Skin Edit: Ultra Violette, discovering the home-grown sun protection brand

“Beautiful skin requires commitment. Not a miracle.” – unknown via Pinterest

For some one who never invested in putting effort on her skin in her teenage years, I can share one piece of wisdom, wear your sunscreen! If anything else you don’t care for, care for sun protection. The thing with the sun, what affects our skin the most is not so much the heat, it is the ray both UVA & UVB. Easiest way to remember, UVA = ageing, UVB = burning. As much as UVB will hurt you through burning which can potentially lead to skin cancer, UVA is all about the unseen photo ageing affect of sun rays. UVA is responsible for your pigmentation/sun spots and the terrible fine lines on your skin. Have I scared you into using sunscreen yet? Yes? Okay… read on…

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Ultra Violette is the only name you need to know, when it comes to sun protection this Aussie born brand is all over it. The founders are two women who are an alumni of the Australian beauty industry, who are so familiar with the rigorous Australian testing when it comes to qualify products as sun screen/sun protection. I believe that the fact that it took them two or more years to develop Ultra Violette, definitely means they have put their time and effort on researching the best ingredients against Australian sun, which is super harsh. I definitely feel that Ultra Violette is more of a passion project that just a mere business for these women.

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Queen Screen Lightweight Skinscreen SPF50+ UVA+UVB Broad Spectrum 50ml

This is the first product I ever purchased from Ultra Violette, because I literally see this bottle all over the social media. Points for all that marketing. I literally think about purchasing for so long, any way finally purchased and fell in love. The texture is light, milk-like, oil free formula with a subtle rosewater scent. It is a chemical sunscreen that contains Australian Kakadu Plum, which is knowns to be the world’s richest source of Vitamin C. Off course Vitamin C is the best antioxidant that protects your skin from free radical damage, all the while evening out your skin tone as well.

It has a pipette applicator and to make sure you have the best coverage, you need to use 3 pumps. Regardless, this one bottle last for a while. Queen Screen is definitely my staple, must-have, forever and until the day they decided to not make them anymore…

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Supreme Screen Hydrating Facial Skinscreen SPF50+ UVA+UVB Broad Spectrum

If you asked what the difference are between the Supreme Screen and the Queen Screen, I would say it lies on the texture and tint within Supreme Screen. The original Queen Screen has the more milk-like consistency, while the Supreme Screen feels slightly thicker lightweight lotion. I love the slight tint which gives your skin a nice glow when you use it on its own on days that you do not want to wear makeup. On its own, you can say the Supreme Screen can make wonderful primer. One of the ingredient in Supreme Screen is pentavitin which, gives your skin a boost of hydration that last on your skin for up to 72 hours.

They recommend for you to use 5 pumps daily, however I do find the size of Supreme Screen to be quite small, travel friendly, but will definitely ran out quickly if you do 5 pumps. What I do is 3 pumps of Queen Screen as base before applying 2-3 pumps of my Supreme Screen

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Extreme Screen SPF50+ Hydrating Body + Hand Skinscreen UVA+UVB Broad Spectrum with 4 Hours Water Resistant

The latest to have been born into the Ultra Violette family, this hand and body sun protection is the reason I am regularly using sun protection for my hands. To be honest, as much as I am an advocate of applying sunscreen on the face, I know how much I lack in applying sun protection on the rest of my body. Despite the many advancements facial sun screen, being light and smells good now, body sun protection unfortunately, not as exciting. Well, not until this one arrived. Extreme Screen has a texture similar to that of the Supreme Screen, however without the tint. The coconut scented sunscreen is so light, you will think that you’re not wearing anything at all, except when the sun hits you and your skin sparkles cause of the extremely smooth glitter-like particle ingredients mixed in to the cream.

You are meant to leather this everywhere, all over your body! But I only ever use it on my hands unless I am planning to stay outdoor for a prolonged period of time. Extreme Screen  contains soothing aloe vera, which can help reduce the redness post sun exposure and Vitamin E, which can help to repair skin for a more youthful look. As a chemical sunscreen, Extreme Screen has no white-cast or grease-feel on

Interested? You can get your hands on these babies online from Ultra Violette website, simply click here. If you happened to live in Australia and prefer to feel the products before purchasing anything, Ultra Violette is now available in Sephora Australia. 

