Cafes Sydney, NSWGreat addition to Martin Place! This coffee cart (and soon to be cafe) is located in the lobby of 5 Martin Place. The coffee cart doesn't have a street presence but don't be afraid to venture into the mysterious dark building.
The blend is good, but a tad fruity for my everyday coffee.
The cafe (in the same location) opens mid March 2016.
Restaurants Sydney, NSWI don't trust main road coffee, so I would normally never have given Vivo Cafe a go. I did today because I was talked into trying "someplace new". Located right opposite Louis Vuitton on George Street, it's situated on one of Sydney's busiest intersections.
We arrive, and there is a long line which moves pretty quickly. I order my usual a piccolo latte and it arrives fairly quickly. The coffee is piping hot, but it lacks "punch". It's a little weak yet bitter for my liking.
I can't really comment on service as I had but a fleeting moment placing my order. The cafe itself is big and offers an abundance of indoor and outdoor seating.
Cafes Sydney, NSWZilia offers a good selection of food -- freshly made salads, pre-made wraps and a selection of pastries. The custard tart pastry they sell is supplied by Luxe Bakery, one of my favourites.
I've had the breakfast wrap and their salads, which are both decent, both not amazing.
Restaurants Rhodes, NSWOkay I owe this restaurant a second review, seeing as it's now one of our favourite go-to restaurants for Korean BBQ.
We gave them another go, and since our first visit, I've noticed a marked improvement in their service. It seems more well staffed, and they have been friendly even when we've asked for extra kim chi and other sides.
The restaurant is conveniently located on the ground floor of Rhodes Shopping Centre near the play area. The play area comes in handy when you have little ones who get fidgety before and after (and possibly during) the meal.
We like the wagyu platter but the cuts can be inconsistent from visit to visit. Recently we have just been ordering the meats we want so as to know what we're getting.
The BBQ exhausts pick up the smoke pretty well, and although you do still smell like BBQ, it's really not as bad as it could be.
Love the beef short rib soup (galbi tang) and the pork belly which you cook yourself on the BBQ.
Restaurants Sydney, NSWI was on my way to get a burger when the colourful salads caught my eye and something within me screamed, "Don't do it (the burger), fatty!"
I scope out the salad selection and choose three. As the guy fills out my salad box, I notice that he's scooping from a tray that doesn't look quite the same as what I thought I was getting. "They're the same", he assures me after I ask.
As I dig into my meal, I realise the salads look better than they taste. The poached chicken strips were dry and scarce, and the pesto pasta is a bit too cold and refrigerated.
Ice Cream & Frozen Yogurt North Ryde, NSWIt's a soft serve counter, really. I love the milo flavour when they have it on special, and I do my best to avoid walking past Aqua S in Macquarie Centre to avoid the temptation.
The cones are prettier, but the soft serve melts pretty quickly so get a cup if you don't want to have to scoff it down.
Cafes North Parramatta, NSWThis cafe could have had so much going for it. The only cafe at Lake Parramatta, it's got great views over the peaceful lake and parking within 50 metres.
I came with a couple of girlfriends and our two year olds for a morning tea break. We order coffees, babycinos and cookies.
The coffee is terrible, the babycinos are overpriced at $3 a cup, and the cookies were stale, dry and floury. You get better cookies out of a packet, and that's definitely what I will be bringing if I visit Lake Parramatta again.
On top of that, service is poor at best. When you purchase a cookie, the guy gives you a plate and you have to go fish it out of the jar yourself with your own hand. I don't want to imagine someone else's hands over the cookie I just picked up.
Skip the cafe and pack your own picnic. There are plenty of benches and tables along the lake.
Pathologist Eastwood, NSWThis is one of the larger and busier pathology collection centres. Located on Rowe Street, this centre is popular because of its busy Eastwood location.
I have been here a few times for various blood tests, and today I am (still) here for the dreaded Glucose Tolerance Test - a two (plus) hour ordeal that involves drinking a horribly sweet drink and taking blood samples 3 times over the course of 2 hours.
The girls here are extremely friendly, even though it was busy.
Cafes Kirribilli, NSWLocated on Kirribilli Wharf, this tiny cafe packs a punch when views are concerned. Even though space is limited, there is one larger bench that seats 6. Our party of 4 adults and 1 toddler sat comfortably at two small tables out together. I was surprised that a highchair was available.
The seating areas are separated by the small kitchen and an even smaller loo which looks right out into Sydney Harbour.
The coffee is good, and my dish - the Something Savoury, was right up my alley - a piece of toast served with smashed peas, leek and broad beans, topped with half a chorizo, rocket, shaved Parmesan and a poached egg.
My brother ordered the same dish, but I noticed later that a lady at another table with the same dish got two halves of a chorizo instead of one. A little odd that the serving sizes vary, but it's not like I could have eaten anymore.
Service is efficient but lacking in that friendly touch, but it's still a great cafe. When the cafe opened, it was called Anvil Coffee Co, but it seems to have been renamed to Axil Coffee Co.
Supermarket & Grocery Stores Macquarie Park, NSWI'm not sure if it's just how it's laid out, but this Coles feels larger than West Ryde and Chatswood. I like the big, wide aisles, but it does get crazy in here at the best of times (it is Macquarie Centre, after all). I managed to find a fairly peaceful timeslot tonight at around 5pm on a Friday night, when most people have something more interesting to do than to grocery shop.
The deli / butcher section is huge, and you can even get a good quality cut of dry aged beef.
Clothing Retailers North Ryde, NSWThis is my favourite Seed store (that I've been to, anyway). It's fairly big and the range is good. The women's section is at the front, and the kids and baby section is at the back, with a side entry leading straight into it. The range is good, and you can get a good price on the kids and babies stuff during sale periods.
There is a toy basket in the change room which is handy for us mums with toddlers. Good luck trying to keep your child from pulling open your change room curtain though.
Restaurants North Ryde, NSWPappaRich does a decent roti and chicken curry, but the most of the dishes aren't spectacular. The sambal prawns are so-so, and satay is pretty standard. I wouldn't bother with the noodle dishes at all. The drinks on the menu are good, albeit sugar-laden.
Restaurants North Ryde, NSWI came back after vowing never to return. It kinda wasn't really my choice, so I just went along with it. Some of the dishes were good and the service was better than last time, though the waiters and waitresses kept trying to take our plates away at the end even though we hadn't quite finished. We were seated inside, which might have been better staffed. I was tempted to get the piggy black sesame buns which I used to love from the Town Hall restaurant, but at $4.90 a bun, I thought it was a bit steep and decided to pass.
Cosmetics & Beauty Retailers Macquarie Park, NSWI love this store. The girls are friendly and helpful and are always willing to recommend a product and find the perfect shade. My two year old loves coming in to Mecca too; unfortunately for me that means spending half the time chasing her around making sure she doesn't dig her nails into the makeup samples.
Fortunately, the girls are often patient enough to understand, and they have managed to do product trials for me while I'm on the make up chair with a child in my lap.
The product range at Mecca is great, and the Maxima stores offer a range that doesn't hurt as much in the hip pocket. The problem is trying to leave without a purchase.
Takeaways Sydney, NSW"What have you got on offer for breakfast?", I ask. "These 'buttys'", they say, pointing to a sample display of bread rolls with various ingredients. "Are they freshly made?", I ask. "Yes", they assure me.
I proceed to order one, and watch in dismay as the lady grabs a bread roll, some tongs, and picks something up from the grill trays (think glorified bain marie).
"I thought you said these are freshly made?" "They are.", she assures me again. I look at my colleague in disbelief and we both shrug.
I get my 'butty', go upstairs to the office, and bite into a barely toasted bun and a dry, lukewarm mushroom and egg patty. It tastes extremely pre-made, and very poorly made.
Restaurants Sydney, NSWWhat a joke. I paid $6 for a small cup of mango pomelo sago which turned out to be a cup of watered down mango juice with a few tiny shreds of pomelo, and appallingly, even less sago which is a cheap ingredient.
I also ordered the BBQ pork buns. They are decent, but nothing to rave on about. The pastry is very sweet - like a dessert, but the filling is reasonably tasty.
I've been to the Tim Ho Wan in Hong Kong which I thought was decent but not great. This one was just outright disappointing. Go around the corner to Palace or Sky Phoenix for your yum cha fix.
Cafes Chatswood, NSWWhat better way to make money out of unused space in a shopping centre. We've walked past several times, meaning to check it out. We stopped by for some afternoon drinks and noticed some other people having afternoon tea on tiered plate stands (and were secretly jealous of them).
We sit down and order a $9 smoothie and a $6 soft drink. Yes, drinks are completely overpriced and completely underwhelming and the service is blah, but I'd still like to come back to try the food.
Clothing Retailers Chatswood, NSWI disagree with the last reviewer about this being a huge Seed store. I'd call it small and cosy, especially the kids and baby store. Nonetheless, they carry a good range in both the women's and the kids' stores. I find the prices for the women's clothes and accessories fairly reasonable and on par with the likes of Country Road and Witchery, but I find the kids' range pricey. That said, you can often get really great kids buys during sale periods when they offer a futher 30-40% off marked down prices.
Toys & Computer Games Retailers Chatswood, NSWKidstuff in Chatswood Chase is a huge toy shop located on the top floor along with all the other baby/kids stores. They stock a huge range of specialist and everyday kids toy brands. My daughter loves browsing this store, and I have bought her a few things from here over the past couple of years.
You'll find a good mix of educational and role-playing toys and puzzles, as well as toys that focus on fine and gross motor development.
Toys & Computer Games Retailers Chatswood, NSWThis store is smaller than the one in Chatswood Chase, but the range is pretty good. Even though we visited the store five minutes before closing time, the staff member who was working at the time showed us around the kids scooters we were looking at, explained some key differences in the brands they stocked (Globber, Mini Micro and Yvolution scooters), and even recommended one which she thought was the best value/fit for our toddler.
Love it when staff make the effort to give you some help and advice.