Eateries in Sydney
I have had a few friends emailing me or asking me where to eat when they come to Sydney.
Below is my top 10 of places to eat – will be updated from time to time. Should you require more information, please do not hesitate to ask or contact me.
In NO particular order:
1. Café Ish: soft shell crab omelette – divine!
2. Bills: must visit – fluffiest pancakes and moistest scrambled eggs.
3. Single Origin: best coffee in Sydney (IMO) and they serve wonderful breakfast too.
4. Porteno: meat meat and more meat! Suckling pig is to die for.
5. Lotus: hands down the best burger in Sydney amongst other things.
6. Menya Mappen: tempura galore to go with your ramen.
7. The Devonshire: recently opened in mid-Jan 2011. Definitely a new favourite of mine.
8. Bodega: same guys who owns Porteno – everything on the menu is excellent, have not had a bad meal here.
9. Buon Ricordo: best Italian restaurant around – their truffle pasta is stupendous.
10. Messina Gelato: great gelato – I love the combination of coconut pandan and salted caramel (post to come).
Not a complete list, but other restaurants that I like / enjoy / have heard that its good that I thought was worth mentioning.
Bourke St Bakery: one of the best bakeries in Sydney! Love the pies and sausage rolls and not to mention the brulee tarts!
Flour and Stone: my new favourite. Opened by Nadine Ingram, absolutely LOVE all the tarts especially the leek and gruyere tart.
Do the Dip: serves American-style snacks such as hot dogs, nachos, grilled corn and many more
Plan B: owned by Justin North of Becasse, they have one of he nicest wagyu burger around. It has been a while since I last visit though.
Charlie and Co: I didn’t enjoy their burger but the truffle and parmesan fries are excellent.
Rockpool Bar and Grill: I was impressed with their wagyu burger, it was a tower of mouth-watering goodness.
Café – breakfast / brunch
3 Group: wall in hole in Darlinghurst, serves great coffee.
13b: cafe by day, bar by night. Haven’t been at night but the food during the day is superb. Love the salsa eggs here.
Allpress Coffee: if you like allpress coffee then this is the place to go. Great coffee, and great food!
Bird Cow Fish: great cafe, loved the salmon and potato cakes. Scrumptious food and pastries.
Remy and Lees: cute little café, serves great food and coffee. I quite like their bircher muesli, its home-made.
Bitton Gourmet Cafe: Generous scrambled eggs with truffle. Lovely Australian food with a French twist.
Booth St Bistro: breakfast was fantastic! The pancakes and corn fritter. Haven’t been to dinner but have told it is just as good!
Bread and Circus: very similar to Kitchen by Mike – the concept, food is not too bad, slightly on the expensive side I thought. The salads are great though.
Bruschetteria 102: as the name suggests – bruschetta, wonderful nutella coffee.
Bunker: cute hole in wall café that serves wonderful coffee and I love the home-made crumpets.
Café xxii: wonderful food and coffee – it has been a while since my last visit!
Cafe con Leche: cute little cafe on corner of Fitzroy and Huchison Street in Surry Hills. Simple food.
Clover: love their baked eggs for breakfast.
Cornersmith: cute cafe in Marrickville, serves great breakfast and great coffee.
Farmer Jo: cute hole in the wall – they make their own muesli on the premises. Limited seats but you can take away. Love their muesli!
Fernside Coffee: new-ish cafe in Redfern, simple food and good coffee.
Flat White: excellent coffee and excellent breakfast. A re-visit is in order.
Joe Black: new-ish coffee place, love the coffee here.
Kitchen by Mike: love the concept here, warehouse feel – feels a little like NYC. Great food, the lunch was superb!
Le Monde: a true gem. The breakfast is excellent and their lunch special Frenched chicken wings with red coleslaw and peanuts is amazingly good! Am keen to try their breakfast tasting platter.
Lumiere Cafe: great coffee and food, a little on the pricier side.
Mecca: in Ultimo, voted by the SMH Cafe Guide 2011 as the best cafe. Coffee surperb.
Pablo’s Vice: hole in wall coffee, superb coffee, food is on the smaller side.
Porch and Parlour: Bondi – not a place I venture often, but it was a good change. Great coffee too.
Robocog Cafe: cute little cafe with lots of robots. Food not to shabby.
Revolver: great breakfast and I believe have given Clover a run for its money in terms of baked eggs.
Room 10: Voted by the SMH Cafe Guide 2011 as the best new cafe.