-k.

Skin Edit: February 2020 Favourites

“Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius, and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.” – Marilyn Monroe

How is February treating everyone? On a global scale, we have a pandemic affecting various countries that we still have no cure for. We have seen people panic in a massive scale which resulted in ridiculous behaviour that unfortunately includes racism and devastating backward thinking of so many. I wish to inform everyone, that this space is created with positivity and love, I don’t care who you are, where you’re from (and no, this will not continued on with the lyrics to Backstreet Boys famous hit, As Long As You Love Me), you are welcome here, you are in a safe space and you matter. Let’s get on with the business of sharing with you, few of my favourites for this month…

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As a skincare obsessive human, let’s start there eh! February is the month of intense weather changes and plenty terrible air pollutions days in between. Hence, anything that will repair and protect skin barriers are welcome…

  • Using the combination of Face Oil and Hydrating Toner/Essence in my PM routine, straight away after double cleansing, before continuing on with the rest of the routine. At first the concept baffles me, however the logic behind this method of madness made so much sense to me. When we double cleanse our skin, especially when you use oil cleanser e.g. cleansing balm, you essentially will be taking off any excess sebum off as well. Hence why it made sense to quickly replenish with good oil, before applying anything else, to encourage better absorbency of your other treatment products. My go-to this month are L’Occitane en Provence Immortelle Divine Youth Oil combine with Hanskin Real Complexion Hyaluron Skin Essence, the thicker texture of the essence really worked well with the oil, with just a quick warm up on the palm of your hands, gently pat across your face and you are good to go
  • Krave Beauty Great Barrier Relief, a skin barrier repairing serum. With so much air pollution and free radicals going around due to the weather condition, I am so relieved that this serum is giving me the protection my skin needs. It contains Tamanu Oil, which is believed to help regenerates skin and addresses various skin problems e.g. hyper-pigmentation or acne scarring. Within the formulation, they have a combo of NMF+Ceramides, Squalene and Phytosterol, which mimic a healthy skin barrier. Finally, Niacinamide, the current darling of the skincare formulator cause it is in everything. It is said to be the reliable mom of the skincare world, as it repairs barrier with anti ageing benefits whilst being gentle on the skin
  • Eye cream was never something I cared about too much, as I believe whatever you pop on your face will naturally travel up to your eye areas. But definitely no harm in owning a preventative measure when you do find the right products for your skin. Biossance Squalane + Peptide Eye Gel is where it’s at for me. Squalane is a stable form of an amazing moisture replenisher for our skin, which derived from squalene, that occurs naturally in our skin, therefore you know, it will nourish and get rid of those annoying fine lines due to the lack of oil production surrounding our eye areas. The eye gel also contain Swiss apple stem cell extract which has an age defying properties such as, reducing the look of fine lines and wrinkles

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The number rule of my makeup bag is multi-functional products are king (or queen, up to you). Hence all my favourite this month seems have the ability to multi-task or make my life super easy,

  • RMS Beauty “un” cover-up Cream Foundation (shade: 33) is so straight forward to use, blend with fingers because the warmth of your hands just melts away the foundation into the ultimate moisturising, medium coverage foundation ever. It gives such beautiful finish without your feeling caked or greasey
  • Face Powder by Lizzie Parra in medium beige is an Indonesian makeup brand created by an absolutely adorable beauty blogger named, Lizzie Parra. I have tried few of her creations, but by far this setting powder is one of the more impressive product she created. Gives my oily skin a lovely matte, later on dewy complexion and set my foundation nicely
  • Nudestix Nudies Matter All Over Blush Colour in Sunset Strip is one of three Nudestix items I picked up from Sephora at the start of February. This particular colour, Sunset Strip, is such a beautiful shade of peachy coral and I could not stop using them as blusher, on my lips or a light flush of natural eyeshadow colour
  • Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Glow in Fair/Medium is not a new purchase, however it is a recent re-discovery inspired by me watching the absolutely gorgeous Lily Aldridge’s natural everyday makeup tutorial on Youtube. I realised, while watching her video that I actually have most of products she uses, hence the obsession with this palette came back to me, in a big way this month. The bronze just give you the healthiest flush of “I just step in from a whole of basking in the Sun”- kind of glorious tan, while the highlighter gives you that glow on all the right places
  • I am not a lip balm person, I must say the sticky texture of a lip balm really bothers me, which is exactly why I am so surprise about this Laneige Lip Glow Balm in Peach. I might have allow it to be a favourite cause I am loving anything peach related, but this does hydrates my lip and not too sticky or overly glossy
  • For lips, I have been using mainly my MAC matte lippy in Chilli, but this month, I am loving the whole nude lip, or #MLBB life by using this NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Walkyrie. With my trustee balm underneath, this lip pencil stays on for way longer than any lipstick would on me, so I am loving this

