Friday, 13 December 2013

Melbourne Best Cafes and Chinese Restaurants

Melbourne is the most livable city on planet earth in 2012 according to The Economist Intelligence Unit's Livable Survey. 

Well, according to Mercer's Cost of Living rankings, Melbourne is also ranked No.15 for The World's Most Expensive Big City in 2012! But that was because the Australia dollar was stronger than the US dollar in 2012. Since 2013, the Australia dollar has been sliding South and I believe Melbourne's ranking in the World's Most Expensive Cities would drop to where it was in 2011 - No.21.
Back to the subject of Most Livable City - one reason why I agree that Melbourne is the Most Livable City on planet earth is because the food that are served in Melbourne's cafes are freaking good. You don't have to travel far to experience mouth watering delicious food as the very best restaurants are located in or near Melbourne Central Business District (CBD).

Previously, I have published three articles relating to food in Melbourne. Please click the links below to read them before proceeding to read this article any further so that you get an idea of the various types of food served around Melbourne and in restaurants mentioned in this article. 

Melbourne Food is Freaking Good - This article was my first article concerning food in Melbourne where I posted many photos of the meals I had in Melbourne. The restaurants I visited then were Stalactites in CBD which serve Greek food, Hungry Jack where you can get a complete meal for AUD5, St. Ali Cafe at South Melbourne where I really liked the dish Mexican Cousin, Auction Room which won the award for the Best Cafe in Melbourne, Seven Seeds at North Melbourne, breakfast at The Hardware Societe in Melbourne CBD, Snag Stand for a quick but messy meal, fine dining at Taxi in Federation Square, Mercadante Italian restaurant at Lygon Street, Red Spice Road for some delicious fusion Thai food, Curry Vault in CBD where they have very good Indian food and Pappa Rich at QV Square for Malaysian Cuisine like mouth watering Nasi Lemak.

Melbourne Food is Freaking Good - Part II  - In this article I highlighted a place called J Cafe which specializes in Sushi Burgers at Exhibition Street. You must try their soft shell crab sushi burger. Taxi Pub and Cafe for some fish and chips (would recommend the Taxi Fine Dining restaurant located above instead where the food is really good but cost more), The Grand Tofu at Newmarket for Malaysia Chinese food where the curry fish head is the best I had in Melbourne and how to get to Richmond by tram for Vietnamese food.

Melbourne Food is Freaking Good - Part III - in this article I posted photos of the lunch meals I had at Hardware Societe which was really good, dinner at Red Hot Wok at South Yarra where the chilli crab and Teochew style steam fish were good, value for money meals at Hanaichi and Don Don in CBD. But Dim Sum at Dragon Boat on Lonsdale Street is a no no after 1pm as their selection is really pathetic and not worth the AUD18 for all you can eat. Once again I visited Red Spice Road when they opened another branch at QV where I would have the pork belly every single time I go there. I also mentioned that I dislike the char-siew at Pacific BBQ on Lonsdale Street.

I am now going to list my favorite cafes and restaurants where the food is consistently good and everything on the menu taste delicious. Of course being in the No15 World's Most Expensive City, the food is not "cheap" compared to the restaurants in South East Asia; but then again, the quality of  food served in these restaurants are top notch. 

In order for a cafe to be listed as my favorite cafe, besides the food tasting great, it has to have good coffee ( I am a coffee addict besides a chain smoker) and more importantly fast and friendly service.  I would suggest you only visit the cafes mentioned below on weekdays only. They are really busy during weekends and not the place to go if you have kids as you may need to queue and it may take some time (up to 45 minutes) before you are seated.


Here is the list of my favorite cafes near CBD in alphabetical order:

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Citibank CitiGold Debit Card and FREE Platinum Credit Card and Term Deposit Promo

In my previous articles I have shown you guys FREE Debit Cards offered by banks in Australia. The Debit Cards that are issued together with Transaction Accounts offered by Citibank, HSBC and NAB are truly FREE as you do not need to deposit or maintain a single cent in the accounts. As for Commonwealth Bank Debit Card, issued with Complete Access, well, we have to deposit a certain sum monthly or else a monthly fee will be imposed. 

This article will touch on Citibank CitiGold Account where one will be rewarded with CitiGold status if one deposits or invests AUD100K with Citibank.

Well, guess what, sometime last month when I logged on to my Citibank Australia Online Account, I noted the word CitiGold mentioned at the top of every page. So I called Citibank and was informed that I have been upgraded to CitiGold status without even applying for it. I then requested for the Citibank CitiGold Debit Card :) The CitiGold Debit Card was forwarded to me about a week after I requested for it.

I remembered reading that CitiGold members are eligible to Citibank Australia Platinum credit card where the annual fee is waived as long as we have CitiGold status. So I called Citibank again to try and see if I can get their Platinum credit card without having to disclose my income. Unfortunately, the girl on the line said that I have to meet their minimum annual income of AUD35K to be eligible for their Platinum card and she was not really aware if CitiGold customers are entitled to FREE annual fees. I wanted a credit card badly and was kind of disappointed after I hung up the phone.

Monday, 21 October 2013

Prada Handbags are Cheaper in Australia Compared to Singapore

An article by GenX published 
at Melbourne Victoria Australia
Please do not reprint or republish in part or in any form.

I am sure many of you ladies are well aware that you can get luxury branded handbags cheaper in Europe. No one has ever told me that handbags are cheaper in Australia compared to Singapore or Malaysia. In August my wife told me she wanted a Prada Saffiano Leather Double Zip Tote with Strap while I was in Melbourne, so we walked into a Prada Store located at Collins Street and to my surprise I found that the bag she wanted was not that costly. So early last month while I was back in Malaysia I went to the Prada Store in KLCC and noted that the price of the bag my wife wanted cost more than RM2K extra here.
Then I was down in Singapore, and was surprised that the Prada Saffiano Leather Double Zip Shopping Handbag with Strap was priced about the same as in Malaysia. However in Singapore, like in Australia, if you were to take purchase the handbag and then take it out of the country, you will be reimbursed the GST at the airport. However, even considering the fact that you can be reimbursed for the GST at Changi Airport, the Prada handbag in Singapore still cost more than in Australia with GST!!!

I did published an article on my wife's new Prada Cameo Saffiano Leather Twin Zip Shopping Tote with Strap and my daughter's Prada Royal Blue Saffiano Leather Wallet that comes with Metal Strap at my Money For Luxury Blog. Click link below to read it and see photos of the Prada bags:

In the above said article I listed the price of both the Prada Saffiano Leather Twin Zip Shopping Tote in Australia, Singapore and Malaysia. As for Louis Vuitton handbags, in the article you will note that the LV Favorite PM cost about the same in Australia, Singapore and Malaysia.

In the article I mentioned that I initially bought the Louis Vuitton Favorite PM for my eldest daughter as a birthday gift, and then after that walked into the Prada Store where I saw the Prada Wallet with Strap which looks nicer. So I went and return the LV Favorite, hahaha.

There are 3 Prada stores in Melbourne and they are located at Collins Street in Mebourne CBD, Crown Casino and Chadstone Shopping Mall. And if you are a tourist or leaving Australia in a month's time, make sure you get the Tax Invoice when you purchase stuff costing more than AUD300 in a single receipt so that you can claim back the GST at Melbourne Airport after Immigration. For example, if you are at Myers, you can go to the Customer Service counter and request that all your shopping at Myers on the same day be combined into a single receipt.