karen lawson

karen's Latest reviews: karen's Top 10 restaurants:



karen dined on Sat, 20th Jul 2019 (8)

Fantastic as always. Love the octopusp

Bopp & Tone

Sydney CBD

karen dined on Sat, 13th Jul 2019 (9)

Beautiful fit out, good selection of vegetarian. Cauliflower is a knock out.

The Morrison Bar & Oyster Room

Sydney CBD

karen dined on Fri, 12th Apr 2019 (6)

Great spot for a business meeting. We had the crab tacos, they were the size of a teaspoon . Don’t bother. Chips were awesome good Kiev but lacked any ‘melting moment’ . Service ok.


Surry Hills

karen dined on Tue, 9th Apr 2019 (8)

Always a favourite but with competition from Chin chin and long Chim their price point and delivery is facing a challenge. Egg net always great. Trout green curry was great too, other dishes lacked individuality

Kitchen by Mike CBD

Sydney CBD

karen dined on Tue, 18th Dec 2018 (8)

We had a Dimmi special set menu. We don’t eat beef intestines so they easily replaced it with kingfish. Delicious menu, smooth service.

Munich Brauhaus The Rocks

The Rocks

karen dined on Wed, 14th Nov 2018 (8)

Fantastic chicken schnitzel and the Mac n cheese balls are real crowd pleasers!

Casa Asturiana

Sydney CBD

karen dined on Wed, 17th Oct 2018 (7)

Traditional Spanish doing it all the right way. It’s been in the Spanish Quarter for a long time. So whilst newer more hip places open this spot just keeps on delivering a classic tapas experience

Bhoomi Restaurant


karen dined on Sat, 29th Sep 2018 (9)

One of the best Indians in sydney. You can see and taste influences from Flying Fish and Sri Lankan influences. Stunning food. Get the fish curry and don’t miss the mussels

Holy Duck!


karen dined on Tue, 11th Sep 2018 (9)

Crispy rice balls are a must

Bowery Lane

Sydney CBD

karen dined on Wed, 5th Sep 2018 (9)

They provided a cute birthday donut for my friend

The Greens

North Sydney

karen dined on Sun, 12th Aug 2018 (7)

Sunday lunch was madness with huge groups celebrating. Luckily we had a booth at the back but it probably isn’t the best place for a friendship catch up given big crowds and noise. Food was good and fun atmosphere

1821 Restaurant

Sydney CBD

karen dined on Wed, 8th Aug 2018 (8)

Fantastic place to dine. Hidden gem in the city

Bar Cupola

Sydney CBD

karen dined on Wed, 18th Jul 2018 (7)

It’s a good spot for a business meeting over lunch or breakfast. Tables are nicely set apart, food is fresh and they have a great range of salads with a section on Asia. I like the Haloumi salad and they do great wedges!

Alegrias Spanish Tapas


karen dined on Sun, 15th Jul 2018 (8)

Great deal with 50% offer and food was fantastic! Pretty chilly so wrap up warm. One of the best zucchini flowers I have had in Sydney

The Glebe Hotel


karen dined on Sat, 14th Jul 2018 (9)

Absolutely fantastic meals out the back in the stables area. Fire roaring , tasty mulled wine, Guinness pie and fish with the most fabulous chunky chips the way mum did!!

Bowery Lane

Sydney CBD

karen dined on Tue, 10th Apr 2018 (7)

Good venue for breakfast

Luyu & Yum Yum


karen dined on Sun, 18th Feb 2018 (10)

Absolutely blown away. A dodgy looking stairway from king street always feels like a leap of faith... what will great you when you get to the top? A beautiful space with screens from Kobe jones, dark woods, tables and a kitchen you can see into. The standard of cooking and techinique would stand up against China lane or many of the top Asian restaurants. Dumplings had their very unique style, flavour and character, seafood, starburst and pot stickers were excellent. Service was very slow as they were down 2 staff but the singapore prawns, fragrant eggplant and duck fried rice were so good we will be back. Fantastic Dimmi deal which made us try it. What a find!

Manly Pavilion


karen dined on Thu, 28th Dec 2017 (7)

Superb experience, views fit out and a stunning menu well priced. Love their house baked focaccia .Go during the day if you can it makes you fall in love with Sydney all over again.

Papi Chulo


karen dined on Thu, 21st Dec 2017 (7)

It’s loud busy and chaotic but anything from the wood fired grill makes meat taste like heaven. Sides are delicious don’t miss them.

Jade Temple

Sydney CBD

karen dined on Tue, 28th Nov 2017 (3)

Am a fan of Neil Perry generally but this lacked on so many levels portions small, flavours didn’t shine, for their balance, elegance or technique. Overall bland food. The peking duck at mr wings is far superior. Salt and pepper prawns had no flavour and we all were disappointed . No decaf coffee, no baileys! Really?

The Glebe Hotel


karen dined on Sat, 23rd Sep 2017 (8)

Great neighbourhood gem - Dine at the stables at the back.

District Brasserie

Sydney CBD

karen dined on Fri, 1st Sep 2017 (9)

Great Starter platter all house cured meats, I house baked bread is addictive!

The Eathouse Diner


karen dined on Sat, 8th Jul 2017 (5)

Enjoyed everything apart from the bill. Enjoyed the meal but small portions which didn't deliver value for money

Salmon & Bear


karen dined on Fri, 17th Mar 2017 (9)

What a fantastic concept. Sustainable food, casual environment and stunning seafood. We had the share Grizzley Bear menu. Calamari was crisp coating kits of tentacles and a tumble of chilli and spring onion . Mains of poke, king ora salmon and kingfish was devoured. We loved the corn salad and generous served of delicious sweet potato fries. Neighbourhood gem for sure.



karen dined on Wed, 8th Mar 2017 (8)

The degustation menu is well worth it, especially if you start with the fermented potato bread!



karen dined on Sat, 4th Mar 2017 (10)

Really is a neighbourhood gem. We dine here regularly. Consistently great dining experience

Pilu At Freshwater


karen dined on Fri, 27th Jan 2017 (8)

It's a beautiful location which really shines during the day. The views and beautiful gardens make it a stunning spot. Suckling pig is the go to dish. Service is smooth. Servings are small which lets down the overall experience so order sides, you'll need them. An order of a side of roast potatoes was just four small potatoes... for 12 ouch.


Sydney CBD

karen dined on Wed, 25th Jan 2017 (6)

Used dimmi 50% deal. Good value for lunch.

Fratelli Fresh Parlamento Macquarie Street

Sydney CBD

karen dined on Mon, 21st Nov 2016 (6)

It's a basement bar which lacks the energy and character of bridge street. The food is comparable even if the polenta chips are not quite as good. It's less busy, not quite as atmospheric and a bit too dark but the food is good and the dimmi bottle of wine makes it a must try..

Rabbit Hole Bar & Dining


karen dined on Tue, 15th Nov 2016 (5)

Good discovery as a CBD basement bar. Pizzas were good for 24 but 17 for a small portion of calamari has a way to go to deliver value. Nice venue ok food. Not a bad choice but could be great...

Alfie & Hetty


karen dined on Mon, 12th Sep 2016 (6)

Lovely venue, brick walls, vintage memorabilia. Nice atmosphere. It's all about roast dinners Starters are expensive mostly $19 and vary in size. I had a small portion of calamari but others had pate which was more generous. Rarely do we see starters at a cost of $20 so poor pricing here. Mains were better value and again varied. Chicken on risotto was dry but a good risotto. Pork belly was beautiful and short ribs a good portion. Look out for deals on groupon. I would go back for drinks/ main but it's overpriced at the moment for what it delivers .



karen dined on Sat, 10th Sep 2016 (10)

Always an amazing experience. My friend is gluten free and they went out of their way to make her feel special (as opposed to a burden) what incredible service.

Bowery Lane

Sydney CBD

karen dined on Wed, 24th Aug 2016 (7)

Enjoyable meal, it's a small intimate restaurant, some croud pleasers like calamari, buratta but a few things on service which were missed/lost ie butter for bread . Pork belly really good but on the expensive side for portions, lacked a sparkle of originality in the kitchen so didn't quite deliver for the bill.

Encasa Restaurant Pitt Street

Sydney CBD

karen dined on Mon, 15th Aug 2016 (7)

always a great experience, and the tapas specials make things interesting. We loved the spin on patas bravas with blue cheese

The Glebe Hotel


karen dined on Tue, 12th Jul 2016 (9)

It's one of our local favourites. Make sure you step through the pub to the fine dining section in the old stables

Ho Mei

Surry Hills

karen dined on Thu, 7th Jul 2016 (9)

What a gem! I used to work in this area but never went in. Thank goodness for the Dimmi 20% promotion which encouraged us to have a business catchup. Great service, very attentive. I forgot to mention one when i booked one of our party was gluten free. The team were fantastic, changing as much as they could, tamari not soy sauce etc, even bringing a gluten free menu over so that with a bit of notice, next time she could have a more enjoyable meal. Loved the starters of calamari, big plateful. Unctuous soy chicken just melted in the mouth, lots of ginger in the bok choy and the salt n pepper tofu was perfectly seasoned. Couldn't be happier.

Manta Restaurant & Bar


karen dined on Tue, 28th Jun 2016 (8)

The menu dazzles as much as the view (and the prices) but it's a beauty. Even in winter. Lobster sliders are a must, as is calamari and arancini. Glacier toothfish is meaty and aromatic but it's the wafts of truffle constantly in the air from the Manta chips that will have you drooling.

The Glebe Hotel


karen dined on Tue, 21st Jun 2016 (10)

It's a secret find in Glebe. Outside you might both think it's worth a look but it has all the elements of a great Aussie pub. Traditional on the inside with a roaring fire and sofas, step through the main bar into the old stables- renovated into a fine dining room . Good and service is glorious. Tasty calamari and truffle arancini is followed by an outstanding main of gnocchi and cauliflower. Wedges and a side of roasted open mushrooms complete a meal where we will be back. It's perfect in winter with the cost fires. There's a reason it's won awards and you don't pay any more to eat in the fine dining area

The Cuban Place

Sydney CBD

karen dined on Thu, 24th Mar 2016 (5)

Very busy on a Thursday night but service was friendly and sporadic! Interesting food with the cava chips (similar to polenta chips) being the favourite. We tried the lamb, chicken and fish mains. Portions small. We dined during restaurant week so the bill was high but without the 50% off it needs to lift its game food wise and servings as it doesn't stack up.

Essenza Italian

Surry Hills

karen dined on Tue, 22nd Mar 2016 (8)

Great local Gen with to die for arancini balls and gnocchi

Essenza Italian

Surry Hills

karen dined on Tue, 15th Mar 2016 (9)

If you could describe an Italian restaurant as a hug from a loved one who is also a great cook, then this is it. We went during restaurant week. Never been before and its always a bit of a risk if you have a business dinner but have never been. We couldn't have been more impressed. The service was warm, funny, friendly and caring (a word I rarely use), couldn't fault the timing, but lets get to the food. Arancini balls were oscar winners, a Hollywood film event of all the best characters that should be present - risotto rice, with a hint of firmness, oozy cheese, crunch and attitude from the deep fried coating , fresh rocket with lots of pepper and a delicious but light and fragrant sauce. I could go on about the gnocchi (better than any bamboo pillow from a shopping channel in terms of happy factor), the Marinara with all the right moves and a Sangiovese that made us wish we ordered a bottle. The environment says simple but the food, service and experience says 'we will be back'.


Sydney CBD

karen dined on Fri, 26th Feb 2016 (9)

One of the best restaurants to launch late 2015, its not defined by any cuisine but is inventive, soulful and elegant. You cannot miss the tumeric seared salmon dosa! amazing.

Kobe Jones Sydney

Darling Harbour

karen dined on Wed, 20th Jan 2016 (6)

Food is good but service can be hap hazzard, they need more people on the floor; we had mains before sushi, and edamame came in the middle of our dining experience, had to ask for wasabi , ginger which arrived mid way through the meal. Pepper snapper didn't work as a dish but loved the volcano roll


Sydney CBD

karen dined on Wed, 13th Jan 2016 (8)

Had a great meal, we loved the kingfish and the croquettes . Big thanks to the staff for making surprise bday desert of a fabulous chocolate cake

Ruby's Corner


karen dined on Sat, 9th Jan 2016 (4)

Ok spot for lunch, portions quite small, service slow, forgetful but friendly. Outside area is pleasant. Not memorable enough to return



karen dined on Sun, 1st Nov 2015 (10)

This is an absolute Neighbourhood gem. The two brothers have worked across the best kitchens (including Michelin Star kitchens) of Europe. Technique shines through every element and the plating is a visual delight. If you dined anywhere else you would be paying upwards of $40+ a dish for this level of cuisine, so grab friends, recommend you include the octopus and the prawns (our two favourites), if you are a lamb lover, 16hr lamb is the go to dish.


Surry Hills

karen dined on Thu, 29th Oct 2015 (8)

Great spot, loved the atmosphere, casual American diner, great fit out. Chicken burger was enjoyable but not something legends are made of. You must have the fried onion rings...its an onion but not as you know it. Fun for friends and groups, we will be back.


Sydney CBD

karen dined on Wed, 21st Oct 2015 (8)

Great evening, atmosphere, service, lovely tapas. Loved the seared prawn salad and calamari



karen dined on Sat, 4th Jul 2015 (10)

One of our all time favourites , we are regulars, incredible food for talented chefs

Cafe Del Mar

Darling Harbour

karen dined on Wed, 22nd Apr 2015 (8)

Had the share chicken for the first time which was amazing, de boned, on a bed of corn puree and bbq corn. As always their baby school prawns are delicious!

French Henri

Sydney CBD

karen dined on Tue, 21st Apr 2015 (8)

Fantastic spot. We dined during the crazy rain storms but it was still intimate! If you are lucky enough that they have gnocchi on the specials menu make sure you get it. Best gnocchi i have ever had

Kobe Jones Sydney

Darling Harbour

karen dined on Mon, 20th Apr 2015 (6)

We went on the 50% offer which made the evening a good one. Whilst the food is really good the prices are very steep, without the slick service required to sustain the price point. If you can go on a deal (or if someone else is paying) great. Otherwise its overpriced but the Volcano roll really is worth the visit!

Joe's Kitchen


karen dined on Thu, 26th Mar 2015 (6)

Its really an RSL. So better to be aware that its got a TV and blokes can be watching the cricket. Food is excellent, pasta all made in house, service family orientated rather than uber professional but the environment is one i wouldn't go back for...the food absolutely!

Joe's Kitchen


karen dined on Thu, 26th Mar 2015 (5)

Family run restaurant but it does feel like an RSL - carpets, TV, tables etc. Pasta is stunning. Made in house. I just wish this quality of food had a better location to showcase the dining experience.

Woodland Kitchen & Bar

Neutral Bay

karen dined on Wed, 26th Nov 2014 (8)

If you love wood fired meats it's a good option



karen dined on Thu, 17th Jan 2013 (10)

amazing food, innovative share plates and a total local gem.

Hickson's Food & Wine

Sydney CBD

karen dined on Tue, 17th Apr 2012 (10)

The fabulous $20 lunch offer is outstanding. The views, service and food offer an unbelievable foodie experience

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