Sunday, 21 July 2013

Brunch in Surry Hills #2: Rustic Pearl Cafe - food for the soul.

Balkan & Aegean inspired cafe

Brunch is served on the lovely rustic wooden table! 

Rustic Pearl Café is a new café on Crown Street that serves a fusion of Balkan, Mediterranean and French cuisine. The café décor was cosy and warm. I liked the sophisticated rustic wooden furniture (a thick red blanket is provided in each table) and the beautiful painting on the wall. It was my first time to try Mediterranean breakfast.  I ordered the r.p Aegean style breakfast which includes soft boiled egg, tomato & cucumber drizzled with W/ olive oil, marinated olives, roasted mixed spicy capsicum and marinated fetta & sourdough toast. My friend ordered the scrambled egg (forgot the full name).

 R.p Aegean style breakfast AUD$16
I liked how those ingredients were separated into side dishes and went really well together with the warm crispy sourdough toast especially the marinated olives and roasted mixed spicy capsicum. It was very different from what I normally ordered in brunch, but I liked how it was light, healthy and also tasty. 

Scrambled egg (forgot the full name and price)

Front door

I will definitely come back with a few more friends to share the smoked ham, wild mushroom and caramelised onion gozleme and try their fruity drinks.

Rustic Pearl on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

JLo's Kitchen #1 : Overnight Oatmeal

This is my first time to make overnight oatmeal in a jar. I was inspired by the photos in tumblr and decided to make my own overnight oatmeal. Overnight oatmeal is quick (less than 5 mins) and easy to make which is perfect if you have work or school and don't have time to make breakfast. It can also be an afternoon snack or late night dessert. 

sliced 1/2 banana and 1 kiwi
 1/2 cup of rolled oats
1 tsp of chia seeds
1/2 cup of almond milk
3-4 tbsp of passionfruit yoghurt (*optional any greek/regular yoghurt will do)

Steps (from
  1. Combine all ingredients in a mason jar.
  2. Cover with lid and shake, shake, shake until combined.
  3. Store in the refrigerator overnight (or for several hours). Eat cold or warm up in the microwave!
Overnight, the oats will absorb the liquid from the milk and yogurt, and the mixture will expand and thicken. This absorption process, in essence, “cooks” the oats. In the morning, top the mixture with nutritious add-ins of your choice (cinnamon, cocoa powder, fruits, dry fruits, nuts etc) which is my favourite part!  The possibilities are endless for this high-protein, low-calorie, satisfying morning treat! 

For more overnight oatmeal recipes, I strongly recommend you to check out . There are a lot of healthy and delicious oatmeal recipe ideas and they are simple and easy to make. 

June's Monthly Beauty Favourites

It is a bit late to upload June's favourite but I think it would be nice to share my thoughts about the beauty items that I have been LOVING! June was the most stressful and the busiest month because I had my final exam. For this reason, I didn't use a lot of eyes makeup and mainly focused on face and lips.

#1. Real Techniques buffing brush
This brush is seriously worth all the hype and the quality of it is amazing! I have tried foundation brushes from other brands (e.g Mac and Estee Lauder) but they can’t beat the real technique buffing brush. I have bought this brush nearly a year ago and have been using it nearly everyday (obviously I cleaned it frequently and there will be a blog post of how I clean my brushes). The buffing brush is included in the Core Collection set, along with 4 brushes and Case and I cannot but it separately. I purchased the kit through which is only AUD$18 dollars including shipping and $5 discount as the first purchase (a lot cheaper than Priceline who retailed for AUD$ 44.99 which is doubled the price). I strongly recommend buying the real technique brushes through because they provide professional services and fast shipment (takes 3-4 days to Sydney), you can also get a lot of benefits from iHerb Rewards Affiliate Program. These brushes are made of synthetic materials that are super soft, smooth and easy to wash/dry out without shredding. 

I found the buffing brush worked perfectly with liquid or powder (mineral/pressed) foundations. I usually pop on a medium-to-light coverage liquid foundation (e.g YSL touche eclat foundation/ Bonjour healthy mix serum foundation) with my fingertips or apply Australis fresh and flawless pressed powder (#2) and then finely blend over face using the buffing brush in circular strokes.  The bristles massage the product around the skin so that no area is left more covered than another. It is so soft and truly gives the best foundation cover I have ever achieved.

I would recommend makeup beginners to try out their Core collection as a starter kit because they are easy to use, clean and relatively cheap compared to those high-end brushes (e.g Mac and Sigma). 


