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The Grange Reserve (UFO Park), Clayton South, Melbourne | All aboard the UFO with a history

Gather earthlings; a kid-friendly UFO has landed at The Grange Reserve in Clayton South! I’m unintentionally writing this post on World UFO Day, a day for UFO enthusiasts to gather and watch the skies for unidentified flying objects. Yes, apparently it’s a thing and commemorates the supposed 1947 Roswell UFO crash. But we’re not here to talk about the Roswell incident; we’re here to discuss the story of the Westall UFO encounter in 1966. Well, sort of. What does all of this have to do with the totally wicked UFO playground at The Grange Reserve in Melbourne’s South-East? I’m glad you asked. I visited this reserve basically because, how often do you come across an interactive playground in the shape of a UFO? Not enough, I say! The child in me got a little too excited over this one. It wasn’t until I got back to work and did a…

Aoki Japanese Kitchen, Glen Waverley, Melbourne | Modern Jap, Sake bar and Insta-worthy colourful desserts

A new modern Japanese restaurant with an impressive Sake bar has opened in Glen Waverley and it has great potential! Slightly fancy, yet chilled out/moody vibes describe how you feel when you’re in the restaurant. The aesthetics of Aoki Japanese Kitchen were the biggest stand out for me. It is evident that a lot of planning and effort went into the design and feel of the restaurant. Loads of booths running down one side as well as an eye-catching neon sign lead your eye straight to the back of the restaurant where you can see the chefs preparing your meal through a cut out in the wall. The purple/magenta coloured lighting is carried on through the sake bar which is so neat that you would feel bad using it. The table water bottles are even branded! Mmm, definitely an A+ for design from me. The food was good, but nothing…

Hoa Tam, Gilles Plains, Adelaide | A hidden gem for great Thai/Vietnamese food

We stumbled across Hoa Tam while searching online for a Thai restaurant local to the northeast open for lunch on a Monday. Being one of very few options and nursing a craving for Thai food that wasn’t going anywhere, we drove out to Gilles Plains to try Hoa Tam and weren’t disappointed. The restaurant is located in a small group of shops and restaurants on the other side of North East Road to The Plains Village.. From the outside, the restaurant looks a bit attention seeking, with vibrant colours and oversized specials signage, but once you step inside, it has cosy and welcoming vibes with a modest amount of oriental decor to help set the tone. The food was delicious, very affordable and generous in portion size. I ordered the seafood rice pot and hearing it still sizzling as it approached our table had me excited before I even got…

Thanh Dat, Springvale, Melbourne | A new favourite spot for Vietnamese in the south-east

Step into the south-east suburb of Springvale and you will instantly feel like you’ve been transported to Asia. Filled with Asian supermarkets, alternative medicines, food markets and of course the famous food scene,  it is a treat for all your senses. You will be spoilt with options for an Asian meal in Springvale. Consequently, deciding on a restaurant can be a little overwhelming! We recently stumbled across a new hidden gem on Springvale Road, Thanh Dat. It was an instant mutual decision that it was going to be our new go-to spot for a Vietnamese lunch. This place is great if you want cheap Vietnamese food that actually tastes great! The restaurant itself is not the prettiest and in my opinion, lacks character, however, it is huge and the service is very good and very quick, so I don’t mind. We ordered the tofu and asked for it to not…

Est Pizzeria, Adelaide CBD | Damn fine wood-oven pizza.

I’m calling the best pizza I’ve laid my tastebuds on in Adelaide! …Well, I actually haven’t tried many pizza restaurants in Adelaide yet, but I have a feeling Est pizza is going to be hard to beat! Being a Melbournian, where wood-fired pizzas are all the rage lately, searching for a restaurant that matched this pizza style I am surrounded by at home proved to be difficult, but ended when we came across Est Pizzeria. I like what they did with their name. “Est Pizzeria”; the result of being located on East Terrace and serving up Italian cuisine… “East” in Italian is “est”… Pizza on “Est” (Terrace). I see what you did there, guys! Okay, that’s enough Italian lessons for today. Onto what’s more important – the food. Top quality gourmet wood-fired pizzas with be perfect amount of crunch. It’s evident that high quality ingredients are used and equal amounts…

Dexter, Preston, Melbourne | X marks the spot of the best burgers in town!

