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I’ve always wanted to try the 1000 steps (Officially known as the Kokoda Walk) but just never took the opportunity to. So when my sister came to visit, we thought as a family we’d all just go for fun and then eat pies later.

There are various ways to climb to the top, I believe there are actual steps and just one long steep dirt path. The steps weren’t open when we got there so we took what looked like a endless path to nowhere.

I must say it’s quite a arduous task, I never thought it’d be so strenuous. But I know it pales in comparison with the real thing, plus the soldiers did it for days and days. Where we only did it in an hour? Definitely not for the faint hearted. It can be quite a struggle but we were definitely determined to reach the top and say ‘Yep, we’ve done it’.

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Still, it was a good experience to see just a glimpse of what it was like for our ANZAC soldiers and what they had to do to protect our country and the will power, dedication and spirit needed to get through it all for all us Australians. It truly makes you appreciate what they have done.

We went to see the Mount Dandenongs Park, SkyHigh. It’s a small, quiet place but at times you can get quite a good view of Melbourne from here.

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Very hard to see here with all the clouds and with my poorly zoomed camera but  where the green flat land meets the sky is where the City of Melbourne is.

Everyone should at least try this out once in their life times. The 1000 steps and the Dandenongs should be on everyone’s list of things to do.

Kokoda Track Memorial Walk

Burwood Highway and Mt Dandenong Tourist Road
Upper Ferntree Gully 3156
Ph: 131 963

SkyHigh Mt. Dandenong

26 Observatory Road

Mount Dandenong

General Enquiries
Ph     +61 3 9751 0443
Fax    +61 3 9751 0442
info@skyhighmtdandenong.com.au

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So it seems like I live in Glen Waverley since that’s all that I post about but I live 20 minutes away. It’s just the closest place to eat good Malaysian food.

I’m also very late with this post since this was held on the 13th Of February.

So I think in the last couple of years, the City of Monash has been holding and celebrating Chinese New Year with their own festival with food stalls and performances. Similar to the Box Hill, Crown Melbourne and China Town ones but for the South-East Melburnians.

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Stalls are spread out all along Kingsway, one of or the only day where cars are blocked from passing through. There were several performances on the stage and on the street. It’s really great to see the Chinese culture here in one of the more populous Chinese/Malaysian suburbs in Victoria.

Check out the Lion dance pics below (With Vids at the bottom of the page)

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IMG_4965Kevin Rudd came to visit and was welcomed by the Lion Dance performers.

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I believe the man in the mask is some kind of traditional show thing but I’m not entirely sure.

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The two lions do some amazing hops and jumps on those small pedestals. Check out my vids of it further down the page.

The ending where the lions catch the scrolls. I have no idea what it says on it, I’m completely Mandarin illiterate.

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Fire Crackers! Many kids covered their ears. Hehe
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Photo Op!
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A lot more people than last year, it’s good to see everyone celebrating CNY and just having fun really.
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Satays and more satays
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Most stalls had Fried Rice Cakes aka Char Koay Kak, one had a huge line. Obviously the good stall or people are just sheep.
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There were many other stalls too selling even Dutch Pancakes or Japanese sweet and savoury snacks and some drink stalls with the very sweet but delicious Sugar Cane drinks.

Check out my vids below (Sorry for the cut offs every couple of minutes, my camera does strange things)

All in all it’s always good to have some of the Chinese culture in Australia. I’ve never experienced an authentic Chinese New Year Festival in Malaysia so this is as close as we can get.

Many thanks to all the performers and participants in helping this Chinese New Year and Lantern Festival a success and I believe the Monash Council, I assume they have contributed towards this.

Looking forward to next years festival, and hoping it’ll get bigger and better every year.

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After trying the scones at Pie In The Sky and the Strawberry Farm in Mornington, I wanted to try making scones again.
Last year, we went to Pie In The Sky and I did the same thing but they didn’t turn out that well. They were kinda fluffy but they didn’t seem to rise very much. Maybe I just made them too small, I don’t know. It was one of those lemonade scones that are apparently the fluffiest and lightest, but I wanted to try one without that this time.

Google is my best friend for recipes and I came across the Stay Fresh Scones on the BestRecipes.com website.
It looked simple and there was no kneading necessary! Just had to wait for the dough to rise.
When I was trying to roll the dough out, it was very sticky. Quite troublesome and difficult at times, had to put in some more flour even when the recipe states to limit the amount of extra flour used.

Made them too small the first time around so I had to re-roll them, possible making them harder or less fluffy but I’m not too sure.

End result:

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Used the Raspberry Jam we bought at Pie In The Sky, with some store bought but still delicious whipped cream. With my mum as the taste tester, she approved! Alas, we had found a good scone recipe that was light, fluffy and overall just tasty that nearly matched the goodness of the Devonshire Tea (Tea + Scones) at Pie In The Sky the first time we ordered it.

A success and this will be my go to scones recipe for now on.

Recipe:

Stay Fresh Scones

  • Preparation time: 15 to 30 minutes
  • If you have trouble making good scones these might just do the trick. Extra baking powder and standing time helps to keep these light and fluffy.

Ingredients

500 g self-raising flour
1 egg
1½ cups milk
1 tablespoon icing sugar
2 rounded teaspoons baking powder
60 g melted butter

Method

  1. Sift dry ingredients into a bowl.
  2. Add beaten egg, milk and butter.
  3. Quickly combine all ingredients into a dough.
  4. Stand dough on a floured board for 20 minutes.
  5. Gently roll out to required thickness (about 2 cm).
  6. Cut out circles using the rim of a glass dipped in flour.
  7. Stand scones close together on a lightly floured baking tray for a further 15 minutes.
  8. Bake at 210°C for 10 minutes. (I think I baked it at around 170 because our oven gets extremely hot)

PS: Was going to post about macarons I’d attempted to make the last couple of weeks. I actually tried it twice but failed miserably both times. The first time I made them it looked good, had feet and all but was extremely sweet, even after cutting the icing sugar by half. I’ll try again when I’m not so depleted

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Chef Lagenda is a somewhat new restaurant that has popped up in Flemington, right next to the well known Laksa King. They predominantly serve Malaysian cuisine, just like Laksa King.

Inside the restaurant it has mainly low lighting, with minimal natural lighting. With a nice decor, rustic wooden tables and walls, combined with brick walls and rendered walls. An old building made modern but it hasn’t thrown away all it’s old charm. It’s definitely one of the better looking Malaysian restaurants I’ve been to. It’s slightly small on the ground level, but it seems like there was another floor when it gets busy.

Their selection of food is quite expansive, having the quite well known famous Malaysian dishes in Australia such as Nasi Lemak, Nasi Goreng, Mee Goreng, Laksa and Char Kway Teow from the less well known ones like Fish Head Curry and desserts you can only find in Malaysia eateries such as Ice Kacang and Ice Cendol.

They have a big selection of each big category of rice, noodle soups and fried noodles, also having main dishes (larger servings) and appetizers.

I ordered the Char Kway Teow (extra spicy) as I wanted to compare it to the other Malaysian restaurants I’e been to. Service was quite good, orders taken promptly and our meals arrived quickly too.

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It looked quite appetising, and the serving portion was excellent too. It had a nice taste to it, and had all the requirements for a good Char Kway Teow, it wasn’t dry, not overly oily and had a good mix of bean sprouts, kueh teow, egg and Chinese sausage. However, it wasn’t spicy at all. Luckily they had fresh chopped chillies to spice it up a bit.

I think if it was spicy before having to add the chillies, it would have been the perfect dish as one of my favourite Char Kway Teow’s is from ABC Cafe in Glen Waverley usually is really tasty, maybe just a tad oily on occasion.

I don’t know if I’d drive all the way to Flemington, when Glen Waverley is much closer to me for this dish but for those up north it will satisfy your Malaysian cravings.

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I also tasted their Curry Laksa. It was actually quite nice, different to what I was used to but still tasty. It was creamier than other ones I’ve tasted, I presume they used coconut milk but it wasn’t overly creamy to put you off eating. It had a slight spicy tinge to it, which helped balance the dish. It would probably be one of the better Laksa’s I’ve eaten.

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I tried the Nasi Lemak, a very Malaysian dish. It usually contains anchovies, peanuts, cucumber, coconut rice and either a Beef Rendang or Curry Chicken. Then one I tasted was a Beef Rendang.

It was actually a decent dish, for those that prefer a sweeter curry sauce. It reminded me of a satay sauce but curry. Not necessarily bad, but having vacationed in Malaysia a couple months ago, it didn’t really feel authentic. The rice was also a bit too wet, but it’s a more what you prefer thing here. Overall, it was okay. I didn’t mind it and I wouldn’t mind trying their Curry Chicken option out too to see the difference.

We ordered the Ice Cendol and Ice Kacang to try.

Firstly, the Ice Cendol. For those that don’t know, it is a mix of coconut milk, palm sugar syrup, cendol (the green pandan jellies) and usually shaved ice.

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The serving size was smaller than I’m used to and for the price you would expect more. I guess taste is what matters, however, to my disappointment it didn’t taste that great either. It lacked the sweetness of the palm sugar syrup, and the coconut milk they used had a sharpness to it that made it a slightly odd experience. The cendol itself was great, it was smooth, a bit soft, a bit chewy and wasn’t sweet like some cendols’ are. However, the shaved ice was quite coarse and it shouldn’t be if you’re using shaved ice instead of ice cubes.

It was a decent attempt, but lacks the flavour to make it an authentic Malaysian Ice Cendol and for the price, it really isn’t worth it.

Now onto the Ice Kacang. Before we go any further, I didn’t eat all this alone. I had help!

For those that might not know, Ice Kacang can be quite a creative dessert, with many fruits, sweet syrups, nuts, jellies and usually condensed milk (sweet and evaporated) all mixed together to make a very appetising and well just a fun dessert to eat.

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Chef Lagenda’s Ice Kacang consisted of chopped roasted peanuts on top, with longan, a bit of sweet corn, red beans, cendol, black jelly and a yellow and white jelly too if I can recall, longan, and palm seed. With a red syrup and I think the condensed milk.

The serving size was decent, usually they are priced around $4.50 to $5 but this was $5.50, and might be a tad small when compared to those at the lower end of the scale.

Onto the taste. The shaved ice, again, was coarser then I’m used to but not too coarse to make it doesn’t detract from the taste. With all of the ingredients mixed together, it was quite nice, a bit less sweet to those other Ice Kacang’s I’ve eaten. For those looking to have a dessert that isn’t too sweet but still sweet enough to satisfy your sugar cravings. Here it is. Nonetheless, a good offering by Chef Lagenda.

I would still probably put The Grand Tofu (Glen Waverley) and ABC Cafe (Glen Waverley) as the better ones, because they are cheaper, have larger portions and are just well, tastier.

I had a decent experience dining at Chef Lagenda, it had a pleasant atmosphere, with nicely cooked meals that I didn’t have any major problems with. I would definitely go there again to taste their other dishes on offer but it isn’t a ‘have to go there again really soon’ kinda thing.

Chef Lagenda on Urbanspoon
Chef Lagenda
16 Pin Oak Cres
Flemington, 3031
Victoria
(03) 9376 2668

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