Category Archives: Food & Drink

My Beach Holiday

Beach holidays with kids are the best. Sand, sunshine, swimming, collecting shells, building sandcastles (I get pretty serious about mine!). An added bonus, the boys always sleep well after a day swimming and running around.

We recently spent a week in Da Nang, Vietnam, and it is without a doubt my new favourite destination. Da Nang is the third largest city in Vietnam, and only a thirty minute drive to the charms of Hoi An. Da Nang itself has some good restaurants and is relatively easy to get around, unlike our trip to Ho Chi Minh City, which with the two boys was a bit of a nightmare.

We stayed at Premier Village Danang– a lovely resort situated perfectly on My An Beach. Our villa came with its own pool, kitchen, living room and two bedrooms. The facilities at the resort were fantastic. The communal pool was huge, right next to the beach with a swim up bar. The beach was stunning, the resort provided buckets, spades and all types of things for building sandcastles. There were floaties, boogie boards and life vests for the less confident swimmers.


IMG_5887The kids club was just up from the pool, a two storey villa, filled with toys, craft and colouring and Xboxes games and movies for the kids. Xavier would have been happy to spend most of his days there.


I managed some quiet time at the very nice resort spa (highly recommend an hour long massage!), there was a gym we didn’t try and various other activities (yoga, etc.) for guests.

We had the buffet breakfast and a couple dinners at the resort, and then did a little research and headed out to Da Nang for a few meals.

Fat Fish is a two story Asian/Mediterranean fusion restaurant in Da Nang (10 min drive from the resort). The service were fantastic, a great place to take kids as they have a relaxed atmosphere, high chairs and have a lot of options for fussy little eaters . It was very easy to see why this place is the #1 rated restaurant in Da Nang on Trip Advisor. The boys loved their pizza and I was more than content with my ‘Lazy Pig’, pork cutlet with tagliatelle and roasted tomato sauce. The food wasn’t particularly modern, but it was delicious, simple and unpretentious. We sat upstairs and had a lovely view of the river and sunset.


IMG_5918We had a relaxed lunch at Waterfront Da Nang Restaurant and Bar. Modern, spacious and with fantastic views of the Han River, we had a lovely lunch at this establishment. Burgers, beer, good coffee, hummus and pita, Vietnamese spring rolls, zucchini and squash pasta. A satisfying, delicious hour spent here.

After a few days on the beach, we took a 45 min bus ride to Hoi An. Hoi An is a major tourist attraction in Vietnam, due to its history (prior to the late 18th century Hoi An was a major trading city in south-east Asia, particularly with Japanese and Chinese merchants) and the stunning, well preserved architecture which is truly a unique combination of foreign and local influences. The old town of Hoi An was declared a World Heritage Site in 1999.


Unfortunately for us, taking a four year old and an almost two year old with limited (I’m being kind, zero!) attention span around narrow streets, through History, Ceramics and Folklore Museums is virtually impossible. We contented ourselves with having a good look at the Japanese Covered Bridge, emblematic of Hoi An, originally constructed in the 1590s. We had a wander around the streets, taking in the hustle and dogged pestering of the locals selling touristy ceramics, toys and cards from their shophouses. We bought some fruit at Marcel’s insistence from a little old lady, and stumbled upon a truly gorgeous little childrenswear shop, Copenhagen Delights. I bought the boys some lovely, high quality clothes there.


We stopped by The Cargo Club for a lovely lunch, pastries and ice-cream. I was dying to try Mia Coffee, known as the best place to get a good coffee in Hoi An, but both boys were not cooperating. Back we headed to the resort.

We spent another couple of days at the resort, swimming, running around the beach, building sandcastles, watching movies, relaxing. It was hard to come back to Singapore and leave this magical holiday spot behind. But we will be back.


My Neo Life



My Stoke BBQ

As any good Australian, I love a barbeque. Juicy steak, sausages and lamb sizzling away, surrounded by friends, the woody, salty smell of the meat. So with keen interest and high expectations I recently attended an intimate barbeque to launch a newcomer to the thriving BBQ scene in Singapore – Stoke. Stoke are all about organic and sustainable products; artisanal meats, iberico pork, organic salt-bush lamb, grass fed rib-eye.

Grass-fed Beef on grill (3)

I had a great chat with Co-owner Ruth, who is passionate about her company and the quality of her product. You can order their barbeque parcels online and have them delivered to your door. There are a ton of sides you can order (saffron couscous, green salads, creamy potatoes, tiramisu for dessert), you can email them for a tailor made menu and I really loved the fact that you can also book their resident chef Phil to cook the barbeque for you.

So for your next pool party, family gathering or birthday celebration check out Stoke.

