Ringfit Boxing & Fitness, Rivervale

When I first walked into Ringfit Boxing & Fitness a nervous mess, I never imagined just how hard I’d fall in love with the place. As a bit of a weight training fanatic, I was looking to shake up my usual fitness routine. A friend of mine had recently started talking about boxing, and being something I’d always wanted to try but never had the confidence to do, I started looking into local boxing gyms. When I started researching, I quickly noticed Ringfit had developed a stunning reputation, with people even claiming they’d switched gyms to Ringfit due to their positive experience and results.

I contacted the gym on Facebook saying that I was interested in trying boxing out for the first time but was extremely nervous, and they got back to me right away. They provided me with some information and told me I could call one of the owners/trainers Dan if I had any questions. Being as scared as I was, I put in the call. Dan not only answered all my questions, but offered me a great deal and told me that there was no need to worry because the trainers there would take care of me. The service I’d received from the get-go was so wonderful that I knew that if I was ever going to give boxing a go, this was going to be the time and place to do it.

Ringfit is located in Rivervale off Great Eastern Highway, making it a very convenient location to get to before or after work. I do however recommend first timers keep their eyes out as they approach as the building is located behind another business.

Looking into other gyms within similar offerings in Perth, the memberships and price options Ringfit offer are competitive within the market space. They also offer a great variety of memberships and a lot of first-timer deals and offers, so there’s an option to suit everyone from the casual to the daily regular.
In addition to the variety of memberships on offer, Ringfit offers a great variety of times and services including adult and kids boxing class, muay-thai classes, fighting fitness classes, bootcamps and personal training. The owners have truly done a great job in making sure there is something for everyone at their gym.

On my first day when I arrived I remember thinking, ‘what the hell am I getting myself into’, but when I walked in I was greeted quickly by one of the owners/trainers James who put my mind at ease got me ready for the boxing class. He was extremely attentive with me during my first session as I had told him I was nervous and didn’t have a clue what I was doing.

Once you meet the guys there can no doubt about it, these guys are seriously passionate about their business, their training and their clients. They live it, breathe it and practice what they preach. They’re personable, experienced and know exactly how to get the best results out of anyone who walks into their gym. And a side note for the ladies, they’re also pretty good looking fellas.

Whether you’re a girl or a guy, a kid or an adult, a first timer wanting to get fit or a professional fighter looking to sharpen your skills before your next fight, the guys at Ringfit will provide you with the expertise you need to not only reach but exceed your fitness goals. I honestly recommend giving Ringfit Boxing & Fitness a go. After all, I’m still going back!

 

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Renato and Enzo Hair, Fremantle

Having your hair cut and coloured at Renato and Enzo Hair is like having a true Italian expert shoemaker craft you a unique pair of boots. Each boot is tailored made just for you from the highest quality leather and with countless years of experience, intuition and creativity put into each tiny detail. I have been going to Renato and Enzo Hair in both Mosman Park and Fremantle for nearly 7 years now and I can honestly say I refuse to let anyone else lay a hand on my hair.

I visited the Fremantle salon this afternoon for a cut and colour with Renato. I had been feeling somewhat flat recently and was craving a bit of a hair change. I was a little early to my appointment, but even so, I was immediately seated and offered a coffee, which was very tasty. The first thing you notice when entering the Fremantle salon is its unique and rustic Fremantle inspired interior, which is fantastically juxtaposed with quality modern salon furniture. The open space and exposed walls let you know that you are in a one of a kind space, which is then similarly reflected in the service you receive.

Here you will not receive a stock-standard cut and colour, nor will you ever be made to feel like a number. The stylists take pride in taking the time to get to know you, your personality and your hair. They work with you to help you select the perfect hair colour and cut that not only fits your stylistic wants, but leaves you with hair that puts a smile on your face every day. Each step of the cut and colour process is explained thoroughly, reinforcing the stylist’s expertise and offering comfort to anyone who might fear a visit to the standard hairdresser.

Once I discussed with the stylist what I was after, which to be honest normally consists of me saying ‘you’re the expert, so you tell me’, he explained to me the ideas he had in mind for me. I was then taken through his colour recommendations in detail. Using a colour sample book, I was shown the colours he had in mind as well as explaining where they would be placed on my head and what the outcome of that would be. We had a lovely chat during the colour application, and during the conversation he once again explained to me the application process and the what he was trying to achieve with the colour.

