Magic Mountain Saloon, Melbourne, Australia

I didn’t even know that place existed until a friend suggested that we meet there for a late lunch.

Magic Mountain Saloon is a Thai / Australia fusion restaurant. The meals are just scrumptious!

We went for a variety of appetisers to share.

First dish was Potted Duck, Spiced Pineapple Relish & Sweet Onion Roti which was beautifully cooked, finely chopped duck that you spread onto the roti and then covered with the pineapple relish. Superb!

Second dish we ordered were Garlic Chive & Water Spinach Dumpling with Black Vinegar & Chilli Soy Sauce. Absolutely sublime to eat.

Lastly we’d ordered the Curried Rice & Mozzarella Balls with a Coriander & Avocado Sauce which were also a good dish.

Highly recommended if you’re up the top end of Little Collins Street.

And the wine and cocktail list is pretty good too if that’s your poison.

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Cornish Arms, Brunswick, Melbourne, Australia

I have a mate living up in Brunswick, and rather than him coming into the city for beer and food I sometimes jump on the tram and head 20 minutes north.

Brunswick is a quick tram ride up Elizabeth Street, Royal Parade past Melbourne Uni and then Sydney Road.

The Cornish Arms is a largish pub a couple of tram stops past Barkly Square shopping centre.

Been here a couple of times, the beer choice is good, as is the food menu and specials. If you’re a Vegan, then there’s a reasonable menu just for you.

On the first occasion we went snacks only, a large Salt and Pepper Calamari, Eggplant Chips & Macho Nachos. For 2 people it cost ~$50 and was enough food for the two of us.

Second visit was a Tuesday night and there was a BBQ special running that evening – Vietnamese pork BBQ. I am a sucker for pig cooked anyway so we both decided to try the BBQ, upsized to large for $20/head. First impression was that it was a small meal, but once I started eating it turned out to be more substantial than it looked.

There are specials happening most nights to check out their website.

They do also have a beer garden, but its too cold to be out there these days.

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Daikokuya, Raffles City, Singapore

The memories of my Japanese trip earlier on in 2015 came flooding back as I stumbled upon another good restaurant in the basement food court of Raffles City.

Daikokuya is a chain of restaurants that serve relatively authentic Japanese food. They have a very good menu and I chose one of my standard Japanese meals of Tonkatsu Curry Rice which was yummy. I also had a side dish of Chicken Wings which rounded out the meal well.

The Curry and Wings were washed down with a stubby of Asahi.

All round a reasonable meal but on the expensive side at SG$38.40.

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Urban Roti, Lau Pa Sat, Singapore

I’d been traipsing around the financial area of Singapore when lunchtime arrived. I was a block or so from Lau Pa Sat a huge hawker centre with probably 100 small food stalls selling every conceivable food under the sun.

I had an itch for Indian food and after having a quick look around settled upon Urban Roti. They offer a lunch special of Chicken Biryani but more importantly you can sit in an enclosed restaurant with air-conditioning!

The biryani was quite tasty. not as spicy as I have back home in Melbourne, but good nonetheless. And the size was just about right for lunch.

In all, a reasonable Indian meal if you’re in the area.

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Nam Nam Noodle Bar, Raffles City, Singapore

I’m not one for paying the usurious dollars that hotels charge for breakfast so, on the very odd occasion I do have breakfast, I try to find a more reasonably priced option.

In the basement of Raffles City shopping centre in Singapore is a decent food court with many and varied eating options.

I had planned to head over to Bao Today at Marina Square but walking through the food court I decided to have a look at what the Nam Nam menu had to offer. I saw Pho on the menu and my mind went back to the great soups I’d had in Vietnam so thought I might as try the Pho here.

I ordered the old standard Beef Pho which, while not of the quality you’d get in Vietnam, was quite decent and reasonable in serving size. This came with a Vietnamese coffee with condensed milk which was ok but nothing compared to the real Vietnamese coffee. Not too bad for the princely sum of SG$6.90.

I wanted to give the Chicken Pho a try so I had breakfast here a couple of days later before I was to fly home. It seems that there’s a different pricing structure on the weekend as I was charged extra for my coffee this time for a total cost of SG$12.90.

For the price it was a decent meal. I will eat here next time I go to Singapore.

Their website is


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