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Sydney Restaurant Recommendations


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Hey there.

Not sure if you are still looking for info but here's my two cents:

1. Sushi - there are some truly excellent Sushi places in Sydney. More expensive there is Unkai on top of ANA Hotel in the city - unbelievable view but expensive.

2. There is a top italian place in Balmain called Il Piave where the little old Italian grandmother hand makes the pasta every morning - trei Italiano, no?

3. There is an awesome cheap Turkish place on Cleveland Street in Surry Hills, near the corner with Crown Street, called Erciyes. They have this lamb shish kebab which, for such an assuming place, is so succulent and tender it is astounding. Great dips too - hummus, chilli, to have with Turkish bread. Great baklava for dessert.

4. Lunch by the shore - Doyle's is an instiution but forget the one at the Fish Markets - Watson's Bay is the money, with great views of the harbour. The snapper pie at the Boathouse in Blackwattle Bay is legendary and well worth a visit.

5. Fish fish fish. A good place called Mohr Fish in Surry Hills is cheaper ($20 main) and for the shiz-nit, yes Pier is fantastic, but very expensive. Jordan's is just WAY too touristy.

6. Fabulous cheese plate. Well I did have a great cheese plate at one restaurant called Becasse in Surry Hills. Not sure whether it is the best cheese plate around but you should defninitely go to becasse. Absolutely world class food at less than world class prices. Constantly changnig menu and very resonably priced degustation menu - $90 and it includes cheese. I think there is an option to have it with wine for $120. Lots of good french wines. Prob one of my top 2 or 3 restaurants in Sydney.

7. Splurgey lunch? Well if you are looking to just spend serious cash - Bel Mondo, Rockpool, Aria, Quay. Take your pick. Aviod Rockpool in my opinion - over-rated. Quay one restaurant of the year here and great views of the harbour. Cottage Point is a cool option too.

8. Oysters. Not my bag, baby. Looks too much like snot.

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I'm surprised that no ones mentioned Sydney's most famous Seafood export, that at it's best when served in Sydney.

Sydney Rock Oysters from New South Wales are possably the worlds best Oysters.

They are kept in special nets and allowed to fatten via the Rivers tidel currents before being harvested.

Another specialty are "Morton Bay Bugs" that are more well known as Slipper Lobsters, available live in Sea Water Tanks they are very delicious. They also have available a large crayfish called a "Scabie" and several special Crabs.

Irwin

I don't say that I do. But don't let it get around that I don't.

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I think you mean "Yabbie". Scabbie sounds like the guy that crosses the picket line when the workers are striking. And yabbies are great - very similar to Marron which are found mainly in Western Australia - big, sweet, crustaceans bigger than king prawns but not quite lobster size

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I didn't see mention of Alhambra anywhere above, and it just happens to be in Manly too! CLose to the ferries. Can't remember the address (West Esplanade?) but the tourist office know it, and it's in the phone book. Good Moroccan.

-- lamington a.k.a. Duncan Markham

The Gastronomer's Bookshelf - collaborative book reviews about all things food and wine

Syrup & Tang - candid commentary and flavourful fancies

"It's healthy. It's cake. It's chocolate cake."

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  • 3 weeks later...

Great weblinks again - thanks!

I had already followed the earlier thread about Sydney restaurants and had seen the reference to Cottage Point Inn, but the photos really drive home the appeal. It's on our list...

The Clonakilla winery also looks very appealing as does the science museum in Canberra. We probably will do the drive down through highlands and back up along coast. Our 11 yr old has this idea that he's going to learn to surf. Which beaches (north or south of Sydney) would you recommend for a). lessons, b). watching the regulars?

Finally, I don't recall reading much about Indian restaurants in Sydney. Do you have any recommendations?

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Piar, malabar and nilgiri's in crows nest

Amars down near circular quay, Zaafran in Darling Harbour harbour

There are many more around; particularily in Newtown and Glebe, and most are reasonable quality. Most Indian Home diners are pretty decent. Is there any area in particular you are interested in?

Edit: add beach info

On the south side, Do the Bondi to Coogee walk; it will take a couple of hours and you will see quite a few beaches; if you just want to go to one beach for the day try Bronte for both the kids and people watching; there's a great little park with a little train that goes around a small loop. Bondi is good for people watching, but it is overly busy, and half the people there are english and Irish backpackers. Coogee is the same.

On the North side, there a plenty of good beaches; Manly is a bit touristy, but good for people watching; walk down to Shelly for a smaller beach; it's good for snorkling or learning how to swim because it is sheltered. Dee why/ long reef is a great beach; and if you do go up to cottage point, head across to either palm beach, avalon or whale beach; if you're interested, Palm beach is where that awful aussie soap opera, Home and Away is filmed. You can see th Summer Bay Surf Life savers club from the show on the beach; but it is still a beautiful beach.

Edited by Niall (log)

'You can't be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline - it helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a beer.'

- Frank Zappa

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  • 2 weeks later...

Coming into this conversation really late, but:

When a foodie friend of mine came to Oz to visit me (I was in Adelaide, we met up in Sydney), he had done all sorts of research into what restaurants he wanted to try while he was there. He really wanted an excellent sushi dinner, and had discovered that the ANA Harbour Hotel had the area's big (quoted x amount of stars, don't recall, didn't care much about sushi, honestly) sushi chef. He treated me to an very expensive meal there, and he was absolutely delighted with it. He said it was the best he has ever had. He is not prone to hyperbole, so I took him at his word. (my own experience... well, it was okay, but I really am not a sushi person. I like stronger flavors, and cooked food. :raz: )

Anyhoo. I would recommend that place, just because he loved it so much. He's hard to please. BTW, the view from the top floor (where this restaurant is) was fantastic. :wub:

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i'll be going down to sydney in a few months' time, just hope the good folks here can point me to some good and cheap (max. around aud 20 per meal) places to eat while i'm there. no malaysian, chinese or indian food though, i get enough of that here in malaysia. :laugh: thanks ppl.

so far, i've got these items on my list of must-trys:

- freshly shucked oysters at sydney fish market

- sailor's thai canteen

- meat pies at harry's cafe de wheels

- breakfast at bills

Edited by kenteoh (log)
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I finally got around to eating at Bills the other day and to be honest I was somewhat disappointed. I had the scrambled eggs and bacon and while it was good it wasn't anything that blew me away, which after hearing people rave about them I suppose I was expecting something magical. Then again I have a problem in general spending good money for something you could whip up for $2.00 at home with the same results. I would also have liked to see a bigger selection/variety on the menu.

Just my opinion.

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  • 5 weeks later...

There is an excellent turkish place in Surry Hills/Redfern on Cleveland St (cnr of Crown St) called Erciyes. Order the lamb shish kebab and have hummus and chilli dips with it and their turkish bread. The restaurant looks really shabby but the lamb is so tender we could not believe it. It is also really consistently good. You won't be disappointed. Cheapish, but not dirt cheap

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi guys - this is my first post on the Aussie leg. Just wanted to get your advice. Am coming to Melbourne for a week in November - has anyone been to Flower Drum since Gilbert Lau handed over the reins? If so has there been any noticeable change in quality of either food or service? I am assuming not given the handover appears to be have been pretty seamless - no harm in asking tho :biggrin:

We are staying in St Kilda at the Prince - Have read good things about Circa - is it comparable with the places you have discussed above or should we give it a miss?

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Am coming to Melbourne for a week in November - has anyone been to Flower Drum since Gilbert Lau handed over the reins? If so has there been any noticeable change in quality of either food or service? I am assuming not given the handover appears to be have been pretty seamless - no harm in asking tho :biggrin:

The Drum keeps on beating... :wacko: couldn't resist that one.

The staff are still the same. Gilbert was a great PR man, and perhaps inspiration and driving force behind the works, but he left behind a great ship, awesome crew, so as long you've got cash in your wallet, or an expense account or two, the Drum is still up there, but anyone going there should be encouraged to eat off the menu... there's only so much sweet sour one should consume in a lifetime, and frankly, the majority of the non-Chinese clientele have no real idea of what the Drum is really about.

Be prepared to spend to around $150 sans vin per person.

"Coffee and cigarettes... the breakfast of champions!"

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Romaney,

Circa has always done high standard food in a great setting. They have recently changed chefs and I haven't eaten there since the change. The new chef is Andrew McConnell, formerly of Dining Room 211 (now Interlude, he sold it to his former Sous Chef). Andrew's other restaurant is Mrs Jones (featured in this month's Gourmet Traveller).

I recently had a great meal at the new Brasserie by Philippe Mouchel at Crown Casino. Philippe is a bit of a legend in Melbourne and has recently returned from being in Tokyo for a couple of years. Very good French Brasserie food.

You should try to get to Ezard at the Adelphi as well. The best East meets West food in Melbourne.

Hope this helps,

Petemelb

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thanks PCL - do you know how far in advance I should book? (a month?)

That sounds fair.

And I can't resist the posting from petemelb...

The Adelphi? You've got to be joking. Melbourne has been choked by the "I've Just Returned from Bangkok with a Sackful of Lemongrass" syndrome for years, and while Ezard isn't exactly all chilli and peppercorns, one might be forgiven for assuming that nouvel cuisine is still a valid concept, albeit somewhat bastardised.

