21 November 2013

National Rhododendron Gardens

Sorry, for the lack of post recently, I’ve been so busy lately with guest (cousins and their families) visiting from Malaysia. We’ve had two groups in the last month; one group after another. It’s been very tiring but enjoyable.

My cousins came with their kids this time around, the kids are so active. It’s been a while since I’ve been around hyperactive kids! Don’t get me wrong, they’re really well behaved but just super excited to in another country – they’re little balls of energy; constantly!

Before their visit, Chris (bf) had his aunt and uncle from Singapore visiting (it’s been a busy, busy month for us both!). We took them to the National Rhododendron Gardens to relax. We caught a rare, warm weekend to enjoy the limited sunshine there. (Melbourne’s weather has gone haywire lately. One day in the 30s and the next is raining cats and dogs!)

The Rhododendron Gardens are located in the Dandenong Mountains and are host to brilliantly coloured blooms of rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias, cherries and daffodils. Inside is really big and if you walk it all, you’re bound to have an excellent workout.

Chris and I went there a few months back, it was a lot nicer then because the weather was consistently warm and the plants were in full bloom, we also caught a glance of the lyrebirds that run around there.

This time around, we spent less time there, and only walked a little but were still able to take in our gorgeous surroundings – and cool down with an icy pole later.

07 November 2013

Great Chefs at Angliss | Tony Twitchett of Taxi Dining Room

I’ve been very busy lately since I have family visiting me from overseas. Trying to juggle keeping them entertained with work is difficult and added to that, my boyf (Chris) has his aunt and uncle visiting as well!
It’s been a busy month and will continue to be a busy month when another group come to visit next Thursday but it’s always lovely to see my cousins after such a long time.

I recently had 5 days off work due to the Melbourne cup public holiday (actually I took Friday off). On Friday, Chris and I went with his mum, her friends and his aunt and uncle to William Angliss for lunch. My brother and his girlf were on another table (Sorry to crash your date hehe)

William Angliss is a school specialising in culinary and hospitality. For their final year student chefs, they have a special restaurant – Angliss restaurant where they host various events. Occasionally, they’ll have themed buffets cooked by the students and attended to by their hospitality students. Everything is presented like an actual restaurant; it even has a bar connected. Wasn’t a fan of the buffet last time we went, everything seemed a little overcooked.

On Friday, they had their last Great Chefs at Angliss Program. This program attracts many big names in the cooking world (all of whom have their own famous restaurant in Melbourne) and gets their top chefs to lead and teach the students how to cook their specialty dishes. Lunch has 3 courses with wines for each course and dinner is 4 courses with wines to accompany. I was so excited!

We booked for the Friday lunch session – the head chef was Tony Twitchett from the famous Taxi restaurant in Melbourne’s Federation Square and wines sponsored from Tahbilk winery.

We began with a fresh bun with butter, the bun was so well made and very fresh. The outside was a little crispy and the inside was super soft. I love fresh bread! 

This was then followed with our entrée, Smoked brook trout, horseradish cream, capers and salmon roe. Omgoodness, this was delicious! I’m usually not a fan of fish but I literally ate everything off the plate! It was that good. This course was paired with a Rosanne-Marsanne-Viognier, which is a white wine and our favourite wine for the afternoon.

The staffs there were so well trained, so soon as something is empty, they’ll take it away or fill it up for you. We also ordered a lemon lime bitters because Chris had to drive that day and wasn’t allowed to drink too much. The great thing about this place is that all drinks are included in the $50pp cost. So cheap!

The main was a crispy Szechuan duck, pumpkin daikon salad and 3 spice caramel sauce paired with a Grenache-Shiraz-Mourvedre red wine. The duck was melt-in-your-mouth delicious, it was really well cooked and the sauce was divine! The pumpkin salad added a good touch to it and helped to cleanse your palette so the sauce is not too overwhelming. Chris said this dish was very well put together.

We were all looking forward to the dessert wine – since the majority of our table likes our wines sweeter and usually dessert wines are sweeter but it let us down. The wine they paired with the dessert was a Tahbilk Chardonnay Pinot Noir which was nothing close to sweet. The dessert however, was not a letdown. We had a Myrtleford buttermilk, champagne rhubarb and strawberry foam. Presentation was beautiful and taste was just as beautiful!

Definitely will come back to Great Chefs at Angliss 2014, Chris and I already have two chefs in mind (Taxi chef – Tony Twitchett been one of them) so when the schedule comes out in February 2014, we’ll be rushing to book those two sessions.

Angliss Restaurant
550 Little Lonsdale Street
Melbourne VIC 3000 

Tony Twitchett’s restaurant:

Taxi Dining Room
Level 1, Transport Hotel, Federation Square/Flinders Walk,
Melbourne VIC 3000

04 November 2013


Following our Chez Drè lunch - read about that here, we went to Studley park to make the most of the nice warm weather and go kayaking. Yay!

Personally, I love kayaking,takes me away from my busy lifestyle and let's me relax with nature. Not forgetting that it's also a great workout!! Boy, did my arms hurt afterwards.

As Chris and I have kayaked before, we told Cassy and Ethan to come with shorts and sandals as there's a high probability that they'll get a little wet from the splash back when you move your oars. We all got changed, slapped our sunscreen on and booked 2 two-seater kayaks for 1 hour, put our life jackets on then off we went!

 Our plan was to go 35 mins one way and 25 mins back (since coming back is a lot easier once you're familiar with the technique) but that was not the case with Cassy and Ethan. The both of them kept circling around and the two were so brave that they started rocking the kayak to get it to move. Thankfully they did not capsize!

They got a little better after the crash course from Chris and I but in the end, we thought we should start heading back earlier since they might meet so trouble on the way back to the boathouse.

Chris and I were so far ahead of them that we lost sight of them so we decided to get out at the one hour mark (so we can get our deposit back).

Afterwards, we got milo ice cream to re-energise then went for dinner and movies. We watched 'Gravity'. Lucky me got a buy 1 get 1 free voucher on my movie card. Yay! We enjoyed the movie and company a lot.

Studley Park Boathouse
1 Boathouse Road, 
Kew, 3101,
Victoria, Australia

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