Category Archives: Restaurants

Chania Old Town – Western Crete

Chania is an exceptionally charming town with cobblestone streets abounding with history.  In the old town area you will find quaint hotels and buildings butted up against byzantine walls, nearby to an amiable Venetian harbour lined with waterfront restaurants, cafes and historic monuments. Continue reading Chania Old Town – Western Crete


Donovans – St Kilda, Melbourne

Every now and then, my husband and I treat ourselves to a meal at a “nice” restaurant.  You know, the type of restaurant where the rich and famous probably eat without blinking an eyelid, but where the everyday person reserves for special occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, and so forth.  I call these types of restaurants an “event” restaurant, because the experience stands out in the memory.

We were looking for a restaurant to celebrate our anniversary lunch in, and having read the reviews for restaurants in the area, we decided that Donovans was the place for us.   Such a treat – located right on the beach, with views out over St Kilda beach and the ocean beyond.

The restaurant is exquisitely decorated with a beach house theme, which is perfectly captured, even in the restrooms, and the relaxed atmosphere was felt from the moment we entered.  We chose a lunch time seating so we could see the water while we were having our meal, and we were very impressed.

I nervously asked the waiter about gluten free options, and he said that most of the offerings on the menu could be modified to be gluten free – I only had to ask. Fantastic!  I couldn’t believe how easy that made it.  There was a wide variety of choices offered on the menu, including a comprehensive wine list.  The food was beautiful, not just to taste, but also to look at.

I chose the scallops for an entree and the salmon for a main. I would recommend these! They even bought me a fresh baked, still hot, gluten free roll to start – the nicest gluten free bread I’ve tasted!

The only thing that was missing was almond milk for my coffee, but I can concede that not everyone has this on offer, so I enjoyed my nice coffee black this time!

The staff were incredibly welcoming and helped to make our visit very pleasant.

Thank you! We will be back.


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Gluten free Yum Cha in Melbourne

I love going out for a yum cha feast.  It’s been a family favourite outing for as long as I can remember.  Then, a couple of years ago my doctor told me to stop eating gluten as it was affecting my health.  Homemade meals are no problem, as you are in control.  Eating out can be a little harder.  You are faced with limited options.

Gluten Free Yum Cha Melbourne

After spending a while feeling put out about the limitation on my choices, I realised that I could get around eating gluten for most meals without too much inconvenience.  Except for yum cha.  There I felt that limitation pinching mightily.   So I stopped going.

A while back I tried to search for gluten free yum cha places in Sydney, but without any luck.  Recently I searched again, and a place came up in Melbourne.  I called the restaurant and they confirmed that yes, they actually do offer gluten free yum cha – all you have to do is book.  They make their dim sum in house – so they can control what is used to make them.

The restaurant is the Red Emperor in the Southgate Restaurant and Shopping Precinct.  They have a menu that you can download to see the different types of dim sum. Plenty of choice for vegetarian and gluten free options.

My husband and I travelled down to Melbourne for a short getaway trip in January and we made a booking for yum cha.  When we arrived, we were seated on the terrace with a nice view of the river and city behind that.  There was even a bottle of gluten free soy sauce on the table for me to use.  My husband eats gluten, and the waitresses bringing the trolleys around were very helpful, making sure they confirmed that I wasn’t going to eat the ones with gluten in them before they would put them on the table for my husband.

The flavours were really nice and although a gluten free dumpling is not as robust as a normal one, they still held together well.   I will definitely be heading back there again next time I am in Melbourne.

Red Emperor Restaurant Melbourne