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Parge Local Star

I stand by my comments and reviews. If I have said anything bad on Truelocal.com.au there is a good chance I have said it to the business directly face to face or by signed letter.

I hope all businesses read my reviews, and are worried about their online presessence and reply, again I standby every word.

I hope my posts are of use to locals and travellers. And not suprisingly I have been both :))

Joined 27 November 2007

  • Novotel Hotel Brisbane

    Cafes Brisbane, QLD
    Great room (clean and decent size) on level seven though the view was of offices nearby.

    Novotel stuck to the 14:00 check in which is fair enough and not an issue. Decent internet with good speed, though far too many dropouts, which required a simple re-login, just annoying really.

    Nice pool on level 2 and gym (and usable Sauna, ie didn't stink).

    Breakfast was described as "the best" by family members, but I felt it was a full buffet breakfast to be expected, with plenty to chose from. Including good selection of fresh fruit.

    But here comes the main gripe, which was the guests! Though the Hotel can't stop bogans booking the hotel, there was far too many upper middle-class bogans who feel since they have paid a little more than the average B&B they can demand everything from everything on the buffet to be recooked, from the eggs to the bacon, to warming the milk, to cooling the milk, to 4 coffees they have no intention of drinking to cutting in front of you at every opportunity, to taking your toast and it seemed like every morning they were attracted to me!! I could see the staff doing it tough, especially on Christmas Day, so I don't blame them. It was as if one customer saw staff do one nice thing, then they would demand it as well, otherwise they aren't getting their monies worth from the Novotel. Honestly if they kicked one customer out of the restaurant or hotel, it would send such a clear message to the rest of the bogans, who probably would normally never act like that, I hope.

    This behavior continued at the pool and the gym, as well as the rooms which had people running and down the hallways well past midnight and banging on the walls. But again, this actually isn't the Hotels fault, just worth considering and mentioning, as it wasn't a one off, but indicative of our 5 day stay.

    Yes I mentioned this to the staff, who were polite but simply suggested they will look into it, or perhaps as frustrated as I was.

    Some other, minor issues was that one day house keeping neglected our bathroom. Whilst the following day they neglected our room all together.

    The bar closed early most nights, including 9pm when last drinks were called on a Wednesday night.

    There is a kids area in the lobby which is usable for 3-5 year olds at best. But a nice touch (when the bogan children aren't screaming and throwing blocks at other kids, whilst their parents are drinking at the bar or on their mobiles in 'we are on holidays' mode.

    Overall staff were very nice and did their best to meet everyone's needs, even if this meant an endless barrage of requests.

    Lastly, access to the Hotel is rather difficult for those with a wheelchair or in our case with a pram. When walking to the nearest station (Central Station) or just to Queens Street Mall nearby you have to walk down (and then up when returning) a very steep driveway shared with cars. And then a negotiate and extremely narrow footpath, which could only just fit our pram, when people walked in the opposite direction, they were forced to walk on the busy road.So if you use a wheelchair or pram, sadly I would NOT book this place, unless you want to pay for a taxi to go anywhere.

    As I suggested, staff and facilities are Good. But too many issues (especially other guests) to make me recommend the Novotel Brisbane.
  • Optus

    Mobile Phones Retailers North Sydney, NSW
    Normally I would go some where else, and never give my hard earned dollars to a business that doesn't want my business.

    So after ten visits, up to four emails asking for Optus to contact me and sell me a phone. I went in the North Sydney Optus store and Catherine, wasn't out the back chatting away or wasn't just going home like all her other colleagues (on the other ten occasions) but instead today chose to serve me and I could get my new Iphone as desired.

    Even when I mentioned my ten previous visits, there was no apology. It was just like ?What do you want??

    The process was extremely long and drawn out. And even though I bought over $3,058 plan and then some more bells and whistles. The suggestion that Optus throw in a $2 sim, was almost offensive.

    Honestly, if this is how they treat you before you buy a phone, imagine how it's going to be now that I have signed a contract. Some people should not be in Sales, and this entire store is a collective of such people, avoid with extreme prejudice
  • Paradise Resort Gold Coast

    Holiday Resorts Surfers Paradise, QLD
    There's a saying, "happy wife, happy life" well the wife will be happy at Paradise Resort as the kids will be truly truly happy.

    If your child loves the water, this is truly a wonderland. The entrance has a jungle gym which will can keep the kids 3-12 easily amuzed. There is also two major Kids Group activities (10-2) and (4-8pm) to look after the kids aged 0-2 and 3-12. Now my boy was 3 and being the youngest in the larger group was a little too much for him, as the activities in the evening were catered for kids 6-12 I reckon. But we got him out after 2hrs and that was long enough for him, he didn't really enjoy it and we never went back. But they are great for the older ones and can give the parents up to 4hrs off.

    Our boy just loved the water slides and pool. We spent a large part of the day at the resort, with him playing on the slides or in the pool. Being 3 years old a parent was close by, the entire time, I would suggest at about 6 they could be left alone.

    The beach is only 100m walk away. With the Centre of the Gold Coast two bus stops away ($4.80 for adult be warned) easy walk in the evening. A bit hot and long during the day.

    We weren't planning too, but ate at the resort for breakfast and lunch. Nothing over priced and more than reasonable for Australia and compared to the Gold Coast area. I don't think there are enough healthy choices for the kids, but otherwise a great variety of food at reasonable prices.

    Issues : Reception, it took us 1˝hrs to check in. Luckily there was a jungle gym to play on, otherwise I think my boy would be a 'little' bored. Other inqueries always took over 30mins to wait and be served, with honestly an hour being the average for the 5 times I had to visit reception.

    Also the checkout bill is generalised I am still disputing 3 items on the bill, but it's hard to chase up when it just says breakfast on this date $45 - rather than who had what. But you can almost accept this given all the plus's throughout the resort.

    I haven't even mentioned the Ice Rink or many of the other activites that the resort offers, like movie night.

    Recommendation : Do not upgrade the room as it may give you a pool view, but this just puts you closer to the noise. Weren't much bigger or better than the standard room.
  • Star Capital Seafood Restaurant

    Restaurants Chatswood, NSW
    Flatout the most expensive Chinese Resturant I have walked into bar none. More expensive than those found around the Casino (Century) which catters for those with loose money.

    BBQ Pork yum-cha style on a small tea saucer was $16, tastey. But there wasn't more than two bites to it. Fried rice, which wasn't enough for one was $15 and really wasn't that special.

    Most Chicken dishes like my classic favourite in Black Bean was $28 with quantities nothing special. Garlic Prawns was $48 and though big prawns, you can walk less than 50m to get half dozen equally as good options and 1/3rd the price. Just not impressed.

    All Yum Cha was $12 a plate, this is almost double what I expect to pay on like-for-like fair and based on location. Never felt so robbed, honestly with Chatswood being the Cabramatta of the North Shore, you have so much better choice at a quarter or 3rd the price.
  • Lane Cove Chinese Kitchen

    Restaurants Lane Cove, NSW
    There is nothing good about this place. Even the name is misleading as I am not sure they have a kitchen, just a microwave and I would not call the dishes Chinese.

    But if you were to name it correctly, "Chinese Kitchen" would be renamed. "Reheated tasteless semi-Chinese" So the five of us sat down to what we thought would be a good family run Chinese. No friendly family charm, just Chinese tv blaring in the background.

    Two of us ordered short soup! Cold.
    3 of us ordered San Chow Bow, mince was cold.

    The soups were sent back to the kitchen and microwaved, lovely. Whilst this was being re-heated, our mains came out. So idea of entree, letting people finish their entrees and serve nice and warm mains. No

    Instead we got tasteless Chicken and Blackbean, Mongolian lamb so bored we couldn't find much lamb as it left the dish, Chicken and $cash$ew which only made two people happy the person impersonating a chef in the kitchen and Lin.

    The Chicken n Blackbean, with rice and a short soup set us back $27.50 I recall.

    To top it off we got also got icey cold fried rice to go with ordinary dishes. We were charged for the fried rice, though we sent it back and only ate white rice. Rather than have an argument over the $13.50 fried rice which again was simply nuked, I would rather come online and share why this truly should be called "Cold expensive, we think it's Chinese." If it was the last Chinese in walking distance, eating my shoes would be a better option.
  • Wok Passion

    Restaurants Lane Cove, NSW
    They say it takes months to make a loyal customer and only seconds to lose them. Well this was more like two visits, for a loyal customer to say "never"

    So let's do the maths, I use to eat here ever week, either alone or with a mate so that's $28.50 to $60 with tip every week. Let's say $40 per week or $2,000 worth of turnover for the year. I am not asking for preferential treatment, but if I had NEVER complained about a dish in the 4months I have been coming, then for the first time send back my regular entree Short Soup, there is probably an issue. Instead, it came back just as cold - with the wontons still uncooked. Yep they charged me, for a dish I never ate.

    Then I came with a friend and our mains which are "Take-away standard" as suggested by another true local. Our entree's came out half way through the meal. I always make a habit of ordering entrees as soon as I sit down, so they can start cooking the entrees - whilst we decide on our mains. This also allows the restaurant to do more covers.

    Like every other place in the world, there is an expectation that an entree comes out before the main - Short Soup and a Mixed entree is not a side dish. To be even clearer, I ask for the entree to come out as soon as possible. To suggest that "asap" is midway through the mains, maybe I should ask for the food to be "tasty" and nice as well? As none of these boxes were ticked.

    I again asked for it to be sent back as we did not want these anymore. They still charged us for it, so we took it home as takeaway. Also charging us for the plastic containers. Well no more. From a loyal customer who was spending over $2,000 a year (more when I brought groups of friends) to a customer who comes online and tells the locals the truth.

    Don't come for the food, especially based on price, and never come back if you want any level of service better than a deaf blind elephant.
  • De Costi Seafoods (holdings)

    Seafood Glebe, NSW
    I have to agree with fellow TrueLocal nicky1981

    I ordered the Grilled fish, salad and chips as well as 3 fish cocktails. My first reaction when I bit into the fish cocktails was "weird" and I think it was because the batter had not been cooked properly.

    The grilled fish was tasteless and the chips was oily. The wait wasn't exactly ideal either. Really nothing positive to say about my visit to this De Costi Seafoods
  • Makoto Chatswood

    Restaurants Chatswood, NSW
    Never has a restaurant gone down hill so fast! New management are more concerned about making a buck then anything else.

    The salmon is dry and 3/4 qtr the portions they were before, whilst the prices have gone up by 50c to $1 a plate. Same with my former favourites Karrage Chicken and soft shell crab which is half the size, though the crab is $1 cheaper than before. The soft shell crab is also smothered in mayo, to hide the poor quality and give it some quantity.

    But my issue with this place is the head waiter, who lets his mates push in. There is a waiting list which I and other families used and waited patiently. Thought the list isn't as long as it use to be, we were 4th in the queue, when a couple turned up and pushed in front over everyone as the head waiter let them in. Then it happened again, with other customers also baffled what number his mates are being seated before them four families waited as his mates were seated before hand. When this was raised to him by the next people in line, he said they took a number before, which is a flat out lie. The customers with young children really appreciated that they wait in the cold as his mates are eating up.

    We all said we won't be back, but after the tasting the lack luster sushi plates which look like they are plated on diner plates the food quantities are so small, I am sure no-one will.

  • Cafe Oasis

    Cafes Darlinghurst, NSW
    Tucked down the bottom of Westfields right in front of Coles this cafe offers the usual cafe fare.

    No high chairs for the kids, but the Big Breakfast was a decent size for $17 with plenty of bacon and two eggs. The staff were friendly and though I feel they botched up the size of my coffee, it was fine and really no complaints.

    Plenty of tables, so whether at breakfast or walking past lunch, always seems to be a spare seat.

    Nothing special, but nothing bad either.
  • Jasper Hotel

    Hotels Melbourne, VIC
    Was here over the F1 week.

    Absolutely no complaints. Starting with the location, which is on the north-side of town and dead centre. Just two blocks from the free tram ride. There are also trams down Elizabeth street heading North and South Melbourne. The Hotel is in the Tram Free Zone which is nice.

    I felt the prices was more than reasonable, booked three months in advance and considering it was over the F1 weekend. Above average but fine nothing silly.

    Staff was super friendly without being pushy or rude. Great toiletries and clean rooms and bathroom.

    Room is actually dark, which I find very important and noise was not an issue.

    Breakfast (included) is a choice of about 6 meals. After going for the bacon, eggs, chirozo sausages and mushroom. My arteries suggested I worry less for value for money and more for my health, so the fruit salad with yogurt was the go.

    If I wanted to be pedantic, the bathroom sink has a small splash area depth, so as soon as I turned it on, it splashed all my clothes. Learned my lesson after the first time.

    Otherwise, I would recommend this place to anyone who wants to stay in the heart of Melbourne.
  • Spice I Am

    Restaurants Surry Hills, NSW
    The most over rated Thai restaurants around.

    Due to its popularity, its always busy filled with pretentious Surry Hill types who are here to try and be seen, as they cannot be here for the food. They pile the people in and the moment you enter can be exhausting. Once you are packed in like battery hens the service goes down hill. Simply terrible from slow, to trying to get their attention and for them to come over was near impossible.

    The food was below average, nothing special from the Pad Thai, to the green curry's or beef dishes.

    I really do not understand why this place is so busy considering the Thai choices in Sydney.
  • Bar Century

    Pubs & Bars Sydney, NSW
    All the reviews are on track. Cheap drinks swapped out for a stench which hurts the eyes, my eyes are burning. Clientele seems to revolve around having a quick drink before before heading out to a venue with more expensive drinks. Or having a slap - which means playing the pokies.

    I wouldn't hang here very long, like sipping on a martini or anything. Just have a drink get the job done, save a pretty penny and head home or hit the club for triple priced drinks and deep queues.

    P.S. Stock up responsibly

  • World Square Pub

    Pubs & Bars Sydney, NSW
    This place seriously has no atmosphere.

    No local barflys means, staff I feel deal with clients in a way they know they won't be seeing them tomorrow. Not a bad way, just not like the difference of a homely feel vs a touristy, one and done deal.

    My mates who work nearby (hence why I am doing some day drinking here) tend to go elsewhere for a drink or workmans lunch.

    But for me the place was rather empty at lunch time, pretty empty after work on a Thursday night and this all added to the lack of atmosphere. Mid-shelf spirit and coke was $11.50 which again is okay, just not great when its to an empty room as people have gone elsewhere.

    I can only assume they pick it up on a Friday night and Saturday night, otherwise how can this place keep kicking? So my fellow reviewers are spot on, no long wait or difficult in finding a seat.
  • Aldi

    Supermarket & Grocery Stores North Sydney, NSW
    Massive queues here every Saturday and Sunday morning as well as the fact that it's always busy suggest Aldi are doing something right. I do wish it was open earlier that 08:30 on weekdays.

    A great place to do some grocery shopping before going home. I would say prices are a little higher than my local supermarkets, but it can be considering the location. If you haven't got lunch for work and the time to queue, enough variety to give you a filling lunch and something to take home.

    Supermarket in great location, slightly overpriced but okay for North Sydney.
  • IGA North Sydney

    Supermarket & Grocery Stores North Sydney, NSW
    There is a nearby supermarket that TrueLocals, truly go to and even line up before it opens on the weekend.

