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Sep 16, 2008 05:01 PM

Should I NOT go to these Sydney restaurants?

I know there are a whole ton of recommendations for places to eat while in Sydney. I've checked out many of the other threads with their recs and I think I have a good selection picked out. We are there for 4 days of lunches and dinners (free brekkie in the hotel, so not a concern). We want to leave a few slots open for places we discover while there, but we want to have most nailed down.

Here are what we have so far:
Lunch at Quay (we already have the reservation made)
Din Thai Fung for dumplings
Sky Pheonix for Yum Cha
Harry's Pie Cart
GPO Cheese Room (we love cheese)

What I am asking from people who have visited these places is should we NOT go to any of them? While I recognize that there may be better places to go than this assortment (and make suggestions if you'd like, it is appreciated) I want to know if any of these are a bad idea and why.

Thanks all.

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  1. Had a bad food experience at Sky Phoenix although I recognise it comes well recommended by some. Reheated old dim sum, so I would skip this place and try somewhere else in the real Sydney Chinatown eg BBQ King.

    3 Replies
    1. re: jessjaws

      BBQ King? only if you have an asian person in your company. Worst chinese food i have EVER been served. Dried up week old bbq meats.

      If you're heading to DTF for dumplings do you really need to go for yum cha also (just a thought)?

      1. re: kmh

        Does BBQ King do Yum Cha? I didn't think so.

        1. re: PhilD

          BBQ King specializes in roast pork & duck, supplemented by noodle/rice dishes. Very rustic/robust cooking typical of Sydney Chinatown denizens' working class roots.

          For yum cha, try Marigold or East Ocean.

    2. I would also not rate Sky Pheonix high in the Sydney Yum Cha options, I have been a few times, and the food not as good as a few in China town. I would recommend East Ocean as my favorite then Marigold for the full on Yun Cha Experienece, but aim to go before 1pm as there isn't as much variety towards the end of the lunch period.

      1. for yum cha - don't go to whomever got best yum cha in the good food guide more than 6 months after publication (annual). It's a certain recipe for disappointment.

        Never been but I reckon there's got to be good Yum cha in hurstville or ashfield - have you seen how many chinese people there are in those suburbs?

        5 Replies
        1. re: kmh

          agreed. take the train to ashfield station, walk up to liverpool street and look for the place where you see the most asian locals.

          sometimes blind exploration can produce the best experience.

          1. re: fooftales

            Actually I'm not sure if there are any yum cha places in Ashfield, as far as I know. Yum cha is a Cantonese thing, whereas Ashfield is sometimes called "Little Shanghai" owing to the large number of restaurants serving Shanghai style food, often with noodles and dumplings being a specialty (xia long bao!!!! -- Shanghai style dumplings ... the pork-filled ones with soup INSIDE them mmmmm ... still perfecting the art of eating them without them exploding randomly all over my shirt).

            As fooftales says, go with the "look for the busiest" rule of thumb. You'll find that there are two places that by far seem to be the busiest on Liverpool Rd: Shanghai Night and the other one across the road whose name escapes me. Haven't been to the latter (can never get a seat when I want one), but Shanghai Night is great and cheap.

            Can't comment on Hurstville, have not been there ... Been meaning to check it out though.

            1. re: Tsar_Pushka

              Re: the art of eating xiao long bao without them exploding randomly all over your shirt

              Carefully place the xiao long bao on the porcelain soup spoon (a ubiquitous Chinese table utensil which you'll definitely find on your table). Gently nibble a tiny bit off the xiao long bao's skin. Let the soup trickle out of the incision henceforth into your soup spoon. Add the vinegar/shredded ginger condiment (if you so choose). Slurp up & enjoy.

              P.S. - I didn't come up with this technique. A Shanghainese colleague showed me this after witnessing a xiao long bao exploding all over my tie/shirt during my first-ever visit to a xiao long bao restaurant in Shanghai years ago.

              1. re: klyeoh

                Thanks for the tip! Will try next time : )

        2. I'd prefer the china town yum cha spots, rather than phoenix.. from an ambience perspective also (expect fantastically efficient service and persuasive cart ladies). I have enjoyed fish and chips from FishFace, but for such a short visit It'd be a shame not to experience a waterside restaurant.. Darlinghurst is inner city (gritty though newly gentrified) and the fish face restaurant itself is tiny. I can recommend: Sean's Panorama in Bondi Beach, Garfish Manly (get there by ferry), and Bathers Pavillion (both the restaurant and cafe are beautiful). Happy for you in securing the Quay reservation- sublime.

          1 Reply
          1. re: teacup

            re sean's - he's doing a month-long swap with skye gyngell, running her petersham nurseries cafe in england, while she's at the helm of the bondi digs.

            not sure how much longer she's there, think the swap was for september only, but you might want to call and see who's in the engine room.

          2. We loved FishFace so I'd keep it on your list - also really enjoyed Quay...........