Saturday, 28 September 2013

Spats Coffee House

Spats was chosen as the destination for a late night dessert stop, being the only place within a 5km radius of us that was open past midnight! 

Spats was very dimly lit with red lamps which I think can be taken in either two ways - cosy and romantic, or a bit eerie and dingy. This made taking photos of the food a bit of a challenge, but thank goodness for iPhone torch apps!

 Peppermint teapot for one $5.75

 Wedges $9.50

Deliciously hot and crunchy, perfect for nibbling on at half past midnight. We devoured the lot within 15 minutes of it arriving at our table!

 Sticky Date Pudding $9.75

A pretty standard pudding, not spectacular but still tasted very good. I loved the warm butterscotch sauce which complimented the pudding really well along with the cold vanilla ice-cream!

 Apple and Cinnamon Slice $9.75

The apple part had a bit of a mushy texture but overall it tasted really nice! My sister ordered this and she really enjoyed it.

Half banana half strawberry crepe with Nutella

My friend and my mum ordered really similar dishes and both really enjoyed it. Mum, who doesn't have much of a sweet tooth, said that it was the right amount of sweetness and she finished it, something she usually doesn't do!

We had a great experience at Spats and it left a pretty decent impression. The food didn't disappoint but I don't think we'll be rushing back any time soon, unless we're in desperate need of a place to visit after midnight!

Overall 7.5/10

Spats Coffee House on Urbanspoon

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Priceline Haul [4]

Ah, midweek shopping.
This week, I had some free time and decided to pop into Priceline to take advantage of the sale they currently have on!

(All prices listed below are sale prices, except for the Ardell lashes!)

Garnier Pure Active 3 in 1 Wash, Scrub and Mask $10.99
Garnier Clean Sensitive 2 in 1 Gentle Make-Up Remover $7.99

These are both my current favourite face wash and make up remover. 

The face wash leaves my skin feeling very clean, refreshed and hydrated, and has a very pleasant, fresh scent. I use it thinned with a little bit of water as a face wash on a daily basis, and occasionally as a scrub and mask. I definitely recommend it for people with oily skin!

The makeup remover does a fantastic job of removing everything, even waterproof eye makeup which I wear a lot of. It doesn't leave that oily residue on your skin, which I love, and is very gentle and light.

Aveeno Ultra-Calming Foaming Cleanser RRP $13.99
Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Moisturiser $15.99

I've been wanting to try a new moisturiser for quite a while and have heard lots of good things about this, so I decided to give it a go. So far, I'm really liking it! I only use about one pump any one time and it's enough for my entire face and neck. It's very light and quickly absorbs into the skin, leaving a really subtle, pleasant scent. My T zone doesn't become too oily until a few hours after using this, which I don't really mind. 

The cleanser was a free gift for spending over $15 on any product in the Aveeno range. So far, I'm not a huge fan of it, simply because I prefer my current face wash so much more. It definitely is gentle... way too gentle. I think I would use it when I break out and my skin is much more sensitive, but for now, I'm sticking with my Garnier.

Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stains in Crush and Romantic $17.95 in total (buy one get one free deal)

I adore these and will never pass up an opportunity to grab some more. I was so excited to see that there was a 2 for 1 deal on these so I picked up two more shades. Crush is a plum-y red colour, perfect for autumn but I will make it work all year round! Romantic is a lovely, bright red, which I think will look gorgeous on most skin tones. I definitely recommend the entire range of these stains!

Glam Eyes precision eyelash curler $7.69
Ardell Lashes: 108 $9.99

I saw the precision eye lash curler and decided that I just had to try it! I've found that it does a decent job of curling the pesky outer corner lashes, but you have to be super careful using it or it might pinch your skin! I would recommend this for people with small eyes or short, straight lashes. Just be mindful to curl at the root and middle of the lash so it appears more natural.

My sister has a formal coming up so I picked out these lashes for her. She has very short, straight lashes, so I thought that this would look the most natural and flattering on her eyes. I've heard lots of good things about Ardell lashes so hopefully they're as good as I hope they are!

This weekend, my friend Angela and I visited Priceline and Chemist Warehouse in Myer, Rundle Mall and I made just 1 purchase at each after telling myself that I did not need anymore makeup (oops...). 

Priceline: Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Sweetheart $17.95 (buy one get one free deal)
Chemist Warehouse: Rimmel Lasting Finish Matte by Kate Moss in 107 $6.47

Yes, another Revlon stain.... I just can't help it! Angela and I both bought this one so we only had to pay about $9 each! We both love it. The colour is a pretty, bright pink, perfect for Spring and Summer!

Chemist Warehouse has been having a 50% off Revlon, Rimmel and Maybelline sale which is finishing soon, so I picked up this dark, berry red lipstick. If anyone is familiar with the British youtuber 'Zoella', this is the red lip stick that she often wears! It is such a gorgeous colour and has fantastic staying power. I'd definitely recommend it!

If you need to stock up on any beauty or skin care products, I highly recommend you do so as soon as possible! The Priceline sale ends on Monday the 23rd of September and the Chemist Warehouse sale will be ending very soon, too.

Thanks for reading, and happy shopping!


(Leave a comment below if you'd like to see swatches - I'll be happy to do so!)

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Zapatas & St Louis'

On Wednesday night, my year 12 form was invited to dinner at Zapatas by our form teacher. I did some research and found that this is an award winning Mexican establishment, so I was quite excited to dine there! Unfortunately, with a group of just under 20, I only managed to snap a few shots of the dishes closest to me.

 Mexican Hibiscus & Tamarindo $3.90

Drinks to start off the night! My friend and I were curious about the flavour of hibiscus in a drink so we ordered one each. In my opinion, it tasted very similar to lemonade, but had a richer sugary taste.

 Pollo El Salsa de Cacahuate $23.90
A tender piece of chicken breast with a chicken meat and spinach filling, coated in a spicy peanut sauce. Served with rice and salad.

All I can remember about this dish was that the chicken breast was bone dry and extremely difficult to eat! I only ate a few forkfuls of the chicken with the salad but gave up. All my friends agreed with me after trying it.

Bistec Ranchero (250 grm) $24.90
Prime fillet steak which has been marinated, then barbecued, served with rice, frijoles and fresh garden salad

I didn't try any of this, but I could see that the meat was cooked to absolute perfection for medium rare!

 Chimichanga $22.90
A golden deep fried flour tortilla with a spicy chicken filling, topped with salsa and sour cream, served with rice and salad

I wish I had ordered this instead. The chicken filling was cooked much better than my own dish, and the flavours were delicious - not too strong and overpowering. I would definitely recommend this!

Special Nachos (Large) $26.90
Crispy hot tortilla chips smothered with melted cheese and crowned with jalapeño peppers with a delicious topping of guacamole, tomato con chilli and sour cream 

The photo honestly does not do justice to the size of this plate. It was HUGE! Even with 4 people sharing this and a few other dishes, we had to admit defeat and left approximately a quarter of it on the plate. Definitely a great dish to share, with delicious jalapeño peppers hidden throughout the toppings, which sat atop a gigantic mound of cheesy tortilla chips. I would definitely recommend it! Visit on a Wednesday night for 1/2 price nachos.

I'd say we had an enjoyable dinner, however I don't think the food was really that spectacular. Perhaps we had just ordered the wrong dishes? If I ever return, I would probably order the fajitas and avoid chicken dishes. The service was okay, nothing too spectacular. We knew one of the waitresses so we were well looked after.
Overall, 7.5/10

After dinner, a few friends and I decided to have a quick stop at St Louis' for some ice-cream to end the night. I opted for the lemon sorbet because I wanted something light to contrast the heavy Mexican food we'd just eaten and it was great! Very refreshing and not too sweet.

Zapata's Mexican on Urbanspoon

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Argo on the Parade

Being free at the same time on a week day is a very rare occurrence for my friend Angela and myself, so we took the opportunity to grab lunch together at Argo on the Parade!

You can see sandwiches/rolls/wraps being made through the deli style counter

It was packed to the brim, even on a Tuesday afternoon! We managed to snag a table along the back couches.

 I thought the table decor was very cute, with all the laminated table numbers letters featuring pears hand coloured by Year 1 students at Loreto.

 Sweet potato fries with sour cream (small) $5.90

Absolutely delicious! They came out piping hot with a crunchy outer layer and warm, soft centre, and were great with the sour cream. Also a very generous serving for how much it cost - we were very sure it was never ending and didn't end up finishing it. We both definitely recommend them!

 The MJ - grilled chicken, crisp pancetta, caramelised onion, fresh tomato, provolone cheese, mixed lettuce drizzled with a lemon and mustard sauce $11.50

Honestly, very disappointing. Firstly, the bun was too heavy and thick. It wasn't even toasted so texture-wise, it added nothing to the burger. The grilled chicken was very dry and bland making the burger very difficult to finish. There could have definitely been more of the source! Also the pancetta was not very crispy and looked suspiciously like bacon. I ended up leaving most of the bun and chicken.

John's Special - chicken Schnitzel, grilled bacon, fried egg, cheese, tomato, lettuce & Argo Caesar dressing $11.50

Also very average. Angela commented on the blandness of the chicken schnitzel and also how she was disappointed that the fried egg wasn't runny. She also said that the sauce tasted like something at Hungry Jack's! We both agreed that the bun was nothing special, and she also left most of the bun and chicken untouched.

Overall, we were very disappointed with the quality of the burgers, but we will be coming back just for those amazing sweet potato fries which definitely overshadowed the rest of the meal! The food came out in record time despite how busy it was that day, and all the staff were super friendly. The casual atmosphere gave Argo's a really great vibe, and we think we'll perhaps return in the future to try some of their other offerings.

Argo on the Parade on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, 3 September 2013


For Father's day, my family and I had a lovely dinner at Esca on the Marina Pier in Glenelg.

[Apologies for the lighting in the photos - it was rather dim in the area of the restaurant in which we were seated!]

The front of the restaurant. There was also a lot more seating towards the back, facing out towards Glenelg beach. I'm sure there would have been spectacular views during the day!

 Hot bread, chilli, olives, salted butter & oil $8

 Antipasto of small goods, cheese, vegetables & seafood $22

Great selection of antipasto! Well worth ordering as the 6 of us happily nibbled on the generous portions of salami, cheese, sundered tomatoes, Italian sausage, olives and more while waiting for our mains.

 Zucchini flowers, stuffed w ricotta, w haloumi, apple & candied walnuts $18

A lovely starter. The zucchini flowers had a thin, crisp outer layer and filled smooth ricotta filling. I particularly enjoyed the candied walnuts and apple salad as they complimented each other very well. I do question why this cost $18 though.

Pork belly w crackling, apple & ginger puree, savoy cabbage & rhubarb chutney $32

I saw pork belly on the menu and couldn't refuse it! The meat was so tender and could only be described as 'melt in your mouth'. The apple and ginger puree was a rather interesting combination, but tasted great with the pork. My only complaints would be, firstly, with the crackling which was overly salted (you can see the grains of salt in the photo!) and not as crunchy as it could have been, and secondly with the cabbage which was rather bland and did not add anything to the dish. I also found the rhubarb chutney quite strange- it had the texture of raw minced meat and had a very distinct sour and tart flavour. I ended up leaving most of behind on the plate.

 Fish of the day: Garfish rolled with raisins, cauliflower puree and olive tapenade $34

 Beef fillet, char-grilled, w white polenta, shallots, asparagus & jus $34

My dad ordered this and even though I didn't taste it, I could see that the beef was cooked to absolute perfection!

 Linguini w local SA seafood: prawns, crab, mussels, cockles, calamari & chilli $30

Risotto w pancetta, tomato and broad beans $25

The risotto was soft yet still had a bit of bite to it, and the flavours worked together very nicely overall. The serving was very generous and my sister struggled to finish it!

We were all completely stuffed after dinner so we didn't order any desserts. This was unfortunate because I was eyeing the almond panna cotta! Oh well, there's always next time!

All of us really enjoyed our dinner. The restaurant was situated in such a gorgeous location and the food was definitely above average. The service was also great, with staff who were very attentive and friendly. Although this could be classified as fine dining, the restaurant was definitely child friendly and there was even a separate kids' menu.
I'm sure I'll definitely be back to try some of the other things on their menu!

Esca on Urbanspoon