Reviews



Sicilian @ Parramatta, Parramatta

Restaurants, Italian, Pizza, Family Dining, Good For Groups

Overall 5.6  175

8 Recommended

Food  8      Ambience  8      Service  9      Value  7     


I went there with friends last night and I was trepidatious. This restaurant's been there forever and my last visit, about 20 years ago (yes, that's right) was less than wonderful. I got the impression they had a big vat of tomato sauce out the back and that sauce went into everything.

I was so pleasantly surprised I can't tell you. It's a big restaurant with a big menu - things that always worry me. Two friends had the seafood platter to share, two shared a pizza and I had the haloumi insalata (salad). The pizza's cooked in a big traditional brick oven and was delicious with just the right amount of topping. The crust had polenta in it which made it nice and grainy. I didn't taste the seafood platter but it looked terrific and was beautifully presented. It came with chips which is unusual. My salad was a generous portion with a large serving of grilled haloumi.

The decor is quirky Italian and the huge lounges outside under cover are novel and look comfy. The service was just right and friendly. I'd made the booking and my friends were so impressed they're planning return visits for various occasions.

My only suggestion for improvement is to modernise the look of the menu. It was dark and big and overloaded. The description of the seafood platter looked like something out of the seventies - whereas the dish itself was lovely.

As to value, some things were expensive, my salad was about $23 which was reasonable. Considering the whole package I think the prices were about right.

Feb 16, 2014

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Restaurants, Chinese, Citibank Dining Program, Licensed, Serves Dinner

Overall 6.1  53

6 Average

Food  6      Ambience  3      Service  10      Value  5     


We went there with my Husband's friends on a Saturday night. Little did we know that there were 2 parties going on at the time. The place was very noisy, which when you're meeting new people and are a "low talker" like me, makes life very uncomfortable.

Firstly, the service was excellent. Even though the place was packed we at no time felt neglected. The menu... I don't know am I getting old and jaded? It just seemed to be pretty standard fare for a suburban Chinese restaurant. Some items were priced way out of our price range.

We had spring roll entree and 4 dishes between 6 of us. The Billy's Chicken (which I don't see on their online menu) was the best dish. Everything else was very nice and there were no complaints - just nothing new or exciting. I see other reviewers have commented on the ambience and maybe on another night without so many people or parties it might have an ambience but I certainly didn't feel it that night.

The total bill came to $330 including 2 bottles of wine and dessert, so about $55 per head. You can make your own mind up about that.

Feb 14, 2014

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Peppermill Cafe, Milsons Point

Cafes, Modern Australian, BYO, Licensed, Serves Breakfast

Overall 7.7  12

9.2 Highly Recommended

Food  9      Coffee  9      Ambience  9      Service  10      Value  9     


It was a cold and rainy night. We were staying at the Vibe Hotel in Milson's Point and looking for somewhere for dinner. We'd looked on the internet and saw this café but it was closed for dinner but walking past we noticed the lights on so went to investigate.

Apparently it's recently changed hands and the new owners had been open for dinner for the last 3 weeks. First impressions, the tables had black tablecloths and no paper. The space was warm and the tea-lights inviting. The menu was small with a specials board.

We just had mains - I had the Kingfish special. It was beautifully cooked with crispy skin and succulent flesh, nicely teamed with braised leeks & potato. Hubby had the calamari pasta. Fresh & tender with a hint of chilli and just the right serving size. For dessert the ginger rhubarb and the apple pudding.

Say Hi to Celia. She was our waitress for the evening but she does everything. We went back for breakfast the next morning and she was there again. She's Italian and she makes a great coffee. Definitely go for breakfast. The pancakes are large and fluffy. The value is far better than Ripples down near Luna Park and the quality and variety of the food is higher.

It's hidden away in a little back lane but take the time to seek it out.

Jun 30, 2013

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Cafes, Burger, International, Modern Australian, Family Dining

Overall 7.8  69

9.4 Highly Recommended

Food  9      Coffee  9      Ambience  10      Service  9      Value  10     


This was fun and different with lots of wood (you can smell the wood when you walk past the cafe). There were "Hippies" with long hair (brushed back into neat ponytails) and questionable teeth (and they're the staff). The place was rocking with young people and back-packers. The food is simple and fresh with ample servings and the value is great. The fresh bread is delightful. We bought some of their Mate` chai tea leaves, which we've since sampled and it's spicy and fresh.

