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Ali-Hawk Local Star

I like to use local businesses for my goods and services as much as I can. I also like to applaud and acknowledge good service whenever I receive it - because it's not all that common!!

Joined 28 May 2012 Balwyn, VIC

  • The Rocks Walking Tours

    Tours The Rocks, NSW
    The 90 minute Rocks Walking Tour is super high value. Our guide, Sophie, was excellent. She was well informed and passionate about The Rocks area, with a comprehensive knowledge of its history and also issues leading right up to current times. This tour is not vast in its distance, but the time and content is jam packed. At the outset, Sophie checked on each person's reason for doing the tour, then made sure she focussed on these particular things as we progressed. She went out of her way to learn about her guests, their names and backgrounds, so she could relate parts of the walk to each participant - that was much appreciated and made it far more real. It is a great tour and I would recommend it for anyone wanting to know more about the area and its history.
  • Primus Hotel

    Hotels Sydney, NSW
    I enjoyed a marvellous, relaxed lunch here. The hotel is unique - newly renovated art deco style, previously the Water Board building. The massive ground floor area is now the lounge and restaurant, with imposing columns, high ceiling and wonderful features. The restaurant, Wilmot, is lovely. Service is attentive, informal but excellent. We enjoyed a lovely Chargrilled Calamari Salad, very tender Steak, Spinach/Parmesan salad and Mash. Dessert was beautifully made Honeycomb (Hokey Pokey for Kiwi diners) ice cream, pieces and cake. Great coffee too - all round, an excellent meal and I would not hesitate to come here again. Thank you.
  • Art Gallery Of South Australia

    Libraries Adelaide, SA
    The Art Gallery of South Australia is marvellous. There are multiple galleries and the collection is wonderful. I particularly visited recently to view the Venus Rodin exhibition which was breathtaking. There is so much to see, it will match anyone's taste. There's a café and a Gallery Shop with some wonderful items. Note though, there are stairs and various levels to navigate, so you may need to be mindful of this if you have accessibility concerns. Attendance is free for the gallery and there are paid tickets for special exhibitions. If you are a member of other State Galleries in Australia, your membership discounts will apply here too. It's a great place to visit.
  • The Coffee Club

    Cafes Brisbane, QLD
    I had lunch here on Sunday. It's the same as every other venue of the same name so if you've been elsewhere you'll know what to expect. Service is average and food is about the same. My Greek Salad was mostly leaves and olives with a few cherry tomatoes but very scarce feta. The Bruschetta was better but mostly tomato so not outstanding. Overall it's nice to sit here and watch the river traffic and walkers go by, but I wouldn't come for the food.
  • Pig N Whistle British Pub Downtown

    Pubs & Bars Brisbane, QLD
    Being in the city on a Saturday morning is a dire situation when you're looking for a coffee. In desperation I tried this place - almost the only one that was open at 9am. They already had a few customers and the coffee was good. Staff are very friendly and the whole experience was great. I came back later for another one! Thanks everyone.
  • Jimmy's On The Mall

    Takeaways Brisbane, QLD
    This is a good place to choose of you're hungry and need something reasonably substantial. You'll get anything from a steak, pasta or fish to burgers, toasted sandwiches and salads. Most things are served with chips and in reasonable portions, not gigantic. The day I was here it wasn't super busy, but although table service was reasonably quick, the food took a while to come, so it's not great if you want a quick lunch. The people watching is good. Overall, it's quite a good place.
  • Cafe Da Vina

    Cafes Spring Hill, QLD
    This little cafe is a bit of a hidden gem - tucked away in Astor Street and probably well known by local business people who are happy to keep it to themselves! I don't blame them as it's lovely. There's a good range of food, of really nice fresh quality and they offer quick service. My Chicken & Avo Sandwich with Salad was great, very enjoyable. It's a spacious, light filled and relaxed cafe. It's not for trendsetters but you'll get really good tucker here. Thank you.
  • Hard Coffee

    Cafes Brisbane, QLD
    This cafe has a really nice atmosphere. It's located right at the Australia Post office building at 259 Queen Street, the street frontage is nice and there's plenty of seating. The service is friendly but not quick. You will get a good coffee here, so I will be back for that. I also got a Turkey and Salad sandwich, which was okay but not outstanding.
  • La Primavera Boutique

    Clothing Retailers Adelaide, SA
    What a marvellous little gem this boutique is. The proprietor, Cathy, has been a seamstress for over three decades and she knows her craft. I visited her store on Saturday morning and found some really nice pieces. Her range includes many international designers and they are totally wearable. Being a skilled seamstress, Cathy was able to adjust the garments for me, so they fitted me perfectly. She then promised to make the adjustments and return them to me at my Adelaide hotel before I left the following morning. She lived up to her word and delivered the finished garments later that same day to my hotel. She then followed up with me by phone a couple of days later. Outstanding customer service. Thanks Cathy, I'll be back!
  • Unique Opal Mine

    Jewellery & Watch Retailers Adelaide, SA
    If you are looking for opal jewellery, I recommend this store. The jewellers are on site and available for advice and information. The staff are helpful and friendly. I met jeweller Steven Miles and he provided me with professional advice and a great deal. The range of products is good - they have more than opals and they also design items especially for customers. Here, I really felt as though they care about their work, their products and their customers ... and that they won't rip me off. I'll definitely be back again. Thank you.
  • Black Rice

    Cafes Melbourne , VIC
    Having recently moved our office to this part of town, I had lunch here for the first time. What a great find. There is a good range of fresh and delicious food here - pre-made sandwiches and wraps, lovely colourful salads and while-you-wait salads and sandwiches to order. I enjoyed my Turkey Breast, Smashed Avocado and Salad on wholemeal sandwich - made fresh for me on the spot. Everything except two small snack bars is made on the premises by their chefs. It's great and I'll be back. Thank you.
  • Kirk’s Wine Bar

    Restaurants Melbourne, VIC
    Although this is called a Wine Bar, it's a café too - it's open from before 8am on weekdays and is ideal for a pre-work coffee or an early business meeting. It's a bit tricky to know where the entrance is ... there is one right on the corner of the block and there's also one a little along Hardware Lane. Once inside, the place has small but workable tables, most pleasantly situated. Be careful not to select the table right at the corner entrance though as this will be buffeted by people using the corner entrance and may become irritating. The service is great and coffee is good - it's nice.
  • Le Petit Gateau

    Cafes Melbourne, VIC
    This place is ideal for a catch up either for business or with friends. The window display offers a range of delicious French treats and entices people inside. The service is excellent and food is very good. It's a small place but it's big on quality. The coffee is excellent. Thank you.
  • Rundle Mall Visitor Information Centre

    Adelaide, SA
    This is a small mall, but there's a lot going on. It's the first pedestrian mall in Australia to be created from a street that previously had traffic running along it. It only covers one city block, between King William and Pulteney Streets, but the shop frontages are deceptive. At almost every step there's a shopping arcade or larger centre to explore. At the King William Street end, the architecture is lovely - look up and you'll see Behive Corner, complete with a bee on the gargoyle of the building. On the other side is a lovely bluestone building - it's quite beautiful. The free tram runs past here too, with a stop right at the corner. Within the pedestrian precinct you'll find eateries and cafes, further west past Pulteney Street are designer stores and several restaurants. Take your time and have a good look.
  • Queen Street Mall

    Shopping Centres Brisbane, QLD
    This is a pedestrian mall, much like any other. It's a street converted into a walkway and nicely done. You will find several eateries and bars here (some open 24 hours) and some good quality stores. It's within easy walk of the central railway station and lots of buses.
  • Bar Bellacino

    Cafes Sydney, NSW
    I enjoyed a delicious Winter Vegetable sandwich here. It had cottage cheese, capsicum, eggplant, chilli and leaves - made on soy and quinoa grainy bread, Yum - it was spicy and delicious. This place is an Espresso Bar really, with a few things to eat. You can sit at the counter or at one of the tables spread around the lobby entrance. There's also a serving window outside, which no doubt gets a lot of passing trade. There's free wifi too. It's good. Thank you.
  • Luna Park Sydney

    Amusement Parks Milsons Point, NSW
    I attended a two day work conference here and it's very good. Yes, it's within Luna Park, so it's different ... not your usual business conference venue, but it's very well organised, with excellent facilities, good spaces and great service. The conference venue part of the park is not far from the main entrance. Its catering and support services (including security) are totally professional and reliable, with food of nice variety and good quality. It is easy to get to by public transport and has a very nice outlook.
  • The Governor's Table

    Restaurants Sydney, NSW
    This is a very nice restaurant, located at the front of Sydney Museum. The service is attentive and very respectful and the ambience is pleasant. My companion and I enjoyed Garlic Sourdough, with entrees of Chicken and Duck terrine (served with spicy rhubarb, peach chutney, leaves and Sourdough toast) and Grilled Asparagus with Mozarella and Tomato . Both dishes were beautifully presented - a feast for the eyes. The flavours were very enjoyable and well balanced. Our mains were a fillet of Barramundi (fish special) and Chicken with Heritage carrots - again, very nicely presented and delicious flavours. We didn't partake in desserts, but the menu looked good. Coffee was nice, but not hot enough for my preference. Overall we had a delightful dinner - it didn't take all night and was very enjoyable. Thank you.
  • The Meat & Wine Co Circular Quay

    Restaurants Sydney, NSW
    he first thing I notice when I'm seated here is - it's dark, really dark. That's fine for those who want an intimate dinner, but not so great if a diner wants to read or work while they're here. Anyway ... not to worry. I enjoyed very quick service here - I had promised to vacate my table within 75 minutes, so I couldn't waste any time. There's no problem with that. I ordered some Bruschetta, Chickpea Salad and a side garden salad. All was delivered within about 5 minutes. The Bruschetta is a wonderful, soft, baguette with a topping of salsa, avocado and cheese. It's pretty good - there's a huge carving knife along with it, to slice it up. The Chickpea Salad was a bit disappointing - literally a bowl of chickpeas with green peas, a little feta, some avocado, onion and sunflower seeds - it's what the menu said it would be but I was somehow left deflated when I saw it. The garden salad was good - colourful and fresh. If you're staying at the Intercontinental, which is co-located here, you can charge your meal to your room, that's good. Oh - one more thing - it's very noisy, so don't expect to have a comfortable private conversation with your friends. You should perhaps choose somewhere else for that.
  • Novotel Hotel Brisbane

    Cafes Brisbane, QLD
    This is a good, reliable hotel which I would not hesitate to stay at again. It is located right on the edge of the CBD and within walking distance of Queen Street Mall, Central Railway Station and city offices. It's ideal for anyone coming here on business, as I did. The rooms are clean, spacious and well appointed. Bathroom is good, shower has good water pressure, plenty of hot water and good towels. The bed is comfortable and there is wi fi throughout the hotel. Breakfast at the restaurant, The Pantry, has a nice range on the buffet and dinner selection is also good, with attentive service. There are several restaurants nearby also. The gym is well equipped, with the only tricky thing being the lighting ... if you go when it's dark outside, the lights are on a sensor timer, so you can be left working out on the treadmill when the lights suddenly go out - it happened to me several times. The gym's view is outside and onto the pool which is quite pleasant. Overall the hotel is good and I would not hesitate to come again. Thank you.