Bali with Kids: Accommodation

There are numerous blog posts for recommendation on places to stay. You are almost too spoilt for choice in Bali. There are many types at all levels that you would almost guaranteed to find one that you like. However, during our search for β€œBali’s best places to stay with young children”, we didn’t see the Pullman Hotel come up, so I thought I would start this blog series from here.

Why we chose the Pullman Bali Legian Nirwana Hotel: Continue reading

Child friendly restaurant: The Austrian Australian Club

The Austrian Australian Club
Ph: 02 6286 5793
Heard St
Mawson ACT

I first went to the restaurant with my Mothers’ Group mums for our first dinner get-together sans kids. It was such an awesome night and I thoroughly enjoyed the occasion. I wasn’t sure whether the food was good because I had loads of fun or because the food really was good. I did remember that the chips were amazing though.

Anyway, hearty German/Austrian food is definitely up to Mr E’s alley so I had to take him there and reconfirmed its awesomeness And I did, a fortnight after πŸ˜‰ with Little E in tow, hungry and ready at the door at 6pm (their opening time).


The decor is a little tired and could do with a bit of refreshment, but it did bring us back to the lovely restaurant we went to in Austria

I had the chicken schnitzel with chips, bread dumpling and pepper sauce on the first visit. On my second one, I ordered the pork schnitzel, again with the amazing chips and mixed vegies (had to order this because Little E was there and I wanted him to have vegies). Oh, and a side of gravy.

A little side note, am I the only mum who ordered healthier food when the little one is around, just so that he eats better too? That just by having him around is actually good for me? Heh.


Yummy golden freshly deep fried chips...

I digress. Mr E ordered the lamb schnitzel with red cabbage, sauerkraut and an extra side of spetzels (which is noodley pasta thingies). The serving size is very generous, with us three sharing the two orders and we had more than enough. Little E would have eaten almost the entire serve of red cabbage, preferring it on top of everything else, so weird!


Digging for red cabbage

Just as I remembered from the first visit, the chips were amazing. I would just go back again and again for it. I didn’t like the pepper sauce nor the gravy, but I thought the schnitzels were really yummy. As per the order of prices, the lamb was the best, with the pork coming last.


The cake was moist and rich and was just delicious!

Though we were really full already, I couldn’t resist not getting dessert as I didn’t get any the first time I was there. We shared a black forrest cake with ice cream, Little E eating and scooping faster than I’ve seen him done before. We think he liked it lol

It took a little longer for our meals to arrive the first time I went, but I would imagine it was because there were 7 orders on our table. The second time around, our meals didn’t take long at all to arrive. I had the same waitress on both occasions and she was really friendly. She was patient with Little E, waiting for his response when she asked him if she could take his plate away. Which he didn’t give for almost a whole minute, out of shyness. When he finally did, she just laughed and didn’t seem to be rushed at all.


Austrian and German beers are available

We were the first people there, but the place did fill up as the night progressed, mostly with families. The mum friend who suggested the place did tell us that we should book as they get pretty busy. I would recommend the same, most especially if you need a highchair as I could only see one available. Mr E said to me as we left that we’re definitely going back there for their other meals and I have to agree with him πŸ™‚

Fussy little eaters: Slow Cooked Sweet Soy Pork

I cooked this recently and gave a dear friend some to try. It is a dish that I grew up with, though we would have it with sausages and intestines instead πŸ˜‰ Mr E would never eat that so I used pork shoulder instead.Β My friend liked it so much that she asked for the recipe. Since I had to write it down for her, I thought I’d post it as well, in case you would like to try it out too πŸ™‚ My little one liked this dish as the meat is very tender.