My Neo Life




My Open Farm Community

Its official. I have a new favourite restaurant. Lunch, brunch, dinner, coffee, family friendly. This place has it all. Open Farm Community is a gorgeous restaurant (with adjoining ‘farmacy’/shop), bringing the ‘grow your own food’ movement to the masses. The sizeable grounds are used to grow the fresh herbs/veges you see on your plate. The Farmacy sells produce, Common Man coffee (my favourite ‘coffee boyfriend’ has moved there from Tiong Bahru Bakery) and delicious drinks and other lovely stuff. You can register to participate in the community gardening sessions, and the last weekend of the month the Open Farmers Market is on, featuring fresh local produce for sale. Oh, and did I mention the table tennis, lawn bowls and large sandpit for the kiddos to play in? Without a doubt this is the nicest, most child friendly restaurant in Singapore.

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We have been there a few times now for dinner. Order the charred lamb rump with mint, peas, bacon, lettuce, whipped potatoes and deliciousness. Or the rigatoni with mushrooms, stilton and balsamic reduction. The warm broccoli salad is fresh, crunchy and generous in its size. Lemon tart with basil ice-cream or cheese platter for dessert (served with fresh honeycomb, tiny sweet OFC grown tomatoes and chutney). Yum.

There is a healthy, fresh and varied kids menu. Fish pie, lasagne, pasta, Caesar salad. My only comment would be the kids meals are expensive (from $18.00). We order for the boys to share, or they have a bit of our dinner (both loved the lamb) and the wait staff were very accommodating in providing plain pasta for the boys to go with their lamb (generous serve for $10.00).


We took some friends to OFC for dinner Saturday night. Our booking was for 8pm, however our table wasn’t quite ready (word of mouth has spread, this place is a must book now). The manager was very apologetic, and very nicely sat us outside on a lovely lounge and provided us with two bottles of complimentary prosecco to tie us over while we waited for our table. A classy move. Service in Singapore is not something I can usually rave about but I will in this instance. We will be there again!

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Open Farm Community

130E Minden Road

Open Mon-Fri Lunch and Dinner from 12pm

Weekends 11am onwards.

The Farmacy is open daily from 9am


My Neo Life




My Date Night. Where to go.

I love date night. Dressing up in a (reasonably) chic outfit. Enjoying time with my husband without our gorgeous (but exhausting!) boys in tow. Having a proper adult conversation without interruption. Since moving to Singapore in 2013, we have found some gorgeous little spots for dinner. Below are my five favourite restaurants.

Artichoke Café

161 Middle Road

Middle Eastern inspired sharing menu, full of beautiful slow cooked meats, amazing dips (the beetroot tzatziki is delicious), fresh produce. Artichoke is our go-to spot for a casual dinner, just the two of us, or with friends. The food is always served quickly, and they add new dishes to the menu regularly. Our new favourite is the flap steak, charred eggplant & kashkaval cheese pudding with burnt cabbage tabbouleh. Yum.


No. 2 Dickson Road

French inspired cuisine. Cocotte have an organic farm project in the Cameroon Highlands, and source a large amount of their vegetables and herbs from there, leading to fresh, seasonal and just darn good food. Their roasted meats, particularly the Cote De Boeuf (Tasmanian prime beef ribs) are the best I’ve had in Singapore.

The menu is brimming with choice; steamed mussels, slow cooked pork collar, roasted sea bass, lamb spare ribs. The asparagus salad is a must order.

Oh and the best part: valet parking! For those who drive in Singapore, finding a park when you head out at night can be an absolute nightmare. Venture to Cocotte, and you only need to drive right up to the entrance and drop off your keys.


Kilo Kitchen

66 Kampong Bugis


Tucked away in what appears to be a old storage warehouse, by the Kallang Basin, is Kilo. The food could be best described as modern Japanese/Italian fusion, with a raw menu offering (think ceviches, sushi, tuna tartare), beautiful salads and a fantastic mains selection worthy of a restaurant with Kilo’s reputation.

The desserts are delicious, service is good, and they have a bar on the eighth floor of the same building for pre or post dinner drinks. Just book well in advance as Kilo is very popular! There is a (much smaller) sister restaurant, Kilo at Pact, in the Orchard Central Complex for a more casual setting.

My Little Spanish Place

619 Bukit Timah Road

A less trendy offering then perhaps Kilo or Cocotte, but I love MLSP for its unpretentious, good, Spanish food. The cured meats, jamon and cheese selections with quince are yummy. Everything on the tapas menu is delicious (I’ve tried it all!), and their paella’s are worth the 45 minute wait. They always have good quality wines by the glass, unlike many places we frequent here where there is one wine to choose from. Oh, and you have to save space for dessert, the Churros con Chocolate are divine and the reason I keep going back.