    Prices are more reflective of a Seven11 rather than a supermarket. But then again it has more variety and it's proximity to the the North Sydney train station is everything. Some specials which are nice, but generally I would try and avoid this place as it's a bit of a rip off for a Supermarket. I have also found food past it's use by date more than once.

    Walk a bit further, wait a little longer, but get better variety and save enough its worth the effort.
  • Zapparelli's Pizza

    Takeaways Lane Cove, NSW
    The first word that comes to mind is "Family." This family run Pizzeria is just so nice they make you feel welcome and make you feel just so welcome.

    Busy, but room to seat three without a booking on an early Friday night. We shared a large family pizza $22 and that was fine, though I can always eat more. It had plenty of topping and

    Though this review is nothing flash, don't let it reflect on this just flat out "nice" Pizzeria. Makes me just smile, writing this review and thinking of my next visit to Zapparelli's.

  • Bar Asia

    Takeaways Lane Cove, NSW
    Location isn't everything. A little isolated in location down Burns Bay road away from the main shops. Most lunch dishes were between $14-$18 from the standard Pad Thai and curry dishes with rice. I think it's the same prices for diner.

    A few seats, but no real dining area.

    Been here twice, the first time was a lunch time and the a rather long wait. Lucky wasn't a work break lunch. The second time was around 14:30 for a late lunch and no real issues.

    Food was tasty and authentic, both dishes were from Thai side of Asia (I think it use to be called Bangkok Bar before widening its menu). I think the prices are fair considering the location. Don't drive miles to try this place out. But if Lane Cove is a bit too busy for you, give Bar Asia a go.

  • Firefly Lodge

    Restaurants Lane Cove, NSW
    I will review this place as "The Lodge" as I actually liked the Firefly. The over priced wine and drinks kept away the riff raff. Sadly it kept away other customers and business, The Lodge doesn't open as late as it's predecessor.

    As for the Lodge, this place doesn't have a great deal of choice in my opinion. Breakfast is all show and no substance. Poached eggs with one strand of spinach and Hollandaise sauce is still just some poached eggs, $18 later, have you had breakfast or just been nice and pretentious, in a showy area of Lane Cove?

    Coffee was fine and an after noon Ice coffee isn't bad either. High Chairs for kids is nice. Cakes only two choices, were old and not made fresh, same with their plastic cling wrapped - had one and probably should have returned it, rather just not come back.

    Lane Cove has plenty of cafes, yes with chairs that overlook the green. If you want pretentious food with little substance and plenty of cost, The Lodge is your place. Save a few bucks and do yourself a favour like Truelocals, go elsewhere 10ms away.
  • Sea Treasure Restaurant

    Restaurants Crows Nest, NSW
    You know when you go to a Chinese and order the same thing. And though this is not a franchise you can expect a certain level of same-ity? I mean Mongolian Lamb, Beef in Black-bean, Short soup and since this is a Seafood Restaurant King Prawn Omelette and Salt and Pepper Squid... well we ordered these to be on the safe side, or very similar versions and they did not have Black-bean (Black pepper instead).

    Given that, this place was so bland. Honestly the homely feel reviewer atan7 speaks about, has more to do with the fact you and I could make these dishes at home with more flavour and less tinned blandness.

    Most shopping malls have better Chinese than this!

    Not one of our dishes was worth writing home about. Instead being charged more than $8 for each meal, should have involved a lawyer, bringing "restaurants" into disrepute. No thanks.
  • The Sushi Counter

    Restaurants Crows Nest, NSW
    Reading my fellow True Locals I am not sure that we are even talking about the same place. Food is actually above average, but way above average.

    My issue is the fact so is the price. I mean there is so much choice within 20ms down the road and 20ms up to the Pacific Highway. By choice I mean equally as good Japanese places at like half the price.

    For this kind of Shashimi I want to know grade of the salmon and fish. This place isn't terrible or not worth it in isolation. But in a sea of choice, it drowns and should sink to the bottom like a bad King Fish.

    Service is fine and wasn't too busy so didn't need a booking! If this place was in isolation it could get away with it, but it's not.