Bella.Blue Local Star

Britain born and raised on the streets of Inner-West Sydney, Bella Blue is passionate about finding a bargain wherever it is! A keen eye for excellence in both products & services, she, insists - nay, demands - both, from street eats to fine dining venues, public transport to limousine services. She loves shopping (mainly the window type!), eating out and checking out the local gig scene.In fact she loves it so much and looks forward to sharing her local knowledge with you all!

Joined 14 July 2008 Kings Langley, NSW

  • Ben & Jerry's Hoyts Cinema Westpoint Blacktown

    Ice Cream & Frozen Yogurt Blacktown, NSW
    Nom nom nom nom nom! My fave destination for the ultimate sugar fix. Can I get an amen? The queues are sometimes lengthy and the staff sometimes a little on the bored side of things, but otherwise your best bet at a delicious after-meal treat. They've just recently put in some seats as before you'd have to sit outside with the smokers, but it is limited so queue up early!
  • Hoyts Cinemas

    Cinema Blacktown, NSW
    Hoyts Blacktown is slowly sliding southwards. Shame, really, when it used to be our fave place to visit the big-screen. What frustrates me is pre-purchasing my ticket online and then having to wait in the ticket-queue to buy popcorn or drinks. However the staff are prompt and friendly and the cinema is clean overall. Just remember to get your parking ticket validated on your way out or you're looking at an extra $6 on top of your already-pricey evening out!
  • Outback Jacks

    Restaurants Blacktown, NSW
    So they're always harping on about never judging a book by its cover, so we decided to try this little local out. It's situated at the end of what appeared to be a truck stop. Dan Murphy's, a tradie-filled tav and then Outback Jack's. What struck me the most was that for a Friday night the place was deserted. Wait service was prompt and friendly and the girl who served us knew the menu well. There is not a lot to choose from (which is not always a bad thing) but the menu boasts slow-cooked, fall-off-the-bone style ribs and Wagyu burgers so that's what we went for. We were sadly disappointed with ribs that needed hacking at, despite the little bits of meat, and a burger that had soggy greens, butcher mince and a hot dog bun to go. The worst part was that for the rest of the evening and the next day we were both extremely thirsty (MSG much??) and felt as though it was unquenchable. An absolute waste of money at just under $80; we will never dine there again.
  • CiboeVino

    Restaurants Castle Hill, NSW
    Really unimpressed with this 'hidden' little 'treasure'. Worn, old furniture, rude service and below average food. Would not recommend to anyone. We went here using a voucher to sample it as a local for a birthday function and so glad we did. It was just awful. The cutlery was grubby, glasses chipped and soiled and I left feeling a bit queasy! Worst of all the lady serving us seemed to give my husband the evil eye every time she left the table. As though his requests were just too much!
  • Charcoal House Cafe

    Restaurants Doonside, NSW
    Hill End St is a little strip of cosy old-fashioned stores and Surprisingly great koftas, kebabs and cold drinks at a reasonable price, prompt service and generous servings. Definitely recommend if you are in the area. Plus there is a local IGA, Med Centre and various other little stores in this hub. Worth checking out.
  • Doitung Thai Restaurant

    Restaurants Doonside, NSW
    Food here is as authentic as it comes and I know - I lived in Chiang Mai for over twelve months. The venue itself is a little pokey, only seating around fifteen in its echoey, narrow, vinyl clad floors. The service could be better - not unpleasant but not quite warm and welcoming either. However the curries, stir fries and scrumptious soups make up for the seeming disinterest. Meals are wholesome and generous, ingredients fresh and balanced and flavours have you saying "Kop Kun Ka!". Definitely one of the best Thai restaurants in the west!
  • Fatona Hair, Nails & Beauty

    Beauty Salons Blacktown, NSW
    I was pleasantly surprised when I visited Fatona's for the first time recently. The older gentleman who welcomed me warmly was a veteran snipper and was a great talker and listener. How I like my hairstylists! The best part of my experience was not that we made connections about mutual friends, or that we had an amusing discussion about the nature of immigration, but that he explained that I wouldn't need to come back to see him for more than 6-8 weeks as I was getting a cut for growth. Amazing. Most stylists will insist you return after at least 6 weeks to keep your business, but his honesty was seriously surprising and most welcome. My new local!
  • Coffee Brothers

    Cafes Mona Vale, NSW
    The service is friendly, the staff young and know their stuff. It's a bit of a hole in the wall, tucked away in the middle of no where, near an industrial block and a random Coles. Just up the road from Mona Vale beach, it's perfectly located for after a surf or picnic if you want to get away from the main drag of hipster-laiden cafes and boutiques. Great coffees, slices and meals but terrible, TERRIBLE, milkshakes. So really, go here for a caffein-fix, not so much for the sugar!
  • Nadias Cafe

    Cafes Blacktown, NSW
    We must've been served by an all new staff because we had a really great experience at Nadia's on the weekend. The waiter who took our order was friendly, prompt and accommodating to a particularly picky eater. Our meals came out without too long a wait and we enjoyed large servings and fresh ingredients. My only issue was how close our tables and seats were to the public walking area. It was hard to tell when a guest was waiting for meals or if it was just a random shopper standing a bit too close for comfort. Other than that, a lovely morning out.
  • Tribeni Indian Restaurant

    Restaurants Blacktown, NSW
    Look, I have to agree, the food served here is flavoursome and authentic. But I am not a fan of (knowingly) having my food heated in a microwave and then being served as fresh, which has happened every time I purchase Briyani. Also, traditionally, this rice dish is served with a yoghurt cooler, "Raita", and when ours did not come with our takeaway meal, I asked and the lady hesitated but brought it out. When we got home, and after I'd poured it on most of my dish, we realised that it was in fact spoilt. We called the restaurant and the same lady answered the phone and sounded like she knew that it was off?? So disappointed as this was beginning to become a favourite for Friday nights. Hopefully a call to Food Safety NSW and the Local Council will fix things here...
  • Australia Post