#2. Australia’s fresh and flawless pressed powder in Natural
This pressed powder have been rated among the Australian beauty blogs and I totally agreed with them. I have heard that it is a great dupe for the MAC studio fix powder which I have never tried so I am not sure about that. According to my opinion, it is a wonderful product considering the price (AUD$ 11.40) and it is also Australia made. I applied it using the real technique buffing brush (mentioned above) and medium-to-full coverage cover my spot scares matt finish. I would also recommend to moisturize your face using a face premier or moisturizing cream before apply it because it helps to stay longer in the day. This is a great powder to set your foundation or to be used as a powder foundation alone as it gives great coverage. It leaves such a flawless finish and the formula itself is super soft and smooth. Besides, it is oil and fragrance free which is great.

During the whole exam study period, I have been using it as a powder foundation alone because it is easy and fast to apply and it blends into the skin flawlessly without looking cakey/crease. It is perfect for minimal makeup or when you are rushing in the morning/running late.  


#3. Nivea lip butter vanilla and macadamia
It is winter in Australia. This is the time where my lips get chapped and dry out easily.  It makes my lips soft and moisturized, but it doesn't last a very long time therefore I usually reapply it a few times during the day. I found this lip butter is also great using under lipstick; apply it before makeup, let it set in while doing makeup, then apply lipstick (e.g Revlon kissable balm stain #4).  Another thing that I loved about this product is the yummy vanilla crème brulee smell which almost become addicting to a point where I applied it whenever I felt bored while studying.


#4. Revlon kissable balm stain in Honey Douce 001
"Honey Douce" is a neutral, subtle, natural kind of pink. I like how it is like retractable jumbo crayons, and thus they do not require sharpening.  I found it very moisturizing and it's pigmentation good enough. On application the Balm Stain gives a cool sensation of mint and a glossy finish, and in some time it turns into a natural wash of colour on my lips which does not come off easily. 


#5. Benefit sugarbomb blush
I got this brush as a friend’s Christmas present. This product is meant to be a highlight, blush and bronzer all in one but I like to apply it as a blush because I found it gives me a natural healthy peachy flush of colour on my cheek. Although there is some shimmer, it just enough to give me a very nice glow; no disco ball effect at all! I like applying it during exam study period, so I looked more refresh and “alive” (LOL) from cramming overnights! I also like how it is super easy to apply. However, I don't like applying it with flat rectangular brush that goes with the product, instead I used Real Technique blush brush which I found very soft and can be used precisely to apply blush just where I want it. 


#6. Garnier hand intensive 7 days with shea butter
I have suffered dry hands for these few months probably due to washing dishes without putting on gloves  and cold weather conditions. After discovering Garnier SOS cream, it has become my preferred product for relief. It is intensely nourishing and soothing and leaves my hands feeling protected without leaving a greasy or sticky coating on the skin. Only a small amount is needed. It is a good hand cream and reasonably priced.


Apart from #5, all of the products mentioned above are pharmacy/drugstore products and I purchased them using my own money. I hope you like this simple products review and I can improve these products reviews in the future by adding the before and after photos of how these products looks on my face.

P.S I was thinking to do “My Everyday Winter Makeup look” blog post very soon! Stay in touch ;)

Monday, 15 July 2013

Monday Munching: Morso Cafe

My Sydney food expert, Eileen (her amazing food blog:, brought me to this cafe in Pyrmont called Morso Cafe. It was only a 10 mins walk from Town Hall station and we arrived there at around 11:45am. The cafe provides tranquil harbour view with Jones Bay Wharf's charming heritage features, we therefore decided to sit outdoor and enjoy the beautiful view and sunlight. 

My friend recommended me to try their signature breakfast, Sautéed wild mushrooms with truffled scrambled eggs and Sonoma sourdough. As the dish was served, the first thing which caught my attention was the beautiful presentation. Next, I was amazed by the LIGHT, CREAMY and FLUFFY scrambled egg. The scrambled egg smells delicious with the truffled oil and fried scallion and it was perfectly cooked. I have to admit that it is truly one of the BEST scrambled eggs I have ever had. Also, it was a perfect winter comfort food. The wild mushrooms and spinach went together perfectly with the scrambled egg and bring out the nice velvety and creamy consistency that the egg has. The only downside was the bread, which seems a bit dry and tasteless. For the rest of the day, I couldn’t get over how terrific the scrambled egg tasted. Overall, I was satisfied with this dish and it is definitely worth trying out this amazingly scrambled eggs.

