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Neko Carlow

Neko Carlow

I recently visited Neko Carlow, an Asian restaurant the like of which I have rarely visited in Ireland. I spotted the restaurant on Google Maps as I was traveling from Dublin and wanted to find a restaurant halfway between Dublin and Waterford and Carlow was the ideal option.

Neko is located at 20 Dublin Street in Carlow. The location is on a nice street and late on Sunday evening parking was not a problem. We did not have a reservation but since there were only 2 of us, it was not an issue and we were seated promptly.

The menu looked varied and also looked like the style which I like, a good mix of traditional and fusion meals. The smells from the kitchen and also as meals passed were amazing. We ordered our mains and before we got them, there was an amuse-bouche style dish compliments of the chef.

From the Neko website, it seems the chef takes a lot of pride in the restaurant, “Our head chef believes there are three main facets of running a good restaurant: First is hygiene, second is fresh and healthy food, and third is service. “This is very obvious as the food and the service was phenomenal.  The head chef is Simon Lim, a Malaysian-born chef who comes from a family of cooks. Also, it has to be noted that they do not use MSG here if this is something you like to avoid. Personally, I don’t mind it but I know some people have intolerances to it. They also use 100% Irish Sirloin Beef, 100% Irish Lamb Shank from Clonmore Meats in Wicklow, and Fresh Chicken, Seafood, and Vegetables! 

I got the Neko Prawn Black Bean with Noodles and it was just delicious. Not just the food but the way it was presented and served. Totally enjoyed the whole meal, as it was something to be savoured, enjoyed, and remembered. We did get dessert of Churros afterwards and I think it was just to sit and enjoy the lovely surroundings. The interior is beautifully decorated and I am very impressed that such a hidden gem of a restaurant is within an hour’s drive of where I live.

I would recommend making a reservation if you wish to visit Neko. You will not be disappointed. I will be back and next time, I will make a reservation and will try the full 3 courses.  They are open 7 days from 12:30 to about 10 pm, Sundays from 1 pm.

Website :



Review – Aroi Asian Street Food, Kilkenny

Review – Aroi Asian Street Food, Kilkenny

The first time I ever tried Aroi Kilkenny was having walked from Bennettsbridge to Kilkenny along the Nore path. We were looking for something hearty and tasty to eat. I had been to Aroi with a work function and decided to go there.

Aroi Asian Street Food

Aroi Asian Street Food is located on Friary Street Kilkenny and has plenty of space inside while being bright, airy and a tad funky in decor. The service is very good and on a Sunday there is an option to enjoy a main course and Gelato for only 10 euros which is wonderful value.

The service on the day we arrived was friendly yet unusually curt, perhaps they were rushed off their feet but the girl who served us never once smiled, everything was very formal and overly efficient. However, we are here for the food and were not disappointed.

I chose to push the boat out and have a starter, main and ice cream. The fish cakes were the starter, one of the nicer Thai fish cakes I have tried, with a little kick of chilli present. For the main course, I had the Yellow Fish Curry served with brown rice. This curry was full of flavour and full of fish – salmon, cod, smoked cod, mussels, crab, and calamari – as well as being jam-packed with veg.

The meal was thoroughly enjoyable and was rounded off with some very refreshing ice cream. The whole meal for 2 came to under 35 euros and its a spot I will be returning to. If you are looking for a nice Asian meal then Aroi in Kilkenny is right up your street.

My Only Criticism WAS…

On most of my recent visits, was the music . In 2022 / 23 the music playing has been dreadful dance music, cover versions of actual songs. The worst offender is Careless Whisper by George Michael, covered by some dance instrumentalist who plays it at almost double speed and it just sounds all sorts of wrong. Also, we entered an almost empty restaurant early in the day, perhaps 12:30 / 1 pm and we were asked if we had a reservation; the waitress made a big deal, sighing and looking at the computer screen before seating us … it wasn’t even that busy while we were there. From a customer service perspective, this was unusual and a little offputting.

HOWEVER … in December 2023 we visited and we found that the music was now classic rock which was excellent. As a result, we will be now going back a lot more as the only thing which put us off was the music as their food is fantastic. I highly recommend it if you want a hearth Asian Fusion meal.



Aroi Asian Street Food, Kilkenny

Aroi Asian Street Food, Kilkenny
Aroi Kilkenny

Update October 2021

I visited Ario in October 2021 and had a beautiful meal in the Yellow Fish Curry. It was really delicious and the staff were very attentive as usual. The only thing was that the music was comical. They were playing dance versions of classic songs, basically Now that’s what I can rubbish covers 2021 ; It’s a real pity because we left as soon as we cood because the music was so inane – the low-light being a crapphy version of Careless Whisper with the most rubbish brass section you could imagine. Perhaps some relaxing music might be better.

