Weekend Away in Torquay, February 2017

It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that this feels like a lifetime ago. 

Back in early 2017, K and I decided to have a short weekend away before we would begin work on the renovation blitz of our little apartment. At that stage, we were still living with my father and brother, and private couple time alone was few and far between. A weekend away to reconnect as a couple before the inevitable tears and arguments of home renovation wrenched us apart seemed like a good idea!

I got down to Torquay first early on the Friday afternoon as I went straight from a work event in Geelong, with K following on a V-line train after work. We settled into our Airbnb with a simple dinner of cheese and crackers, pate, and other nibblies. 

Blessed with beautiful weather that weekend, we spent Saturday driving down the Great Ocean Road, stopping in at the Aireys Inlet lighthouse (fans of Round the Twist will know it well!) and the Twelve Apostles with ice-cream treats along the way: an organic fruit juice popsicle and a little punnet of local Timboon Fine Icecream as well. 

An excellent dinner was had at local fish’n’chippery Fisho’s in Torquay, with some fresh oysters, some excellent gummy shark and trevally, and excellently crunchy sweet potato cakes. Being right on the beach, Fisho’s is a bit of a local institution and had quite a long queue of people waiting for their delicately pan-fried fish and crunchy chips. 

We finished off our Sunday with a visit to the Great Ocean Road Chocolaterie and Ice Creamery, buying some lovely chocolates to go as well as enjoying a hot chocolate and ice-cream in their cafe. On the way back to Melbourne, we stopped by Ocean Grove’s Rolling Pin Pies & Cakes (a favourite of Attica’s Ben Shewry’s!) to have some pies for lunch, as well as pick up some family-sized pies to take home for future delicious meals.

Our weekend on the Great Ocean Road was just the type of regional Victorian getaway that K and I love, with long lazy drives, lots of eating simple local food, and plenty of ice-cream and chocolate stops! While I don’t think we’ll be doing any more long lazy drives with a baby in the car who is very vocal about not liking her car seat, we do have a weekend away planned over Melbourne Cup weekend in Daylesford…surely there’ll be lots of simple local food delights to be sampled there?

Travel Tales: Kuala Lumpur, December 2016

It feels a bit redundant to be typing this blog entry, over eighteen months since we were actually in Kuala Lumpur on holiday. Still, I’ve had the photos edited and uploaded as a draft to the blog for months and months, so I might as well write a few short paragraphs to accompany the photo gallery.

After our visits to Singapore and Sri Lanka for my cousin’s wedding in December 2016, we (myself, husband, father and brother) spent almost a full week in Kuala Lumpur. We found a marvellous Airbnb right near the famous eating street of Jalan Alor, that was perfectly designed for our needs – three bedrooms each with its own ensuite, with a small living room, mini kitchen and laundry. And at about half the price of staying in a hotel, I really couldn’t fault the apartment at all!

Now the eating. Staying near Jalan Alor, we spent our first evening there in search for dinner and ended up at a hawker-style Chinese restaurant there…which clearly catered for tourists and served up tiny serves of not-particularly-great-food at inflated Australian prices. Disappointing. Much of Jalan Alor was like that – great for tourists who don’t know much about Malaysian food and don’t mind paying a bit more, not so great for us. 

We learned our lesson and from that point onwards, spent our time searching out the small hawker centres on street corners where the locals really eat. There was a lot of wonton mee, laksa, nasi goreng, hokkien noodles, oyster omelettes, roti canai, satay, ais kacang…all the traditional Malaysian dishes you could imagine featured in our breakfasts, lunches, and dinners every day.

As always, a highlight was the day we spent in Seremban with hubby’s extended family. These day trips are never complete until we have at least six to eight meals, making visits to all the local hotspots recommended by aunts, uncles, family friends, and cousins. My father amateurishly ordered a whole curry laksa for himself at the first stop, despite my warning that it was best to share dishes so you don’t overstuff yourself too early on. He regretted that decision!

A shout-out also to all the times the heat and humidity of Malaysia simply got the better of us, and we ended up finding a little cafe to sit down with a kopi ais, Milo ais or teh tarik, perhaps with a snack of kaya toast to go with it. Holidays in Malaysia are best spent at a slow and leisurely pace watching the world go by with a cold drink in hand. The humidity doesn’t really let you do much more than that!

It’s obviously been eighteen months since our last visit to Malaysia and at this point, I’m not sure when we might be back. My father-in-law actually told us to not go back until our little one is of an age where she can actually speak and tell us if she’s feeling unwell. I think he’s afraid the heat and humidity might be too much for her otherwise! 

I had a baby

So in November last year, I wrote about my neglect of this blog, and gave reasons why. Namely, a baby was on the way. Clearly, I’ve since been neglecting this blog (again!), and the reason is simple – I had the baby. Matilda De Ling Choy was born just after 9am on Saturday 25 November 2017. She has filled my days and nights since.

I love her dearly. But at the same time, motherhood is draining. Lack of sleep (oh yeah, she’s not a baby that sleeps…) is draining.  I can’t wait to get back to work in two months time because I need to feel like myself again, not just Matilda’s mother. 

To that end, I’m going to try and be a bit more consistent about updating this food blog. Instead of updating once every ten months, I’m going to aim to update at least once a month with a proper review or recipe. In the meantime, I do suggest that people follow me on Instagram, as I’m very active on there and post regular small updates of cafe/restaurant reviews and share little recipes for baby food meals of my own devising.

And to finish off this blog post, here’s some of the highlights of Matilda’s life from the past nine months: