Dragon Boat, Melbourne

What is it about Melbourne and good Chinese restaurants?

I headed off for lunch today with my parents, two of my sisters, brother-in-law and one of the munchkins (one of my nieces) to have Yum Cha at the Dragon Boat in Little Bourke Street.

The Dragon Boat has Yum Cha everyday from 8am unti 5pm.

When we got there at 12:30 and we were about 4th in the queue but it didn’t take all that long to get a table.

From the moment we sat down the Yum Cha trolleys were circulating and we soon had a table full of yummy treats.

You can’t fault the food at this restaurant. Due to the sheer number of people eating here, the trolleys are always being replenished so you’ll always get food that’s pretty much straight out of the kitchen.

For the 7 of us the bill came to about $110 which isn’t bad considering that we’d stuffed ourselves senseless.

Rating: (3/5)

For a great feed you can’t go past the Dragon Boat.

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Sydney Marriot Hotel

Not the one down by Circular Quay!

Back in Sydney for another week of work, and due to the QE2 and QM2 being in Sydney early on in the week hotel rooms were at a premium and the Sydney Marriot got to host me for a second time.

It was with trepidation that I booked at the Marriot again as I didn’t enjoy my first stay there last year, but in the end I’m glad that I gave this hotel a second chance as I came away with a much more positive view of the hotel than after my first visit.

Due to the ships being in Sydney I had to pay a little extra for the room than we usually pay, but seeing as work was paying I didn’t really care that I paid more than usual.

The room was very nice, 2 double beds and a great view of Hyde Park. Quite large bathroom with a HUGE bath.

The extra room rate somehow made me eligible to use the executive club on the 21st floor that gives you free breakfast, pre dinner drinks and a light dinner and desert.

Not being a morning person at the best of times, I didn’t take up the offer of breakfast, but I was able to utilise the club on Monday (for dinner and drinks), Tuesday for drinkies after looking at the QE2 and QM2 and finally for pre dinner drinks on Wednesday before heading off the Darling Harbour for dinner with a friend who was also in Sydney from Melbourne for the night.

Didn’t partake of room service this week.

Again, like the InterContinental last week, Internet access which I was under the impression would be chargeable didn’t make it onto my bill. Cool!

Only downside is that its a bit of a hike from Circular Quay and Darling Harbour if you wanted to head to those places. Though it is very close to Kings Cross, if you are that way inclined 😉

Would I stay here again, yes, but not as my first choice.

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Arun Thai, Potts Point, Sydney

Arun Thai is, as the name suggests, a Thai restuarant that is located in Macleay Street in the Sydney suburb of Potts Point.

We went to Arun Thai Thursday evening last week and had a supurb meal.

We choose three mains and a great bottle of Victorian Pinot and had a great meal.

The mains that we decided to try were

  • Goong pad pick king – stir-fried king prawns with chilli paste, green beans and kaffir leaves
  • Kae yang – bbq lamb fillet and served with spicy sauce
  • Musaman phetnue – slow cooked chunky beef curry with potato and peanuts

All the dishes were excellent but, if I did have to choose one as the winner on the day, then I guess the musaman beef would be the winner, but only by a very short margin. All three of the mains were of a very high standard.

Arun Thai is yet another great restaurant that you should eat at atleast once.

Rating: (4/5)

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InterContinental, Sydney

I had the chance to stay at the InterContinental Hotel in Sydney last week.

The InterContinental in Sydney is up near the Botanic Gardens on the corner of Bridge and Phillip Street. Just around the corner from Circular Quay. A very nice part of the city.

In all this was a very nice hotel, definitely in my Sydney top 3 with the Swissotel and Saville Suites in Chatswood.

I managed to get an ‘upgrade’ to a corner room and was told when I checked in that this would give me a larger room… I would have hated to have the non upgraded room as the room I got seemed to be on the small side, but it was nicely appointed.

Nice king size bed with decent pillows allowed me a good nights sleep, well as good a sleep as you can get in a hotel bed!

The only thing that was a negative for me was the fact that I was in Sydney as there were some really strong storms and there was something up with the windows in my room that meant that everytime the wind picked up it sounded like a wind tunnel.

I had room service dinner a couple of times and was very impressed with the quality and quantity of the servings. As usual, didn’t try the breakfasts… I just can’t bring myself to pay $35 for bacon and eggs and crap coffee.

For some reason I didn’t get charged the usual extortionary hotel Internet rates.

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Griffin Hotel, Kingston, ACT

The Griffin Hotel, aka Griffin Apartments, in Kingston, ACT is a hotel / serviced apartment complex that is really handy to the cafe / restuarant / pub scene of Kingston.The hotel is also really close to the city centre in Civic (about 10 minutes in a cab on a busy day), Manuka (15 minute walk if you are feeling energetic) and the Kingston strip is just across the road.

Kingston in the ACT is a good place to stay if you want easy access to the city centre during the day and a decent number of restuarants and pub when its time to play. If you can’t find what you need in Kingston, a short trip to Manuka open up a plethora of other possibilities. Though, I prefer Kngston for some reason.

The Griffin Hotel is right in Kingston. I would guess it sports 100 apartments which will be either a 1 bedroom, 2 bedroom or 3 bedroom apartment. You will have a seperate living room, kitchen and bedroom(s). Parking is available under the hotel.

Its showing its age a little, though I wouldn’t guess that its really old.

All rooms have Internet access at a cost of around $30 a day, which seems to be the norm these days, and includes 50 MBytes of data, which is very stingy when most hotels these days offer an all you can eat service. After you reach the 50 Meg limit it costs you 10 cents a Meg.

If you are in Canberra for those fresh freezing winter nights, the heater in the bedrooms will keep you toasty, but there aren’t any heaters in the living rooms or the bathrooms. So take a jumper.

In summer, when it feels like your walking in the face of the Sun, theres’ an air conditioner in the living room, but not in the bedroom.

And, its just across the road from Madam Woo’s!

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