London born raised on the streets of Inner-West Sydney, Ella Bee 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
Not sure how lomond, below, had such a poor experience! Went here this arvo for lunch with girlfriends and we indulged in the lunch specials. They were reasonably priced and generous servings. Would've liked more veggies in our curries, fried rice and noodles and the meat quantities were pretty sparing. However, altogether it was a positive experience, with lovely interior decor and friendly & helpful staff. I can understand how this might become a local establishment.
A fine dining lunch for a three course meal at only $22?? Well, okay, fine dining in training, but still, The Apprentice is pretty good value if you are after something substantial and classy while on a budget. Entrees, mains and dessert were plated beautifully, with microherbs. Because it was a training restaurant, my partner and I felt obliged to rate everything. My salmon carpaccio was fresh and had a great mix of classic flavours: fennel, dill and parsley. Hubby's warm duck salad wasn't warm but was pretty delish. Main was crab tagliatelle and unfortunately the crab was lost amongst the heap of handmade pasta. It was pretty bland and flavourless to be honest. Hubby's snapper was cooked perfectly but again, not really seasoned well. Dessert was fantastic. I ordered a Zabaione (which I had no idea about until that day), and hubby ordered the Tropical Trio. Dessert was by far my best and favourite course. A lightly whipped mousse-like concoction, with hints of rose water, watermelon and crunchy pistachio. Mmmm something I would definitely reorder. Hubby wasn't too fussed on his dessert. It was a bit strange, with a shot of thick, grey banana milkshake, melted mango sorbet and a tooth-breaker: chocolate and coconut rough (mate, was it tough!). Anyway, we were rather forgiving, because of course, this place is a training institution. But the food was worth the $22, but you wouldn't want to pay more. The training instructor was lovely and the students were all under a lot of pressure to impress! Definitely worth the visit.
I have a love hate relationship with this place. Yes, the meat is quality and prices are reasonable. But service is appalling. There is no ticket system and people coming out of every which way to get served. Unfortunately, I once waited 10 minutes to get served, while watching customers who'd arrived after me, getting served first. So frustrating. I now prefer to go to the one down the road. At a couple of dollars more expensive per kilo, it is worth not having to wait!
Ah Bourke St Bakery, where all good bread is baked. A friend introduced me to this place and if it wasn't for gluten being my evil nemesis, I would be back here on a regular basis. The smell of fresh bread, scrolls and pastries hangs in the street and freshly ground coffee can be heard being brewed. Make sure you grab a pie in this blustery weather, because they really are as chunky as homemade!
Hubby took me here as I love seafood. However, apart from the lovely service and location everything else was pretty meh. Nick's Seafood Restaurant is basically a glorified fish & chips shop. It happens to be in Darling Harbour which allows them to whack a 500% mark up on all their items. I ordered the Tempura Prawns, hubby the Grilled Salmon. Both came with 'hand cut hot potato chips' and 'salad'. Well the chips weren't hot or hand cut and the salad was a couple of leaves sprinkled with olive oil. The chips were cold, out of a packet and didn't even have salt on them. My prawns were fresh, but that was it. Not seasoning, no crunchy tempura batter and the sauce given with it was not enough for half of my plate. Hubby's meal left him hungry and wanting more. For the average of $40 per main I would not recommend this place. What's more, the ambience is really lacking. Full of pretentious and loud locals and tourists alike, this is not the place you want to (or can) be getting good seafood from.
Dodgy workmanship and shifty execs does not make me want to recommend these guys to anyone. Was not impressed by the poor installation of timber and carpet in our new offices. To make things worse the company tried to blame it on a third party who had never been involved. Stay away from these guys. A major pain in the asset.
A pretty decent Korean/Japanese restaurant. The owners are Korean but the food is pretty close to authentic Japanese fare. If you're a fan of either, this is not a bad spot to go to. Real value for money and fresh food makes me go back for more!