    Post Offices Lalor Park, NSW
    The staff who works here is much nicer than the other staff, but together they seem to balance things out. Always willing to offer a hand and serve customers with a friendly bit of banter and a smile. A good local spot to get your stamps, pay some bills and pick up your packages.
  • Subway

    Takeaways Woodcroft, NSW
    Good cookies, subs and service, Subway Woodcroft has it going on. Busy at lunch times and queues can make the door, but service is usually good and the subs freshly made and served. Not too bad for a Woodcroft establishment!
  • McDonald's

    Takeaways Doonside, NSW
    Yep, same as below. I feel like the kids who work here are either hearing impaired or seriously bored - bored enough to mess up your whole order. We've had so many things left out of our order, added to our order or changed altogether. Burgers are slapped together carelessly with ketchup and mustard leaking out the sides and wrappers loosely attached. As if eating at Maccas isn't offensive enough, this place manages to make it worse!
  • Hollywood Studios

    Photographers Wentworthville, NSW
    We really have nothing to compare the studio to but we did have an enjoyable time shooting with our photographer. Hollywood Studios claim to be the biggest purpose-built studio of its sort and both indoors and outdoors didn't let us down. What I appreciated the most was that there was no heavy sales push and no pressure for us to purchase photos. Yes, they were expensive: prints started from $295 for average sized images. A set of 3 photos (framed) would have set us back $989. If we could have afforded it we would have purchased a lot more of the artworks created, but unfortunately they were way out of our price range!
  • Pizza 2 Kebabs

    Takeaways Lalor Park, NSW
    Yeah, I don't know about this place. They used to do great pizzas at good prices. Now it's average pizzas that are overpriced. Disappointing that a local establishment such as Pizza 2 Kebabs would hike their prices up so much, especially considering the local demographic isn't exactly loaded. Anyway, I guess this just means we won't be frequenting Pizza 2 Kebabs as much!
  • Arya Hot Food

    Takeaways Seven Hills, NSW
    Similar to your old school General Store, Arya Hot Food sells a variety of items from tissue boxes to kilogram jars of garlic paste. Not sure what the deal is with the 'hot food' in their title though as I've never seen any hot food being sold. In any case, service is friendly and prompt. A good local spot!
  • Christian Parent Controlled Schools Ltd

    Schools Blacktown, NSW
    Let's start with prep: pre-school kind of facility. We sent our child here two days, and for two hours they plonked our toddler in front of a tele to watch 'Frozen', without our consent. The school brags a health-food policy, but then sends kids home with lolly-bags. Again, with or without consent. When this was addressed with the prep coordinator, they seemed annoyed and brushed it off, with the 'what's your problem' look on their face. The junior school is absent of any free-thinking, free from any progressive pedagogy and instead, uses old, tired, and traditional means to 'educate' young minds. Middle school wants to do the right thing by their students and have the Year Advisor badge that other schools do fairly well. But kids start with an advisor in grade 7 and then lose them in Year 9. The inconsistency carries on through to senior school, with poor learning spaces but great teachers (read: younger & passionate), poor pedagogy, but enthusiastic educators. The school boasts that it has no canteen, but has a cafe that sells Coke and cookies! Lots of healthy choices here. The school is void of any decent extra-curricular activities, bar sports. No debating, no chess tournaments, no mock trial. This is not a place I would recommend anyone send their kids.
  • Tara Anglican School For Girls

    Schools North Parramatta, NSW
    While Tara Anglican School is known to be an exceptional school this is more a review of the more-than-exceptional Junior School Library. It. Is. Unreal. A Rubik's Cube hangs from the ceiling while kids read, splayed on the floor reading, an outdoor reading area. The Teacher Librarians are amazingly, passionate and you can tell by the enthusiasm in the girls' eyes. It's a shame more libraries aren't as engaging and inviting as this one.
  • Zilver

    Restaurants Haymarket, NSW
    Went here for a wedding reception and had seriously high expectations after the bride-to-be raved about the 10 course seafood banquet. However, we were let down in a HUGE way. Everything about this restaurant screams tacky, plastic & 1990s. From the moment you arrive you are welcomed by a glaringly ginormous, life-sized sign advertising for your next event: From ONLY $998 per table. So now we now how much they got ripped off by. The wait staff are frantic and there were cables and leads running everywhere. Dinnerware was soiled, with glasses having chips in them, to cutlery having dried food stuck to them. Kudos to those who used chopsticks. Perhaps they were clean-ish. The vinyl covering on the chair covers had split, exposing its stuffing. The floor was stick - and it was carpeted?! What frustrated me the most was that halfway through each course, a whirlwind wait staff would hurriedly clear the table, taking my half-eaten dish with it. While the seafood was fresh, the meals were not as tasty as I'd hoped. Deep-fried taro & scallop was greasy and broken on arrival. The prawns were delish, as was the lobster. Abalone was chewy and overcooked. All in all, it was a very underwhelming night. If tacky, 1990s, plastic-covered Chinese restaurant is what you're after, then head to Zilver.

    Nail Salon Pennant Hills, NSW
    Forgot to mention that HP has really high hygiene standards, unlike many other nail salon chains. All equipment used, was sealed and sterile (phew!) and the pedicure basins were lined with plastic sanitary wadding. Such a lovely change compared to the many nail-salons out there who love to share fungal infections!