I always love that anticipation when you walk past a construction site, and after taking a peek, you realise it’s a commercial spot for a future restaurant or cafe. And then you find out that it finally opened, and discover it’s a quaint cafe with so much potential. You schedule in your first visit. You take a seat, marvel at the cute and crazy 60’s wallpaper that reminds you of the Beverley Hills Hotel, pick up the beautiful gold cutlery, and order your coffee. You take a look at the menu, one side for breakfast served all day, the other for lunch (from 11am onwards). You look at your watch. It’s 1pm, so definitely lunch (although I have no issues over having bacon and eggs at midday).
Two Sis Pyrmont is the sort of place you expect to find lots of millenials who are crazed-up about their Instagram feeds, and you do find them there. I can’t blame them. The place is cozy, pleasantly designed, and with lots of good lighting for that money shot. But what keeps me coming back is the food and the service. Mem, one half of the 2 sisters, serves the best coffee and cake made in house, and the food is not only presented beautifully, but tastes amazing too. The Asian influence seeps through the dishes, and you only have to look at the menu to spot some classic comfort food: Quinoa Goreng, Ramen Bowl with tonkotsu broth, and the Poached Salmon Bowl with salad and an amazing Ikura & Wasabi Vinaigrette dressing. We returned the following week for the breakfast menu, and the humble bacon and egg roll did not disappoint.
I’m ecstatic that a new cafe opened just minutes from my front door, and one that serves great food and gives amazing service. This one is definitely for keeps.
Two Sis and Co Cafe
306 Harris St Pyrmont
Open Monday to Saturday 7am – 5pm and Sunday 7.30am – 5pm
So my husband probably thinks that burgers are a food group of their own. He adores burgers so much, it’s become a weekly staple. (Don’t worry, he cycles, exercises regularly, and follows a pretty healthy diet throughout the week. Plus he’s super skinny!). But burgers. Yes. Burgers. Give it to him any day of the week, pile it high with ingredients, or stick to the original BLT – as long as it’s a burger, he’ll take it.
I was so grateful to receive an invite from Ribs & Burgers to try on their newest burger range. They’ve just launched 3 brand new burgers as part of their Wagyu beef range: the Wagyu Big Cheese, Wagyu Chimmi Swiss and Wagyu Tower. I’ve always loved Ribs & Burgers for their ribs (one of the best), so last Saturday we decided to try out their burgers. We ordered 2 out of the 3 burgers, and they were legit tasty, quite generous portions, and literally dripping with flavours.
Thanks to Ribs & Burgers for the amazing burger feast. Trish & Mr J dined as guests of Ribs & Burgers.
The Wagyu Big Cheese had a classic, original burger flavour with all the usual ingredients, plus gotta love the American cheese, caramelised onions, and Aunty Joan’s pink sauce over it.
The Wagyu Chimmi & Swiss is a hunker of a burger – the meat was oozingly tender and so flavourful, and with an elevated flavour profile thanks to the swiss cheese, egg and chimichurri mayo.
There are numerous Ribs & Burgers restaurants throughout Australia. Apart from the burgers, I also highly recommend the smashing ribs! Check out the rest of their menu here.
I have to admit, I feel privileged to have been given plenty of opportunities, more so in my career where I get to focus on my passion: health and wellness. Last May, I was given an opportunity to speak at an international conference in Dublin, Ireland, and learn from some of the best in the international health industry. It was an amazing opportunity I wasn’t going to miss, so I dragged Mr J and we decided to tag on a much needed holiday after the conference. Ireland, UK (by way of Scotland and my beloved, whisky), to the South of France, Paris, and finally Dubai. Short, sweet, but sensational!
I might be blogging backwards here, but I’d like to start our travel stories by talking about our last stop: Provins. It was the day before our flight back home, we had an extra day to explore outside of Paris, and we were totally, immensely in love with France. Provins was just the right amount of history, accessibility, and uber French romance for these two Aussie travellers. It was also the perfect last French city before we head back to the beautiful land of red earth and golden sunsets (Australia!). Plus, I had to admit, my inner nerd was fully geeking out at the fact that Provins is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Provins is about 1 1/2 hours train ride south east of Paris. Catch the Transillien P train from Gare de lest, which should take you straight to Gare de Provins. A return trip is an affordable 22€. The train ride itself is comfortable, and you get spoiled with the most beautiful French countryside views without having to travel too far.
This is a walking town, and I wouldn’t suggest any other way of exploring it. Like most small European places, it’s hilly, with cobblestone-paved streets, small lanes, not much street signs (and the rare ones we found were of course, in French), and quite deserted. Have no fear – everything leads to the church and the town centre in, well, the centre of town; just follow the streets and if in doubt, ask a local in your best broken French (or just consult Google Maps). Buses also run around the city, but why bus it when you can walk it? Make sure you’re wearing really comfortable shoes, a hat, sunscreen, and lots of water during summer.
We were pleasantly surprised and equally amazed by this beautiful city. Go to Provins if you’re after medieval architecture, French trading and commerce history, dainty little cafes and shops, underground galleries, and the perfect day trip from Paris without breaking the budget. 🙂
Visitor’s House (or Tourist Centre) – it’s a bit of a walk from Gare de Provins, but I think it was worth going to the Visitor’s House to get your bearings of the place, purchase tickets, and get some local knowledge before exploring the town. The friendly lady at the Centre also gave recommendations on what to do and where to go, which shows were playing, and the times. We purchased our tickets to the Caesar Tower and the Underground Galleries here.
Ramparts and the Fortified Gates – dating back to the 11th and 13th, the gates surround the Upper Town and are easy to spot on your way to the Visitor’s House.
Town Centre – lots of choices for lunch, a bit of shopping for jams and souvenirs, and sightseeing.
The Caesar Tower – built between 1152-1181, the tower was once a watchtower and a prison. There are multiple stairs (some quite steep and narrow) to get to the bells of Saint-Quiciace Collegiate Church, but once you reach the top, you’ll be treated with spectacular, panoramic views of Provins. Before leaving the tower, make sure you watch a short video of the history of Provins. This is found in the lower room.
Eglise Saint-Quiriace – built as far back as 1019, this church remains unfinished and yet I found myself mesmerised by its modest beauty. Because of the many additions and renovations throughout the centuries, the church is a mixture of medieval, romantic, renaissance architectural styles.
The Underground Galleries – learn more of Provins’ history and commerce as you walk through the Underground Galleries. Yes, it’s cold, damp, dark, and somewhat claustrophobic – and yet still worth checking out the Medieval graffiti in the vaults. Make sure you ask for the English tours; we joined the French tour because it was the only one running that day. Check the Visitor’s House for the tour details.