"Jack of all trades; Master of none" is the phrase that comes to mind when I think of the evening spent at Nut N Fancy. The menu caters for any kind of appetite, from Surf n Turf to Strawberry Sundaes. The only problem is that everything is so, very mediocre. A group of us stopped in for dessert and even the ice cream was a let down. My one scoop of choc-mint was icey and hard and didn't make me want seconds. The waffles were soggy, the coffee, burnt. Nothing good seemed to be happening at this place.
I must admit, I'm not a huge fan of the Big 4, but when my Korean friend decided to open an account when he moved here from Seoul, the level of care shown by the staff was on another level. The lady who served us, left the store in order to show him how to operate his ATM card. He was blown away by the service provided and kept mumbling "Australians: so kind?", in a state of shock. I reassured him that this was not common and that most tellers would take his paperwork, activate his card and send him on his way. This woman was unlike others though and took the time to make substantial pleasantries with my mate. He has been back to the branch and has waited to be served by her, as rare as she is!
Another emergency visit to the hair salon, only to discover that both my previous hair dressers had left Epiphany. Pretty disappointed by this and the fact that my hair cut now cost me $35 instead of the $25 I paid just two months ago. Pretty average.
I generally do my shopping on a Sunday, mid-afternoon and Aldi in Mt Drutt is not my Aldi of choice, but when I'm in the area, there ain't nowhere else. It is always pretty chaotic, with kids on roller-shoes skating around, stock refills piled up in aisles and queues that go for miles. The prices are low, though and the service generally okay. The Team Manager at this store is a bit of a grump and makes it very obvious that the manager do not want to be working Sundays. Oh well, my dear, your job's your job.
Conveniently located in Luxford Court, Shopsmart Pharmacy has great service and value for money products. The scripts are filled in a timely manner and the chemists don't just dump them on you and take your money, but take the time to explain how to use the meds and, well, do their jobs...a nice change from all the big pharmacy chains out there.
I really do love a good window shop, but thankfully (or unfortunately) Trade Secret gets into my pockets every time I visit. From Roxy sundresses to Eco Bamboo Breadboards, TS has it all. What I love is that the prices really are marked down from recommended retail prices and there are always random bits and pieces that you instantly love. I can't say that I'm a fan of the young things 'serving' on the cashiers, who seem to avoid eye contact, conversation and pleasantries. Oh well, can't get it all!
We've always had nothing but great food and great service from Sawmillers Restaurant, so I'm not too sure what Mr Brown is on about. The restaurant is attached to the Quaker's Tav, but you wouldn't know it. Entrance completely bypasses the pub scene and makes for a family friendly venue. They even host kids parties, with the works, cakes, clowns and kids galore (okay, it's BYO kids, but you get the pic). Hubby loves the wedges here and I only ever get the Asian pork belly. Melt in your mouth; guilty pleasures about!
Decent pub food and family friendly. Could get my stupidly huge pram in and out without an issue. What I did have an issue with was that despite our large group (12) of mums with babies, and the fact that we were sitting in an outdoor-covered area there were numerous patrons lighting up and smoking all around us. Not too sure whether I'd go back for this reason. Having said that, the servings were generous and there was a great little playground for those with kids.
I can't say that the Duck Inn is amazing, but it was open and nearby so we stopped in for a drink and some dinner. For an early Friday night, the crowd was pretty thin and the atmosphere, non-existent. I was pretty unimpressed with my ordered meal: scotch eggs. Served cold, with mustard that almost blew our heads off, they were really underwhelming. My friend's pork was fatty and not rendered well, leaving a thick layer of fat on the roof of your mouth. That being said, the waiter was cute and the playlist was enough to keep us there.
The great thing about Rushton's is that it is attached to the medical centre, so if you are in with sick kids in the evening, you can pop right in and grab yourself some meds. The staff are professional, knowledgable and helpful and while the prices are on the pricier side, it is worth it for the assistance.