About Me

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“Greetings” – From Me – an Oxen – Year of the Ox

aaa-melaka-front-of-house

“Melaka” – A personal Journey in Food Restaurant Business

My name is Victor Khoo.

Originally from Penang, Malaysia, I moved to Australia in 1993. Since then, I have lived in different parts of Australia. First, in Sydney for 7 years and then Blackheath in Blue Mountain for a “tree change” from the stressful city life. After 2 years in Blackheath, I moved to the picturesque HuonValley in Southern Tasmania for another “tree change” except it was closer to an idyllic rural settings overlooking the beautiful Huon River estuary and Mt Hartz National Park. Here, I had the best experience of a lifetime – a complete difference from living in a city. I had a first hand experience growing my own produces and met the most wonderful people in the food industry – including chefs, restauranteurs, food critics, “food artisans” and food bloggers.  I opened my own little Malaysian restaurant, and had a “fair go” at running it, and cooking in a commercial kitchen with no prior experience and no mentor. It was the best time of my life. A great journey that I will cherish forever. I would not have done it if I had not moved and lived in Tasmania.

After 7 1/2 years in Tasmania, I now settled in Melbourne. I moved to Melbourne in September 2011 because I was head hunted for an IT project management role – a permanent position, which I could not resist. I am fortunate to be given the opportunity to work and live in Melbourne – ranked the world most livable city in 2011 and 2012! I am having a great time in Melbourne since moving here, and tried many new restaurants / cafes and discovering the art and culture of a true cosmopolitan city of Australia.

This blog, which I have started by accident in June 2009, was a journey itself. It is my keen interest in food and traveling that got me started on the blog. It allows me to write and share my experience. I momentarily stopped blogging in mid 2011, and started a Melaka Living Facebook Page. Then, decided to start a new blog called I-Destination, before deciding to revert back to my Foodtrail blog. I can’t tell you why I flipped from one to the other and back again. I guess maybe it takes time to get used to blogging. Each blogger has his / her reason. I guess I have finally found my reason after reverting back to Foodtrail. I do it now for the reason that I enjoy writing and sharing my story, and it is good for my brain. It doesn’t matter how many “Likes” I get or whether there is any comment on my post. I am not doing it for rating, but doing it for myself and whoever is interested to follow and read. That way, it (“blogging”) doesn’t take over me. And, I don’t go out in search of something to write, as I will only write and share if there is something interesting to talk about.

I hope you enjoy reading what I have to share, and if you have something to share back, please post your comment or email me. You can also follow me and get up to date information through email, Facebook Page and Twitter.

Victor

29 responses to “About Me

  1. Hello Victor
    Discovered your site the other day, then lost it 😦
    After much searching today I have relocated it I am pleased to say.
    What a nice site 🙂 I am no cook but found the food items interesting and will guide my son to read them, he is the cook in our family.
    So how did I find you? Well I am a local photographer and recently I visited Cygnet to take some photographs. Was doing some ‘surfing’ for info on Cygnet and your site came to me.
    Have a feeling a friend who loves cooking will enjoy the iste as well.
    Stay warm and more importantly DRY, thank goodness we live in the south of this beautiful state.
    Gilli

    • Thanks, Gilli and welcome. Hopefully one day I will get to see your artwork. Perfect location – Cygnet – for photography from landscape to historical sites, buildings and people. Perfect scenes and moments in still image. That is what I love about this place. Nothing conform to a standard. Truly a wonderful part of the state and very fortunate to be here. If only the rain could stop. 🙂

  2. Victor,

    I too am from Penang, and am hoping to have restaurant of our own to bring back the taste and flavour of the past and the old which has been lost in the pursuit of development.

    One if you visit Australia, we hope that you play host and bring us around to try the flavourful wonders that can be offered there. Till then, I wish you ‘fruitful’ adventures in search of great ‘makan’.

  3. Hi Victor,

    Greetings from one foodie to another.I like your blog. Like you I too am very passionate about food-time permitting Please do go through my blog.It might interest you.
    Cheers

    Ash

    • Hi Ash – thanks, and for sharing your blog. I love Assam and India is one of the place I would like to visit soon, for food and culture. Being a Malaysian, we have cross cultural food and Indian cuisine is among one my favourite food. I will take more time to browse through your foodie blog. Cheers!

  4. Marilyn and David Hall

    Hi Victor and Steven (not sure if that is spelt correctly!)

    This is Marilyn and David, guests also from Mekong Riverview Hotel. We were in the room on the other part of the balcony to you.

