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David Sarkies Local Star

I'm a bit of an explorer and I like going to places that I haven't been to before. Okay, I'm not necessarily going to point you to a good accountant (or a dentist), but I know what I like and if I like it, I'll tell you about it (with in reason of course, because I'm not going to tell you which doctor gives away free sick certificates).

Joined 10 September 2014 Reservoir, VIC

  • Strattons Hotel

    Pubs & Bars Sydney, NSW
    My first visit here I have to say that I wasn't really all that impressed. Basically it is a pokies bar with a sports bar and little else. However when I arrived in Sydney recently it was just around the corner from my hotel, so I decided to step in here again for a drink (and to give it another shot). Well, the front bar was a little better, but it is pretty dark inside so it can be really difficult to see. They did have a live band playing, which was cool, but unfortunately they were finishing up for the night ? I had got here pretty late. The staff were okay, and I did like some of the decorations on the walls (including the signs that looked like street signs from London) however it isn't really one of those places that I would visit too often, if at all.
  • The Belvedere Hotel

    Pubs & Bars Sydney, NSW
    This is another of those pubs that I would recommend passing by for greener pastures since there isn't anything about this place that really caught my attention. Okay, it does have a Greek restaurant on the second floor, and there is a deck on the third floor (which tends to be full of smokers, and is pretty dark as well at night). I simply came here once just to check it out, and now that I have looked around the place I have to say that it hasn't really inspired me all that much. It's probably one of those pubs to meet up with friends and head off elsewhere, or simply to have a few drinks if no one can agree on another place to go to, however there isn't all that much here that is all that great and I would suggest other pubs in the area.
  • Charcoal Chicken Warrnambool

    Takeaways Warrnambool, VIC
    Okay, I didn't end up trying their chips, but then when I came here I wasn't hugely hungry, so I only when for their beef roll. Mind you, I was expecting something like a chicken roll, except with beef, however it turned out that this was not the case. Rather it was a hamburger bun with beef, and nothing else. Okay, I didn't ask for the gravy, so it was probably my fault anyway. However they do have a pretty decent range of items on offer, though they only have beef and chicken (which means no fish, but then again it is not a fish and chips shop). The prices where pretty good, and they also had some decent specials. It isn't a bad place, especially if you are looking for a quick bite to eat on a budget, and it is conveniently located in the centre of town.
  • The Fifth Province

    Restaurants St Kilda, VIC
    I can't say I really liked this place. It wasn't as if there was anything all that bad about it, and the staff were reasonably nice, it just felt as if it was little more than your average Irish themed pub. Okay, it does have nice décor in the interior, and the barrels on the porch are a nice touch, but it just didn't really feel like the type of place that I would regularly visit. I guess it has something to do with the large choice of bars you have in St Kilda, and the one I had been to previously made comparisons really difficult. As I have suggested, this isn't necessarily a bad pub, and does have a pretty decent atmosphere, but it isn't one that really stands out in my mind.
  • The Vine

    Restaurants Richmond, VIC
    This is another one of those pubs that I would recommend avoiding, particularly since there are a lot of other really cool pubs nearby. This seems to draw the type of crowd that you would expect down at your local, particularly since the pub contains both a pokies lounge and a sports bar (as well as a smokers cage out the back, which is usually always full). Mind you, whenever I've been here there has been a decent sized crowd inside, though not the type of crowd that you would expect to find at one of the nearby hip and happening joints. They do have some outdoor tables on the footpath, which makes this place a little better, but other than that it isn't really a pub that I would be rushing back to any time soon.
  • Royal Oak Hotel

    Hotels Fitzroy North, VIC
    This is another pub that seems to be somewhat out of place in its location, in that it feels like a standard suburban pub located in inner-city Melbourne. Okay, it doesn't have any pokies, but it feels more like a sports bar with a nice restaurant and lounge area than a trendy inner-city pub (which is the type of pub that I like). I've been here a couple of times, most recently to job my memory since I'd basically forgotten about the place. It is fairly quite, but seems to be popular amongst the older generation. It's not really a place that I would visit again in a hurry, especially since there are a lot of other places in the area that I much prefer.
  • Chefs Charcoal Chicken

    Takeaways Epping, VIC
    This place is a little odd namely because it happens to be a chicken shop and a noodle bar, something that in my mind seems to be the complete opposite of the other, but also indicative of the changing demographics of Australia. Mind you, I generally don't go to a noodle bar to order chips, and I don't go to a chicken shop to order noodles, though if they are one in the same then I guess that doesn't matter. Anyway, I decided to go for the chicken a chips, which weren't actually all that bad ? they were certainly better than the one around the corner. However, the other funny thing is that you generally don't get fish in a chicken shop or vice versa, but that is beside the point. Anyway, it wasn't all that bad, and I probably should make the effort to come back here again simply to check out the noodles.
  • D & S Fish & Chips

    Takeaways Reservoir, VIC
    As I have mentioned there happens to be quite a few fish & chips shops in Reservoir, and this is certainly one of them. Unfortunately there wasn't anything much about this place that set it apart from the other offerings that you can find around the place. Sure it served fish, and it served chips (as well as the other assortments that you tend to find in such shops, such as Dim Sims and Chicko Rolls ? right down to the poster of some woman sitting on a motorbike seductively holding a chicko roll to her mouth). The chips were okay, but not that fantastic, and I must say that there wasn't really all that much to really drag me back here. The one a couple of doors down is better, but only because it has a fibre glass shark on the roof. This one doesn't even have that.
  • The Stoned Crow

    Pubs & Bars Crows Nest, NSW
    I'm going to have to say that my experience at this place was not all that fantastic. Okay, it is more a restaurant than a bar, but I stepped in here for a drink and to check it out. While I was okay with them not having middies, and the fact that they serve Pepsi as opposed to Coke (not that I drink much Coke, but I tend to drink much less Pepsi than Coke) was understandable, it is just that when I got my beer is was disgusting. There must have been something wrong with the batch because it tasted way too yeasty, it it wasn't a craft-beer either. Okay, it may have been a bit of bad luck on my part, but I seriously couldn't finish it off (maybe I should have told them, but then again I generally don't complain all that much, at least to the staff).
  • The Junction

    Restaurants Camden Park, SA
    Well, since the pub is located next to a racecourse you can basically expect that it is going to a pub that has that theme. I have to say that I wasn't really all that impressed, but then my taste in pubs has changed quite a lot over the years. This is basically your standard suburban pub, and since it is a short distance from Glenelg then there are much better offerings down there. The pub is quite large, and has a couple of function rooms, along with a restaurant, sports bar, and gaming lounge (and not surprisingly the sports bar is quite large). Now that I've been here (though I have probably stopped by here once before) I can say that I have had a beer here and not bother about coming back again.
  • Balaclava Hotel

    Hotels Balaclava, VIC
    Not the best pub down in the St Kilda area, but at least they have a reasonably cheap menu (though it is basically traditional pub grub). This place seems to be eschewed by the trendier crowd in the area, namely because it is little more than a suburban pub with a restaurant that sells fairly cheap pub grub and a pokies machine out the back. It is sort of the place you come to when you don't want to spend huge amounts of money, but it is certainly not the worst pub that I have visited. Mind you, they do have some interesting characters that come through this place, and while the interior seems to still have that old feel about it, I do get the impression that this place needs go really good dose of renovations. I have been to this place a couple of times, but it is certainly not some place that I would be regularly visiting again.
  • Balaclava Hotel

    Hotels Balaclava, VIC
    Not the best pub down in the St Kilda area, but at least they have a reasonably cheap menu (though it is basically traditional pub grub). This place seems to be eschewed by the trendier crowd in the area, namely because it is little more than a suburban pub with a restaurant that sells fairly cheap pub grub and a pokies machine out the back. It is sort of the place you come to when you don't want to spend huge amounts of money, but it is certainly not the worst pub that I have visited. Mind you, they do have some interesting characters that come through this place, and while the interior seems to still have that old feel about it, I do get the impression that this place needs go really good dose of renovations. I have been to this place a couple of times, but it is certainly not some place that I would be regularly visiting again.
  • Curve Cafe & Bar

    Pubs & Bars Sydney, NSW
    I have to say that I wasn't all that impressed with this place. It looked nice from the outside but it didn't seem to be set up all that well when I went inside. It took me a couple of tables to work out where to sit (they were either too high or too low). Anyway it is basically the restaurant that is attached to one of the Vibe hotels, not something that really attracts me since I tend to prefer independent restaurants rather than restaurants that happen to be attached to a large chain. It wasn't that cheap either ? the breakfast was one of those breakfasts where you add bits and pieces and the more you add the pricier it becomes. Okay, the tea wasn't bad, but its not a place that I would be hurrying back to any time soon.
  • Village Belle Hotel

