Monday, July 24, 2017

Food, Shopping and Moving around in Melbourne

Melbourne is a huge food-junction. We can get food from all around the world in the city. We can choose to step into worldwide franchises such as McD, KFC, or Hungry Jack (Burger King in Malaysia) with more or less standardized food and taste (but with cheaper prices),  or we can just step into any eatery of your choice along the street.

Eateries with nice environment are scattered around Melbourne. We can choose either to take a seat or take away.

For McD, the burgers served in Australia had more or less the same taste with burgers served in Malaysia.

If you are staying somewhere around the city center, the arcades, Southbank and Yarra Promenade along Yarra River are the places that we can hunt for nice food. Food courts can be found in Crown Towers, Melbourne Central and other major shopping malls. In Melbourne, the food, especially seafood were fresh, and the taste was good. The price wise was fair, as long as we didn't convert it back to Malaysian Ringgit (especially to Malaysians). Well, we would like to share some photos of the food in Melbourne. We were lucky to have Uncle Tony bringing around to get nice food in Melbourne.

We tried a few dishes at the alley leading to Block Arcade- paella (upper left), chicken risotto with cheese (upper right), cheese cake (lower right), and smoked tuna pizza. The food looked tempting and tasted nice. In Melbourne, dessert is always served together with ice-cream.

Malaysian Kitchen served food in Malaysian style... certified by both of us. The restaurant is located at Doncaster Road (upper left). We tried several dishes, including lady's finger (upper right), fried squid (lower right) and beef served on hot plate. The portion was not big, but the taste was nice and really exquisite. If you wish to get some Malaysian food in Melbourne and you don't mind to drive far away from Melbourne city, you should go to Malaysian Kitchen. However, it's always good if you could book the seats for any restaurant at Melbourne to avoid disappointment. At Melbourne, the restaurants don't open everyday.

Malaya Inn is located at Village Ave, Doncaster, was another Chinese restaurant we visited in Melbourne. The restaurant was big (upper left), and we tried a few dishes including pork (upper right), tofu (lower right), and fried chicken. The taste was good, but we prefer the Chinese food at Malaysian Kitchen.

We had Australian style breakfast everyday, prepared by our aunt- fresh eggs, bread, bacon, pasta, together with fresh milk, baked bean, pan fry sliced pork, and coffee. The food was really nice, and tasted great! The food was prepared exclusively for us, with a lot of love. :)

Shopping malls are scattered all around Melbourne city. Melbourne Central is a hub for mass-transit system and shopping center. There is a well preserved shot tower located at the center of the mall. Hundreds of shops, selling clothes, food, skin care products, books, sport equipment, and many more. 

Some huge shopping malls are located in residential area, far from city area, such as Coles and Chemist Warehouse might be available in these shopping malls. We bought chocolates, fruits, and beverages from Coles, and skincare and health products from Chemist Warehouse. We found that the items with special promotion like chocolates were quite cheap.

When we were walking down the street, we can look for the promotional billboards (upper left), or take a look on the products or the show by street artists (upper right), or at the booths along the street (lower right). Don't forget to slow down the pace and take a look at the statues along the street as well.

The best way to go around Melbourne City area is by following the free tram service. Bus and taxi are available too. When we travel out of the city, mrt, transit bus, and taxi can be used. We travelled around with our uncle's car most of the time. However, we did grab the chance to try the mrt and taxi when we were going to Healesville Wildlife Sanctuary. 

For mrt, the fare could be paid only by MyKi card only. The card had to be scanned at the departure and arrival stations. So please make sure you have the card ready before you go for mrt. The fare and information about the mrt line and destinations can be obtained from the official website of  Public Transport Victoria.

For taxi, the fare can be estimated by the Victoria Taxi Fare Estimator. From our experience, the estimator has an error of plus minus ASD 5. All the taxi should charge according to the meter in Victoria. Please do not use any taxi service without meter.

Intracity tram service is perhaps, the cheapest way to move around Melbourne city area (upper left). What we need to do is, get a map, find a station (upper right), and hoop into one of this electricity powered tram. We saw a few bicycle-for-rent booths around, but we didn't really know how it worked (lower right). Anyway, walking around Melbourne City is convenient. The street is safe, drivers are obedient and polite, and people are moving in a relaxing manner.  

There are several mrt lines in Melbourne, which a few of them extends far beyond the city. So we need to get familiar with the system to avoid confusion. Beware that not all mrt stop at every station. It's better to ask the officer-on-duty or locals before hop on to any mrt. The mrt stations are basically easy to access, clean, and safe. The stations are less crowded after peak hours (upper left). The mrt is convenient for us to travel in group (upper right). Taxi and transit bus were available at some of the stations, such as Lilydale (lower row), but might not available at some stations at residential areas. If you are stuck at the station with no taxi or transit bus, try to ask the officer-on-duty on how to call up one.

MyKi card can be purchased from the shop with myki signage.

We stayed comfortably with our uncle and aunt in Bulleen area, which by car, could reach city center within 30 minutes. If you don't plan to drive by yourself, you should stay somewhere nearby the mrt stations, or within the city. With the mass transportation system within your reach, you can access to other places without much problem.

Staying in central business district, such as hotels along Flinders Street keep us close to the places of interest and activities in Melbourne. Homestays with easy access to public transportation, especially mrt can be a good choice as well. 

We would like to express our deepest gratitude to Uncle Tony, Aunt Mee Ing, and our cousin Harn-Yih for their hospitality, advice, and assistance. 

We will visit Luang Prabang in Laos soon. You can follow us by following our blog or our Facebook page now.


  1. This is some mouth watering food, that i cant take my eyes off of! i will be recommending this post to my cousin who lives there!

    1. Wow, that's a great idea. Maybe, he can give us more comments on nice food in Melbourne too :)

  2. Nice detailed documentation of the trip. I guess this will prove to be useful when I go over there later. thanks for sharing these info, Dr. Wong

    1. That's great Alex, please share your trip with us in future!