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Out About Foodie

I like to hang out in Sydney's inner and Eastern suburbs discovering the newest/best restaurants & cafes. Also enjoy getting to Melbourne occassionally to check out their dining scene. Good produce, great cooking and efficient service a must for any dining establishment.

Joined 04 October 2007 Surry Hills, NSW

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Latest Reviews View all 237 reviews

  • Frankies Top Shop

    Cafes St Kilda West, VIC
    So pleased Frankie's has just opened in St Kilda West. Nice cafe, good service, great quality food and coffee. They also do 'take home' food as well including salads, pasta's and pies. I can highly recommend the bacon and egg roll, really nice bread bun, right mix of egg and bacon, probably one of the nicest tasting I've had in a long time. Highly recommend for breakfast, lunch, coffee or takehome.
  • Stokehouse

    Restaurants St Kilda West, VIC
    I was a huge fan of old Stokehouse and it was sorely missed when it closed after a fire a couple of years ago. The old Stokehouse had that 'Hamptons beach house' type feel plus great food and service. The great food and service of the new Stokehouse remain, but it's the building and fitout I'm still having trouble coming to terms with. From the outside the building looks like it just doesn't fit the location, something that should be in a much more urban setting. It will probably soften over time once the plants grow and it ages. It's inside the restaurant I really had problems with. The building looks so large but when you get to the actual restaurant upstairs it feels small for the size of the building. As if the kitchen and toilets were designed to be larger than the restaurant itself. I'm also not a fan of the 'natural' wood up the walls and on the ceiling (looks very unfinished, clunky and cheap) nor the 'burnt wood' effect on the windows - if you touch the black window frames the black soot comes off onto your hands as the window frames are literably burnt wood. It's very on-trend right now but completely impractical. A friend recently visited the Stokehouse and accidently brushed up against the window in his white shirt, you can imagine how that worked out. So will we go back? A good quesiton. The good news for the Stokehouse is all our friends are talking about it, the bad news is majority are negative in their sentiment, particularly to the building and interior. Perhaps we'll get over it and understand the vision on the architect and owners. It will be intersting in five years to go back to this review and determine if my view has softened. For now I'm conflicted, will probably go back again but if the food and service falter in any way then the Stokehouse will relegated to the history books as the setting has certainly missed the mark in my view.
  • Bannisters Pavilion

    Hotels Mollymook, NSW
    Just had the weekend at Bannisters Pavilion. It?s such a nice place and has great potential but feel I need to share our experience. As without some improvements it will never live up to its true potential.

    Let?s kick off with the good.

    Interiors ? loved the contemporary finish and look. Relaxed Classic would be my description, with a hint of Scandinavian.
    Feeling of luxury and quality. The owners have clearly spent money to get a high quality look and it?s evident. From the reception through to the rooms.
    Location - whilst not on the beach it is only 50 metres away and 2 mins walk to the local shops
    Pool and bar area ? feels like a modern day club, smart and fun ? not what you?d expect in an Australian country town.
    Staff ? friendly.

    But there are some issues that do need attention:

    Noise ? we stayed in room 203 and it is directly under the space used to serve breakfast. From 7 am all you can hear is staff and guests dragging chairs and tables across the travertine and then the barrista banging the coffee machine. We complained after the first night and whilst reception was polite they didn?t offer a solution or seem that concerned (made me think we?re not the first to complain about this issue). We experienced the same thing the next morning but worse than the day prior. We complained again at check-out and Meg the manager seemed genuinely concerned but knew nothing about the day priors complaint. Until this is fixed I?d avoid rooms 201, 202, 203 and 204 which are directly under the breakfast space.

    Breakfast ? disappointing. Staff are friendly and plentiful but no one is bothered to set a table. So you arrive having to set your own table. Cutlery, napkins, glasses, salt and pepper shakers etc. It creates the look of a cheap café, not a welcoming place for breakfast (and there are not enough salt and pepper shakers so people wander from table to table borrowing it off each other). It would take very little effort to set tables for guests and it would make a big difference to the experience. The good: coffee, fruit, cereal and yogurt ? average is the lack of bread choices, the hot food (bain-marie), pastries limited to croissants. Overall it doesn?t match with the quality positioning of the property.

    Poolside ? Whilst the pool is great the choice of furniture is just silly. The beds have no wheels and weigh a ton so you need two people to move them ? but most people just couldn?t or didn?t?, choosing to drag them across the travertine creating an unholy noise.

    Finishes ? I think the architect needs to go through the builders defects list again. Clearly un-grouted tiles in the shower, uneven tiles above the bath and door surrounds with huge gaps between it and the walls do nothing to support the quality positioning of the property.

    Wifi ? drops out all the time.

    Would we stay at Bannisters Pavillions again? If they do something about noise carrying down to the floor below and improve on breakfast, then yes. If not then sadly no.

    It?s clear the owners have spent a lot of money on this property to create a great look ? but it?s let down by some things that can easily be fixed ? if they do then it could make Bannisters a must visit but for now if your choose to visit then proceed with caution.

    Oh, I must call out that Meg on reception was a joy to deal with at check-out and kindly provided us a $100 credit because of the noise issue ? a nice touch. (but would have preferred they fix the noise issue).

Latest Comments View all 11 comments

  • I recently had a weekend at Wolgan Valley. The drive up on a Friday over the mountain was a little tedious but once at Wolgan Valley you start to relax. The final 15 kms of road is dirt (being upgraded and likely to be tarred by late 2013) but is an ok drive in any car. When you arrive at the gate you park your car and will be ferried to the resort in a 4wd. This is definitely a luxury eco-type resort with suites all separated from each other at the base of the property, a short walk to the main building.

    Overall the suites are outstanding. Really well appointed with a beautiful open fire place (gas) and large walk in wardrobe space. Only criticism is the floor in the bathroom was very cold which didn?t have any under-floor heating. A small issue really in the scheme of things.

    We opted to mountain bike ride and horse ride which was not too strenuous. I recommend you book in your activities a few days before you arrive to avoid missing out.

    The day-spa is very good. The massage therapist was well trained, the spa-rooms very private (with your own shower/change area) and the relaxation area afterwards with tea and fresh fruit a nice touch.

    The meals are good, but to be honest I was a little disappointed. The deserts we?re woeful. They need a good desert chef for sure. The mains we?re ok but nothing that special. I couldn?t quite pin-point exactly what was wrong, other than I think for the price you?re paying I expected better. Nothing really wowed.

    The staff were friendly and non obtrusive. The service in the restaurants was patchy; one night we had perfect service, the next night a young lady who seemed out of her depth. We had to ask for the wine list three times and when we did order it arrived after the entrée.

    My key criticism is the check-out. For some reason they have everyone checking out at the same time, 11.00 am. It would be so much more logical to stagger the check-outs, as they don?t have enough staff for a mass exodus. We waited 45 minutes for a buggy to collect us and our luggage (after calling them three times). A rather annoying ending to a pleasant weekend.
    • The private pool was a bit cool for swimming, the horse riding was really mild
  • fast becoming my favourite place eat in the neighborhood. I'll never say no to an invitation here. the martinis are good. the duck terrine divine. this is a great place to dine :)
    • Good recommendation Cee Zee, going tonight with a bunch of workmates, will let you know how it goes.
  • Icebergs is the best place to take non-Sydneysiders to pretty much sum up Sydney during the course of one lunch. The interiors and more particularly the exterior view is amazing, flashy and sleek. The crowd is "beautiful", over-dressed and extraverted. The waiters are models who look unlikely to have ever tried the food judging by their waistsizes. The meals are expensive and bite-size. But the overall feel is that the place values looks over substance.

    Maybe it was the inability of the waiters to place meals in the correct locations or deliver glasses of wine because "they forgot"; or the inadequate nightclub-style after-thought toilets that makes you question whether this is fine dining or just a fine view at fine-dining price tag. And call me a little old-fashioned but I really prefer my waiters to be able to speak English. It is cute and "authentic" to have French waiters but when you can't understand a word they say it is tres naff.

    Icebergs is best enjoyed with a great group of friends who are content to enjoy lots of laughs and a great view...particularly if one of them pulls out the Platinum Amex and pays for your "Sydney experience".