My go-to drink in cafe: Skim flat white AUD$4.50

Sautéed wild mushrooms with truffled scrambled eggs and Sonoma sourdough AUD$16.5
Cafe Morso on Urbanspoon

Monday, 8 July 2013

Brunch in Surry Hills #1: Kepos St. Kitchen, Kawa Cafe, Lumiere Cafe and Two Good Eggs Cafe

I have been having brunch in Surry Hills lately. I always feel delightful and relaxed after having brunch and it is also a great way to start the day. Surry Hills is a great place for brunch where there are different varieties and price range. I am also a coffee addict, which is a reason why I like trying out those cafes.

28/6: Kepos Street Kitchen 
My friend and I went to Kepos St. Kitchen the next day after my last exam. I remembered that the weather on that day was horrible, it was freezing and raining all day. However this didn't stop me from trying out their food, we walked all the way from Central station to Kepos St. After a "good" 10-15 mins walk, we finally arrived and were starving! The place was fully packed and the waitress opened the door for us with a friendly smile. Without looking at the menu, I already knew what I was going to order (checked the photos from their instagram lol).
Getting all ready/ their pastries look amazing/ my skim flat white/ their entrance
Woodsmoked salmon salad, olives, kipflers, soft boiled egg, za’atar AUD$18 (mine)
I was so excited with my dish because I love salmon and soft boiled egg! The egg came out perfectly cooked with an oozing orange just-about-done yolk (as you can see from the photo) but the salmon was not as "woodsmoked" to me. I really like the warm potato salad with quinoa. Overall I enjoyed the salad combination and it was light and delicious. 
Wagyu beef burger, pickled eggplant, walnuts, watercress , harissa AUD$18  (my friend's)
I had a bite of my friend's Wagyu beef, it was so JUICY.  

I have heard their falafel and tabouleh salad with pomegranate pearls are nice. I am keen to come back and try them out.  
Kepos Street Kitchen on Urbanspoon

1/7: Kawa Cafe
I always walk past Kawa cafe but never knew that they served breakfast there. My friend suggested to have brunch in Kawa before we head to the hair salon. Kawa has a relaxed atmosphere with white walls and mismatched furniture. My friend and I both ordered the Vegan BIG breakfast. The dish was served warm (which is very important) and the roasted pumpkin was so freaking tasty! I like how the baked beans are homemade and the hummus are creamy, they went really well with the crusty grain toast. I enjoyed every part of the dish and I cleared the whole plate. 
Vegan Big Breakfest includes ripe avocado, roast pumpkin, slow roasted tomato with basil, sauteed mushrooms, homemade baked beans, hummus and toast AUD$16.50
Kawa on Urbanspoon

3/7: Lumiere Cafe
This was my second visit to Lumiere, I like going to Lumiere because they have have an extensive breakfast menu and their food proportions are HUGE. I felt like omelette on that day but I was struggling whether I should get smoked ham or the vegetarian omelette. The waitress suggested the vegetarian one, she said she liked the haloumi cheese with the egg so I took her suggestion. The omelette turned out to be a bit dry for me but I really like the grilled haloumi cheese and the firm chewy texture it has (was my first time having haloumi). Besides, it would be great if they served it with multigrain toast instead of plain white toast. I was super full after finishing the omelette as you can see the size of the omelette was about the size of my face lol (check out the photo underneath where I was holding my dish). I was a little disappointed with the omelette but I will definitely come back for other breakfast options!
Grilled haloumi & wilted spinach omelette AUD$19
Lumiere Cafe & Patisserie on Urbanspoon

7/7: Two Good Eggs Cafe
A brunch without egg is like having a burger without the juicy beef (not sure that make sense or not lol). It was a lovely Sunday and my friend bought me and other friends to this lovely cafe called Two Good Eggs. The cafe has a nice and warm atmosphere with brick walls and wooden tables & chairs. 
Lovely atmosphere/ hot mocha
My friends' brunch: #1 Two Good Eggs Breakfast AUD$17.90 / #2 Spicey Chorizo Baked Eggs AUD$16.90 / #3 Smoked salmon & Spinach Scrambled eggs AUD$16.90

Two Good Eggs Vegetarian Breakfast: poached eggs with grilled haloumi, baked beans, roast mushrooms, tomate and quinoa & soya toast AUD$17.90 (mine)
The poached eggs were well cooked with smooth runny yolk and the grilled haloumi was delicious with the sauce on the top (no idea what sauce was that). I particularly like the quinoa & soya bread, it was fresh and tasty! The baked beans would taste better if it was homemade. I also ordered a regular skim flat white but I felt the proportion was smaller than the normal regular size coffee (bit of a ripoff).
Two Good Eggs on Urbanspoon

Friday, 5 July 2013

Aria Japanese Hair Salon Review

My new hair 
(sorry I should have use my camera to take some before-and-after hair photos)

I normally get hair done in Hong Kong considering it is always easier to communicate with hairdressers and the prices are very reasonable. However, I am staying in Sydney this semester break and it has been half a year since I did my hair so I decided to fix my hair after finishing final exams.