Sur Bourke: cute French cafe in Surry Hills. Love the coffee and bircher. Salad is quite tasty too.
The Falconer: open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, came for brunch and food was not too bad. Really enjoyed the reuben sandwich
The French House: bakery / cafe and delightful pastries and sweets!
The Grounds: coffee is definitely their specialty here, the lunch is pretty good, have yet to try breakfast. Get there early (ie before 8 am) if you don’t want to wait for 40 – 50 minutes.
Third Village: cute little spot, the breakfast menu looks fantastic – french toast with poached pear, fresh peaches, vanilla ricotta with lashings of maple syrup.
Wilbur’s Place: FANTASTIC suckling pig roll! Open for dinner also, but I have yet to go.
Braza Churrascaria: all you can eat meat, fun way of eating!
BBQ King: good old BBQ king – it’s a lot more expensive now but still has some good old school food.
Billy Kwong: went for a business dinner, it was nice but thought it was over priced!
Red Chili Sichuan: explosive flavours, extremely spicy and flavoursome.
Eastwood Peking Duck: our ‘local’ – the food is consistently good.
East Ocean: had my wedding here, so it’s very close to my heart. Great dinner, great wedding banquet! One of my favourite yum cha places in Sydney.
Din Tai Fung: a little over rated, but I have to admit, their xiao long bau is good! Exy though, cheaper in Singapore and Hong Kong.
Chefs Gallery: similar to that of Din Tai Fung, xiao long bau and noodles.
Golden Century: fantastic Chinese food.
Lynn Shanghai: some say the xiao long bau is better than Din Tai Fung – it has more dishes on offer. The xiao long bau is just as good.
Marigold: love the yum cha here, the food for dinner is quite good too.
New Shanghai: another favourite of mine for dumplings!
Sea Treasure: the king crab here was fantastic – three courses. I have heard the yum cha is not bad either but have yet to try.
Spice Temple: one of Neil Perry’s restaurant, a fun dining experience that gives people a welcome (if expensive) opportunity to be exposed to a range of Chinese cuisine hither to unseen in most Sydney restaurants.
Sea Bay: if Din Tai Fung is busy, this is just behind and good for dumplings and noodles. Love the pancake!
Shiok!*: located in the Eating World food court – one of the best and nicest Hainan chicken rice! The nasi lemak and laksa is supposed to be very good also!
Spicy Sichuan: love this place, and love the ling fish filled with vegetable in chili oil!
Chinese Yum Cha:
Chef’s Gallery: now has yum cha option (see above).
East Ocean: see above – one of my favourite yum cha place.
Fat Buddha: located in QVB, thought it was pretty average and exy.
Marigold: another favourite for yum cha (see above).
Palace Chinese Restaurant: another favourite of mine.
European / English
Abercrombie Hotel: calorific – deep fried gay time ice cream, mac n cheese balls, and burgers. You wouldn’t eat it every day but it is fun and tasty.
Essen Restaurant: biggest chicken schnitzel ever!
Quarter Twenty-One: the new-ish restaurant by Justin North. Excellent food and service. Can’t wait to try dessert.
Restaurant Arras: One of my favourite restaurants in Sydney. Pork was outstanding and not to mention the legendary petit fours!
Ad Lib: classic French Bistro, Dietmar Sawyere is a legend and Ad Lib is just another example of how much this man has contributed to Sydney’s dining. The veal liver was wonderful and full of flavour and not to mention the portobello mushroom with snails.
Assiette: consistently good, their 10 course degustation for $99 is well priced.
Baroque: serves classic French Bistro dishes, desserts and of course they are well-known for the macarons which are made daily in the kitchen.
Becasse: have recently moved to location, now at Westfield. Loved it, the food was ‘fun’ and service excellent. No doubt I enjoyed this visit more than previously.
Berowra Waters Inn: on my list of places to go – have heard mix reviews though.
Bistro Ortolan: have heard wonderful things about this place.
Bistro Papillon: offers set lunches (3 courses for $50) and set dinners (3 courses for $65). Very reasonably priced and great food.
Bistro Lilly: simple French fare, really enjoyed the truffle duck liver pate.
Bistro Moncur: my ‘local’ when I used to work in Woollahra, its been five years since my last visit! Time for a revisit!
Claude’s: can’t remember the last time I was here. Chui Lee Luk is changing the menu shortly. Will visit when that happens.