Who’d a thought it, Glastonbury – Restaurant Review

Who’d a thought it, Glastonbury – Restaurant Review

Who’d a thought it – Restaurant Review, Glastonbury, UK

Before the 2013 festival I visited the town of Glastonbury. It is a lovely town with the amazing Tor and Glastonbury Abbey – both of which are well worth seeing if alone for the very good visitors centre with Abbey reconstruction model. (don’t forget to pick up some Glastonbury Mead while you are at the Abbey. Anyway, hunger set in and a quick consulting of the TripAdvisor iPhone App lead me to “Who’d a thought it” a pub with an unusual name but a great reputation online.

The menu was excellent and I opted for the 3 varieties of Sausage with Mash and red wine gravy – I was in heaven. The Sunday Roast looked great too served with Yorkshire Pud and gravy. The desserts were wonderful so make sure you leave some room for those – the Apple crumble especially.

What I liked about the restaurant was the atmosphere, it was a local pub, but it felt like a really good restaurant.  I also liked that Who’d a thought it allowed dogs into the establishment. This was my first glimpse into how the UK is so Dog Friendly (Something which bars and restaurants in Ireland could learn from – I still don’t understand why there are so few Dog Friendly locations in Ireland.)

This was a really nice place to eat with a lovely atmosphere.

If I’m ever back in in the area again I will be visiting “Who’d a thought it !”

Address: 17 Northload St, Glastonbury, Somerset BA6 9JJ, United Kingdom


Who’d a thought it, Glastonbury

Who’d a thought it, Glastonbury

Don’t forget to check my Travel Blog for more of these hotel and restaurant reviews.

Pa Pa Thai, Waterford : Thai /Asian Restaurant Review

Pa Pa Thai is an excellent Thai restaurant in Waterford

Authentic Thai decor, a fantastic menu, and great service.

If you are in Waterford and you are looking for a good Asian or Thai Restaurant, check out Pa Pa Thai, located near the Peoples Park in Waterford.

Pa Pa Thai is one of my regular restaurants in Waterford … The service is also excellent and the food is excellent.
The Lunch is €13.95 for a starter, main, sides and tea/coffee or you can simply choose a main with side dish from €8.50.
The Early Bird menu has more to offer with a varied selection of starters, dinner, rice/chips/noodles, dessert and tea/coffee at €19.95.


The A La Carte menu offers a wide choice but my recommendations are…




Try the Mixed Starter which is a selection of delicious starters & sauces.


Main Courses


  • Pad Neau Nam Manboi (in Oyster Sauce) : (Mild) – Chicken or beef stir-fried with oyster sauce, onions, mushrooms & seasonal vegetables
  • Gaeng Khew Wan (Thai Green Curry): A wonderfully flavoured, little spice, made with coconut milk, red curry paste, aromatic herbs & fresh vegetables with your choice of meat
  • Masaman Curry (Potato & Cashew Nut Curry): This full flavoured but mild curry is bursting with delicious flavours such as nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, cardamon, cumin & coconut milk with your choice of meat
  • Yum Neau (Beef Salad): Slices of tender beef mixed with onion, tomato, cucumber, lemon grass, coriander & mint, together with a zesty dressing & served on a bed of lettuce – I find this option very refreshing!
  • Seau Rawng Hai (Weeping Tiger Steak): Sirloin steak sliced & served on a sizzling platter with homemade sauce made from soy sauce, palm sugar, coriander & garlic – has to be tried as it is excellent!


It is rare for a restaurant to have so many good options on the menu, in Pa Pa Thai it is often difficult to choose from the great menu choices; Pa Pa is a consistently good restaurant.

Whatever you choose from the menu, you can be guaranteed that it will be good. Enjoy!

Address: Pa Pa Thai, 2 Canada St, Waterford, Waterford City, Ireland
Phone: 051 877 648



  • Service 100% 100%
  • Food 100% 100%
  • Value for Money 100% 100%
  • Would Return 100% 100%

Sydney, Australia. What to Do, Where to Go, Where to Eat, What to See

Sydney, Australia. What to Do, Where to Go, Where to Eat, What to See

Sydney, Australia City Guide

Going to Sydney, Australia? This rough and brief Sydney travel guide will show you What to Do in Sydney, Where to Go in Sydney, Where to Eat in Sydney and What to See in Sydney Australia. Sydney is a place to be savoured – enjoy Sydney when you are there as you will miss it when you leave!

Sydney is a place which is like a second home to me. I spent a year working here in 2003, working in both Sydney and Melbourne … but this is by far a nicer city (no offence to Melbourne but there is much more to do in Sydney and winter in Melbourne is fffreezzzing). In Sydney, there is plenty to do, the weather is always decent enough that you can get out and about.

Sydney's Kingsford Smith Airport at Sunrise

Kingsford Smith Airport at Sunrise

Arriving in the city, you will be about 30 minutes drive from the city from Kingsford Smith Airport. Cabs and Airport transfers are easily accessible. A Taxi will cost between $30-$50 depending on where in the city you are going and what time of day it is. Transfers would be a bit less at between $13 and $20 depending on the company. We stayed in Sydney for 2 whole days, arriving late on a Monday evening in the middle of a monsoon and leaving on the first flight Thursday morning as the sun was just coming up.

Sydney Harbour as seen from the AMP / Sydney Tower

The Harbour as seen from the AMP Tower

One of the key things about Sydney is the sheer number of areas you can enjoy a walk, from Circular Quays, the Rocks and Botanical Gardens to Darling Harbour and Hyde Park. The Rocks is a really quaint area full of olde world charm and some olde worlde cafes. You can continue through to Circular Quays, perhaps catch one of the many ferries which service Balmain, Darling Harbour, North Shore, and as far a field as Manly. If you are looking for food, check out City Extra – their fish and chips are really good as is the chicken pie which is served with a hot baked roll. From Circular Quays, you can walk into the Botanical Gardens which hugs the waterline looking out over the bay, with excellent views of Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The walkway extends around to Woolloomooloo Wharf … if you still haven’t eaten go straight to Harrys Pies (Harrys Cafe de Wheels), a small cart based pie shop with the best pies and best mashed potato in NSW. If you haven’t taken the route to Woolloomooloo you can continue through the Botanical Gardens to the Domain and on to Hyde Park. This walk is easily followed but worth taking 3-4 hours over as the views are spectacular.

People Walking over Sydney Harbour Bridge

People Walking over the iconic Harbour Bridge

In the city, you can enjoy the views from the Sydney Tower, formerly called the AMP Tower. The AMP logo is still displayed on the tower but it seems to have been rebranded. When we were there we almost missed the entrance as the whole area is being renovated. From the tower, you can get views as far as the airport and beyond … some days you can see as far as the Blue Mountains. If you are really adventurous you can climb Sydney Harbour Bridge (not on your own please, don’t start scaling the bridge and telling them it was my idea – it is a paid guided excursion with safety equipment). The only disadvantages are that you can’t bring a camera, you can’t decide to take a bathroom break and once you start out it’s about a 2 hour round trip – also not great for those with vertigo. We didn’t do this, instead took a helicopter trip with Cloud9 Helicopters from Bankstown Airport (phone 02 9771-3654) – well worth the money.

The main shopping areas extend from Pitt Street down around Town Hall also don’t miss Paddys Market in Chinatown which has excellent deals and is great for getting some fresh fruit, great deals on t-shirts and holiday clothes. While you are in Chinatown, you could get a really nice Chinese meal. If you are looking for a nice restaurant, go all the way as far as the Chinese arch in Chinatown and look for the Golden Harbour – Maria and the staff at the Golden Harbour will look after you and the food is always really nice. Yum Cha is also served early in the day.

Fruit Bats sleeping in the Botanical Gardens

Fruit Bats sleeping in the Botanical Gardens

Later in the evening, there is plenty to do in the city. You can enjoy dinner in the AMP / Sydney Tower overlooking the city by night, the food is very nice, usually a buffet – however, we found that The Summit Restaurant ( had nicer views (being that bit closer to the harbour) and also the menus were a bit nicer also. If you are looking for real class, try the Bennelong Restaurant at the Sydney Opera House. Not as expensive as you would think – and the service is 5 star (bordering on 6) with the food being similarly as good. The experience of dining at the Bennelong will live long in my mind – not only for the food and service but for the views and thrill of dining at one of the most iconic landmarks in the world.

Sydney Opera House - the Classic Shot from Sydney

The iconic Opera House – the Classic Shot from any trip to the city

Sydney is a place to be savoured, so if you are coming here for a holiday, spend as long as you can here – its one of the few cities in the world, where I can say I would be happy to live. Looking forward to going back already!

Recommended Links for Sydney, NSW

Bennelong Restaurant, Sydney Opera House:

Sydney Tower:

Harrys Cafe de Wheels:

City Extra, Circular Quays:

Harbour Bridge Climb:

There is much more than this – but I wanted to keep this blog post short … If you have any questions about tips on where to go, eat or stay in this great NSW city please drop me a comment.