Milo French Toast

Milo French Toast

Hello Everyone! Anyway, so it’s week 4 of Breakfast/Brunch month and this week I will be sharing with you my now-favourite french toast recipes. I say ‘now-favourite’ because this is the very first time I’ve attempted these recipes. I’ve had and made french toast before, but the recipes I’ll be sharing with you this week are beyond than that of the classic french toast – they got a certain twist to them that will make you fall in love with french toast all over again.

Today’s recipe is one that I came across on Facebook as I was scrolling through my newsfeed. BuzzFeed Australia posted a video recipe for Milo French Toast. If you love milo and fancy some french toast to go with that, then this recipe was made for you, only that, you get to combine milo together with your french toast – how cool is that? You can top them off simply with some butter and syrup, or you can make it a bit more interesting by topping them off with some of your favourite fruits – I topped mine with some strawberries, crushed pistachios, honey, and a bit of powdered sugar.

I remember growing up, even up until now, my mom would make a classic french toast for breakfast at least once a week. When I came across this recipe and talked to her about it, we decided to try it out. It was a great success in my opinion and I loved it, so did my Mom and sister Angela. Original video recipe can be found on BuzzFeed Australia‘s Facebook page.

Milo French Toast Ingredients


*Depending if you want one or two slices of french toast per person; recipe is for 4 slices of bread


  • 4 thick slices of bread
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup milo
  • 1 large free range egg
  • 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract


  • 1 punnet (250g) strawberries, hulled then halved
  • Handful of pistachios, shelled and lightly crushed
  • Honey
  • Powered sugar


  1. Heat a bit of oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium.
  2. Combine the milo, milk, egg, and vanilla extract in a bowl. Mix until well combined.
  3. Dip both sides of a bread slice to soak up the wet mixture; do not soak it for too long.
  4. Place the soaked bread slice into the frying pan and cook until done, about 2-3 minutes per side.
  5. Once done, transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel to soak up any excess oils. Repeat for the remaining bread slices.
  6. Serve up this Aussie twist on a French favourite with some honey and butter if you like, or with some fresh fruits and crushed nuts and enjoy!

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– Ally xx


Kale Smoothie with Almonds, Banana, & Pineapple

Kale Smoothie with Almonds, Banana, & Pineapple

Hello Everyone! I’ve got another brekky smoothie recipe for you today, and some may find this unusual at first, but it actually works! I must admit, I was once cynical about the idea of adding vegetables to a smoothie. That changed when I moved to Australia and saw kale juices/smoothies pop up here and there in many local cafés in and around Sydney. I’d always see my friends with a take away cup of green smoothies that were either made up of kale or spinach included in them. To be honest, I’ve never tried a kale smoothie before and this is the first time I’m making and trying one! I’ve had kale before, and to me, it doesn’t have a distinct taste to it, so I was glad that the non-exsitent kale flavour didn’t shine through in the smoothie. Instead, you can taste the almonds, bananas, and pineapple which was nice. However, after having done some research, kale apparently does have a strong flavour that many might be used to, so when making a green smoothie using kale, you should use strongly flavour fruits such as strawberries or pineapple to help mask the flavour (possibly why I personally could taste the kale because I use pineapple in my green smoothie).

Before I begin with this simple green smoothie recipe, I want to talk to you a little bit about the health benefits of adding kale to your smoothie. Kale helps cut the sweetness of the fruits added, and has more than twice the recommended daily value of calcium to your diet. It is an excellent leafy green to use for detox as it contains cleansing properties. In addition, kale has a lot of vitamins and also contains powerful antioxidants that help protect your immune system and fight against certain cancers. If you want to read more about the health benefits of kale, please click here. Now, you may substitute kale for spinach if kale isn’t readily available where you are; I know that it’s not very cheap to get kale here in Brunei since it’s air-flown in from Australia.

The original recipe can be found over on Real Simple; all I did was again, change the quantities to serve about 3-4 tall glasses. I also decided to substitute the coconut milk for fresh coconut water as most coconut milk that you find here in Brunei are straight out from a tin and have a whole lot of preservatives added to them. You can use coconut water from the shelf if you don’t have fresh coconut water readily available but I personally hate those because they taste very artificial to me. Otherwise, you can also just use water. I read in the comments section of the site as well that someone added almonds to the smoothie for that added protein, so feel free to add your favourite nuts into the mix as well when you make your smoothie!

Kale Smoothie with Almonds, Banana, & Pineapple Ingredients



  • 2 & 1/2 cups kale, stemmed and roughly chopped
  • 1-2 cups fresh coconut water
  • 1/3 cup almonds
  • 1/2 medium-sized pineapple, chopped
  • 2 ripe bananas, chopped


  1. Combine all the ingredients in a blender in this order: bananas, almonds, pineapple, kale, and 1 cup of coconut water. Pulse a couple of times to mix up the ingredients in the blender a bit and then blend on high for about 30 to 60 seconds. Add more coconut water if needed to reach your desired consistency.
  2. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Kale Smoothie with Almonds, Banana, & Pineapple


– Ally xx

Gingery Berry & Oat Smoothie

Gingery Berry & Oat Smoothie

Hello Everyone! For this week of breakfast/brunch month, I have some simple brekky smoothies for you that you can easily prepare the night before, whizz it in the blender in the morning, and voilà; you’ve got a quick brekky that you can take with you to go if you really need to. I’ve never really been the type to make my own smoothies at home, not until my second year of uni back in 2012 when my flatmate at that time started making smoothies for the both of us on the weekends. She would always make the same banana and blueberry smoothie with full cream milk, old-fashioned rolled oats, and vanilla yoghurt. Ever since then, I would whip up this easy smoothie whenever I felt like it even after we went our separate ways. I’ve also made a strawberry smoothie with the same ingredients, just taking out the bananas and blueberries, and added mint into the mix; it was a really good smoothie too.

Anyway, I won’t be sharing those two recipes with you this week as I’ve got two completely different (maybe in some way a little bit similar) smoothies for today and Thursday. I decided try new smoothie recipes and for today’s post, I came across a recipe for a Blueberry and Oat Smoothie; now I know this is sounding a little similar to the smoothie that I mentioned above, and that I’m used to making, but what makes this different is the touch of ginger added. I don’t think I’ve had a smoothie with ginger in it before so I thought that I’d give this recipe a try; original recipe can be found over at Real Simple. All I’ve really done was change the quantities to serve 3-4 tall glasses, as well as reducing the amount of sugar.

Gingery Berry & Oat Smoothie Ingredients



  • 1 & 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 & 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup creamy vanilla yoghurt
  • 1 cup ice
  • 3/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 4 tbsp brown sugar
  • 3/4 tsp fresh ginger, grated


  1. Add the oats and water to a blender and leave to soak until the oats have softened, about 15 minutes.
  2. Add the ice, blueberries, yoghurt, brown sugar, and ginger to the blender. Blend until smooth and frothy, about 2-3 minutes.
  3. Serve and enjoy!

Gingery Berry & Oat Smoothie

I’ve read a few of the comments on the site where the original recipe was uploaded, and some said that the oats had a weird texture and made the smoothie grainy and starchy. Some didn’t like the addition of the ginger and made their stomachs upset. So I guess this smoothie is not for everyone, but if you think you’d enjoy all these flavour into one drink, then go ahead and give it a try because it’s definitely delicious! I personally thought that the oats were fine and still gave the smoothie a nice flavour and texture to it; I feel that without it, the smoothie would be quite loose. The ginger, though quite a strong flavour, paired well with the sweet blueberries and helped cut down the sweetness of the smoothie from the added sugar.


– Ally xx

Congee with Minced Pork & Century Egg

Congee with Minced Pork & Century Egg

Hello Everyone! So continuing on with the idea of porridge from Tuesday’s post, I decided to whip up a classic congee dish. The origins of congee are unknown, but several historical accounts have shown that this dish was served during times of famine as a way to stretch the rice supply in order to feed more people. Despite that, congee is one of the traditional Chinese foods that has a history dating back to thousands of years in China. It is now a largely popular dish in many Asian countries and though it has many variations, its base is usually a thick porridge of rice that has been cooked in water or stock for a prolonged time. When it is eaten as a plain rice congee, you often eat it with other side dishes, but when additional ingredients such as meat and other flavourings are added, it can be a meal on its own. Depending on your cultural background, congee is eaten as a substitute for rice, but is known to be primarily eaten for breakfast or late supper. It is also considered suitable for young children or for those who are ill as it is a mild and easily digestible dish.

Now before I go on to the recipe, I thought I’d talk a little bit about what a century egg is. For those of you who don’t know, century egg (also know as a preserved egg), is a Chinese delicacy traditionally made by preserving duck, chicken, or quail eggs, in a mixture of clay, ash, salt, quicklime, and rice hulls for several weeks, or even months. Through this process, the yolk turns dark green to grey in colour, acquiring a creamy consistency and a strong flavour. On the other hand, the egg white becomes jelly-like and translucent, dark brown in colour, and salty in flavour. I know what you’re thinking, sounds disgusting right? I’ll be honest with you, it took me a while to be able to get over its looks and smell. I still don’t love it, but it’s definitely good with congee! To prepare these eggs for the congee, you simply just have to wash off the mixture of clay, ash, salt, quicklime, and rice hulls that cover the egg. I recommend washing it outside as to not clog your sink with all the residue. Tap the eggs on a countertop until covered in cracks, and then peel the shell off.

Preserved Century Egg

As mentioned before, there are many variations in which you can have your congee; plain or dressed up with your favourite ingredients – it’s all up to you really! At breakfast/brunch buffets (that’s when I usually indulge in some yummy congee), you’re given a selection of toppings to accompany your plain congee. I usually go for the whole works which included century egg, fried cha kueh (deep fried dough), crispy fried shallots, spring onion, and some sesame oil.

Congee with Minced Pork & Century Egg Ingredients



  • 250g lean minced pork
  • 2.5L homemade or store-bought chicken broth
  • 2 cups rice, uncooked*
  • 2-3 century eggs
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2-3 shallots, sliced thinly into rings
  • 1 cha kueh**, sliced thinly
  • 1 small bunch spring onions, chopped
  • 1 thumb-szied ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 6 tbsp vegetable oil
  • Fish sauce, to taste
  • Ground salt and black pepper, to taste

*You can also start with cooked rice, adding chicken broth and adjusting the amount of liquid to achieve the desired consistency. Make sure that when the rice has swelled, mash it a bit to help it break down.

**Cha Kueh (You Cha Kueh) is a Chinese deep-fried dough that is chewy yet crispy; a delicious snack that is normally paired with coffee or tea in the mornings or afternoons. There is a certain level of skill and expertise needed to knead the dough to the right consistency, as well as deep-frying techniques, to make the perfect cha kueh. So, if you want, you can make your own cha kueh, or if it’s readily available in stores nearby, then you can just buy it already cooked. I guess croutons can also substitute if both are not an option for you, or you can leave this element out completely. I like to include it in my congee for an added texture of crunch.


  1. Bring a large pot of the washed, uncooked  rice and chicken broth to a simmer over medium heat. Once it starts simmering, reduce the heat down to low. Stir occasionally to avoid the rice sticking to the bottom of the pot and burning. Simmer until the rice has softened, broken down, and the mixture is creamy with the consistency of a porridge, about 45 to 60 minutes. If you need to, add more chicken broth to adjust the consistency as it cooks.
  2. While the rice is cooking, you can move on to preparing the minced pork and shallots. In a medium-sized frying pan, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high and add the sliced shallots in. Cook, stirring continuously, until the shallots are golden and crispy; it should take about 5 minutes altogether. If you need to, adjust the heat so that they do not burn. Once done, transfer the shallots to a heatproof bowl.
  3. In the same pan with the oil, add in the slices of cha kueh and fry until golden and crispy, about a minute per side. Transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel to soak up the excess oils.
  4. In the same pan again with about a tablespoon of the oil, fry up the ginger slices until fragrant, then add in the garlic and sauté until golden and fragrant, about 2-3 minutes altogether. Add in the minced pork and season with a bit of salt and black pepper. Give it a good mix, breaking up the pork into small pieces as it cooks, and then leave it until cooked through and browned, about 8-10 minutes.
  5. When the porridge is ready, stir in the pork and season to taste with some fish sauce. Divide the porridge equally into individual-sized bowls and top with the century egg, fried cha kueh, crispy fried shallots, and spring onion. Serve immediately and enjoy!

