Sunday, 26 June 2016

Holly Rayes, Bassendean

Located on James St, Holly Rayes is another of the great cafes to pop up in Bassendean. I've been watching them on Instagram for a while and drooling of there cakes.

I visited on a Saturday morning and the place was packed with hungry brunch goers and locals popping in for takeaway coffees. 

Holly Rayes menu

I ordered a almond milk hot chocolate. Holly Rayes uses Mork Chocolate, mork meaning dark in Swedish. It was a little bitter for my taste but it was great to see almond milk as an option. 

I kept it simple and ordered poached eggs with gluten free toast and a side roast tomatoes and pesto mushrooms. 

The good: They use bread from Mary Street Bakery who make some of the best gluten free bread available in WA.

The bad: There's not a lot to say about the poached eggs - I think the picture says it all. Both eggs were overcooked and disappointing.

The ugly:  So there was no ugly... the tomatoes and mushrooms were good - the mushrooms were particularly nice.

The cafe is super cute and staff were very friendly but I can't get past the eggs.
With a few other cafes just around the corner that I want to try, as well as some great options in both directions down the road (Guildford and Bayswater), it will be a while before I return to Holly Rayes.

Holly Raye's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

How I fade acne, hyperpigmentation and scars

I wrote this for my friend Linda who asked me about the products I use for fading pigmentation and evening out skin tone.  There are two ingredients that I depend on to do this - Vitamin C and Galactomyces.

Vitamin C

I use Vitamin C products to fade post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (pih), also know as the 'scar that I'm left with after I get acne'. It's not really a scar but we'll talk about that another time. The downside is the wait time, I wait 20 minutes after I've put it on before I continue onto the next step. This is fine if I'm not in a rush (which is only at night because I run late every morning). The 20mins is a good opportunity to do life maintenance. I can vacuum my entire house in 20 minutes.

OST Vitamin C20 serum is a rockstar product for me. The downside is that it oxidises easily and it needs to be kept in the fridge. I get this from

Melano Intensive Anti-Spot Essence: I haven't actually used this yet but the #kbeautycommunity tells me it's milder than the C20 but it doesn't need to be kept in the fridge. This is going to Bali in August. I got this off ebay. This is a Japanese product so not available on Jolse.


In terms of general evening of skin tone and brightening, I use products with galactomyces. Galactomyces is a fermented yeast product. It's a must have ingredient in my skincare line-up.

cosrx Galactomyces 95 Whitening Power Essence: This is a thicker gel like consistency. It does sink into the skin though. It's a good entry level buy though.

TonyMoly Intense Care Galactomyces First Essence: I prefer this to the Cosrx because of the consistency - it's and I also saw better results. It is double (or more) in price though.

Why I buy from Jolse and why I'd recommend it for you (Linda but the rest of you as well)

So my friend Linda is a Mum of a 10 month old and her husband works a fifo (fly in, fly out) roster. This means she's home a lot on her own and looking after a baby who can crawl and wants to touch everything. For her, I'd recommend Jolse for the following reasons. 

  • Jolse have their shipping costs inbuilt into their prices so there's no playing with your cart to try and maximise your shipping costs. For Linda, this will be a huge bonus because it's quick and easy. 
    • For bigger hauls, you may get better prices from other sites but for little buys, my spreadsheet comparisons tell me Jolse comes out on top.
  • They have a rewards system - when you shop, you get credit in your account which you can use on your next purchase. 
  • Jolse often have 20% off sales on certain brands. Buying at the time of sales is the best time, as prices come down to what other retailers list at before shipping. 

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Tak Chee House, Northbridge

My family used to go to Tak Chee at least once a month when I was a kid. My favourite dish was char siu pork, a marinated barbecued bright red dish. I especially loved the crispy charred bits at the ends. Back then the restaurant was on the corner of Roe and William streets, where the state theatre now resides. At the end of the meal, the owner would come out from the kitchen and sit with Dad to talk about about business, family and Malaysia.

The 'new' Tak Chee Restaurant is just down from their original home on the William St side. They have become well known for their Hainanese Chicken rice but sadly my favourite char siu pork has disappeared from the menu.

Sunday, 12 June 2016

The pressures of skincare blogging / Why I quit sheet masking

I feel a bit silly writing this because I don't think anyone cares that I haven't been blogging about beauty stuff. I don't have millions of followers demanding content and as a very inconsistent and small fish blogger, I don't know that anyone would've noticed . *cue violins* 

About a month ago, my face had a huge freak out. Had I been more vigilant with my skin diary, I'd be able to tell you a clearer story (no pun intended) but as I remember it, this is what happened... I sheet masked every day for a week thinking that my skin would thank me and produce glowing vibrant skin.  It didn't. What actually happened was a big angry breakout on my left cheek. I didn't know what to do and wasn't convinced it was just the sheet masks so I scaled right back with all the products I was using and stopped sheet masking for a week. My skin responded well to this so the following week, I did two sheet mask during the week. The result was inconclusive... My skin didn't have a Britney circa 2007 meltdown but it did have little moment of unhappiness. The following week, I did one sheet mask and again... one angry breakout again on my left cheek. I've just had another week without sheet masks and my skin isn't looking perfect but it's looking a bit calmer and no big breakouts. So was this the sheet mask, hormones or something else like the power of the mind (*snort* - I know, I'm clutching at straws here)... I JUST DON'T KNOW!

I also don't know if my skin has always been inconsistent and unpredictable or if I've become so obsessed and hyper-aware that I'm seeing things that I wouldn't have noticed or cared about before. I know that I feel very self conscious of my skin since I've been blogging and Instagramming about skincare. I feel like there's pressure for my skin to look good as if I need to prove that the products I use and the effort I put in actually works, or at the very least don't give me breakouts. It was kind of humiliating for my face to breakout after I'd been so vocal about sheet masks and K beauty. I was convinced that everyone noticed my skin and had judgements despite the fact that no one said anything.

Today someone asked me about sheet masks and skincare and I felt so embarrassed because my skin isn't where I think it should be and I felt like such a fraud giving advice with my current skin. When she told me I had good skin, I brushed it off and told her my skin was terrible at the moment which I know isn't true. It's not wonderful but it's certainly not terrible. So this brings me to question if skin dysmorphia is a thing and if it is, do I have it?

In the past few weeks I've culled my almost 200 sheet masks to a modest collection of 70 because I just can't bare to look at this huge box of masks when I'm not using them. I'm not preparing for the apocalypse and I don't need a shit ton of stuff. I'm not going to completely deplete my stash because I have hopes I'll be able to start using them again. Most have a used by date of 2017-2019 so I've got some time. Despite my recent skin troubles, I stand by Korean skincare - I think the r&d, ingredients used and ethos behind it are great.

I can already anticipate people questioning why I've continued to Instagram about skincare if it makes me feel insecure and why I'm sharing these feelings... I know, I hear you and I asked myself the same thing. I never anticipated that this hobby would make me feel like this but now that we're here, it's time to work through it. Sharing my life online is what tipped off people to my skincare hobby in my unfiltered offline life... I don't know that I can change this without getting my hands on one of those Men in Black memory reversal pens. So in terms of my offline life, I don't think not posting about skincare will have an immediate effect and to be truthful, it's only in real life that I feel self-conscious.Why? Because blogging and Instagramming are curated show-reel versions of my life. I have mentioned my skin issues on Instagram and Twitter but you have only seen my best me with concealer, bb cream, a filter that takes that redness out, a head tilt and strategically placed hair to hide my breakouts. I'm open and real online with certain feelings but I'm only sharing a portion of my life. For me there's a line and showing you up close photos of pimples crosses that line. I am not shaming or judging anyone who does this - all power to you but it's just not for me. I can't tie this up in a neat little bow because I don't have an answer and am still working through it. Will there be a time I'll exit the Asian Beauty Community? Probably but I want it to be because I'm no longer interested, not because I feel insecure.

Sunday, 5 June 2016

Henry on Eighth, Maylands

The opening of Henry on Eighth has been a long time coming. For over a year I've been following the cafe while they renovated and for the past two months, I've been intensely stalking them so much so that the owner Steve recognised me and thanked me for my online support when I visited.

Before you start thinking that they might need to get a restraining order, I've since found out via their Instagram account that I wasn't the only local who did this.

Mum and I planned to visit for a quick coffee/chai but after looking at the menu we decided to share something to eat.

We opted for the buckwheat hot cakes with praline, ricotta, blueberry ($18). My Mum has a real sweet tooth and has been known to have pancakes with ice-cream for breakfast every morning for in Bali so it was no surprise she was happy when I suggested this. I'm usually more of a eggs and bacon orderer but absolutely no regrets with our meal.

Beautifully presented, light and fluffy and delicious with crunchy shards of praline. I could've done more with some more ricotta and in future might see if I can order extra as a side.

HoE have these delightful little details like the spoon that came with my chai latte. It was one of those souvenir tea spoons that we all have hiding in a junk drawer still in its plastic casing.

It's a cosy space with downstairs and upstairs areas. The main area downstairs has a small stage which Steve has said in a video collab with the Foodie Hub that the space will be used to host poetry performers, acoustic musicians and so on. He's put a call out on Facebook for people to contact him for performance bookings. 

To get to the second floor you have the choice of the stairs or a lift. The upstairs area is going to be used as a gallery space featuring work from local artists - it was still a 'work in progress' when I visited. 

There's a small amount of overflow seating upstairs. Early reports from January 2015 describe the the downstairs as a cafe and the first floor as a bar space. I'm unsure if this is still the case, I think it'll be a case of watch this space... 

Welcome to the 'hood Henry on Eighth! See you again soon.

Henry on Eighth Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Saturday, 4 June 2016

Amore Mio Pizzeria and Cafe, Maylands

A new pizza and burger joint recently opened in Maylands. Driving down Guildford Rd, I would spot handwritten signs advertising burgers but couldn't see a cafe name. After a bit of internet searching, I found the name, Amore Mio, photos and a menu. In the early days they had daytime hours trading hours, a small menu and a very small social media presence... skip forward two months and they have a full menu, night hours, a Facebook page and very importantly, a BYO licence.

My friend Donna and I visited for a pizza on a Saturday evening in May. A visitor had comment on their Facebook that they were offering gluten free pizzas. I couldn't see this on the menu so I wrote them a message on Facebook and they confirmed this to be true - HOORAY! 

Donna ordered the Hawaiian pizza ($18) and I ordered a gluten free Quatro Stagioni pizza - mixed ($19 + $3 gluten free surcharge). This was one of the best gluten free pizzas I've had. Thin and crispy with great toppings. Donna felt her base was too thin but I was happy with mine.

Gluten free Quatro Stagioni pizza

Saturday, 28 May 2016

Old Laundry Bar and Eatery, North Perth

It's been a while since I last visited Angove Street so when my friend Pen suggested we check out Miss Watson's Garden Cafe, I was in like Flynn. We didn't check out the menu before going but when we got there we realised it was more a cake and coffee venue than a kitchen offering a full breakfast, so after a coffee we walked across the road and found The Old Laundry. It was quite a coincidence because just the night before, friends had suggested we go for mid-week tapas and cocktails on a night when we don't have ballet. I had confused this with another venue in Northbridge with laundry in its name and dismissed the idea because like... Northbridge. Where do I park? Will the youth of today be there intimidating me? Do I catch an Uber? AHHH! I love Northbridge and the fabulous restaurants it offers but I do feel a sense of panic when I go there. 

The Old Laundry menu is exactly what I want to see when I go out for brunch... breakfast with a twist/things I don't have the skill to make. I'm getting to the stingy stage where if I see a menu with a very traditional breakfast that I think I can make myself, I'm out... I'd rather get a hash brown from Maccas and call it a day. 

We sat in the front bar section were service was efficient, friendly and seamless. Drinks came in a flash and after ordering when Pen wanted to ask for her poached eggs to be 'well done' (I know... please don't even start!), she found our waitstaff, amended her order and lo and behold when her order came, her eggs were well done. Yes... well done like a hard boiled egg.

I ordered a soy chai latte which I smashed. It was creamy and sweet and went down a treat. I suspect it was a powered chai because of the sweetness but I can't be sure. 

Both Pen and I ordered the Mushroom Bruschetta: toasted brioche (I had it on gluten free bread), feta mousse, dressed rocket and poached eggs. 

Thankfully there was no confusion in the kitchen and my eggs were perfect.#yolkporn 

We both commented that this was the best breakfast we'd had in a long time. The feta mousse was amazing - what neither of us realised (because we were engrossed in conversation) was that it was only on one piece of toast. Tip: ration that feta goodness. 

I can't fault my first visit to Old Laundry and can't wait to return.

Old Laundry Bar & Eatery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato