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2 weeks in Perth / Sydney / Melbourne

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I'm going to be in Australia for a couple of weeks, and I'm looking for some restaurant advice. Open to just about anything, as long as the food is good. I'll probably avoid the more upscale restaurants, unless the food is stellar. If a place is distinctively "Australian", then that's a plus. Ethnic food is great - I'm coming from Los Angeles... so I'd be excited to try anything that would be new to me. I've heard that some cuisine in Australia can be superior to what I can find in LA (e.g. Thai), while other food is not necessarily as good as in LA (e.g. Japanese). I'm curious if that is true or not.

Looking through old posts, here is what I've got so far. Please feel free to comment about these places, or strike/add any restaurants. Locations are in parenthesis, cuisine is in brackets:

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PERTH
No 44 King Street (East Perth)
Lamonts (East Perth) [upscale]
Little Creatures (Fremantle) [Brewery]

I've got very little to go with for Perth. Any additional suggestions are welcome!

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SYDNEY
Long Grain (85 Commonwealth Street, Surry Hills) [Thai/Chinese, [upscale]
Salt (229 Darlinghurst Road, Darlinghurst) [upscale]
Pier (594 New South Head Road, Rose Bay) [Modern Australian, upscale]
Aqua Dining (underneath the Sydney Harbour Bridge) [Australian]
Celsius [Modern Australian, upscale]
Redgum Restaurant (624 Military Road, Mosman) [Australian/Aboriginal]
Tetsuya's (529 Kent Street) [upscale? mixed reviews?]
bill's (433 Liverpool St, Darlinghurst) [breakfast]
Upper Crust [meat pies]
Harry's Cafe De Wheels (Woolloomooloo) [meat pies]
Iceberg's (Bondi Beach) [drinks only?]
Doyle's (Watson Bay) [seafood]
Australian Hotel (The Rocks) [kangaroo pizza, beer]

Most of the places I'm hearing about in Sydney are upscale. I'd like to find some other options (thai? aboriginal?), as well as something else in Bondi? Or Manly?

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MELBOURNE
Pacific Seafood BBQ House (8/240 Victoria Street, Richmond) [Vietnamese]
Cafe Di Stasio (31 Fitzroy Street, St. Kilda) [Italian]
The Bathhouse (St. Kilda)
Belgian Beer Cafe Bluestone (557 St Kilda Rd) [Belgian beers/food]
Claypots (St. Kilda) [fish cooked-to-order, buy wine from nearby Cleanskins]
Acland Street (St. Kilda) [cake shop]

I'm going to be staying in St. Kilda, so I've got a few places to start with. Still - I'd like to hear about more, plus I'm open to anything else that is worth the hike!

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  1. As far as melbourne goes... Pacific House seafood on your list is a definate must ! Make sure u take ur own wine.
    There is also now Longrain in melb which is kinda modern thai, and is supurb...not cheap though.
    really hard to get quintessential "aussie" food... I guess my closest idea is going to a pot & parma night at a pub !
    $10-$15 for chicken parmagiana & a beer or whatever...that's pretty aussie !
    No aboriginal restuarants exist that I know of...so u can really only focus on the local produce as far as sampling unique foods to Australia.

    1. In Perth, I did eat at 44 King Street and it is very good - I also at The Globe Restaurant on Mill street - yes it is part of the Hilton but is very good -

      1. I know there are some past posts on the Flower Drum. But if you love Chinese DO NOT miss this place. Hard to get resos so call early. Or what I did the first time was to show up towards the end on lunch (2:15) and they sat me. Talked with all the waiters/managers and was back there the next night for dinner at 8.

        1. Hi im located in sydney, if ur in sydney you gotta have pork ribs at HURRICANES BBQ N GRILL they make most awesome juicy n tender ribs in sydney, been here many many times, it's located at Bondi beach, bookings are essential esp during weekend, no is 91307101, if you'd like to ask more bout any other resto feel free to email me

          1. hi there, i was studying in perth a couple years back. We always went to Cicerello's in Fremantle for Fish and Chips. Its a 5mins walk or less from Little Creatures.

            1. Just back from both Melbourne and Sydney. In Sydney, Longrain was a special eating experience. Its Thai with a bit of an Oz twist. Eggnet with pork and prawns was a very unique salad type of dish with great mint and coriander. In Melbourne, if you can get thru the noise at the downstairs bar, go to Taxi. The scenery is fun, but the sushi and fish is well worth a visit. One of our dishes which was an appetizer ( they call entree) of tuna done three ways was a favorite.

              1. I've got some to add to perth, these are just everyday good places to eat not budget breaking and good value. I lived in the inner city of perth until just over 6 months ago and these places were my regular must eat places that i became addicted to.
                New Norcia Bakery and Cafe in Mt Hawthorn. Wonderful breads, pastries, and cakes.
                Taka's kitchen-cheap and fast japanese in Shafto lane and also barrack st in perth city. So tasty.
                Maya Masala- Northbridge my favourite indian restaurant, I still haven't had indian as good here in uk. There samosas are a great snack too.
                City green sandwiches in carillion arcade-perth city, the best sandwiches and rolls in the city!
                weinstein is right to mention ciccerello's it lovely there on the decks on a beautiful sunny day. There are heaps more but I've got a headache. Have a great trip.

                1. For Sydney check out http://grabyourfork.blogspot.com/

                  Helen blogs about food in Sydney, and she includes mid-range and cheap eats as well as a few high end. Lots of good ethnic eats.

                  Or check out http://sfd.typepad.com/sfd/ for another set of recommendations and reviews.

                  1. As far as Melbourne goes, it can offer you some UNCOMPROMISING exotica.
                    Here are a couple cheap to modestly priced yet must-try food in Melbourne:

                    * Durian Gelato at
                    Il Dolce Freddo,
                    116 Lygon St, Carlton.
                    You must try their DURIAN gelato. As an Asian, I can assure you this Asian exotica is as UNCOMPROMISING as it gets anywhere in the world.

                    * BBQ Pork Buns at
                    Nam Loong, 223 Russell St, Melbourne. Best buns in Australia by the miles. No Sydney Asian bakeries can hope to touch this bun!

                    * THe Botanical, Toorak Road, South Yarra. Must try their most expensive steak! ( < 50$ though).

                    * Shabu shabu with Blackmore Wagyu at Hanabishi, King St. That's the beef served at
                    Governor's Ball that follows the 77th annual Academy Awards.
                    Make you feel like Hollywood celebs for one moment! Do call them to check for the availability of that brand.

                    * Jamon sushi bar. This is pretty much craft-your-own-dish restaurant. THe chef just shows you what best ingredients he has on that day and it's up to you what you want from the chef