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With my recent passion for intensive hair care regime, I have added this Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Heat/UV Protective Primer to my routine. I know we shouldn’t wash our hair everyday, but I can’t help it. I could not stand the feeling of un-washed hair, which is why I think I need to go the extra mile to protects and nourish my hair. After hair oils, I spray this all over my hair before I proceed to blow dry them. I love the convenient of a spray and I also appreciate that the scent of this product does not attack me with a severe headache, like some other hair products tend to do

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In the scent department, I have a body cologne and a desk diffuser to talk about, because I have been using them non-stop this month. My prediction is they will be a long time favourite of mine long after February too,

  • Jo Malone Nectarine Blossom & Honey, did I mentioned I had an obsession with anything peach smelling lately? This is the ultimate peach scent in a bottle. The scent is soft with a slight sweetness of a ripe nectarine in summer, with a slight citrus kick that reminds you of a warm, summer afternoon you spent away laying down on a hammock while sipping a peach ice tea on the veranda, with the sound of crickets surround you. I just love that I can extend the feeling summertime give me by just using this fragrance
  • Essensorie is a Melbourne-based brand that creates beautiful essential oil based beauty products. Their Desk Diffuser in Geranium Bergamot has got to be on their best scent. I can’t get over how pretty this is! The dried flower petals are infused with geranium bergamot essential oils, all you need to do is shake before you open them. Place them on your desk for a whole day of a calming aroma…

The last but not least, a February favourite list will not be complete without the recommending you a favourite read. I am so in love in Paris, the city, ever since my first visit there during my childhood. Everything about that city, the people, their love for their arts, and their architectures just fascinates and completely floored me, I have been back there five times and always plan to go back for more. This book, In Paris: 20 Women on Life in the City of Light by the ultimate Parisian woman, Jeanne Damas and Lauren Bastide, gives me so much life. With its insider tips and places to go to for that perfect French kiss, a hidden gem of a bar or just a general tea on the lives of women living in Paris, this book has it all. If you love Paris, or if you know someone that loves Paris, this book a must-have.

What are some of your favourites in February? Made sure to let me know in the comment section down below 🙂

-k.

Art Journal: Spending the Day with Haring and Basquiat, NGV International Melbourne

“I didn’t start doing graffiti until two years after I got to New York. Jean Michel Basquiat was one of my main inspirations for doing graffiti. For a year, I didn’t know who Jean Michel was, but I knew his work.” – Keith Haring

When I first move to Melbourne in 2000, I was a naive 13 years old girl with completely glazed eyes and excitable emotions, arrived at my first Australian school being offered various subjects that she could only dream off learning back home. Fine Arts was one of those subject. During my time in Jakarta, I did so much painting and drawing classes, that I get quite good at it and fell in love with it completely. Art class in Melbourne means more exposure to international artists whose names I only ever read in my Encyclopaedia books. Keith Haring was one of those names that were introduced to me through an art class project. I remembered clearly how we were told to pick an artist and reproduce painting inspired by their body of work. For whatever reason, I was drawn to Haring’s work and thus begin my interest for various other New York artists such as, Andy Warhol, Basquiat or Grace Jones (her androgyny fascinates me).