    Hotels St Kilda, VIC
    Okay, it may not have been the best pub in St Kilda but at least it is quite large and has a decent beer garden out the back (though it is not all that large and seems to be little more than a small back yard that has been opened up for the smokers). It is fairly typical of what you would find in a pub out in the suburbs having a room full of pokie machines, a restaurant, a couple of pool tables, and a sports bar. Personally I didn't mind it all that much because you could actually find a seat outside, but there was nothing all that impressive about the place since the only thing that seemed to make it stand out was the fact that it is an ordinary pub. Due to the many other offerings in the part of Melbourne, it is not really a place I envisage visiting all that often.
  • Quay Seafoods

    Takeaways Sydney, NSW
    As the name suggests this place specialises in take-away seafood and can be found directly under the Circular Quay railway station. It's pretty cheap which is cool, but it is takeaway which means that you need to find a place to sit to enjoy your feed (which I found a little difficult when I grabbed some takeaway because there just didn't seem to be any seats in the public parts of Circular Quay, though I'm sure I would have found some if I had looked hard enough). I ended up getting one of the seafood chests, which was pretty nice, even though I'm not a huge fan of seafood. They give you a decent serving of chips, though don't expect the huge amounts that you get from your local fish & chip shop. Oh, and the chips weren't bad either. I'd probably come back here, but only if I have a place to sit down and eat my meal while starring out over the harbour.
  • Cavan Hotel

    Pubs & Bars Cavan, SA
    Personally, my experience of this pub is a little limited, namely because I have only been here twice, and one of the times was boxing day, which basically meant that it was pretty empty ? it fact it was close to being dead. However, it's not one of those fantastic pubs that I like, more one of those places where truckies stop at for a drink on their way into Adelaide (it is on one of the major highways). It is a bit out of the way, in the middle of an industrial area, and can be easily missed as well. They also have an adult bar out the back for those who are interested in such things. Also has standard beers on tap, which is probably why I wouldn't make much of a effort to return.
  • The Corkman Irish Pub

    Pubs & Bars Carlton, VIC
    Well, if there was one thing going for this place when I came here on a Friday night that was that it was empty. In fact, I was wondering whether it was open, and half expected to be told that the pub was no longer in operation, however when the bartender willingly took my money in exchange for a beer it ended up easing my worries. Empty pubs generally aren't bad because they tend to be quiet and you are guaranteed a seat, however I suspect that this has more to do with it being a Uni bar as opposed to it being a bad business (and I haven't been here during a uni day). Still, it wasn't all that bad, and the drinks were cheap as well.
  • Mr Pizza

    Takeaways Epping, VIC
    Another of the many pizza places that seem to be scattered about the area, though I have to admit since discovering a really cool pizza place on Epping every other one seems to end up playing second fiddle, such as is the case with this one. Like a lot of pizza places these days, Mr Pizza does drift away from your standard toppings, which I have to admit is a pretty cool thing, and I always like to try something a little different (as long as it doesn?t involve anchovies ? I hate anchovies), though they do have the old favourites for those who prefer the traditional. Also, unlike a lot of similar shops, they also offer kebabs, but I generally go to pizza shops for, well, pizza.
  • Cafenatics

    Coffee & Tea Suppliers Melbourne, VIC
    I haven't been to this one all that often, but that probably has a lot to do with the huge number of options that you have in Melbourne when it comes to getting a cup of coffee. Anyway, this little store is located inside the QV shopping centre, and while at first I thought it was a unique coffee shop, I soon discovered that it is one of a few that happen to be scattered across the city. As for the shop itself it's okay, but nothing all that fancy. It did take a little while for my coffee to arrive, and the seats were hugely comfortable, but that wasn't necessarily a bad thing. They also have a number of snacks available as well, though it seems to be one of those lunchtime cafes than some place to go and grab some deserts. The place itself is okay, but one one of the best places in Melbourne to grab a coffee.
  • Royal Hotel

    Pubs & Bars Bondi, NSW
    I'm going to have to give this place a lower mark than I originally intended, namely because the second time I came here there simply was nobody behind the bar, and despite waiting for five minutes and not being served, I went to the next bar, and the next. Upon finding a lack of people pouring beer I decided that I had spent enough time waiting and if I really wanted to wait for something it would be at a bus stop (which is what I ended up doing). Originally when I first came here I didn't mind the place, especially since it has this really cool fountain out the back in the beer garden, but I guess beer gardens in the end mean nothing is there is nobody around to serve you. Oh, and don't expect to find the trendy crowd down here either ? this is basically one of those old person suburban pubs.