Hobba is in Prahran, the other side of town for me, but it’s a testament as to how good it is that I would happily cross the river to eat there. It was one of the 3 star award winners in 2014’s Good Food Under $30.

The cafe is set in a huge warehouse space in Malvern Road, which means there’s lots of space to park a pram and set up a high chair.


The fitout aims to bring some cosiness and warmth (literally and figuratively) to the gritty, industrial space. Ceiling heaters emanate a red glow down on diners huddled in the padded plywood booths. There are tables with high stools lined up against one wall. For families it’s best to hang out at the back with the standard height tables and chairs and the tree taking root in the centre of the space!


Hobba‘s menu contains cafe classics for the more conservative patrons but there are exciting dishes to be found too.


It’s not often you see duck confit and mushroom croquettes with white bean truffle puree on a breakfast  menu. At Hobba you can try these crispy gems with a gelatinous 62 degree poached egg, salad greens and a slice of sourdough toast. The combination of textures was superb and the heady aroma of truffle enhanced the earthy flavours in the croquettes. At $20 it was an expensive breakfast dish but I didn’t begrudge the price given the quality of the ingredients.


For sweet tooths you can’t go past the buttermilk hotcakes ($17). Two super-fluffy pancake rounds came bedecked with seasonal berries (though I wished they used fresh and not freeze-dried raspberries – like toffee on the teeth), vanilla and lemon mascarpone, house made maple syrup and honeycomb crumbles. It was an extremely filling dish which was all about unadulterated sugar, so it might be better shared. The dish used to offer THREE hotcakes which would be an almost impossible digestive feat.

The kids menu is short and sweet – coco pops, eggs on toast, boiled egg and vegemite soldiers and ham and cheese toastie. All for $6 each, a refreshing price given I’ve seen some of these items in less cool locations for close to $10.

The coffee at Hobba comes from Five Senses and the coffee station and kitchen were pumping with at least half a dozen staff early on a weekend morning. It does a brisk trade in take away too so if you want to guarantee yourself a table at this popular breakfast/lunch spot then I suggest you get in early.

  • pram access;
  • high chairs;
  • kids menu;
  • standard menu suitable for kids; and
  • large disabled toilets (no change table).
For other ideas for dining out with kids check out the list of reviews

Hobba, 428 Malvern Rd, Prahran 9510 8336

Monday to Saturday 7am to 4pm

Sunday 8am to 4pm


The Red Dress

The Red Dress is an award-winning dance drama by the China Ningbo Performance & Arts Group tells the touching love story of a young man and a young woman from two rich families in an ancient town in southern China. Sweethearts since they were young, they fall in love and then move apart.  The promise of marriage makes the beautiful bride-to-be wait for years with her dream of a red wedding dress.

The Red Dress

The Red Dress is playing at the Palais Theatre on Tuesday 10 March at 7pm and Wednesday 11 March at 7pm. Bookings via www.ticketmaster.com.au.

The Red Dress

The Red Dress, Palais Theatre, Lower Esplanade, St Kilda

Tuesday 10 and Wednesday 11 March 7pm

Ticketmaster www.ticketmaster.com.au or 136 100

Tickets from $24.00 to $70.00

Giveaway! Thanks to The Red Dress I have 2 x double passes valued at $140 to give away for the performance on Tuesday 10 March at 7pm.

To win, just follow the instructions. Competition closes midnight Wednesday 4 March. and the winners will be selected randomly. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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emily floyd ngv

Yay for the first week of Autumn and some cooler weather! Here’s what’s on for families and under 5s this week including lots of activities for Melbourne Food and Wine Festival. Note it’s also the last weekend to see Emily Floyd: The Dawn for Kids and Golden Mirror Carousel.


  • Couch Guerillas Exhibition at ArtPlay (Wed 25 Feb– Sat 14 Mar) – See what the artists have created, with the help of families at ArtPlay, and add your own family couch story.
  • FCA Melbourne Chinatown Chinese New Year Festival (Fri 27 Feb – Sun 1 Mar). The big celebration in Melbourne, with the opening ceremony on Sun 22 Feb followed by the Dragon awakening ceremony and parade.
  • Chinese New Year at Queen Vic Markets (Fri 27 Feb – Sun 1 Mar). During 10 days of festivities, experience traditional Chinese lion and dragon dances, stunning lantern displays and a 15-metre-long dragon lighting up Queen Street. Sample fare from the market’s Chinese traders and forage the stalls for lucky goat charms.
  • Chinese New Year at Docklands (Fri 27 Feb – Sun 1 Mar). Join the major celebrations on Thursday 19 February with the awakening of the Docklands Dragon, floating lanterns, dragon boats, drummers, tai chi and dance troupe demonstrations, fire twirlers and lion dances.
  • Crown’s Alfresco Kitchen (Fri 27 Feb – Sun 1 Mar) – taste the best offerings from signature restaurants like The Merrywell, Gradi.
  • Kids’ Weekend at Pop Up Patch (Sat 28 Feb – Sun 1 Mar) – The special ‘Kids’ Open Weekend’ will include hourly guided tours and free scarecrow-making workshops.
  • Snack Habitat Van at Artplay (Sat 28 Feb – Sun 1 Mar) – The Snack Habitat Van which will serve kid-sized snack foods and activities to get kids tasting, learning and thinking!
  • Grazing by the River at South Wharf Promenade (Sat 28 Feb – Sun 1 Mar) – For one delectable weekend, our chefs will come out of their kitchens to showcase what they do best, creating scrumptious food for their customers, this time served hawker style.
  • Pirates & Pimm’s at Polly Woodside (Sat 28 Feb – Sun 1 Mar) – Find out all about the history of the ship and the period of sail in our gallery and learn all about the hardship and adventure of life at sea.
  • Sticky Fingers at Queen Victoria Market (Sun 1 Mar) – celebration of all things stick in Queen Street on a Sunday. With live music, kids’ entertainment, a bar and only food that can be served à la stick.
  • White at Arts Centre Melbourne (5 – 11 March) – A playful, highly visual new show for very young children and a perfect first time theatre experience.
  • Golden Mirror Carousel at NGV International  (Fri 10 Oct – Sun 1 Mar) the spectacular life-size Golden Mirror Carousel offers visitors to Federation Court a powerfully different physical and mental encounter than its traditional fairground counterpart. READ THE REVIEW.
  • Emily Floyd: The Dawn for Kids at Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia (Fri 21 Nov – Sun 1 Mar) – In ‘The Dawn for Kids’, Emily Floyd invites visitors to experience two interactive spaces that encourage creativity using letters and words. READ THE REVIEW.
  • Romance was Born  Kids Project at NGV International (Fri 17 Oct – Sun 22 Mar) – This contemporary project for kids provides the ideal platform for designers Luke Sales and Anna Plunkett to share their whimsical and compelling vision with visitors of all ages. READ THE REVIEW.
  • ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 Official Fan Zone at Federation Square (Sat 14 Feb – Sun 29 Mar) – Fans can watch the match on the big screen, enjoy a bite to eat from some of Melbourne’s favourite food trucks, and try their luck and cricket skills with the exciting activations and cricket challenges throughout the Fan Zone.
  • The Lion King at Regent Theatre (Fri 20 Feb – Sun 10 May) – Disney’s beloved film The Lion King has been transformed into a spectacular experience that will redefine your expectations of theatre.


  • Dinosaur Island at Hoyts Jnr Northlands and Greensborough (Sat 28 Feb – Sun 1 Mar) – Get ready for a di-normous adventure of epic prehistoric proportions
  • Lunch with the Lions at The Royal Melbourne Zoo (Sun 1 Mar) – Enjoy lunch to the beat of African music with African-inspired food and drinks providing an authentic taste of lands far away. Exciting kids’ activities will include face painting and a chance to play African drums.
  • Sydney Road Street Party (Sun 1 Mar) – Brunswick’s one day fiesta celebrating arts, culture and community of Moreland.
  • Play School Live in Concert Once Upon a Time at Eltham (Tue 3 Mar) – concert features songs, games and stories, presented by two Play School presenters, along with the real stars of the show the toys.
  • The Incredibles at Village Cinemas (Sat 28 Feb – Sun 1 Mar) – Part of Pixar Film Festival, exclusive to Greater Union and Village Cinemas.


  • Ventana Fiesta at Frankston (Fri 27 Feb – Sat 28 Mar) – month of free family friendly activities celebrating Latin American, Spanish and Portuguese cultures.
  • Dinosaur Island at Hoyts Jnr Frankston (Sat 28 Feb – Sun 1 Mar) – Get ready for a di-normous adventure of epic prehistoric proportions.
  • The Incredibles at Village Cinemas (Sat 28 Feb – Sun 1 Mar) – Part of Pixar Film Festival, exclusive to Greater Union and Village Cinemas.
  • Mordialloc Food Wine and Music Festival at Peter Scullin Reserve Beach Road, Mordialloc (Sat 28 Feb, Sun 1 Mar) – local festival offers a wide range gourmet food vendors, wine, microbrewed beer, blues and jazz music across two stages,
  • Bright ‘n’ Sandy at Green Point Foreshore (Sun 1 Mar) –   food and wine event for the whole family, including cooking demos, tastings, music and kids activities.
  • Chinese New Year and Lantern Festival (Sun 1 Mar) – traditional Lion & Dragon Dance, children’s rides and games, and arts and crafts.
  • Dandenong World Fare at Dandenong Market (Sun 1 Mar) – Circumnavigate the globe at this enchanting “food fare” extravaganza. Experience the delicious abundance and tempting aromas of global cuisines and entertainment inspired by some of the world’s most exciting cultures.
  • Play School Live in Concert Once Upon a Time in Caulfield (Sun 1 Mar) – concert features songs, games and stories, presented by two Play School presenters, along with the real stars of the show the toys. READ THE REVIEW.