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National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) International latest exhibition, Basquiat/Haring Crossing Lines, has got to be the most exciting things to have happen right now in Melbourne. Walking into a scene of Basquiat spraying words on a New York city’s wall, passing a news footage of Haring’s many arrest for painting on a blank advertising board, the anticipation of what’s to come build up slowly. The gallery’s white walls were filled with intertwining works by Haring and Basquiat, walls of curated story lines inspiring and perhaps, inciting a rebellious streak in all of us who visits. Cartoon like characters, random drawings of masked figures can be interpreted as shallow and irrelevant in our current society. But one can’t under estimate the strength of characters and messages behind each purposefully drawn figures that we, as visitors or passersby, should further unravel.

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While alive, both artists were known to be strong advocates of change, breaking stereotypes and the loudest voice against stigma of having to live with HIV/Aids or simply being of a different race. Can we still say that their works have no relevance in our society today?

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I always thought artists in the past were never just a painter or a videographer or a sculptor. I always thought of artists in the past as visionaries and society’s greatest critics. What is it that they see in or society that we, who lives in it everyday, simply missed? The works of both Haring and Basquiat continues to inspire generations of artists for years to come. Their works might start on the streets of New York, on the subway lines of Manhattan, but their desire to connect with everyone speaks to audience wider than they could have imagine. Even a rapper of South Korean boy group, Bigbang, TOP mentioned Basquiat’s name on his lyrics and who can blame him, cause arts just how Haring & Basquiat wanted and insisted, are for everyone.

-k.

Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen

“Sun Protection doesn’t need to be complicated or expensive – it needs to be consistent. Keep it simple, but do it forever.” – Hillary Fogelson

I think above everything else in your daily routine, sun protection should be your number one priority. Many people seems to understand the danger of sun rays, but many choose to ignore it and half-heartedly use sun protection. Before I knew anything about skincare, I am one of these people…

I hate the scent, texture and everything you can think of when it comes to sunscreen. They are always sticky, and smells funny. But like technology, innovations have occurred within the beauty industry. As an example, in Japanese and Korean beauty industry, sunscreen products are light textured, non-greasy and nicely scented (or sometimes non-scented). Since then, many western beauty companies have followed suit, in creating sun protection products that are enjoyable to use and customers actually want to use it daily, plus topping up every 4 hours.

 

I am excited to share with you plenty of sun protection products, but today I want to specifically talk about the Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF40 PA+++, wowza mouthful! It is a light gel-like textured sunscreen, with barely any scent, which for some with a more sensitive skin might prefer. Without looking at the ingredients list, I can definitely feel the slight slip that you can get from products containing silicon. However, for an oil skinned person, I do think this texture help when I put makeup on top of the sunscreen.

Overtime, the smooth gel texture do developed tiny grain texture, which I do not find pleasant at all on the skin. I have a sneaky suspicion that there could possibly be unpredictable changes in temperature in my room, which could cause some ingredients within the sunscreen to froze/curdled. I do think this makes a good sunscreen especially for those of you who happens to live in the warmer climate, I feel that the cooler temperature slightly altered the texture of the gel.

Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen has been a go-to sunscreen for a while, specially during summer month when I get a chance to jump to the water. In my personal opinion, the texture made it more water-resistant in comparison to a cream textured sunscreen.

What are some of your favourite sun protection products?? Make sure to leave on the comment below 🙂

 

-k.

A review on L’Occitane Overnight Reset serum

“A good laugh and a long sleep are the two best cures for anything,” – Irish Proverbs

If there is such thing as miracle, I have to say that this small jar of formula is it. Last year, L’Occitane en Provence, brought out a product that seems to be too good to be true. A relief for stressed and tired skin, claim to refresh and restart your skin while you sleep. So how can I not give it a whirl?

Here are the low down of how this beauty works. L’Occitane only uses natural ingredients and when possible, organic. In the case for this L’Occitane Overnight Reset Serum, the ingredients happened to be 97% natural, which is excellent. The three main ingredients are, Immortelle essential oils, electric daisy (acmella oleracea), and marjoram extract.