It’s the talk of the town. You’ve heard your brother and co-worker brag about them. Now it’s your turn to sink your teeth into a highly acclaimed Dexter bun. The northern suburb of Preston has seen an increase in popularity in the recent years and is continuing to become more well-known for the quality inner-city-esque restaurants/bars continuing to pop up in the area. One of Preston’s new additions, Dexter, is a blessing sent from the burger Gods of the North. This meat and buns diner located on High Street, holding pride of an almost perfect Zomato rating, is a must-try if you are in the area. Heck, I would even encourage you to make your way out there JUST to try it out. But be warned, the place is mega popular, so if you’re making trip up here, I would recommend securing a booking beforehand, especially if you are a…

Tallboy & Moose Brewery and Bar, Preston, Melbourne | Fresh, house-brewed beers for the northside locals

Grab your mates, a Tallboy beer and snuggle into the new, local brewery and bar in Melbourne’s north. If you listen carefully, you’ll hear Tallboy & Moose calling your name from down the street. This local brewery in Preston is so cozy and inviting that you’ll instantly forget you’re in a converted warehouse. Fun, bright colours on the walls, comfy couches, long tables for groups, a fireplace and friendly staff – all you could ever ask for in a brewery in Melbourne in 2017. The first thing I noticed when walking in were the happy, little kiddos running around. I mean, these kids are getting to hang out at a trendy brewery from the age of 3, soaring past their peers on the coolness ladder – what’s there not to be happy about?! It goes without saying, this is a for sure a kid-friendly place. Just past the entrance, there’s…

Stomping Ground Brewery & Beer Hall, Collingwood, Melbourne | Impressive selection of craft beer and enough space for the whole gang

Don’t be deceived by the quiet side street location of this Melbourne brewery; this place is HUGE and you’re probably going to have a hard time deciding which beer to try next. Located off Hoddle Street in Collingwood, Stomping Ground Brewery & Beer Hall is a must-visit if you have a passion for craft beers and local breweries. With it’s massive open-plan arrangement to fit 250 seated beer-enthusiasts, a sheltered beer garden, giant 30-tap bar and a cubby house for the kiddos, it’s hard not to feel like you’re part of a north-side beer community once you step inside the beer hall. Don’t be fooled by the large seating capacity, though, this place gets packed pretty quickly, especially on Friday and Saturday nights, so get down there early if you’re planning on grabbing some food. And that just gives you more time to try another beer from their list! Winning!…

The Pickled Duck Kitchen & Cellar, Modbury, Adelaide | Quality grub and local beer out in the ‘burbs

A trendy and spacious restaurant serving up top-quality pub food and dessert, attached to their own drinks cellar, found out in the suburbs. If you’re looking for a modern eating experience away from the hustle and bustle of the city, then waddle into The Pickled Duck Kitchen & Cellar, located in Adelaide’s north-east suburb of Modbury… Unless of course the north-east is the wrong direction for you – then you’ll have to keep looking. What a little gem this place is! Located across the road from Tea Tree Plaza, you’ll notice from the outside that the building provokes a nice sense of balance between the slick, black, modern restaurant front while maintaining the classical Brick Gothic facing style of the old Modbury Institute building that it once was. Step inside, and you will notice this style carried on through to the interior of the eatery. You will probably notice how…

Levant Eatery, Adelaide CBD | Heaven Found on Hindley Street… really!

Popping colours and a large open window set right in front of diners work together to make you feel part of the Levant Eatery experience before even stepping inside the trendy and delightful cafe found on the west end of Hindley street. I had high expectations for my first experience at Levant Eatery, as it is one of my SO’s favourite places for lunch in the CBD, therefore, I had painted in my mind a pretty decent impression of what I imagine the restaurant to be like. The day finally arrived where I would experience a highly acclaimed Levant sandwich for myself… I must say, it was everything I expected plus so much more! I’m not just talking about the quality of the food, but everything about the place – the decor, atmosphere, you name it! Now, for whatever reason, I imagined the cafe to be older style; one that…