Captain’s Log: Day 31

Hello Brave New World! Ironically in this modern day and age where technology has made even “instant” a hashtag, getting the internet hooked up in my apartment in Tokyo took F.O.R.E.V.E.R.

Going 3 weeks without proper internet is much like Tom Hanks with no Wilson, hopelessly casted away from modern comforts and with no buddy to call on. During which I survived one 5 level earthquake, had my stress levels tested repeatedly dealing with starting from absolute “zero” and mastered being a one-dish wonder for the past month. Needless to say, I’m feeling pretty satisfied with myself and my urban survival skills and I hope that the next few months will be a lot more smoother without the cookie trail of language-barrier mess I have been making along the way to perfect my Japanese at Waseda University.

Backtracking to last month’s adventure since my absence, here’s a few highlights from my travels in Seoul.

Location: Hongdae Free Market


After a failed first attempt due to bad weather I finally had the chance to go to the Hongdae Free Market!

It’s a small arts and crafts market very close to Hongik University driven to support local talent and the art community. If you drop by, I highly recommend you get your self portrait drawn by one of the few artists who have set up shop for the day. You won’t regret it!

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Courtesy of Sungho. He’s very talented, I love it!


Location: Bills, Jamsil


I wanted to take the Unnie out for some birthday brunch and found that Bills had opened a restaurant in Jamsil.

What a perfect choice! It was like a little slice of home-away-from-home.

Bills’ Banana and Ricotta Pancakes are so popular, they even have a special take away sign especially for it!

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Flowers for the Unnie.

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Thank God Bills also has a restaurant here in Tokyo. I need more of this in my life!


Location: Wicked Snow, Garosugil


Granted, this is a chain patbingsu cafe but no other place could offer you this view of people watching by an opened window while eating shaved ice right?

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Location: Edae

I unfortunately forgot the name of this sweet little coffee shop that is near Edae University that had a nice collection of art zines and books to keep you occupied while you relax. I like how they roast their own beans and appear more like an indie coffee supply shop.

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Looking forward, I hope to do some traveling inside Japan during my time here especially since autumn is here!

There are still some things that make me very uneasy to fully enjoy my time here at the moment (no matter how I look at it, I am technically, unemployed) but I am hopeful I am able to overlook this soon to share with you some amazing sights in Japan!

If you have any questions about Japan or about Waseda, do let me know!

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Until Next Time!





Jacket: No brand from Japan | Cardigan: Hollister | Crop Top: Forever 21 | Pants: Forever 21  |  Shoes: Randa (Japan)


Ahhhh oh my gosh!  I almost can’t contain my excitement for Spring!

I absolutely love this look – it’s super girly and colourful and I get to have a sneak peak of florals announcing “spring is here!”  Yes!! Spring is finally here!!

Unfortunately though, it’s still a little chilli and the transition seasons are always hard to get the balance between keeping warm and keeping cool just right.  Especially since Australian weather at this time varies drastically throughout the day – the mornings are winter freezing and the day heats up to almost summer temperatures.

So what do you do?  You layer!  Layering is probably my favourite thing to do with my outfits because it always ends up looking stylish.  Plus an added bonus – you can always take the layers off as the day heats up!

Talyssa xx

I love you like polenta chips!

I love you like polenta chips!

This is a sad goodbye letter

to my hometown of Sydney that will hopefully bridge the confusion and explain what is about to happen.

 It is sad to leave the familiar behind as Sydney has been a great city, playground and home for all of my 25 years but I have decided to pursue my future and set my sights on my indefinite move to Japan starting next week.

This move wasn’t sudden. It has been on my mind for quite some time (an ambition since high school if you can believe it or not!) but I never felt like the moment was right to pursue the change yet until now.

I will still be blogging here from my locale in Tokyo while Talyssa will be in Sydney. You can say we really are taking this blog adventure international now and I’m sure the contrast will be refreshing and an interesting read!

To my family and friends who have wished me well and supported my decision you cannot imagine what an emotional day it was when I left the airport before flying to Seoul (where I am currently writing this post), but this is not farewell forever.

To our readers here,

expect some big changes and interesting commentary by your’s truly as I start my journey to a beautiful new city and, of course, share a new stage of my life moving forward.

Until Next Time!




Nestled in the bustlingly chic Westfield CBD, is The Tea Salon best described as a shoppers whimsical haven after a morning of intense retail therapy with the best friend.

Through August, The Tea Salon is to be hosting the Katherine Sabbath High Tea, deemed the most Instagrammable High Tea to come to Sydney.  With imagery like this in it’s advertisements, we were nothing short of excited to sink our teeth into it:


All girls know that conversations over food naturally progress to updates on all things awkward in ones life, particularly those concerning men.   “So how’s things going with that guy you’ve been seeing?” your friend asks, leaning closer.  “Finally” you think to yourself, the question you’ve been dying to have her ask all day – you need someone to talk to.

