Golden Lotus Vegan – Newtown NSW Restaurant Review

I ate here last night with a recently vegetarian friend. She had initially wanted to go to Vina Vegan but as they’re closed on a Tuesday, and following a thorough review of other online food blogs we chose Golden Lotus instead. Vietnamese vegan food. What could go wrong?

No review of an inner West restaurant is complete without a complaint about the parking situation. I spent around 25 minutes on a weekday evening trying to find a park for my small car, through narrow alleys and one way streets, to end up in a 2-hour park 10 minutes away from the restaurant. My friend had a similar problem. In retrospect we might have had better luck trying to aim for a 7PM start, as that is when most of the clearways on the main strip stop being clearways.

Golden Lotus doesn’t do bookings, and we were allowed in after a short wait outside. It was jam packed, and we found ourselves sitting shoulder to shoulder with other diners. It really didn’t look like they had made any effort to support social distancing within the restaurant. Maybe they had missed the memo?

We had the Vegan Duck Pancakes ($8.80), the Stir Fried Mushroom With Combination Veggies ($18.80), and the Golden Lotus Combination Hot Pot ($17.80).

Around 30 minutes after ordering one of the staff came to tell us that the combination hot pot and stir fried mushrooms were quite similar, and that we should choose another dish instead. We had another dish that we had had in mind and asked to change to that, but she returned a minute later and told us that the meal was already cooked and it wasn’t possible. Thanks.

The food itself was a disappointment. The vegan duck pancakes had crispy protein and the right flavours, and I guess I grew to like it considering what came next. It turns out that the waitress was absolutely right about the combination hot pot and the stir fried mushrooms with combination veggies. They tasted extremely similar and I think could have been mixed together with no one the wiser. The dishes weren’t to my taste, and my vegetarian food colleague did not like them either.

There’s not much more for me to add. I didn’t enjoy Golden Lotus, and neither did my vegetarian friend. I wouldn’t recommend Golden Lotus Vegan for your next business lunch.


Big John’s Italian Seafood Restaurant – San Souci NSW Restaurant Review

Is it bravery in 2020 to put up photos of delivered pizza and call it a restaurant review?

I got Big John’s delivered to work on a Wednesday night. I normally hate getting pizza at work because of the complexities it introduces with sharing slices, but our recent night-time practice has been to eat in a group to protect each other from ravenous onlookers.

Atlantic Special Pizza

The Atlantic Special pizza ($15.80, small) was quite special. There was plenty of seafood and the pizza was overall light and tasty. The addition of a lemon wedge was a nice touch and really elevated the pizza.

All Meats Pizza

The small All Meats Pizza ($15.80) really did have all the meats. The barbecue sauce wasn’t overpowering and there was not a dull moment. I enjoyed it and so did my senior colleague.

Overall I felt the pizza from Big John’s was very good. The fact that it is open late is a real bonus for me. The size of the pizzas didn’t really live up to the restaurant’s name but overall it was reasonable value given the high density of the toppings.

Will order again.


We ended up ordering again from Big John’s not once but twice through the course of the year. Both subsequent times were disappointing. The pizzas on second go-around were utterly flat, soggy, and unappealing. It brought me great shame to have recommended it to my colleagues.

Mick Morlan’s Pizza

Don’t know who Mick Morlan is, but I don’t trust his sense of taste after trying his Mick Morlan’s pizza (Medium – $20.80).

King Size Seafood Pizza

The King Size Seafood Pizza (Large – $32.60) was equal unappealing.

Big John’s Italian Seafood Restaurant
502 Rocky Point Rd, Sans Souci NSW 2219
(02) 9529 8094

Big John's Italian Seafood Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
Middle Eastern

Camy’s Chargrill Chicken – Mascot, NSW Restaurant Review

This is a takeaway review of Camy’s Chargrill Chicken in Mascot. It could also be a takeaway review of Camy’s Charcoal Chicken in Mascot. At this point I’m not sure what they’re called.

The Lebanese Wrap with chicken, tabouli, garlic sauce and lettuce and tomato was really good. Freshly cooked chicken, fresh salads and a generous amount of garlic. Quality was not dissimilar to any Western Sydney charcoal chicken restaurant. A slight shame that tomato was $1 extra but for $12 all up it makes for a reasonably healthy and yummy lunch.

