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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

  • Harry's Cafe De Wheels

    Cafes Woolloomooloo, NSW
    I honestly do not understand what all the fuss is about, I didn't understand 15 years ago and I don't understand now. Sure 20 odd years ago, it may be seen as ahead of it's time being a food truck and all, back when "street food" meant unlicensed and unregulated.

    But in this day an age, your paying way too much for the name and the so called experience of eating outside, near a smelly pier!

    My friend had the pulled pork rolled, greasy tasteless and maybe 'cos it's not 2am in the morning was very average. My bite from his roll was spat out and shared with the seagulls. My Shepards pie with peas was just a luke warm sloppy mess. If I paid more than $5.00 for it I got ripped off, so yeah I got royally ripped off.

    Just because its popular doesn't make it good, like 'common sense' sadly it's not that common. Not worth the effort to get here.
  • Sushi Train Bondi Junction

    Takeaways Bondi Junction, NSW
    As others point out, there is always a line up for this Sushi train which is a good indication of how great this place is. Once you get your seat, service is prompt without feeling rushed.

    For me it starts with the Chicken Kaarage where every pieces is a morsel of divine Japanese bliss. Otherwise all the other plates are fantastic and not one disappoints. Price are reasonable for any Sushi joint, but considering the taste - it becomes very reasonable on a plate-by-plate comparison.

    Salmon is a high grade and is as good as it gets in Australia. Lost a star as you have to wait most of the time.
  • Luxe Espresso Bondi

    Restaurants Bondi Junction, NSW
    So in summary great drinks below average food.

    I would happily recommend anything from the Coffee to the harder drinks and cocktails on offer. Made by professional barista's and mixologists. The juices are also fantastic and extremely well made.

    But unlike many of the other reviewers I have no idea what they are talking about in regards to the food. My burger was blah and boring, more expensive than tasty. My friends sandwich, felt like it was made yesterday then shoved in a sandwich press.

    My boys friande was dry and felt like it had been sitting there for years.

    Awesome drinks, go anywhere else nearby for food.
  • Luna Park Sydney

    Amusement Parks Milsons Point, NSW
    Often the nostalgic memory of childhood is often better than the reality.

    Here at Luna Park, it feels like some of the rides haven't been updated or changed since my youth 30 odd years ago. Entry to do nothing is free.

    Currently June 2017 prices are $52 for an adult all day. And $22 for a little kid unlimited rides all day. I feel my 4 year old boy can get full value out of the $22 but since I am the only parent with him, not really worth it for me. Irrespective of that, the Wild Mouse (roller coaster) was being fixed and it would be a stretch one way or the other to say an adult could truly get $55 worth of 'fun' on the rides.

    We had a few goes on side show alley and won some tiny fluffy dice (only $15) but that should be expected to be honest. Food was the normal astronomical price for burgers, fries and soft drinks. Actually makes the movies seem cheap.

    I don't want to hate on Luna Park, 'cos at the end of the day it is a fun place to go. Maybe if they lower their price to $40 I think people would come more often. But at $52 plus all the other things to buy is a bit too much.

    Friday day-afternoon was dead if you like the ghost town feel. You still have to wait to go on the rides as there is only one attendant for the entire kids section, so that sucked.

    Worth a visit, but expect to spend some serious cash - especially with young kids.
  • Greenwood Hotel

    Pubs & Bars North Sydney, NSW
    There are a time in your life when a dingy dirty pub won't do. When the finer things in life need to be enjoyed and savored like a 1st date in a sunny afternoon afternoon.

    Well welcome to the Greenwood where there is enough space for all of these experiences and more. Plenty of rooms to have a private function and enough outdoor seating to enjoy the breezy rooftops taking you to new heights.

    Staff are always friendly and the food is above average for Pub grub. Plenty of room so even meeting a large group is not an issue after work.

    Decent selection of beers and drinks. Most come at a reasonable 'Sydney Price." Though I would like to see some more top-top shelf Scotch and whiskey from Japan, but I appreciate I am not in a whisky bar. Rather a very nice rooftop bar in North Sydney.
  • I Love Pho

    Restaurants Crows Nest, NSW
    Massive fan of this place, which I have no doubt has contributed to the demise of many nearby Chinese Restaurants as the Australian palette looks for something more than the slap up westernized Chinese.

    'I Love Pho" makes you really say "I Love Pho" and all the dishes on the menu. My favourite is the Crispy Fried Chicken, which defines authentic. There's also the diced beef cubes in a black pepper sauce which is my second favourite dish.

