The media went on about Top Ryde Shopping Centre being the largest shopping centre in Australia at the time, so I hoped it would be jam packed full of different stores. In reality, the number of stores is quite limited. Even (pre refurbishment) Macquarie Centre had a larger variety of shops. Top Ryde Shopping Centre itself is massive. The atrium voids make it seem larger than it is however. It takes ages to walk from one end to the other, and there are franchise type stores scattered through the middle so that when you have a trolley it's hard to get past other trolleys or oncoming people shopping. Food shopping in general there is not so convenient, having to cart everything quite far distances and navigating the too narrow walkways.Shops like Golden Banana have a lot of produce but the shop itself has not been designed in scale with how much they're selling and the number of cashier points. It ends up being overly cramped and not enough space in the aisles for people with shopping trolleys both sides. It therefore tends to make me use it for just a quick basket shop if at all. The fresh produce at Golden Banana is not good quality unfortunately, however their deli selection and other specialty goods is excellent. It really lets down the other food outlets as people expect quality and get it from the other food providores but not so much from Golden Banana. There is an excellent health food/naturopath type store called Discount Vitamins. Don't let the name fool you. It is one of the best health food stores in the northern districts! So many products, things you cant find elsewhere, and they're happy to order in items if per chance they don't have them. The staff are extremely knowledgeable also. I think a couple of them are naturopaths. Peter Roan Seafood is EXCELLENT. Always consistently whisker fresh produce, and all the types of seafood you can think of as well. No need to bother going to the markets early in the morning on a weekend anymore when we're having guests. Peter Roan also is happy to pre-order in any requests, as they did for my order for a recent family lunch. The restaurants on the top level, the 'Piazza' are good although as usual, Sydney lacks restaurants that serve meals all day! Even a shorter all day menu would attract customers here. The Event Cinemas are never too busy here, and sadly no Gold Class which is a big downer. Since there's no option to have a nice lunch in Goldclass during the movie, it would be handy if the cinemas co-ordinated their Showing times to factor in people wanting to have lunch at a restaurant in the Piazza (with a drink or two) followed by a movie.
I've lived in Ryde for the past 20 years (since I was 5), about 3 minutes walking distance from this shopping centre (and the old version). This shopping centre is now massive, both in convenience and physical size.
Woolies, Franlins, Aldi, and the asian supermarket Xin Ren Ren all exist on the same floor in this place, so I now get all my groceries in the one shop. (I do miss Coles)
There is also a decent foodcourt, but on the level above there are a group of nice restaurants, some of which offer meals which are cheaper than foodcourt prices.
I'm not sure if I like the vibe which Top Ryde City now has. It is a huge shopping centre in what is not really a huge suburb. I actually liked how my local shopping centre did _not_ have higher end fashion stores or pretty much any franchise I could care to name off the top of my head (for some reason, there is no McDonalds here though :D).
If you want a shopping centre which wants to convince you that you've teleported to Sydney's cbd, complete with convenience and glisten and a good variety of many franchised businesses, then Top Ryde City can do a decent job.
If you're sentimental like me, you'll simply be happy that Golden Banana is still around.
Great new shopping centre with a great range of shops, cafes and restaurants. Parking is relatively easy (ask me again when I try to do my Christmas shopping this weekend). Event Cinemas have just opened too, which means that I don't need to bother with Macquarie Shopping Centre anymore. All it needs is a David Jones and an Aesop outlet and I won't even have to leave the suburb.