My partner and I were told the Braddon precinct was the best place for food in Canberra. We had a quick look around and decided to eat at Grease Monkey as it looked enticing, busy, and came recommended by locals online.
Busy but not noisy.
Great set-up with plenty of seating and heaters, as well as bottles of sauce and paper towels across the establishment.
My partner ordered a beer, which I (of course) had a sip of. It was their equivalent of a house beer and on their menu was called the Greasy Lager. It was cheap, costing only $5. I thought it tasted a lot like a Great Northern. We both loved it!
My partner also bought me a cocktail. He couldn’t remember the name of it and I was unable to find the drink on their website, but it was made up of rum, passionfruit, pomegranate, and came garnished with a lemon slice. I don’t usually drink rum but I really loved this drink!
My drink also came with a paper straw. I’ve always loved the idea of supporting the environment by using straws alternative to plastic, however I find that I don’t like paper straws much as they break easily and their texture feels gross… What I really loved about this particular straw is it stayed solid and was pleasant to drink from.
I ordered the Grease Burger (below, left). It’s a typical beef burger with pickles, lettuce, mayo, cheese, and onion. For $15, it was incredibly disappointed. It seemed basic with not a lot on it, and tasted as plain as it looked.
My partner ordered the Parma Burger (above, right). It was a fried chicken burger and was just as lacklustre as my Grease Burger. I even managed to find a bone when I took a bite into his burger, which could’ve been potentially dangerous had I swallowed it.
The chips were also disappointing. They looked and tasted flat and had a strong peppery taste. If this peppery seasoning had more flavour to it, the chips could have potentially tasted great. The tastelessness of these chips weren’t helped by the fact that the only sauce available was self-serve bottled tomato sauce. Having a great side of sauce may have made these chips amazing.
Toilets were clean.
I wasn’t a fan of the hand wash basin as it was open to the bar and eatery and I felt exposed as I washed and dried my hands. It also seemed like the noise of the hand drier was super distracting for other patrons because a few people did look over when I used it.
I would highly recommend the Grease Monkey for their bar.
However, I would definitely not recommend eating here.
It was a nice establishment, but the bathroom section should be separated from the rest of the bar/ restaurant for privacy and sound management reasons.
Raiz (previously named Acorns) is a micro-investing platform. Raiz operates both online and through a downloadable app on both the Apple Store and Google Play.
Raiz is perfect for those who are new to the share market and don’t yet fully understand how investing works, as well as those who do not have thousands of dollars to invest in one go (hence, Raiz is known for its micro-investing!). This means Raiz is perfect for young people, as we often fit both of these categories.
A setting that you can toggle on and off, Raiz Round Ups literally rounds up the spare change of purchases you make using a connected bank account to the nearest dollar figure. The idea is that you generally won’t miss a few cents but man do those few cents add up. In 6 months, I have invested just over $280 from round-ups alone.
There’s a list of brands on the app that, if you shop through their online websites, will invest a certain percentage or figure back into your Raiz account. The great thing about this is there are plenty of brands on offer, many of whom you probably already shop through – so, why not gain a little back every time you splurge!
I’ve already made some money back from Raiz Rewards through brands like Book Depository, Boohoo, Lacoste, Priceline, and Sephora. Since Raiz has a massive range of brands on their list, I always find it rewarding to check before I buy anything online because I’m usually not disappointed.One example of how Raiz Rewards would work is if you were to buy a DNA test from MyHeritage, Raiz would invest 7% of your purchase price back into your account.
While lump sums are also available, the option to invest on a regular basis is what truly makes Raiz rewarding for me. You have the option to set up a savings goal, which tells you how much you need to invest to reach that goal depending on if you’d like to invest daily, weekly, fortnightly, or monthly.
Knowing what amount I invest regularly works great with their portfolio predictions. If I were to invest $300 weekly ($1,200 monthly) using the moderately aggressive profile, I can see I would have over $200,000 accumulated in ten years and approximately an additional $60,000 in returns!
While we’re on the topic of profiles, Raiz offers 6 options: conservative, moderately conservative, moderate, moderately aggressive, aggressive, and emerald. These options mean you can err on the side of caution (conservative) or you can choose to have your finances fluctuate depending on the market for a quick return (aggressive) or you can choose somewhere in the middle, or you can even choose a long term option and make the maximum in returns but over a longer period of time (emerald).
In saying this, while there is always a risk of losing money with shares, that risk is minimised with Raiz as they invest their money in various EFTs (Exchange Traded Funds). Generally, your money will rise in the long-term though there may be short-term setbacks.
The images below show how much you will save + market returns depending on how much you invest per month. You can drag the graph up/down within the app to adjust the amount invested/ results. I have used $1,200 monthly for consistency.
Raiz shows how much you spend every month, your average, and how you are tracking for the month. I tend to ignore this feature because it shows where I waste money… #guilty
Raiz also offer their own Super account and a kids account. However, I haven’t explored these myself and don’t know a lot about how they work so I can’t really comment on these.
How safe is Raiz?
I was initially dubious about handing over my bank details and money to an app. However, there are many facets of Raiz that I have learned through research that allow me to feel more secure about entrusting them with access to my money.
Firstly, Raiz is a public company trading on the ASX (ticker ‘RZI’). This means there is a lot of disclosure about the company. In fact, when you first open a Raiz account, they provide their PDS (Public Disclosure Statement) for you to agree to. I also found it quite reassuring to learn that Raiz is an Australian company operating out of New South Wales with an Australian Financial Services licence, and is overseen by ASIC.
If Raiz were to go bankrupt or be wound up, Raiz customers wouldn’t be left out of pocket because the Raiz deposits are transferred to ETFs, which are overseen by an independent custodian.