    Of course I love the Pho, but unlike an Seinfield episode "Soup is a meal here" and a very good one at that. Just I don't like sound all the time. And Pho variation on the menu is sublime.

    Service can be up and down and I think all the delivering places that "I Love Pho" caters for, slows it down more than the number of patrons, which seems to be consistent every time I go there. Great place for lunch, but I prefer the diner ambiance.

    Well worth a visit.
  • Guzman Y Gomez

    Restaurants Crows Nest, NSW
    If you like Mexican cuisine go to Mexico, otherwise be satisfied with food chains like Guzman Y Gomez. At the end of the day Guzman Y Gomez do a decent Nachos, and you don't have to pay an extra $2 for guacamole like you do at other chains. I always like to add extra meat to my Nachos for $3.

    The kids meals are adequate, especially if your kids don't like the look of anything green like chopped lettuce.

    Given that you are spoiled for choice in Lane Cove, it's amazing that this place is always busy at lunch. I must say the food is prepared at break-neck speed and still extremely fresh. I wouldn't really come here for diner, but if You wanted some where for a quick but not rushed place for lunch and don't mind Australian bastardized Mexican, Guzman Y Gomez Crows nest is for You.
  • Bavarian Bier Cafe

    Takeaways Crows Nest, NSW
    Thank goodness for a good old traditional steak and bier (or in my case a deep red), Sometimes it's nice not to have Asian in the Cabramatta of the North Shore, a restaurant where the waiters don't shout at you and the customers understand the term 'dull roar.'

    The Bavarian Bier Cafe offers some western escapism. The steak was perfectly cooked though weighed or not a little small to be honest. Sat outside on a nice May day and truly enjoyed the tranquility and western European feel to the establishment.

    Above average food, even better ambiance for it's location in Chatswood.
  • Queensland Art Gallery & Gallery Of Modern Art

    Art Galleries South Brisbane, QLD
    Most people love it when they hear the word "Free" so the GoMA is already off to a good start. Most of the exhibits were visually stunning, if not Art, but what do I know?

    Downstairs tucked away from most of the Gallery is a kids section. When we went (weekday), the kids were able to make masks and our four year old was able to pretty much have the run of a craft table to himself and had a great time. He made his sister and himself a mask, whilst I joined in as well. We weren't rushed and he had a great time!

    There was also a communal colouring sheets, but he didn't see the point since another kid has already messed it up! Also not being able to take it home, seemed a little silly to a 4 year old.

    But I take my hat off to Brisbane City and GoMA for having something like this for free and for families.
  • Phat Elephant

    Restaurants Brisbane, QLD
    Genuinely one of the best Thai's in Australia.

    After getting takeaway one night, we had to go back there for a sit in diner two days later. Takewaway was reasonably priced, good sizes and most importantly authentically tasty! BBQ Chicken, Curries and rice dishes were perfect.

    We returned on a Wednesday night and the place was packed. Nearly every table ordered a dish in a half of a pineapple, but since my partner and boy don't like pineapple, we stayed away from what seemed like their signature dish.

    I had the duck which was extremely flavorsome and came with plenty of vegetables. My boy stayed with his BBQ Chicken which he loved, whilst my partner enjoyed a different curry this time around. All prepared with perfection.

    They had no problem accommodating our pram in the dining area. It only lost a star for not catering to children, ie no smaller spoons or plastic plates for example. On top of this, the food took forever, which most diners do not mind so they can chat and catch-up but as there was really nothing to do for the children - it felt even longer. Again, I am not suggesting that Phat Elephant 'has to have' colouring sheets or anything, but if You couple this with the waiting time on a Wednesday night (and we were 'early' before the diner rush) it means minus one star.

    Overall highly recommended.
  • Timezone

    Cinema Hornsby, NSW
    Honestly with the graphics on the Xbox and PS4 I have no idea why anyone would come in and spend $2-$3 on a game which lasts 3-4mins max

    As for the claw game which gives players a chance to win a price, I have seen kids swipe their entire playing cards into one machine and not even come close to winning a prize. If these aren't gateway's to problem gambling, they are kidding themselves.

    As for prize / ticket machines, I would suggest after watching several hours play on a range of machines. The average collect is 5 tickets per $2 play or 10 tickets per $3 play. Considering a plush toy is 800 tickets or even tiny lollipop was 70 tickets that makes the lolly pop $14 or a small plush toy which even at the Easter Show is only $15 about $320. There might be some fun in throwing a ball at a stationary target, but enough to cover the 2,100% mark up?

    What made me go in? Check out the broken pinball machine with its busted flippers. No I did not get my money back!

    So for the money to buy an actual gaming console, plus a small toy of your choice. You could go to Timezone and fuel your kids gaming addiction and put them on the path to a gambling addiction. Or avoid Timezone and have a much cheaper and funnier day elsewhere, try the park it doesn't ruin eyesight, or lure kids with parlor tricks.
  • Coco Noir

    Takeaways Sydney, NSW
    Is there anything more relaxing than after an intense day in the city with kids to sit back and chill with a smooth rich coffee?

    As you kick back and replenish the energy levels, the kids can dose up with more sugar in the shape of a cupcake or ice cream.

    Well that's what Coco Noir just off Pitts Street has to offer. It is rather busy, so I had to get lucky and get a side table and position the pram in the very busy thorough fare, so "pram friendly" it ain't.

    But it does have a variety of fresh cakes, with my Tiramisu coming with some awesome ice cream and the coffee rich and full in texture.

    My kids chocolate cupcake with sprinkles was a little dry, but he wasn't disappointed. No table service which isn't the end of the world, just noted. Which is a shame as we all wanted more, but Daddy was too lazy to order more food (and leave the kids) and return to the table.

    Ultra busy cafe, in great location, where you can enjoy the little things in life to escape the CBD even for a fleeting moment of indulgence.
  • Australian Museum

    Museums Sydney, NSW
    So this is a review of the Museum and the cafe on Level 4

    So I recently took my four year old son to the museum which was about his 3rd visit in his life. We really go for the dinosaurs and the small paleontology pit which allows hit to dig up bones. He doesn't even watch the video on 4min loop, "boring."

    At four years old, the stuffed animals really doesn't cut it when you see many of them alive at the zoo. Nor does any of the other exhibits.

    He does love the kids zone area, which has a variety of toys, books, bean bags chairs and other activities for the kids to play with. As this is limited to kids under 5, going during the week allowed him to only have to share the are with a few other kids.

    I really feel the Museum has a tiny window for kids between 4-7 I'm guessing. Otherwise I don't think he will be back until he's an adult.

    Now the Cafe on level 4. Though it is more than your average cafe in terms of price it's not offensive and reasonable for a cafe in Sydney. The Wagyu burger, Barramundi with vegetables were all restaurant standard and coupled with the view of the Domain parklands, St Marys Cathedral and a glass of white. It was a perfect break at the museum, so the parents have enough energy to do it all again with the kids after lunch.

    $15 entry (kids under 4 free), $20 for a nice lunch. A nice enjoyable day to be had.
  • Cafe Opera

    Cafes Sydney, NSW
    A Latte at the Intercontinental costs $7

    So you would expect their buffet lunch to be a gastronomic indulgence, out stripping the best Michelin experiences possible.

    Unfortunately it was nothing more than average, nothing more than some decent seafood , dry roasts and a desert selection which was plentiful in number, but lacked a knocked out cake to make anyone come back.

    The seafood included crab claws (which weren't cracked properly) and no tools available. Prawns, muscles and bland sushi. A Nice selection of chicken and vegetable dishes - but again, nothing you mother can't make given the time on a Sunday morning.

    I felt the roasts of pork and beef were a little dry and could have been better timed for the lunch opening at 12pm.

    I or my friends won't be rushing back and if You know Sydney, there are much better options for $10 cheaper. I felt the service staff rather 'snobby' which would have been fine if the food match the attitude.

    A very average experience, coupled with very average food.
  • Rothbury On Ann Heritage Apartment Hotel

    Hotels Brisbane, QLD
    Things started off bad as we had to wait for 20mins for reception to arrive, when they did - they were friendly enough and had the room ready before 2pm.

    Now perhaps there was an issue with what was written on the booking site and with what I booked? But free extra bedding for my 4 year was not forth coming and I was charged an additional $21 per night for a cot for my baby. This is the first time I have ever had to pay for a cot anywhere in Australia, Asia or Europe.

    Otherwise the room was fine, with large tv, kitchen and clean bathroom. Breakfast was a few slices of bread, tiny cereal packet, two juices and some spreads - extremely disappointing. Really shouldn't say "includes breakfast"
  • 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.