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– Ally xx

Arroz Caldo (Chicken Rice Porridge)

Arroz Caldo (Chicken Rice Porridge)

Hello Everyone! Today’s recipe is a dish that is quite well-known in the family, and across the Philippines I presume, as the go to dish when someone is feeling under the weather. In our house, you’d know when someone is sick with the flu when you see this dish on the table for everyone to eat; yes that’s right, you don’t have to be the sick one to have a bowl of arroz caldo! However, besides it well-known as the go to dish for the sick, arroz caldo is also a common breakfast dish as it can be quite filling, providing you with the energy that you’d need to last you until lunch time. It can also be a snack (merienda) dish with tokwa’t baboy (a dish composed of boiled pig’s ears and/or pork belly, and fried tofu with a vinegar, soy sauce, and chilli dip on the side).

Arroz Caldo is actually of Chinese origin as it draws resemblance to a type of risotto-like congee. The name of this dish however, was given by the Spaniards due to pronunciation issues. The dish is also similar to other Filipino porridges such as lugaw and goto, the only distinguishing ingredient would be that arroz caldo mainly uses chicken while goto requires the use of tripe, beef, and innards. Lugaw on the other hand, is as plain as it can get.

So I made this dish back when I was in Sydney, a few weeks before I left in early August. I was staying at Marissa’s place for the time I was there and we both fell ill at one point during my stay. I can’t quite remember who fell sick first and who gave who the sickness, but all I remembered was that I made this dish for the both of us. I even told her the story behind this dish and she even made mention that they have a similar Vietnamese dish known as Cháo Ga (also fed to those who were feeling under the weather).

Arroz Caldo (Chicken Rice Porridge) Ingredients



  • 500g chicken mid-wings, washed and cleaned
  • 1.5L water
  • 2 cups rice, uncooked and washed
  • 4 large free range eggs, hard-boiled and sliced
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large brown onion, sliced
  • 1 lemon (or calamansi if available)
  • 1 thumb-sized ginger, julienned
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp chicken stock powder
  • Ground black pepper to taste
  • Crispy fried shallots
  • Spring onions, sliced


  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a large pot over medium-high. Add the ginger and fry until fragrant, then add in the garlic, sautéing until fragrant and golden brown. Then add in the onions and cook until soft, altogether about 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add the chicken mid-wings to the pot and season with the chicken stock powder and ground black pepper. Give it a good mix and cook for about 6-8 minutes or until the outer layer of the chicken starts to brown. Then add in the water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, cook for a further 5 minutes and then scoop out the chicken mid-wings and set aside*.
  3. Add the washed, uncooked rice and mix well, stirring occasionally. Turn the heat down to low-medium and leave it to simmer until the rice is fully cooked (about 30 to 40 minutes). Stir occasionally just to make sure that the rice doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot. In the last 10 minutes of cooking time, you may return the chicken mid-wings to the pot to heat them up again before serving the dish.
  4. Taste and if the porridge needs a bit more seasoning, add some fish sauce and adjust to your liking.
  5. Divide the porridge into bowls equally and top with the chicken and sliced hard-boiled eggs. Garnish with a pinch of crispy fried shallots, spring onion, and a squeeze of lemon juice (you may add some saffron threads for aroma and colour).
  6. Serve hot and enjoy!

*You don’t usually scoop the chicken out, but because I didn’t want the chicken to become too soft and start breaking apart, so I took them out. The reason is just because I don’t want them to look aesthetically displeasing on the dish for the photograph really. Otherwise, leaving them in until they fall of the bone is what you would like to achieve with this dish.

Arroz Caldo (Chicken Rice Porridge)

Arroz Caldo (Chicken Rice Porridge)


– Ally xx

Breakfast Plate

Breakfast Plate

Hello Everyone! I can’t believe that it’s already October! Where did September go?! So I’m sure all of you are aware that a new month calls for a new theme on the blog for the month of October! Those of you who know me, I am a breakfast/brunch person. I mean, I sometimes skip breakfast when the mornings just get a little too hectic for me; that was during my first few years at uni, but towards the end, I made it a habit to pack my breakfast to uni and/or work and eat it there.

I remember my internship days at Hello Social where I’d always be rushing out in the mornings to catch my bus, which therefore meant that I didn’t have time to sit down and enjoy my breakfast. That was where Muffin Making Mondays with Jialing came in, and when I had run out of muffins to take to work (because we only bake fortnightly), I would pack some fruits and even sometimes a small tupperware of cinnamon toast cereal with one of those small drink cartons of milk. When I’d get to the office, I’d pour the milk over my cereal and enjoy breakfast at my table. There was a time where one of the managers asked me what I was having for breakfast and the thought of me bringing a small carton of milk made her laugh so hard. I told her it was practical 😛 Another time when I was also having cereal, my other manager asked if what I was having was shareable; to his dismay, cereal ain’t shareable! He asked what kind of cereal I brought in and I said cinnamon toast. The other manager said that that was so American of me.

Anyway, I mean, if you didn’t already gather what this month’s theme is from my little story, yes it’s breakfast and brunch month on the blog! For the month of October I will be sharing with you some of my favourite breakfast/brunch recipes! I’ll be kicking off tonight’s post with a dish that I threw together when I was still living in Sydney. I was inspired by a post that I saw on Instagram by Raw Pawpaw Café in Brisbane. I was inspired by their plating of one of their dishes, and decided to plate it up with a few of my favourite ingredients for breakfast. I think most of the preparation of the ingredients in this dish is pretty straight forward, and you can get creative yourself by mixing up the ingredients a bit by adding your own favourite breakfast ingredients!

