Gardens

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Shrine of Remembrance

Like the Melbourne Zoo, I also enjoyed my time at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne. I actually preferred this to the one in Sydney for some reason. The landscaping is beautiful and weather was great.

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I also reckon it might be due to the fact that I now take time to appreciate the little things in life. May Anne had a wild time chasing after ducks (more like, attempted to) by the pond.

Address:

Birdwood Ave, South Yarra VIC 3141, Australia

EAT: The Meat Wine & Co.

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Full house at The Meat Wine & Co.
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Ribeye Steak

Highly recommended by many, The Meat Wine & Co is a great place for steaks and ribs. We got both the beef ribs and pork ribs, plus a rib-eye. They were good stuff.

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Pork Ribs
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Beef Ribs

The ribs were tender and falling off the bone; and I particularly liked the beef ribs. I also liked the steak, which was beautifully seared on the outside. Service isn’t as amazing as the food was unfortunately. It was difficult to get the staff’s attention so it can be frustrating amidst all the closely put together tables.

Address:

3 Freshwater Place Queensbridge Square Queensbridge Street, Southbank VIC 3006

Tel: +61 3 9696 5333

EAT: Royal Stacks

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Royal Stacks Collins Street

This was our first burger stop in Melbourne as it’s just down the road from where we lived. The burgers are hearty and flavours are good. In terms of variety, I’d say there’s not as much variation as a Malaysian is used to but definitely good, honest burgers.

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The Saint
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I got The Saint — a sizeable assemblage of two patties, cheese, onions, cheese and bacon. Jien opted for The Stack, which is less messy but equally tasty.

Address:

470 Collins St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia

Tel: +61 3 9620 0296

EAT: Tipo 00

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Open kitchen concept
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Buratta Cheese

The food at Tipo 00 is amazing. Really good, hearty cooking and well put together flavours that bounces off beautifully against one another. You’ll need to call ahead to book in advance — we did that after failing to walk in on our first attempt.

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Ox Tongue
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Lamb Tagliatelle

Service is attentive despite the full house and narrow space. Definitely try the burrata and lamb tagliatelle; the latter is meaty without overpowering the pasta flavour and had just the right balance of richness. The grilled ox tongue is fabulous too.

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Lamb on Barley Risotto (Seasonal)

Address:

361 Little Bourke St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia

Tel: +61 3 9942 3946

VISIT: South Melbourne Market

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Cannoli from Cannoleria
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Almond Croissants from Agathe

South Melbourne Market houses some of the best coffee spots and pastries in Melbourne, so I was told. With that in mind, Jien and I set out to explore the market and all that it has to offer.

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Sea Urchin
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Porchetta from Pieno de Grazia

On a Friday, the market is crowded and there were long queues at Padre and Agathe — both said to serve good coffee and one of the best croissants in the city. I wasn’t that impressed unfortunately.

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Fish & chips, seafood chowder and fried calamari
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Mornay Rock Lobster
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Coffin Bay Oysters (M size)
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Sweet treats and pastries for sale

You also get access to plenty of fresh seafood, hot food items (the seafood chowder is delicious) and an array of baked treats. Go for the fish & chips — they are super generous with the chips which I couldn’t finish. There’s also Mornay Rock Lobsters at super reasonable prices (AUD29) so go crazy!

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Address:

322-326 Coventry St, South Melbourne VIC 3205, Australia

Tel: +61 3 9209 6295

VISIT: Yarra Valley

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Hello, from Yarra Valley!
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Yarra Yerring
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I reckon it’s best to visit Yarra Valley towards the later half of the week as a lot of vineyards weren’t open when I went on a Wednesday. We were fortunate some remained open, like Yarra Yerring, Five Oaks and De Bortoli.

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De Bortoli

I really enjoyed my time going through the tasting sessions (a small fee applies) and the fee is waived with purchase of a bottle of wine. I walked away with 6 bottles of my top picks!

*take note of some vineyards’ business days. I checked online but I feel it’s not updated so it’s best to call them.

EAT: Meletos at Yarra Valley

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Lunch situation at Meletos

A lovely lady from Five Oaks recommended Meletos to us when we had the wine tasting session at the shop, so Jien and I gave it a shot. It was a lovely recommendation. Great ambiance with an open kitchen concept.

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Antipasti Platter
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Prime Rib

The place was beautiful, despite the rain that afternoon. Food is also good — we had an antipasti platter, a pizza and a prime rib. All good in their own right. Even May Anne enjoyed her fair share of freshly baked bread with olive oil.

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Love the ambiance here

Address:

12 St Huberts Rd, Coldstream VIC 3770, Australia

Tel: +61 3 8727 3030

DRINK: Coffee at Rudimentary

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Flat White

I’m not sure if Rudimentary is easily accessible via public transportation but if you’re renting a car, you might want to drive into Footscray an explore the area.

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Good vibes

My friend Charles took us to Rudimentary by car and I feel it’s one of the better ones I’ve tried in Melbourne.

Address:

16-20 Leeds St, Footscray VIC 3011, Australia

Tel: +61 3 8596 6909

EAT: Co Thu Quan

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Bahn Xeo
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Pho

Vietnamese food is said to be “better” in Melbourne so my expectations were high. Co Thu Quan comes highly recommended by Vietnamese residing in Melbourne so I figured it must be (legit) good.

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We ordered a good spread here to enjoy a bit of everything but I feel only the Bahn Xeo is rave-worthy. The rest of the items were alright; nothing mind-blowing.

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Address:

6/234 Victoria St, Richmond VIC 3121, Australia

Tel: +61 3 8589 6339

We had a good time in Melbourne overall. Would have liked to stay slightly longer (10 days would be nice) but time didn’t permit. So I guess I’ll need to revisit since I didn’t get to see a few other places. 😉

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