  • Immortelle Essential oils are in many of L’Occitane skincare line. Immortelle essential oil is an active ingredients that helps to heal and nourish your skin, in some products the concentration is high enough that it can actually help to stimulate collagen which helps to eradicate fine lines. However, in the case for Overnight Reset Serum, the level of Immortelle is not as high therefore this is not an anti-ageing serum. The oil functions more as an antioxidant which helps to protect skin from external aggressors,
  • Electric Daisy or Acmella Oleracea, has been used for ages as a numbing plants in traditional/natural medicine. It has been called a natural “botox”, which means that temporarily, this plant helps to rejuvenate and refresh the skin
  • Marjoram Extract in this serum is used to awaken our skin’s cells/DNA which helps to let our skin and skincare to communicate better. This leads to better absorption of our skincare products which leads to an increase in the efficiency of each ingredients

The synergy of the three main ingredients helps to create one of L’Occitane most successful skincare launch in Australia to date.

My first impression of the product was nothing special. I suppose my skin is so used to a more active products and I don’t see much difference on my skin. I was a little disappointed especially because the product claimed so many amazing things. Anyway, few months down the track, my skin was a little angry with pimples which leads to few scarring. With my hyper-pigmentation, this meant brown spots. Remembering that the marjoram extract in this serum can help increase efficiency of any skincare products you put on after, I thought, what the heck let’s mix one pump of Reset with my Vitamin-C serum.

The result was so good! My pigmentation usually last for 3-4 weeks, or sometime longer. But when I pop the Overnight Reset Serum on before my Vitamin C serum, within the space of two weeks, my pigmentations are much much lighter. I was so impressed with the results and I have been sharing with my friends ever since. The serum has definitely developed its own cult following of ladies who can’t live without it. It took me a while to review it, but I am glad that I get to share this with you.

Will you give this serum a go? Or have you? Let me know below…

-k.

Architectural wonders of Sydney

“Photos are a return ticket to a moment otherwise gone,” – Anonymous

To me, Sydney was always the typical buzzing busy big city of Australia. May have visit it few times in my 18 years of living in this beautiful country, but I have never been so impressed by Sydney. Perhaps I am perfectly brainwashed by Melbourne and its charm, that I refuse to see the beauty of Sydney.

When anyone think of Sydney, Australia, the first image that pops to mind might be the Harbour Bridge or the Sydney Opera House. Off course, both landmarks are fantastic examples of grand architectures that exist in this beautiful bayside city.

On my recent trip to Sydney, I believe I finally have a newfound appreciation for this city. Aside from the grand landmarks of Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge, I had two days to really explore the city on foot. I discovered many beautiful classic greco-roman style architectures, as well as the stunning Gothic style of Saint Mary’s Cathedral.

Art Gallery of New South Wales is definitely one of the most stunning art gallery I have ever seen. Located right in the middle of the vast area of Royal Botanic Garden, the Greco-style building with its own parthenon like front facade, looked majestic and slightly intimidating to me. The 145 years old building’s current design, the result of the 1882 destruction of the original Garden Palace by fire, intrigues me because of its sheer grandeur. The outside wall of the building lined by names of many famous artists throughout the ages, such as Botticelli and Bellini, which I thought was a nice touch.

St Andrew’s Cathedral, right in the middle of Sydney CBD, with its classic Gothic Revival style pictured below, has got to be a personal favourite of mine.

Since I stayed around George St, I walked pass the Cathedral almost every time. The beautiful stained glass windows are so stunning, as much as I don’t consider myself a religious person, I highly appreciate the biblical stories depicted on these windows.

I can’t possibly share about the stunning classical architectural buildings of Sydney without mentioning the Queen Victoria Building, pictured above. QVB has got to be the most beautiful shopping centre in Australia, such classic architecture to be housing various Australian and International retail giants. I never forget the day that Melbourne gave the Melbourne General Post Office (GPO) building to H&M, such a huge mistake, Melbourne’s GPO could have been what QVB is to Sydney. So for me, it was bittersweet to walk through this beautiful building and wishing that we have something similar to it here in Melbourne.

St Mary’s Cathedral, pictured below located near Sydney’s Hyde Park is every Gothic-architectural nerds’ dream! I am one, and walking past the Cathedral in the afternoon after one full gallery visit day, placed me on such a high emotionally and I could not stop smiling.

I was blessed with two beautiful sunny days to explore Sydney on foot, which helped me see the city in a different light. What a stunning place to explore and just, as Parisian called it, flaneur. Which is exactly what I did, walking endlessly with no particular destination, aside from my hotel room to rest my head at the end of the day.

