Australia Food Guide, Restaurants, Eating Guide and Reviews - HGW
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Red Zucchini, The
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WARM & HOMELY

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06 May 2015
The fare here is standard Italian with a varied selection of pizza, pasta, meat and fish dishes. Three of us dined and we started with a shared serve of bruschetta. It comprised four smallish pieces with lashings of ripe tomatoes and parsley and smothered in olive oil. For mains we choose two pasta dishes – one from the specials menu – and a vegetarian pizza. No complaints about any of that; it was all fresh and tasty and brought to the table direct from the oven: piping hot and steaming; perfect for a chilly eve. My salmon and avocado fettuccini was creamy with succulent pieces of salmon. The veg pizza was a winner too, with its thin base and loaded up with all those crispy ingredients. We ended with a shared tiramisu which was rich and sweet, but a bit too small for three people. Service from our pretty waitress was friendly, efficient and helpful. Our booked table was in a suitable spot in the middle of the restaurant and was ready and waiting for us when we arrived. Orders were quickly taken and drinks and food came out promptly and in the right order. One gets the impression that this is family restaurant with mom being the manager, dad running the kitchen and daughter doing the waitressing. So when you walk into this place you'll be warmly greeted and made to feel welcome. And the whole show hums like a well-oiled machine - the result, one imagines, of many years of experience in this industry. The restaurant itself is small but it’s been tastefully decorated in warm ochre and red colours with quaint wooden furniture. That gives it a warm, homely atmosphere despite being on such a busy road. We were comfortable and relaxed throughout our meal. Acoustics were fine, maybe that was because the place was only about half full. Menu is well laid out and easy to read in the strong lighting. Toilets are outside the restaurant in the commercial part of the building, requiring you to grab a key and go up a short flight of stairs. They were clean but had no hand towels or even a dryer. With our Ent Bk discount of 25% (up to max $30) we paid a modest $80 (including a small tip), which given the quality of the overall dining experience was solid value for money. Just be aware that if you book through Dimmi, they may not accept your Ent Bk voucher. You'll find Red Zucchini on Military Road, across from the Hayden Orpheum cinema. Parking is always a problem, but this time we were lucky to get something in nearby Parraween Rd.  
Amount spent$27 / pax
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Cape Comorin
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WHAT A PLEASANT SURPRISE!

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22 Apr 2015
The biggest surprise about this place was how empty it was. When we arrived at 6.45pm on a Wed evening, there were only two other occupied tables, one inside and one outside. Over the course of the evening a few other tables filled up but it was never more than 25% full. I say that I’m surprised because this is one of the best Indian restaurants we’ve eaten at lately and it’s right up there among the better ones on the Nth Shore. The food is fresh and tasty and served in generous portions. Our solitary waiter/manager was friendly, efficient and polite. The moment we walked through the door we were made to feel welcome. Our order was promptly taken and everything came out quickly and in the right order. Three of us dined and we ordered a selection of dishes including samosas ($8 for three), the masala dosai pancake ($15) spinach lamb, otherwise known as lamb saag ($20), butter chicken ($19), basmati rice and lashings of soft naan bread. We ended with my fav gulab jamun and mango kulfi desserts at $7 each. Just couldn’t fault any dish and everything was so enticing that it would be impossible to single out any one for special mention. The meat in both the lamb and chicken dishes was succulent and tender and the flavours and sauces just the right strength. The restaurant itself is an inviting place in a modest, unpretentious way, with colourful wall decorations and tables neatly laid with crisp white napery, bright red serviettes and stainless steel cutlery. And we were pleasantly comfortable at our table at the back next to the window. The menu is well laid out and easy to read in the strong light. As CC is located in a little shopping centre, toilets are outside the restaurant in a rather drab corridor but at least they’re clean and well stocked. In fact the whole centre looks a little underutilised and dreary with the ubiquitous “For Lease” signs dotted all over. But don’t let that discourage you from visiting this fine restaurant. And it’s excellent value for money too, in these austere times. With our 25% Ent Bk discount voucher (up to a max $25) we paid a reasonable $80 for two beers, two starters, two mains, naan bread, rice and two desserts. You just can’t complain about that. The only drawback, is the difficult parking situation. Military Rd is of course impossible, so we tried Parraween Street, which is parallel, but ended driving around in circles for about half an hour before eventually securing a space in the council car park behind the Hayden Orpheum Cinema. And of course, that’s the prob: the cinema-goers taking up all the nearby parking.  
Must tries
samosa
Amount spent$9 / pax
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Bondi's Best
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Hums like a well-oiled machine

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16 Apr 2015
The eponymous “Best” is not an exaggeration though, because this has to be one of the best restaurants we’ve eaten at lately.
 
 The food is outstanding: fresh, tasty and beautifully presented to the table on stylish white crockery. Service is efficient, polite and thoroughly professional and friendly and the whole place hums like a well-oiled machine, even though it hasn’t been here very long!
 
 The venue is charming, with small tables neatly laid with crisp napery and smart cutlery. Décor is minimalist yet stylish and modern, with slate floors, wooden tables and wicker chairs. Despite that acoustics are acceptable as tables are well spaced out.
 
 Four of us dined on the Sat evening of Easter and everything just went off flawlessly. We were warmly greeted on arrival and made to feel welcome immediately. Our booked table was ready and waiting in a decent spot in the middle of the restaurant.
 
 We decided to skip entrees and went straight into the main dishes. I ordered beer battered fish, ($28) which was succulent and tender. The vegetable side dish I ordered with cauliflower ($10) was a perfect accompaniment along with the warm, crispy chips, lemon and tartar sauce. I couldn’t have been happier with my meal. I just wished that there had been more of it. Everyone else raved about their food, not one complaint!
 
 Only negative I guess would have to be the rather steep prices and smallish helpings. All up we paid almost $200 that’s a hefty $50 a head for just a main meal and a side dish. (And I suspect that the prices we pd for the main dishes were higher than the prices shown on the website – time to update guys!) . We brought our own bottle of wine because the restaurant hasn’t been “licenced” by the nanny state yet! So I imagine that we were charged for corkage but what it was I can’t say. That such a smart, sophisticated restaurant doesn’t have a liquor “licence” makes you wonder why we still tolerate prohibition-era liquor restrictions.
 
 There are no toilets inside the restaurant; for that privilege you need to step outside to use the public ones just behind the Harris Farm Market shop. On a rainy night, you’ll get wet and I never like using public toilets especially when I’m paying premium restaurant prices.
 
 Overall, though, Bondi’s “Best” is a superior dining experience on every level and I just love the vibrant buzz of the new “Hub”, Bondi’s latest eating and retail centre, where the old Hakoah Club (may it rest in peace) once stood. Even parking presented no problems near the top of Hall Street.
 
 
 
Amount spent$50 / pax