Once the colouring was completed I was politely asked if I would like another coffee or tea and asked to sit back and relax for 30 minutes or so whilst the colour worked its magic. After my colour was ready I was seated to have my hair washed. What could have been a simple hair wash was turned into truly extraordinary experience. I was so relaxed during the wash that I nearly drifted off. As for the head massage I received as part of the service, it was simply stunning. Once my hair was washed and wrapped I was taken back to my seat for the cut. Once again I was talked through the whole processes, which I can imagine would prove invaluable to those who fear having their hair cut. Once my hair was dried, products were then specifically selected for my hair and explained to me prior to their application. With my hair now complete, I was shown the back of my hair in the mirror and my face immediately lit up. My hair had been revived, and I felt confident and ready to show it off to the world.

And even though I must be honest in saying that I don’t ask many questions any more due to my visiting frequency, I do know from past experience that any final questions about after-care and/or products or recommendation are thoroughly answered before you leave. And to top it all off, the quality, expertise and customer service you receive all comes in at a very competitive price when compared to other salons in the same market space.

Hair is a persons finest accessory as it is on display for everyone to see every day. With so many competitors in the market and with consumers becoming savvier and expecting more from their products and services, I highly recommend giving Renato and Enzo Hair a try. Their attention to detail, customised services and wonderful customer service set a high standard of quality I hope more salons in the industry will start to take note of and begin to strive for.

Brotzeit German Bier Bar & Restaurant, Perth

I had swung by my friends house for a catch-up when his housemates told me they’d booked a table at Brotzeit. I was invited along, but told they weren’t sure if there would be additional space for me due to the restaurant’s popularity. I had already read some local foodie reviews and seen photos of the food, and having been brought up on my Mums Polish home cooking I couldn’t be more excited.

Located in the trendy new 140 William Street Perth, the first thing you notice when you walk towards the restaurant is its striking atmosphere. Brotzeit fits into its surroundings in it’s very own unique way. Striking an interesting balance between modern inner city outdoor dining with its large open dining area and the coloured glass hanging from the 140 ceiling, and traditional rustic German ambience established with the use of wood in the architecture and furniture, along with the gorgeous smell of rich German food wafting past.

Whilst I expected the restaurant to be fully booked on a Saturday night I arrived to find this was not the case. This actually made me quite happy, as I often find service quality and food to be just that little better when staff aren’t completely run off their feet. We were reseated to a larger table to accommodate the addition of guests, but this is where my initial fanaticism made room for an evening of swinging highs and lows.

I’m not sure whether this is due to the restaurant being new, or simply down to the staff, but I personally felt a lack of attentiveness in the customer service. After being seated and struggling to pass around 3 menus -between several guests- until we requested more, we found we had to struggle to flag down a waitress when we wanted to order or ask any questions from then on. It was clear their menu knowledge was lacking when one of the boys at the table ordered the Bier Tasting Paddle. We asked 3 separate waitresses to name and explain the beers, and all scrambled to find their notes and/or struggled to find an answer. There also appeared to be a few struggles behind the scene, as we were made aware half our drink order was not processed. At the end of the evening, I was left confused when after a long time a waitress asked if the table had finished, removed two plates and never came back for the rest. We then had to approach another waitress at the end of the night for the bill.

The food itself was manly man’s dream. Generous portions of hearty food and wafting smells that would make anyone drool. Traditional combinations of meats, carbs and fats held up the menu, which was more than enough to satisfy a majority of the crowd. When the food arrived, the boys eyes lite up, jaws dropped and food started being shovelled in. You just knew the menu had been created by a real German executive chef.

Our table ordered a range of dishes including appetizers, salads, sausages, mains courses, side dishes and desserts.

The Brotzeitplatte mit Ripperl / Brotzeit® Platter with Ribs was a show stopping event as it was placed on the table, and even the look of the Kalbsrahmgulasch / Veal Goulash with Spätzle -which if you’ve cooked before you’ll know is hard to make pretty- made the boys want to dive straight in. In addition to this, some of the other dishes sprawled across the table included a Würstelplatte / Sausage Platter, Gartensalat / Garden Salad, Rotkraut / Orange-Cranberry Red Cabbage, Sauerkraut / Braised white German cabbage, and even an Apfelstrudel / Apple Strudel, just for good measure. The only thing that could have added to this German spectacular was a traditional stein of beer, and it’s a real shame the Executive Chef’s, Eyke Czirr, application to sell the traditional one-litre stein was knocked back.

