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Kurt & Sarah C Local Star

We are a couple that love eating out, drinking, playing and watching sports, travelling, going to the gym. Sarah also loves a good hairdo and spray tan, whilst Kurt is happy to head for a surf.

Joined 28 April 2016 Randwick , NSW

  • Spiced

    Restaurants Barangaroo, NSW
    Spiced by Billu's is in the trendy dining precinct at Barangaroo, just by the ferry terminal, so it has a lovely view of the water. It would also be a great place for a long lunch on a weekend. We were here for a Sunday evening dinner, the seating is alfresco (yet covered) under dimmed lights and heaters to keep us warm.

    Originally set up in Harris Park, known to cater for celebrities such as Chris Gayle and Steve Waugh. They have opened this upscale restaurant in Barangaroo and as soon as we met the host, we felt like we were dining with experienced restauranteurs. It is a little pricy, but you aren't in Harris Park and lets face it you are paying a little extra for the location and the view.

    We were offered drinks, they have a small bar and have a good range of alcohol including Indian beer, one of my favourites; Kingfisher beer.

    The tables are set with some beautiful crystal and copper cutlery. There are a lot of great choices on the menu, hard to make a decision. They do a banquet menu $40-$45 if visiting in a group of 4 or more. We began with the Vegetarian platter with onion bhaji, lovely soft filling and light crispy outer crust), the paneer an Indian cheese which had a nice spice coating and the the vegetable samosas were quality, with a nice soft filling with a spice kick.

    We followed this with dhal tarka, one of the best we have tried. Naan is a standard whenever we visit an Indian restaurant and the cheese naan was perfect to mop up any left over sauce.

    Speaking of sauce the braised lamb shank had a deliciously fragrant sauce and good balance of spice. As to be expected, the lamb fell off the bone. The biryani was recommended and did not disappoint. A traditional rice dish, the indian version of fried rice. An explosion of taste and texture, the rice cooked with onions, garlic, ginger, cashew nut, raisins and spices.

  • Opah Restaurant

    Restaurants Cronulla, NSW
    ?OPAH? is an expression you often hear at celebrations, and this is feeling and intense emotion. Often accompanied with dance and Greek music. Fitting, because this venue is perfect for celebrations or simply enjoying food with friends. No plate smashing here, just delicious food and great hospitality.
    Opah is family run business serving Greek food in a yum cha style. Located on Gerrale St, Cronulla, it?s raised space allows seating inside or in the sun and a lovely view of Cronulla beach. It is a large venue with both a seated dining space and also room for cocktail parties. It would be great for an event as they cater to parties.
    At Opah you can order the $45 all you can eat yum cha which is great value for money. But you can order off the ala carte menu if that pleases you. Yum cha is half the price for children. The restaurant is fully licensed but you can BYO wine for your yum cha.
     
    We were very impressed with the food and service at Opah. The staff were friendly and welcoming. All the dishes we had was well seasoned and we didn't need to add salt or pepper or any other condiment.
     
    Presentation wise/plating, we felt that the little details of garnish on each dish went a long way and was very appealing to the eye. It made us excited to eat it. The calamari was a stand out and was delicious as it wasn't full of batter like most places and was quite light. The Tiropites had a nice balance of flavours with the saltiness from the cheese and the sweetness from the honey and the aroma and slightly minty flavour from the thyme.
     
    The Spit Roast Lamb was tender and melted in our mouths, yum! We really enjoyed the Prawn but is no longer on the menu due to the high cost so they are using octopus instead.
     
    The Greek salad was very fresh and well-seasoned and we enjoyed all three dips, couldn't fault anything.
     
    The cocktail was very refreshing and nice combination of flavours.
     
    The restaurant had a good vibe and was quite busy. We also liked the fact that the Yum Cha menu is a great way to try all the dishes and if the serving is not enough, you can always ask for more as it's all you can eat! We were advised that not everyone understands the concept and some people complained that the serving size was too small but the reality is that you can ask for more as it's all you can eat.
     
    We highly suggest the yum cha menu as you can try lots of thigs from the menu and order more as you please.
  • New Shanghai Chinese Restaurant

    Restaurants Ashfield, NSW
    New Shanghai is an extremely popular restaurant serving modern Shanghai cusine, hence the name. With multiple restaurants around Sydney including Chatswood, the city and Ashfield. We visited the Ashfield location on a busy Friday night, with people queuing to get their dumpling and bun fix. Once inside, the restaurant had a good atmosphere full of diners enjoying their meals. The decor set up to reflect a Shanghai dining experience, with a couple of rooms with plenty of seating. The service is efficient to ensure the wait for a table is not too long.

    The drinks menu is varied, with cocktails, beer, an decent wine list and spirits as well as a number of non alcoholic beverages. We sampled a cumquat and lemon drink which was nice and refreshing and a Tsing Tao beer. Why not, it was Friyay and perfect for the meal ahead. To say the menu is extensive is an understatement. It even had a key to show you signature dishes and vegetarian options. With plenty of options to keep you coming back for more, try to tick them off your list.

    We opted for meals that were indicated as signature dishes. Winter soup was the perfect start. The Shanghai tofu skin and pork roll in a supreme broth. A delicious and delicate broth with some veg and tasty wrapped parcels.

    New Shanghai is well known for their dumplings, we couldn't go past the xiao long bao. Always a favourite these steamed pork dumplings were particularly good. Sticking to etiquitte, placing the dumpling on the spoon piercing with the chopstick and adding soy sauce, vinegar and chilli oil to taste. The soup inside the dumpling was very flavoursome.

    The fried salt and pepper king brown mushrooms, a tasty vegetarian dish. Full of flavour and texture, very more-ish. Perfect with a Tsing Tao or two, maybe three.

    Another go to is the peking beef with steamed buns. Make your own New Shanghai style sliders. Grab one of the cloud like pillows of dough that are the steamed buns, fill with some beef and maybe some cucumber. Soooo goood and perfect to share if you don't get too protective after you try one. The serving size was very generous too.

    We loved New Shanghai with plenty of classics on offer, you can also find something new. New Shanghai also has a great atmosphere and sevice. We thank New Shanghai for their hospitality. It was great to see the staff in action during a peak period, very impressive. Can't wait to return to tick off some more of the menu.
  • Negus

    Cafes Surry Hills, NSW
    Small hole in the wall cafe with a few tables to sit at. Can also sit at window seats. A range of quite fresh looking items which you can buy to go. I just got a takeaway chai - more the spicy type.
  • Flour Drum Newtown

    Restaurants Newtown, NSW
    We all know Newtown is a Sydney dining and drinking hot spot. With so much choice, how do you find the gems? We will help you, with this blog post. The place is called Flour Drum, an ecclectic cafe restaurant toward the St Peters end of King street in the mix with some cool boutiques and op shops. A great place to visit to kill a few hours browsing. But you will need some pre, or post browsing sustanance or even a caffeine kick, and Flour Drum is the place to get it.

    Newtown is a little different, in a good way and Flour Drum, typically Newtown. A deceptively large dining space, with street side seating as well a two rooms with plenty of seating for dining in. The cafe is uniquely decorated with to a retro Australiana theme, quirky, yet cool.

    As you walk past you will be taken in by the sweets displayed in the window, as well as the coat of arms in the form of a Kangaroo and emu statue. This shows that the cafè will not take a backward step. This is also reflected in their progressive cusine including some crazy good versions of an Aussie favourite: the lamington. The 10 layered blackforrest lamington is a must, but be warned - you will need someone to share it with or you will need a few sittings to finish it.

    worked, black rice, sake, dried mango, zucchini, sesame seeds, cherry tomatoes, fresh herbs and Thai onion crisps. An omelette fit for an Emperor.

    The mushrooms on toast with poached egg also a tasty breakfast option. We had fun prodding the poached egg trying to create some yolk p*%!

    A favourite was the house made dumplings with bbq duck, water chesnut, garlic chives and dried wild forrest mushrooms, blitzed to create a flavoursome ravioli style filling with a smooth texture. This served with some fresh egg noodles served in a flavoursome duck and porcini mushroom broth that had done some time.

    Then we were onto the sweets that flour drum are famous for: including the aforementioned 10 layer black forest lamington, a tower of decadance, that was not overly sweet. The apple cake, even better than it looked. The sticky date pudding; always a good option. The rocky road another spectacular sweet, perfect to wash down with a coffee or dirty chai.

    Thanks to FCBA for having another memorable event, as alway it is always good to meet fellow passionate foodies. An even bigger thanks to Vic and the friendly crew at Flour Drum for their hospitality. A very enjoyable cafè, loved the decor, the food and the service.
  • ABC Tyrepower & Mechanical Rosebery

    Tyres Rosebery, NSW
    Good location and easy to get your tyres done. I went in for a pink slip and it was done within half an hour. Polite service!
  • Dove & Olive

    Restaurants Surry Hills, NSW
    A cool pub, large size with an upstairs area as well. They've got great pub food options and usually pretty tasty. I got a schnitzel with mushroom sauce, a side of fries and salad.
    Unfortunately maybe because the place was busy, it was a bit cold. We also got a side of sweet potato fries and hickory smoked mac and cheese balls. These were good. Footy is on tv and a good crowd. A great range of beers on tap.
  • The Botanist

    Restaurants Kirribilli, NSW
    Cool place for a drink - the menu has a lot of good options which I will defiantly return to try. On this instance I sampled the barrel aged cocktails; the cherry cola rum old fashioned! Worked well togher - a good version of an old fashion. Set up / decor inside was also pretty cool.
  • Treetop Cafe

    Cafes Waterloo, NSW
    Treetop Cafe, in the heart of the bustling highrise suburb of Waterloo in close vicinity to Zetland/Victoria Park. There are many people living in this area, with only a few choices for eating out. Treetop cafe is coveniently located to cater to the locals. A large open space decorated with greenery playing to the name of the cafè. Also outdoor seating if it is a nice day.

    We visited Treetop with a number of foodie friends including Sydney Dinner, Eating with my Food Safari, Sydney food dude and contributor Sakinav. We ordered a variety of drinks to start including some decent coffee and really nice smoothies.

    We were all excited to try the breakfast platter and vegetarian breakfast platter, these
    options making ordering in a group super easy. It is also very impressive having your own personal buffet on your table. Perfect for a family breakfast or catch up with friends and reasonably priced too.

    The breakfast platter with something for everyone including eggs three ways, a selection of breakfast meats with bacon, ham, salami, chorizo and sausaged. Add a few more breakfast classics of roast tomatoes, butter mushrooms and avocado. Nope not done yet, some favourites too being hash browns and grilled haloumi. A feast not only for your eyes.

    The vegetarian breakfast platter equally impressive. Also with eggs three ways, avo, roasted tomatoes, hash browns, haloumi and mushrooms. Add to this charred zucchini, spinach and truffel parmesan baked potatoes. Plenty of variety to fill the belly.

    Treetop also have some good flavour combos on their burgers. Who doesn't like the classic flavours of peking duck and add this to a burger, Yum! Other classic options all very tasty include the 5 spiced pork burger with slaw, the lamb souvlaki burger or clasdic burger with the lot called the Big Boy.

    Get into treetop for your breakfast fix, make it easy with a breakfast platter. If you sleep in, the burgers are a good option.
  • Ocean Spirit Cruises

    Boat Charters Cairns, QLD
    We arrived at the reef terminal and checked in received our
    ticket to board the ship. A large boat, you can sit indoors on lounges,
    outside or on the deck.

    As you arrive, tea, coffee, muffins and focaccia are available.

    The boat departs as we are given a safety briefing and collect the gear to use for the day of snorkelling. You are also able to pay extra for guided snorkelling tours or scuba diving.

    The journey to the outer reef is approximately 2 hours. Whilst on board you can relax or learn about whales!

    The trip is to the Great Barrier Reef and Michaelmas Cay

    The Great Barrier Reef is a World Heritage site and is one of the worlds largest single living organisms
    and can be seen from outer space.

    We travelled to Michaelmas Cay, a sand cay formed my fragments of plant and animal skeletons that are collected on the reef. A sand cay emerges when birds bring seeds and fertiliser.

    The boat anchors near Michaelmas Cay and transports guests to the cay in a small boat. You then have the opportunity to snorkel and see the beautiful coral, plants, fish and other marine animals in the area. Over 1590 different types of fish are in the Great Barrier Reef. It is simply incredible. One of the most beautiful places you will witness in Australia.

    You can buy some extras like guided snorkel tours or introductory scuba dives. Whilst anchored, you can also take a glass bottomed boat to see more marine life or have lunch.

    A lunch buffet is offered with hot options; rice and curry or ratatouille. There's prawns, cold meats, salads and bread rolls.

    They also offered dessert; fruit and chocolate and carrot cake with tea and coffee.

    After a few hours at the Cay, the boat set sail back to the marina. On the journey home, we were offered a glass of sparkling wine and cheese and biscuits.

    The staff on this boat were extremely professional and knowledgeable and some of the best i've seen. It was also evident they loved their jobs.

    This was extremely good value at $202, let alone the $165 we got it on special for! A must do if in Cairns.
  • AJ Hackett Cairns

    Amusement Parks Smithfield, QLD
    If you're an adrenalin junkie that wants something exciting and fun to do, make sure to check out AJ Hackett Cairns. At 140 m above sea level, and a 50m jump, you can take a bungee jump in the rainforest! Your jump can be taken in many ways; swan dive, water touch, titanic, backwards, tandem, jump off the roof, handstand or even off the roof with a BMX. Different levels to suit you the less kenmore experienced. It's $179 for the jump and prices are less for extra jumps.

    For those looking for something a bit different, they also offer the Minjin Swing, which 1,2 or 3 people can take. In a body harness, you are taken up high (higher than the bungee) and pull the cord which drops you for a few seconds and then you're let swinging. It drops from 45m-1 metre in 3.5 seconds at speeds of up to 120km an hour and is for those seeking thrills! I did this with a friend and absolutely loved it. Scary as you're rising, but exhilarating! Next time, real bungee for sure.

    There's purpose built platforms for friends and family to watch and a licensed bar selling drinks and some snacks. You can buy t-shirts or media
    footage to remember your experience.

    The company pick you up and drop you home from Cairns or the Northern Beaches.
  • Waterbar & Grill

    Restaurants Cairns, QLD
    Located at the Marina Pier, this is a steakhouse selling different varieties and sizes of streaks. So's selling ribs
    and seafood, it perfect if you're hungry! I went for a 200g steak with baked potato and salad. You have to pay an extra $300 for sauce. The meat was good quality and perfectly cooked. The staff were fairly new and thus our waitress had difficulty taking the order and made a mistake or two, but is fair when people are starting out, so it didn't really bother our experience.

  • Zambrero Fresh Mex Grill

    Takeaways Wollongong, NSW
    A mexican takeaway place where you can get burrito, bowls and quesadillas. I ordered a bowl with black rice, beef and salad. You can choose your own combinations. I also like that money from this organisation goes to charity :) Food is fresh and tasty and not very expensive.
  • The Grounds Of The City

    Cafes Sydney, NSW
    The Grounds of Alexandria have recently opened a sister venue going by a similar name ?The Grounds of the City?, if you haven?t heard yet, you must be living under a rock! It is situated on the ground floor of The Galleries, George Street conveniently located across for the Queen Victoria Building with easy access to Town Hall train station and Pitt Street shopping precinct.
    The Grounds have maintained their ?brand? by styling their Grounds of the City experience to transport you to another era with their coffee-house inspired venue. The outside façade features stained glass windows, a takeaway window with breads and pastries on display for those in a hurry with the added touch of offering a shoe shine service to passers by. Once you step inside, the rush of the daily grind is quickly forgotten. The Grounds of the City has a real 1920?s feel, with décor, staff uniforms and furniture very fitting of the era with no detail spared, right down to the lighting, the titles of the books on filling the shelves forming a beautiful backdrop for diners.
    Once entering the Grounds, (after leaving our names with the maitre de we had a mere one hour wait) we were quicky greeted and moved hastily to our table which was a small table for our party of 4. Space is very limited with diners in close proximity to one another with little privacy on offer and would not be highly recommended to those with mobility aids or little ones, particularly those in prams. In saying this, I imagine staff would be accommodating to the needs of their visitors where possible.
    We intended to visit for breakfast, however, our lengthy wait meant that instead we?d be having lunch. (The coffee counter outside tied us over!) Many options were available for different dietary needs and hunger levels ranging from a light salad to something from the grill or a seafood option. We chose (and thoroughly enjoyed):
    -the Handmade Marrickville Burrata with brioche, olive crusts, heirloom tomatoes, basil and fresh mint which balanced the creaminess of the burrata with a light and fresh tomato based salad
    -the pea parmesan strozzapreti with wild mushroom which was very generous in its serving size and a strong mushroom and parmesan flavour throughout the dish
    - Oakey Reserve Grain Fed Tenderloin served with a delectable bernaise sauce and crisp hand cut potato chips
    -the succulent free Range Bannockburn Chicken that fell off the bone with broccolini and buttery baby potatoes
    The staff were also very accommodating to our thirst levels in frequently offering us drinks and making suggestions for wines to match the selections of our meals. Although we did not order dessert, there were many options available from the ?tea lady? who roams the floor with a cart filled with freshly baked patisserie items and tea and coffee to refill those empty cups.
  • Prawn Star Cairns

    Seafood Cairns, QLD
    Recommended by a friends, The Prawn star is a trawler that sells platters of fresh seafood; prawns, oysters, bugs, crayfish or
    combos. We got a plate of beautifully fresh tiger prawns and seafood sauce, as well as a glass of wine. A good option for your lunch or dinner as it is open until 8pm! Ranging from $25 - $80. You have to shell your own, but that's part of the fun, right?
  • Tha Fish

    Restaurants Cairns, QLD
    This seafood restaurant is in the pier of the marina. There's a number of restaurants along this pier, but this one was quite busy comparatively, so presuming that translates to it being good, we decided to go. Unfortunately it was full, but the lovely man said to put our name down and come back in 45 mins. We went for a drink
    and did just that. The menu has starters, entrees, mains and a fish selection. We shared the whitebait, lightly dusted and was nice start to the evening. We all couldn't go past the fish option where you select a fish and your choice of cooking. One of us got the trout, with a lovely Indian flavour which was the staff suggestion - incredible. I went for a barramundi which sat atop udon noodles in a broth and lotus chips, this had gentle flavours and a lovely combination. My friend also had the barramundi with a butter sauce and snow peas and potatoes. The fish was beautifully cooked and our dinner was outstanding. Staff were excellent, particularly the front of house who was extremely accomodating and friendly. The waitstaff were excellent and gave good suggestions. Prices are reasonable for seafood. Worth a visit.
  • The Pier Bar

    Restaurants Cairns, QLD
    Went here for food and drinks on a Friday night. It was pumping with customers of all ages. We had some wines and an amazing salted caramel espresso martini. One of the most amazing drinks was their 'mini beer shot', liquor topped with white chocolate. We also ordered food - the barramundi, a little lacking in flavour and presentation. The Caesar Wrap was excellent. Food wasn't too pricy. They also had live music on Friday night.
  • Bondi Trattoria

    Restaurants Bondi Beach, NSW
    Bondi Trattoria has occupied the southern end of Campbell Parade, Bondi Beach for many years. It was starting to look a little tired, until a recent change in ownership and revamp of the dining space and menu. The new owners, both coming with impressive resumes. Joe Pavlovich runs the kitchen and has experience listing the likes of est. and, most recently the executive chef for the Mangan Group. Alasdair France was formerly head of operation for the Hilton and the Mangan Group taking care of the front of house. This wealth of experience is on display through the quality food and impeccable service.

    This dynamic Kiwi duo, branched out to do their own thing. Like many Kiwi's before them, Bondi is the location, where they have chosen to start their own venture. The restaurant has a classy upgrade to enhance the stunning outlook over the Iconic Bondi Beach, with alfresco dining, an open dining room and semi open kitchen.

    The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, with decent portions and, as the name suggests, primarily serving Italian fare. However, with a wealth of experience and travel under their belt, the menu also has a Euro Mediterranean influence with a modern approach. Pavlovich focuses on quality, by using local seasonal ingredients, with each dish oozing flavour.

    Our visit at night, dining in a group with great company, was something special. This allowed us to sample much of the menu. We were eased into the evening with some social lubricant. The drinks list was full of quality; some Australian Italian style wine, boutique beer and amazing cocktails. Their version of the Negroni was very enjoyable. They also allow for BYO at $10 per bottle.

    Bondi Tratt has a 'specials' board to ensure there is always something exciting and new. The Antipasti(starters) were impressive, with me again salivating whist writing this post. A must was the crispy salmon winglets. Get hands on! Grab a piece, smear it in garlic sauce and have the salmon melt in your mouth. The diamond clams with black pepper vinaigrette, a great seaside option. The roasted bugs with garlic and chilli butter and buffalo mozzarella, this dish earmarked to be the new signature dish. The Bondi Tratt's take on tarama dip was full of flavour with bottarga, lemon oil fennel pollen and served with flat bread, this another favourite.

    The salads and vegetables are great for sharing. The pickled pumpkin salad is nicely balanced with flavour and texture. The creamy raw broccoli salad with salted ricotta, tarragon aioli, with walnuts, apple and onion for added texture, a flavoursome way to eat broccoli. Another option for sharing is the pizza, with the restaurant ensuring the toppings are plentiful.

    It wouldn't be a trattoria without pasta, and this they have. They even have gluten free options. Staying true to the original menu, Joe has kept the original signature dish of angel hair pasta with fresh tuna. I do a bit of diving and spearfishing and can attest to the local seasonal produce, with the use of blue swimmer crab and cuttlefish spaghetti dish. A tasty pasta, with the seafood nicely prepared. The casarecce pasta with slow cooked beef cheeks was rich with flavour, a good choice for a cold winters night.

    We had to channel our reserve stomach for dessert. The tiramisu was full of suprises, each spoonful with a hidden bit of flavour and texture, with toasted hazelnuts, puffed rice or dehydrated berries. The olive oil and lemon cake with candied cumquat is a nice option, if you are looking for a dessert that is not too sweet. The croation style brulee was delicious and silky smooth.

    Bondi Beach is usually a summer destination, however I enjoy the beach year round and winter is the perfect time to enjoy Bondi without the crowd. The Bondi Beach winter festival is also running with a ferriswheel lit up at night and an ice skating rink. Why not make it an excuse to visit Bondi Beach and to enjoy a great meal at the rejuvinated Bondi Trattoria.

  • Vivo Bar And Grill

    Restaurants Palm Cove, QLD
    This place is on the esplanade and has a wonderful menu! So many choices and lots are inspired by asian flavours. We ordered the pancake - full of greens, herbs and prawns. Huge size, very flavoursome and value for money. We also ordered the special - a healthy egg white omelette with a beetroot relish, enoki mushrooms, a slice of rye and greens - this was awesome. We also got a few juices (these were expensive, about $9-$10). Staff were friendly and service was extremely fast, which was good considering that there was heaps of people there. Worth a visit if if in area.
  • Portobello

    Restaurants Palm Cove, QLD
    A restaurant on the esplanade selling breakfast, lunch and dinner. We were super hungry after our flight and went here for dinner. We all ordered a protein dish - lamb shanks, barramundi and chicken. All meals were perfectly cooked, amazing taste and came out very quickly. Quite expensive, but it is a holiday town.