Looking for Restaurants in Sydney
We have recently moved to Sydney from Tokyo with previous stays in Singapore and New York. We have had good luck locating excellent modern Oz, but little luck with the cuisines of other countries. We would appreciate advice on the following:
-best "money is no object" Chinese restaurant. We've been spoiled in Singapore by Li Bai, Imperial Treasures and numerous other top places.
-sushi bar the Japanese business community uses. If there is none, perhaps someone knows where the Japanese community lives, as there are likely to be a Japanese food store and a few restaurants there. Are there any authentic yakatori-ya, izakaya, soba-ya, okonomoyaki-ya in Sydney?
-traditional Spanish tapas with a good selection of sherries
-Korean table top BBQ
-NY-style Jewish deli (kosher-style franks, pastrami etc.)
-a traditional brasserie
-proper Singaporean/Malaysian food, such as chili crab (think Jumbo or Long Beach), roti paratha, Hainan chicken rice, nasi lemak, nonya dishes
-a fishmonger selling gindara, top-quality ikura and nama uni, o-toro and chu-toro.
-a NY bagel shop
Thanks in advance.
Hi Hungry Jack
Hmmm, an extensive list indeed. I was born in Singapore and brought up in Sydney so I have a reasonable idea on Asian cuisine as well as most other areas of food. I’ve been living in Hong Kong for 2 years and have now lived in South Florida for the past 11 months, but I’m pretty sure my knowledge is still relevant. I notice a lot of people have suggested the really good places, so I will sum up with my view of must go to places:
ALL THINGS ASIAN
Shimbashi Soba in Neutral Bay. They make their own soba noodles and are fantastic
Sushi Suma in Surry Hills has great Bento style boxes and large servings (enough for two) so is cheap
Tetsuya's - http://www.tetsuyas.com/ - very pricey but consistently voted in the top 10 restaurants in the world. Fusion French/Japanese. You need to book this restaurant.
Longrain - http://www.longrain.com.au/ - contemporary Thai. This is a walk in restaurant so they don’t accept reservations, get there at 6pm and you will be fine. It’s true communal dining so one very long table. Personally this is my favourite Thai restaurant in Sydney.
Billy Liks was started by someone who worked in the Longrain kitchen. I went to this place when it first opened. At the time I didn’t think much of it. In fact I remember thinking it was a poor distant cousin of Longrain
WokPool - http://www.oztravel.com.au/travel_mall/Top10/WokpoolImax.html - WokPool owned by Sydney chef Neil Perry is contemporary Asian and is located in Darling Harbour near the Imax theatre. Nice and not as expensive as the other two, much more casual. It is the Asian counterpart to his French/Australian restaurant RockPool, which is silver service, fine food and located beautifully in The Rocks.
Rockpool – Original Neil Perry restaurant, the best way for me to describe this restaurant is Australian cuisine with an international bent as Neil Perry combines a lot of different styles including Middle Eastern, Asian and French. My first experience with a Tagine not in a Middle Eastern country.
Golden Century is an oldie but a goodie in Chinatown. They’ve been around for at least 40 years and they do quality Chinese (Cantonese), and are known for their seafood (especially lobster sashimi).
Barbecue King is also an old favourite, doesn’t look like much but it is very good and quite traditional. It also does old style shared seating if it is packed.
The best (money can buy Chinese restaurant) I hate to say is not in Sydney. Sydney has a vast array of fantastic Chinese restaurants that serves traditional Cantonese cuisine as mentioned previously Golden Century, BBQ King, there’s also Kam Fook and Hingara Chinese restaurant in Chinatown, not to mention East Ocean Chinese Restaurant and a number of other Chinatown joints. BUT, the best Chinese restaurant I have come across in Australia is in fact in Melbourne and was mentioned by one of the other respondents. The restaurant is called Flour Drum and is booked solid for dinners most times. What stands this apart from the rest is the silver service and the sumptuous food. It is prepared and presented beautifully with the preparation really bringing out the natural flavours of the main ingredients. An absolute must try if you’re down in Melbourne. If you can’t get a dinner booking it may be easier to get a lunch reservation.
For Korean barbecue, there is a big Korean community in Campsie so you can check out the main drag there for many Korean style restaurants and shops.
Temasek in Parramatta for Hainan Chicken rice (the rice is delish), Singapore chilli crab and some very excellent Nonya style cooking. I agree Ra tu Sari in Randwick is also very good. There’s also a Sydney institution called Harry’s Singapore Chilli Crabs, above a pub (of all places) in Surry Hills. Go there for the crabs (although a touch pricey), but I didn’t find the other food too awe-inspiring. This place is located quite close to Longrain
KOSHER IN SYDNEY????
There aren’t really that many Kosher delis in Sydney, although if you were to find them they’d probably be in and around Rose Bay, and yes there is kosher in the David Jones food hall. There is a Sydney institution however, called Harry’s Café de Wheels – A must go for all tourists. I take everyone who is visiting Sydney here. Check out this review for an address (it’s located in Woolloomoolloo which is the old naval yards, you can walk there from Circular Quay and the Botanic gardens. http://www.igougo.com/travelcontent/J... My recommendation is to get the Hot Dog de Wheels (best hot dog I have ever had), and get the chicken pie with cheese sauce. Both items are to die for. With the hot dog be careful when you eat it, everyone loses the dog first time (the hot dog has beef chili, mashed peas, fried onions, cheese sauce, chili sauce
For brasseries (I too am assuming you mean French style bistros. I agree Bistro Moncur is a must try in Woollahra. You must also try Becasse which was started by a chef from a former downtown French eating establishment called Banc. Becasse has 2 locations, one in Surry Hills (the original) the other is located in Downtown Sydney on Clarence Street I believe. You must also try Restaurant Balzac which was also started by another former chef of Banc. This is located in Randwick. They also have another restaurant called 2 Rooms which is also very very good.
For Spanish food, yes, everyone knows that the section of Liverpool Street between George Street and Sussex Street is the place to be. The best Paella I have had is actually in the restaurant in the pub across the street from the Spanish Club. The pub is on the corner there of George and Liverpool Street. There is also a good tapas bar in Paddington on Oxford Street. I can’t remember the name of it, but it is close to Crown Street maybe about 100 yards back towards downtown along Oxford.
FOOD WITH A VIEW
As to be expected most restaurants with a view don’t necessarily have the best food, but here are some notable exceptions:
Café Sydney – owned by the same people who own Café Deco in the Peak in Hong Kong, this has a wonderful view of Sydney Harbor. Food is great but not that fantastic
Restaurant Forty One - on level 41 of Chifley Tower. French and pricey, but fab view
Summit Restaurant – been around for years and when I was there last it was great but not fantastic, this is a revolving restaurant
Imperial Peking, Waterfront Restaurant, Doyles by the Quay – Sydney institutions all as they have been there for years. Not the most amazing “knock your socks off” food, but stunning Sydney Harbour vistas with a calming atmosphere
FOOD FOR LOCALS
Dunbar House – VERY LITTLE KNOWN restaurant in Watsons Bay. This is an old terrace styles house protected by the National Trust. They serve a basic menu of Australian cuisine (try the barramundi fillet on paper bark). Very few people know this place. I believe it is only open for lunch, and dinners from Thursday to Sunday. They make these potato fritters that are to die for, and have a nice olde worlde charm. The reason why very few people know this place is because its real business is as a wedding reception house, so the food you order is really the food they have on their food menus for catering for weddings. Very romantic and in an idyllic location. I have had dinner here on more than one occasion where my girlfriend and I were the only two people in the place besides the old waiter who provides topnotch service to go with the food. It is byo so bring your own food.
Petite La Crème – fabulous French breakfast place in Darlinghurst
Bills – fabulous breakfast place in Darlinghurst. Simple fare but interesting. Has a series of cookbooks for you to try recipes on your own.
