The food scene in Sydney is pretty epic. The rich, diversity in culture brings you an amazing selection of cuisines. Something for every palate.
Queen Chow, Manly
Wow! An amazing menu of totally excellent Cantonese food. No surprises, we over ordered. Significantly. As in, we had lunch for all of us the next day (which still tasted amazing. In our defense, we did the Spit to Manly walk to build up our appetite, but our eyes were definitely bigger than our tummies.
Things we got:
Steamed dumpling platter– we were never going to go past this. Dumplings were good, very light. My annoyance with this is a pretty standard dumpling annoyance, if there’s 3 people give us 3 of each!
Salt n pepper squid– good. Not greasy and it was good squid.
Singapore black pepper Moreton Bay bugs– whatever you do, order this dish. The bugs are really tasty but the sauce, PHENOMENAL! I want the sauce to go on everything in my life!
Peking duck pancakes– comes in slices rather than shredded which initially put me off, until I tasted it.
Caramelised chicken & mushroom clay pot – I barely tried this on the night because I was in the full zone, but the next day I discovered how good it was. The caramelising was sensational.
Jade vegetables & young gai lan– both veg dishes were great. I could have done with them earlier so I ate more of them, but it meant my leftovers had some green too.
Mongolian lamb sang Choi bao– so, so messy. They were good, but I gave up after the first one. I don’t think the leaves were sturdy enough.
Walking distance from Neutral Bay this, I’d call it, North African restaurant, is a well priced hot spot of flavour. The restaurant itself is quirky and one of those places that is always busy. Once you’ve eaten you’ll understand why.
Everything is easily shareable, which you are going to want to do. The table next to us ordered as individuals and all for the same thing! Rookie mistake!
We went for a vegetable theme, trying to bring a little balance to life. Not sure if we achieved it with 1 meal 😂
Everything we had was really unique in flavour. Different, but some how all complementary yo each other. There is nothing I would order again. All cooked to perfection and leaving you wanting more.
What we had:
Bbq Chili Betel Beef Leaf: really good. Teeny , tiny ie 2 mouthfuls so you need to order at least 1 per person.
Num num roti wrap:
Fried cauliflower & pomegranate salad:
Israeli super green:
Eggplant & yogurt dip:
Roasted carrots: from the special board. Carrots were roasted well and in a light cream sauce.
Turka Cafe Mezza Bar, Crows Nest:
I am really into Turkish food. Absolutely up there with my favourite cuisine to eat. Annoyingly, I haven’t worked out the best area for it in LA. They weirdly seem to call everything with a hint of the Middle East ‘mediterranean’. This place was in a good little spot with a decent enough menu- no iskender beyti 😢- but plenty of dishes to fill our table.
What was frustrating was how they delivered out the food. I’m generally fine with a ‘as it’s ready’ style, but you need a quicker kitchen and/or the chef to be thinking about how he’s making things. There’s no way the salad should have come out as the last dish. The result of how they did it was lots of long gaps waiting for the next thing and you not being able to mix up what you were eating. Oh well. Food itself was nice.
What we got:
Trio of dips: hummus, cacik and the roasted capsicum. Probably could have left the cacik, but the hummus was really good and the red pepper was amazing.
Smoked aubergine: really delicious with a perfect amount of smoked.
Finger Dolma: vine leaves. I didn’t think these were anything special, but nothing wrong with them.
Izmir prawns: delicious. I guess you can’t really go wrong with lots of butter 😂😂
Sucuk: I was so disappointed with this. Maybe it was just not pan fried enough. I usually love a good bit of Turkish sausage but I wouldn’t be ordering it here again.
Falafel: perfect! Super crunchy outside, not an inch of dry inside and a really good flavour.
Kofte: as expected, pretty good.
Cypress honey halloumi: this was a big win. Not salty and the sweetness of the honey played in beautifully.
I think it’s fair to say, you can see the tiredness and frustration in the photos.
We went in with the unspoken intention of not having a drink, then on the menu saw they had one called Jack & Jill. How we’re we supposed to go past that?
Buffalo Dining Club, Surry Hills
This is my new favourite place in Sydney! Excellent staff, cute little 2 story space and just full on, amazing food. The menu is not overly complicated and I am confident that everything you choose will be great.
Buffalo mozzarella and the burrata. You get 2 sides with each so we grabbed green beans, a beautiful tomato salad, fritters and I can’t remember the next side. Oops. The burrata was my fav.
Then for your pasta course there are 2 menu staples and a specials board. We opted for the cacio e pepe which was phenomenal!!! Pasta mixed into a bowl of cheese!! You just can’t go wrong!!
We also got the special which was a corn pasta. Really light in flavour, a beautiful spring dish.
The other menu staple is the gnocchi, which we didn’t order. However, they let us have a small taste and it was phenomenal. Order it!
The staff and owners will make this a dinner you won’t forget. They chat with you, help you to see their vision and then back it all up with excellence. If you are in Sydney, this is a place you want to make your regular. If your visiting, put it on your list. You can’t book, but the wait is worth it.
A classic Aussie pub! Great spot, great atmosphere, but really there was one thing we were going for: jatz & French onion dip. The best! Why is it not on every menu? I don’t care if it’s not supposed to be cool anymore! It tastes great! It tastes like home.
We also split a Mary’s burger. Jax reliably told me they are a good Sydney burger, and no surprise, she was right. Plus good old Aussie got chips. Way better than fries!!
Right down on the harbour this place is super busy! We walked down, across the bridge so we could have lively views, pick up some steps and build up our appetite. May have built it up a bit much, because we definitely over ordered. Again. This may be a theme.
What we got:
Dumplings! We love dumplings!! They had some unusual coconut ones which were a bit of a novelty but not something I’d get again. The standard chicken & prawn khanoum jeeb were the ones to get.
Satay: you don’t go to Thai and not get satay. The sauce was really good.
Giant Thai taco thing: ok it wasn’t a taco, but it looked like one! I really liked this dish
Green papaya salad: we opted for the standard one. Asked for medium heat and it was actually too hot for everyone else. Order lower heat than you normally would.
Whole snapper: nice and light but by this point I was just stuffed. It was hard to enjoy everything.
Yellow curry: good, but same as above. I barely had any.
There were more dishes, but it was really a blur by the end. You always get good Thai in Oz and this was no exception to the rule.
The faces of people who have gone too far:
Well, it turns out even when you go too far, there’s always room for ice cream. Especially when it’s the best in Sydney: Messina.
Sydney, offers up a great selection of restaurants with quality ingredients and beautiful blends of flavour. It’s clear that the extra kilos I packed on were their fault!
This really does explain all the extra pre Christmas kgs that I have been blessed with!! But super fun so it’s worth it. Now you just need to come back to try the other 40+ places on the list!!
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