Breakfast Plate Ingredients



  • 2-3 slices of soy & linseed bread, toasted
  • 2 bacon rashers
  • 2 large free range eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 chorizo sausage, thick slices
  • 1/2 avocado, cut into chunks
  • Bunch of grape vine tomatoes
  • Butter, for spreading
  • Ground salt and black pepper to taste
  • Handful of cup mushrooms, sliced
  • Handful of loose baby spinach leaves
  • Lemon wedges, to serve
  • Olive oil


  1. In a small bowl, marinate the avocado chunks with a little bit of olive oil, salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 200C. Line a baking tray with aluminium foil and toss the grape vine tomatoes in a little bit of olive oil and salt. Roast in the oven fro about 10 minutes, or until the tomatoes have gone soft. Turn the temperature down to about 80-90C just to keep them warm before serving.
  3. Meanwhile, heat a large grill pan over medium high and cook the bacon rashers and chorizo slices, about 3 minutes per side. Once done, transfer to the baking tray and keep warm in the oven.
  4. Add your sliced mushrooms to the same grill pan and cook until browned and softened, about 4-5 minutes altogether. Turn the heat off and transfer to the baking tray and keep warm in the oven.
  5. Place the eggs in a small saucepan, covering the eggs with cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat, and once boiling, reduce the heat down to medium. Simmer gently for about 3 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and using a slotted spoon, transfer to the egg carton.
  6. Plate up accordingly and enjoy your breakfast!

Breakfast Plate

Breakfast Plate

Just a little side note here before I end tonight’s post – I wanted to choose an egg carton that wasn’t grey just so that it doesn’t look dull. I must say it was hard choosing eggs based on the colour carton they come in because most of the non-grey ones were caged eggs (yes, I don’t buy caged eggs). Good thing these eggs that came in the blue carton were free range, and the blue really suited the plating and contrasted the food colours nicely.


– Ally xx

SHUK North Bondi

Hello Everyone and welcome back to our final Review Sunday for the year! Your read that right, and if you were able to catch my review last Sunday, you would’ve already known that I am stopping Review Sundays for a while. I have pretty much covered all the restaurants and cafés that I have visited over the past few months when I was in Sydney, and I have not been café hopping since I got back to Brunei. Instead of reviews on Sundays, I will be posting some of my design work on the blog.

All that aside, let’s get down to the review! So I’ve been wanting to go to this place for a very long time now and have had many opportunities to visit, but was always shot down for various reasons. The first time I tried to come here was for a brunch outing with Jialing and Yvonne. Yvonne was feeling under the weather at that time and said that she didn’t want to travel so far for brunch. The second time I tried to go there was with Jialing and her boyfriend for lunch; shot down again because he didn’t want to go to a place that has anything to do and/or supports Israel – just some firm beliefs and political issues he has with the country. So for my farewell brunch, I didn’t let anyone tell me otherwise because this would be the very last opportunity I’d have to go to this place. So how I came to know about SHUK was purely by just discovering eating places that I have never been to before. I came across a lot of places, but SHUK really spoke out to me, especially their Isralei Breakfast.

So yes, as mentioned above, I invited a few of my very close friends to come out and have brunch under the beautiful winter sun. Amongst the people who came out to see me were Annie, Daniel, Edison, Greta, Kevin, and Sophia. I know, you’re probably asking, where’s Jialing and Yvonne? Something happened the night before where Jialing couldn’t make it to brunch that morning. Yvonne technically had no excuse, but still ended up waking up late and therefore did not make it to brunch. I did however see her for a bit after brunch.

“The place is unstoppable. It’s Israeli by heart, Mediterranean on paper, Bondi by postcode and very Australian in its multicultural scope.” — Ryan O’Kane in GoodFood.

This café, bakery, and deli draws inspiration from the Hebrew term SHUK, which means marketplace. SHUK is North Bondi’s own marketplace where the freshest produce and dishes offered promises a flavour of Israel mixed with modern favourites for locals and tourists alike. Their menu is directly influenced by Arabic, Turkish, Middle Eastern, and Mediterranean cuisines, and of course is inspired by Israeli dishes that the owners of SHUK grew up with, sharing with us what they’ve learnt from their families back home.


SHUK: Green Shakshuka
GREEN SHAKSHUKA: Baked eggs, fennel, zucchini , kale, caramelised onion, feta, olives, and sourdough ($16.00) with extra chorizo (+$3.50)

If I ever have the chance to go back again, I would definitely order this dish. It looks like it would taste really good, I mean, of course it tasted good according to my friends who ordered it and didn’t share one bite (I forgive you Kevin). Edison was too far away from me to share, because I know he’d share 🙂 It is also a healthy vegetarian dish if you minus the chorizo add ons on the other dish!

SHUK: Hummus & Lamb
HUMMUS AND LAMB: House made hummus with 8-hour slow cooked lamb, served with pickles, olives, bread, and zhug ($18.00)

This dish that Sophia ordered looked amazing, and even the combination of hummus and slow cooked lamb was hard to resist. On their menu you could have hummus and mushroom as another option, and I remember when Sophia ordered this, she asked our waitress, “I really like lamb, but I also like mushrooms, so I was wondering if I can have the hummus and lamb with mushrooms as well?” The waitress said she’d ask but by the looks of the photograph, I don’t think she got her mushrooms. Anyway, I had a bit of her dish and it was delicious. The lamb was tender and juicy, and the hummus complimented it well. I can’t remember if it was from her dish, or Kevin’s, but I remembered eating the olives from someones dish because they didn’t like it.


SHUK: Israeli Breakfast
ISRAELI BREAKFAST: 2 eggs of your choice, Israeli salad, olives, labn’e, butter, house jam, avocado, and yoghurt with granola ($21.00)

This was the dish that I ordered. To be honest, even though it look spectacular in front of me, served in a massive pan with little bowls of everything, that was all it was. Don’t get me wrong, it was a bad dish, it’s just that he flavours and everything were average and nothing really blew my socks off. Also, when I got the dish, I felt like something was missing; I had all these spreads but no bread to put it on, so I had to call a waiter and ask for some toast for my dish. I still liked this dish; I only wished it impressed me more.

SHUK: SHUK Porridge
SHUK PORRIDGE: Oats, puffed whole grains, banana, dulce de leche, and roasted nuts ($13.00)

Now I know Daniel to be quite health conscious, so it was no surprise that he’d go for this dish (well except for the fact that it has dulce de leche in it). Daniel was sitting across the table from me so it was hard to want to try a little bit of his dish. From where I was sitting though, he seemed to enjoy his porridge, but I think he was a little bit upset by the fact that he ordered some smoked salmon on the side. Why was he upset? The side was priced at $4.00, and he got a puny bowl of it.