Jun 05, 2013

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Solitary, Leura

Restaurants, Modern Australian, Family Dining, Child Friendly, Licensed

Overall 6.1  73

8.8 Highly Recommended

Food  9      Ambience  9      Service  9      Value  8     


I note the other reviews - particularly the one about what happens if you stay to 9.30pm. Maybe that's why our experience was so good. We booked for 6.30pm. Service was prompt & friendly, the teeny soup was a nice surprise, the food was delightful - we had the soft shell crab and pork hock & rabbit terrine for entree. Yes the servings are small but I think just right when you're planning to have 3 courses, which we were.

Mains were the melt in the mouth pork belly and the "cured margrette of duck" (I have yet to find out what a "pithivier" is). Both were delicious and beautifully presented. Dessert was the belgian chocolate tart and for the life of me I can't remember what mine was. That says more about me than the restaurant. It would have been nice if the restaurant had been BYO. Also, my pet peeve - paper on the table cloth. Unless you have kids with crayons it's an insult. Ambiance with the wood fire was nice. Altogether a very pleasant experience.

Jun 05, 2013

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Sicilian @ Parramatta, Parramatta

Restaurants, Italian, Pizza, Family Dining, Good For Groups

Overall 5.6  175

8 Recommended

Food  8      Ambience  8      Service  9      Value  7     


I went there with friends last night and I was trepidatious. This restaurant's been there forever and my last visit, about 20 years ago (yes, that's right) was less than wonderful. I got the impression they had a big vat of tomato sauce out the back and that sauce went into everything.

I was so pleasantly surprised I can't tell you. It's a big restaurant with a big menu - things that always worry me. Two friends had the seafood platter to share, two shared a pizza and I had the haloumi insalata (salad). The pizza's cooked in a big traditional brick oven and was delicious with just the right amount of topping. The crust had polenta in it which made it nice and grainy. I didn't taste the seafood platter but it looked terrific and was beautifully presented. It came with chips which is unusual. My salad was a generous portion with a large serving of grilled haloumi.

The decor is quirky Italian and the huge lounges outside under cover are novel and look comfy. The service was just right and friendly. I'd made the booking and my friends were so impressed they're planning return visits for various occasions.

My only suggestion for improvement is to modernise the look of the menu. It was dark and big and overloaded. The description of the seafood platter looked like something out of the seventies - whereas the dish itself was lovely.

As to value, some things were expensive, my salad was about $23 which was reasonable. Considering the whole package I think the prices were about right.

Feb 16, 2014

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Restaurants, Chinese, Citibank Dining Program, Licensed, Serves Dinner

Overall 6.1  53

6 Average

Food  6      Ambience  3      Service  10      Value  5     


We went there with my Husband's friends on a Saturday night. Little did we know that there were 2 parties going on at the time. The place was very noisy, which when you're meeting new people and are a "low talker" like me, makes life very uncomfortable.

Firstly, the service was excellent. Even though the place was packed we at no time felt neglected. The menu... I don't know am I getting old and jaded? It just seemed to be pretty standard fare for a suburban Chinese restaurant. Some items were priced way out of our price range.

We had spring roll entree and 4 dishes between 6 of us. The Billy's Chicken (which I don't see on their online menu) was the best dish. Everything else was very nice and there were no complaints - just nothing new or exciting. I see other reviewers have commented on the ambience and maybe on another night without so many people or parties it might have an ambience but I certainly didn't feel it that night.

The total bill came to $330 including 2 bottles of wine and dessert, so about $55 per head. You can make your own mind up about that.

Feb 14, 2014

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Peppermill Cafe, Milsons Point

Cafes, Modern Australian, BYO, Licensed, Serves Breakfast

Overall 7.7  12

9.2 Highly Recommended

Food  9      Coffee  9      Ambience  9      Service  10      Value  9     


It was a cold and rainy night. We were staying at the Vibe Hotel in Milson's Point and looking for somewhere for dinner. We'd looked on the internet and saw this café but it was closed for dinner but walking past we noticed the lights on so went to investigate.

Apparently it's recently changed hands and the new owners had been open for dinner for the last 3 weeks. First impressions, the tables had black tablecloths and no paper. The space was warm and the tea-lights inviting. The menu was small with a specials board.

We just had mains - I had the Kingfish special. It was beautifully cooked with crispy skin and succulent flesh, nicely teamed with braised leeks & potato. Hubby had the calamari pasta. Fresh & tender with a hint of chilli and just the right serving size. For dessert the ginger rhubarb and the apple pudding.

Say Hi to Celia. She was our waitress for the evening but she does everything. We went back for breakfast the next morning and she was there again. She's Italian and she makes a great coffee. Definitely go for breakfast. The pancakes are large and fluffy. The value is far better than Ripples down near Luna Park and the quality and variety of the food is higher.

It's hidden away in a little back lane but take the time to seek it out.

Jun 30, 2013

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Cafes, Burger, International, Modern Australian, Family Dining

Overall 7.8  69

9.4 Highly Recommended

Food  9      Coffee  9      Ambience  10      Service  9      Value  10     


This was fun and different with lots of wood (you can smell the wood when you walk past the cafe). There were "Hippies" with long hair (brushed back into neat ponytails) and questionable teeth (and they're the staff). The place was rocking with young people and back-packers. The food is simple and fresh with ample servings and the value is great. The fresh bread is delightful. We bought some of their Mate` chai tea leaves, which we've since sampled and it's spicy and fresh.

Jun 05, 2013

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Solitary, Leura

Restaurants, Modern Australian, Family Dining, Child Friendly, Licensed

Overall 6.1  73

8.8 Highly Recommended

Food  9      Ambience  9      Service  9      Value  8     


I note the other reviews - particularly the one about what happens if you stay to 9.30pm. Maybe that's why our experience was so good. We booked for 6.30pm. Service was prompt & friendly, the teeny soup was a nice surprise, the food was delightful - we had the soft shell crab and pork hock & rabbit terrine for entree. Yes the servings are small but I think just right when you're planning to have 3 courses, which we were.

Mains were the melt in the mouth pork belly and the "cured margrette of duck" (I have yet to find out what a "pithivier" is). Both were delicious and beautifully presented. Dessert was the belgian chocolate tart and for the life of me I can't remember what mine was. That says more about me than the restaurant. It would have been nice if the restaurant had been BYO. Also, my pet peeve - paper on the table cloth. Unless you have kids with crayons it's an insult. Ambiance with the wood fire was nice. Altogether a very pleasant experience.

Jun 05, 2013

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MezeMe, Rouse Hill

Cafes, French, Mediterranean, Moroccan, BYO

Overall 8.2  57

8.3 Highly Recommended

Food  9      Ambience  7      Service  9      Value  8     


Went for an early Valentine's Day dinner for the first time last night. Firstly, they're a cafe and they don't pretend to be anything else. They're not a restaurant nor a fine-dining experience. Bare tables, hard plastic chairs on a tilt on rough paving. Having said that - the place was jumping! It was a balmy Saturday night and it was packed with a mixture of casual and formally dressed patrons. The staff were attentive, knowledgeable and friendly (more about them later).

We chose not to go for the meze plate but went for the traditional option of entree and main. Our almond chicken and stuffed squid were excellent. For mains we had the seafood tagine and the lamb shank tagine. Beautifully fresh with delicate flavours and hubby reported his lamb was melt-in-the mouth delicious.

Just one little itsy bitsy thought. It might have been nice to have a specials board. I often think, when I see a commercially done printed menu, that the chefs must get bored cooking the same thing every day. I'm a jazzercise instructor and if I had to teach the same class every day, at the end of the year both I and my customers would be topping ourselves. You'd think that they might like to take advantage of seasonal produce and do something different for a change. Again, I tell myself, it's a cafe. And it has only been open for a year.

Service was timely with a nice gap between courses. My only complaint was that the staff whipped my husband's entree plate out from under him before I'd finished mine. That made me feel a little rushed. Not a big issue and better than sitting round for ages with empty plates uncollected. And, we weren't forgotten at coffee time (one of my big beefs with restaurants where service is great right up to the time you'd like a coffee and then you become invisible)!

In regard to value the prices are about what you'd pay for a good pub meal these days. If we'd gone the meze plate option it would have been cheaper.

We peeked at the breakfast menu which had a lot of unusual mediterranean dishes which beats the usual pancake, raisin toast, eggs and bacon type options so we're definitely giving that a go next time.

They've started with a bang and I really hope they can maintain their excellent standards of service and food which is sorely needed in this area.

Feb 10, 2013

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Saigon Hills, Castle Hill

Restaurants, Asian, Vietnamese, Serves Takeaway, Menulog Delivery and Pickup

Overall 7.8  18

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful

8.5 Highly Recommended

Food  9      Ambience  7      Service  9      Value  9     


We went here on a Sunday night on a whim. I'm not an expert on Vietnamese cuisine so all I can say is that to my palate it was excellent, fresh, unusual, different!

We tried out the 333 Vietnamese beer which was a pale ale. Very nice. We had stuffed chicken wings and quail for entree and we shared the diy rice paper with the beef cooked in a lemongrass broth.

The decor is soothing maroon walls with carpet, which was nice, no hard surfaces for the sound to bounce off. My only complaint (and its not really a complaint) was the piano musak. What about some traditional Vietnamese music?

They had paper over the tablecloths (my pet hate) but after I saw the mess we made, understandable.

I agree with previous reviewers about the service which was just right and very helpful. We're definitely going back.

Nov 19, 2012

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Avari, Baulkham Hills

Restaurants, Indian, BYO, Food Delivery, Serves Dinner

Overall 6.2  16

8.8 Highly Recommended

Food  7      Ambience  9      Service  10      Value  9     


I've lived in the area for twenty or more years and this is the first time we've been to this restaurant. To be fair, in this area you could go to a different one every day for a year and still not cover every one. How do restaurants survive?

It was Saturday night and there were only a few tables occupied although there were plenty of take-away orders. I loved the interior. The decor was bright and the atmosphere was warm and welcoming, with Real tableclothes and, even better, Real napkins. Big Tick. The service was prompt and friendly. In regard to the food what can I say? It was very nice Indian food but it didn't blow my socks off.

The pastry was a bit thick on the samosas. We had a goat curry which was delicious, Prawns in a coconut curry and the paneer with spinach. It was extremely good value with the BYO and $80 covered entree, 3 mains, raita, chai tea and Kulfi dessert. The owner came and chatted with us, which was nice, but nobody could tell us the story of the picture on the wall depicting half naked women getting water from a well. This restaurant deserves to be better patronised.

Oct 14, 2012

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T2, Hornsby

Tea Rooms, Ample or Convenient Parking, Free Parking, Off Street Parking

Overall 7.2  2

9.2 Highly Recommended

Food  8      Drinks  10      Ambience  9      Service  10      Value  9     


Met my sisters for a high tea. At $16 per person it was great value and we couldn't finish the food. Hubby appreciated the doggy bag. I love T2 tea and they had all the great flavours. We were given a large pot each. The crockery is lovely and quirky and the carved wood chairs were novel. Although its in a shopping centre it does its best to creat atmosphere. The staff were lovely. I'd recommend it to anyone.

Jun 28, 2012

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Ripples at Milson Point, Milsons Point

Restaurants, Cafes, Modern Australian, Seafood, BYO

Overall 7.1  160

6.8 Recommended

Food  4      Ambience  9      Service  9      Value  5     


Has this restaurant changed hands? We've been here a few times and love it. However, I confess to a feeling of slight disappointment this time. We went for breakfast and, for once, didn't need to line up.

Firstly, the breakfast menu appears to have shrunk. Could be my imagination, however, there were no pancakes and we had particularly been looking forward to pancakes. My husband ordered the french toast as an alternative. It was supposedly served with berries. And it was, about 6 very small berries. I ordered the Ripples breakfast (eggs bacon beans mushrooms etc) which was nice but "tinned" champignons?

My husband was unable to order the multi fruit juice he'd enjoyed last time as it was no longer on the menu. Being unable to order a large coffee is also a bit of a downer but I can cope. Everything else was great, view, ambience, service, all good.

Jun 28, 2012

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