Slow cooked Sweet Soy Pork


  • 4 stalks of shallots, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped finely
  • 6cm piece of fresh ginger, grated
  • 600g pork shoulder, trim most fat
  • 4tbs kecap manis (Indo sweet soy sauce, you can get this at any supermarket now)
  • 2tbs soy sauce
  • 200ml boiling water
  • 1 long green chilli, chopped (optional)
  • Any vegetables you like, I added about 4 potatoes (halved)


  1. Pan fry garlic and ginger until fragrant. Add shallots and chilli until tender.
  2. Quickly brown the pork then add all the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Once all of the sauces are combined, put everything into a slow cooker for 6-8Β hours.
  4. Serve with rice, stir fried vegies and a dollop of sambal (Indo chilli paste)

You can use chicken or even tofu for this dish. When I’m feeling ultra extravagant, I also add in peeled boiled eggs into the slow cooker. The eggs will end up soaking the juices, making them sweet and spicy and eggy. It is definitely one of my comfort food dishes, I normally make this when only food can make me happy πŸ˜‰

Happy cooking (and eating)!

Ps. Let me know if you would like me to post the recipe on my Indo chilli paste. That one is definitely not child friendly! πŸ™‚

Japan: Osaka, Osaka Prefecture


The famous Glico billboard in Dotonburi: the food and shopping mecca of Osaka

We spent the last few days of the trip in Osaka. Like Nagoya, we’ve all been to Osaka in previous trips, so we didn’t do anything other than doing last minute shopping, eating and taking day trips (to Uji and Kobe).


Osaka at dusk

My plan for Osaka was to do absolutely nothing. Sleep ins, eat, shop, alone times and pampering times; basically things that I don’t get to do when home with the little man. Thankfully, I got to do all that πŸ™‚ One of the highlights of my Osaka time was a pampering session at the hairdressers! For hours, I did absolutely nothing but just be. Most of the time, my feet were attached to their massage machine, it was amazing! Mr E and his brother joined me in the experience and it was so much fun πŸ™‚


What my hair looks like when bleached...

Another highlight was our Nagomi visit organised by my sister inlaw. It was such a fun occasion, getting an insight into Japanese people’s home and cooking. A snippet of their lives, really. If you’re ever going to Japan, please do make sure you get to do it too! For the whole 3 hours we were there, I smiled the whole entire time. The experience authenticated my trip, if that makes sense?


DIY sushi! Soooo good!

Before long, it was time to pack and go home. I truly enjoyed the trip, like I have said before, I learnt so much more about my inlaws! They’re fun quirky people πŸ˜‰ My kind of people!

Missing Little E meant that some parts of the trip were almost unbearable, most especially when hiccups happened. Consolidating five differing opinions, desires and ways of doing things were tricky at times but like my brother inlaw said, we don’t normally live in each other’s pockets for 3 whole weeks straight, let alone sharing a room for more than a whole week! After two weeks, even Mr E got annoying πŸ˜‰

As our Nagomi dinner host remarked, I feel privileged that I have inlaws that I get along with to go on holidays together, so I am thankful.

A humongous thank you to my parents inlaw who took care of Little E and for giving me the opportunity to be me. Mr E and I found each other again; we were never lost but we definitely broke apart a little πŸ™‚ Marriage after children takes a lot of effort, such a difficult request when time is not something you have a lot of. I am very blessed.

Japan: Kobe, Osaka Prefecture

I am home now, reunited with my precious. I am so happy to be back, however, I am about a week behind my Japan posts so here’s one for our day trip to Kobe.


The day started late with a quick walk around the town, sussing out which restaurant to go to for lunch. We stumbled across this beautiful shrine during our walk.


We watched a group of young people dipping their fortune paper into this pond. From what we gathered, the fortune only shows up when the paper is wet. The kids seem to be happy with theirs πŸ˜‰


We also did a quick walk through the Western Houses area of Kobe. It is interesting to see the architecture of the place, you’d think that you’re elsewhere. Also another thing to note, there are many wedding shops around the area, I assume it’s because of the possibility of holding your wedding in anyone of these Western houses. Definitely a case of “the grass on the other side is always greener”, as I would love to wear beautiful kimonos on my wedding! πŸ™‚


The clock on the photo above is stuck on the time when the 1995 earthquake happened; apparently, one of the highest ever recorded in the world. Like true Japanese style though, just like what we saw in the museum in Hiroshima, recovery time was super quick! Amazing.


The main reason why we’re in Kobe: having a taste of Kobe beef. The picture above is probably about AUD15 of beef. I actually preferred this over the Hida beef we had in Takayama, however, I do still prefer Australian beef πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ We were told that all the Japanese calves came from the same farm, though they’re raised in the different areas of Japan. Curious, right?


While the boys went to a sake museum, us girls trekked through a giant hill in the highly humid weather to see this waterfall. My sister inlaw can’t remember what the significance of this waterfall is but it’s one of the top three something waterfalls in Japan hahaha it filled the time πŸ˜‰


We ended the trip at the Kobe port, looking through the experimental samples of ferries/boats. It was a pleasant experience πŸ™‚

I enjoyed Kobe, though I won’t rush going back there again πŸ˜‰ it is an easy trip from Osaka, so if you’re after a daytrip option, Kobe could be one of them πŸ™‚


We’re only on our second full day in Japan today and we have done soooo much! Summer night dancing festival, dressed up in a Yukata (a summer kimono), had a 10-course dinner banquet, did loads of sightseeing, and ate copious amounts of food. We’ve also spent heaps on the vending machines, making the difficult decision of only choosing one drink at a time πŸ™‚


I am missing Little E a lot! It is difficult when I see little children around his age cuddling up to their parents. Or running around having fun. I feel like we should have brought him with us. Everything I look for at the shops are for him, and it was hard not to as everything here are just too adorable! However, my in laws are wonderful at keeping me up to date with photos and messages about him. By the sounds of it, he is behaving himself, going back to having full nights of sleeps!


I also appreciate this opportunity of being me again, enjoying the company of my husband and my family members. It is nice to have undisturbed sleep and not to follow a routine πŸ™‚

I am having a great time here, Japan is almost like my (third) home. I hope to continue to post photos of this holiday and take you all with me πŸ™‚

Child friendly restaurant: BentSpoke Brewery

BentSpoke Brewery
Ph: 02 6257 5220
38 Mort St
WebsiteΒ here
Bentspoke Brewing Co on Urbanspoon

After a whole week being cooped upΒ inside, we decided to go out for lunch last Sunday. Mr E wanted to try a new place so we went to BentSpoke Brewery. We arrived just as they opened (11am FYI) and were served straight away. It was their 5th weekend since they opened on the weekend and you could feel it too. The restaurant is decorated in a “warehouse” style, it’s open and airy, with cool decor using old bike parts. Mr E said that apparently the owner’s wife did the welding herself! So cool.

I really want to recreate that vertical herb garden on my top right picture.

image The menu isn’t extensive but I think it caters for a lot of people. I couldn’t go past the ribs and wings so that’s what I ordered. Mr E went for the Ploughman and I was glad that he did, because I wanted it too. We were able to give Little E bits of our food for lunch so he was happy too. There is also Kids’ menu if you prefer, which I think are reasonably priced at $8 each.

I liked my meals, though there were things that I think they could have done better:

  • heat up the sauce that came with the meals, as it was weird having hot things with cold sauces
  • or even better, marinade the ribs with the sauce
  • the Ploughman needed a bit of “something” like chutney, salsa, cranberry jam or even just a knob of butter, as it was a littleΒ dry

In saying that, I think Bentspoke Brewery has way better food than the owner’s last gig. I will go back to try their other meals, definitely. It’s also in a cool area, so I need to hang around there more often πŸ˜‰

image I didn’t mind the beer that Mr E ordered but as I’m not really a beer connoisseur I couldn’t say anything other than that I liked the fruity beers that the owner’s old joint did. Mr E liked it though, so I guess that is good. They seem to have a number of selections, which they of course brew in-house, so for any beer-people, do check it out.image The menu for last weekend, the place isn’t cheap but as I said above, it is located in a hip area so I guess we have to allow for that. I like that they have a highchair available – though they have only 1 that we could see, so you may need to mention when booking a table. The beverage menu indicated that they’ll have a bigger range of beer as they go, so I can foresee Mr E wanting to visit loads in the future.