SHUK: House Cured Salmon
HOUSE CURED SALMON: House cured salmon with sour cream & dill, pickled cucumber, and spinach on an Israeli roll ($13.00)

I’m surprised that even though Greta sat next to me, I didn’t get to try her roll at all, well only because it’s kind of hard to bite into someones sandwich I guess. I did ask her how her dish was and she said it was very good. She had actually been thinking of going to SHUK for some time as well and thanked me for choosing this place as it then gave her to opportunity to.


SHUK: SHUK Special

I’m sorry but I completely forgot what this dish was – it was on their specials menu which meant that it wasn’t listed out on their regular menu. A little back story here, so one of my friends, Annie, who came late to the brunch, went inside the café and ordered this dish. When he dish came out, she told us that it was one of the specials that they had for that week. We never asked the waitress who served our table what the specials were, and frankly she didn’t think to mention it to us as well, so I guess it’s no one’s fault. Also, because of that, I didn’t know what dish she ordered, nor did I remember to ask her what dish she ordered. I think she mentioned it, but it’s been more than a month since I was at SHUK, so it has already slipped my mind. So I did have a bite of the burger, I believe it was beef, and one too many sweet potato fries *cheeky grin* The fries, to die for, and the burger patty was tender and juicy.

Overall, I’m actually quite impressed with the food served up at my farewell brunch. It was actually quite a packed Saturday morning when I got there, but I was able to snag a table within 5 minutes of arriving. I’m just glad that they didn’t kick me out of the table because I had to wait a good half hour for the next three people to arrive, and an hour for the rest to come. We basically had the table for an hour before we even started ordering… Oops! Besides that, they can accommodate quite a lot of people in their restaurant, both indoors and outdoors. The service was pretty good, the waiters and waitresses who served our table were quick with requests and food came out very quickly too I might add. I’d give ambience/environment and service a clear 8/10 for our experience that day. I must say that I was quite surprised that the food served was fairly priced, though I’m not sure if I’d pay $21.00 for the Israeli Breakfast, but other than that, the other dishes definitely looked like you got your money’s worth; 8/10. The food looked amazing and some impressed more than others; 8/10.

SHUK is open everyday for breakfast and lunch, and dinners on Friday and Saturday night until 10pm. If I ever find myself in Sydney again, I would definitely hit this place up again and try dishes from their lunch and dinner menu as they look very enticing. As to quote Greta on that day, “you should just keep coming back and leaving so that we’ll have endless farewells.” Thank you Greta! 🙂

SHUK North Bondi
2 Mitchell Street
North Bondi, New South Wales
Australia, 2026

– Ally xx

South Dowling Sandwiches

South Dowling Sandwiches

Hello Everyone and welcome back to an all new Review Sunday on the blog! Where do I even begin with South Dowling Sandwiches? I’m not quite sure how many weeks into my first year of university it was when my friend Simon introduced me to this little shop on South Dowling Street just about a 5 minute walk away from the [then] COFA campus. What caught my eye at first was their sandwich signage that hung above their petit establishment, and thus I called it ‘the sandwich shop’ whenever I referred to it amongst my friends. It wasn’t only until a year or so later that I realised they were actually called South Dowling Sandwiches.

Anyway, my friend Simon and I decided to get a different sandwich each, and share the other half with each other so that we’d get the best of both worlds. I got the chicken schnitzel on brown bread while he got the leg ham on white, no extras included at that time. The size of these ginormous sandwiches freaked me out just a little bit because they were insanely massive, which I guess it’s a good thing because then they were definitely worth the seven bucks.

South Dowling Sandwiches

To be honest, I don’t think I was a regular customer at South Dowling Sandwiches; I don’t know for what reason because right now I can’t think of a good enough excuse to skip out on a delectable Chicken Schnitzel Sandwich, especially when I grew into a new found love for their caramelised carrots! Those that know me oh-so well also know that I accidentally on purpose forget to bring my lunch to uni on Monday’s just so that I can have my weekly dose of Chicken Schnitzel Sandwich on brown bread with extra Caramelised Carrots.

South Dowling Sandwiches

This is the best sandwich in the world; like if this sandwich was a man, I’d marry it. I’m serious.

I’m  serious. I totally captioned that on a photo I posted on Instagram 16 weeks ago when I was on a date with my Chicken Schnitzel Sandwich on brown bread with extra Caramelised Carrots. PS: May I also add that these sandwiches are MASSIVE and that there’s no way you can eat this with finesse. Herb mayo all over your hands and mouth? Been there, done that too many times.

All-in-all, I would like to thank South Dowling Sandwiches for feeding me for the past four years of my university degree. I apologise that it has taken me this long to write a review for you guys on my blog, but honestly, if I had written it last year, all you’d be seeing are pictures of my absolute favourite, the Chicken Schnitzel Sandwich on brown bread with extra Caramelised Carrots. I’ve tried to branch out from my regular (but could sense betrayal from the Schnitz as I did), so I brought along my many friends and family whom I managed to steer them away from my regular so that I could provide you with a range of their dishes on this review:


All salads consist of lettuce, rocket, roma tomato, green beans, cucumber, red cabbage, potato salad, grilled eggplant, grilled zucchini, mushroom, caramelised carrots, lentil, capsicum, beetroot, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil

South Dowling Sandwiches: Vegi Salad
VEGI ($10.50)

This was the very first dish that my Mom had when she first arrived in Sydney last May. I suggested that she try the veggie salad because I know she loves vegetables and tries to eat it more often. She really liked this salad, especially the little lentils and the caramelised carrots (which she thought at first was sweet potato). I don’t think she’s had a salad like this before, and when I say that I mean with so many different things going on in one bowl.

South Dowling Sandwiches: Chilli Chicken Salad

Pretty much the same as the sandwich I guess, just that you get the whole veggie works as well! Also, with the salads, you can ask to not include some veggies that you don’t particularly fancy, like how I always ask for no beetroot and cucumber, but add just a touch more carrots 😛

South Dowling Sandwiches: Chicken Schnitzel Salad

I think the first time I ordered the salad instead of the sandwich was the first time I got to taste the magic of the caramelised carrots, and ever since I never fail to get the extra carrots with my sandwich (of course, there were a few times they had run out of the carrots and it completely shattered my heart). I remember the guy behind me in line even commented jokingly  when he saw the devastation in my face: “It’s all about the carrots, why else would we be here?” I think the salad is just as good as the sandwich, just that with the salad, as I have already stated above, you obviously get more veggies!


Special sandwiches include potato salad, avocado, caramelised carrots, boiled egg, tomato, and cheese (+$5.00)

South Dowling Sandwiches: Leg Ham Sandwich
LEG HAM: Honey mustard, herb mayo, bocconcini, roma tomato, lettuce, and rocket on brown bread ($7.50)

Where do I even begin? I think the last time I had the leg ham sandwich was when I had it the first time, as I explained above. My sisters shared this leg ham sandwich when they came to Australia a few months back for a holiday and to attend my graduation. Anyway, they both loved it and thought that it had good flavour to it from the fresh ingredients.

South Dowling Sandwiches: Chicken Schnitzel Sandwich with extra Caramelised Carrots
CHICKEN SCHNITZEL: Herb mayo, lettuce, and rocket on brown bread ($7.50) with extra caramelised carrots (+$1.50)

I mean, if you’ve managed to skip all of the above and went straight to looking at the photographs and write-ups, then you wouldn’t have known that this is the prize winner right here! You most definitely need to have the extra caramelised carrots in this sandwich otherwise why even bother if you don’t?! The Schnitzel is cooked well, crisp and golden brown on the outside, while still it remains tender and juicy in the inside. The caramelised carrots adds a little extra bite a sweetness to the sandwich and the lettuce and rocket adds a touch of freshness and peppery flavours. UH-MAY-ZING.

South Dowling Sandwiches: Chilli Chicken Sandwich
CHILLI CHICKEN: Red pesto, lettuce, and rocket ($7.50)

Next to the Chicken Schnitzel is the Chilli Chicken, which is also another famous order amongst the many customers that go in and out of South Dowling Sandwiches. Whenever I get the chance to sit in their little place, I always hear people ordering either the Chicken Schnitzel or the Chilli Chicken sandwich. I’ve tried the Chilli Chicken before, and although it is without a doubt just as delicious as everything else on their menu, it’s not for me. I have no issues with it whatsoever, I just can’t part away from my OTP 😛 But anyway, they definitely know the true meaning of chilli when they say chilli chicken – the chicken packs a lot of heat which makes it oh-so good.

Overall, a great place to get your (man-sized) sandwich or salad fix; a definite 9/10 for value for money. The great thing about it is that you get to customise your own sandwich/salad as well which is what I love about South Dowling Sandwiches. You get to make YOU in the form of a sandwich/salad. I’m pretty sure you all know that I’ll be giving the Chicken Schnitzel Sandwich on brown bread with extra Caramelised Carrots a sure 10 out of 10; which goes for the rest of their menu. The place could be a bit better I guess (6/10), but it doesn’t bother me that much at all especially when you’re greeted with a warm welcome of a Chicken Schnitzel Sandwich on brown bread with extra Caramelised Carrots – oh and the always smiling owner, Avi, and my friend Celeste. Celeste has been working there ever since I first started coming to SDS (I presume even longer than that as well) but didn’t know her until we met at our mutual friend’s, Pam’s graduation dinner party last year July 🙂 From that day on, I need not tell her my order; she knows it off by heart. Although seating may be limited, it never stops me from dropping by and getting takeaway instead to eat it on campus since it’s only a 5 minute walk away; but if there’s a table available (which there always is whenever I pop by), then I always stay and have small conversations with Avi and my friend Celeste.

South Dowling Sandwiches: with Celeste & Avi

I’m so sad that I can’t just hop on a bus and travel to South Dowling Sandwiches for some sandwich love, but even though I am no longer in Sydney, I still keep up to date on what’s going on through their Instagram page – they’re soon to open a second branch so stay tuned for that! They could be coming to a place near you!

South Dowling Sandwiches
377 S Dowling Street
Darlinghurst, New South Wales
Australia, 2010

– Ally xx

Yeniköy Café and Restaurant

Yeniköy Café and Restaurant

Hello Everyone and welcome back to an all new Review Sunday! I have a quick review for you tonight on the blog, and when I say quick I mean that I will only be covering 3 dishes from this place. I was supposed to go back to this place a few more times to try out their lunch and dinner menu, but I didn’t get to before I left Sydney. Hopefully the dishes I cover today will make you want to give this place a try if you haven’t already paid them a visit. The dishes I will be showing you today are quite simple, but packed with flavour, and I really felt like I was in a different place – Turkey? I’m not sure since I’ve not been. If you want to check out their menu a little bit than what I will be showing you today, click here.

Yeniköy Café and Restaurant

If I remember clearly, Jialing, Yvonne, and I were being indecisive on WhatsApp the night before – well, I wouldn’t say indecisive, more like I wanted to go to a certain place (SHUK to be exact in North Bondi), but Yvonne didn’t want to go too far off from the city because she was sick that day. Then we couldn’t agree on a time because again, BRUNCH at 10am was too early for Yvonne, so we finally came to a compromise to meet at 11am instead so that we wouldn’t miss out on Yeniköy’s breakfast menu.

Anyway! I came across Yeniköy by simply just walking along King Street in Newtown – don’t know when it was or why I was in Newtown in the first place (quite possibly to eat anyway). Also, did you know that Yeniköy is Turkish for “new village” which is a pretty fitting name for a café and restaurant to be residing in  the hip streets of Newtown. I think I walked past Yeniköy a number of times, but had never actually gone in until this brunch of ours. I was quite intrigued by this place, not by the food at first, but the ambience of the place as I quickly glanced through the huge glass windows – “wood furniture, stone panelling, lanterns, and Edison light globes”, Besides that of course, I was intrigued by their menu that’s Turkish with a Modern Australian twist to mix it up a bit.

Even though we all ordered a dish each, we shared everything together so that we could get a little taste of each other’s dishes – I mean, it’s a common thing that we do whenever we eat out tougher anyway 🙂


Yeniköy Café and Restaurant - KIYMALI GÖZLEME
KIYMALI GÖZLEME: Beef mince and vegetables gözleme with side vegetables ($13.00)

For those of you who don’t know what a gözleme is, it is basically a savoury traditional Turkish flatbread that is filled with various meat (minced beef, chopped lamb, fresh or smoked seafood, sucuk, pastirma), vegetables (spinach, zucchini, eggplant, leek, chard, various peppers, onion, scallion, shallot, garlic), or a combination of both, and/or cheeses, then sealed and cooked over a griddle. The flatbread is made of hand-rolled dough that is lightly brushed with butter and eggs.

This was the dish that I ordered and wished I had all to myself because it was pretty amazing. I’ve had gözleme before, but only at the Glebe Markets, and those tasted pretty great too. The beef mince filling tasted really good and the flatbread was nice a crisp. The “salad” on the side was a bit disappointing though because it was just a mixed leaf salad with cherry tomatoes and cucumber (which I personally don’t like). I guess that doesn’t matter anyway since the gözleme was the highlight of the dish!

Yeniköy Café and Restaurant - SUCUK BRUSCHETTA
SUCUK BRUSCHETTA: Turkish sausages, tomatoes and eggs on a toasted Turkish bread, topped with melted mozzarella cheese and pomegranate molasses, and served with rocket and side vegetables ($17.00)

This was Yvonne’s dish, and I can’t remember if she liked it or not, but I remember that the only thing I really liked on this plate was the scrambled eggs – light, fluffy, and well seasoned. Again, the side vegetables weren’t anything special, and I don’t know, neither was the bruschetta to be honest. I’m actually not a fan of bread that has been toasted until crisp because then it just becomes too dry for me and too hard to chew, especially the crust – which was what this bruschetta was. I like my bread soft. But hey, the dish wasn’t a bad dish at all, it’s just my personal preference, or I guess, me being picky.

Yeniköy Café and Restaurant - TURKISH SUCUK AND CHEESE PIDE
TURKISH SUCUK AND CHEESE PIDE: Traditional Turkish lamb and beef mince sucuk and cheese pide with a crack egg ($14.00)

Jialing ordered this dish, and before I start, I’m going to tell you a story. So, I can’t exactly remember where or when, but on a different occasion to this, I saw ‘Pide’ on the menu and ordered it, unsure really on how to pronounce the word. So when I ordered it, I pointed at it and hesitantly said to the waitress, “can I have the… pide (pie-duh)“. She knew I was struggling to pronounce it, and she said, “one pide (pee-deh), yeap”. So I told this to Jialing and Yvonne when we saw Pide on the menu. I told them that it’s pronounced pee-deh but Jialing insisted that it was pie-duh because one of our mutual friends said so. To end our not-quite dispute over the word, Yvonne told me to say pie-duh to the waitress and see if she would correct me – I wasn’t going to make a fool out of myself again so when the waitress came over to take our orders, I said pee-deh, but Yvonne butted in and said pretty loudly with an exclamation mark PIE-DUH! I started laughing and so did the waitress, and she said it’s pronounced pee-deh.

Anyway, so now that you know how to pronounce pide (pee-deh), on to the actual dish – it was good, but again nothing really that special to be honest.

To be perfectly honest, I was a little underwhelmed with the dishes that we had at Yeniköy, but obviously, this is just one person’s opinion. I really wished I had gone back for lunch and/or dinner because the dishes that those menus looked more enticing than what we had. All in all, we had a good time because even though the food was mediocre for us, it wasn’t bad at all. We shared a lot of laughs and remembered this day as “the time that Yvonne was sick” (a little inside joke between the three of us), and overall just enjoyed each other’s company in a very nice café on King Street. Ambience and service is a sure 10 out of 10, food a 7 maybe because I still enjoyed the food and their other menus looked great too. Value for money, maybe a 7 too – it’s not overly priced, breakfast that is, not sure about the lunch and dinner menu.

Yeniköy Café and Restaurant
480 King Street
Newtown, New South Wales
Australia, 2042

– Ally xx

Garden Bar at the Grounds of Alexandria

Garden Bar at the Grounds of Alexandria

Hello Everyone and welcome back to an all new Review Sunday! Before I begin, I hope you’ve been enjoying the recipes produced by my guest bloggers, my one true love, Jialing Mew, and of course my new friend Brendon D’Souza, for the past two weeks. I’ve really enjoyed hanging out with them and cooking with them in the kitchen before I left to come back home to Brunei. Stay tuned for the next two weeks, I’ve got another friend who will be guest blogging, and a special someone whom without her, this blog may not even exist!

Garden Bar at the Grounds of Alexandria

So anyway, for those who have been following my blog for a while now, or those who just know me personally, will know that The Ground of Alexandria is a place I keep going back to for the food and just the overall vibe of the place… oh and for the cute waiters at the Potting Shed as well *cheeky grin* If I did not already mention this in my previous review on the Potting Shed, there is another café/restaurant as well as various food stalls in and around the Grounds. I’ve been to and had food at the Garden Bar three times now and the food never fails to impress my tastebuds and fill my tummy up with delight. The first time I was here, I went alone for the Christmas Markets back in 2014, shopping for gifts for my friends, eating food, and meeting Santa Claus! Would you believe that that was the very FIRST time I ever got to meet Santa and sort of sit on his lap? Yeah, what a childhood I’ve had right? Anyway, Santa said to me “it must be my lucky day!” referring to the fact that he’s had a couple of women taking photos with him before me.

The Grounds of Alexandria

The second time I came back to the Ground and had food at the Garden Bar was with my family when they came to visit for a holiday and my graduation ceremony in early May of this year. I decided to take them to the Garden Bar and enjoy the eats of the various food stalls. There were a lot of people, as usual, and it was difficult to snag a seat for four, but luckily we were able to find one under the lovely winter sun within 15 minutes of arriving. My Mom and my sisters fell completely in love with the food, as well as the atmosphere and overall vibe of the place – just like me. The third time I came back and had food from the Garden Bar was during a catch up session with Vidhya – well, I had been stalking the Instagram page of the Grounds and found out they were selling waffles that weekend so I HAD to go (and drag Vidhya along of course since we planned to hang out that day). Vidhya, if you’re reading this, correct me if I am wrong, I think I made you fall in love with the Grounds as well!

Garden Bar at the Grounds of Alexandria

Garden Bar at the Grounds of Alexandria - THE GARDEN BAR BREKKY: BRUNCH BURGER
with halloumi, caramelised onions, and rocket on a brioche bun ($10.00)
add chorizo (+$3.00)

I ordered this burger before when I went to the Grounds by myself during the Christmas festivities. I ordered it with the chorizo, but then completely forgot to add on that as an extra when I ordered it for the family to share. So instead it was a vegetarian burger with extra garlic sauce; nonetheless, it tasted great without, but still would’ve been even better with the chorizo! I think I’ve mentioned this before in many blog posts, and many of my friends know this – I’m not a huge fan of burgers, and even though this tasted pretty good, I am still not a fan of them.

Garden Bar at the Grounds of Alexandria - THE GARDEN BAR LUNCH: JUMBO SALT & PEPPER PRAWNS
crumbed and dressed with garlic, lime, coriander or chilli ($15.00)

THIS. That’s all I pretty much need to say about these prawns really; cooked, crumbed, and seasoned perfectly. The prawns melted in your mouth at every bite and tasted so well with the extra chimichurri sauce I drizzled on top! The prawns were by far my favourite dish from the Garden Bar – was sad to find out that they weren’t on the menu when I returned with Vidhya for round 2! (Side note: extra sauce comes at no price! They’re at the collection counter in massive bottles waiting to be drizzled onto your food!)

Garden Bar at the Grounds of Alexandria - THE GARDEN BAR LUNCH: CHICKEN WINGS (feast for one, 8 wings)
THE GARDEN BAR LUNCH: CHICKEN WINGS (feast for one, 8 wings)
crumbed and accompanied with fiery chilli or BBQ basting sauce ($12.00)

Another one of my favourites from the Garden Bar; we ordered the fiery chilli wings and though it wasn’t the fiery that we’re used to, it was still deliciously good, juicy and tender! If you’re tastebuds don’t fancy some spicy wings, I’m sure that the BBQ won’t disappoint. There’s also another option if you want more wings, which is 20 wings for $20.00!

Garden Bar at the Grounds of Alexandria - THE GARDEN BAR LUNCH: BBQ CHICKEN ROLL
spit roasted over ironbark & charcoal, served with salsa and your choice of sauce ($12.00)

This Vidhya had when I took her to the Grounds; you have the choice between chicken, beef, or lamb as your meat, and you can either have it as a roll or a salad. Vidhya of course, only eats chicken, thus the chicken roll. I can’t remember if I had a little taste of the roll or not – I’m guessing I didn’t since I can’t remember, but anyway, I’m sure the roll tasted really good since pretty much everything on their menu had been spot on for me. Vidhya seemed to enjoy it 🙂

Garden Bar at the Grounds of Alexandria - THE GARDEN BAR LUNCH: SMASHED AVOCADO
with tomato, feta, dried chilli flakes, and fresh mint from the garden ($9.50)

I’m usually not a fan of ordering smashed avocado when it comes to eating out. The reason being is that it’s basically just a piece of toast with smeared with smashed avocado and topped with feta, tomatoes, etc. Something that I can easily whip up myself at home to be honest. But alas, I knew that going out with Vidhya for “brunch” would turn into late lunch – and surprise surprise! We ended up getting to the Ground at 1pm when we decided to meet up at 11:30am. Anyway, yes so my instincts were right to have something to eat before meeting up with Vidhya to eat again 😛 So since I wasn’t overly starving, smashed avocado was the only light thing on the menu besides the roll/salad, or burger. Nonetheless, I did enjoy the smashed avocado – I mean, you can’t really stuff that up I guess.

Garden Bar at the Grounds of Alexandria - SIDES: SWEET POTATO FRIES

When you see sweet potato fries on the menu, how can you ignore it?! Drizzled with extra garlic aïoli sauce ❤

watermelon, pineapple, apple, lime ($8.00)

Refreshingly good!

Garden Bar at the Grounds of Alexandria - GARDEN SMOOTHIES: MANGOGARDEN SMOOTHIES: MANGO
fresh ripe mango, dried mango, and natural low-fat yoghurt with the goodness of chia and flax seeds ($8.50)

Though it wasn’t mango season the time I ordered the drink, it tasted heavenly!

Garden Bar at the Grounds of Alexandria - CHOCOLATE AND RED VELVET WAFFLES

THIS IS THE REAL DEAL HERE; basically the main reason why I keep going back to the Grounds. I cannot stress out how many times I’ve been to the Grounds for the waffle stall that left me disappointed on so many occasions. I say disappointed because no matter when, and every time I find myself at the Grounds, the waffle stall was ALWAYS closed. There was one time I even waited around at the Grounds for 2 hours for the stall to open and kept pestering the lady at the dessert stall, asking when the waffle stall would open. I got tired of waiting, and eventually just had food from the Garden Bar and then left. When the Grounds posted a picture of their Chocolate and Red Velvet Waffles on Instagram, I knew I had to make a trip over for them; I was overly happy! Even though I was already so full from all the food I had that day prior to waffle eating, I finished all three waffles (with the help of Vidhya who took one or two small bites because she too was already full). Definitely worth my 9 bucks!

The Grounds of Alexandria

Once again, the Grounds of Alexandria never fail to disappoint me every time I visit. Each time I visit is a different experience; also because I’m with different people whenever I pay a visit to explore the gardens, the markets, indulge in the food. and of course say hi to the various farm animals such as Kevin Bacon the resident pig. The atmosphere and overall vibe of the place is a sure 10 out of 10 for me – it can get very crowded during sunny weekends, but nevertheless, it’s all part of the experience really; I mean, it’s crowded for a reason! Food I’d give a 9 out of 10 (only because I feel I’d be too biased if I gave them a 10 out of 10 for food even though they really deserve the 10). Seating can be a bit of a hassle to find especially when the Grounds is packed with people and kids. Vidhya and I ended up sitting on the ledge of one of the garden beds along with other people, but if you’re okay with that, I see no problem here. The Garden Bar has a good value for money, definitely much cheaper than the Potting Shed for reasons that are apparent anyway in terms of the quality of the food served and the ambience of the Potting Shed in comparison to the gardens. If you haven’t seen my review for the Potting Shed, or want to recap on the dishes from there (the menu might be different from my review and now since seasons have past), click here.

The Grounds of Alexandria

Garden Bar at the Grounds
Building 7A
No. 2 Huntley Street
Alexandria, New South Wales
Australia, 2015

– Ally xx