Pho Viet

11 John St, Cabramatta NSW 2166

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Located on one end of the busy, John Street in Cabramatta, Pho Viet like many of the restaurants nearby serves Vietnamese dishes. It can be quite overwhelming when you first visit the street, as there are quite a number of Vietnamese dine-ins to choose from. I had my eye on one particular dish that they were known for.

Visited for brunch, so it was not difficult to grab a table even when distance restrictions were in place. The establishment is quite spacious inside, casual in dress-code and I recommend wearing your most comfortable clothing so you can eat in peace haha. Their menu encompasses entrees, rice noodle soups, egg/clear noodle soups, signature dishes, vermicelli, clear vermicelli, udon, congee and rice dishes. The soup dishes are almost all customisable, in terms of its base and noodle type. I found the price to be low-mid range, which was surprising as they were quite generous with the amount given. I couldn’t finish all that was in my bowl! As I mentioned earlier, I wanted to try one of their signature dishes ‘handmade noodle with prawn, meat crab and pork’. Honestly, this dish was extremely filling, the yellow noodle was a perfect blend with the peanut broth. Pork was thinly sliced, the prawns and crab cuts added sweetness to the overall dish.

Pho Viet also takes delivery, so you can eat their homely, generous amount dishes from the comforts of your own home! If you want to start eating your way through John Street, start with Pho Viet and work your way up.

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KorBQ

13 Petrie Plaza, 2/131 London Circuit, Canberra, ACT, 2601

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WEBSITE


A hidden gem in the bustle of Canberra Civic, you might just miss it and unfortunately miss out on the deliciousness of the meals! Book ahead, since the restrictions are still enforced and there are limited seatings. Also, I don’t believe I saw a second level, just the ground floor. Reserved for a 6pm dinner and one by one, the tables slowly filled up. There were high and low tables, with ample seating for large groups. The seats on the low tables were super comfortable.

Immediately seen from the interior, KorBQ sets itself apart by serving both traditional and modern Korean cuisines. The menu was exciting to browse through and not too hard to follow. You are given a variety of dishes to choose from, meat bbq cuts, fried chickens, soups, bibimbap and big-pots. Since we were three that night, we opted for a set menu, so we can try the various meat bbq cuts and the additional sides! The quality of the meats were delicious, evenly cut, clean and the right amount for the group. The sides were just as great, with the ox bone soup being a major highlight for me and their kimchi fried rice. The set menu we ordered was called ‘After Work Refill’. The creamy fried chicken was yes, creamy without it being soggy. The chicken’s taste reminded my of KFC.

Service was efficient and friendly! I loved how timely the food came out and the waiter didn’t have to change the grill. KorBQ can be found across two branches, the other in Belconnen. A great dinner to catch up with friends, family or for after work dine in, as you are sure to work out feeling well fed. Dishes are mid-range priced, casual in its dress code and you are sure to be eating in comfortable furniture. I highly recommend KorBQ, as they set the bar high for how Korean BBQ should be presented and served.

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13.5 – 19.5

“Don’t you understand that we need to be childish in order to understand? Only a child sees things with perfect clarity, because it hasn’t developed all those filters which prevent us from seeing things that we don’t expect to see.”

-Douglas Adams


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13/5  Another nippy morning and got a work meeting scheduled later this afternoon. Got my nail brush kit yesterday and now I don’t know how to clean-off the nail polish from the brush. I tried soap and water, but it didn’t come off mmm. In other news, there’s quite a bit of content I’d like to write about and share. But even after waking up at 5am, I still find there’s still so little time left. To be honest, I might be playing Animal Crossing Camp on my mobile a little too much, generally playing it during the period when I have another task on. Happy Wednesday everyone!

14/5 It’s upsetting hearing about the unemployment statistics of Australians. With some restrictions being lifted tomorrow, with the 10 people at a time in bars/restaurants/pubs, it does bring a little sunshine in the past gloomy days. Although, personally I would like order takeaways and support establishments via distance. Until there’s a vaccination available, I’ll be keeping a large distance. I don’t know how my body would react and I know for sure how awful the normal flu is for me.