    Found your blog and it sounds very interesting and you are very passionate about your food.

    It was great to meet you both and just wanted to say sorry we missed you the day you left so we could say goodbye and happy travels. We did see the back of the van as it drove past the end of the street we were coming down. We waved to you.

    We are leaving LP tomorrow, 25 and getting the VIP bus to Vang Vieng.

    We too have had a wonderful stay and we shall miss being taken to dinner on the golf cart and touring around on the bikes.

    When we are next in Tassie and down south, we will look you up. Not sure when that will be.

    All the best to you both and whatever lies in the future. Enjoy you travels, your food and life

    Marilyn and David Hall

    • Hi Marilyn and David – it was lovely to meet you both. Never mind about not having the last word, hug and kisses. There will be next time. We should keep in touch. And, yes please do call in when you are in Tassie.

      Btw when you are in Vientiane, do visit Mak Phet cafe – it is the only cafe in Laos set up by Friends for the street kids. All proceeds from the bill go to helping the street children. The food was good and very good value for money. Serving size huge. We went for dinner and it was packed. So make a booking. I will try and put up a new post today. Make sure you try the Mock Mushroom – excellent flavour. And, if you have not book accommodation yet, try Lao Orchid Hotel – good value for money, friendly staff and great location.

      We arrived home yesterday morning, but still having a bit of jet lag. Busy with Steven’s parents who are here looking after our house and wee scottie dog, Bonnie. So not much opportunity to sit down and write next post yet.

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  6. Victor,

    Great blog and I really enjoyed your cooking videos on YouTube. You really know your way around the kitchen. Maybe you will soon have your own show on Food Network/Australia!

    So glad to be in touch with you again after so many years.

    Lets keep in touch.

    Larry

    • Larry! So wonderful to hear from you! After over 20 years! Been a long time, my old friend. Glad you like my blog.

  7. Hi Victa,

    I stumbled across your website while on the net in a cafe in Vientiane (Laos)… How great to have you in my home state of Tas. I love that southern corner of the state. I spend a lot of time in Singapore and sometimes in Malaysia and love the food there. What can be done to bring the Tastes of Melacca (Hope I spelled that right) to spice up Hobart – North Hobart even more ???…have you ever thought about opening something in the Hobart Metro area ???

    • Hey Garney – glad you stumbled onto my blog, and welcome. Have you been to Makphet? I found out about the place on our last night in Vientiane, and had a great meal there. Setup by Friends, to save street children for a better future in hospitality. I wish we knew earlier, and would have love to go there more than once. Luang Prabang is our favourite. Will definitely go back there again.

      I don’t think that I will setup another Melaka (or Malacca) restaurant. Been there and done that in Franklin. Great experience and 100% enjoyed doing it.

      So glad to know about Tasmanian. Hope to see you here again. Amazing power of blogging and social websites. I have even found friends/uni mates that have not been in touch for more than a decade! Cheers, Victor

  8. Hi Victor,
    What a great blog, and great recipes. You’ve just changed my plans from cooking slowcooked lamb kleftico to a spicy lamb stirfry for tonight, maybe with some greens thrown in 🙂
    I travel a lot as well since I’m a musician who frequently tours, did a blog recently about using a slowcooker to cook on the road on a band tourbus.. you may find that interesting..
    I’m adding you to my blogroll links..perhaps you’d like to swap?
    Cheers,
    Mike..

  9. Nyob Zoo (Hello) Victor,

    I stumbled upon your great food blog on a whim randomly searching for “Hmong in Tasmania” from my hotel room. Who knew?

    Anyway, I am here by myself on a short vacation (needed to get away from work in the big city + get some fresh air) + planned to visit the Salamanca Market tomorrow. Being Hmong myself, I am excited knowing the possibility of bumping into some Hmong people. Cross my fingers. I’ll be looking for those vegetable stalls that you talked about!

    Speaking of food. I found that the food here in Hobart is very good. Taste flavorful flavorful, juicy + fresh. Tonight, I went to Pasha on Elizabeth St. It was quite yummy. I plan to visit one of the few Thai restaurants tomorrow. Any suggestions?

    Lastly, thanks for the recipes. I will definitely be trying some of those out when I get back home.

    Best!