You explain that while this guy seemed great at first, and is still really nice…it’s just not working, and now you have to awkwardly tell him.

It’s unfortunate to say this, but our experience with the Katherine Sabbath High Tea was like an awkward “friend-zone” conversation.

Setting and Atmosphere

Rating: ★★★


Just like when considering a potential partner, we’ll start off with assessing the looks.  Now, The Tea Salon isn’t as immaculate as other High Tea places I’ve been to with the pretty gardens or antique buildings nor is it as quiet and tranquil (?). However, considering it’s located in the middle of a major shopping centre, it does it’s best with what it can and cleans up well, looking quite cute.   The crockery is on point being exceptionally pretty and it also matches one other delightfully.

Overall The Tea Salon is no Johnny Depp (or insert preferred hot guy here).  But often the looks aren’t the only thing that matters and to be honest we were quite happy to continue our date with the Tea Salon at this point.


Rating: ★★.5

Unfortunately the food is where everything went downhill.  Layer by layer as we got deeper into the date things got worse, almost to the point of no return.  Let’s weigh out the positives and negatives.  Things started off great and the highlight of the food was definitely the savoury options, the scones were delish, as were the pinwheel sandwiches and the savoury tartlets were divine.


From Left to Right: Rosemary, Leek and Parmesan | Lemon, Pistachio and Current


Pinwheel Sandwiches: Smoked Salmon, Rocket, Lemon and Capers | Cucumber and Dill Butter.    Savoury Tartlets: Beetroot, Goats Cheese and Caramelised Onion Jam | Pumpkin Feta and Pesto


BUT this was the Katherine Sabbath High Tea and the sweets were suppose to be the highlight.  The advertisements for the sweets deemed that the Katherine Sabbath High Tea was to be the most “Instagrammable High Tea” and it looked amazing in the advertisements.  We couldn’t wait to sink our teeth in (after taking photos of course).

After devouring the savoury layers and pleasantly happy w so far, we moved on to the last layer of the high tea – the Katherine Sabbath sweets.  Unfortunately our high hopes were crushed and the sweets were the lowlight.


Rose and Pistachio Pannacotta with Persian Fairy Floss | Lemon & Raspberry Zig-Zag Gumball Donut | Chocolate Brownie Koala Donut | Banana Cupcake with fresh Raspberry Cream Dark Chocolate & Orange Fudge Tart with Salty Toffee Shards

The Rose & Pistachio Pannacotta with Persian Fairy Floss, was probably the best of the sweets, albeit too overpoweringly sweet that it made it difficult to finish the tiny portion of it.  The Chocolate Brownie Koala Donut tasted dry and cold but worst of all was the Lemon & Raspberry Zig-Zag Gumball Donut which was cold, doughy and flavourless.  I didn’t even know that it was Lemon and Raspberry flavoured until I read the menu for this write up!  

The gumball center of the donut was also a poor choice.  Besides the fact that at the time, Siree and I thought the gumball was a jawbreaker because it was too hard for us to bite, you don’t really want to be chewing on gum during your high tea experience.  Especially if you’re sampling a little bit of everything, you don’t want to have to discard an old piece of chewed up bubble gum on the side of your otherwise elegant plate.   I think it would have been smarter if the gum ball was changed to a truffle type, jaffa coated chocolate.


It is unfortunate to say that it was at this point that I knew the Katherine Sabbath high tea was friend-zoned.  Gone was the excitement I felt upon looking forward to the most “Instagrammable High Tea” and gone was the addictive need to taste the rest of the food in front of me, that I had felt with the savoury elements.


 Rating: ★★


Good service and friendly staff.  They kind of stay out of your way, which is something I prefer.  It would have been nice if the waitress told us what each of the sweets were upon service – we found ourselves asking a lot of ‘what’s this?’ questions.

Pricing and Value for Money

 Rating: ★★

Pretty good value for a high tea at $43, usually most are 50+, however overall I was a bit disappointed because I expected more of the Katherine Sabbath High Tea.

The Details

Where: Westfield Sydney Level 4 (Designer Gallery), Cnr Pitt Street Mall and Market Street, Sydney NSW 2000

Opening Hours: Monday – Sunday: 10AM – 6:30PM




Resort in the City

Look at these stunning visions of beauty above!

The follow are some of my favourite pieces I love from the Resort 2015/16 Collection that to me shows off Zimmermann’s core. The attention to detail, the smart clever cutting of the fabric and delicate  silhouettes are just stunning and are elements I love in fashion designs.