Galileo Restaurant: a little disappointing. Used to be quite good. Unfortunately, wasn’t blown away
La Brasserie: The food was good but unfortunately no wow factor for me. The twice baked souffle was probably my favourite, in small dozes
La Grande Bouffe: open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It’s been a while since I last went for dinner though.
Marque: voted best restaurant of 2010. Has been a while since my last visit, a good 2 – 3 years. Must go back soon
Sel e Poivre: has been around for a while now, one of my favourites and ‘The Mother’s’. I do like their creme brulee here.
Onde: also has been around for a while, the food is always consistently good.
Restaurant Balzac: lovely hearty food. Love their bread and butter pudding!
Etch: sister restaurant of Becasse, less formal.
Billu’s: bit out of the way, but the food is quite authentic and good!
Shalom: cheap and quick – it was a local for when I was a student!
Bali Stick: a little more ‘upmarket’, serves authentic Balinese food.
Ayam Goreng99: another favourite amongst the Indonesian – it has been a very long time since my last visit.
Pinanggsia Noodles: they have changed owners, have yet to try since then, however, I do love their bakso goreng (fried pork balls) – it’s the best in Sydney.
Java: again a little more ‘upmarket’ – food is authentic but have not been back for a very very long time.
Mie Kocok Bandung: could be my new favourite Indonesian noodle place!
Pondok Buyung: won the ‘best bargain meal’ in Sydney – it certainly has been a VERY long time since my last visit.
1945: not so new Dutch / Indonesian restaurant in Pyrmont. Different to your typical Indonesian restaurants, dishes are meant to be shared – tapas style.
4143 at the James: funky bistro and bar. The burger is fantastic, on a toasted brioche, and if you like bread and butter pudding – best rhubarb bread and butter pudding!
Alio Restaurant: attended a cooking class here and had a ‘taste’ of their Italian cuisine. The pasta, and the mushroom risotto were fantastic. Can’t wait to dine there again.
Bambini Trust: have always wondered about this place, came for lunch and it was hearty, Italian fare. Huge wine list!
Buzo: wonderful, loved the lasagna and the beef ribs amazing winter comfort food!
Cafe Sopra: a couple of locations in Sydney. Serves simple Italian food. Great for catching up with friends or a first date.
Cibo e Vino: a little gem in Castle Hill. The beef short rib is stupendous.
Honeycomb: opened by ex Cafe Sopra chef. Food quite ‘similar’, really enjoyed the zucchini fritters and lamb ragu with chili, rosemary and chat potatoes.
il Barreto: good Italian fare.
Icebergs Dining Room: bit of a hit and miss for me, not sure if I do like it.
Jamie’s Italian: bit of a hit and miss, I thought it was great for what it is, but I have sent friends and they have not enjoyed it.
Lucio’s: tucked away in Paddington. Another wonderful Italian restaurant.
Machiavelli: place to be seen. Excellent Italian food, old school. It’s been a while since my last visit!
Otto Ristorante: A little underwhelming I thought.
Panzerotti Cafe: great Italian fare in city, especially for lunch.
Pendolino: bit of a hit and miss too but last visit was a HIT! Really enjoyed the handmade ravioli with spinach, parmigiano reggiano, gruyere, buffalo mozzarella, burnt butter and sage.
Spiedo Restaurant: came for the Sydney Food Festival, thought the dish on offer was very ordinary.
The Wine Library: sister restaurant of Buzo. As the name suggest, lots of wine!
Vini: food are to be shared, really enjoyed my lunch here.
Café Ish: Japanese with a bit of fusion – great all you can eat ribs in winter.
Don Don: ghetto place on Oxford Street, Darlinghurst. The katsu don here is very good!
Izakaya Fujiyama: Sake bar also, food was a little disappointing for me.
Ichi-ban Boshi: not my favourite place for ramen but the eel box and pork katsu don is worth the wait.
Masuya: still one of my favourite Japanese places around.
Makoto: part of the Masuya chain – best sushi train in Sydney IMO but again have not been for a while.
Menya: really love the karaage curry here.
Menya Oiden: similar to Menya Mappen – difference is that it’s a rice bar instead of a noodle bar.
Menya Noodle Bar: great ramen place! Love the karaage chicken with ramen here too.
Miso: apparently the best tonkatsu pork set. Cheap lunch sets also during the week.
Busshari: have heard wonderful things about this place, but have not yet been.
Sushi Choo: part of the Merivale chain. They have all you can eat sushi for $20 for lunch and early bird dinner!
Sushi-ya: not too bad Japanese in Chatswood.
Sushi Rio: good alternative to Masuya – food is good and not as busy.
Sushi Roll: located in Westfield Sydney. The sushi rolls are fresh and reasonably priced. However, their other dishes are a little pricey but the chicken katsu is excellent!
Sushi Suma: Service minimal, but food is fantastic for what it is. Generous servings and the diner sets are great value.
Tetsuya’s: took ‘The Mother’ here for his birthday about 6 years ago. Tets have lost a hat, now two hatter. Heard they have a new chef and wouldn’t mind trying again.
Arisun: the Korean Fried Chicken is not bad here, but thought the rest of the dishes were ordinary.
Madang: one of my favourite Korean restaurants. The deep-fried chicken in spicy sour sauce is a must order.
El Capo: very reasonable lunch at $10. Bit of a hit and miss, my lunch was a hit, however, friend’s a miss. Dinner menu looks interesting, I like the vibe and ambiance.
Kaki Lima: a different alternative to Mamak. A bit out of the way but the roti is thicker, fluffier and fantastic!
Makan at Alice: great Malaysian food – love the curry puffs, char kwei tiau and fried rice! Not to mention the ice kacang
Mamak: queues are insanely long, but I have to admit they have the best rotis in Sydney. Other than that, I am not a huge fan of their dish.
Istana: not very close to where I live but I do enjoy coming here. I do like their Hainan Chicken rice – not as good as those you get from Singapore but it’s not too bad.
Petaling Street: unfortunately I wasn’t blown away. I have heard their laksa is good but have yet to try. The roti was very ordinary.
Temasek: It’s certainly has been a long time since I have been here. Their nasi lemak and Hainan chicken is very good. Need to go back.
Sambal: had take away a number of times now but have not actually gone to the restaurant.
El Loco: New venture by Dan Hong and part of the Merival group – TACOS! Try the tofu tacos and have a margarita.
Emma’s on Liberty: really enjoyed the food here, hummous and chicken were great.
Agape Organic Restaurant: everything used is organic. Very lovely food. Love the pizza too!
Aria: has been a while I have visited, 5 years now, have heard mix reviews but would love to go back! Holds a certain place in my heart!
Black by Ezard: Teage Ezard’s new restaurant, if you love both Ezard and Gingerboy then check this place out! Food excellent, and the rhubarb and strawberry tart fantastic!
Bentley Restaurant and Bar: can’t remember the last time I was here, so a must visit soon.
Boathouse on Blackwattle: another ‘local’ when we lived in Glebe, the fish pie is excellent!
Catalina: business lunch, really enjoyed it, will visit again.
Concrete Blonde: good food, mix of Asian and Modern Australian.
District Dining: Warren Turnbull other restaurant, again its tapas like. Fried chicken and pork is good.
Est.: part of the merivale chain, had one of our work Christmas party here, food good but unfortunately, nothing outstanding.
Fishface: great seafood – their ocean trout petuna is divine.
Fix St James: came for lunch and the pork dish was delish! Definitely keen to try the dinner one day.
Four in Hand: one of the best pork dishes I have had.
Flying Fish: seafood place with a modern Australian twist. The entrees were great, and started well. The mains I thought was good but nothing to rave about.
Garden Brasserie: tapas like, everything we had that evening was delicious.
Gastro Park: amazingly good food! The soy and mustard glazed swordfish belly, pickled cucumber is to die for!
Guillaume at Bennelong: had a business lunch here, enjoyed it, and would love to try dinner soon.
Mad Cow: another Merivale restaurant. Unfortunately, it didn’t blow me away. Steaks at Chophouse is infinitely better!
Oscillate Wildly: new chef, love what they have done with it!
Orto Trading Co: from the peeps behind Baffi and Mo. Generous servings, loved the truffle popcorn, the pork shoulder and the crumble!
Pier: good seafood restaurant. Had my birthday here, excellent food! Not a lot of options for non seafood lovers!
Quay: amazing food, the Sea Pearls, a signature Quay dish which consists of crab, smoked eel, sea scallops and sashimi tuna were amazing! The pork jowl, the famous SNOW EGG! Excellent view, scrumptiously fantastic food!
Restaurant Arras: an EPIC meal. Loved the dessert tray!
Riverview: great simple food. I do remember their suckling pig and bread and butter pudding – both exceeded expectations.