    F-

    • Hi Fong – thanks for visiting and glad you find the information useful. If you get the chance, read Rita’s Bite in my Blogroll. She talks about food in Hobart. Recently she’s been to Suwan Thai in Salamanca Place. She rave about the place. Personally, I have not been there yet. But, I have tried Royal Thai and Mai Ake in Hobart/North Hobart on Elizabeth Street (only once). In my opinion, I prefer to eat in Sydney or Melbourne with real authentic Thai food, not localised to westerner’s taste. But, I read there is a Thai festival at Elizabeth Street Pier tomorrow (Sunday). I have never been there. I think it should be fun. The waterfront area is beautiful to walk around. If you love seafood, try Blue Eye in Salamanca, at the very end where there is a Silo looking building converted into apt/hotel.

      Enjoy your short break in Hobart! Sorry the weather is wintery and cold today. But you will get to see some snow on top of Mt Wellington. 🙂

  10. Hi Victor,

    You seem to enjoy your time in laos, and you like food. You may like our blog:

    http://www.foodfromnorthernlaos.com

    It also has some recipes.

    If you do enjoy it, I suggest we may exchange links.

    Have you been to the far North of Laos?

    We lived in Vientiane for nearly 4 years, just around the corner from MakPhet, currently living in Thailand, near Sattahip, but visiting Laos about 4 times /year

    Cheers,

    Kees

    • Hi Kees – thanks for visiting. Laos is a real hidden gem. Well, not for much longer as it is slower being discovered by more people. We had a great time in Luang Prabang – love the place, the people, the food. Definitely love to explore more of the country.

      I had a look at your blog/website and a preview of your cookbook on your blog. It is a pleasure for me to add your site in my blogroll.

      Btw, we love Thailand too. Not far from my birthplace in Penang. We are going to BKK for a weekend in mid-Nov. Look forward to some very good Thai food.

      Cheers!

  11. Hey Victor
    Fantastic site! I look forward to reading it all in more depth.

    Stumbled across by mistake as I was googling Sapa Rose to make a booking for my hubbys birthday.

    See you at work – Steph (Finance) :o)

  12. Hi Victor

    Just stumbled upon your blog while googling Cygnet…my dad has just bought some property (no house, just land – better get used to living in a tent when I visit).

    Great blog about food, but you’ve reminded me how much I miss the food in Malaysia (lived there for a year)…

    Will read more about what you’ve written about Cygnet.

    Thanks!

    Heptat

  13. Hi Victor,

    My name is Suze Dowling, I work for a PR company called Morey Media. I have a release going out early next week that i think might be of some interest, would it be possible for you to send me the best email address to send this to?

    Many thanks,

    Suze

    info@moreymedia.com.au

  14. Hi Victor! Marissa, year of the snake 😀 Great blog. Wonderful posts. Look forward to following.

  15. Hi Victor,
    Came across your blog by chance and enjoying it very much. I’m an Aussie from Sydney currently residing in Penang. Love it here having worked and lived here many times during past news. But starting to feel bored, missing the hectic lifestyle of Sydney. My partner is Malaysian and an Australian citizen. We recently relocated back here but who knows for how long.

    Just really wanted to say ‘thanks’ for a great blog, I’m loving it.

    Cheers
    Suzanne

    • Hi Suzanne – thanks for visiting my blog. My partner and I used to live in Sydney. We live in Melbourne now.

      I think I know what you meant by starting to get bored in Penang. Penangites love their shopping malls and food, but there are more things to do than just that once you get to know some locals.

      My partner and I are looking forward to our next visit back in Penang in August. I am dying for some local hawker food!

  16. I’m here until 7th August then off to Singapore (depending on the haze situation). If you are around while I’m here maybe we could catch over a coffee.

  17. Hi Victor, Me and my whole family are from Penang as well and my mother’s surname is Khoo as well. Me and my mom as well as 2 brother now live in New Zealand and from time to time we reminisce about old times and food that we loved in our childhood. I used to have a blog of my own but I was such a lazy person I hardly updated it, so in the end I gave up and took to reading other people’s blog instead. lol. I love to eat and cook but nowadays, I don’t cook as much because I no longer have the hordes of “guinea pigs” to taste and give me feedback on my cooking. Still, every once in a while I might just cook enough for myself to sate that yearning. Cheers.

    • Hi Foon Lam, thanks for leaving your comment. I haven’t been active on my blog as well. I do occasionally review the notification in my blog email so it doesn’t appear that I am ignoring a reader who takes the time and interest to read and leave a comment on my blog. For instance, you. 🙂

      I guess I will restart blogging again once I have more time on my hands. 🙂

  18. Great blog. Thank you for taking the time to do it 🙂

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