17/5 Visited Cabramatta yesterday after such as long time. As usual for a weekend, the place was packed by the time we got there at 10am. Luckily we found a parking spot at one end of the road. It is amazing how cheap produce and meats are there, compared to the ones in big supermarkets. Plus, the variety of Asian snacks and Vietnamese cuisines! Cannot wait to go back, hopefully this weekend. We didn’t get to eat some pho, but we did try out some $3.90 rolls. Be sure to eat on an empty stomach, practice social distancing there if you can, wear a mask and be hygiene smart.

18/5 Stomach growls and I’m not hungry nor nervous, its an annoying effect caused of my crippling bad gut health. Sigh. I started a new workout program this morning, which will be running for a month, after taking a week off from exercising. I was obviously dying throughout, but finished it nonetheless.

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Wing Shack

1/178 Sunnyholt Rd, Kings Park NSW

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Wing Shack had opened its doors in the last few years, with the vision to cater America-style fast foods.  The restaurant, otherwise seen as a ‘professional looking market stall’, is situated next to the busy Sunnyholt Road in Sydney’s west. Parking is limited in front of the restaurant, so you can always park in the fronts of the other stores along the road. Otherwise, the nearest train station, Blacktown station, is a good 10-15 minute walk.

There was a slow influx of American-style restaurants opening up in Sydney, with a tiny amount located in the western suburbs. From the exterior, Wing Shack looks just like any casual Australian eatery, with laid-back service, high-tables with matching high-seats and food served in takeaway containers. No reservations of course, but the good thing during this time are takeaway services! Wing Shack is found on two major Australian delivery services, Uber Eats and Menu Log.

It must just be the food that has the American influence. I ordered from the single counter and on its side was decorated with packs of soft drink cans. The menu showcases a range of chicken mains, from American Southern chicken wings, whole tenderloins and Nashville style spicy wings and whole tenderloins. Pieces can be bought in 2 or up to 5 pieces, price averaging around $7 to $28. The buttermilk biscuit was highly reminscient of Popeye’s version, are buttermilk biscuits a popular item in America? Wing Shack’s biscuits were much more on the softer, milkier side than Popeye’s. The single loaded fries was cut in my favourite type of cut, as shoestrings. The fries were crisp with the right amount of salt and the added cheese sauce, shallots and bacon bits gave that needed final fatty topping. The tenderloins were evenly crisp on the outside, almost flaky and what I enjoyed was how it was not too oily. The skins were awesomely thick and the inside was evenly cooked well! The original tenderloins I ordered were not overly juicy, more on the leaner side. My partner ordered the Nashville spicy tenderloin, which I avoided because it was spicy. This was served with white bread slices and pickle slices.

Wing Shack’s meals will absolutely fill your stomach to the brim. The chicken pieces are quite hefty, so it’ll make a decent filling meal. However, the taste for me was quite mediocre, I was expecting something juicy, exciting and something not so Australian.

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VN Street Foods

294 Illawarra Rd, Marrickville NSW 2204

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WEBSITE


Situated along Illawarra Road’s line of ethnic restaurants, you’ll find an almost hawker-like style setting serving authentic Vietnamese food and drink specialties. Now who doesn’t love authentic Asian cuisines? I’m a sucker for it and VN Street Foods had definitely met my expectations.

Came to VN Street Foods for an early dinner, the restaurant would generally open around 10:30am until 9-10pm, 7 days a week! It is not far from Marrickville station, which I recommend taking as supposed to parking along the busy street. As most local, food businesses in Australia, you can either dine in or order as a take-away. But I recommend coming in and sitting either inside or outside, eating the scrumptious Vietnamese street foods. We had no reservation made and I’m not sure if they do take reservations. That evening however, which was on a weekday, we were able to quickly grab a small-wooden table. The inside was already filled with people, not surprisingly as the inside was quite small. The cashier counter was decorated like a Vietnamese food stall, there was also a small number of imageries of the culture hanging on the walls.

What shocked me with the menu was how ridiculously cheap the dishes were! The portions were not those insanely small plate-sized ones, but your average for-one-sized plates. It made it so much easier for me to add two more sides to try out, alongside our main dishes. Dishes were categorised under rice paper rolls, sides, rice vermicelli, rice dishes and pho. I ventured out a little on the visit, ordering myself the steam sticky rice with stewed pork belly with egg. I might have ventured out a little out of my comfort box, as the stewed pork belly was tasty but the texture was almost ‘mushy’, that it felt odd. Every other dish we ordered were not doused with too much sauce and oils, all very clean tasting. I loved the bright colours, presentation and overall taste. Service was prompt and came out in a timely manner.

Not too far off from Sydney’s west, I recommend traveling a little to try authentic Vietnamese food in the heart of Marrickville. The prices are insanely affordable with no negative affect on the quality and service. A casual atmosphere, which you can enjoy dinning in throughout the day until the late night. Due to its size, it may be better to bring in a small to mid-sized group.

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29.4 – 5.5

“One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious. The latter procedure, however, is disagreeable and therefore not popular.”

– C. G. Jung


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29/4 Just for fun and a little experiment, I’ll be trying to eat under 1000 calories everyday, for up to 3 months. Of course I won’t be eating trash, but I project this diet experiment to keep me mindful of the types of food and drinks I’ll be consuming. Foods that will sustain me longer, won’t flare up my gut issues and remind me to keep me drinking water more. The good thing about this, is that I’m at home more so I can weigh up what I’m eating and I’m not as enticed to buy high calorie foods. Wish me luck!

1/5 The first day of a new month! What a super cold start, the cold even woke me up before my alarm. Did the laundry of our white clothes and I’ll be doing the coloured ones tomorrow. What I’m truly happy for today is… it is a day off from Chloe Ting’s 2-weeks Shred Challenge. My body can finally rest. I love how the programs she uploads are free to use and how amazingly challenging the sets are. I have never felt better physically and when I do it in the morning, the endorphins provides me with a massive kick for the day. I’ve been doing it with E, got him to try it and he’s loving it too! I feel after working out, I tend to be more mindful in what I consume, you know so your efforts in working out are not wasted. Also E told me he had missed typed me and now I am an… INFP (FiSi).

2/5 Stopped watching Haikyu after watching a few episodes. I know this anime is super popular, but I feel like some bits were repetitive or lacking that special sparkle to keep me watching. I’ll continue it a bit later, I think what I am looking for is something unique  in the characters, plot and drawing style.

4/5 Got a cute little bluetooth speaker from JAM and also got it in white, to match it with all my other tech devices. My body and mind felt a bit exhausted today, so I treated myself to an early afternoon bath, shower and indulged a little during lunch. Now I’m streaming a Filipino film called ‘Eerie’ whilst I’m working. You see, I’m a very jumpy and easily frightened person. Horror movies are my weakness, I seriously have nightmares for weeks. I remember watching ‘The Ring’, the American version and it has ever since scarred me.

5/5 I should probably lay off the moscato for the next few nights, it has been making me feel sleepy the next morning. Like I would wake up an hour later and get hit by the sleep bug a few hours of waking up. Not good to my productivity level and plans throughout the day, it pushes everything else planned for the week or I sometimes have to cut things off in the week. Time is valuable, something I realised only within the past few years. Time is something you’ll never get back.

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Miss Margarita

2 Jonson St, Byron Bay NSW 2481

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A popular Mexican restaurant, opened back in 2012 alongside some other lively eateries on the famous Jonson street, Byron Bay. Unfortunately you cannot make a reservation at Miss Margarita, so you either have to come in early or be willing to wait in line.

There are street parking in front of the establishment and in front of the beach, which is only a few minutes walk down. Miss Margs serves popular and fun Mexican dishes, from fajitas, tacos, nachos, burritos and so much more across lunch and dinner. The quality was simple, yet exciting to the palette when we came in during dinner time. There’s so much to choose from and I don’t think you can go wrong with ordering, as the dishes, drinks and atmosphere of the place mixed fabulously. Prices were mid to high end range, which is understandable as the area they are in, is populated with both local and non-locals.

Service was prompt and the waitstaffs were quick on their feet, very friendly too. It does get loud, so talking whilst dinning is a bit of an effort. However, the music establishes the fun atmosphere of Miss Margs. The interior has bits and pieces of Mexican art and colours that brings vibrancy to the restaurant. The layout is quite tight, with the majority of tables set indoors. The wide-open windows however, extends the tight space to make it seem larger than it is. I liked how this was designed, it made the cramp space more breathable and look a bit rustic.