Tired hotel, tired food.

"Coffee and cigarettes... the breakfast of champions!"

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Hi guys - thanks both for your posts. I have dined at Christine Manfield's east@west over here in the UK and have to admit that fusion is not really my thing. Although I can't say enough good things about Peter Gordon's Providores - so guess it depends on individual taste.

I will definitely get to Circa - is an easy one as it's at the hotel we are staying at. Have the issue of AGT you speak of Pete and Mrs Jones looks like a fun experience/good food etc - may try and get to that as well. I only have a week though so if any of you egulleteers think I need to focus my attentions on others instead please let me know your thoughts - much appreciated.

Edited by Romaney O'Malley (log)
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Romaney,

Here are a few more suggestions (due to my Ezard recommendation being shot down in flames):

MoMo - Middle Eastern.

Ladro - Melbourne's best Pizza at the moment.

Da Noi - Great Italian food, go with the Chef's menu (just tell them what you don't eat) and you'll have a great meal.

Supper Inn - The other end of the Chinese Scale from the Flower Drum, great for a late night snack in the City.

Check them all out on http://melbourne.citysearch.com.au/

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Here are a few more suggestions (due to my Ezard recommendation being shot down in flames):

Just stating an opinion... the food could just do it for some, not me however :wink:

Da Noi I've heard lots of good things about too. The sous chef from my once favorite, Sud on King St (before the boys sold out!) was there for a while.

And as for Supper Inn... not so much the other end of the scale foodwise, it's pretty authentic if you stay away from sweet n sour and lemon chicken and all that shit, the congees are great value, especially the offal, and the steamed oysters/mussells, always good. Definitely a winner for a post-drinking food binge...

Also, if Flower Drum proves to be inaccessible, the Tea House in Chinatown would be a great alternative. The baby abalone with XO sauce and vermicelli is to die for although still prohibitive at 7 bucks EACH... personally, I prefer the Tea House on Burke Rd Camberwell, both with info on the citysearch URL posted by petemelb.

"Coffee and cigarettes... the breakfast of champions!"

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  • 2 months later...

Tim Pak Poy has sold Claudes in Sydney; the new owner is Chui Lee Luk; She has worked there for 4 years.

Claudes Website

Edited by Niall (log)

'You can't be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline - it helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a beer.'

- Frank Zappa

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We have reservations for Claudes the end of November. Please keep us posted as to whether they keep up to the previous standard. If necessary, we will change our reservation to one of the other fine dining establishments.

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I'm sad to hear that Tim Pak Poy has sold Claude's. I remember my parents eating there for a wedding anniversary of theirs when I was much too young (I don't believe that he was the chef then, but I understand that the restaurant is beautiful, and the food exceptional, and that he has only made it better since). But I wish good luck to the new owner, I'm sure that she will continue to make this one of the premier restaurants in Sydney.

Forget the house, forget the children. I want custody of the red and access to the port once a month.

KEVIN CHILDS.

Doesn't play well with others.

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In no particular order, and ranging from the cheap to the expensive:

- Becasse

- Billy Kwongs

- Prasits Thai Takeaway

- Kensington Peking Restaurant

- Claudes

- La Disfida

- Tetsuyas

- Icebergs

- Yoshii

- Lucio's

I've been abroad for 18 months, there have been some openings and closings since but I hope this still serves as a useful guide

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Le Zouave - have alook on this link Eats in Sydney and Melbourne as it has new stuff on it

Bigorre - there are lots of high end places around the quay which, whilst they may not all be the 'best' places would be a good place to start from a job point of view and will be doing very well I would think. Ones that come to mind are:

- Guillame at the Bennelong - this is at the Opera house and has won some serious awards I think

-Quay - I think this is also recognised as one of the better ones

- Aria (is this still here anyone) - mod oz again I think

- Cafe Sydney - mod Oz on the roof of a building at Circular Quay - great food and an awesome space

- Aqua Luna upstairs restaurant - modern Italian I really liked this place but haven't been there for a few years

sorry if these are out of date please correct me fellow egulleteers!

Then there's the obvious ones such a Tetsuya, Rockpool, Claudes and Pier - all awesome restaurants. I was at Tetsuya and Rockpool in November and both were world class. Haven't been to Pier or Claudes yet tho.

There are some real gems in the suburbs like Bondi Icebergs and there's a place in Randwick which is supposed to be very good (anyone know the name? Balzac?). I will post more if I remember - good luck

I hope this is of some use. :biggrin:

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