Rockpool Bar and Grill: I know a few people who like this – it’s a bit of a hit and miss for me, but the bar, is not too shabby, especially their burger.
Sepia: unfortunately I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would. Some friends really love this restaurant.
Three Blue Ducks: open for brunch and dinner. Great food.
Tilbury: Friendly, fresh and tasty food, unrushed service and uncomplicated flavours!
Universal: amazing desserts, especially the gay time goes nuts. Servings are smaller but still make sure you make room for desserts.
Graze: reasonably priced for what it is.
Bondi Pizza: in Westfield Bondi, thought the pizza was very good!
Mad Pizza e Bar: ‘Healthy’ and thin pizza – not sure about the ‘healthy’ bit but it sure is thin and tasty!
Balcony Bar: great find, cute little place.
Paddington Arms: pub grub – new venture for the two-hatted Four in Hand restaurant, Colin Fassnidge. Loved the pork belly!
The Bellevue Hotel: ordinary pub grub, fancy pub though.
The Carrington: tapas / spanish like. The triple decker sandwich is incredibly filing but yummy.
Gumshara: tonkotsu ramen with pork ribs.
Ryos: some says this is the number one place for ramen.
Chophouse: steak is their specialty, although their crumbed pork is beautifully cooked.
Hurricanes: best known for their tender, succulent, finger licking good pork ribs! Their steak is not bad either, but people do come here for their ribs! They now have three locations, Bondi (original), Darling Harbour and Top Ryde.
Prime: it certainly has been a while since my last visit but I have had some wonderful meals there, including wagyu.
Sweets and Desserts
Adriano Zumbo: macaroons and many more.
Meet Fresh: Taiwanese dessert, their grass jelly and taro desserts are pretty good.
Black Star Pastry: haven’t been to the shop itself but have tried their dessert from other cafes who has their dessert and its to die for!
121BC: sister restaurant of Berta and Vini – great tapas though albeit limited. Great wine bar also
Berta: the banquet is fantastic and for the price, it is value for money.
Food Society: great tapas, liked the mixed vegetarian board.
Low 302: bar / tapas like food.
Ms G’s: wonderful Vietnamese / Modern Australian to share – tapas like. I love the fried chicken with kimchi mayo, not to mention the malloway fish. Make sure you make room for desserts also.
La Tana: great degustation on Wednesday – fantastic value.
Sub Solo: another tapas place in the heart of city with a Spanish twist. Quite good I thought.
Spice I Am: one of my favourite Thai place.
Longrain: fancy Thai – hit and miss for me, but I know a lot of people who really like this.
Shortgrain: Longrain’s sister restaurant, a lot smaller, a lot cheaper but just as good!
Home Thai Restaurant: the new ‘chat Thai’ – had lunch only but keen to try dinner. Many of my friends love this place.
Satang Thai: quite reasonably priced and enjoyable.
Fat Noodle: can be found in the gaming area of Star City casino, so no kids allowed unfortunately. Reasonable priced and food quite good! Love the deep fried salt and pepper tofu.
Lotus Asian Restaurant: combination of Asian, Malaysian and Vietnamese in Marrickville. A little gem.
Miss Chu: hole in a wall, we got food delivered in 20 mins. Great for rice paper rolls, the Peking duck pancakes is excellent. A little pricey for what it is but still quite good.
Huong Huong: cheap and tasty Vietnamese food. They also have other cuisines like Thai, Indonesian and Chinese – a mix of everything.
Pho Toan Thang: Have been here numerous times now. Food is consistently good, I love their fried chicken with tomato rice, special beef pho and beef brisket.
Pho Pasteur: not too bad, I love the seafood springroll but have definitely had better Pho. It’s not bad if too lazy to go to Flemington.
Saigon BBQ: in Flemington, if Pho Toan Thang is busy, this is probably the second best.
Out of Sydney
Bells at Killcare: really lovely food, can stay at venue also.
Biota Dining: Guest blog post by one of my favourite ‘uncle’. Check out his review – he loved the restaurant!
Donut Van in Berry: a must visit if you are in Berry. Freshly made on the spot – who can say no to fresh donuts?
Berry Woodfire Sourdough: cute little cafe in Berry. Food excellent, and you can get some fresh bread and sweets to take home.
The Hungry Duck in Berry: a modern Asian restaurant using organic produce. They have their own organic herb and vegetable garden.
Four in Hand: SUCKLING PIG! Need I say more?