But for all pleasure at the table, we quickly learnt a few of our guests were about to have quite the opposite experience. With a couple guests having dietary requirements, we were shocked when we were told we would not be able to make any changes to any of the menu items, including not being able to add chicken or meat -which was already on the menu in other items- to any of the salads, or change any of the main sides. I personally find the old saying ‘what you see is what you get’ to be completely unacceptable in most modern dining scenarios – with the exception of set menus and degustation’s. This ridged inflexibility left one of our guests having to settle with an appetizer, the Schupfnudeln / Warm Spinach Salad with Bavarian Potato Dumpling. Upon tucking into his extremely small and dissatisfying meal, whilst watching the rest of the table dive into theirs, this less than appealing situation lead our guest needing to excuse himself so he could leave the restaurant and go on the hunt for something more suitable elsewhere.

I sat on this review for an entire week before publishing it, hoping the time would clarify my opinion of this restaurant and help me decipher between all the highs and lows. In the end the conclusion I’ve come to is that the location and cuisine type means Brotzeit German Bier Bar & Restaurant definitely has a place within the Perth market, however their service and inflexible dining leaves a lot to be desired. With more and more Perth diners becoming self-confessed foodies, and more and more restaurants for those foodies to pick from I’ll be interested to see the future of Brotzeit, because as it stands, I can see the novelty and appeal, but I personally don’t see myself going back anytime soon.

Brotzeit German Bier Bar & Restaurant on Urbanspoon

The Naked Fig, Swanbourne

Every time I talk food with my friends there seems to be this major divide between those with somewhat more alternative diets such as vegetarians, vegans, gluten free fans and paleo lovers versus those with more traditional tastes such as carnivores and meat-carb only devouties. But no matter your eating style the one thing we all share in common is that we all deserve and enjoy being spoiled when we go out. So why can’t we all just get along? And why can’t restaurants appeal to all of us equally? Well I’ve found a place everyone can get equally spoiled no matter what their foodie preference.

This year I’ve been to the Naked Fig on three separate occasions – a degustation, a cooking class and a blogger dinner – and I can honestly say I’ve felt beyond spoiled on every occasion… and so have the people I’ve brought along to these events.

potato gnocchi, roast beets, swiss chard, candied walnuts

potato gnocchi, roast beets, swiss chard, candied walnuts

Located on the stunning Swanbourne beach, The Naked Fig makes the most of it’s surroundings. A large outdoor dining area and open indoor dining area looking out of the wall of glass windows/doors means you are always in for a spectacular view no matter where you choose to sit. Gorgeous sparkling sunlit water and glowing beaches give way to romantic sunsets and a lovely interior design that truly comes alive in the evening. And the staff continue to bring out the best of The Naked Figs wonderful atmosphere with their consistently polite, friendly and attentive service.

baked leek nicoise, black olives, rosemary, poached egg, confit tomatoes

baked leek nicoise, black olives, rosemary, poached egg, confit tomatoes

The Naked Figs menu is seasonal, and provides plenty of vegetarian items and vegan options. You won’t need to beg, plead, miss out or be judged here, because the dishes you’ll be choosing from are guaranteed to make even the most devout carnivore question their meaty loyalty. But don’t worry meat eaters, I guarantee you have not been overlooked. From tender lamb to melt in the mouth beef, pork and juicy poultry and seafood, there is going to be something on the menu that makes your heart skip a beat or two, and makes any of your veggie guests question their moral compass. It doesn’t matter if you’re vegan or a carnivore, a health freak or the indulgent type, there is going to be something spectacular for you… so much so you’re likely to find yourself wondering whether the dish was somehow created just for you and your taste-buds.

lamb cutlets, cumin pumpkin, roast chickpeas

lamb cutlets, cumin pumpkin, roast chickpeas

And for all those veggie, vegan and gluten free lovers out there surrounded by die-hard steak fans, or all of you carnivores who have found themselves partnered with a vegetarian, vegan or gluten free eater, I’ve found a great way to satisfy and impress both parties. On Tuesdays the Naked Fig does “Vego Tuesday”, where half the menu is devoted to vegetarians, vegans and gluten free-ers, whilst the other half is dedicated to carnivores, so much so it actually says ‘herbivores’ and ‘carnivores’ on the menu.

cheese board

cheese board

The dessert portion of the menu never fails to deliver either with a selection of sweet treats and savoury cheeses to satisfy anyone, and give you the perfect excuse to stay a while longer. And don’t worry beverage buffs, you’re covered too, with the drinks menu offering everything from perfectly matching wines to beers, cocktails and creamy (grass fed) butter coffee which really packs a rich punch. On a side note, after giving the butter coffee a try, I can really see it becoming a bit of a next big thing around town, so keep an eye out for it.

creamy (grass fed) butter coffee

creamy (grass fed) butter coffee

Simply put, as far as restaurants go in Perth the Naked Fig is definitely in my select top handful. Whether you’re trying to treat your partner, spoil your mum, or give your bride a wedding to remember, I recommend giving the Naked Fig a try. Just be aware the chances are you’ll end up being devotedly hooked like me and smiling widely every time the place is mentioned… but there’s nothing wrong with that.

The Naked Fig Cafe on Urbanspoon

Hylin, West Leederville

For anyone who doesn’t follow my blog, my office moved from Leederville to West Leederville at the beginning of 2014. Since then, two new cafes have opened up within 250m of my office, with yet another due to open in the coming weeks. The most recent addition (to what’s now become consumers choice) Hylin, opened on the 1st October, and very quickly became my cafe of choice.

hylin art

The first thing you notice when you come into the cafe is it’s wonderful atmosphere. A combination of happy customers, lively staff and smart architecture really brings the place alive, and makes it feel like you’ve escaped from the city -if only for a while. With a lot of natural sunlight, and an unpretentious unique twist in it’s design, it’ isn’t a surprise to discover the owner Josh started off as an architect before bringing Hylin to us lucky folk of West Leederville. In my experience, you’ll often find him behind the register, which is a wonderful thing. He takes pride in his cafe, smiling and happily chatting with each customer. The staff reflect this genuinely friendly attitude, high quality customer service.

Hylin Coffee

Being a long black drinker, there’s no where to hide when it comes to my coffee. Hylins coffee beans come from Micrology Coffee Roasters in Fremantle, with 250g bags available for purchase as the counter. The barista’s tailor their bean of choice to your coffee of choice, delivering the perfect flavour profile every time. Best of all, the pricing is very kind too, starting at $3.00 for a single espresso.

Hylin Micrology

The food is currently an assortment of glass box eats, with nutella and banana slice bagels a favourite of mine to see every morning, as well as a couple tasty breakfast options. Some of these tasty treats are supplied by The Holy Bagel Company, whilst the chefs dish out the rest. In addition to this, it’s been said a breakfast menu should be made available shortly.

Hylins Holy Bagel

Hylin is to me exactly what the area needed… an unpretentious, modern cafe, with great coffee at a good price, a nice atmosphere, wonderful hospitality and some enjoyable eats. I think I’m in love.

Hylin Menu 2

Hylin on Urbanspoon

Chatterbox, Mount Lawley

20140804_132530Graduating from Edith Cowan University at the end of 2010, it was strange stepping back onto the campus in early August. My friend was working on campus and had asked me to stop by. I was having a lot of flashbacks since the campus hadn’t changed much. Being such a small university campus the food options have always been limited the just a couple cafes. It was nice to hear that a second mini cafe had opened up somewhere on campus, but what really got my attention was the student village. It has been completely redone, with the inclusion of a little restaurant/cafe on the corner.

Atmosphere
Tucked into a corner of the student village, the cafe was relatively quiet initially on the sunny Monday afternoon, with a couple students waiting for their meals and a couple faculty sitting outside with coffees. There was plenty of tables and chairs available out side, and some seating available inside for anyone wanting to wait for the their take-away meals indoors. The cafe is small and open, selling both food, coffee and emergency student necessities like tampons -which may seem weird at first, but make complete sense with it’s student housing location and demographic. It’s also worth mentioning, Chatterbox has a strong focus on sustainability. The take-away box my meal came in is environmentally friendly, and the ingredients are primarily sources from local Western Australian produce.

Service
As entered, the lady behind the counter immediately smiled and asked if she could help. After taking a minute to gander at the menu I approached the counter and placed my order. The lady explained to me it would take about 5-10 minutes to make the order as it was made fresh, and so I took a seat outside in the sunshine. When my meal was ready, the lady brought it to where I was seating and told me to help myself to cutlery and anything I needed from inside.
20140804_133145Food
At Chatterbox you’ll get a simple, quick but fresh, no fuss meal that will fill you up on the cheap. The menu ranges from single Dim Sum snacks, noodle dishes, rice dishes, salads, spaghetti, thai and curries. I ordered the Teriyaki Fish with Rice for $6.50, which was one of the more expensive options on the menu believe it or not. The fish was crispy, the side salad fresh and the rice was well cooked. My only complaint would be that the teriyaki sauce was incredibly sweet for my taste, however for $6.50 I simply mixed in the sauce with the rice and couldn’t care less. The meal was filling, satisfying my hunger and in comparison to the tasteless ‘gourmet’ salad my friend had purchased from a competitor on campus for $9.50. She help but say several times over the meal that her salad selection was tasteless and a total rip off, reaffirming my choice.
20140804_133206Price
Prices here are set low to cater to the students, ranging from $1.50 for a Pork Dim Sum to $7.50 for the Chicken Ramen Burger. Averaging about $5.80 a main meal, if I was a student on campus it would be hard to convince me to eat elsewhere, especially considering the alternative offerings and pricing.
Snapchat-20140804012351[1]Summary
Chatterbox is a gift to the campus. With such few competitors within walking distance, and many of the students on a tight student budget, it’s easy to see why Chatterbox is perfect for the location. The hidden student in me secretly can’t wait to try something else on the menu -maybe the Char Kway Teow- next time I’m visiting my friend on campus, and makes me wish Chatterbox was open when I was a student at ECU.

-The Grizzly Bear Perth

Chatterbox on Urbanspoon

Toms Cafe, Leederville

For healthy yet tasty lunches on the go.
Cuisine: Salads, Sandwhich, Coffee.

Located in Tip Top Arcade on Oxford Street in Leederville, Toms café is a little casual gem for local workers seeking out a quick and healthy lunch. It’s not the type of place you sit around, as seating is very casual and limited. Having previously worked in Leederville I reviewed Toms Cafe in 2013. Click here to read my previous review. Now working over the bridge in West Leederville, I recently visited Leederville for lunch and decided to try Tom’s again.

Service: The service is just as pleasant and quick as it has always been. As I was browsing the fridges one of the serves quickly came over to ask if she could help before Tom recognised me and asked whether I had left my job or what had happened to my office as he’d noticed we weren’t around as much these days. It was lovely to see he’d remembered and noticed. It’s worth remembering Toms does not offer Eftpos, though a selection of ATMs are available on the street.

Food: Rather than opting for a mix of salads I decided to purchase one of the pre-packed ½ price large containers of salad for $6. The salad was a combination of the edamame with corn and   Israeli couscous salads, and it was still extremely fresh and delicious! So much so it may have become my new personal favourite. These ½ price large containers of prepacked salads can be found on the left side of the first fridge.

Toms café still offers a wide variety of fresh salads, soups (in winter) and a variety of traditional hot and cold deli foods such as sausage rolls, subs and soups etc. Once the only local offering healthy fresh salads, wraps etc a new competitor offering a selection of salads, wraps, bagels along with their main offering of fresh juices and smoothies has now opened opposite to Toms. It will be interesting to see how -if at all- this affects this local gem.
Half Price Container Tom's Cafe

Price: A variety of takeaway container sizes are available starting at $6 for a small container which you can fill with 1 or 2 different salads. Though the smaller containers seem small they are always packed to the brim and surprisingly filling so you definitely get your moneys worth of fresh, healthy, delicious food. However, if you’re looking for a cheaper option, there is always the ½ price selection which is worth having a look through.

Summary: As I said before, I’ll say again, Toms Café is a great hidden gem for lunch on the run. The food is fresh and the variety exceptional, so much so that even salad avoiders are guaranteed to find something worth trying. It’s definitely worth giving it a go.

Tom's Cafe on Urbanspoon

Nutritional Notes:
Tom’s cafe makes it really easy to eat healthy on the go, with a variety of fresh soups, salads, wraps and other foods. As long as you ignore the small hot counter offering sausage rolls and chips (which is easy to walk past) it’s pretty hard to go wrong. The choices of salads are vast, so remember to choose a mix of wholesome, wholegrain and vegetable packed salads, and opting for those with little to no dressing or refined carbohydrates. That way your body as well as your taste buds will thank you.

-The Grizzly Bear