My hair is hard and annoying to manage, as it is long, thick (contains a bit of natural curl) and the bottom half of my hair are DEAD with extremely dry and split ends (from bleaching and curling my hair). It’s been bugging me for ages that I can’t find a hairdresser in Sydney that I can trust and rely on.

My friend and I decided to try out a Japanese salon in the City called Aria. We were attracted by their professional official website which provides clear and detailed information about their prices and services packages, booking contacts and recent campaign (20% discount for all the hair services appointment before 12 pm from Mon-Fri).  I thought it would be difficult to communicate with a Japanese hair stylist when describing my ideal hair (I am very fussy when it comes to hair because I can’t afford a result which is a failure as it takes a long time for hair to recover).  It was also the first Japanese salon I’ve ever visited, so I wasn’t too sure on what I should expect.

We had our appointment booked on Monday at 11:30am.The salon itself is nice, airy and extremely CLEAN. The staff is very friendly, professional and provide excellent services. I was very happy to have Akky as my hairdresser. I told him I would like my hair to be trimmed thinner and have my split ends cut off. I was also struggling whether I should dye my whole hair. He looked into my hair and gave me honest hair advice to only retouch the growing roots because my hair is very damaged. He dyed, washed and cut my hair all in one role.  Throughout the hair process, he was very patient and concentrated on every detail to make sure I have a desired hair result. He also styled the end of my hair with natural wavy curls which I really liked. 

Airy and clean atmosphere (photo from their official website)
Once my hair was finished (after two and a half hr), it was VERY glossy, soft and manageable, I was a completely rejuvenated! I was pleasantly impressed and surprised to find that he was able to cut my hair just exactly how I'd like it and the retouched hair colour matched perfectly with my original dyed hair (light ash brown). It was very reasonably priced given the location is handy (very cheap compared to other Asian based hair salons around the city). Lastly, we were given a membership card with our hair service package recorded and also provide future discounts. Overall, I was very satisfied and had an amazing experience. Without a doubt, I would definately go back again!

My hair service package: 
Ladies Cut only $35 + Retouched hair dye $75 + Discount (20%) -$22 = $88

Rating: 9/10

strongly recommend you guys to have a try Aria Japanese Hair Salon and I am sure you will have a great experience like me and my friend Eileen had (proved from the photo evidence down below lol). 

Happy face after we got our hair done :D 

Name: Aria Japanese Hair Salon

Location: Level1/376 Pitt St., Sydney, Australia 2000 (near World Square, between Hardware shop and Cosmos Grocery store)

Phone: (02) 9267 1378 (make sure you book an appointment)

FB page:

Official website:

Sunday, 30 June 2013

New Beginning

I have always been thinking of making a blog to share my favourites (fashion, makeup, food, travel), record and capture all the lovely experiences i had. Since finals are over, it would be a great time to get this started and I am so excited about it :)

Today, I went to New Town to catch up with a lovely friend, Denise. We were on a brunch mission and we managed to score a table outside the 2046 Cafe & Deli. After demolishing our meals, we moved to the famous Black Star Bakery for some delightful desserts. 

Spicy chorizo & tomato baked beans with poached eggs & sourdough (mine)

Schultz smoked Wagyu beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, dijonaise, & pickles on rye (Denise's)

Strawberry Watermelon cake and Raspberry Creme Brulee Tart

There are a lot of amazing graffiti wall art along the side streets which are perfect for OOTD photos.
People were staring at us wondering what were these two idiots doing but we have so much fun playing around with the camera. 

Everytime I come to New town for the homemade soy candies from an old lady but disappointingly the market was closed today (blame the nasty weather). We then took the bus to Glebe for some fruity frappes and girl chat. 

New town is one of my favourite places in Sydney and will definitely come back and continue exploring.

Doraemon crossover Johnny Depp graffiti

Frappes from Well Connected Cafe in Glebe