  • Yarra Valley Chocolaterie Ice Cream Festival (Fri 27 Feb  Sun 1 Mar) – Until the 1st of March, the cafe and shop will introduce two new ice cream flavours, from traditional to exotic! There will be prizes and plenty of family fun on offer.
  • Dinosaur Island at Hoyts Jnr Eastland and Victoria Gardens (Sat 28 Feb – Sun 1 Mar) – Get ready for a di-normous adventure of epic prehistoric proportions.
  • A Global Gathering at Bridge Road (Sun 1 Mar) – Discover the flavours of the world in a leisurely stroll along Bridge Road, calling into restaurants for a snack or drink and having your ‘passport’ stamped along the way.
  • The Incredibles at Village Cinemas (Sat 28 Feb – Sun 1 Mar) – Part of Pixar Film Festival, exclusive to Greater Union and Village Cinemas.
  • Day Out with Thomas (Sat 28 Feb– Sun 1 Mar) – See Thomas in full steam at Puffing Billy’s station; entertainment for the entire family.
  • Play School Live in Concert Once Upon a Time in Burwood East, Box Hill (Wed 4 Mar, Thu 5 Mar) – concert features songs, games and stories, presented by two Play School presenters, along with the real stars of the show the toys. READ THE REVIEW.




inside the brick

Inside the Brick is a Lego play centre and Lego building workshop venue in Fairfield. When our little Lego fans walked into the (gated) play area they lost their minds!

inside the brick

There were super-sized foam Lego bricks for building cubby houses and vehicles, buckets of Duplo and a low table for little builders and standard height tables with normal Lego pieces for older kids.

inside the brick

Lady AB befriended another little girl to build a castle with the large bricks and Baby 2.0 headed straight for the Duplo trucks – his idea of heaven.

inside the brick
To inspire creative building there’s a Lego city which everyone can contribute to and around the wall is a gallery of intricate Lego constructions and vintage building sets.

inside the brick
Rob Deakin, expert Lego builder, is the founder of Inside the Brick and started the social enterprise to promote the benefits of construction play for cognitive and social development, particularly for kids impacted by autism.

As well as providing casual drop-in play for kids (and adults) Inside the Brick run regular Lego kids clubs for different ages and interests, adult workshops for advanced brick building, hold Lego parties and organise large Lego expos which are always worth visiting. There is also a Lego gift shop at the entrance. The commercial operations and expos help fund their work with construction play groups.

If you’re looking for a fun, education and inexpensive indoor activity with kids for when it’s uncomfortably hot, cold or wet days then I highly recommend Inside the Brick. I think it’s even better than a traditional play centre as you don’t really need to supervise kids – they can’t hurt themselves or get out. You just need to make sure they share!

Very close by are some great kid-friendly cafes (Fifteen Pounds, The Place, CH James) so you can make it a half-day excursion of fun.

Inside the Brick, 70 Station St,  Fairfield  9481 7868

Casual play

Wednesday – Friday 10am – 5pm

Saturdays 9am – 5pm (10am school holidays)

Sundays 10am – 5pm (3rd Sunday of the month 11.30am to 5pm)

$10 for 1 hour, 2 children $18. Children under 2 are free if accompanied by a paying child.

Brick Club at various times here




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February 24, 2015

Is your little one as obsessed with planes, trains and automobiles as Baby 2.0? Donkey Products is a quirky homewares and lifestyle design brand  in Germany and one of their fun kids products is their Tape Gallery. It’s a simple idea – adhesive sticky tape printed with a railway track, a roadway or a horseshoe […]

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Weekly diary: Whispering Discipline

February 23, 2015

A few weeks ago I got my first lurgy of 2015, courtesy of Baby 2.0’s snotty nose. It meant that I got a crackling, phlegmy sore throat and could only communicate in a whisper. So I decided to take the opportunity to start disciplining my children in a controlled, low-level growl rather than my usual […]

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