The Hail Caesar Burger was also not bad. I misread the menu and thought that it would be beef but it came with chicken instead. I guess it makes a lot more sense for it to have come with chicken. I’ve never seen a Caesar salad with beef before. The egg in the burger was quite good. Not fully cooked, with a runny yolk. The lettuce, egg, cheese, chicken schnitzel and Caesar dressing came together well, like a salty meaty greasy salad. Yum.

The Charcoal Chicken, however, is where Camy gets into trouble. I have no pictures to show you, but basically we found Camy’s charcoal chicken to be very middle of the road. It was not as moist or as flavourful as the charcoal chicken I’ve come to expect after living in Western Sydney, but certainly not the worst I’ve had either. The fact that Camy offers toum (garlic sauce) as an addon but doesn’t bundle the chicken with any at all is very disappointing.

The 3 Empanadas and Salsa Verde ($14.90) I thought was a bit disappointing and overpriced. It’s really not a lot of food for $15. The salsa verde was yummy.

Overall I can recommend the wrap and burger, but can’t recommend the stock standard charcoal chicken. If charcoal chicken is what you’re after, you’d be better off going to El Jannah.

Camy’s Chargrill Chicken
Shop 16/11 Etherden Walk, Mascot NSW 2020
02) 8319 4021

Asian Fusion Café Japanese

101kissa – Chippendale, NSW Restaurant Review

This is a story about a lobster roll and a spicy crab omelette in an inner-West restaurant with chairs for smaller people than myself but an adequately sized booth bench to compensate.

Peg will tell you that I often have trouble deciding where to go for breakfast, or lunch, or dinner. The choice for breakfast this time around was between 101kissa and some other Asian inspired brunch place in Chippendale which I obviously can’t tell you about because I didn’t go. What ultimately won me over was 101kissa’s promise of a lobster roll, which wasn’t on the menu but which was advertised on their Facebook page. After having been baited for so long by Bare Witness whose lobster roll disappeared from their menu just as I wanted to eat it, I knew I had to try.

The Lobster Roll ($12) ended up being a bit of a disappointment. The bread was soft but there was just too much of it. The egg was warm and fluffy and delicious, but the actual lobster component was cold and it was hard to distinguish any presence of lobser by taste or texture. It felt to me like it was just cold sauce with some solid bits, and I had to take their word for it that it was lobster.

The spicy crab omelette was a real treat. Not content with serving just a delicious, fresh soft shell crab, they have also added a generous amount of blue swimmer crab meat to the mix. The egg was again fantastic, the brocollini fresh, and the nori and croissant worked together to provide a stable background. I was glad that the dish was not oversauced, which was a problem I have come across a few times when having seafood at brunch. Overall it was just perfect.

A special mention needs to go to this matcha soy latte. While I didn’t expect it to come iced, I’m glad it did. They actually frothed it and iced it at the same time, which is not something you see frequently. The flavours of the matcha mixed up with soy were very complex and need to be tried to be understood. I got it without sugar but I’m sure a little touch wouldn’t ruin it if you need it. The dual paper straws were a nice touch as paper straws don’t always last long enough to finish the drink.

The service and overall vibe of the place was also very good. The one guy in charge called all his customers ‘bro’ and creater a very friendly, chilled-out environment.

Would I recommend 101kissa to a friend or colleague? Definitely. I’m recommending it to myself. I want to go back as soon as possible.

94a Abercrombie St, Chippendale NSW 2008
0412 246 338


Traditional Gyradiko – Rosebery, NSW Restaurant Review

Traditional Gyradiko goes from strength to strength with their excellent gyros and souvlaki. I have had their pork pita, lamb pita, and chicken souvlaki multiple times and they are yet to disappoint. They ate perfectly sauced and the hot chips inside provide an added dimension of crunchy potato.

The potato chips with feta was $9 and I cannot not recommend based on the small serving size alone. They do not detract from the quality of the gyros however and overall I would recommend this place to a friend or colleague.

Traditional Gyradiko
447 Gardeners Rd, Rosebery NSW 2018
(02) 9313 5379

Traditional Gyradiko Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato