James Nelson

James' Latest reviews: James' Top 10 restaurants:

Atta Restaurant

Albert Park

James dined on Wed, 21st Nov 2018 (8)

The food was excellent and a tasty update on traditional Indian cuisine. Service was a little slow and inattentive at times. BYO corkage of $20/bottle is a little steep! Overall recommended.

Tulum Restaurant


James dined on Wed, 7th Nov 2018 (8)

The "tastes of Tulum" banquet was most enjoyable, with a wide variety of courses, carefully explained by our waiter. The advice we got on the Turkish wines, however, was disappointing. Overall, recommended!



James dined on Wed, 24th Oct 2018 (7)

The entrees and the main meat platter were excellent. They forgot one of our entrees but corrected this when we pointed it out. The desserts were disappointing but overall a very enjoyable dinner. The staff were friendly and an asset to the establishment! Recommended.

Mister Bianco


James dined on Wed, 12th Sep 2018 (5)

This was a disappointing dinner and some of the dishes were close to inedible. To do them justice, when we pointed out the problems, they quickly replaced the dishes. Not recommended.

Tolarno Eating House and Bar

St Kilda

James dined on Wed, 15th Aug 2018 (7)

The restaurant was pretty empty on a Wednesday night, which spoilt the atmosphere somewhat. Despite the lack of diners, the service was less than attentive. The actual food was very good and was good value because of the Dimmi discount offer. I'm not in a hurry to go back.

Ciao Cielo

Port Melbourne

James dined on Wed, 11th Jul 2018 (7)

The food was very good and the service friendly but the restaurant got very noisy.

Ciao Ciao Italiano


James dined on Wed, 23rd May 2018 (4)

This was a very disappointing dinner. Our antipasto platter took 45 minutes to arrive. We had eaten less than half when they brought our mains and the food was luke warm. The service was poor and they blamed it on our "inexperienced waitress"! Definitely NOT recommended.

Marmara Restaurant


James dined on Wed, 9th May 2018 (8)

The deluxe banquet provided excellent variety and good value.

Marmara Restaurant


James dined on Wed, 14th Mar 2018 (9)

We had the banquet and it was a delight for us to share the food. The dips and warm flat bread were a lovely starter, followed by entrees of eggplant, red bean salad and dolmades. The Iskender main was outstanding, as were the chicken and lamb skewers. We barely had room for dessert! The service was friendly and efficient and the BYO policy allowed us to enjoy the meal with a 1996 Knappstein shiraz (BYO is $6.50/bottle). Warmly recommended!



James dined on Thu, 8th Feb 2018 (7)

The restaurant was 3/4 empty on a Thursday night, despite a "50% off food" offer. Our antipasto board was disappointing but the main of grilled barramundi was excellent. Service was good but without charm. Value was good but only because of the "50% off food" offer.

San Lorenzo

Moonee Ponds

James dined on Thu, 25th Jan 2018 (8)

The section of the restaurant we were in was pretty full and a bit noisy but the service was very good and the food up to usual high standards.

San Lorenzo

Moonee Ponds

James dined on Thu, 18th Jan 2018 (9)

Two of us dined last night and enjoyed the tapas platter with a glass of prosecco. For main I had the salmon special with crisp kale and it was sensational! Sadly we didn't have room for desserts. The restaurant was not very noisy, our waiter was charming and I would strongly recommend San Lorenzo

Tutto Bene


James dined on Thu, 14th Dec 2017 (8)

We enjoyed pre-dinner drinks on the terrace with tasty appetisers, especially the calamari stuffed with risotto. My main of fish was very well cooked and tasty, just a pity they forgot to bring my potatoes. They offered a complimentary coffee in their place but then charged us for a chianti which we didn't have and I failed to notice. So definitely recommended but check your bill!

The North Melbourne Hotel

North Melbourne

James dined on Thu, 9th Nov 2017 (7)

We found the food to be really good, especially the eggplant chips and my fish was well cooked. The service was very attentive. However the decor and atmosphere let the restaurant down.

Mister Bianco


James dined on Mon, 9th Oct 2017 (8)

We have dined here several times and it is always reliable!

Clever Polly's

West Melbourne

James dined on Thu, 5th Oct 2017 (8)

We had the chef's menu and it was really good, especially the steamed bread and spanner crab tart entrees and the cured kingfish. The noodle dish was disappointing and we didn't like the extremely soft texture of the oyster blade. The desserts rounded the meal off nicely and the service throughout was attentive. It was a Thursday evening and the restaurant got quite noisy, making conversation difficult.

Camus Restaurant


James dined on Thu, 24th Aug 2017 (5)

The restaurant is pleasantly decorated and the tables well spaced. Our entrees came promptly and were excellent, the sardines being nicely spiced and the Burrata cheese beautifully creamy. However the food went downhill from there, our main of goat was too sweet and the Turkish Delight souffle excessively sweet. The wine list is quirky and rather expensive.

Station Hotel


James dined on Thu, 25th May 2017 (4)

We dined here last Friday for the first time and will not be returning. The dining room was very noisy, the food was okay but the first three bottles of wine I selected from the menu were "not available". Maybe it's time they updated their wine list??? In frustration we settled for a glass of wine each, which was inferior. Not enjoyed and NOT recommended.

Copper Pot


James dined on Thu, 11th May 2017 (8)

Three of us dined last night (Thursday) and the restaurant was very busy. We wanted to try just about everything on the very varied menu! The sourdough bread with schmaltz was a treat and my smoked eel tart entree excellent, if a tad too much on the sweet side. The only negative was that we had a long wait for mains, so much so that one of my guests asked if I thought we'd been forgotten. But my cassoulet main, when it arrived, was well cooked, tasty and not dry. Sadly we didn't have room for desserts ... next time!

O'Connell's Centenary Hotel

South Melbourne

James dined on Fri, 5th May 2017 (4)

The restaurant is attractive and we were drawn to try it again by the advertised presence of a new English chef. However the dinner was very disappointing. The dill emulsion was missing from my tuna and the horseradish was so bland it was tasteless. The pork main turned out to be a disappointing and very fatty pork belly, saved only by a small pork croquette and a small piece of charred lettuce. For $47 including potatoes, which were extra, this is poor value. There are much better gastro pubs in the area. NOT RECOMMENDED.

Sosta Cucina

North Melbourne

James dined on Thu, 27th Apr 2017 (7)

The service was exceptional but the food, while good, lacked sparkle. For example, the side of roast potatoes were not crunchy. At the prices they're charging, the kitchen needs to try harder, to match the excellent service.

The Exchange

Port Melbourne

James dined on Mon, 24th Apr 2017 (9)

Four of us dined on Monday and all of us had a different main and all were pleased with the food and the service was friendly and prompt. Definitely a Port Melbourne gem!

The Exchange

Port Melbourne

James dined on Thu, 23rd Mar 2017 (7)

Our waitress was very friendly and tried hard but the delays in bringing food were extended and by the time she took our dessert order, she came back and reported that the kitchen had closed! The food we got was very good, so it's a pity the service lets this place down.

Mister Bianco


James dined on Wed, 1st Mar 2017 (8)

Three of us dined last Wednesday and we all thoroughly enjoyed the food and the attentive service. The crostino (entree) and swordfish (main) deserve a special mention. Recommended!

Wild Cattle Creek


James dined on Fri, 29th Jan 2016 (7)

The food was good but not memorable and the waitress, with the best of intentions, encouraged us to under-order, so overall I was somewhat disappointed. The location, outlook and service were/are all good.


Albert Park

James dined on Thu, 7th Jan 2016 (9)

Three or more people here is ideal as there are so many share platters to try; we tried 5 different platters and all were excellent, the "mashi" and barramundi being the highlights! The front room can get a little noisy.

Ciao Cielo

Port Melbourne

James dined on Sat, 19th Dec 2015 (9)

The service was very friendly and attentive on a busy Saturday evening and the food was excellent, with my goat main course being outstanding.



James dined on Tue, 23rd Jun 2015 (4)

We went on a Tuesday evening and the service was very, very slow. Some of the courses we had were very good, e.g.. the black cod, but most were disappointing and some very hard to eat, e.g.. wagyu beef in lettuce leaves!



James dined on Tue, 2nd Jun 2015 (8)

All three of us enjoyed our meals.

Hargreaves Hill Brewing

Yarra Glen

James dined on Thu, 25th Sep 2014 (6)

I had trevally for my main which was very good, the chips were crisp and it was very reasonably priced ($25). However my partner had the steak which was also very good but expensive ($38) and didn't even include any potatoes. So I had to order a side of potatoes ($8) which was far too much for one person and much of it went to waste. That was not satisfactory, hence my reservations about recommending this place to friends. The complimentary glass of beer with each main is a nice touch, but they tried to charge for one of them!

Bulong Estate Restaurant


James dined on Fri, 8th Aug 2014 (8)

The entree tasting platter has a lovely selection of antipasto and the fish and duck were both well cooked. The estate cab/merlot was most enjoyable. Sadly we didn't have room for dessert. The service is friendly and the deal is excellent value.

Bulong Estate Restaurant


James dined on Fri, 20th Jun 2014 (7)

Entrees and mains were all very good but sadly the desserts were very disappointing. The chef said they need to do more work on the dessert menu, so it may be worth visiting in a few weeks ...


St Kilda

James dined on Thu, 24th Apr 2014 (9)

We've dined here several times and always enjoyed our meals. The food is excellent, the wine list very good and varied and the service was good, if a little slow, on this occasion.

Claire's Kitchen at Le Salon


James dined on Thu, 17th Apr 2014 (8)

The food was very good but the service, although very friendly, was not as attentive as I would like. For example, I had to ask three times for my empty water glass to be refilled. Also, serving snail in the shell with a wooden toothpick is not good enough. Notwithstanding these criticisms, we had a good night and I would recommend the restaurant and will return.

Hotel Ravesis

Bondi Beach

James dined on Tue, 8th Apr 2014 (9)

The food was very good and the service exemplary



James dined on Sun, 15th Apr 2012 (7)

This was my first visit to Montparnasse. The atmosphere was pleasant as it was a warm night and the front doors were open! Service was a little slow, especially considering the restaurant was not full. After a lengthy delay, I had to ask for water and to have my wine opened. The food was excellent, the snails on little toasts very tasty and the French onion soup also very good. My dinner guests said the barramundi was good and i thoroughly enjoyed the under-done duck (magret). However it didn't come with any vegetables and I wish we'd been advised to order some, or even a salad. Few of the desserts on the menu were actually available and the crepes were disappointing; quite leathery in consistency. Overall, good but not great, a pleasant dinner but I'd be careful about recommending it to others.

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