I wouldn’t recommend the place for a quiet, romantic dinner plan. The ambience is casual, hip and would be a great place to dine in before the night starts! Miss Margs has an extensive drinks menu too, from cocktails, margaritas, cold beers and some wines. You’re also so close to the beach, which you can definitely feel the breeze come in, making the dinning experience even more special. Miss Margs is a local favourite and one of the restaurants in the town you cannot skip!

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Beta Glucan Daily Moisture Cream

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IUNIK

The beta glucan daily moisture cream is from a Korean skincare brand, iUNIK, that emphasises simplicity in its design and ingredients. For 60ml and I purchased this cream for $22.95, it had lasted me for over 4 months!

The top two listed ingredients are water and butylene glycol. I’m surprised beta glucan is not the first listed ingredient, however it is along the first line. I’m also not sure the amount of each ingredient is, as there are not percentages written. Butylene glycol is an humectant, used to retain skin moisture and is said to be effective in moisturising the skin. The ingredient is also compatible with non-water-soluble products, as the ingredient helps dissolve other ingredients resulting in easier application. I’ll also highlight the beta glucan ingredient, which is used to soothe irritated skin as well as plump and firm the skin.

There’s a very slight scent and I found the consistency to be non-sticky, easily applied and water-based. The cream did not cause any irritation on my sensitive skin and I saw instant moisturising benefits. During colder days, I felt like the cream was not thick enough even after layering a lot more for the day. On drier days, the cream felt made my oiler throughout the day, so the best time for me to use it, was on days when I was just at home.

I probably won’t buy it again, as it did make my skin oiler. However, I loved the light-weight feel of the cream, making it a great everyday use. Price point was amazing too, because you get a long usage out of it and was super gentle on the skin.

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Commune

36 Polaris, Makati, Metro Manila, Philippines

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A cafe and bar, which has also taken up the trend as a community space. Commune is located in a quieter area of the bustling Poblacion, where the result of creative minds is seen through trendy cafes, restaurants and bars. You won’t miss the place, its in a corner of a street and covered in white with wide square windows. Parking looked like it was only available along the street, I recommend walking if you live close by or getting dropped off. You can also either choose to sit upstairs or in the main area.

Came to Commune for dinner, on a Saturday evening and I was surprised to see people with their laptops out in their groups, working. Music was moderately loud, so I couldn’t hear much around me. However, the music did set a young vibe to the cafe and not surprisingly more young to mid-aged people. The inside was decorated with books, a huge blackboard set against a mix of high and low wooden tables and a concrete ceiling. The place was urban, with the counter set in the middle so people can easily walk around and fit more people. The ambience is casual from individuals from all walks of life.

I saw more people ordering coffee, rather than alcoholic beverages that evening. I came without a reservation and was quickly shown to an available table. Open everyday of the week, you can be served breakfast all day, have your coffee fix, brunch and be served a steamy rice bowl. The owner is Rosario Juan, who had envisioned a cafe that not only served great coffee, but to gather people in one place to meet and host events. Commune’s menu is quite extensive, with a wide selection catering for both meat lovers and vegetarians. I was not feeling coffee adventurous that night, but their coffee menu had a wide selection of brew methods, espresso and iced types. Items are moderately priced, where their most expensive panini will set you back at 395 php, cheapest rice bowl at 250 php and their cappuccino (226 grams) is at 120 php.

Ordered that evening an iced camomile tea, spam fries, pork longganisa pasta and a sandwich (forgotten which one I had ordered). The spam fries were seriously addictive, its such a Filipino staple and loved how they included this! The pork lonnganisa was lovely, however they could have added more meat which was seriously lacking. Nothing really special with the items we ordered, but it was filling and comforting. Waitstaffs will come up and take your order from the table or you can make your order from the counter if it’s a take-away. Food came out timely and portion size was perfect for one person.

The mix of Filipino and western items in this cafe, is sure to cover both local and international customers. The wide, clear windows is sure to bring in an abundance of sunlight which makes the place a great cafe to work and meet in. The food were simple tasting, but I can see works well with the coffee and alcoholic beverages. I probably won’t come here for dinner, but will stop by for breakfast or brunch.

Sorry to the lady with the pink face mask… did I look suspicious haha

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