The Boiler

18 Howard Road

#01-06, Novelty Bizcentre

For something completely different, we love to go to The Boiler, a Louisiana seafood restaurant. The seafood is boiled in a bag (hence the name), there are literally no plates or cutlery (you can get a plastic fork on request), and you need to wear the complimentary plastic bib! But the seafood is sublime, the place is bustling and the beers are cold. I highly recommend the Boiler Bombdiggity Bag (Crab, mussels, prawns, clams, sausage) with the works, make sure to order some cajun fries and coleslaw on the side. Its worth the messy fingers and calories!

So there you have it. My five favourite restaurants in Singapore. Happy eating friends.

My Neo Life



My Clue-less Goat

The best thing happened today. We stumbled across a new café, The Clue-Less Goat, within walking distance to our condo. Since moving to Singapore, I have struggled to find any good coffee close by. The best I’ve managed is a 5-10 drive away. But all this has changed following our glorious discovery today.

This little café is nestled on the Thompson Road side of a nondescript shopping complex. You can park your bikes or prams right outside. They have highchairs and make a yummy Xavier-approved baby cino. They were happy to substitute poached for scrambled eggs for me (surprisingly, so many places in Singapore won’t do this for me). The barista gave Xavier extra marshmallows on request. The staff were friendly. The coffee was good. Very good. The food was good, but not great. Toast with jam and butter. Waffles with ham, fried egg and maple syrup. Smashed avocado with scrambled eggs and salsa. But for $35.00 for 3 breakfasts and drinks, great value.

So if you live in the Newton/Novena area, good news. There is FINALLY a good, family friendly coffee shop in our locale.

The Clue-Less Goat

189 Thompson Road

Singapore 307631

Open 6 days

Tues-Fri from 8.00am

Sat-Sun from 9.00am

Check it out.

My Neo Life



My Singapore Coffee. Where to find it.

Singapore has amazing coffee. Some of the best I have ever had. It also has a lot of average and decidedly below average coffee (anyone who drinks Starbucks and thinks it’s good, please stop reading now!). It took me some time to weed out the just ok coffee from the good, but I have now managed to find several lovely cafes, listed below. This is by no means a definitive guide, merely the places I frequent (frequently!), which are relatively kid friendly and I would recommend to my readers. All these spots open by 9am at the latest, a must for me considering my two monkeys like to wake anytime from 6am each morning.

Tiong Bahru Bakery

56 Eng Hoon St


So I have a newish obsession with croissants, thanks to the Tiong Bahru Bakery (Marcel and I are here 3-4 times a week). They do the best croissants in Singapore, along with too many other delicious treats. The coffee is brilliant. The staff are friendly and really look after their valued (me!) customers. Marcel and I sit outside, watch the pigeons fight over our crumbs, flirt with the passers-by and share a croissant (who am I kidding, we always have two). After brekkie we take a quick swing by the wet markets for some fruit and veg, sometimes flowers.

They have a couple other outlets open around Singapore, but their flagship is where it’s at.


Common Man Coffee Roasters

22 Martin Road


Strong, good coffee, and the best latte art in town (if you’re into that kind of thing). The main reason I love this place is that they have the best breakfast menu, hands down in Singapore. Their pancakes are the best I have ever had. Caramelised bananas, walnuts, berries, salted caramel. Ridiculously good.

Jimmy Monkey

9 One-North Gateway

#01-51 One-North Residences

If I lived closer to Jimmy Monkey I would be there all the time. Funky little café, simple, yummy food (boiled eggs and cheesy vegemite soliders, yes please!), and their coffee is simply exquisite. My only complaint is the wait time can be excessively long (30-45 minutes on weekends), just for a takeaway coffee. But if you are there early enough or happy to wait it’s worth it.

Jewel Café and Bar

129 Rangoon Road

Lovely staff, easy street parking. The food here isn’t why you would make the journey (its fine, just not amazing), but their coffee is delicious, they have a coffee loyalty card (something which isn’t very common here), always have good tunes playing and great magazine choice.


Dutch Colony

Parsarbella at the Grandstand

200 Turf Club Road

The coffee at Dutch Colony is delicious. Creamy, strong, freshly roasted beans. The upside of Dutch Colony’s location is you can kill two (or three) birds with one stone here. There are a few organic grocers, my favourite is Tangy Tangerines, which sells lovely fruit and veg, a couple great soft play centres for the kiddos (Kiddy Fun is our usual choice), delis, butchers, supermarket, the list goes on. Oh and free parking!


40 Hands

78 Yong Siak Street


The original home of great coffee. 40 Hands put Tiong Bahru on the map as the place for coffee in Singapore, and really changed the café scene here. Xavier and I come here for our Mummy/X-man special time, for freshly squeezed apple and watermelon juice and coffee. Not a place I would recommend to take babies, unless you are happy sitting outside with your pram. There are no high chairs and it’s a narrow space inside.

And there you have it! My favourite cafes. Enjoy.

My Neo Life




Someone shares Mummy’s love of croissant’s