There’s no question and with one glance you just know. That unmistakable vibe that breathes off a design and its designer that’s distinctive of its namesake. There’s no better way to describe how sartorially sassy the way fabric hugs the skin so elegantly like Zimmermann does.

Any girl would feel like they were Miranda Kerr dressed to impress with such beauties (no VS wings needed).


 Showing us the way to cut-out here, I adore Zimmermann’s sensibility to form. Simply love, love, love the mix prints and risqué silk-like fabric that drapes almost sensually on the body, revealing just the right amount of skin to stay flirty and classy with each careful cut-out shape.


Of course, no mention of Zimmermann would be complete without mentioning their swimwear.

No boring one piece here! Have you ever seen anything like these before?!

The designs are so on point with these little numbers, they have done us beach-loving Australian ladies proud to display such praise-worthy wears on the international scene.


 And just when you thought the word “resort” only meant beachwear. Ha! Think again!

Zimmermann shows how bold and contemporary on runway to ready-to-wear versatile the pieces can be. No doubt I am feeling inspired to try this fresh new form of modern mod mode soon. Perfection.


While I feel like a gushing girly-girl showing off such eye candy prettiness, let’s just take a minute to absorb the beauty that is these structured details in their 2015 work shall we.

Just wow! The intricate lace layout and the safari boho casual air leaves me wanting to take on the urban jungle game wearing these as my warrior outfits any time.

Exploring the town and pounding pavement with some killer style. Erm, why not?!


Moving towards 2016, be sure to check out their campaign for more here!

Until Next Time!




If you find yourself wandering through the busy hustle of Newtown to the quieter edge of Enmore, you are now in the hush-hush circle of some new age food buzz scene going on every weekend.

Newtown might always take the favourite for brunch time, but Enmore is probably one of the most diverse eating areas in outer Sydney you will experience on one street. From African to Turkish ice cream, this place is the eating melting pot that enjoys a little obscurity overshadowed by its big sister next door making it peaceful and quiet – perfect for some late brunching!

The truth of the day was, we were supposed to check out some vegan food but ended up finding Secret Garden and past the vertical flower arrangements and curtained fern vines, was a cozy hole-in-the-wall that was pretty damn cool to walk away from.

Setting and Atmosphere

Rating: ★★★




First impressions count and Secret Garden sure does welcome you to “smell the roses.”

Every corner to the ceiling is filled with an assortment of plants both fake and real which proves, if you have a theme you better go hard or go home!

Is this a garden or some tropical jungle we stepped into?

However you may define it, the decor is a good transition from the day cafe (7am – 5pm) to the bar at night (5pm – 11pm).

Think small and cozy communal lounging or get intimate in the loveeee seater under the canopy (oh-la-la).


Rating: ★★★

Browsing through the cafe menu, you’ll find your standard favourites of bacon and poached eggs to fancy steak sandwiches.

Until you see dinner.

Have you heard of ‘arepas’ before? Neither have we until we came to Secret Garden.

It’s a Colombian white corn meal pocket with filling and sounds interesting only, they serve it at night. Why?!

We gave up being vegetarians today for you~ sigh

But moving along, we chowed down to some of their other cafe grub to ease the pain.



Talyssa was in the mood for something avocado and light so the “Poached Eggs” was the obvious choice.

Recalling back, I don’t remember seeing or tasting feta or lemon oil which would have been nice.

For $16, I’d would say even with 2 eggs on top, without the other elements, it’s slightly better than your usual piece of toast.


Crushed again to hear that they sold out on the “Black and Blue” (rare roast beef sandwich), I opted for the “Montreal Ruben (typo for Reuben?)”  instead and I’m glad I did.

I loved the sauerkraut and pickle combo which cut through the heaviness of the cheese and the swap for smoked wagyu instead of the usual pastrami was a good choice. It really showed off a mature side when eaten.

I wasn’t too sure about the side of Wasabi Potato Salad as I felt it didn’t really match together and the noticeable hit of wasabi was missing.


Rating: ★★

As with most, if not all order-and-pay-at-the-counter sort of eating services, you’re pretty much left alone after your interaction with the staff which is fine since the cafe vibe is very relaxed.

For the moments of service at Secret Garden, it was a pleasant experience.

Pricing and Value for Money

Rating: ★★★

Price points on the menu would be marked on the average scale for Sydney brunching.

If you want something light and simple for a weekend feed with that true “suburban local cafe” drop-by with change still left in your pocket,

Secret Garden fits the bill.

The Details

Where: 134a Enmore Road, Enmore 2042

Opening Hours: Mon – Tue: 07:00–17:00  |  Wed, Thur, Fri, Sun: 07:00 – 23:00 | Sat: 07:00–22:00