There is also always the possibility that cybercriminals could hack into Raiz and steal customers’ money, however Raiz is alert to this threat and has consequently implemented a “robust information security program.” In other words, this risk is very similar to that of having your money in a bank, which is something most people don’t worry about.
Professional opinions on Raiz.
In summary, the professionals think that due to account fees (which are only $2.50 a month for balances up to $10,000 and 0.275% for balances over $10,000) there are ‘cheaper’ methods of investing money. However, these cheaper options are often inaccessible to the main demographic of Raiz, young people, therefore Raiz is a great option for new investors.
My experience using Raiz
I love it!
I’ve only been using Raiz for six months, but I’ve already seen my savings grow exponentially; and not because of market returns, but because Raiz offers me an account to put my savings in that is hard enough to access that I won’t splurge but easy enough that I can draw on my money when needed (withdrawals are processed in 5-7 business days).
In terms of market returns, my account is currently sitting at +4.47% (while my partner’s is about 13.4% for the past year), which just goes to show how much you can make through market returns. I’ve additionally loved making additional money through dividends and Raiz Rewards.
I can’t recommend Raiz enough! It’s been the best thing for my savings!!
Lazerpig is located in Collingwood and in a great area to go bar-hopping if that’s your desire.
We went to Lazerpig for dinner in-between Parts I and II of the Cursed Child at the nearby Princes Theatre.
We nearly gave Lazerpig a miss due to some bad reviews online, however since Lazerpig was recommended by a friend, we decided to give it a risk. And we did not regret this decision.
We arrived just before 5pm, so their restaurant wasn’t actually open when we got there. However, we were able to order food, so we sat in the bar area to eat and drink.
It wasn’t busy but it was only off-peak.
Music was at a good volume.
Beautiful, dim lighting. Really made the bar look alive.
I bought and drank the Rhubarb Pie Cocktail while I waited for my food. The drink comprised of sfumato rabarbaro, sazerac rye bourbon. jameson, tasmanian leatherwood honey, lemon, cassia bark, and came with a strawberry garnish. I was shocked at how similar it tasted like Rhubarb Pie. It was also warm, so made for a great drink on a cold winter evening.
I could really see that a lot of love had gone into making my cocktail. 5/5.
My Ronny J pizza came quickly, coming only after about ten minutes. Some reviews we read said the food took up to an hour to come out, so perhaps we got lucky since we went to Lazerpig at an off-peak time.
I expected my pizza to be hot from the jalepenos but I could barely taste them (I mean you know it’s not hot if Luke can tolerate it because he’s weak af for hot foods). On the other hand, the honey gave a lovely undertone to my pizza that I really enjoyed… It was tasteful in such a way that the honey was subtle yet added a unique twist to the pizza.
Though unique, my pizza could have been a little more flavoursome. 4/5.
It was a bit of a maze to find the toilets but they were clean.
I had a great experience at the Lazerpig. I loved their drinks, they definitely had some unique food, their music was good, and the design was great.
Whether you’re unsure how to spend the night after seeing the Cursed Child or just looking for a great night out, I have some suggestions for you!
With the Princess Theatre conveniently a 30-min walk from Collingwood and Fitzroy, which is filled with a plethora of bars, hotels, and pubs, you are in the perfect place to have find yourself in a drunken stupor (unfortunately there’s no butter beer!).
I suggest starting at Bar Americano, proceeding to Eau De Vie, then walking over to Collingwood for drinks at Lazerpig, then down to Naked for Satan at Fitzroy and over to the Evelyn Hotel to finish. Walk down Brunswick St between Lazerpig and Naked for Satan and you may find a gem to add to your list!
While we didn’t go bar-hopping ourselves, we did have dinner at Lazerpig. Their food was great and their drinks even better! I tried the Rhubarb Pie cocktail and it actually tasted like Rhubarb Pie!
Hearing about the vandalism that occurred to Dog on the Tuckerbox overnight, both makes me angry to the bones and glad that we got to see it on our trip. (If you haven’t heard what happened, click here to find out). In light of this disgusting act, I wanted to share our trip to the Tuckerbox for those who have missed out and to also draw attention to what the Dog on the Tuckerbox was (or, maybe, is- if it will be restored!).
The Dog on the Tuckerbox was a beautiful piece of heritage located just five kilometres from Gundagai. Apart from the strong history associated with this place, as commemorated by the statue, it’s a great place to stop for a rest break with toilets, take out, and a gift store attached.
According to a sign near the statue, the Dog on the Tuckerbox was supposedly erected to memorialise “an incident that occurred to a teamster named Bill the Bullocky on the road to Gundagai in the 1850s”. After his wagon became bogged in a creek and one of the bullocks broke while he tried to drag the wagon out of the bog, Bill gave up and decided to have some lunch. It was in this moment he saw his dog sitting “-or worse-” on his tuckerbox. Apparently, all the other bullockies thought this was hilarious with one bullocky supposedly even writing a poem about the incident.
After reading this sign and taking a few touristy photos with the statue, we went inside for a meal. Luke ordered a burger. Unfortunately, it was overpriced, the order came out wrong, AND it had super basic ingredients. I had a milkshake that I also thought was quite overpriced. However, the take out is in a convenient location and, paired with the toilets, a great place to stop, as aforementioned.
We also thought the gift shop in general was overpriced; but it did have some lovely memorabilia that was unique to Gundagai. I bought a 3D postcard that I still think is the coolest postcard I have ever seen!
Hopefully the Dog on the Tuckerbox will be restored and the culprits caught. We loved this historical treasure, the story behind it, and appreciated the chance to stretch our legs.