Was there ever a city that you were so happily discover on foot, filled with beautiful buildings and sights to see? Share with me 🙂

-k.

The Beauty Chef, my inner beauty essentials

“All disease begins in the gut,” – Hippocrates.

And who am I to argue with Hippocrates, the most outstanding figure in the history of medicine. In my personal opinion, many of people nowadays associates beauty with how we look physically and not enough marketing is done to promote inner beauty. In the age of social media and instant gratifications, it is hard to find your place in the world where you feel safe and at peace with who you truly are.

Inner beauty to me includes more than just physical inner health, but also the health of a person’s inner being, the strength of their characters and inner peace. Recently, I have become more aware on the importance of taking care of both equally. Regular meditations, taking time out with myself and joining reformer pilates classes weekly have all been wonderful, small changes I made in my life. Discovering The Beauty Chef has been another step towards a healthier and more balanced me.

Glow, for healthy skin, hair and nail,

I was introduced to The Beauty Chef a while back, and this is definitely not my first tub of Glow. The period where I drink this daily, my skin looks clearer and brighter, and I do noticed the shine on my hair. So when for whatever reason, I stopped taking this daily, I can see the difference on my skin. From now on, this is an important staple in my pantry and I add 1 tsp of Glow to coconut water or my juice every morning.

Cleanse, supports body’s natural cleaning process

After experiencing the amazing results from my Glow daily intake, I try my hands on The Beauty Chef‘s Cleanse powder. I don’t necessarily have much gut problems, but this powder really elevate your body’s ability to cleanse onto another level. Daily intake every morning, 2 tsps mixed with coconut water or blend in juice, Cleanse have helped me feeling less bloated everyday.

I do believe that any of this products from The Beauty Chef, really helped with the health of your insides and encourage you to try them out. If you love to indulge in what you eat a little more, sweet treats or perhaps alcohol, I believe a regular cleanse can help our moderate indulgence.

Make sure to take a peek around their page, The Beauty Chef and let me know if you have try anything else from them.

-k.

Let’s talk about ChatThai, Sydney

“Food is our common ground, a universal experience,” – James Beard.

One of the best thing about traveling, for me, is the chance to enjoy great food. Street foods are always the best way to integrate yourself with the local culture, however, sometimes there will be that one exception and a place like Chat Thai in Sydney, is it. Chat Thai is everywhere in Sydney, but the one I went to is below,

Chat Thai

20 Campbell St, Haymarket NSW 2000

The first time I tried Chat Thai, is during my last visit to Sydney in 2015/2016. The food was so good and quite authentic to many dishes I have had in Thailand. So imagine my excitement when I saw my hotel’s location during my recent trip to Sydney, happened to be right across the road from a Chat Thai restaurant.

What I ordered?

  • Som Tum (Papaya Salad)
  • Grilled Pork Neck with Sticky Rice
  • Yen Ta For
  • Iced Thai Milk Tea, off course

Som Tum (Papaya Salad)

Simple dish, with complex burst of flavours in your mouth. The savoury, sour and spiciness came through cleanly with every bites. The crunchy nuts are definite texture you need to complete the whole dish

Grilled Pork Neck eaten with Sticky Rice

This has got to be my most favourite dish amongst the three. When I was in Bangkok, I am so obsessed with eating sticky rice with Moo Ping (grilled pork satay), readily sacrificing my possible digestive health purchasing these satay from random street food vendors with flies flying around. The flavours of Chat Thai’s grilled pork neck is the closest to moo ping, I have tried outside of Bangkok. The dipping sauce is sour, savoury and spicy with a touch of sweetness, which is so perfect to go with the sticky rice. A must try!

Yen Ta For (Spicy fermented tofu noodle soup)

Another favourite Thai dish of mine is Yen Ta For, perhaps because the scent and flavour transformed me back to Jatujak Weekend Market in Bangkok. Unfortunately, I was slightly disappointed with the one I had in Chat Thai. Personally, I think the Yen Ta For I had in Bangkok was such perfect balance of spicy and sourness. The Chat Thai version feels bland and does not have the certain “fermented” flavours. Despite that, I am grateful that they do serve this style soup, cause it is so hard to find in Melbourne’s many Thai restaurants.

-k.