Thanh Binh – Vietnamese Restaurant in Newtown. Fantastic food, order the fried chicken, frog’s legs and beef on rice paper.
SOME BASIC WINE TIPS
If you like wine then knowing a thing or two about Aussie wines will go a long way to enjoying your meal.
Aussie wines unlike their European counterparts are made primarily to be drunk either immediately or within a few years of its vintage. There are some exceptions to this rule, however those wines are a little more expensive. I’m not a big connoisseur but you will find great shirazes from Hunter Valley and Adelaide (Barossa Valley, Limestone Coast, Pokolbin to name a few). Hunter Valley is also known for its Semillons and Western Australia for its pinot noir and sauvignon blancs (although for the best sauvignon blancs in the world you can’t go past a New Zealand SB).
I have a preference for D’arenberg Footbolts Shiraz as it is a quaffable wine at a good price of around $15 a bottle. If you want to move a little upscale look towards a Henshcke shiraz either a Hill of Grace (very up market) or for a slightly lower marquee they have another shiraz which I can’t remember the name of. There’s also one of Australia’s oldest wineries from the Hunter Valley which is Tyrell’s. If you like Semillon you can’t go past their Vat 1, and I find anything in their shiraz range drinkable. Saddlers Creek also makes a fantastic Cabernet Sauvignon, but not sure whether you can get them in the bottle shops, they may only be at cellar door. To go for something safe you could try a Penfolds St Henris Shiraz for a mid range wine, or if you want to go a little upmarket get the Penfolds RWT, and for the marquee name the Penfolds Grange which is their equivalent of a Henschke Hill of Grace. Or if you like aged wines there is a winery in the Hunter Valley called Waverley Estate. I believe their latest release is no earlier than 5 years ago and they only sell at cellar door, and select fine restaurants. REMEMBER TO ALWAYS ASK IF THE RESTAURANT IS BYO, the silver service restaurants won't be, but some of the cheaper places will most likely be, so just pop into your bottle shop in the way through and you will be set
Anyway hope that helps. If you want any more tips ping me an email email@example.com, or if you want to let me know how things went with my suggestions I’m happy to just know that I made another world traveler that much more comfortable in my adopted home.
Sydney's restaurant scene is as much about fashion as it is about food, and I think you will find that 3 years is a long time in the restaurant game.
I have added a few corrections below:
Billy Liks - I think you mean Jimmy Liks
WokPool - shut down years ago. I can't even remember when. Rock Pool, Rocket and any of the other incarnations in Potts Point are long forgotten
Rockpool - is about to close its doors and re-open as more lighthearted brasserie fare
Barbecue King - is hit and miss; I have been there and had great food, and been there and had the worst chinese food in my life. Sydney chefs and asian people get preferential treatment.
For good egalitarian chinese try Blue Eye Dragon (billed as taiwanese) or Billy Kwong.
For Korean barbecue, there is a big Korean community in Campsie - also in strathfield.
Harry’s Café de Wheels – Harry's is about the pies. a tiger pie specifically. Hannahs cafe de Wheels is beside the powerhouse museum but no view.
Becasse moved from surry hills to CBD
FOOD WITH A VIEW
Café Sydney – has very ordinary and overpriced food, you pay for the view.
Summit Restaurant – terrible. now owned by a catering consortium
Doyles by the Quay – terrible - go to pier in woolahra/rose bay instead
UGH!!! give me a break. on the waterfront or views the restaurants to go to are Icebergs at Bondi, Pilu at Freshwater, Aria at Circular Quay, or Quay at the overseas passenger terminal.
Petite La Crème – fabulous French breakfast place in Darlinghurst
Bills – has gone off the boil
The current breakfasts to try are at Danks St Depot, Bird Cow Fish and apparently Kells Kitchen in Darlinghurst has opened in the old salt restaurant with a mandate on good brekky.
suggest you get a little guide to the areas (wine producing areas increase by the year) but the top few that spring to mind are:
Hunter Valley (NSW) this includes pokolbin which is not in adelaide - good semillion, lots of new verdehlos.
Coonawarra and Barossa Valley, SA - big on the cabs
Margaret River, WA
Yarra Valley, Vic
Great Western, Vic
Tasmania - cold climate wines like Pinot Noir, and SB
and the southern tablelands of nsw such as Orange, Cowra (Lark's Hill springs to midn.)
Wow, that is a big change. Yeh sorry getting my restaurant names mixed up. Jimmy Liks not Billy Liks.
Bills has gone downhill? That's a shame
What's egalitarian Chinese? I always tend to find western tastes for chinese food runs very differently to eastern, what did you eat in BBQ King that was so horrible? One thing I did notice the last time I was in Sydney was that their prices had increased significantly. Is Blue Eyed Dragon nouvelle Taiwanese? Sounds like it. When did they open up? As for Billy Kwong? Hmmm, average in my books I'm afraid....but then that could be my Asian tastebuds.
Pokolbin is in HV, yes I stand corrected. Didn't realise Tassie had good PN and SB.
Personally don't much like Yarra Valley wines and didn't realize cabs were big down south, so learnt something new, thank you.
You really like Aria and Quay? The last time I was there didn't think much of either of these restaurants.
Food with a View, hmmmm agreed they are not foodie establishments, but would not judge them so harshly (everything in its place and all that), these types of restaurants do not require food elitists such as yourself, but, after all you are paying for the view and not the food.
And are you nuts? Harry's Cafe de Wheels is not about the tiger pies, otherwise it would be called Harry's Pie de Wheels:)
Wow, that is a big change.
when was the last time you were in sydney?
Bills has gone downhill? That's a shame -
SURE IS... perhaps if he stopped posing for the media and got back in the kitchen things would improve. the big communal table has also gone.
What's egalitarian Chinese?
Chinese food that is served to people regardless of whether they are asian or not. My so called "western" taste of chinese was developed by my mother who cooked and taught chinese cooking after doing courses while we lived (and my dad worked) in asia. according to his colleagues her siu mai, and gyoza are amazing and their wives don't even cook them but buy frozen. Her wonton are sensational and her glazed bbq pork is yet to be challenged.
what did you eat in BBQ King that was so horrible?
BBQ pork - it was dry and chewy and stringy and had to have been at least 2 days old. My point is really that they are inconsistent and treat people very differently depending on (a) race, (b) a guestimation of their apparently wealth, and (c) any publicity they might be able to glean from who eats there. I go to Emperor Garden on Thomas street for BBQ items.
Is Blue Eyed Dragon nouvelle Taiwanese?
look at the menu and decide for yourself. opened at least 18 months ago in Pyrmont. they also opened grain tea rice noodle but this has been sold on now.
As for Billy Kwong? Hmmm, average in my books I'm afraid....but then that could be my Asian tastebuds.
better than the cr@p they dish up to westerners at BBQ king.
You really like Aria and Quay? The last time I was there didn't think much of either of these restaurants.
aria and quay are "food with a view" and much more palatable than cafe sydney (which I agree has a great view but not much else).
as you say "after all you are paying for the view and not the food" but i'd at least like to get some VFM on the food as well.
food elitists such as yourself
Hullo? elitist? I am more likely to be found hoeing down a pie, dumplings from cho, laksa from to, a banh minh Hong Ha, rendang and kangkung cha terasi at Ratu Sari (the new one), or a burger with a schooey at the local pub.
the comments I made related to the questions and feedback above, not to my personal tastes. I love a decadent feed, but few can afford to do that regularly in this city.
And are you nuts?
no, just informed. maybe its your asian tastes, but Harry's Cafe de Wheels IS ABOUT THE PIES; it's a tradition.
on a final note, I find your reverse racism remarkable.
hehe, i think we'll have to agree to disagree about Hairy Spies
last time I was in Sydney was just before I moved here to South Florida so about 1 year ago. Admittedly when I was in Sydney was just for a quick visit with my parents and my brother.
I went to Balzac, 2 rooms, golden century, Becasse (downtown, i thought they kept surry hills as well) and an Italian restaurant in Paddington (or was that Woollahra?) whose name escapes me, but their signature dish of fettucine with egg truffle was amazing!!
I agree Emperor's Garden is my preferred BBQ restaurant, and I always buy my mooncake there during August Mooncake festival.
Where in Asia did you live? Sounds like you have had a remarkable life. Can you speak any Asian languages?
In terms of reverse racism it's not something that I consciously do, nor have I consciously done this in the past. But now that you mention it I did come across as slightly Asianist. I was probably getting my back up about ur comment re: treating Asian customers better at BBQ King.
But, also mMade me think about that for a second and I have come to realise what has influenced it. 2 years in Hong Kong where east vs west tastes really show, and one year in South Florida where American Chinese is really starting to irritate me.
I have managed to find one really decent Cantonese style restaurant here, and even then some of their dishes are tainted by Americana.
Anyway, if I offended you or anyone else my apologies it was not my intention.
Next time I'm in Sydney I will definitely try some of the places you have recommended.
Have you been to Thanh Binh in Newtown?
And don't get me started on burgers. I can't get beetroot on my burgers here!!! My friends laugh at me everytime I try:(
Can't speak any of it now. Dad was in beef export and based in Japan for several years, and USA for several years.
Have you been to Thanh Binh in Newtown?
yep, it's good, not great. as an aside the owner's niece ran off with my best friend's husband.
i worked in strathfield for a while and there was a great little pho place there and not that i've been there for a while but I do like indochine in St James arcade. my parents adore Tran's in mosman
Ok Hungry jack here goes- Ill start with the 'forget its' - NY bagel shop...nah...only bagel house has 'decent bagels' - Jewish style foodstuffs may be bought in Bondi at Starks deli..
japanese food- Im a bit of an expert here as my g/f comes from there and so Ive sampled heaps of "J" restaurants.. a sushi bar the business community uses which includes yummy Okanamaki is in Neutral bay- called shimbasi and it has delicous "soba" as well as yakitori ...japanese food store right around the corner from there as well..also has fresh japanese rolls/yamazaki bread.. Japanese comm mostly in this area and nearby Northern suburbs..so many good restaurants here..including super tasty grilled wagyu beef place Rengaya .
spanish tapas- General touristy people like captain torres in liverpool st spanish quarter but I prefer tapenadas in lovley paddington- also has wonderful japanese resturant called wasavie right there..not sure of the selection of sherries- I just usually go for a nice Australian Shiraz..also check out cafe Hernandez in darlinghurst...live music..authentic spanish feel..
Korean BBq There re heaps..(What else do they do?) One such one is in Victoria st Potts Point which is not bad but Ive just heard that the one n Gateway Centre circular quay is a standout..will try it in the next couple of weeks... cheers..
Speaking of Spanish - theres a great little casual Spanish shop in Milson's point
A wide variety of spanish meals & snacks, & some spanish goods/foodstuffs to be bought as well
Best of all they have these lovely freshly made spanish donuts that they give you a cup of hot chocolate to dip into. personally I have to order two :)
I cant remember the name of it - starts with TOR I think - its on Blues Point road - or whatever that main shopping strip is.
Hey Jack, why not do something extraordinary - live in Sydney, not bring your American expectations here.
Here's my recommendations, two books of mine - and not because they are books of mine but because they're very useful to an American lost in a sea of bad food
1. Sydney Eats. the odlest restaurant guide in Sydney, which I like to call the Real Food Guide as opposed to the other one, the Posh Food Guide. 700 restaurants and places to eat in places you've never been - and should
2. The Foodies' Guide To Sydney. For the home cook what the restaurant guides are. Where to buy the best of everything all over town. Including wine and just in case you're getting married, caterers
And then - you might find not what you're looking for - but what we have
now this is getting personal!!!
HJ, welcome to Sydney. I hope you love it! we are a multicultural city and i hope that you find my previous post helpful. if not feel free to contact me.
please IGNORE John and his parochial and unpleasant nature. Like america, there are all sorts of people in australia, and unfortunately each of them has an opinion!
clearly he does not understand that this forum is about people providing suggestions to each other, and to unite people in discussing food that they enjoy eating.
in addressing mr newton,)
1. Jack never said he was american, he just mentioned a previous stint in NY, as he also did SINGAPORE. his nomenclature of seafood was japanese - probably explained by his recent stint in japan and the variation of definitions in fish nomenclature as it is (refer to http://www.smh.com.au/news/environmen...
2. Jack stated that he has had great success in trying mod oz and is asking where to find certain cuisines. secrets a city as big as sydney is good at keeping.
3. i have never liked the sydney eats guide, as the reviews tell little about the restaurant, are vague in analysis and the end result being more like a "yellow pages" of restaurants and eateries. it also includes the posh restaurants in other guides, almost paraphrasing what they say...
4. mr newton refers to the posh food guide. i assume this is the good food guide published by the sydney morning herald. whilst many of the restaurants in this guide are indeed posh, and whilst the current editor (currently having is second year in the position) seems much more biased than the previous (who is being sued for defamation) i would not call a book that features $11 pasta, $7 dumplings beside some of the world's best restaurants as an exclusively posh food guide
5. after a squiz at the sydney eats website, it confirms what i suspected. it's not a happy place to peruse, your criticism of guzman y gomez is unwarranted and inaccurate, and your touting of virginia trioli says all i need to know about your judgement.
Thank you all for your suggestions and giving so generously of your time and knowledge.
My recent discoveries are Brown Rice at the Cross and The Bentley on Crown Street.
As for John, I like your books and your town. Only trying to get to know Sydney better, not pretend I live anywhere else.
chinese: billy kwong. not even the most expensive in town but great.
the chinese community is everywhere in sydney but there are concentrations at china town (obviously), hurstville, and ashfield.
japanese business community mostly lives on the north shore. back in the 1980s Japan was a far more important trading partner for australia than it is now. i remember back then, the best japanese restaurant in sydney (north sydney) was backed by an australian meat exporter! is long gone...
there is a japanese supermarket of good repute in the northbridge shopping centre. there are lots of small japanese eateries in neutral bay along military road and side streets.
in crows nest at the shopping plaza with franklins in it has ten sun - a fast noodle house upstairs, and down stairs is a little place that does a better sushi than most.
i have to confess i find japanese disappointing in Sydney and often "bastardised" by the korean influence of the operators.
Yuki in the overseas passenger terminal and yoshii get good reviews. also have a look at Toko on Crown street - eternalX recently gave that a great review.
If you go to melbourn try Yu-u. i think this is the best japanese place i have been to in australia.
fish monger: go to sydney fish markets. i recommend claudios. the japanese terms you refer to are mostly tuna and salmon roe which are definitely available there, they have a sashimi counter on the left hand side and whilst hectic the service is great. I wouldn't buy this type of fish at this level anywhere else.
in translating your message i found this site helpful http://www.sushiman.net/menu/ingredients/ahi-cut.htm
for spanish tapas head to liverpool street just west of george street. this block is known as the "spanish quarter" where there are tapas bars, delis, restaurants and even the spanish club. most will recommend capitan torres, but i used to be more of a fan of miro (not sure if it's still there). not being a sherry drinker I can't help you on that one. encasa (423 Pitt St, Sydney) gets a great review and is a few blocks on the other side of george street. if you get to melbourne, check out Movida which is considered the best spanish this country has to offer.
korean table top BBQ is EVERYWHERE but would suggest you either walk around china town (on the entertainment center side there is one i quite liked) or head to Strathfield which is Sydney's mini Korea; you will be spoiled for choice on this.
NY style jewish deli - head to david jones food hall in bondi junction - this has a comprehensive selection of kosher foods as, dare i say it, the eastern suburbs has a big jewish community. check out http://www.jewishaustralia.com/food.h... for more ideas.
for malaysian head to To's (Shop 3, Lower Ground Floor, 181 Miller Street, North Sydney, 9955 2088) for excellent malaysian food. their laksa is considered one of the best in sydney. on weekdays it's suits at lunch and on saturdays malaysians from far and wide come for assam laksa, cha hor fun, rendang, hainan chicken, and other favourites. also popular in town is Malay-Chinese Takeaway on hunter street.
further west in parramatta is temasek. as an aside for indonesian head to ratu sari on anzac parade in kingsford.
by traditional brasserie i guess i would like to know whether you mean in french style. a newcomer to the scene is La Brasserie in Crown Street at the east sydney end (opposite to other references in this response) which is reasonably priced and enjoyable. Bayswater Brasserie has been in sydney for ever and that is considered a stalwart of brasserie style food. and for upmarket brasserie food head to Bistro Moncur in Woollahra.
i hope this is a helpful start. i now realise i should have asked where you were planning to live as that could have given you more local information.
355 Crown St, Surry Hills, New South Wales 2010, AU
I can't beat this list - you've totally nailed it kmh! I'd have to add Golden Century at China Town as best chinese, but for a really lovely environment and carefully cooked authentic Chinese, try Mah Gong Room on Crown Street - the owner used to be a part owner at Fu Manchu (another funky Chinese), but the gorgeous mah jong tables from China give it so much atmosphere - crab gow gees a must! I also like The Malaya on King Street Wharf, this chef has been cooking arguably the best Malaysian in Sydney for over 20 years.
I agree with the comment about Bistro Moncour.
Last month we came home to Sydney for a quick holiday after two years in Paris. We wondered how Bistro M would measure up. We were not disappointed. We had eaten in a wide variety of restaurants across France from cheap and cheerful to eye wateringly expensive. I am glad to say Bistro M holds its own very well. Serving food comparable to many good Paris restaurants equal in food quality to many Michelin one star restaurants.
We also tried Becasse and it compares very well to some of the food we had in Michelin 3 star restaurants. OK the service isn't as slick as a grand old French restaurant, but that isn't necessarily bad.
It was very reassuring to compare and contrast - Sydney stacks up very well against Paris.
That is quite an extensive list, Hungry Jack. I will try to help with just a few suggestions. Firsty, Sydney can not offer anything like the NY Deli experience. Forget it. You can find decent bagels at the Bagel House in the MLC Centre. Another place opened in the Oxford Street Mall in Bondi Junction that isn't bad. There are no kosher franks like Hebrew National etc in Australia. You can find pastrami in some deli counters but not in sit down restaurants like the 2nd Avenue Deli or the Stage Deli etc.
For Fishmongers you must try the Sydney Fish Markets in Glebe - you can try Claudio's Seafoods or De Costi's.
For Tapas check out Liverpool St off George St in the CBD. Captain Torres has good food with a pub atmosphere. There is the Spanish Club as well as the Spanish Terrazas. There is also the Spanish Tapas Restaurant at 26 Glebe Point Rd Glebe. There is also a bottle shop down the road that imports lots of wines and sherries from Spain.
I will let someone else assist with the Asian restuarants. The Flower Drum in Melbourne is often discussed as the best Chinese restaurant. You might want to check out Longrain in Surry Hills as well as Kylie Kwong's restaurant in Crown St. Bon apetit.
Our family just moved from Florida to Sydney... and I am going to look for the Asian restaurants you've mentioned!
Regarding Bagel House- we went there this morning, and I'm not sure if you know what "Lenders Bagels" are in the U.S. (basically frozen smaller than normal bagels from the grocery store)... but that is what the bagels reminded me of. Are there any places in Sydney that have things like whitefish salad, etc?
Thanks for the other restaurant listings, we are going to check them out!